Fallout Made Modern

By Alec Meer on September 16th, 2008 at 8:55 pm.

I have a splitting headache. Thought you'd like to know.

We’re not far off Fallout 3 release day, which means now’s a fine time to revisit the first two games in the revered RPG series – whether it’s to bring yourself up to speed with what went before, or to better prepare yourself to gripe that Bethesda have done terrible things to your childhood.

If you are pondering reinstalling one of the old dears, I can strongly recommend NMA chap Mash’s excellent High Resolution Patch.

It’s been around for a few months now, but I’ve only just gotten around to giving it a go. It’s absolutely splendid. Admittedly, it’s not quite as impressive as the Planescape/Baldur’s Gate resolution mod, due to Fallout’s locations being a little more barren and its environments employing what appears to be tilesets rather than the hand-painted splendour of the others. It is unquestionably great to play Fallout at native resolutions though, looking crisp and detailed rather than blocky and blurry. The interface copes well with the change too – playing at 1920×1200 some of the text was a little squinty, but not painfully so.

So, highly recommended, if not nigh-on essential. The difference a pin-sharp resolution makes to the Fallouts’ sense of agedness is immense: they definitely feel a whole lot more contemporary this way.

Thanks to Iain and Anders for tipping us off to this a little while back. Oh, and I’ve not been able to successfully screenshot the game in Vista (imy grabs comes out all green and ‘orrible), so I’ve nicked one taken by Mash himself for this post.

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40 Comments »

  1. Pantsman says:

    I do wonder if this is compatible with the versions from Good Old Games.

  2. Tanner says:

    It is.

  3. yutt says:

    Pantsman, I was just going to ask the same.

    I will likely grab the GoG version regardless, but it would be nice to have confirmation. I recently tried playing Fallout 1 (I’ve never played either Fallout game), and couldn’t handle how terrible the graphics were. And I don’t mean bad as in old, just bad.

    Most pixel art ages well, Fallout did not.

  4. Wolfox says:

    I just checked the forums in Gog.com and their versions of both Fallout 1 and 2 seem to work correctly with the high resolution patches.

  5. Pavel says:

    Oh yeah. I plan to replay Fallout 1 and 2 for the twelfth time about two weeks before FO3 comes out, and this is absolutely awesome. Along with unnofficial patches and restoration packs. Fallout = Love.

  6. Zaph says:

    I’ve been playing Fallout 2 recently.
    I was surprised by how much I liked it! I’m actually looking forward to Fallout 3 more after playing it.
    I think it has aged fairly well, considering it’s 10 years old.

  7. raigan says:

    Or you could go the other way and try an extra-low-res version ;)

    http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=2669.0

  8. Chris Evans says:

    Just a shame GOG.com only accept a limited number of payment methods =[

  9. MetalCircus says:

    The resolution patches are good. only tried it on fallout 1, but when I did, you could walk off the map in areas with traders in, and I stumbled across lockers with lots of free gear in them – turns out these are what is sold to you by traders! it was too much temptation to NOT raid them to be honest, so thats a downside, but hey, its looks great :)

  10. Meat Circus says:

    The Fallout 2 High Resolution patch I found went a bit screwy on the Fallout+Fallout 2 CD I bought.

    But if I replaced the main .exe with the one in the last official Interplay patch before applying the Hi Res patch, it worked fine.

    Whilst the hires patches are clearly ace, they don’t make Fallout/2 into games of beauty like with PS:T.

    They remain fugly bastards even at 1920×1200.

  11. Kismet says:

    Just a shame GOG.com only accept a limited number of payment methods =[

    They’re working on adding more payment options in the near future, according to staff members posts in the forums.

  12. Saflo says:

    I had a go at Fallout for the first time a few days ago (thanks to GOG) and didn’t think the graphics were particularly bad-looking. I’ve always had a fondness for isometric games, though.

  13. Weylund says:

    Yes, I rather enjoyed the graphics when I booted it up the other day. My son loved it too. And he made me take the Bloody Mess perk. He’s a good kid.

