|This page is about the game itself. For an overview of Fallout 2-related articles, see Portal:Fallout 2.|
Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game is the sequel to the original Fallout. Released on September 30, 1998 exclusively for PC, it was developed by Black Isle Studios which, before the release of Fallout 2, had become a full-fledged developer division of publisher Interplay Entertainment.
Fallout 2's gameplay is similar to the original Fallout. It is a CRPG or computer role-playing game with turn-based combat and a pseudo-isometric view.
Fallout 2 uses a character creation system called SPECIAL. S.P.E.C.I.A.L is an acronym and initialism of Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. These are the seven basic attributes of every character in the game. They are used to determine the skills and perks of the given character.
There are 18 different skills in the game. They are ranked from 0% to 300%. The starting values for those skills at level one are determined by the character's seven basic attributes, but most of those skills would fall between 0% and 50%. Every time a level is gained, the player will be awarded skill points to be used to improve their character's skills, equal to five points plus twice their Intelligence. The player may choose to "tag" three of the 18 skills (though later a fourth skill may be tagged). A tagged skill will improve at twice the normal rate. Some non-player characters can also improve Skills via training.
- Six combat skills: Small Guns, Big Guns, Energy Weapons, Unarmed, Melee Weapons, Throwing.
- Eight active skills: First Aid, Doctor, Sneak, Lockpick, Steal, Traps, Science, Repair.
- Four passive skills: Speech, Barter, Gambling, Outdoorsman.
Combat skills improve accuracy and (generally) damage with weapons which correspond to that combat skill. For example, the effectiveness of a minigun would be governed by the Big Guns skill, while the effectiveness of a 10mm pistol would be governed by the Small Guns skill.
Active skills may be selected and used on the player, non-player characters, and the environment to accomplish tasks. For example, a player may use First Aid to heal themselves or allies, or use Repair to fix a generator. Active skills can also contribute to the in-game dialogue. For example, someone with a high Science skill could talk to a scientist and get a better response out of them than if they had a low science skill.
Passive skills also contribute to the in-game dialogue, along with various other things throughout the game. However, they can't ever be selected and used as active skills can.
Books found throughout the game world can improve Small Guns, First Aid, Science, Repair, and Outdoorsman skills, up to a maximum of 91% skill value; using a skill book after that will do nothing to raise the skill any further. Books are scarce early in the game, and the max cap can make books less useful later on. Vault City and San Francisco are good sources of books.
Tools and Lockpicks
Lockpicks can make it easier to open locks; note however that not all doors have the code script required for all lockpick types, and the bonus may vary. Normally +20-40%, it can range from +10-50%. Some skills can also be improved while having certain items equipped. (E.g. equipping a lock picks would improve lockpicking skills.) Stimulants can also temporarily boost a player's skills; however, they often have adverse effects such as addiction and withdrawal. As Skills grow higher in rating, they begin to cost more Skill Points to increase.
Traits and Perks
At character creation, the player may choose two optional traits. Traits are special character attributes, such as 'Skilled' (which drastically increases the player's skills, but adds an extra level before the player may choose each perk), or 'Jinxed' (enemies have a greater chance of critical attack failures, but so does the player). A Trait normally contains one beneficial effect and one detrimental effect, and are listed below the Perks section in the character sheet. Once a Trait is chosen, it is impossible to change, except by using the "Mutate" Perk which allows the player to change one Trait, but only once.
"Perks" are special elements of the leveling system. Every three levels (or every four if the player chose the "Skilled" Trait), the player is granted a perk of their choosing. Perks grant special effects, most of which are not obtainable via normal play in the game, such as letting the player take more actions per round. Unlike traits, most perks are purely beneficial—they are usually offset only by the infrequency of acquiring them.
Changes from Fallout
Fallout 2 features a much wider array of items, weapons, and armor than Fallout. Most of the items from Fallout returned, but had alternate and upgraded forms: the minigun, for example, is now joined by the Avenger and Vindicator miniguns. Item prices were also increased at stores, making scavenging for items more important. In addition to old, upgraded weapons, several new weapons were introduced for all branches of combat, thus making no combat skill the best, and allowing the player to be powerful with any weapon. The range of enemies was also increased to a wider diversity. The end result is a much more complex combat environment.
Skills start off at a lower rate than in the first game, and the various skills are also more important. Previously, skills like Unarmed, Doctor, and Traps were used sparingly, but now, all skills are useful to a degree. The maximum level of a skill was increased from 200% to 300%. Another notable change is that a skill, after reaching 100%, requires more than one skill point to increase, up to six skill points per 1% (2% if the skill is tagged) increase after 200%. The Unarmed skill, in particular, was made much more sophisticated by adding different types of Punches and Kicks depending on the player's Attributes and skill level. Several new Perks were added while most others were retained, allowing a greater degree of customization. The Friendly Foe perk of Fallout is now a default feature in Fallout 2.
