Fallout - An Entire Series Retrospective and Analysis

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by NMLevesque, May 25, 2019.

  1. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Nov 26, 2007
    In Gecko's underground, the Brain [reference to 'Pinky and the Brain'] leads the renewal cult—which is of course reference to Logan's Run; complete with them chanting "Renew!", and the token symbol of the cult is the Ankh.

    Short:

    Long:
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
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  2. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    No, you can't. You can, however, objectively say that FO2 refined the gameplay formula of FO1, because the quantitative measurement of how much it added upon the first game.

    I strongly disagree with this, because I don't think Fallout 2 had anything to do with how Fallout 3, 4, and 76, turned out. Those games are glorified Shooters with "RPG-lite" (notice the quotations, there) elements. The "current direction" of the series involves shifting away from what made the Fallout a well-crafted cRPG. Fallout 2 is still a well-crafted cRPG, in spite of its inappropriate insertion of pop cultures references and humor. How is it responsible for the series changing into what it is, today?

    You're countering @Norzan's argument of Fallout 2 treating its more serious moments and writing with "respect"... with references — references which were never supposed to be taken seriously to begin with. That's the equivalent of applying that logic to New Vegas because of its "Wild Wasteland" trait (it being completely optional doesn't negate my point, either). Don't do that; it's a stupid fallacy and I know you're smarter than this. New Reno is notorious for having these stupid pop culture references, but the city is a perfect example of what a town could look like in (post-)post-apocalyptic setting.

    Now here's my counter-argument. Fallout 2 has:
    • a genocidal remnant faction of the Pre-War U.S. government hellbent on extermining every "mutant" on the planet — regardless if these mutants are still human or not. Sounds pretty damn intense to me.
    • The Den is landmine of drug addicts, a band of slavers, and two gangs trying to control a piece of territory.
    • The relatively "peaceful" village of Broken Hills has a lot dark things going on under the surface (quite literally, I might add).
    • Gecko has a serious power plant problem; problem is — it's populated by Ghouls, which Vault City is prejudice towards.
    Fallout 2 might be a "Denser and Wackier" sequel, and as much as I hate this statement: it's not as bad as many people here say it is when it comes to its humor. It just boils down to just focusing on just that aspect of the game, ignoring the clearing darker themes it has.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  3. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    I can't objectively say it's a better game but I can objectively point out what makes it a better game. Okey dokey.

    Why are you bringing up gameplay and how Fallout 3/4/76 are FPSs? Tone, we're talking about tone and how Fallout 2 set the groundwork for how the series would be viewed.

    It isn't just Reno. New Reno simply suffers from the worst cases of reference overload. But everywhere you go you get text and visual references that don't even try to hide what they are. When they made Fallout 1 they had a rule; if the player can't identify a reference they should not even see it as such. Subtlety. Fallout 2 did not do this because Fallout 2 avoids being subtle as a rule of thumb.

    Just compare this list to this list. Fallout 2 took it a bit too far with references when compared to Fallout 1. Sure, it's a longer game, but the amount of references is as long as Fallout 3 and New Vegas and those are 150h+ games.

    Can Fallout 2 be a serious game? Absolutely. Is it always? Nope. And when it isn't, it's by far the least serious in the series up to New Vegas with how childish it gets.

    It isn't supposed to be a balancing act. Just because serious things happen in it, doesn't mean it absolves some of the frankly nonsensical content it can throw at the player with absolutely no warning.
     
  4. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    No, it isn't. Fallout 1 is the more praised of the two for being for far more consistent in terms of overall quality. The only thing Fallout 2 gets more praise over Fallout 1 is the more refined gameplay. That's literally it.

    Fallout 2 is not objectively better than Fallout 1, they both have their issues that makes one being better than the other impossible.

    How in the hell doesn't it make any sense? They had the first game, the one that STARTED IT ALL. They could have followed that one but instead decided to follow the second one. Fallout 2 was criticized for way too many pop cultural references and other wacky shit far before Bethesda got the franchise. They had to be aware of this criticism, the choice to be more wacky and zany was a conscious choice.

