How does this game play in year 2010?
I have faint recollection of playing this back 97-98 but don't remember getting too far. Ever since finishing Fallout 3 I wanted to get back to the original games. Finally managed to do that and here is my take on how the original Fallout 1 stands.
For many, like me, who have played Fallout 3 first will feel right at home with the post-apocalyptic world. Basis of the story goes by you being assigned a task of getting your vaults water chip fixed. The task is assigned to you by The Vault Overseer. During your travels you will come across to mutants which oppose greater thread than missing water chip and you .. well you see where this is going. You will come across a great number of interesting characters in the Wasteland who give you various quests. These ranging from traditional kill missions to more elaborate moral questions. Game has really epic and suiting ending as well which even further adds the interest. The most impressive factor in the game play is the amount of freedom you are given. This game is a RPG to the core and 13 years ago this must have been well impressive, it still is.
It is not fair judging a 13 year old game, especially not visually and I won't bother with that too much. Graphically game looks pretty still. Landscape looks harsh and desolated. Towns and structures look beaten. Everything looks right in place post-apocalyptic. The isometric graphics suit the presentation well. The characters are surprisingly well detailed and animated. Only drawback here is that some the characters look exactly identical and you don't know if the fellow in the denim jacked is your buddy Ian or a hoodlum you need to kill.
Audio-visually this game is near perfection. The important storyline characters are voiced by professionals. The music is gloomy that set's the mood perfectly. On this aspect game holds its own very well still.
Ignoring the fact that this is game looks and feels completely different than today's games I found myself having hard time getting used the quirky game mechanics. It is not only visually games have improved during the years but also on the game-play part. This especially the case for such hardcore RPG game like Fallout 1. Two major flaws come to my mind. First being the controls. Isometric view will display walls invisible if you are too close to one. This will also make the doors invisible which makes it quite hard to pick a lock or open it. Even when the thing you should be touch is visible it is not easy to actually hit it. Forcefields!?! Other flaw in the game would be the AI behavior. You got companions who will aid your quest. It is not fair to expect more control over them since this a old game after all, but having option turn off friendly fire off, or the ability to not shoot the innocent bystanders. In a big ass city one wrong bullet might require extermination of full city. Combine this with the slow turn based combat and oh boy you are in trouble.
How does man rate a thirteen year old game? On today's standards, and I am not talking about the graphical presentation, the awkward controlling and the so called AI would not fare far. When originally game was released there was no match for the freedom or depth which itself is a major achievement. All and all I am very glad I went back and experienced Fallout 1. The unique post-apocalyptic world with the utopia 50s feel is always tons of fun. Don't feel that I can necessarily do the game justice by giving it a score. In today's standards this would be only 3 of 5, Originally 5 of 5 no doubt, which gives and average 4 of 5.