|This page is about the game itself. For an overview of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel-related articles, see Portal:Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.|
For game with a similar title, see Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel.
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (truncated as Fallout: BoS), is an action role-playing game developed and self-published by Interplay Entertainment for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox game consoles. Released January 13, 2004, it is the fourth video game set in the Fallout universe, the second spin-off, and the first to be released on home video game consoles.
According to an Interplay employee, Brotherhood of Steel was not intended to be a canonical continuation of the original games, only taking place within a recognizable tangent of the Fallout universe. The idea of the game not being fully canon was reiterated by Todd Howard, who mentioned the events of the game are not considered to have occurred in the continuity of Fallout 3.
Brotherhood of Steel is the last Fallout title to be released before the franchise was sold by Interplay Entertainment to Bethesda Softworks. Although the game was created by Interplay, most of the writers and developers of the original games did not work on Brotherhood of Steel, with the exception of Brian Freyermuth and some quality testers of the originals becoming level designers and scriptors, such as Alendor E. Vulaj, Henry C. Lee, Rene Hakiki and Steve McLafferty. A sequel, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2, was initially planned, but was canceled.
Brotherhood of Steel plays like a dungeon crawling run-and-gunner. The game also contains some light platforming elements such as jumping across bottomless pits and crouching under lasers which will instant kill the player. While puzzles are absent for most of the game, chapter three has a few of them. Skills have the same function as perks in other Fallout games. Each playable character has some skills that are unique to them. The game allows for two-player co-op multiplayer. Due to no split screen, the players share the same screen and the players' boundaries are restricted by the camera, forcing the two players to stay close and move in tandem.
There are very few NPCs that can be interacted with, and while the player can speak with them, the game aims to tell a mainly linear and fixed story so there are not dozens of branching paths, although there are a few consequences for some dialog choices. The game has quests given by these NPCs and there are several sidequests the player can do for rewards. Some NPCs are merchants that will buy and sell, with Jesse being chapter one's merchant and a pair of ghoul brothers for chapter two.
Apart from multiplayer, the game does not feature companions except for a few moments where the player must follow an NPC; the one exception to this if the player unlocks the Man's Best Friend skill which allows a dog named Dogmeat to follow the player and attack enemies. However, this skill is not available for Cain players. If Dogmeat is defeated, he will return at the next save point.
Combat and equipment
Combat in Brotherhood of Steel is in real-time and there is no V.A.T.S. Players can crouch behind obstacles, lock onto enemies, and dodge roll to avoid damage. Certain melee weapons can also be charged for greater damage as well.
There are 56 weapons in total including 6 glove weapons, 3 club weapons, 4 hammer weapons and 7 bladed weapons for a total of 20 Melee Weapons. There are 3 Small Guns pistols, 3 burst-fire, 3 rifles, 2 shotguns and 3 weapons that can be dual-wielded for a total of 14 Small Guns and 8 Big Guns. There are 2 Energy pistols, 5 rifles and 1 weapon that can be dual-wielded for a total of 8 Energy Weapons and 6 Explosives. These weapon types overlap; e.g. a home-made laser pistol is a homemade weapon, an energy weapon and a gun type. The highest damage weapon, other than the mini nuke grenade, is the Shredder, a Big Gun with 480-606 damage.
There are four location types of armor: headgear, chest, gloves and boots. The eight successively more protective grades of armor, in order: cloth, leather, riot, metal, combat, Tesla, power armor and advanced power armor. The advanced power armor chest piece offers the most protection of all locations and grades.
The game takes place in Carbon, Texas, in the year 2208, 47 years after Fallout and 33 years before Fallout 2. The player character is called the "Initiate" and chooses to control one of three initial characters: Cain, Cyrus, or Nadia, all of whom have pledged their allegiances to the Brotherhood of Steel and have become initiates.
