Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (FoT) takes
place in the same universe as the Fallout RPG
games. (What you haven�t played them? And you call yourself
a gamer? Now is the time - Interplay has re-released
both 1 and 2 in a nice inexpensive little package.)
Taking place in the time period between the two RPGs,
it focuses primarily on combat and squad level tactics;
however, it doesn�t stray too far from its roots.
64 meg RAM
DirectX 7 video/sound card
The game has 17 different missions and a few �secret�
wilderness encounters for you to fight through. Let
me first recommend the full install (1.6 GB). It will
make your loads much better. Once loaded you get to
either pick one of several pre-made characters or modify
one (i.e. make your own). Just like in the RPG games
you play with the main statistics and perks (they are
traits that add a nice unique feel to your character
- �Bloody mess� is a fav as it makes those around you
die in the most horrible way possible). Once created
you are treated to an absolutely hilarious dressing
down from your commander and are sent off on the first
mission with two other �recruits� - Farsite (sniper
of sorts) and Stitch ( Medic and de facto trap detector).
Thus your life and occasional death begins in the Brotherhood
of Steel. The install is clean and the amount of tweaking
in the options section is pretty good. If you are a
veteran of the series I would recommend playing the
game on one of the top two difficulty settings. The
main difference is the amount of damage that the weapons
deal out. I also found the AI much better. At low levels
the enemies behave rather stupidly. For example, I was
involved in a pretty major firefight in mission 3 and
two Raiders were standing side by side. Raider #1 attacked
and died, while Raider #2 stood there while his comrade-in-arms
was turned to pixel paste and never did attack. I left
him standing there beside the body. At low levels the
enemy can also be lured into ambushes much easier.
FoT is played out either in turn-based or Continuous
Turn-based combat. Here�s the difference:
1) Turn-based is based on action points and initiative.
The turns can be set as Squad or Individual. In Squad
Turn Based, all of your forces move then the Enemy -
repeat as needed. In Individual, units move based on
initiative so one of yours may move, then an enemy,
etc. I recommend Individual as it seems to be a purer
form and adds some nice tense moments as an enemy is
closing on a unit you know always moves last. What each
unit can do per turn is limited by its action points;
once out of points, it can do no more this turn. Pay
attention to these points as they can literally mean
the difference between life and death.
2) In Continuous Turn Based the action points still
count but there is no real discernable demarcation between
turns. It mimics real time and is the one way to really
make you sweat out a game. Much more can and does go
wrong in CTB games.
As a purist I prefer the standard turn-based combat.
I like taking my time, setting up kill zones, doing
recon by fire and generally covering my ass. Try both
and settle on the one that suits your style of game
play. I find that CTB is best for multiplayer and TB
for the missions.
Let�s dissect a few seconds in a couple of Brotherhood
of Steel soldier�s lives:
1) Mission starts.
2) Go Prone.
3) Use the �Sneak� skill to go into stealth mode.
4) Set your posture to aggressive and 66%. This means
you will automatically attack anything that you have
a 66% or better chance of hitting.
5) Make sure your best weapon is in hand (the greater
the accuracy and range the better).
6) Crawl out while your partner is covering your movement.
7) Repeat until spotted or you reach objective.
Now this may seem a wee bit boring, but trust me, it
ain�t. Each character has a starting inventory and a
limited amount of stuff he/she can carry - admittedly
it is a hell of a lot. The rule here is to pick up everything
of value. As you may well expect, ammunition is a vital
commodity so loot corpses and search everything.
At low levels of difficulty ammo is more important than
healing, the reasoning being if you kill the enemy before
he can get to you, you won�t need to heal. At high levels
healing starts to outweigh ammo, so try to strike a
So how do you get all this stuff?
Well, after each mission you can return to the Brotherhood�s
Vault and do some trading. Here you can recruit new
members to your squad or retire those already with you;
trade what you have found for new equipment and supplies;
pick up more stimpacks or other healing supplies; and
get a briefing on your next mission. This is where the
game feels a lot like its predecessors. It feels like
an RPG. Your Squad gains experience, goes up levels,
acquires new perks (which you get to choose), and increases
their skills. I would almost call FoT a Hybrid game,
an RPG/ Strategy.
contain Primary and Secondary objectives. The Secondary
ones can safely be ignored in most cases. In Mission
2 I was supposed to meet up with an informant, but I
was delayed getting to the meeting place and the informant
never showed. I completed the mission and no penalty
The PIPboy (your very own post-nuclear holocaust PDA)
map will show you where the objectives are and what
you have to do.
The interface overall is very smooth and very easy to
use. Weapons can be dragged from inventory into your
hands for arming. Double clicking on a consumable item
in inventory (stimpacks, pills, food etc.) means you
use it on yourself. Dragging the same into one of your
hands and clicking on it means you can use it on others.
Your skill are accessed through a menu and simply clicking
on the skill (say, Lockpick) then the locked item (in
this case) will force the use of that skill.
Moving is a simple point and click as is combat. Hold
your cursor over a target and it will change to a set
of crosshairs and a number will appear. That number
is the percentage chance you have of hitting that target.
Moving to a crouching or prone position will increase
When your squad is not in combat the game is effectively
real time and you can move everyone at once with no
Action Point restrictions. Once detected or if you attack
or are attacked/detected the game switches to turn-based
(if you are playing that style).
The hallmark of the first two RPGs was the wicked sense
of black humor and it is still evident in FoT. Some
of the text taunts from the enemy in game are worth
the price of admission alone.
Be warned - with the language filter turned off there
is some pretty strong language and potentially offensive
remarks (a rape comment pissed me off - I know the backstory
supports the potential, they just should have walked
away from that one).
Sonically FoT is pretty good. The voiceover work is
exceptional but I found the ambient sound effects sometimes
simply disappeared. Many times I watched either one
of my troops or an enemy fire with no sound accompanying
the event. This seemed to occur during some of the larger
The look of FoT is exactly the same as the previous
games. The characters have the same animations and the
engine is starting to really show it�s age. That being
said it does do the job and is good for the genre but
it just feels dated - it�s a taste preference as opposed
to a true gripe. I did notice that there is some �flickering�
of some units� color. I had a unit in �sneak� mode and
it kept flickering from pale transparent white to bright
white to blue in 1-second intervals. It was very distracting.
As I said before the mission are canned - meaning that
they are scripted. This is my main complaint against
FoT. In X-Com every mission you went out on featured
a random map, random number and random types of enemies.
It kept it interesting and fresh, even into your 20th
Terror site mission.
FoT does not have this randomization. Sure the position
of units may vary a bit but on the whole, once a mission
is played there is no reason to replay. FoT quickly
acquires a �Been There, Done That� feel that, quite
frankly, disappointed me. Once I played through the
missions, as exciting, challenging, and fun as they
were, I had no reason or desire to start all over.
The Multiplayer does add to the longevity of the game,
but as with all Online games you have to put up with
the percentage of idiots out there.
Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel is a great
squad based strategy game. It will push you to be a
better gamer but once complete it has little replay
value. Kudos to Microforte for turning out such a fun
game - I just wish, well, you know�
See you in the wastelands.
Natural fit and progression from the RPG series.
Fun but can become repetitive. Canned missions
so replay value limited.
Serviceable for the game but some odd flickering
and color problems.
Good VO work but sound cuts out on occasion.
Pretty damn stable. Some odd crashes, AI limited
at lower difficulty levels.
fine work, but could use a few extra features.