Fallout “Defines” PC RPGs

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This morning I noticed that over at GamerHelp, they have a feature called “Pinnacle Games: 18 Games That Define Their Genre.” Of these 18 games, Fallout is considered the defining PC RPG game. Here’s a sample of what they said about it:

Most RPG titles have you duking it out as a knight or a mage in a fantasy setting rife with clichéd monsters like dragosn and orcs and trolls, oh my! But not so in Interplay’s Fallout, a breakthrough RPG title that was set in a memorable setting: post-nuclear holocaust Earth. The narrative dirve of the story was nothing new — a ‘chosen one’ ventures forth to save the world — but the presentation was something else: dark, gritty and visceral, the stark landscape of the atomically cleansed landscape was as inhospitable as it was compelling.

In addition to Fallout, there’s some pretty solid choices for other genres: Street Fighter II for fighting games, Ikaruga for the shooting genre, and of course Pete’s probably happy to see that Company of Heroes was their defining RTS game (Pete: I probably would have argued C&C or Warcraft is what got the genre started and established, but COH has changed what they’re about and what they can be).

Reader Comments

  1. This game was really a step out of the box in 1998 and in 2008 it will do the same i hope I love the fallout games because thy are so different from all the other games no hero if you choose sex drugs what aver you want my characters never abused drugs but the option being there is why i love the game and i hope it Stays that way for fallout3 it doesnt look to good for it so fare but i still have faith and i cant say anything Intel i play it

    P.S. Any new pics for are beloved fallout soon!!!

  2. Hey, do you guys own the rights to republish the early Fallout games? I’ve been confused on that.

    If so please please port 1&2 to 360 Arcade. It will easily make back the investment.

  3. to MickTheMage
    you’re wrong. an rpg needs to have meaningfull levelling, a meaningfull ethics system and actual dialogue. oblivion has none of these, making it… an fps-hybrid.

  4. Actually, up until now i’ve managed to forget that the changes you’ve made to Fallout are nothing short of Sheer Genious. I’m certainly getting this one.

  5. An RPG doesn’t NEED to have any of those things. Meaningful leveling? Morrowind and Oblivion have the best leveling system I’ve seen in a game to date. I hate static leveling systems. Bethesda’s games level the skills you actually use, which is more true to life than any static leveling system can possibly be. An ethics system is a cool option, but it isn’t necessary. Ultimately, ethical choices are up to you. You don’t need a good vs. bad meter to tell you how you’re playing your game.

    I actually thought Oblivons dialogue was satisfactory, if not great. I prefer Mass Effect’s approach of selecting a response option and then HEARING my character interact with the subject. I don’t like hearing half the conversation and reading the other half.

    Ultimately, an RPG is defined as a game which draws players into the ROLE of their character… hence the reason they’re called role playing games. Unfortunately, due largely to the medium and associated limitations, RPG’s of the past have only really been able to copy the mechanics of a table top RPG. For anyone who has ever played a table top RPG, the mechanics are often the weakest link. This is why game companies are constantly refining their game mechanics, so that players can worry less about rule books and concentrate more on interactive storytelling. A first person view is a logical evolution from traditional computer RPGs toward a more immersive, storytelling type RPG. I guess the biggest difference between a “first person shooter” and a “first person RPG” is what many gamers call “twitch gameplay.” An RPG should rely more on intelligent gameplay rather than on reflexive gameplay.

  6. Hopefully Urizen stops telling people their opinions are wrong. You know… since this isn’t the 60′s, and he isn’t God.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t trust the word of any newsgroup (amateur or professional) that types so poorly, or that made picks like they did. It’s much akin to the “rich guy deciding what poor people like”. Meaning… rubbish.

    Fallout 1 was a great game. It did help shape the market on 3rd person RPG’s for years. But it was not a genre defining game.

    I won’t even jump into the 3rd person/1st person argument. That’s just asking for trouble.

  7. so your definition of an rpg is a game where you:
    get drawn into the role of your character.
    rely more on intelligent than on reflexive gameplay.

    i get drawn into the role of my character when i play fear or gta as well. that doesn’t make them rpg’s. and they still wouldn’t be rpg’s even if they fulfilled your second requirement, intelligent gameplay.
    deus ex had more meaningfull levelling, more character-immersion, more dialogue choices, and relied less on twitch-play than oblivion, but still the developers had the guts to call it an fps, which it was. oblivion is an okay game, i’m not saying it isn’t. nor am i saying an rpg has to be isometric, just look at the m&m series. i’m just saying that calling oblivion an rpg when it clearly isn’t, is wrong.

  8. Oblivion’s leveling system was very good. Although it could have been more complex, it is still the best ever (personal opinion).

    Those who think that Oblivion is an RPG or medieval FPS, let them think. Let them express their opinion. Everyone has different taste and understand things differently. In the end the company making the game is the one that decides if the game is to be a FPS, RPG, TBS, RTS…….

  9. My definition of a role playing game is table top role play. Some people even believe table top is too rule heavy and prefer Live Action Role Play. Video games can try to immitate these, however the more they rely on mechanics to define themselves as “role playing games,” the more they miss the point.

  10. Fallout and in many respects Fallout 2 is definitely one of the best RPG experiences around, especially with its diversion from the typical “sword and sorcerey theme” to a post nuclear war apocalyptic setting complete with the cheesy post WWII style “duck and cover” propaganda. I would have to disagree with the verdict and I’d say that Ultima VII and the U7.5 The Serpent Isle is the “pinnacle” genre defining CRPG with its seamless world and immersive gaming experince. I mean you could do things as simple as baking bread, you could also sail a ship. The gaming interface would only come up as you needed it, click on your character or those in your party to bring up a “paper doll” interface to equip weapons and armor and manage inventory with a backpack and bags. Virtually everything in the “world” had some sort of interaction. In many ways it was the daddy of the modern mmorpg, because Ultima Online which pioneered the MMORPG genre in many ways was based on the storyline and was a progression of U7′s level of interaction. Aside from that however, I’m looking forward to see Bethesda’s take on the Fallout franchise. They definitely show a lot of promise. Hopefully they hit it out of the ballpark like they did with Oblivion.