    Thank goodness for GOG, seriously. I just hope their catalogue keeps on expanding, because I’ve bought most of their games already. :-)

  14. jbrandt says:

    I’m on the gog.com beta, and I downloaded Fallout 1 and 2 immediately. They do work with the high-res patch. In fact, the first posts in the Fallout section of their forums include links to a bunch of mods. In fact, for any game that is moddable (or some that aren’t technically moddable but which have been modded anyway) they have lists of the most useful or interesting mods for those games, posted by GOG staff and everything. Pretty cool. It looks like they’re really supportive of the sorts of mods and things that have come out since these older games originally shipped… They even list them in the forum posts as “tested and suggested.”

    Overall, I’ve been really happy with the Good Old Games experience. I have this sort of back-of-the-mind feeling that I ought to buy and download everything I think I might ever want to play before they go out of business, but 6 bucks might be the magical price point to make even the most jaded pirates decide that it’s worth it not to have to deal with torrents and so on.

  15. KindredPhantom says:

    I bought the bargain bin bundle of fallout 1+2 + tactics.
    I installed and tried to play Fallout recently but my screen kept going black and only when i got my little Fallout fella to walk somewhere did it flicker to some viability.

  16. bitkari says:

    Hah, I was just about to come here and start blathering on about how awesome GoG are, and that I’ve just gone and bought Fallout – but I see that everyone else here is already doing so.

    Hurrah! :D

  17. Po0py says:

    Pantsman says:
    “I do wonder if this is compatible with the versions from Good Old Games.”

    Yes it is. I’ve got the gog version running in a window at 1280×1024. You’ll need to fiddle around in the ini file to get the windowed mode working. Details are in the gog forums.

  18. Malagate says:

    I want to know if this patch will work with the super-bargain basement version I got whilst on a little trip around Guiyang.

    …also I wonder if there is a way to translate it from Chinese. That’s kinda more important to me at the moment.

  19. Fumarole says:

    While not perfect, playing Fallout at 1920×1200 is damn nice.

  20. Frank says:

    Glad to hear it. Just bought Fallout from GOG yesterday. Isn’t everyone here in the beta?

  21. Chris Evans says:

    I assume that their Beta is similar to the Google Beta…it just keeps on going non-stop.

  22. weirwood says:

    KindredPhantom, try going here:

    http://www.labo-asso.com/php/outils/fallout.php

    The documentation is in French, but it’s not rocket science. Copy the program into your Fallout folder, and run it in the background before starting Fallout. No more black screen.

  23. RichPowers says:

    I’m still pissed that the BG high-res mod has problems with the 8800 series of NVIDIA gfx cards. Much as I like these old games, playing them on a 24” widescreen without resolution mods is painful :)

  24. Bhlaab says:

    The hell, all of these mods are worthless! They just make everything insufferably tiny and jam the inventory screens to the top left. Put your LCD to aspect ratio scaling and you can enjoy the game pretty much as-is.

  25. Lukasz says:

    @Bhlaab
    and pixels are the size of my fist then. mods are better (PS:T was just amazing. A bit more HDR lighting, dynamic shadows and better animation and that game could be released today)

    GOG is awesome. I have all Falls so I just got SHOGO (worked perfectly while pirated version did not. I had original btw) Sacrifice and Lionheart (I like the concept of the game. Shame it is not as good as other cRPG) I want Kingpin and Giants.

  26. Jeeva says:

    I wondered about GOG a while ago, but obviously didn’t sign up. =(
    My mistake; now I’m just waiting on a bloomin’ email from them, which isn’t guaranteed to come at all.

  27. Ian says:

    I bought Fallout and Fallout 2 when I saw and liked the preview stuff for the new one.

    I am unable, however, to really get into Fallout. Have any other late-comers to the games grown to adore them or are they one of those you-really-had-to-play-them-at-the-time things?

    (Or, of course, it might be that just don’t like them…)

  28. Subject 706 says:

    Fallout 2 with the Resolution mod + Restoration project. F***ing great!

  29. Meat Circus says:

    @Ian:

    I played Fallout + 2 for the first time this year, and thought that were both amazing examples of polished platinum-era RPG-making.

