Yeah, I went there, I am probably one of the few if not the only here on the forum that actually played and finished Fallout Brotherhood of Steel, and not once but several times. Not because I am some glutton for punishment but at the time I was just dying for anything Fallout related Of course I never forgave it for getting Van Buren canceled as Interplay thought it would be wiser to invest in a console title than a title meant for the PC market. It was not the investment that would save them and a couple of years later the company still folded, existing in name only. Well Interplay sold the Fallout franchise to Bethesda who on their turn adapted it to their Elder Scrolls design philosophies, Oblivion and later Skyrim. Bethesda proved not be more competent that Charles Cuevas and the team that worked on FOBOS despite what Bethesda fans like to claim, mangling the franchise even more, though apparently that was forgiven as it now finally brought Fallout to the masses who deserved it. (despite not giving a rat's ass about the franchise before Bethesda bought it) I have come to loathe FOBOS for what it has done but also Bethesda's Fallout games to what they have done to a franchise that I used to like very much and considered one of the pillars of gaming and game design. But every one of these titles, including FOBOS had a few elements that I liked despite all the crap they are overflowing with. I have written down some few of those points but also a lot of the criticisms I have with each game on this list. All three of these games are terrible but which do you consider the least terrible of them? FOBOS World # Story and setting + The story is pretty bare bones, not very long, and has some really badly written parts, but at least it is a continuation to Fallout 1, building on what was established in that game. It even refers on the sideline to Fallout Tactics. - The manual is lying, at no point was there ever any mentioning of there being FEV in the secret vault (the green goo is chemical waste or cooling liquid from reactors). Rather the researchers of Vault Tec were trying to develop a cure for sterilization caused by mutation. Attis was also not seeking to rebuild the vats but rather curing the mutants of their sterility so that they could reproduce naturally. - Misunderstood parts of the Fallout retro future. # The Brotherhood of Steel is back - They are portrayed as the big damn heroes of the wasteland. + The manual and the intro are a bit of a lie, the BOS in the game are revealed not to be really such paragons or heroes of goodness. They might want to stop a mutant uprising but they are willing to make deals with raiders who terrorize settlements and enslave its inhabitants. + There are strong indications that this mission is not sanctioned by the BOS Elders of Lost Hills, but rather a mission undertaken by Rhombus and several followers who see a possible threat by one of the remnants of the Master's Army while the Elders wish to ignore it. + The player's mission of finding Rhombus's squad might be a suicide mission like the one the player had to undertake in Fallout 1. The BOS is not really interested in the player joining their organization and see this as a way of getting rid of him/her. # Super Mutants/Attis' Army + There is actually a reason for them being the main antagonists in the game. + Attis is voiced by Tony Jay! + They are an army in this game rather than some wandering gangs of Orcs. - Some of the Super Mutant characters and their dialogue are absolutely cringe worthy # Raiders * Nothing special really about them, in general like the ones from FO1 though with more bad writing. - Raider matron is a ridiculous Betty Page copy in leather lingerie with bad dialogue. # There are Ghouls - Only a handful are friendly and their VO and dialogue is average. + Harold is back - You have to do a mission to find his missing body parts which can somehow be attached to him again. + Hostile Ghouls are in general not zombies, more of a different variant of Raider. - Glowing Ones are zombies and pretty much the prototype of the FO3, complete with radiation attack + The Ghouls have a unique faction of their own; The Church of the Lost. - Sadly just a bunch of fanatics, not at all as interesting as the Ghouls of the Reservation would have been # NPCs - Most of them are pretty average written, only a handful that may be acceptable. On the plus side, you only need to talk to some of them. - A lot of the dialogue is very juvenile and stupid. + The Vault Dweller from Fallout 1 is back (it would have been nice if the story had altered if you played him after unlocking him in the game. This story being sort of a follow up on the journey in FO1 and Attis perhaps even recognizing the Vault Dweller as the one who destroyed the Master and the Mutant Army. * Mayor of Carbon is a dick but that is how he is written * Ruby the prostitute is a rather ridiculous character + Vidya, Patty, and Mary are probably the only somewhat decent written human NPCs. # Other creatures + I rather like the Vault Tec robots and auto turret # Locations + The idea of the sinkhole was not a bad one. + I rather like the secret Vault Tec Vault, it fits the Fallout lore. It also did the underground post apocalyptic research center long before the Institute, and as befits Fallout it turned out badly when the population was divided in two camps when the previous security officer went