Brotherhood members have gone missing in Carbon, and the chosen Initiate is tasked with searching for the paladins, starting with the nearby town. The Initiate is welcomed by a prostitute, Ruby. Armed thugs loiter in town and harass Armpit, a bartender. Armpit is grateful the Initiate saves him, and steers the Initiate in the direction of the shifty mayor of this lawless town, Richard.
The mayor might be due some choice words from the electorate for the state of his town; one, in particular, will give the Initiate a discount as a reward for telling off the mayor. Even this outburst won't make the mayor reveal the location of the missing paladins. He insists the Initiate clear out an infestation of radscorpions in the nearby warehouse. The Initiate can collect the scorpion tails and whatever contents of the warehouse that aren't nailed down, which Armpit is interested in buying. When all the giant, radioactive, and the more common mutated scorpions are all rendered lifeless, the Initiate returns to the mayor. The mayor reveals the missing paladins headed off in the direction of a massive crater outside of town.
Following the trail to the bottom, the Initiate finds that the mayor was threatened by the raiders who seek revenge for the ones killed in the bar; lure the Initiate on the outskirts so they can be killed, or have Carbon be burned to the ground. The mayor then turns homicidal as well, mentioning that he is not normally a violent man, but the thought of killing the Initiate seems enjoyable. Mayor Richard has more explosives on him than anyone really ought to be able to carry, and is determined to unload as much of it as possible in the Initiate's vicinity. Despite this, the end result is the mayor's demise. The Initiate returns to the town.
The raiders have given up loitering in favor of looting. Their leader, Jane, shows her sadistic side by ordering her men to burn Armpit to death. Many of the citizens of the town have fled; one who couldn't make it to their refuge in the recently cleared warehouse requests the Initiate's aid in saving them. But first, there are a total of 37 citizens scattered throughout the town areas. Should they be saved by the Initiate, the wasteland stranger will be very grateful indeed, to the tune of a Red Ryder LE BB gun. The bandits inside, and their leader, are doing what they do best; getting in the way. The Initiate finds ways to make them less obstructive.
Inside a mill, the Initiate finds Jane. She reveals that she helped the Brotherhood of Steel when she met with a group of paladins who wanted information on super mutant activity in the area. She directed them to a mutant army that was located at the nearby ghoul city of Los. She then reveals that the paladins not only knew about her activities in Carbon but they also offered her protection. She is then killed by the Initiate in combat, who returns to the town. With the help of the Vault Dweller, the protagonist of Fallout, the Initiate heads to the city of Los.
In Los, the Initiate looks for mutants. The search leads to the Church of the Lost, a cult based inside the city. A Brotherhood paladin, Rhombus, asks the Initiate to kill the cult leader, Blake. Blake and the Initiate fight, and after recovering a key from the dead cult leader, the Initiate escorts Rhombus to a truck where he had hidden the key.
When he tries to recover the key, it will be guarded by kamikaze ghouls. The Initiate, warned of the danger, kills all the kamikaze ghouls in the area. Rhombus, seriously wounded, gives the Initiate the key card and entrusts the task of stopping the super mutants. The Initiate asks the Los ghouls for information and one of them speaks of a warehouse and a secret vault to be found not far from the current location. The Initiate finds the warehouse and goes inside.
After fighting in the warehouse, the Initiate manages to revive an old generator and takes an elevator that overlooks the entrance to the Secret Vault. Here, two super mutants activate turrets, which the Initiate must destroy. After all that, the Initiate uses the key card to open the door of the armored shelter and enter.
During a battle with Attis, the mutant general, the Initiate is knocked unconscious and left for dead, with their left arm cut off. Mary, a young woman who has lived her life in the vault, finds the Initiate and guides them to safety. The Initiate receives a new arm thanks to the generosity and technology of the scientists. The Initiate meets Patty, a security officer of the vault. Patty explains how they are trapped in the vault, ever since their own security officer, Blake, was involved in a local civil war between the guards and the scientists, after Blake convinced the guards the scientists' research was evil due their methods. As a result of an explosion, the guards returned to the surface, transforming into the ghouls of Los, while the scientists became trapped in the vault. The Initiate reveals to Patty how super mutants are targeting their vault. Seeking a way to escape before the mutants arrive, Patty asks the Initiate to help disable the ventilation systems so an auxiliary shaft will open.