    Not to mention all the wacky shit in Fallout 2 was due to rushed development, they were told to make a game as big as Baldur's Gate by the holiday season of 1998. While this doesn't excuse it entirely, it does explain all the references and weird quest premises.

    Fallout 3's complete idiocy and lack of taking itself seriously was a conscious, deliberate choice. They had four fucking years to make this game, they had all the time in the world to make it as good as possible. And yet they made a game that is somehow much more stupid than 2, with a world that completely shatters suspension of disbelief at every second and it doesn't even do it through pop cultural references: it does it by having no internal consistency. And that is far worse than just some random jokes sprinkled throughout the game.

    Obsidian (the people who were involved in the creation of Fallout 2) knew the wacky shit in Fallout 2 was a mistake, so they followed the tone of Fallout 1 in New Vegas. This just makes Bethesda look far worse.

    And i also feel like people overblow the wacky stuff in Fallout 2. Yes, it's off-putting at times and quite stupid too, but it's not the majority of the game. People make it sound that the game is mostly jokes and pop cultural references and weird shit, when that's not true in the slightest.
    Yes, it does. When it's time to get serious, and it's a lot of the time, it treats that seriousness with respect. The fact it has wacky shit doesn't invalidated the respect it has for its seriousness.

    Meanwhile in Fallout 3, hardly anybody but your Dad cares for the shortage of water. There's like an handful of people outside of him that care for it. Everybody else is doing stupid shit and going around like everything is alright. Reminder that this is about the story only, this is not about refereces and jokes made outside of the story like in Fallout 2. The wacky shit in Fallout 2 is mostly kept outside of the story.
    No one is ignoring Fallout 2 negatives, i can make a laundry list of them if i wanted to. And he's not right about Fallout 2 setting the tone for the series, the first game fucking exists. This would only be true if Fallout 2 was the only Fallout before 3, but isn't.

    And he's a shill. I have found it that he has received invites to parties setup by Bethesda, mainly for release parties of their published games. Of course you can't criticize Bethesda after you start getting this type of attention, so you start shilling for them. This combined with the fact he defends Fallout 3 and 4 so strongly and doesn't criticize 76 nowhere as much as it deserves it to be criticized just leads to me to this conclusion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  5. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    About the "humor" of Fallout 2. The game has those "silly" things because the publisher (Interplay) forced them to make a much bigger (than Fallout 1, as big as Baldur's Gate) game in 9 months, Interplay also forced Black Isle to add the Temple of Trials.

    Bethesda knew all of this (including what Avellone wrote on the Fallout Bible about how those silly things would be removed from continuity) when they were making Fallout 3, so it makes no sense to me that they would make Fallout 3 "wacky" and silly because Fallout 2 was like that. Basically, the biggest criticism of Fallout 2 was forced to be there by the publishers, but Fallout 3 doesn't have that problem, so why is it there?

    I dug up an old post I made that goes into more detail about Fallout 2 silliness and why it's in the game, with actual quotes from the game producers. You can find it here (if you're interested):
    http://www.nma-fallout.com/threads/so-i-need-help-clarifying-some-lore.215135/page-2#post-4271884
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  6. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    Yeah, i brought that up in my post above yours. But people are still gonna do mental gymnastics to justify the stupid shit in Fallout 3 and claim Fallout 2 set the tone for the series.

    If anything, it feels like Fallout 3 just continues the wacky crap of Oblivion. A lot of the quests in Oblivion are ridiculous, with premises that make no sense or are head scratching. So the wacky crap in Fallout 3 feels just Bethesda's MO, and this continued in Skyrim and Fallout 4.
     
  7. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    Your bias against F3 is so large you think anyone disagreeing with you that has admitted to enjoying it must be defending it. If I criticize F2, it doesn't mean I'm justifying F3 for having done the same.
     
  8. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    That wasn't even your argument, you are just goalpost moving now to look like a victim. You were saying that Fallout 3's bullshit was due to Fallout 2's tendency for wacky antics and jokes, and i explained why it wasn't. There's no bias, just calculated arguments.

    And when people start using the word "bias", i immediately start to tune out. We are here to discuss things about the series, not starting to whine about biases and any other bullshit completely unrelated to that.
     