insane. # Items - Ridiculous self made weapons such as missile launchers and home made laser weapons, but at least these try to imitate weapon existing in the Fallout universe rather than the ridiculous weapons of FO3 and 4 Graphics - Pretty ugly for its time as the Playstation 2 and Xbox were capable of much better. + I like the retro vibe of the Vault Tec's vault architecture. - Ugly models for NPCs and creatures in general. The ones returning from Fallout 1 don't even look like those. For example, Deathclaws look more doglike (their queen looked like a xenomorph). - For some reason some enemies are ridiculously oversized compared to the player and the world. - Outside named NPCs only two models for human NPCs. - Recycling from Fallout Tactics - Concept art for the game is even worse, be glad that was not really implemented in the game. - Very ugly intro. Gameplay - Pretty average overhead shooter. - Pretty linear - Not really any RPG elements, let alone Choice and Consequences - Relatively much to explore but most of the maps are pointless and empty. + Relatively short compared to Fallout 3 and 4 Music - None impressive or memorable background music during the levels. - Sounds range from average to somewhat okay - Very inappropriate music for the cutscenes and boss battles in a Fallout game. - No Ron Perlman narrating the opening and ending. Fallout 3 World # Story and setting - Story is mostly a copy of that of Fallout 1 and 2 with the threat to the wasteland being the same one of Fallout 2; the leader of the Enclave wants to pollute drinking water with a virus that will kill everyone who is slightly mutated (rather than using the airborne version again). Even his own followers don't agree with this. - Opening quest involves looking for your father who you apparently care a lot for. Why we should care is never truly developed and you can never confront him on his arrogant behavior or that his disappearance made the rest of the Vault community turn against you for no clear reason. - Misunderstanding the Fallout lore, setting, and history. - Lots of cut and paste of Fallout 1 and 2. - Retcons and alterations of established lore. - Own additions are very average and often out of place with the mood of the first two games. - To much references and tie ins to the great war despite it having happened over two centuries ago. - Overdone 50s references. - The humor is awful in this game, rather than dark and sometimes sarcastic about the game reality or people's mindset/ideology it is pretty juvenile instead. Some of the humor the designers think Fallout is about makes me wonder about their own mindset. - Setting feels more like twenty years after a nuclear war than two hundred years and even that can be put in question. The world feels more like a post nuclear theme park than any semblance to a believable world as apparently Bethesda designers think that this is how a PA RPG should be. - The intro and ending dialogue by Ron Perlman was pretty bad. #The Brotherhood of Steel - And like in FOBOS they are portrayed as the big champions of the wasteland. Actually paid straight this time too. - Little sense or reason for them to defend wastelanders and settlements when they get nothing out of it like recruits, resources, or pre war technology prospectors have found. - The Cult of Maxson. The Maxson family is now portrayed as the "Chosen Ones", complete with ridiculous mythology. If anything the BOS would probably be atheist or secular, they would not invent their own faux religion though they have a lot of respect for their founders and predecessors. - BOS outcasts or regular BOS are portrayed as evil because they don't want to invest their lives, energy and resources in defending wastelanders or settlements, instead adhering to their original mission. #Super Mutants - No clear reason of why there should be Super Mutants at the East Coast other than that the designers felt that there should be SMs because they appeared in the previous two games. - Vault 87 purely exists for that reason, it makes no sense in Fallout lore as dedicated FEV research was done at West Tek and Mariposa Base (the last re purposed for that goal). The government would never give FEV to a private contractor, plus what is the point of a Vault dedicated to creating super soldiers? To work for whom and for what goal? The Enclave, the last remnant of the pre world government were no longer interested in creating mutant soldiers. - The Super Mutants are basically human eating orcs and mostly exist as higher tier enemies. - No form of organization and leadership and we should accept that this group managed to survive for two centuries like this? #The Enclave - The Enclave are back and apparently still have a lot of resources such as manufacturing facilities and recruits despite that most of the organization and its leadership was wiped out along with their main base of operations at the end of Fallout 2. (the Enclave was a small organization of elitists and their followers, there are no communities of them in hidden bases all over the North American continent) - They manage not to create two but three whole new sets of Power Armor despite no longer having the technicians, R&D facilities, and materials to make these. - Same goes for vertibirds. - Military leader of the Enclave is a stereotypical evil Southerner. + Well Raven Rock was pretty cool but a wasted location as it basically serve as dungeon in