It has been a while coming to Europe but we can finally get our hands on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel on the Xbox from the creators of the Baldurís Gate series on the Xbox and PS2.
The World After the War : The background of the Fallout world is fairly basic, and very cool. Assume that the "World of Tomorrow" display at the 1939 World's Fair became a reality - flying cars, robotic assistants, and self-cleaning homes. Now assume that world was nearly destroyed by nuclear war. That's the world of Fallout.
Fallout takes place many years after the apocalypse, as humanity struggles to pick up the pieces. Some groups have barely managed to survive above ground, either scavenging the scorched ruins of cities or surviving and adapting through mass mutation. Communities that were sealed in underground vaults during the war are now emerging to re-populate the blasted landscape. Striving to organize and sustain the human race, these tattered remnants of civilization are threatened by psychotic mutants, rogue machines, raiders, and all manner of hostile creatures.
Welcome to the wasteland.
Late last year, Interplay closed down Black Isle, the creators of the Fallout series of games on the PC. This has not stopped Interplay continuing on the Fallout franchise on the consoles though, with Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel being the first of what could turn out to be a group of games based on the Fallout universe.
The game is action based; far outweighing any of the role playing elements that are included in the title. Fallout: BOS takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. The idea behind it all is that the world is in turmoil due to atomic bombs being dropped all over the place. Various humans have survived by staying in vaults underground, while others have turned into mutants by living on the toxic covered surface. The Brotherhood of Steel are a group who have come to fight against the mutants, specifically against a plot to kill all humans with a special weapon.
As mentioned earlier, the game has been based on the same engine that was used for Baldurís Gate: Dark Alliance, so not only does the game look similar, the gameplay is very similar too. There is also a similar levelling up system as well, as your character gets better and stronger, they get skill points that allow them to improve their abilities or learn new skills for use in the game.
The game defiantly has more basis on the action side of gameplay, you spend a lot of time wandering around the land killing monsters for money, improved weapons and various pieces of armour. The introduction of co-op multiplayer game play into the game is really enjoyable thanks to the way the hack and slash side of the game is.
You begin the game by choosing one of three playable characters; more do become available to you as the game goes on though. Each character looks different from the other, but they all tend to play out the same way. They also tend to have the same skills as each other too, so basically you can pick who you want without worrying that one is likely to be better than the other.
The game uses the same top down view that Baldurís Gate Dark Alliance used, this time though the camera seems to be quite a bit higher and is almost directly above the action. This is not the best view when you can sometimes have enemies you want to take out with ranged weapons as you canít see beyond your own view.
The right thumbstick controls the camera, but for some reason you cannot zoom in, which means you are left to play with characters that can sometimes look too small on your TV screen. Zooming in only takes place when you are talking to another character in the game.
Graphics & Sound
If you have previous seen Baldurís Gate: Dark Alliance on the Xbox, then you will know what this game engine looks like. It looked very good a few years ago, but right now it doesnít cut it when compared to other titles around at the moment. Not that It really matters when you get down to the gameplay. The camera also doesnít help the game out here as it is always too far away to check out the details up close.
The sound does itís job fine, itís nothing spectacular but the speech seems good and some of the pieces of music fit the darkened atmosphere well.
Despite these few problems, the game is fun to play, the setting is cool, if a little too dark in places, the adult humour is a nice change, even though some of it does seem to just be there for the sake of it, there are lots of weapons to choose from and some of the bosses and be pretty cool too. If hack and slash games are what you are into, then Fallout: Brootherhood of Steel delivers it.