Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Review

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Interplay Entertainment
Developer:Interplay Entertainment
Release Date:2004-01-13
Genre:
  • Action,Role-Playing
Platforms: Theme: Perspective:
  • Top-Down
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
The design of the levels is pretty good, and is a definite step up from Dark Alliance. Even when a level is linear, there are plenty of out-of-the-way side areas to comb for loot. There are some key and switch hunts, but there weren't very many places where I had to hunt too hard for a key or wander around trying to figure out what to do next. Nor did I feel like the monsters on each level were only there to give me more experience points (as I often did in Dark Alliance).

I played BOS on an Xbox, so the graphics were very good. The Fallout environment is a big part of the franchise's popularity and BOS lives up to its predecessors in graphic atmosphere. It falls short in the area of sound if you aren't a fan of thrash metal, and the absence of music on many levels is either a curse or a blessing for the same reason. The song that plays over the main menu is pleasantly reminiscent of the earlier RPGs, but is definitely more tongue in cheek.

While BOS lacks the coolness factor of having a Tony Shaloub or Richard Dean Anderson, the voice acting is pretty good in parts, though pretty bad in others. A couple of the voice actors from the children's program Clifford, the Big Red Dog (I have a toddler) turn out to do something for the grownups and Dean Wormer himself (John Vernon) lends his voice to Rhombus and one of the ghouls.

As far as lasting value goes, it took me about seventeen hours to get through the whole thing on normal mode (and I was writing a walkthrough at the same time), so you may just want to rent it. There are three extra characters that you can unlock when you beat the game (or by doing certain things within it I'm not sure just yet), and one of them is the Vaultdweller of the original Fallout game. There is also the option to play in two-player co-op mode with a friend and there are a couple of areas you can only access if you play this way. None of these options really knocked me over, but I felt like the gameplay was enough to get me to go back through at least a couple more times.

All in all, there is much evidence the the team did what they could to translate the Fallout universe into a console action title without sacrificing too much of its flavor. The result is a game that's enjoyable to play, especially if you like fast-paced action RPGs, but need a change from the world of sword and sorcery. It's foul-mouthed, violent, and testosterone driven, even when you're playing the girl.

The bottom line? It's not Fallout 3, but I suppose it'll do for now.