All things considered, the Fallout games are probably the best example of how to do low attribute scores right, at least when it comes to making them entertaining. And that's the basis of a new article on Rock, Paper, Shotgun that shares the author's experience of running an intelligence-challenged character through Fallout 2:
What Al lacks in smarts he compensates for in his capacity for violence, however â€“ heâ€™s bigger than a Radscorpion and his Perception rating is so far off the charts that they had to invent a new kind of telescope. I am, in other words, fairly confident that this lummox can handle Fallout 2â€™s wastelands even despite his skull-headed handicap. Itâ€™s not like the Science skill is ever actually useful for anything and, even if it was, Fallout 2 is my game. The one I know inside and out; itâ€™s the one I play in my head when my boss is talking to me. Low Intelligence score isnâ€™t going to hold me back for long. Or so I thought.
Confidently, I lead Al out of his village, ignoring the hurled insults by the useless NPCs and staying focused on my destination; Klamath. The nearby town is the first stop everyone makes in Fallout 2 and I know itâ€™s where I can learn the valuable Gecko Skinning skill and recruit my first followâ€“ Except I canâ€™t. I try to talk to Ardin Buckner, so sheâ€™ll ask me to rescue Smiley, which will reward me with a free follower, but the option never materialises. The conversation is over before itâ€™s begun and Al has been calmly but pityingly told to go â€˜play outside with Torrâ€™, Ardinâ€™s idiot son. Al tries to say something, to ask a question, but all that comes out is a grunt. AI is that kind of stupid, and Fallout 2 knows it.