Some Gripes with Fallout 2

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Joe17, Dec 25, 2017.

Tags:

Is Fallout 1 better then Fallout 2?

  1. Yes

    13 vote(s)
    72.2%
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
    27.8%
  1. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Hmm, if I may add to the discussion, I think it's because Fallout 2 was quite all over the place. Fallout 1 was so interconnected, so coherent, tight, and solid, that thinking about it over and over it's a shame Fallout 2 can't follow Fallout 1's steps in that regard. In an average playthrough of Fallout 1 (spanning from between 15-20 hours, based on my experience) you might encounter an easter egg or two, but never 5 or 6, out of 14 http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_cultural_references. This is thanks to the double stage of time limits imposed upon the game.

    Meanwhile, not only Fallout 2 is two times bigger than its predecessor, it also got rid of the time limit altogether. Chris Avellone admitted that the development of the game were quite disjointed because each subgroup of the team mostly keep to themselves, no one communicate with one another and, because of that, each subgroup just adds their own references. This, together with the fact that it's a much bigger game AND have no time limit whatsoever, means that in an average playthrough of the game (somewhere between 60-70 hours, could even be 80 hours with RP and based on my experience) you can encounter like half of ~90 references in the game http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_2_cultural_references.

    (Mind you, I also haven't taken into consideration that some of these references WILL be encountered no matter what)

    Yes, games like this aren't supposed to take themselves seriously 24/7. But in case of Fallout 2.... it gets really annoying after a while. These days, on my nth playthrough, encountering an reference only makes me roll my eyes in annoyance.
     
  2. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Vault Fossil

    Nov 26, 2007
    I prefer it be a feature of the property. If the general feel of the property is serious, then I would not want a flippant sequel; vice versa with a game that was all jokes and laughs. For the in-between titles (those semi-serious, but having the occasional WTH moment...) the sequels should not attempt to one-up them, rather to just generally stick to form; par with the previous.... unless it is in the nature of the IP.

    I would not want a Halo sequel in the style of Postal 2; nor a Postal 3 in the style of Halo or other. (Yeah, Halo had a few jokes.)

    Tim Cain did have an informal rule for Fallout 1; [paraphrased] that if the person didn't get the joke... then they should not even see the joke.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  3. karadoc

    karadoc First time out of the vault

    Dec 14, 2016
    Fallout 2 is very deliberately a mixture of serious content and cheesy humour. It's a design choice rather than a flaw. Of course, not everyone will like that - but I don't think it's a mistake due to disjoint teams or anything like that.

    The themes of humour in a grim and gritty world is set up right in the opening sequence: a cartoon with things like burnt out eyes from the EXTREME light outside... it's obviously meant to be serious for the inhabitants of the world, but funny for the player. Then it's followed up by the sombre "war never changes" stuff.

    This duality continues unbroken throughout the game. The first conversations with the villages have dialogue options which are humorous while the discussions are about a dire situation of impending doom...

    So anyway, I'm sure it was deliberate for Fallout 2 to have a lot of cheesy jokes in it; far more of them and more obvious than in Fallout 1. Maybe Gizmojunk (above) is right that they should have stuck closer to the same style - or maybe that would not have attracted such a broad audience. It's hard to say. (And remember again, we're talking about 20 years ago. The audience for game was not the same as it is now; and fans of the first two Fallout games are a lot older than they were when it came out!)
     
  4. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    Sure, but the sequel of a game that walks the line shouldn't go underboard with humour in the next game.

    Fallout IMO should walk the line between serious and humorous. It should evoke genuine reaction, but at the same time it should follow that most minor characters have that loveable semi-insanity you see in games, and similarly IMO the game shouldn't shy away from making outright references(If the player doesn't get them they shouldn't stand out too much, like you said, however New Vegas's tactic of hiding any blatant reference, whether players would get it or not, behind Wild Wasteland was not a good one)

    Fallout 2 overdid it a bit, but New Vegas underdid it majorly. The characters for the most part feel too sane, and there is less wackiness than there should be, and the game for the most part doesn't feel as much of a unique experience accordingly.
    I'd say it's not the quantity of references, but how much one reference affects.