the final part of the game in which the player has to shoot everyone. # Ghouls - Most ghouls are now running zombies that are spontaneously created when there is just a lot of radiation. Glowing Ones can now even project radiation. - Only a handful of friendly Ghouls and their role amounts to nothing in this game. - They are mostly there because there should be Ghouls in a Fallout game and the designers wanted a zombie enemy because zombies are in at the moment. + Harold is back! - And he is turned into a tree. You end up either killing him or let him continue his painful existence. Either way he is now permanently out of Fallout. # NPCs - All the NPCs are annoying to one degree or another. A lot of their dialogue is badly written. Unfortunately you have to talk to a lot of them in order to progress. - Little to no effort at all done at writing good companions and copying Fallout 1 by bringing Dogmeat back. This companion is so broken that a perk was needed to "resurrect" him. - Recycling of the Regulator name rather than creating a new organization. But if you don't take the perk you never meet them. - Some bounty hunter faction you never meet if you don't take the perk for it. # Creatures + I like the sentry robot design but it doesn't beat the FO2 one. - The Protectron is a useless addition to the universe. Its role could just as well be filled by Mr Handy. - Robots randomly placed over the map rather than just in places where their presence makes sense. - Barely any new critters, all of them copy and paste from Fallout 1. - Shit tons of raiders, more than there are regular people. - Only four traveling traders, and with just one guard? And they all happen to be specialized mostly in one category of item rather than the more sane diversity of goods and services. - Random traders all over the map (but mostly in Washington) + For many people an introduction to the Fallout universe. - But I wish that most of them would go away or had never heard about Fallout in the first place. - Created the delusion that Bethesda "saved" Fallout and properly resurrected it for these times. Graphics + Graphics are an improvement on Fallout BOS - Bethesda decided to have all the classic designs and concepts recreated with a lot of them turning out very average or even ugly. Gameplay - Turned the franchise into a FPS with pause time. - Reduced the gameworld from previous spanning a state or more containing various settlements, bases, and locations to just a single major city and its surroundings. - Only two real settlements for the player to go to, little effort was done with the other "towns". They mostly exist for a single quest or at best two or three quests. Some locations that should have quests or NPCs to talk to such as the raider settlement or the Talon Merc base don't have any at all. - Little real choice and consequences other than a nagging DJ and an outro that tells you if you were a saint or some selfish prick who did not want to give his/her life to activate the water purifier. Designers could not even bother with making up endings for the settlements and NPCs you meet. - Piss off people and you just have to wait for three days for them to forget rather than having to live with the consequences for the rest of the game. Even Tenpenny Tower still lets you in even if you refuse to blow up Megaton. - Traits and Perks have been made the same. - Little balance in the skill building, especially as some perks can give massive bonuses to skills. With careful planning the player can become a master of everything. - Not really any room for different builds other than "Action Boy", "Diplomat Boy , "Stealth Boy", let alone "Science Boy" approaches barely work in this game as the use of those builds are very limited and no chance of leveling up characters this way. - More to explore, unfortunate most locations are pretty pointless and only exist to serve as loot dungeons. - Really bad effort at collision detection, just walking past a table or closet can make any items on them or them shoot across the room. - Glitchy as hell, next to the mentioned collision detection NPCs sometimes tend to be spawned within structures or their models conflict with the surroundings making them bounce ridiculously around or send them off flying. - AI is often crapsack. NPC routines can send them to various places, even ones were they should not be or trap them in corners. In battle no tactics are employed by hostiles that are suppose to be intelligent. Companions are in general suicidal. - Breaking of immersion by making some NPCs immortal in order not to break quests or violate the designers ethics rather than implementing ideas to allow the player to continue in a different way or making player face the consequences for killing innocents such as children. (the player gets pursued by bounty hunters) - A lot of the groups in this game simply exist to serve as cannon fodder such as the mentioned Super Mutants and the Talon Mercenaries, both are basically higher tier raiders. - For some reason a lot of the Raider and Super Mutant locations are decorated with corpses. + DLC to add more locations to the game. - I guess The Pitt and Point Lookout were nice, the rest of them were pretty pointless. Music + Some of the Inon Zur background tracks are nice but his effort in FNV were better. Problem probably is more with the people who were overseeing what original music should be put in FO3 than