I could have chosen a different title. But eh.
So, my time with Fallout 1 is nearing it’s end. Not because I’ll have beaten the game, but because I will have lost, and will need to either start over or move on, and I’m fairly sure I’d rather move on. It’s been an interesting experience. Like I indicated in the last post the game hasn’t aged very well.
The interface is very clunky. Inventory management involves a lot of clicking and scrolling, screen space is poorly utilized. It’s pretty terrible. After having played a larger part of the game there’s also been some other frustrations.
The game is pretty bad at telling and showing you things. For example when acquiring information it’s not always obvious what that actually translated to for you, the player. What I’m talking about is a holo-disk I bought from a librarian in the Hub which told me the location of a vault that would have a water chip (the primary objective of Fallout 1 is to acquire said chip to save your vault). Upon using the holo-disk the game told me I now knew the location of this vault. But the location list on the overworld map was already filled out. And the game didn’t tell me which of these locations, if any, was the location of this vault.
There are also a lot of instances of things not working as you’d think. Or events not playing out like you’d think. After returning to the Brotherhood of Steel and reporting my findings at the base to the north occupied by super mutants (something I didn’t know I could do until then) and convincing them that we needed to strike before they mobilized their army (again, news to me) they told me that they’d send 3 paladins to meet me at the base to help me.
I then traveled to said base and found the tree paladins just outside. They then helped me take out the last remaining guard outside which I had failed to kill the last time I was there, where I gave up and traveled elsewhere. Here is when things took a weird turn. I discovered that the paladins refused to follow me inside the complex. Leaving me, the lone initiate, to take on a facility full of supermutants and robots all by myself. Now, as the games immortal (thanks to the ability to reload from saves) protagonist I’m of course up to this task, but from the point of view of the Brotherhood this decision makes no sense. After the episode where I found this out was published someone commented and informed me that this was the intended behavior for the paladins, with me having initially thought it was a bug in the game.
Now inside this facility I found super mutants and force fields. The super mutants I was able to dispatch of in the standard method, shooting them until they fall over. The force fields was a new obstacle that was not susceptible to bullets. There were yellow and red ones. I found that the red ones I could walk through, taking a small amount of damage doing so, while the yellow ones were impassable. I explored the facility through a few floors trying to find a way to turn the yellow force fields off. After a while I actually give up and read a bit about the facility, and the force fields, and learn that you can temporarily disable the yellow ones. I figured out that to do this I needed to use repair on it, something I’d tried before, but was told it failed to do anything by the game and I didn’t persist and retry enough times for it to actually do something.
Thus began my decreasing interest in continuing to play this game. Combined with the realization that I’d pretty much lost this playthrough due to not noticing the time running out for a second time, this time not being able to increase it further. I found that I couldn’t leave the super mutant base to travel somewhere else or the time would run out and I’d loose. I’m fairly sure that even if were to find a water chip inside this base (which I now know is impossible, there aren’t any water chips there) I would still loose because I’d probably have to return to the vault with the chip (if logic has anything to say about it), but the time would run out before I got back.
So, I’ve pretty much decided to call it a loss and move on to the next game in the series, and hope they’ve made lots and lots of improvements.