    If the game was filled with fourth wall quips, movie quotes and silly humour I wouldn't mind. When we're talking about an entire town(San Fransisco) or an entire NPC(Brain) based on references, then it starts to unimmerse you IMO.

    If a reference can be easily ignored, or passed by, I would argue it's harmless, and makes the initial playthroughs more fun at such a minor expense to the later playthroughs that it doesn't matter. So long as there is a bulk of content otherwise, I'd argue these references can be as many in number as you want.

    When the reference actively forces you to engage in it, such as being a whole NPC or Area being a reference like I said earlier, then there should be strict upper limits to that, and best kept to a minimum, and only included if it absolutely adds to the game.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  5. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Vault Fossil

    Nov 26, 2007
    Fallout devs used humor to temper despair; Fallout 2 (and most egregiously FO3) devs mistook the humor for an 'anything goes' mentality.

    In Fallout 2, I do think it was disjoint teams at fault; such that would include encounters in towns, that were only suitable for inclusion (if at all) in the deep wastelands. I do believe that some of the developers had an incomplete or badly skewed concept of the established setting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  6. Risewild

    Risewild So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Many of the humor in Fallout 2 was because they were running out of time and had a lot of areas that were very empty. They had to come up with things in short notice.
    Remember that Interplay wanted a game twice as big as Fallout 1 but that felt less empty. All of this in a very short amount of time to finish and release the game (around 9 months IIRC).

    The graphic and model teams couldn't even finish all the things Black Isle wanted to include in the game, so many things that were actually well planned got cut out.

    Then they had to come up with quick content to place in the game using the resources they already had... Humoristic pop-culture references are the easy way out when you have to fill a wasteland and some settlements with forced content and are running out of time.

    I found a nice interview that illustrates the problem:
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  7. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    Maybe, but the fact that it's not truly faithful to its' predecessor was definitely the result of troubled game development.

    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...orthy-fallout-game.110884/page-4#post-4729082
    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...-my-favourite-game.109019/page-2#post-4560029
     
  8. Jogre

    Jogre It's all JO'Ger now

    Oct 25, 2015
    Wasn't it faithful to it's predecessor?

    For all it's glaring faults, Fallout 2 is an expansion of the universe of Fallout 1 and captures most of what made it special.

    I'd say it's faithful to it's predecessor.

    I get that Chris Avellone disputes that, but honestly I think that's just him being overly critical of his own work.
     
  9. Black Angel

    Black Angel Grand Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus

    Mar 21, 2016
    I'm not saying it's not, but I'm saying it's not truly faithful. As in, it's not 100% a worthy successor, maybe just 95% or even 90%. Fallout 1 was so tight, focused, and solid, nearly every part of the location in the game is connected to one another in a way that.... how do I say this.... resembles a spiderweb? There's literally no location left to itself, with the Hub acting literally as the hub of the game, where you can literally go anywhere by way of caravan running from there (except Shady Sands, but even then there's a random encounter with merchants where they're heading to Shady Sands). And once you've gotten the Water Chip, the second stage time limit literally affects ALL settlements that you have to finish the game asap. Even Necropolis got wiped out earlier if you kill the Super Mutants there.

    Meanwhile, Fallout 2 got locations that's completely or somewhat disconnected from the other parts of the game. San Fran is the definitely the worst offender, for reasons I won't get into since we all have discussed it many times. Smaller settlements mostly keep to themselves, only there as a kind of a clue of where to go first (Klamath), next (The Den), and being stumbled upon (Modoc). Those smaller settlements also, for some reason, were outside trade route, that it makes it questionable how do they even managed to get by. One can argue the fact that they're not on a trade route is the reason why they are smaller settlements, not to mention in case of Klamath there's Vic and in The Den there's Frankie who traded with New Reno, but they're just one guy in a settlement that could have been populated by hundreds. Modoc also actually got trader NPCs, but it still makes me wonder why there's no official caravan running to and from Modoc, or at least a quest to re-establish trade routes through Modoc once you solve their farming problem.