Karma is accompanied by Reputation, and while Karma affects the player as a whole, Reputation affects how the player is received in a single town. While Karma is achieved by doing good things and killing villainous characters, Reputation grows based on how the player helps the city, usually by completing sub-quests. By nature, Reputation and Karma tend to grow parallel to each other. As in Fallout, good and evil characters react differently to players with different Karma. Also, the player can acquire certain titles (Gigolo, Made Man, Slaver) based on their actions that also affect the game and how others react to them.
Recruitable non-player characters were very simplistic in the first game, and the only control the player had over them was to designate a specific weapon for the non-player character to use and how far away they should stand. In Fallout 2, team non-player character control became much more sophisticated, with non-player characters being able to gain levels, equip armor and be issued orders before and during combat, ranging from when to run away to when to heal themselves, as well as ordering them to holster their weapons. The non-player characters also possess distinct personalities and characteristics. The recruiting process has also been made more complex, with some non-player characters refusing to join the player if they have negative Karma or before a certain quest has been completed. Finally, there is a limit to the number of non-player characters a player can recruit (depending on the character's Charisma), as well as a larger number to recruit (over a dozen).
In the original Fallout, subquests in the towns and cities were usually solved within that city, with only a few subquests requiring the player to travel. The cities, fairly isolated except for caravans, were concerned with their own problems. In Fallout 2, however, the cities have a great deal of contact with each other, and with the sole exception of Klamath, actions in one city will affect the state of another, and subquests will often require the player to go back and forth from location to location to kill enemies and deliver messages and items.
The game's overall subject matter was mature, with drugs and prostitution becoming major elements of the setting. The use of strong language remains uncensored, with an optional dialogue filter. During the course of the game, players can join the Mafia, become a Porn Star, get married, and subsequently divorced, and prostitution is a strong recurring theme. Slavery also becomes an important subplot, and players can either side with the Slavers or join their opponents (such as New California Rangers) who try to stamp slavery out. Non-player characters can be bought and sold as slaves during the course of the game.
At the end of the original Fallout, the hero, the Vault Dweller, was exiled by the Vault 13 overseer for prolonged exposure to the outside world. Unable to return home, they traveled far north with a group of followers, founding the village of Arroyo.
Since the events of Fallout, an entity known as the New California Republic (abbreviated as NCR) was established and seeks to spread its borders. A technologically advanced new organization known as the Enclave, its capability surpassing those of the Brotherhood of Steel. Jet, an addictive drug, has forced many to rely on the drug trade centralized in New Reno.
In 2241, Arroyo suffered the worst drought on record. Faced with this hardship, the village elder asks the direct descendant of the Vault Dweller, referred to as the Chosen One, to retrieve a Garden of Eden Creation Kit or (G.E.C.K) for the town. This device can create thriving communities out of the post-apocalyptic wasteland.
The Chosen One is given the Vault Dweller's jumpsuit, a RobCo Pip-Boy 2000 handheld device, a Vault 13 water flask, and some cash to start their journey. Returning to Arroyo reveals the village residents were kidnapped by the Enclave, along with the inhabitants of Vault 13, to serve as human test subjects. The Enclave has modified Forced Evolutionary Virus into an airborne pathogen, intended to murder those who have genetic mutations.
The Chosen One can activate an oil tanker and its autopilot, allowing them to reach the Enclave's main base on an offshore oil rig. They are then tasked with saving the members of their village and those imprisoned from Vault 13 from the oil rig, and subsequently destroying it.
Fallout 2 received a Metacritic metascore of 86/100.
Behind the scenes
|The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and may be inaccurate.|
- Fallout 2 is considered one of the earliest video games to allow same-sex marriage, and began the introduction of LGBT+ characters into the Fallout series, particularly Davin, Miria and Leslie Anne Bishop.
- Speedrunning is much more difficult than in Fallout. In Fallout, players could go straight to the Military Base, destroy it, then travel to the Cathedral and do the same. In Fallout 2, the final areas cannot be accessed until a computer part from Vault 13 is found, and Vault 13, in turn, cannot be found until one of two quests have been completed, thus requiring a great deal of fighting that requires a higher-level character to survive. Also, while the player can recruit allies for the final encounter, there is no way to completely avoid the final boss battle in Fallout 2 —again, encouraging combat and making a speedrun difficult. In spite of these factors, players manage to beat the game in 10 minutes and less.
|End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information|
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