The super mutants begin infiltrating the vault and begin slaughtering its inhabitants. The Initiate finds Attis who reveals the mutants want to control the vault because it focused on curing sterility due to mutation. Attis seeks to allow him and his super mutants to reproduce with each other so their species can thrive. However, when Attis tries the chemical compound, he claims it does not work, although he begins mutating to become more powerful, and is excited he can follow in his Master's footsteps.
The Initiate defeats a mutated Attis, whose remains scatter and grow around the vault, infesting the substructure with polyp-like growths. While escaping, the Initiate discovers Patty who has been consumed by a blob which is eating her. Patty mentions she stayed behind in an attempt to eliminate all research so the super mutants could not recreate FEV or use it for their own agenda. She asks the Initiate to head to the decontamination center in order to gain access to a computer terminal that can start the decontamination of the vault; in this case, a large explosion which will eradicate the vault. Patty then asks the Initiate for a mercy killing. The Initiate then runs to a monorail car, narrowly escaping the now self-destructing vault. During the explosion, Cyrus, Nadia and Cain are seen watching Los from the outskirts of the city.
The action takes place in only one zone per chapter. A zone is composed of many locations and a player character can return to previously visited locations when they want until they entered into a new chapter and a new zone (Carbon, Los or Secret Vault). They can also sometimes not be able to visit a new location until the storyline advances. There are 50 separate maps of varying size in the game, the primary locations include those as followed.
|Chapter One||Chapter Two||Chapter Three|
One chooses one of up to six playable characters to control as the player character. There are no party members. The last three unlockable characters on the following list become available to control after the player completes a chapter in the game.
- Cain: Cain is a ghoul who decided to join the Brotherhood after super mutants destroyed his hometown, Necropolis. Of medium build, he is able to use heavy weapons and dual weapons, but not maneuver well with the former and cannot run while using the latter.
- Cyrus: Cyrus was born in a tribal farming village, but he started roaming the wastes after his village was destroyed by super mutants. He later decided to join the Brotherhood as a soldier. Of heavy build, able to use and maneuver well with heavy weapons. He cannot equip dual weapons and cannot run while firing any weapon.
- Nadia: Nadia spent her childhood as an orphan living on the streets. Although she adapted to life there, she decided to join the Brotherhood when she witnessed several of its members engaging in an act of philanthropy. Of light build, she is able to equip dual weapons. She cannot use heavy weapons. The weapons she can equip, she can fire while running.
- Patty: Has the same access to and restrictions on weapons as Nadia. She has +10 to her Base Armor value, and bonuses to the following skills: +20% bonus to Bargaining, +80% to Gun Damage, +25% to Desert Soldier and +25% to Future Woman.
- Rhombus: Unlike the first four characters, Rhombus has no restrictions or bonuses to weapon class in regards to equipping or movement. Rhombus has a Base Armor bonus of +30. He has a +100% bonus to Melee Damage, and +50% bonuses to Explosive Damage and the skills Heavy Hitter and Wastelander.
- Vault Dweller: This powerful player character can be selected for use only in a new game, and as with Rhombus, has no weapon class restrictions or bonuses. He has a stacking unarmored Base Armor value of 20, and +100% bonuses to Melee Damage, Gun Damage and Explosive Damage. Additionally, +20% bonuses to the Slayer and Fortune Finder skills, and +100% to the Heavy Hitter and Wastelander skills.
- Armpit: Armpit is the bartender in Carbon. He is willing to pay money for radscorpion tails.
- Attis: Attis is the leader of the mutant army and the final boss.
- Blake: Blake is the leader of the Church of the Lost. He fights the player character in Chapter Two.
- CALIX: CALIX is the Secret Vault's main computer system. It could share some information.
- Ching Tsun: Ching is a merchant in the vault. He is willing to buy computer parts.