    Also, the raiders who attack Vault City could've been made in connection with the Khans in Vault 15, making a nice twist where the New Khans are preparing themselves for vengeance against the NCR by making them paying the raiders of New Khans for attacking Vault City.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  10. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Vault Fossil

    Nov 26, 2007
    The Fallout 2 engine had several fixes and improvements that were needed in Fallout (1), but the game lacked the original's atmosphere, style, and credibility—(within context). Because of Interplay's mandate for a bigger game in less time... it was weak and thinly spread; and over seasoned. When I think of Fallout 2, only Marcus initially comes to mind; but then Melchor comes to mind, and then the ghost in the Den, and the chess playing—but also LOCK PICKING scorpion...(who also cheats at eye-tests with a pair of reading glasses).

    Fallout 2 missed the mark by a mile—but it was still a decent Fallout game; FO3 missed the mark—because it was aiming for the wrong mark... and hit it. FO4 wasn't even aiming for the FO3 mark; it was aimed strictly at the market.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  11. Kohno

    Kohno A Smooth-Skin

    Jul 30, 2009
    There is legitimacy in the criticism and one can't be blamed for laying it down, and it would be foolish to deny that, but there are also the senses of relation and proportion that should come into play when looking at the big picture which, in the case of Fallout 2, is the one getting the criticism. I don't think it should be held with much credibility to list a few bad puns and mention San Fran and claim the game is bad because it's full of that shit when it really isn't. On a personal level it is valid to say it and condemn the whole thing, but as a general statement it just reeks of not seeing the forest from the trees.

    I could've handled the stupidity of the Fallout 3 writing if I had fun playing the game. The storyfaggotry in me is not that strong even if I do value good writing. I would've criticised it heavily, but I would've started with something like "Inspite the wholesale narrative idiocy..." instead of saying "The narrative idiocy only serves to amplify how horribly and irredeemably bad the whole thing is." For similiar reasons I do criticise New Vegas and shun that its shortcomings are so leniently and willingly shrugged off simply because it has a handful of captivating characters and quests designed up to par.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  12. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Vault Fossil

    Nov 26, 2007
    My earlier posting might (unintentionally) imply that I that I took issue with many of the [deemed wacky] encounters in Fallout 2, but actually I rather enjoyed the whale, and the scorpion, and Brain, the Bridgekeeper, and even Arthur and his knights.

    The issue was with the locations where some of these took place in the game. The scorpion was in the middle of town. Brain lead a cult in Gecko; the ghost wandered around that part of the slums in plain sight.

    The difference with the whale (or the TARDIS in FO1) is that it took place deep in the enigmatic wastelands left by the great war. The whale is an event seen by none but the PC—who may or may not have been lucid at the time, and in either case, it was not something they could explain, or plausibly bring to anyone's attention—or necessarily find on a return trip. I actually liked the (perhaps unintended) notion that the Heavy-Metal~esque atomic war in that preternatural setting could have even caused that; ( ignoring, and apart from the book passage that the encounter was obviously based upon).

    It was mysterious; like the UFO crash in FO1... Was it real? It had a framed painting of Elvis in it... was it a movie prop/set piece; was it a hoax? Brain was real; the PC could have walked upstairs and told of the cult, and of Brain; and the same with the ghost... it was 60' away from town residents. They could have returned in minutes, with others in tow. Besides even that... it's their town, the others would have long since found these encounters themselves. That means Marcus knew about the talking plants, and the bespectacled scorpion.

    This was the mistake of it—done several times over. This erased any trace (in those locations) of the atmosphere from the original game. This made Fallout 2 a Swiss cheese narrative; inclusive of "magic and all that other crap". It fostered a double standard with locations that faked the supernatural, and those that really had it.
    To me that's like if Riggs & Murtaugh sought aid from a [verified] psychic in a Lethal Weapon sequel. It even reminds me of an episode of the Love Boat, where Mickey Rooney played the real Santa Claus on holiday; complete with magical antics, including creating a 20 foot decorated Christmas tree on the deck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
    • [Like] [Like] x 5
  13. Kohno