with Zur himself. - Lots of 50's tracks (that were royalty free?) because the designers felt that would be appropriate even if the Fallout future is a retro one imagined in the 50s and not the 50s transplanted to the future. - A lot of voice actors are recycled throughout the game including the type of voices that they use in the game. Fallout 4 World #Story and setting - Story being partly recycled from Fallout 3, once again we must look for a relative. - Needless intro taking place just before the great war starts, mostly to set up why we would care for the spouse and the child (and perhaps to set up some sort of feeling of nostalgia and loss). The player being a corpsicle has little impact on the campaign. NPCs, especially educated ones care little or have no interest in meeting a person from a period that is almost treated as mythological in Fallout 3 and 4. If anything the BOS scholars would have drained the player for all the knowledge he or she would have, especially regarding technology. - Results of Fallout 3 have little to no effect on Fallout 4. One NPC of that game returns as an adult but little references are made to the action of the player in that game and with what decisions the designers went. Apparently there is still no government of any sort in the Capital Wasteland or signs that civilization is recovering. The BOS apparently is still fighting the Super Mutants despite that FO3 made it clear that there was no more FEV in Vault 87 to create new ones. We can assume that the Enclave has been defeated and the FEV was never released in the Capital Wasteland's water. - More ridiculous references to the past, this time next to the 50s American colonial times that are all over the place despite that having happened more than four or five hundred years ago and most historical records being destroyed during the great war. - What is the campaign really about? The Institute doesn't want to rule the Commonwealth. The BOS just wants to destroy the Institute because they consider Synths abominations (if anything the BOS would want the Institute's technology, most likely trying to open diplomatic relations with them in order to trade for Institute technology, or at worse take over the Institute but continue its research and development). The Railroad wants to destroy the Institute and the BOS but only so that these stop pursuing rebelling Synths. Only the Minutemen are interested in rebuilding and organizing the Commonwealth and want the BOS and Institute to leave common people out of their squabble. It rather feels like a story about nothing really. The only reason the player has to go on a journey is to find their missing child and avenge their spouse's murder, and that pretty much is concluded halfway during the game. - Various Lovecraft/cosmic horror references that have no place in the Fallout setting other than Easter Eggs. - Trying to retcon parts of Fallout New Vegas by suggesting alien cities. - Continues the misunderstanding the developers have about the Fallout setting and lore. # The Brotherhood of Steel is back + Closer to their original portrayal this time. - But represent as an army that has hundreds if not thousands of members rather than the small elitist organization that it is suppose to be. - Still big damn heroes though with perhaps a gray taint. But relatively ineffective as they could not even pacify the Capital Wasteland and yet set their major asset and a large portion to the Commonwealth to check out if the rumors of Synths are true despite clear indications that the Institute and its Synths pose no real threat to humanity. If anything the BOS comes more over as antagonistic, sticking its nose where it doesn't belong, starting a protection racket, and looking for threats that may not even be there. - Continues the idolatry of the Maxson line. Maxson himself is basically the focus of a cult of personality which doesn't really go with the in general realistic mindset of the BOS. - The designers apparently believe that every Fallout game must have the BOS in it. Most probably also because of the ridiculous fan reception which I suspect was always more about their gear. (these guys have cool weapons and power armor, they must be the heroes) - Ridiculous amount of equipment and weapons in a world that suffers from scarcity. Other than perhaps some workshops the BOS does not run any manufacturing centers or has contact with people who run these. Where does all this stuff come from? + The BOS can actually become opponents if you decide to side with the Institute, Minutemen, or Railroad. # The Institute + The Institute as an organization and location sounds pretty interesting even if not very original. - The result however is basically the Enclave with Science! Little reason or sense is given to the Institute scientists on why they do what they do. The game even suggests that they don't really want any contact with the people on the surface. Then why do they want to do experiments on people or the world, or send Synths to attack settlements or infiltrate society and replace individuals? + Not necessarily an evil organization, just a bunch of dicks but that is not a crime. + The Institute location is actually nice looking but why yet another underground base? - What is the point of creating Synths, especially human looking ones (or Synth gorillas for that matter). If the Institute wants a workforce it could just as well build