    Though I find Fallout 2 a little less enjoyable, because some of the gratuitous swearing and pop culture references begin to grate.

    Though I haven’t tried it with the restoration project yet.

  30. Meat Circus says:

    @Bhlaab:

    Oh, and you’re wrong about the hires patch. Unlike the PS:T res patch, the Fallout ones leave the inventory window nicely centred, rather than jamming it unceremoniously in the top left corner.

  31. YogSo says:

    Well, if anyone is going to replay Fallout 2, I would also recommend giving killap’s Restoration Project a try (current version is 1.2, but it seems 1.3 is around the corner). It corrects many many bugs of the original, fixes quests, inconsistencies, etc, AND also ‘restores’ a lot of content that the developers wanted to add to the game but never got to do it, all of it based on what MCA showed on the Fallout Bible. You can read about it in the readme of the mod, but I will only say two words: Sulik’s sister (oh yeah!).

  32. Carra says:

    I played Planescape Torment for the first time last year. Wish I had the rez patch back then even though the game still looked great :)

    Got me interested in other rpgs, might try out fallout. Signed up twice for gog but no e-mail yet :(

  33. Keith says:

    Oh yes. Good find Alec!

    I bought the Fallout+Fallout2+Fallout Tactics budget boxset a couple of months ago so I could play through them before Fallout3 but just couldn’t stomach the mahoosive pixels on my screens (all of my displays are 1200px high, even my laptops’).

    I had high hopes — over the past couple of years I’ve played through the various Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale isoRPGs with great delight and was quite excited given all the delirous dribble posted about Fallout, but couldn’t find a hires patch and found it unplayable without. Hurrah.

  34. Matthew Gallant says:

    With all the people picking up Fallout off Good Old Games (it’s probably the best pick of the Interplay titles), this is very timely information ;) thanks

  35. N'Al says:

    @ RichPowers:

    I have an 8800 and initially got the ‘black bars’ problem when I installed the widescreen mod for Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. Got both games to work flawlessly once I changed some of the BLT settings in the graphics options. Playing through Throne of Bhaal at 1650 : 1080 atm without problems, in fact.

  36. Alan Au says:

    Once Fallout 3 is released, it’s only a matter time before someone releases a mod based on the original story and locations. The only really tricky part would be populating the vast expanses of wasteland between the story areas.

  37. Harlequin says:

    Somewhat off topic, but do the GOG versions of Fallout work on Vista 64?

    I recently purchased a laptop with this infernal OS for work, but figured I may as well throw some older games on it :)

  38. Kelduum Revaan says:

    * Kelduum sees this post.
    * Kelduum receives an email from GoG as he finishes reading this, about a buy your first game and get another free offer.
    * Kelduum buys both Fallouts for $12, and gets… oh… Freespace 2 for free.
    * Kelduum is happy.

    There’s no reason they shouldn’t work on Vista 64, but still I’m hoping they do.

    Oh, and the offer is for any Interplay game, not a random one they give you, so could have got Fallout and Fallout 2 for $6.

  39. Optimaximal says:

    Anyone else having a problem with F1 + the widescreen patch & the Radscorpion Cave – I can’t move the screen and altering the ini settings won’t help.

  40. zima says:

    Kelduum, actually this wasn’t that great, Freespace2 is free for everybody :p

    Regarding topic – I do agree with some that those old games also loose something when upscaled to very high resolutions. OTOH huge pixels on todays displays aren’t really acceptable (but, btw…those old games are perfect for netbooks; low requirements and run great under Wine, so it doesn’t matter which OS is installed)

    What I’d like to see is some interpolation filters applied to older 2D/isometric Windows games, like in zsnes and many other emularors:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel_art_scaling_algorithms
    http://www.hiend3d.com/hq3x.html
    And dosbox already has it…I imagine there would be some problems implementing this for Windows games (perhaps via shader loaded into gfx card that treats everything below native resolution with the filter?). Wine probably could also do it…

    Huge pixels wouldn’t be a problem anymore, and the games would look mostly the same as on much smaller screens of yesterday.