Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel

aka: Fallout Tactics: BoS, Fallout Tactics: Die stählerne Bruderschaft
Moby ID: 3552
Windows Specs
Buy on Windows
$9.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

After the great war, the wasteland is inhabited by a wide variety of mutated species... And one force of order and justice: the Brotherhood of Steel. As a new initiate to the Brotherhood, you will undertake different missions to take on Raiders and such as you attempt to protect the fragile respawning of civilization... and discover the new threat to the west...

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is essentially the combat portion of the original Fallout series, with a new campaign, graphical polish, a set of random encounters, and a world map. The emphasis is on squad tactics and tactical combat, though your characters will grow like in any RPG.

Spellings

  • 異塵餘生戰略版:鋼鐵兄弟會 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 辐射战略版:钢铁兄弟会 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

199 People (195 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 35 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 92 ratings with 10 reviews)

Much Steel, little Brotherhood, even less Tactics.

The Good
Having played Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, and greatly enjoyed them, I had kept on the look-out for a copy of Fallout Tactics and eventually found one in a bargain bin, sans manual alas. The lack of a manual was annoying, but the familiar interface made up for it. You soon figure out what's what, and the designers are to be commended for having stuck with what worked, with only minor changes, easily guessed without having to turn to a manual.

I had read that the game was so buggy as to be almost unplayable. Not so in my experience, and mine is version 1.13. In perhaps 20 hours of play it might have crashed four or five times on me, not enough aggravation to have me try and download the mammoth patch, an impossible task for someone like me with only a snail-pace copperwire connexion.

So there I was, happy with my purchase, eager to play.

The Bad
It takes a while to figure out the three combat modes in practice, and that the individual-turn mode is quite useless: you must spend all of an NPC's action points before you can issue your orders to another NPC.

It is exceedingly easy to make a wrong move. I discovered that in my first encounter with wasps. I clicked on the target-like icon beneath a wasp. Silly me. Instead of shooting at the wasp, I found myself running towards it. Even armed with this dearly acquired knowledge I made the same mistake again and again even against more obvious opponents. You have to watch the cursor very carefully: am I going to shoot that, or to run towards it? It is a matter of a few pixels off. And a matter of life and death. Worse: there is a dead Raider there, and you want to move there where he lies in a pool of blood. If you are not careful, if you do not pay close attention to the mouse pointer, you will likely find yourself running and looting the corpse, and wasting precious action points. Once again, death for a fistful of pixels. In the excitement of the action, who is going to engage in pixel hunting? I even managed to destroy our Hummer twice, clicking the wrong mouse button.

Keeping your NPCs in formation is also impossible but in the most trivial of circumstances and on plain terrain. For instance, I had Farsight standing behind Stitch crouching, weapons at the ready. When I instructed them to move ahead, Farsight ran ahead of Stitch! Then Stitch slowly crawled ahead of her. Another time I had Farsight, Stitch and Buffy (shades of Fallout 2!) in a room encumbered with benches. The paths they took to move to the other end of that room... rats in a maze, and very dumb rats too. Formation is not conserved either when the lead NPC goes to loot a corpse or to activate a switch. You have to manually return him or her to the proper hex. Do not even ever consider moving your squad up or down stairs or ladders, even a three-men squad. More often than not, one will end up stuck under the stairs, another half-way up, and you will have to re-group them manually.

All this makes for difficult, tedious play. I have seldom been successful in catching enemies in a cross-fire. It is all hit-and-miss pixel hunting, and you never quite have a clear knowledge of how many action points you will have left after your carefully planned move. This is unacceptable for a game that calls itself "Tactics". Soon, you find that you are often much better off trusting the computer with your moves by switching to CTB mode.

Fallout 1 and 2 suffered from incomprehensible line of sight. You had to pace to and fro past a window until you hit a line of sight that allowed you to shoot that ghoul inside. You could see the ghoul, but you could not draw a bead on it. Fallout Tactics suffers from the same flaw. Again, this is unacceptable for a game that calls itself "Tactics".

Fallout 1 and 2 had engaging NPCs. Think of Sulik and his Grampy Bone! You had many ways of dealing with each "mission", rather, each location. You could become a slaver in Den, you could... I have even seen walkthroughs were you did not kill anything, not even a rat. No such choices here. In Osceolla I was hoping to join up with Gimmon. I was thinking in terms of Fallout 1 and 2. No such opportunity here. The game is linear. No choice anywhere. You cannot even get out of a location before you have completed your mission. In Macomb you meet a Raider who offers you information in exchange for food. You have none. There is none to be had in Macomb. So what do you do? You cannot leave Macomb and get some, as you would have done in Fallout 1 and 2. When you roam the wilderness you will never, ever, come across any town. Their locations have to be revealed unto thee by General Barnaky or General Dekker when and only when thou hast completed thy assigned mission. Grotesque. And roaming the wilderness is a pain in the... yes. Random encounters galore, over which you have absolutely no control. I got so sick of it that I downloaded an editor and pumped Buffy's outdoorsman skill up to 100%. Even so, every few millimetres on the world map, I had to click "No" to every encounters. I tried hitting Escape, but the wretched thing misunderstood it as "Yes" :-(

The Bottom Line
Compared to Fallout 1 and 2? A disaster. You might enjoy it otherwise, but the only half-interesting way to play it is through the trainer by NM!LS/EYM. You don't have to resort to God mode. Ctrl-W (W for "Warp") will save you enough boring running around when, your mission completed, you have to wend your way to evacuation point. And don't forget to pump yourself up to 100% outdoorsmanship using a character editor. Otherwise you will die of anger and frustration moving from town A to town B on the world map.

