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Posted by Odin

Fallout Tactics

Publisher: Interplay
Developer: 14° East and Micro-Forté
Release date: Quarter 1 2001
Release date demo: Late Nov, Early December 2000


Fallout:

The radioactive dust in the air after a nuclear explosion Fallout is also the unpleasant results or effects of an action or event. A fallout shelter is a strong building, usually under the ground, intended to keep people safe from the dust in the air after a nuclear explosion.

Or to a gamer:

A Post-Apocalyptic RPG game made by Interplay, it started it's success in August 1997.

Set in the aftermath of a world-wide nuclear war, Fallout will challenge you to survive in an unknown and dangerous world. You will take the role of a Vault-dweller, a person who has grown up in a secluded, underground survival Vault. Circumstances arise that force you to go Outside -- to a strange world 80 years after the end of the modern civilization. A world of mutants, radiation, gangs and violence.


    It’s been 3 years since then, and two Fallout games have emerged from Interplay’s offices, Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. These intriguing RPG adventure games took the gamers by surprise, with its witty black humor, it’s massive story and it’s freedom to do what ever you wanted in the game. You were in complete control of your character.</p>


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    Now Interplay has come up with a new Fallout, Fallout Tactics - The Brotherhood of Steel.

    As many of you fans remember The Brotherhood of Steel was the techno-religious military organization from Fallout 1, dedicated to restoring the world to its former prosperity through science.
    The ones with the incredible Power Armor, featured on Fallout’s cover.

    The mayor difference this time is that this is not an RPG game, it’s a squad-based, third person tactical combat game with RPG character development and a mission-based story line.

    Highly influenced by the X-Com series, Jagged Alliance series and Final Fantasy Tactics, Interplay has set out to publish a new genre in the Fallout Universe.


Story

    This time The Brotherhood has sent a force of BoS warriors to locate the Mutant Army that rampaged the Fallout 1’s territory. This Mutant Army went East (The radioactive hell known as Back East), as many of you probably remember, and that’s where the action is.

    Something goes wrong and the expedition crashes into the middle of North America, near Chicago, many are killed or lost in the crash. The player is a local, recruited to their ranks. He is a newcomer to the politics of the Brotherhood, but quickly rises to become a squad-leader. Now the lost Brotherhood must do two things: find the super-mutant army and find their way home.

    You will have a chance to control more and more characters as a squad leader. Your squad can consist of a maximum of six characters, including your character.



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    You will have to assemble your squad, before any missions, of a pool of 40 recruits. You will also have to recruit people from the surrounding area.

    The game's storyline is divided up into separate stages/chapters, each involving a variety of tasks and encounters. Each encounter is called a mission, there will be 30 missions, some of which are required to advance the storyline and some of which are optional, the player has some control over the mission selection within each chapter.

    Before each mission there will be a briefing where you will obtain your goals, what is known about the area you’re supposed to go into, and also an de-briefing after completion of the mission.

    Your actions in one mission can affect the later missions, and you also have different ways to complete a mission (mostly combat-oriented). Chris told us that there are unethical ways to complete a mission, but as long as you complete the goal, that the BoS leaders have put, you can probably do as you like.

    There are multiple endings for this game, depending on how you played it.


Features

    You will control each squad member directly to achieve a variety of tactical goals, such as Scout, Locate, Deploy, Patrol, Attack, Defend, Retrieve, Destroy, Follow and Ambush.

    You can also control a variety of vehicles in this game, from single person scouts to 6 person armored carriers. Some of the vehicles that have been revealed are a scout (for looking around), an APC (for moving troops quickly), an assault vehicle (for blowing stuff up) and a general-purpose vehicle (for when you don't know what you will need).
    Of course the terrain has some disadvantages to a vehicle compared to infantry, some places the vehicles can’t go and the troops can. As a soldier you can also target the driver of the vehicle to disable the vehicle, and also blow the vehicle up, of course. Vehicles can also carry equipment.

    There are plenty of new weapons to choose from, the amount of weapons will probably be the same as the previous stages, only with more real-life like weapons. Ammo can be obtained in the newly established BoS base, on the combat ground, from traders and also in ammo dumps scattered around the map.

    Demolition is a new skill, and with this comes traps. Yes, you heard right, you’re now able to place mines and other traps.