    Kohno A Smooth-Skin

    Jul 30, 2009
    I'm of the unfortunate, or fortunate (depending on the point of view) bunch who started the series with 2. I saw all the jokes and puns, and the narrative shortcomings before I knew they were held in so great interest. But even after delving into the original title, I could not see the fault in anything but a bit of bad taste in passing. I wittnessed the jokes and knew they were out of place in where they simply didn't balance out the despair of the overall setting (for an example, think of Reno and Den and their wandering addicts, or the eerie outset of Vault City, no joke coulkd offset that). I took the jokes simply as they were; jokes. It did not bother the overall scheme because it was never a part of it. It was a side effect, and to be taken as such. I can understand the animosity towards them, it is certainly justified to not like that kind of humor, but I can not understand the notion them "ruining" the whoile thing because there really wasn't that much of it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  14. karadoc

    karadoc First time out of the vault

    Dec 14, 2016
    Speaking of unfinished content, I must say that I'm always very disappointed with the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 2. They're introduced early in the game and positioned to be a powerful secret organisation, with strong tech and outposts dotted in various cities. It always feels as though they're going to be a big deal.

    Then when it finally comes time to be given access to their facilities, it really seems like it's going to be a big deal. You have to get the vertibird plans, because the Brotherhood needs to be able to counter vertibirds ... it makes it seem like the Brotherhood has the resources and inclination to at least try to stand up against the Enclave. But then when you finally get the plans and are given access, there's nothing there but disappointment. The outposts are tiny and unstaffed. There's essentially no one in the Brotherhood at all. And the power-armour, which could be seen as a grand prize of joining the Brotherhood, is actually less powerful than what you can just pick up off the shelf during the vertibird quest.

    So the whole thing just feels hollow. They build it up, and then when you finally get in all you get is a few cupboards to loot. That's it. Really. Joining the Rangers is far more rewarding. At least with the Rangers you get additional outposts on the world map, special events with team fights, and a sense of purpose from trying to fight slavers. With the Brotherhood, you get nothing. It's such a let down. They were so much better in Fallout 1. _Surely_ there were bigger plans for the Brotherhood in Fallout 2 which were just not finished.
     
  15. Risewild

    Risewild So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Maybe it's to teach the lesson that not all the glitters is gold. :lmao:
     
  16. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    It's true that BoS in FO2 is anti-climactic by the time you discover their base in San Fran. That city as a whole was underdeveloped and same goes for BoS, if you ask me. They obviously were intended to have a bigger role than what we got, but I don't think it was supposed to be much bigger. By the time of FO2 BoS is already losing its shape and its strength is dwindling.
    So Risewild has a point there, the presentation we got was somewhat purposeful. BoS isn't all that relevant anymore, things are changing in the wastes, except for war. Fits well with the series' theme.
     
  17. karadoc

    karadoc First time out of the vault

    Dec 14, 2016
    I appreciate that they aren't meant to be as powerful as they were in the past; but I just want them to do something. They talk about building vertibirds; and they apparently have spies or something to get info about the chosen one early in the game; they have a few outposts... So apparently they're not a completely useless organisation. But where are they all? Aside from the guards outside the outposts, they just seem non-existent. So where did they get their info? What are they going to do with the plans? Why do they have outposts at all? It doesn't really make sense to me.

    I reckon it would feel a lot better with just a little bit more content. I'd like to see a few characters in a workshop somewhere; maybe they could just say a few words about their goals and limitations. Anything really. The shop in San Fran is bizarrely well stocked compared to every other shop in the game - maybe it would be better if some of the rarer stuff was sold by an merchant inside the Brotherhood instead.

    As I said, I think the Rangers are far more rewarding for the player; and it's not like they are some high-tech super power or anything like that. They're just more fun because they actually do stuff and have an obvious purpose.
     
  18. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010

    All true. All of the things you've mentioned I attribute to the fact that San Fran is on of the most underdeveloped populated area in all the Fallout games I've played, if not the most. It's certainly the biggest offender in my book, since it's basically the final area before the endgame, and one through which every character must go through (not interact with it, however, but still).
    In any case, BoS suffered in that regard very much. Unfortunately, BoS' poor representation is hardly the worst thing in that game, so most people (me included) tend to turn a blind eye.
     
  19. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Vault Fossil

    Nov 26, 2007
    They were an optional encounter in Fallout (1) AFAIK; and didn't really exist in Fallout 2; just the doorman in front of an abandoned outpost.
     
    • [Like] [Like] x 1