a more reliable robot workforce for menial labor and security. - Synths need uncontaminated human DNA for construction. Wouldn't that make more sense if someone wants to clone people? Also the recycling of the plot device of Fallout 1, 2, and 3 about uncontaminated DNA. - Not any attempt at referring to Mr House, for example making him the person who provided the funding for the CIT's bunker underneath the original complex. - Where is the Institute getting its resources from? # The Minutemen + Finally a new faction, and they make somewhat sense too in the world, a militia that seeks to unite and defend the settlements of the commonwealth. - That the organization took the name of the original Minutemen is understandable as it has significance, but adopting some of their dress code or uniforms is ridiculous. - Why do they need to run old timey music on their radio? (yet more needless history references) - Basically the player is the Minutemen faction as the rest of the organization does little once you have rebuild it. They patrol settlements and occasionally aid the player during missions but don't do anything else. The player is suppose to be the leader of the organization but that can be discussable as Preston Garvey is giving the missions. The player can not even order the Minutemen to carry out certain missions. # The Railroad + A new organization and a group dedicated to fighting slavery fits the Fallout setting. - But they actually do little regarding freeing humans (or Ghouls) from slavery, genuine living people. Instead they focus on "freeing" Synths who may not even be genuinely sapient but rather complex programmed computer intelligences that may be "malfunctioning". - Rather a glorified secondary faction rather than really a main faction. The Railroad has no plans regarding the Commonwealth and the people that live in it, no long term goal other than helping Synths escaping slavery (and persecution) - If the Institute is destroyed the Railroad is effectively render unnecessary. The BOS and Covenant may still pursue Synths, but with no Synths being made any more eventually this goal will be achieved. # Locations - Even more space to explore, unfortunately most of it is pointless. A lot of locations only exist to serve as a loot dungeons or settings for the radiant quests. - Only two real settlements, Diamond City and Goodneighbour (and Covenant if we feel generous) - Several locations which something interesting could have been done such as the missile silo pyramid in the Glowing Sea but which are criminally underused. The robot race track and the arena could have been so much better used, offering much possibility for quests. + Glowing Sea is an atmospheric location. - Boston like Washington DC was not so much hit by atomic bombs but rather abandoned by people. Most of the buildings are still standing and could be occupied despite two hundred years of neglect. - Why has the robot town never been cleaned out by prospectors? - A large portion of the map is dedicated to water but nothing is done with it. Removing the water suggests that there is some kind of structure or building. (an initial location that never got finished?) # Super Mutants - Super Mutants are back for no clear reason other than that a Fallout game should have Super Mutants in it according to the designers' mindset. - They are still human eating orcs are are just meant as a higher tier enemy to the raiders and Gunners. - Only two of them will talk to me. One of them because a Super Mutant companion is mandatory according to the designers. It wants to experience the "milk of human kindness" which to me sounds more like it wants to do a blow job on willing males. - The reason of their existence is again ridiculous like in Fallout 3. They are now the result of Institute experiments with FEV as part of their Synth research and development, for what part is never made clear. After the Institute was done with this line of research they dumped all the Super Mutants which apparently were hundreds of them in the wasteland. - FEV despite being a top secret project was apparently handed out to various organizations and companies. - Super Mutant mutation apparently can be cured easily and within minutes, and no lasting effects apparently despite that it should really traumatize someone's body and mind. # Ghouls - Running zombie Ghouls are back and there are now variants that are as powerful as Super Mutants. Quite some progress of the shambling broken people that were in various states of falling apart. - For some reasons mindless Ghouls hang around in cemeteries. They are not the living dead, designers! # NPCs - Most of the NPCs are badly written and very annoying. Unfortunate you are going to have to talk to a lot of them. - Return of the Children of Atom. Most of them are hostile for no reason (being another type of raider), and the only talking ones hang out in a place that should have killed them long ago. Like with FO3 they are a pointless Planet of the Apes reference and play on the radiation worshiping cult. - The Atom Cats A bunch of slang talking 50s greasers without any explanation whose only purpose of existence apparently is to decorate your Power Armor. I think the designers wanted to copy the Kings from FNV, forgetting that their designers actually tried to explain their motivations for their dress code and slang. - How can the Institute have send in a Synth to infiltrate