Archives by Day

Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel

Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Interplay
Release Date: Jan. 14, 2004 (US), April 2, 2004 (EU)


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

Xbox Review - 'Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel'

by Jordan Van Nest on March 28, 2004 @ 12:51 a.m. PST

Players join the Brotherhood of Steel, whose mission is to maintain peace in the grim post-nuclear world of Fallout. Challenged by hordes of ghouls, mutants and other radioactive nightmares, players utilize a combination of intense combat strategies including melee, ranged weapons and explosives to defeat the mutant army in hopes of restoring humanity in a nearly unlivable universe. Welcome to the wasteland.
[c]Buy 'FALLOUT: Brotherhood of Steel':
Xbox | PC | PlayStation 2[/c]

In a world once filled with glory and hope, lies the sickening truth of the future. Atomic war, always believed to be preventable, has finally been leashed upon the world. All that remains of the once glamorous cities and landscape of yesterday’s Earth is a twisting labyrinth of deserts and radiation. In the shadows of death lies the small groups of humans who survived the conflict. Turning to violence to survive, these groups roam freely upon the wasteland that is Earth. Scavenging the scorched ruins of megacities for useful equipment, these people must rely on natural instinct to survive. Communities of people who were sealed underground in fallout shelters have now emerged and set out to re-populate the vast new world. While these humans must face the challenges of dealing with each other, they must also adapt to a new world full of mutants, rogue computers, and caravan raiders. This is reality. This is the wasteland.

Following in the Fallout series, Brotherhood of Steel charges its way onto the Xbox scene with stunning energy. Developed by Interplay and using the classic Fallout storyline, Brotherhood of Steel looks to bring the excitement of Fallout to the Xbox. But just how good is this game? And is the feeling of the original Fallout accurately represented here? These questions and more were on my mind when I took a trip to the forsaken wasteland of Fallout.

Comparing this new edition to the original Fallout game would be like comparing an apple to an orange. While they’re both round fruit, there’s really not much else they have in common. In this same way, the two fallout games both share a similar storyline and some elements of gameplay, but don’t really have much else in common. As a matter of fact, this game is so different from the original Fallout game that I hesitate to even include it in the series. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the new Fallout for the Xbox is a bad game however. Quite the contrary, but I just don’t feel Brotherhood of Steel meets eye-to-eye with the PC version of Fallout.

First impressions aside, let’s take a look at the story. You can choose from one of three different characters when starting the game- Cyrus, Nadia, or Cain. Each with their own background and special character traits, this beginning selection will definitely influence the rest of the game. After choosing your character, you will arrive in a small wasteland town where you must attempt to accomplish your first objective- meet with your fellow knights of the Brotherhood of Steel. While this seems fairly straight forward, the game takes a sudden twist and you find yourself involved in several different conflicts. As you solve conflicts and complete objectives, you will slowly move closer to completing your overall goal. This changes several times in the game, but always allows you to know what you are really going through all of this stuff for. Comments on the story? Not bad. I think the storyline was one of the strong points of this game. This is probably because the storyline is one of the only elements that is linked with the original Fallout game. However, there is much more to uncover about the Brotherhood of Steel.

In terms of gameplay, this game was a mixed bag. I liked the controls and how the characters respond to them. I also liked the fact that the game didn’t take too long to learn. It did take slightly longer than most games, but I still think it was an appropriate amount of time. One of the RPG elements of Brotherhood of Steel is the ability to level up your character and learn new skills. I especially liked some of these skills, as they include things such as “man’s best friend”, which allows you to use the help of a ferocious canine partner in your battles. With many new skills to constantly learn, this game feels very customizable. However, it’s just nowhere near as customizable as the original Fallout. I really would have liked to see the freedom to sculpt your character in every way, but for some reason that was cut out of the Xbox version. This definitely weakens the game, but if you haven’t played the original Fallout, you probably won’t even notice. Throughout the entire game, you constantly get a feeling of being in a desolate wasteland. Everything from the scenery to the weapons makes you feel like this. The weapons in particular greatly add to the mood of this game. For instance, you will come across hand made pistols, rifles, etc. which will come with very limited ammunition. One of the important skills in this game is to save your ammo, and to know exactly when to use it. This was one of the unique features in the original game as well.

Besides having cool guns and equipment, the enemies you come across will be just as interesting. There are many different factions of people wandering around the wasteland, a few of these in particular being the raiders, the ghouls, and the mutants. The raiders are fierce pirates who are only interested in raiding and pillaging towns across the wasteland. They have no mercy and are feared by most everyone. The ghouls are the unlucky people who survived the nuclear war above ground. Exposed to years of radiation, they have mutated into zombie-like creatures with disgusting features, and are basically immune to toxic substances. Lastly, the mutants are man made monsters, created by a crazy scientist. These gigantic mutants are extremely strong and can actually be pretty intelligent. Besides these three factions, you will also encounter many other creatures in your journey across the wasteland. Don’t be surprised to see two headed cows, horse-sized scorpions, or vicious hissing monsters at every turn. All of these unique enemies and creatures really give the game a feeling realistic to the storyline.

Graphically, this game is pretty good. I really liked the animations and thought the texturing was all nicely done. The camera view definitely takes some time to get used to, but after a while it seems ok. I think it definitely would have looked better with a slightly different camera angle, but I guess we’re just stuck with this one. I also liked the cast of characters used in this game. I thought they were really interesting and were graphically represented pretty well.

The sound was very good. While the soundtrack and actual in-game sounds are fairly average, I found the voice acting to be very good. When you talk to a person, it actually sounds like you are having a conversation with them, as their tone and pitch will change according to what they are saying. This is always a good thing in a game, as it makes the storyline that much more believable.

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel stirs up several different reactions in me. After playing this game I can definitely say that it was an enjoyable experience. Though it did seem repetitive in several parts, I found it to be a fun way to pass the time. On the other hand however, I really don’t think this game stayed true to the Fallout series, and I was definitely expecting more. But if you’re looking for a pretty good game, and aren’t expecting it to be as good as the PC version of Fallout, then take my advice- book a one way trip to the wasteland…just don’t forget sunscreen.

Score: 7.5/10

More articles about Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel
blog comments powered by Disqus