May 30, 2014

Let's Talk About Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and The Rape of Fallout

Author's Note: All bets are off on this one. I will be swearing like a sailor. I apologize if this is not great for you, but you need to understand that I only beat this game last month; The scars are still fresh.

This is my hell.

Okay, rather than start this thing off ranting and raving, I figure some more context is in order. Let's say you were a Fallout fan, circa 2004. You have been waiting 5 years for Fallout 3. You follow the Interplay news very closely, you go on No Mutants Allowed all the time, and you even pre-ordered Fallout Tactics and played all the way through, even though you hated it for not being what they said it would be. But you can handle all that, you know 3 is coming, it's gotta be! That's when you hear about this game. I don't think you could have made this thing more unappealing if you tried: an action oriented, top down shooter that took place in Texas of all places and once again starred those shiny boring guys The Brotherhood of Steel. If that wasn't enough to get any Fallout fan typing death threats, wrap your head around this one: Console exclusive and following its own liberal interpretation of the continuity. I wish so much that I was kidding about that last bit, but I'm not. Here's the direct quote:
"However. As we have stated more than a few times now, FO:BOS is not a continuation of the PC chronology. It is inspired by, and takes place with a recognisable tangent of the Fallout Universe, but is a law unto itself. Further console games (should they come to fruition) will have to follow what we lay down with this game. Is there an answer that will appease your "Why the hell change it..."? Probably not, because when you get right down to it, we changed it because we wanted to. FO:BOS resides within a thrice-removed tangent from ourselves, with Fallout 1 and 2 nestled somewhere between. Yes facts about FO and the BOS that we could use in our defense have been listed, but since we are going to stay the course that Fo: BoS is not meant to be canon or not necessarily follow canon, then we can't site those items. Can we?"
From Left to Right: Patty (Random Blonde),
Cyrus (Black Dick), Nadia (Ginger Tits),
Cain (Ghoul with Mullet),
and Rhombus (Ruined Character)
I want to find the asshole that wrote this and shove my copy of FO:BOS down his throat. There's a lot more than just this beautiful line here, though. The now infamous "Team Chuck" that made this atrocity effectively ruined the game's reputation before they even released the game by continuously bad mouthing fans and contradicting every little thing about Fallout every step of the way. Why even make it a Fallout game if you are going to make it have its own canon intentionally? And why make it for consoles when all of Fallout's fans were PC people?  To whore out the brand, obviously! With literal whores too! Go ahead and look up the trailers for this game. Please, I'll wait. If the "Better than sex" line didn't send it home that this is just a shameless cash-in, perhaps it's time I stopped putting it off and actually talked about this....thing.

Brotherhood of Steel takes place in Texas, a place that might've been a neat location for a new Fallout game, and you select from 3 characters. Yes, you SELECT. Goodbye, custom characters! Your choices are: Black Dick, Ginger Tits, and Ghoul with Mullet, with unlockable flavors of Random Blonde and 2 Ruined Characters. Riveting. So despite having an identity handed to you in this game, everyone still calls you the Initiate, because saying names the game designed you to have is hard. It's like if you were forced to be named John Shepard in Mass Effect, but everyone still called you just Shepard, or rather just Commander. You are sent to a small town called Carbon to meet with Brotherhood agents. There is no real story to this game, honestly. It is never explained, not even in passing, why the Brotherhood sent 3 unarmed trainees to a random town only to leave before they even arrived on some insane quest involving Super Mutants. Rather than just wait for the Brotherhood or go home or...Back to their base(?), you decide to just follow them for no good reason. I should mention that this game also goes the extra mile and pisses on the memory of the old games by ruining classic characters like Harold, Rhombus, and even The Vault Dweller, despite claiming to run its own canon. Kiss the darkest part of my white ass.

Fuck the poignant ending the originals gave us. The Vault Dweller's a bad ass old dude now!
You chase the Brotherhood across Texas, through incredibly repetitive top-down shooting galleries, which pose little to no challenge, except for the times where the game expects you to platform. I should take this time to say this game has co-op, because misery loves company, and I played through with a friend. Mike, thanks for playing this abhorrent trash with me, couldn't have done it without you. It seems to take any chance it gets to spit on the brand, replacing Nuka Cola with real-life Bawls Guarana, and mutilating the art style and music with shitty grunginess. BUT IT'S OKAY, IT'S ITS OWN CANON GUYS!

Never even heard of this stuff before BOS.
Good first impression, right?
You pray for the game to be over every step of the way, and, mercifully, the game is only three acts of horror. But ooooooooh man, did they go the extra mile to make Act 3 the worst thing ever. Enemies soak damage while still being as not difficult as always, the area is filled with ass-numbing puzzles, and culminates in what might be the worst boss battle I have ever fought. I should mention real quick before I get into this that the writing is also the drizzling shits. Everyone in this thing speaks in monosyllables like the script was written by a 5 year old, and given all the sex and fart jokes in the game, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me an actual 5 year old wrote it. Anyway...Okay here goes. The final boss is a Super Mutant who inexplicably has a full head of long flowing white hair. Okay. You have to kill him three separate times before he actually kills over..Okay. Then, he transforms into a bunch of blobs that take an ungodly amount of damage, are completely stationary, and take about 20 minutes of continuous fire....I WILL FIND YOU, CHUCK CUERVAS. I WILL FIND YOU AND I WILL BEAT YOU OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR THE SINS YOU HAVE WROUGHT....Okay. Then you do the classic outrun an explosion cliche, and credits.

Literally the worst boss EVER.
I do not exaggerate when I say I took 3 shots of vodka and drank a beer when I finished this game, just to try and forget it. What was it all for? Why would they do this? Did you know they even planned a sequel? That it was in pre production before this one was even released? This game was so horrendous it killed the Fallout franchise. It sold abysmally and a few months later Black Island was closed and the licence was sold to Bethesda Softworks. Fallout 3, 75% complete, was cut down before it could even take off. But you know what? I didn't need to play the game to know it was gonna suck. I did it to myself. I guess that's just human nature right? All I had to do was read a review, but none really exist. I could have stuck with what I knew from the trailers, that sold it like it was made for masturbation enthusiasts. I could have stuck with the developers' own words, which made such poignant claims as:
" We discussed story and setting with Black Isle ambassadors, and followed their recommendations and ideas."
Or, fuck it, I coulda stopped at the title screen, where Ron Perlman wasn't there to say how War, War never Changes...It's over. Next week we move on to greener pastures. A toast to Fallout's return, people... Feel free to leave us your comment on #VTi Facebook or Google+ post.

More Let's Talk About:

Fallout 1, 2 Tactics, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4