“War. War never changes.”
A special treat this weekend for all you 90s gamers up for either a little nostalgic gaming or, if you missed it initially in 1997, a chance to play one of the most iconic games in video game history for the first time, thanks to GOG.com.
In Interplay’s Fallout, a dispute over resources between two prominent world powers results in a global nuclear war. Pockets of survivors, known as Vault Dwellers, take shelter in a series of underground fallout shelters, known as Vaults, and live on in these makeshift settlements for decades. In unlucky (and aptly named) Vault 13, the settlement’s Water Chip, which is responsible for the Vault’s filtration and production of water, breaks down, resulting in a water shortage. As a Vault Dweller of Vault 13, you are tasked with the formidable job of venturing forth to the surface of the earth for the first time since the war, navigating the charred, post-apocalyptic wasteland in a desperate search to locate a new Water Chip and save the settlers of Vault 13 (and, inevitably, the world, but this post shall be spoiler-free).
While Fallout generally follows basic RPG convention and does it well, its true greatness stems from its gritty, uncompromising story, brutal gameplay, and immersive mood. Interplay paid painstaking attention to detail with respect to the game’s storyline, atmosphere, and NPC interaction, and this care shows through in your conversations with fellow survivors, as well as in the richly detailed world a pitch-perfect vision of the future circa the 1950s. The test of time means nothing to Fallout you’ll be so immersed in the game itself that any concerns over dated graphics will fall by the wayside… assuming you’ve got the fortitude to make your way through a radioactive world soaked in violence and haunted by mutants and gangs.
To learn more about the game, check out Rajan Khanna’s earlier love letter to the Fallout series on Tor.com, and, well, play it. It’s free, after all, alongside many other DRM-free lost gaming treasures recovered by GOG.com.