Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is a downloadable mix of turn-based RPG and post-apocalyptic strategy. The game is a part of a very well-known series, but perhaps one that is somehow forgotten. It’s worth to know that though more well known today for their first-person shooter-style role-playing games, the Fallout series actually takes its inspiration and spiritual roots from a PC tactical RPG called Wasteland.
Even while Fallout and Fallout 2 took Wasteland’s squad-based combat and tailored it for a single-player experience, the bare-bones structure introduced by Wasteland remains in the narrative-heavy stories from Interplay.
But Fallout did not entirely abandon the concept of a squad-based game and, in fact, introduced such a title in the little known but much loved classic Fallout Tactics.
How to Download Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel
The game is available for download from the GOG.com and Steam platforms. To start downloading click on the button at the end of the review. If you like squad-based games sure to also check the alien-invasion-themed XCOM 2 or the mercenary adventure Jagged Alliance: Rage!.
The RPG Review
Developed by Micro Forted and published now by Bethesda for digital download, Fallout Tactics takes place in the universe introduced in the first two games but does not continue the story introduced in those games.
In this iteration of Fallout, players assume control over a squad of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers. Naturally, there are factions and a world riven with conflicts at which your group is at the center.
The story, for its part, fits well within the established post-apocalyptic themes of 1950s Americana that the other two games introduced and which the series today lavishes on its titles like thick mascara.
Without giving too much away, the story basically revolves around the Brotherhood of Steel in a war with a robotic army that is taking over much of the area of the destroyed city of Chicago.
Modern gamers who are not familiar with the more restrained approach of the first two games in the Fallout series might be taken aback by how restrained the lore is in Fallout Tactics but it nonetheless fits in well with the style established by the Interplay games.
This means that graphically Fallout Tactics borrows much from the other two games before it and the music, by legendary composer Inon Zur, does not disappoint either. Where this game stands out in the light of its modern incarnations and those of the past is in the game’s focus on tactical, squad-based combat.
Another jarring though canonically realistic aspect of Fallout Tactics is the lack of towns and exploration. Instead, players are fixed to their bunkers which act as hubs for activity and narrative. Interaction with non-player characters isn’t nearly as dynamic as in the previous two games but you can nonetheless trade and get the necessities of the game taken care of in these areas.
The original games told great stories in what felt like an emergent way. Fallout Tactics is much more directed in this area because of the nature of the gameplay. Prior to combat squads are given an outline of the mission by their commander and, after which, they are dispatched to an enclosed area that might be a vault, town, or abandoned factory. This is where combat takes place with three different styles on offer as opposed to the VATS system of the entry titles.
These modes are called Continuous Turn-Based (CTB), Individual Turn-Based (ITB), and Squad Turn-Based (STB) and have a radical impact on how the game plays. CTB is most analogous to Square’s classic real-time battle system employed in the Final Fantasy titles.
Action points regenerate continuously and characters can act as soon as this is filled. The other two modes approximate the first and second game.
As in other tactical RPGs like Battle Tactics Ogre or the Fire Emblem series, everything from movement to the direction you are facing comes into play, giving the combat a depth that sets it apart from its forebears. The release of Fallout 3 prompted Bethesda to declare this title non-canon for the series but it is still worth a playthrough for fans of Fallout and tactical RPGs.