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    There will also be a limited weapons upgrade system, on a per weapon basis, that will improve various attributes of each weapon.

    There are also non-lethal weapons where you can knockout your enemies, so they fall into an ‘Unconscious’ state, which is a new one. Also a new state is the new Dying state, where you can revive your soldiers before they die.

    A brand new feature in FT-BoS is true elevation, you can now go prone, and crouch with you soldiers. And of course the buildings are also elevated, so you can go high and snipe at an attacking force.

    The field of view have also been upgraded, Fallout Tactics will use real line of sight, so you can hide your soldiers behind objects.

    You will have the classic Turn-Based play and also a new one called Continuous Turn-Based play (CTB). In CTB you can walk in real time, but actions such as running, shooting etc. require action points, action point will regenerate over time.

    The SPECIAL system (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck) is also included in this game, and of course the good old perks are included.

    Perks work the same as they did in the other Fallout games. As your character improves, you get chances to pick new Perks. These add specific abilities to your character (like the ability to shoot guns faster, do more damage in Hand to Hand combat, be more resistant to poison, get more information when you look at people and so on). Some of the old perks were removed (those that dealt specifically with dialogue, for example). There are also added new perks (those associated with demolitions or vehicles, for the most part).

    There are also race specific Perks now.


Multiplayer

    And of course FOT will feature Multiplayer , one thing the fans have been waiting for.

    You can have a maximum of 18 players, controlling 36 squad members. There are different multiplayer modes, Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and others. Probably some sort of Tag variant. But to the disappointment of many fans, FT-BoS’s official matching service on the internet will be Mplayer.


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    But as Chris and others have pointed out, Tactics use TCP/IP, so you should be able to set-up a game without using Mplayer. The multiplayer games are server-based.

    Currently you cannot save your multiplayer games, with the experience your team has acquired through the games you have played.

    When creating a multiplayer game, you as the host will be able to set a maximum number of experience points to give out to the different squads. Meaning you can play with just 2 soldiers that are medium level or 6 that are low-level or as Chris said it: When you create characters for multiplayer (or select them), their levels can be limited by the host. There is a point balancing mechanism, as well. So the host can say: 1000 points. That translates into six low level characters, three medium level characters or one high level character.



Graphic Engine

    They’ve also made a brand new graphics engine, which will feature 3D acceleration , resolutions ranging from 800x600 to 1280x1024 in 16-bits and 32-bits color. It’s still tile-based 2D.

    It supports higher resolution, hardware cards and all the modern technologies (like Direct-X). Within the game, it supports true elevations, a real LOS system and improved lighting.


Developers

    This time Interplay isn’t the developer, the developer is Micro-Forté, the division is 14° East and the publisher is Interplay Entertainment Corp.

    Micro-Forté is doing the actual programming and art, and the majority of the design. 14° is doing the audio and works with MF on the design. Interplay is making the box and putting it into the hands of our fans! (Chris Taylor, Senior Game Designer, 14° East)


Verdict

    Well I got to say that when I first read about this new Fallout, I though: “Yes, at last.., and after reading some more I found out that it wasn’t an RPG. Which disappointed me somewhat, but since I’ve been a fan of the X-Com series and the Jagged Alliance series, it intrigued me.


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    This game is a natural evolution for Fallout (I’m not saying it’s a replacement for Fallout 3), just imagine all the other games that could be based upon the Fallout universe. Squad based tactical combat games are also popular, just look at the reviews that Jagged Alliance have gotten. They also sell big too, meaning more money for Interplay, meaning more Fallout for us.

    Graphically this game looks great, with its new engine it revived the Fallout look, giving it a new crispy, up-todate look. And also the new features in the engine are great, elevation, Line of Sight etc.. are something that’s captured my desire to play this game.

    I’m sure all the other fans of Fallout are eagerly awaiting the Fallout tactics demo, which is due in December 2000. Meaning a Christmas present for all of us from Interplay.

    And to conclude the series of 7 brand new screenshots, take a look at these:



    Thanks goes out to Chris Taylor, for being such a sport and answer questions from the fans, Kreegle for his great FAQ, Ed Orman from Micro-Forté and Heather, Interplay's PR!


Atle ‘Odin’ Wilson
Webmaster@NMA
No Mutants Allowed