Windows · by Jacques Guy (52) · 2004

A fairly good continuation of the Fallout Series.

The Good
This grime, continuing in the tradition of Fallout 1 & 2, is gritty, grimy, and dirty (in more ways than one). Having control over an entire squad of characters enables you to realistically change the environment of the wasteland without having to play a Messionic character. The plot is fairly strong and, though it has its occasional holes, it provides a nice backdrop for splattering mutants.

The Bad
Unfortunately, you don't have as much control over your squad as might be nice some times. There is a formation system, but it falls short of being as useful as it could be. Additionally, you can go through a good 2/3 of the game and find yourself with totally inadequate characters for completing it. With some careful planning you're alright.... but the first time through can be murderously difficult without that foresight

The Bottom Line
A tactically-based combat game with just a pinch of roleplaying, Fallout : BOS is a continuation of the acclaimed Fallout series. Prepare to roll up your sleeves and do some dirty work, as you get the "opportunity" to duke it out with several mutated creatures and races of the wastelands, some of whom are smarter than others.

Windows · by Michael Miller (2) · 2001

A fun combination of RPG and strategy that is marred by a general lack of polish

The Good
The strategy and RPG elements of Fallout Tactics are top notch. It is possible to create just about any character or combination of characters you ever wanted to play either single player or multiplayer. The variety of play modes (Continuous Turn-Based, Squad Turn-Based, and Individual Turn-Based) allow you to try out a lot of different playing styles. Finally, the addition of vehicles and better traps (land mines, remote detonation devices) to the game was a great enhancement to an already fun combat system introduced in the RPGs.

The Bad
The Fallout series is known as much for its glitches and bugs as for its engrossing story and distinctive characters. Fallout Tactics is no exception. Unfortunately, random crashes and a lack of polish abound, giving me the impression that the game was released a month too early. Examples of the more glaring problems include: random crashes, misspelled dialogue, and making a mission unsolvable if you don't do objectives in the "correct" order (this happened to me in Junction City).

Finally, the opening movie and cutscenes in Fallout Tactics are not nearly as fun as the movies in the previous Fallout games. This may be a minor point, but it is a shame they didn't continue the great Fallout tradition of having excellent opening movies.

The Bottom Line
Fallout Tactics is an impressive blend of an RPG and turn-based squad warfare that is a fun single or multiplayer game despite its lack of polish.

Windows · by Droog (460) · 2001

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
never played fallout, start with fallout tactics? cow (333) Dec 22, 2007

Trivia

Art

Fallout Tactics did NOT use any of the arts used in previous Fallout games. Interplay was unable to retrieve the archive of previous art on the backup tape. This caused quite a bit of problems for the developer as extra artists had to be hired to redo all the art from scratch.

Corrupt files

Following the tradition of "fatal bugs" that have plagued the Fallout series and which prompt you to get a patch right from the start, Fallout Tactics was initially released with some corrupt files in a batch of "bad" CDs that make it literally impossible to play. The only fix for this is to download a 85MB file from the Interplay's FT:BOS site and replace it following a series of precise instructions. That is in addition to the regular bug patches.

Development

MicroForte was contracted by 14 Degrees East to do Fallout Tactics. They caught Interplay's attention when they demoed a game featuring their isometric game engine. Interplay didn't like the game, but liked the engine well enough they suggested MicroForte to do Fallout Tactics instead.

Endings

There are four different endings, depending on your final choices. Destroy, send someone else, or submit? The last depends on how much karma you got.

Extras

Fallout Tactics had a special bonus mission CD that was available only by pre-ordering the game from Interplay or certain outlets (Amazon, etc).

German version

In the German version all blood and death animations were removed.

GOG release

In December 2013, Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics were given away for free on the download distribution platform GOG. This was the last month Interplay had the distribution rights for the games before they went to Bethesda. The games were pulled from GOG on January 01, 2014. They were readded to the catalogue with Bethesda as publisher on August 26, 2015.

Photoshop

If you try playing Fallout Tactics with Photoshop running, you'll be told Fallout Tactics cannot run "due to Photoshop's evil presence."

References

The "stinky meat platter" you find in various places throughout the game is probably a nod to Mahlon Smith's "StinkyMeat Project". As of 2001 it was available at http://www.thespark.com/science/stinkymeat/

References

  • The game has many pop-culture references that mentions everything from Diablo (the game) and Everquest (the game) to the movies The Terminator, Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, The Space Race, Pitch Black (the character Riddick makes an appearance) and plenty of things in between.
  • Morte from Planescape: Torment, does a little cameo in a special encounter. As you can see in the screenshots section.

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang, kbmb, Kyle Levesque, Zovni and Evolyzer

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Windows Apps added by Koterminus.

Additional contributors: Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe, Kasey Chang, Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, Vaelor, LepricahnsGold, 6⅞ of Nine, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Evolyzer.

Game added April 3, 2001. Last modified February 13, 2024.