  9. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    First, I'm not playing the victim because I never do, so don't use that to gain ground, it's bad form. Second, yes, F3 and F4 and F76 have tones that were set by F2. That's just how it is. F2 breaks the 4th wall, it has talking deathclaws, it has childish humor, the unique random encounters are more in-your-face than the one that came before. That's how the game is and that's what sticks with most people. F2 doesn't let up with the stuff and now they're all like that. Hell, F3 is more subtle in its references than F2, and that is me defending it.

    I get you like F2 and dislike F3, but denying such an obvious truth just makes you look like some fanboy. Stop it.

    Fair enough. That post wasn't even directed at me but I for one haven't defended F3's humorous tone by saying F2 did it first and it stands to reason that if I don't like it in one, I don't like it in the other.
     
  10. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    Jesus Christ, me and Risewild just explained above that the wacky shit in Fallout 2 WASN'T INTENTIONAL, while it was intentional in the Bethesda Fallout games. What so hard to understand? You are just being stubborn for the sake of it at this point because you don't want to be wrong.

    When even the devs of Fallout 2 claimed the wacky shit was a mistake before Bethesda even got the license, it just makes Bethesda look worse. They knew the devs claimed it was a mistake and yet decided to continue it and be even more stupid.

    And again, the first fucking Fallout exists, Fallout 2 is not the one that started the series. They had the first game as a reference.

    You are the one sounding like a fanboy, you are the one that needs to stop. Just blatantly ignoring arguments like the ones above just shows me your agenda. If you are just gonna do that, i ain't bothering with this argument anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  11. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Nov 26, 2007
    Bethesda's engine is an 'of the moment' simulator. It's barely controlled. IRRC the reason Oblivion's maps are over-abundant with food, is because all of the NPCs can go psychotic and start killing each other for carrots.

    Their gameplay is [just] a moment-by-moment experience simulator. It shows the PC walking in the wastes; in the building; in the cave. It shows the PC shooting at mutants; at raiders; at Deatrhclaws.

    They are always going to choose the averaged [mistaken] —most popular take on the IP setting... because for them, getting it right means less sales, so to hell with the Fallout setting & system. They made the wacky franken-shooter instead of a follow-up PA masterpiece of RPG-design... which they could have done—even if they had to hire experts to do it for them... but it would never have been as popular to the market they wished to sell it to. And [sadly] they are proven correct by this market. They made more money with it than Interplay ever did; made it more popular as guilty-pleasure garbage title for the median market than it ever could be had it been so superb a sequel that all of NMA ranked it 10/10.

    :rip:
     
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  12. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    You can, but that doesn't MAKE it, overall, an objectively better game. You paraphrasing what I just stated in my previous post doesn't evoke a flaw in my argument, it evokes a lack of understanding on your part.

    Because of how often both gameplay and tone go hand-to-hand, especially in Role-Playing Games.

    As I said, New Reno is notorious for that exact reason. Subtlety largely depends if the audience, in question, understand the reference enough in order to spot it. I have a feeling this is what the developers were going for, but I won't argue that there's too many in Fallout 2 to take it as seriously as the first game. Not to say that Fallout 2 doesn't have its more subtle moments.

    Again, Fallout 2 has way too many references, but not all of them are juvenile, obvious jokes. With that many references, it shouldn't be a shock that there would be at least some hidden, clever references, and some of them that pay homages to the source material that they were born from. A lot of these references are triggered by special encounters and actively have to sought out. Also, Fallout 2 is an isometric game, with minimal voice-acting at best. The references are easier to enact, quote, and well... reference, because it can be left to interpretation, and it's less time-consuming on the developer to have lines recorded for these. That could also factor as to why they're so abundant in the game.

    You're still basing Fallout 2's general stupidity on just references and pop culture jokes, and nothing else. You act as if they appear every three seconds when playing the game. Fallout 2 is way more than just those things. Calling Fallout 2 and New Vegas the least serious games really doesn't make much sense to me, since you'll have to exclude every other Fallout game that wasn't Fallout 1 or Tactics. When Fallout 2 and NV got serious, it wass genuine and natural. They don't try to mask their own idiotic moments and attempt to make them out to be anything more than that. Fallout 3 and Fallout 4's major events in their respective stories, lore, companions, faction, etc., are arguably stupider than any silly reference to a movie or any other media from Fallout 2.