- Dubois: Dubois is the chief scientist of the vault.
- Giese: Giese is a ghoul living in Los. He is able to fashion weapons from pieces of junk.
- Harold: Harold is a ghoul-appearing FEV contact living in Los who asks the player character to recover missing body parts for him.
- Hieronymous: Hieronymus runs a gladiator ring in Los.
- Jane: Jane is the raider matron. She is in charge of the raiders that attacked Carbon.
- Jesse: Jesse is a trader in the wasteland.
- Mary: Mary helps the player character after the first fight with Attis. She also informs the player character about her mother's ring.
- Patty: The security officer of the hidden vault, Patty is unlocked when the first chapter is completed.
- Richard: Richard is the mayor of Carbon who sold the town to bandits.
- Ruby: Ruby is Carbon's resident prostitute. She provides the player with several quests.
- Rhombus: A returning character from the first Fallout, Rhombus is a paladin of the Brotherhood of Steel. Although wounded by a ghoul suicide bomber, Rhombus is playable after the player beats chapter two.
- Salieri: Salieri is a merchant in Los. He asks the player character to deliver a package to Hieronymous.
- Technician: In the vault facilities, the technician helps the player.
- Vault Dweller: The protagonist of the original Fallout, the Vault Dweller is unlocked after the game has been finished. In-game, he is met by the player in Carbon.
- Vidya: Vidya is the town doctor of Carbon and can heal the Initiate at no charge.
But we wanted to carve out our own niche, and tell our own stories seen through our eyes. Maybe this could have been made clearer from the get-go, I guess we were hoping that this should have been rather obvious but in hindsight it seems we were wrong. Is there an answer that will appease your "Why the hell change it..."? Probably not, because when you get right down to it, we changed it because we wanted to. We're not pulling a 'Lucas' and re-writing the previous games, we're not telling you what you believe about them to be false. They are your games and always will be. This is our game. If you play it and you like it, then good for you. If you don't, well... that's okay, too.”— Interplay employee
To create the game, Interplay used the "Snowblind" game engine also used in the console games Dark Alliance and the online-capable PS2 game Champions of Norrath. 480p and Dolby digital are supported.
Level designer Dan Kingdom mentioned that the Black Isle Studios team was very interested in what they were doing with F:BOS, and from the very beginning they had a lot of contact with them regarding storyline, setting and characters. The Black Isle team also provided them with a mountain of information to help out with all the details, from timelines to bibles. The game's website mentioned, "We've read the Fallout bible and updates, worked with people in BIS on the concept, and determined that we'd stay within the guidelines of the Fallout universe but at the same time presume that this is a different type of game for a different audience. Fallout: BOS has its own setting, characters, and events that fit within the larger Fallout world. Nothing in this game contradicts the events that occur in Fallout or Fallout 2."
The soundtrack background music and music by modern bands, such as Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Celldweller, Meshuggah, Skinlab and musician Devin Townsend. For modern bands, however, the game diffuses, playing only the instrumental and this music is only played during boss fights.
All voice acting citations are from the Internet Movie Database. Fallout: BoS is the first Fallout game to not feature the introduction voice-acted by Ron Perlman, who is famous in the Fallout series for the line, "War...war never changes." The narrator of this game is Tony Jay, the Lieutenant from Fallout.
Behind the scenes
|Behind the scenes|
- Duck and Cover: The origins of Fallout:BoS
- IGN guide to Fallout:BoS
- Gamebanshee's site dedicated to Fallout:BoS
- Interplay forums
- Todd Howard Fallout 3 interview, GameSpy
- Initiates: Rhombus Gamebanshee
- BoS: Chris Pasetto Interview TeamXbox
- BoS XBox review Gamechronicles
- Dan Kingdom interview Gamebanshee
- Fallout: BoS FAQ
- Cast of Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel at the Internet Movie Database
- Metacritic - Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel PS2
- Metacritic - Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Xbox
- Settlement agreement between Interplay and Snowblind Studios