Fallout 2

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Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game
PC Game Fallout 2.jpg
Developer(s)Black Isle Studios
Publisher(s)Interplay Productions
Producer(s)Eric DeMilt
Feargus Urquhart
Designer(s)Feargus Urquhart
Matt Norton
Programmer(s)Jesse Reynolds
Artist(s)Gary Platner
Writer(s)Mark O'Green
Composer(s)Mark Morgan
ReleaseOctober 29, 1998[1]
Mode(s)Single player

Fallout 2: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game is a turn-based role-playing open world video game developed by Black Isle Studios and published by Interplay Productions in October, 1998. While featuring a considerably larger game world and a far more extensive storyline, it mostly uses similar graphics and game mechanics to those of Fallout which was released one year earlier. It was released on both MacOS X and Windows platforms.

The game's story takes place in 2241, 80 years after the events of Fallout (the first and original installment of the Fallout series) and 164 years after the atomic war which reduced the vast majority of the world to a nuclear wasteland.[2] The plot tells the story of The Chosen One, the grandchild of the Vault Dweller and their quest to save their primitive, peaceful tribe from the small village of Arroyo situated on the West Coast and founded by a wretched group of former residents of Vault 13 led by the protagonist of Fallout from starvation by finding an ancient environmental restoration machine known as the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK) back from the tribe's ancestral home.[3] Upon completing the mission, however, The Chosen One discovers that his village was kidnapped by The Enclave, an unlawful and evil faction which poses as the continuators of pre-war US government.

In terms of critical acclaim, the game was well-received as well as tremendously praised for its gameplay, storyline, and as a worthy successor to the original Fallout, while the frequent bugs and lack of improvement over the first game attracted mild criticism on behalf of several gamer groups and gaming magazines.


An example of dialogue between characters in Fallout 2

Fallout 2 is a role-playing open-world video game. The player is free to move at will until they enter into combat. Combat gives them a number of action points to move, fire, check their equipment, reload and the like. When a player uses up all of their action points, they end their turn and enemies start theirs. If the player survives unharmed, he or she has their action points restored. Injuries and poisons can reduce the number of action points available both in a single turn and semi-permanently, until combat ends and the player can be treated.

Combat and completion of jobs or quests reward the player with experience points with which they can level up their characters and apply beneficial perks to become more suited to the dangerous post-apocalyptic world. General gameplay consists of traveling and interacting with local inhabitants and organizations to complete goals and aid or inhibit the NPCs. The player's actions dictate what future story or gameplay opportunities are available. Mature themes such as alcohol consumption, drug usage, and sex are present.

Organized crime, prostitution, and slavery are major elements of the setting. Character creation is based on the SPECIAL role-playing system.


In 2241, the primitive town Arroyo suffers the worst drought on record. Faced with the calamity, the village elder asks the direct descendant of the Vault Dweller, referred to as the Chosen One, to perform the quest of retrieving a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK) for Arroyo. The GECK is a device that can create thriving communities out of the post-apocalyptic wasteland.[3] The player, assuming the role of the Chosen One, is given nothing more than the Vault Dweller's jumpsuit, a RobCo PIPBoy 2000, a Vault 13 water flask, a spear and some cash to start on their mission.

The Chosen One eventually finds Vault 13, the supposed location of a GECK, devoid of the majority of its former human inhabitants and instead inhabited by intelligent Deathclaws. The Chosen One then returns to find their village captured by the deep state remnants of the United States government known as "The Enclave". The Enclave often terrorizes the inhabitants of continental United States with their supreme arsenal of advanced technology. The Chosen One, through various means, activates an ancient oil tanker and engages its autopilot, thus allowing them to reach the Enclave's main base on an offshore oil rig. It is revealed that the dwellers of Vault 13 were captured as well, to be used as test subjects for Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). Vault 13 was supposed to be closed for 200 years as part of a government experiment,[2] making them perfect test subjects. The Enclave modified the Forced Evolutionary Virus into an airborne disease, designed to attack any living creatures with mutated DNA. With all genetic impurities removed, the Enclave (who remain protected from radiation) could take over. The Chosen One frees both their fellow villagers from Arroyo and the Vault 13 dwellers from Enclave control and subsequently destroys the Enclave's oil rig, killing Dick Richardson, the President of the United States, as well as a genetically modified Secret Service enforcer named Frank Horrigan. In the end, the inhabitants of Vault 13 and the Arroyo villagers create a new prosperous community with the help of the GECK.


