After Fallout 1 and 2 from Black Isle Studios in Interplay, another one of the development teams, 14 Degrees East (also of Interplay) began work on a strategy game based on the Fallout universe. In this game you control members of the Brotherhood of Steel in combat situations. Unlike the original Fallout games you have the choice of either turn based or real time combat. Characters still develop skills and gain experience, and there are still people to talk to and items to gather, but the focus is on tactical engagement rather than telling a story and exploring a world.

Update: It seems Microforte was the team to do most of the development.

The sound effects, like in many games, were added at the very end of the development cycle.

Like nevalnin said, Fallout Tactics is much more about tactical combat than it is storytelling, although there are are a smattering of mini-quests and intermission briefings which give updates to what's going on in the world while you're saving it.

Continuous Turn-Based (CTB): This is what FT calls real-time combat. You have a certain number of action points, which all actions use, and regenerate at a rate based on your agility skill and certain perks or traits you may have allocated to your character. All players perform actions simultaneously during CTB, including enemies. You can alter your players' disposition to three levels of awareness: Hold your fire, Fire if fired upon, and Fire at will. Unless you are performing stealth, Fire at will is your best bet, if you're using CTB at all. Some players prefer the old standard turn based way, but I've found it gives the game dreadfully slow pacing, and most missions are not so hazardous that you need the precision that turn-based gives you.

Energy Weapons: Like Fallout 1 and 2, you eventually graduate from conventional weaponry like pistols, automatic rifles, and even miniguns to plasma pistols and rifles. These are extremely important because you'll be fighting humanoid robots (and worse stuff), and they have an automatic 50% damage resistance. Whereas before you may have done over 200 points damage to a raider with your massive Vindicator minigun, you may only do 5 or 6 points to a robot. This is bad. I waited too long to start investing my skill points in Energy Weapons; don't make the same mistake. You WILL need them.

Miniguns: Miniguns, like the Avenger and its big brother, the Vindicator (TWO of which you can nab from a special encounter involving two Brotherhood of Steel guards if you're lucky enough to find them), are, IMO, even more useful than they were in Fallout 1 and 2. There are more players available with the Big Guns skill, ammo for them is relatively plentiful, and they're tremendously effective--especially at close range. A great tactic: if an enemy is crouching behind a sandbag wall, approach him with your minigunner while crawling, and then stand up once you reach the wall. A point blank blast from a minigun will annihilate most opponents.

Warning:

A lot of people (specifically, Fallout fans) were disappointed by this game, as the premise is somewhat misleading. Fallout Tactics isn't another Fallout game. It's not Fallout 3, and it doesn't have anything to do with the first or seconds' stories. While it does in fact use Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system, this and the game world are all this game has in common with the originals.

This might sound kind of silly. After all, sharing an entire game universe, in theory, would probably mean they share a lot in common: but the gameplay in these two games are totally different. In Fallouts one and two, you were a lone badass sent off on your own to explore the post-nuclear wasteland. Along the way, you might have picked up a few other stray co-badasses, but ultimately you were only responsible for yourself.

Fallout Tactics, on the other hand, will appeal more to fans of strategy games than RPGs (X-Com comes to mind). You have to manage a squad of up to 6 characters in either a turn-based or a modified, pseudo-real-time mode.

Perhaps the biggest change, to me, is the story style; instead of the free, open-ended world in the originals, Fallout Tactics is a completely linear, mission-based game. This is what turned me off from the game. Fallout 1 & 2's charm was that you could go pretty much anywhere at any time, and play your character however you wanted to. While Fallout Tactics does present different ways of solving a good number of the given missions, it's lacking the pure number of options that the previous games had. Don't expect to become a Porn Star, Professional Boxer/Prizefighter or a Slaver in Fallout Tactics.

Bottom Line: Don't buy Fallout Tactics just because you liked the first two games. It isn't Fallout 3, or even Fallout 2.5. It's a completely different type of game that simply takes place in the same game world. If you like Strategy games like X-Com and other squad-based tactical games, go for it. If that's not your thing, then wait for Fallout 3 (Whenever that's coming).

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