Saturday Morning Gaming: Fallout, Russian Style
The original Fallout came out in 1997 and it was amazing. It had all of the RPG stuff that you loved about RPGs: Stats and skills and different builds and different ways to play. On top of that, it had real dialog choices that affected different things and quests could be solved in multiple different ways. The setting was special insofar as it seemed to take place after a divergent 1950’s America dropped the bomb. These spiritual children of Eisenhower went into the vaults when the bombs fell and it was the spiritual grandchildren of Eisenhower that eventually left the vaults and it’s this universe in which the stories took place.
Well, the guys who made Atom RPG asked the question “What if we made Fallout that was set in world where the Khruschevian Soviets went into the vaults?”
So this is a Russian Fallout.
Like in the original, you’ve got a bird’s eye view of the action, you’ve got action points for combat, and those action points (and how good you are at combat, for that matter) are based on such things as Strength, Endurance, Dexterity, Intellect, Attention, Personality, and Luck. No longer SPECIAL, you are now SEDIAPL.
The gameplay is much the same. Start out in a home base, be told about some information that you ought to get, then go out into the world and find… well, learn what the USSR turned into after the bomb dropped. You’re going to be given side-quests galore, you’re going to explore places that are going to irradiate you, poison you, and otherwise be populated with all sorts of things that are going to try to kill you.
The good news is that there are also a ton of people to meet and greet and converse with. They’re the ones who will ask you to find them macguffins, tell you about what their family did to survive to this point, and otherwise make the game worth playing.
In the same way that the Fallout universe had this weird optimism among the wreckage, Atom RPG has a strange pessimism… but under the pessimism is one heck of a wicked sense of humor. And, oddly enough, feel about as familiar as Fallout did the first time you played it. “Oh yeah… these are one of the teams that we went to war against. Huh.”
There is a little bit of downside, however. One of the things you’ll have forgotten about Fallout is how tough it was and how few action points you actually had and how rarely your 60% chance to hit actually connects. (It ain’t 3 out of 5 times, I tell you what. Closer to 1 out of 3.) But with the use of a cheat or two (I suggest bumping your characteristics and skills, but, you know, not give yourself extra XP or weapons or stuff like that), you’ll find yourself able to explore an absolutely brilliant game that feels like a retro vision of the future that they might have had on the other side of the world.
If you’re missing Fallout and Fallouts 76 and 4 just aren’t doing it the way that New Vegas managed to, you should check out Atom RPG.
So… what are you playing?