Tim Cain announced Fallout 2 via a Usenet posting in December, 1997.[4] In an interview with Interplay founder Brian Fargo for Retro Gamer, Fargo stated that production of Fallout 2 began before Fallout 1 had even been released.[5] According to co-founder of Black Isle Studios Feargus Urquhart, Interplay was experiencing financial difficulties at the beginning of 1998, which according to Urquhart, gave the studio "basically nine months to make the whole game".[6] In order to reach this deadline, many staff were taken from the Planescape: Torment development team and made to work on Fallout 2. Additionally, the development team were also made to work crunch time to make up for a lack of manpower and time.[7]



Fallout 2 was a commercial success.[8] Upon its release, it secured third place on PC Data's computer game sales chart for the first week of November 1998. It was absent from the weekly top 10 by its second week[9] but debuted at #20 for the month of November overall in the United States.[10] In that country alone, it sold 123,000 copies by March 2000. GameSpot's writer Desslock considered these "very good sales, especially since the overall [worldwide] figures are likely double those amounts."[8] According to Keza MacDonald of Eurogamer, Fallout 2 was unsuccessful in the United Kingdom; she noted that the game and its predecessor totaled just over 50,000 sales combined in the region.[11]

Critical reviews[edit]

Fallout 2 received positive reviews from critics, according to online review aggregators Metacritic and GameRankings. Positive reviewers praised the gameplay, storyline, and worthiness as a successor to the original Fallout, while detractors criticized frequent bugs and lack of improvement over the first game. Daniel Morris of GamePro praised the mix of action and character interaction as well as the non-linear gameplay.[13] IGN applauded the developers for the sizable game world, the writing, and "not fixing something that wasn't broken."[16] Game Revolution praised the game's depth and storyline but criticized its graphics and interface.[24]

Fallout 2 was a finalist for Computer Gaming World's "Best RPG", GameSpot's "Role-playing Game of the Year", CNET Gamecenter's "Best RPG of 1998", IGN's "Best RPG of the Year" and the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' "Role Playing Game of the Year" awards, all of which ultimately went to Baldur's Gate.[25][26][27][28][29] The editors of GameSpot wrote, "A bigger, better Fallout, this sequel to 1997's RPG of the Year was populated with more characters, more places to go, and more things to do."[26]


In 2013, GamesRadar ranked Fallout 2 number 68 on their list of top video games of all time.[30] That same year, IGN ranked it as the 28th best role-playing video game ever.[31] In 2015, PC Gamer ranked the game #3 on its list of best RPGs of all time.[21]


  1. ^ Mullen, Micheal (October 26, 1998). "Fallout 2 Ships". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 10, 2000. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Avellone, Chris (March 8, 2002). "Fallout Bible 0". Black Isle. Archived from the original on December 26, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "The Story". Fallout 2 Website. Interplay. 1998. Archived from the original on December 4, 2003. Retrieved September 3, 2006.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 6, 1999. Retrieved August 16, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  8. ^ a b Desslock (May 11, 2000). "Desslock's Ramblings – RPG Sales Figures". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 3, 2001.
  9. ^ Feldman, Curt (November 25, 1998). "Top Sellers of the Week". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 9, 2000. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Mayer, Robert (December 13, 1998). "November Belongs to Deer Hunter 2 3D". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on April 6, 2005. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  11. ^ MacDonald, Keza (October 27, 2008). "Fallout Retrospective". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  12. ^ House, Michael L. "Fallout 2 - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Morris, Daniel (January 1, 2000). "Fallout 2". GamePro. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
  14. ^ Scorpia (February 1999). "Help Me, I'm Falling". Computer Gaming World (175): 214, 216.
  15. ^ "Fallout 2 Review". GameSpot. December 9, 1998. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Fallout 2" (November 13, 1998). IGN. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
  17. ^ Vaughn, Todd (February 1999). "Fallout 2". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on January 16, 2000.
  18. ^ Mayer, Robert (November 13, 1998). "Fallout 2". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on November 5, 2002.
  19. ^ Staff (February 1999). "Fallout 2". Next Generation (50): 98.
  20. ^ Barrick, Gordon. "Fallout 2 Review". PC Gaming World. Archived from the original on August 19, 2000.
  21. ^ a b Banks, Cory; Johnson, Leif (December 18, 2015). "The best RPGs of all time". PC Gamer. Future US. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  22. ^ "Fallout 2 for PC". GameRankings. Archived from the original on July 16, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
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  24. ^ "A kiss to build a dream on..." Game Revolution. February 1, 1999. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
  25. ^ The Gamecenter Editors (January 29, 1999). "The CNET Gamecenter.com Awards for 1998". CNET Gamecenter. Archived from the original on December 16, 2000. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  26. ^ a b Staff. "GameSpot's Best and Worst of 1998". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000.
  27. ^ IGN Staff (January 29, 1999). "IGNPC's Best of 1998 Awards". IGN. Archived from the original on April 4, 2002. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  28. ^ "Second Interactive Achievement Awards; Personal Computer". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on November 4, 1999.
  29. ^ Staff (April 1999). "Computer Gaming World's 1999 Premier Awards; CGW Presents the Best Games of 1998". Computer Gaming World (177): 90, 93, 96–105.
  30. ^ "GamesRadar Top 100". GamesRadar. February 15, 2013. p. 37. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  31. ^ "IGN Top 100 RPGs (Fallout 2)". IGN.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2013.

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