If you know the name Fallout, you’ll probably know 2008’s best-selling Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas or Fallout 4. More dedicated fans, or just older gamers, might know 1997’s Fallout and Fallout 2. The retro-Americana stylings, fused with a post-apocalyptic Mad-Max-style setting and storyline, have proved extremely popular with gamers over the years. However, the original two games, with their isometric graphics and esoteric systems based upon tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, are certainly more difficult to get into than the fast-paced first-person shooting of the later titles. In fact, this reviewer viscerally remembers booting up Fallout 2 as an excitable ten-year-old and almost instantly being brutally killed by a mutated rat.
However, what you might not know – sorry if you do – is that Fallout’s publishers Interplay and Bethesda have released a few other titles over the series’ history. These games might not have captured the public imagination in the same way as the main titles, but for fans of the series they’re well worth checking out.
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
Unlike previous games in the series, Brotherhood of Steel doesn’t follow the main Fallout storyline, and nor does it focus on RPG elements. Instead it is based on tactical combat with a group of controlled characters, rather than levelling up one individual, and also considers multiplayer combat between player-controlled squads to be a key part of the game.
Released on PC in 2001, it was also the first Fallout game to not be developed by legendary RPG producers Black Isle Studios. The game sold fairly well, but it would be the last Fallout game on PC for eight years – with the franchise not continuing on it’s native platform until 2008’s Fallout 3.
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
The only Fallout game to be exclusively released on consoles, this lacklustre inclusion in the series by Interplay Entertainment debuted in 2004 and was officially declared non-canon by the next licence holders Bethesda less than four years later. Featuring linear gameplay and real-time action, as well as a confusingly similar title to the previous game in the series, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel received mixed to negative reviews – with highs of around 7.5 out of 10 and low scores of 30% or less. It was the last game in the series to be developed by Interplay.
A very niche title this one, Fallout Pinball appeared in Hungarian mobile pinball specialist developer Zen Studio’s 2016 collections Pinball FX 2 and Pinball FX 3. It appeared alongside other licensed videogame titles, mainly from Bethesda, such as Skyrim Pinball and DOOM Pinball. It can be played on PC, Android and iOS mobile devices and, since 2017, on the Nintendo Switch.
Developed by Interplay and published by an emerging Electronic Arts in 1988, this DOS powered early computer RPG is considered a spiritual precursor to the Fallout series. Many of the same developers at Interplay went on to work on the original Fallout, who also borrowed much inspiration from the theme and setting.
Despite Fallout proving the far more popular series in the long run, a sequel, Wasteland 2, was released in 2014 and was a surprising success story. A new entry in the series, Wasteland 3, is scheduled for release in 2020 having raised $3 million in crowdfunding donations.