the Brotherhood if they only relatively recently learned of the BOS' existence? (is it anywhere referred that the Institute learned about the BOS before FO3, during it, or after it but before the BOS came to the Commonwealth?) + Valentine is a fun companion, a Synth programmed to behave like an old noir movie hardboiled detective. - Unfortunate comes complete with a gang of stereotypical 40's gangster and their gun moll, talking and behaving like those creating a rather big discrepancy to the rest of the setting. No explanation is even given why they behave like this. - The Ghoul companion who dresses like a colonial times resident who apparently became a Ghoul after taking some bad drugs. He wants to stick it to the Man despite that there is no Man to stick it to in the first place (Diamond City and its mayor don't run the Commonwealth). He practically runs his own settlement and anything is more the Man himself. - Rather ridiculous ways of getting companions to like you more (lock picking, healing people, etc) + Some companions have useful non combat skills. - More raiders than there are regular wastelanders. - Raiders can actually fly vertibirds. - The Gunners, FO4's version of the Talon Mercs. Higher tier raiders that exist mostly to farm for better weapons and armor. Outside one group (I think) they don't work for anyone and have no goals other than raiding settlements. The player can not interact with them or work for them. # Critters + mutant mosquitoes actually make a good addition to the Fallout bestiary - Sentry bots suddenly turned into pocket sized tanks - Another pre war military robot design completely out nowhere which retro actively is made rather common despite never have been shown in the previous games or suggested that it existed. (the Securitrons were never common, being House's personal servitors) Gameplay - Player character generation is very limited to accommodate that he/she is now voiced. Even less connection now between the player and the player character. You play an established actor rather than an actor of your own making. - Conversations have been reduced to four choices and in an unmodded game the player is not even shown what those responses are, just what type they are. - Even more streamlined into a FPS with some stat related gameplay. - All skill building has been removed, instead having been integrated into the Perk system. + Some perks can force a hostile to surrender when approached from behind. + Hostile robots can be reprogrammed. + Player can mod their weapons and gear. - Modding is in general unnecessary as modified variants can be found across the Commonwealth or on the bodies of hostile. - Variants of fifteen type of weapons in the game, some of them have ridiculous attributes that make them even more "gamey". Same goes for various armor pieces. +/- Players can now mix parts of clothing and armor. Like it or hate it, I in general did not care for it. - The player is basically the garbage man of the Commonwealth, picking up every piece of crap he/she can find to recycle for raw material + Power Armor is more tank like as its name always suggested. - It is also very common across the Commonwealth. It even levels up with the player, the player eventually running into the most advanced designs completely untouched in the middle of nowhere. - Enclave Power Armor now retconned as being Pre War. - Yet another new variant of Power Armor that was created after the T-51b Power Armor that was suppose to be the epitome of Power Armor designs before the Enclave created their new version. - Power Armor now run on fusion cores rather than build in fusion cells as brought up in the previous games and cores can run out. - Designed and plotted out quests are mostly replaced by radiant quests (go there, kill those enemies, collect that thing) + The player can assist in building settlements - But basically this amounts to the Sims or Minecraft with a rather awful viewpoint that is not useful for construction. It also rapidly becomes very old and repetitive. - It does have any consequences, altering the ending of the game or providing something the player can not get any other way. It is general a gameplay device to fill up the game to compensate for the lack of quests and fully developed settlements in the game. - It is at some point even mandatory in the game to progress rather than an optional extra as suggested by the designers in interviews. + DLC - Three are basically Sim expansion sets. One is a mini adventure mostly made to implement a robot building gameplay mechanic. The first major story oriented one seems to be a mix of Point Lookout regarding the setting and Fallout 4 regarding factions. The second one is set in a theme park with strong Disneyland like themes but focused around Nuka Cola Graphics + Vastly improved over those of Fallout 3 - Fallout content re designed yet again, creating discontinuity between this game and the previous numbered title in the series. Not to mention that a lot of the new designs are really ugly - NPCs look rather plastic like. Music - The main protagonist is now voiced. - Most voices are again handled by a handful of voice actors, the same goes for the type of voice. * Actually didn't spend much time listening to the background music, I guess it was just "there". - Return of the list of 50s tracks from Fallout 3 with a couple of new additions. They are still a pointless 50s reference.