    I just showed a small portion of Fallout 2's consequential factions and world-building that aren't parodied and are seriously treated with respect. All of the "nonsensical content" you noted so far are just references. They have little to do with how the narrative is actually followed in Fallout 2. Fallout 2 doesn't have Little Lamplight or Big Town, people dressing as super heroes, or vampires. That's Fallout 3. Fallout 2 doesn't have the Kid in the Fridge or Cabot House. That's Fallout 4. Those games treat that crap as something important and gravely situational. Fallout 2 would mock that crap because it was self-aware of its own stupidity.

    Fallout 3 and 4 are inherently worse than Fallout 2 when it comes to the ridicu-scale — they were going to be silly and stupid, even if Fallout 2 was never made. Look at what Bethesda is doing to their own "RPG" series. Fallout 2 isn't responsible for the series becoming stupider; it became stupider because the developer who keeps making these games still don't get Fallout, and still don't care what Fallout is, as long as it generates a good revenue for them. Had the series been under the care of a more honest, considerate developer, we wouldn't be arguing about this; it's plain obvious Fallout 2 isn't responsible for Fallout's shift in tone in the later games.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  13. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Nov 26, 2007
    For the record, I have no qualms with Fallout 2's [so called] nonsensical content. I only take issue with —where— some of that content is presented... as in the geographical locations of the content.

    Specifically... none of it should have been near a town; or near any location where the population would have discovered it, or where anyone could have plausibly revealed the exact location to others.

    Fallout's UFO crash was great because it was ambiguous. It could have been a movie prop from an abandoned on-location set; it could have been a hoax, or even a military experiment; real; or the hallucination of a dehydrated drug addict going through cold-turkey withdrawal. It didn't matter. It only exists while they are there, and who is to say that it ever existed at all. The same goes for the Fallout 2 dead whale [from HHGTTG].

    The problems come of having that chess playing Scorpion in Marcus' township. Of having an intelligent talking rat lead a ghoul cult under the garage in Gecko. In having a ghost give a quest from the middle of town, next door—in the next room, from the side-show museum. These lend unwelcome credibility to the encounters and/ or take it away from the surrounding ones. The world setting is a strange place—outside of town, but is generally a place of more grounded human hardships in the populated community areas.

    Imagine [for sake of extremes] if there was a deliberately placed French mime or "Bozo the Clown" NPC outside of SGT. Dornan's office in Navarro. This is what I mean by out of place.... as opposed to encountering either of those in the midst of the great wasteland.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
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  14. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    I don't get this. Is it being implied that New Vegas is somehow childish? The game in the series that gets the closest to the tone and seriousness of Fallout 1? Because if it's being implied as such, this is wrong on every conceivable way.
     
  15. Pwener

    Pwener FEV is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

    Aug 15, 2017
    I just found so many jokes in the game to be immature. Like they were designed so even an elementary kid will chuckle at them. The chess scorpion comes to mind. I'm not saying I don't laugh, but then again, my sense of humor is very childish.
     
  16. Norzan

    Norzan Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2017
    Chess scorpion in New Vegas? That's in Fallout 2. I was quoting that post because the wording made it sound New Vegas was childish. The implication that Fallout 2 was the most childish game in the series up to New Vegas, implying New Vegas is somehow as immature as Fallout 2.
     
  17. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    There aren't any mutants allowed here but the flame wars are so constant that they'd all be burned to death anyway.
     
  18. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    But what's happened here, hasn't constituted to a flame war.
     
  19. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    If you say so. Or possibly they're so constant that the perceived bar for flame wars is absurdly high.
     
  20. 5545Trey

    5545Trey Underground Deviant

    Jun 25, 2014
    Firstly, it's the Internet; the "perceived bar" has always been high. Secondly, while I'm not arguing that flame war probably happen here more than they should, there's a much higher concentration in other Fallout forums, or just video game forums, in general. This is tame, compared to where I've been.