Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel Review

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Publisher: Interplay
Developer: 14 Degrees East

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: Pentium 266 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 500 MB HD space

This strategy game is set in the post-apocalyptic world that has helped make the Fallout series so popular, a fusion of near future and recent, cold-war past. In this setting, the Brotherhood of Steel has dedicated themselves to the preservation of technology and the reunification of the remaining populace under a common banner of peace. The Brotherhood is willing to use extreme measures to do so. At the opening of Fallout Tactics, a recent recruit has joined a splinter group of the Brotherhood of Steel, and is charged with individual tactical missions to further the interests of the Brotherhood in what was formerly the suburbs of Chicago.

The main call of the Fallout universe is the way in which it so seamlessly blends a paranoid, American, cold-war sensibility with near-futuristic technology. The game's 2D, isometric perspective is more than made up for by a beautifully rendered tile set that details nearly every aspect of the post-apocalyptic universe. The game has an extensive single-player mode as well as multiplayer. It can be played in a turn-based mode that makes the game play true to its heritage from the Fallout RPG series, or in a live mode that makes the game play like a real-time, small unit tactics game.

Kyle Ackerman

The turn-based single-player campaign is a lot of fun, and close to the feel of combat from the Fallout RPGs. While entertaining, turn-based mode is very slow going. The real call of turn-based mode is the ability to use some of the more entertaining weapons and unarmed combat skills. Real-time mode is fast-paced and suspenseful, but relies heavily on sneaking and automatic weapons fire. Because of the reaction times involved, many of the skills which are amusing but only marginally useful are unmanageable. This is fun, but doesn't allow for some of the brilliant character perks such as the Drunken Master perk, which improves a soldier's unarmed combat skill when he imbibes. The levels are large and creative, but designed in a very linear way, so that the course of a battle seems to follow a prescribed sequence. A wider choice of tactical approaches would vastly improve this game, by giving the player a greater feeling of free will.

The multi-player seems heavily weighted toward very powerful individual soldiers, rather than well balanced teams. While I'm enjoying the single-player mode, the demo multi-player seemed more balanced than the full version because of the limited selection of soldiers.

Missions in Fallout Tactics are far better played occasionally, when the mood strikes. Play requires dedication of a large enough time block to do a substantial chunk of a mission – the kind of chunk of time that would allow me to play another entire game.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on June 1, 2001 11:30 PM.

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