Hours Played: 22

Last Played: 7/5/2016

Fallout: Innocence Lost

My Fallout experience took a pretty sharp turn since I last wrote about it. I restored my vault’s waterchip, which meant salvation for my people; but in order to do it I had to murder two men…

My hands had already been bloodied before, as you know… But this was the first, and second, murder I had committed in the Wasteland. I would like to say that it was the last, but that’s a matter of perspective. I won’t go into extreme detail as to prevent spoiling this nineteen year old plot point; but, in order to retrieve the waterchip I helped a settlement restore their mechanical water pump. The pump made their waterchip redundant, so it was fair game — or so I was told.
When I went to take the chip, I was told I was trespassing. And what’s worse is I couldn’t speak to the two men blocking my way — they wouldn’t listen. So I tried to force my way passed them to get what I needed; to get what was mine.

They attacked me…So… I killed them. It was self defense I told myself. I mean, technically that was true. They did attack me first! But, why did it feel so wrong?
This was, essentially, the tipping point for my character; or perhaps I should say, myself. It may not have been what caused me to snap, but it was the moment I started to bend under the pressure of the harsh Wasteland. You see, I tried to roleplay as myself. I didn’t want to kill unless I absolutely had to, but by the time I was finished with Fallout I shot first and I didn’t ask questions.

All of this is important to me because the main draw of Fallout is it’s story. If you’re playing Fallout now, that is to say in 2016, I doubt the reason you were drawn to the game is the combat or the poor interface. Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe you really like unintuitive UI.

If you’re like me you’re here for a well written story and some fun role-playing opportunities. And let me tell you, they are not lying when they say that Fallout is a classic. It’s atmosphere, characters, tone, and story are all top notch. And despite the UI, the majority of the game has aged very well. No lie, It’s probably one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played.

You’ll encounter desolate wastes, irradiated compounds, rural campsites,  and bustling cities. You’ll meet people full of life, joy, optimism, and hate. Character’s with goals, desires, dark secrets, and drug addictions. There are a wide range of people to encounter; and most, if not all of them are memorable to some degree. This adds a wonderful feeling of life and prosperity to, what is without question, a horrible no-man’s-land.

Without a large cast of realistic characters your actions really wouldn’t have much merit. Like I said in my previous entry on Fallout; there is a very real sense of weight to everything that happens in this game. They did a great job of making your actions and choices feel grounded —  and most importantly: relatable. Even when things get weird there is still a very real, very human, underlying motivation to every side involved.  Maybe it’s just because I tried my hardest to insert myself into the game, but I became very invested in ensuring everyone had the best outcome possible… You know, if they deserved it.

Throughout my playthrough I tried to keep my companions alive despite horribly difficult situations and their own best efforts. Eventually, though… They all perished.

First, I lost my dog. He died while I was assaulting a military base, despite going so far as to reload my save for almost two hours trying to keep this mutt alive. Eventually I had to give up… And this was when things became dark. Honestly, I think that was by design.

After I lost Dog Meat the only thing I cared about was killing every Mutant I came across… And keeping Ian and Tycho alive… But, even then it was more out of bitterness than anything else. I didn’t really care about them, so much as I wasn’t going to let them die on me…

But, unfortunately on the final floor of an evil secret base filled with fanatical scientists, ‘indiscernible biomass’ and horrible Mutants… They died. They were rendered into loose piles of greasy sludge. Only small fragments of bone remained in the soupy mess that was once a person…

I was simultaneously angry, sad, disappointed, relieved. I didn’t mourn them, I avenged them. I killed every last son of a bitch in there, and then I blew up the entire facility.

And I moved on…

The Wasteland had changed me.

Fallout is definitely worth playing, even nearly twenty years later. And I wholeheartedly recommend it without reservation. I would proudly count it as one of my favorite games.
If you’re a fan of Sci-Fi, and you enjoy Fallout’s particular flavor, I would go so far as to say that you’re missing out if you don’t at least give this game a chance. It manages to balance a tone that veers from lighthearted to horrifically dark without coming off as campy; In fact, fallout feels very Human. And personally, I really appreciate that.

It might take some effort to get into, and maybe a nudge here and there to figure out where to go next… But it’s worth it.

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