Free Fallout Felicitations

By Alec Meer on September 25th, 2008 at 6:40 pm.

so much brown, so little time

It’s a big week for venerable download service Gametap. Yesterday, they announced they’d be merging with euro-rival Metaboli (though most likely at the expense of hosting indie-ish fare, apparently), and today they’re offering up the original Fallout for no-pennies. Which is bad news for the nascent GoG, who intend on flogging the game for actual money, but at least their version doesn’t involve that icky Gametap downloader bloatware thingy. Yes, it’s a game a lot of people own already. Yes, Gametap’s DRMy stuff means you don’t get a perfect, untouched digital copy to keep forever and ever. But: free. One of history’s finest RPGs, free. Go! Give yourself an excuse to complain the old ways were best.

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50 Comments »

  1. teo says:

    Is it patched up to work on modern machines like GoG’s version?
    I have it legally but I can’t run it…

  2. Vollgassen says:

    but I already own fallout

  3. MetalCircus says:

    Excellent.

    This is awesome news.

  4. Pavel says:

    I just (like an hour ago) bought it from GOG.com.

    And I am glad I did, I hate bloatware gametap software. Six bucks is not that much for the best game ever from some of the best companies ever (those being Black Isle and CDProjekt).

  5. Half Broken Glass says:

    Pavel, if you think a single cent from your six bucks went to Black Isle(Not to mention the people who actually worked on the game) you need a video game market 101.

    As Volgassen said: I already own Fallout. I, in fact, own more than one. In total I believe I have at least three copies, and I never paid more than 10EUR(I’d use dollars but god knows how much they plunged since I started writing this post) for any of them. One is not even mine, so that one’s free.

  6. James G says:

    Typical, just two days after I complete it!

    @ Teo, I had the GSP White label version running just fine, both under XP and Vista x64. I’m not sure if this had anything special done to it, but I didn’t have to do anything fancy to get it to run or install. Assuming its not a problem with a 16bit installer on your version, you may want to try some of the patches over at NMA and see if that sorts things out for you.

  7. Joe says:

    M’eh. I picked up Fallout 1, 2 and Planescape Torment in a triple pack in a pound shop a few years ago.

  8. Alec Meer says:

    I’m going to do mean things to any further “but I already own Fallout” comments.

  9. jamuel scones says:

    Err, except Gametap’s version is a free RENTAL, not a free copy of the game to own. Like all Gametap’s “free” games, you’ll get to play it, but not forever.

  10. Nick says:

    Why would you waste my time telling me this when I already own it Alec? Oh and it’s probably old, you probably made a small gramatical/spelling typo and I can’t believe you said pirating WoW is like pirating WAR.

  11. Greg Wild says:

    A free rental ala Gametap doesn’t do justice to the greatness of Fallout.

    You’ll want a copy of it for when the nuclear holocaust hits rendering the internet useless anyway.

  12. Dreamhacker says:

    I own two copies of Fallout, and I might just get this!

  13. Po0py says:

    I would venture to say that the gog.com version offers more value. Firstly it’s patched to run on modern os’s and has support forums if you do run into any problems. Secondly it comes with a whole bunch of extra stuff. Wallpapers, soundtrack, art etc.
    For just $5.99 thats pretty decent value, imho.

  14. Pavel says:

    Half Broken Glass – actually, you are wrong. GoG has a deal with Interplay, and Interplay is right now employing people like Chris Taylor and Jason Anderson – those two guys are some of the original Fallout creators.

    Cool, huh? And even if they DIDN’T get any money from it, I still love Witcher so much that I would be perfectly okay with CDP getting those 6 bucks.

  15. phil says:

    Free or not I’ll pass, this is clearly just Balder’s Gate with guns.

  16. bitkari says:

    Free…. but at what cost?

    AT WHAT COST!?!?

  17. richmcc says:

    I’d never owned Fallout, and I got it last weekend from GoG.com. They gave me a free game voucher for supporting them in beta stage, and I got Fallout 2 as well. Supoib.

  18. Fumarole says:

    There sure has been an awful lot of Fallout hereabouts lately. This is of course a Good Thing.

  19. Koopa says:

    Gametap sucks, all hail GoG!

    Seriously, for 5,99$ it’s silly to not buy it from GoG. Gametap, while at first glance seems good, is a pain to use. I got Tomb Raider Legend from that service: played a few times and then bought the real deal to avoid the hassle Gametap requires.

  20. Chris Fifty-Two says:

    Would rather get it from gog.com as their service is worth supporting and…its a game worth the money you pay for it. But as far as Gametap opening up new players to Fallout by offering it for free…I am all for it.

  21. Kadayi says:

    I feel sorry for gametap that it’s all going wrong, however I’m more in favour of GoG for this sort of back catalog stuff.

  22. James S. says:

    Indeed…. I bought Fallout 1&2 (again!) not because I thought the original team would get the cash, but to support GOG’s model in hopes they stick around and continue to expand their product list. (XCOM series free and clear of even Steam’s DRM? :) )

  23. IownFalloutalready says:

    but wait…I have Fallout already?!

    *wail*

  24. Carra says:

    I bet the EULA says somewhere that you get to play it in return for your soul.

  25. Urael says:

    Down with Drm-y things! Up with GOG!

  26. Weylund says:

    DRM doesn’t even begin to cover it, nor does “rental”. I signed up for GameTap a while back because they had kids’ games. My son loved it, I got to play some decent games…

    But then I went to apply some mods to games like Baldur’s Gate, and Operation Flashpoint… and they don’t put a copy of anything like the game files anywhere near your hard drive. It’s all a big encrypted mess that gets popped open when you hit “Play” and gets sucked back in after.

    So forget mods, or modding. Forget save editors (if you use them). Gametap is truly awful when it comes to PC games.

    If you just want to play console / arcade games, though — they have Kolibri! (Which as we all know is arguably the best hummingbird-based shooter for the 32X.) And it’s awesome!

    Edit: And yes. I already own the GOG copy. GOG is awesome. I also own about a half-dozen other copies. Yay me, and my Fallout-centric largesse.

  27. Kareem says:

    Bah, hate Gametap’s Canada and US restriction, in addition to not letting you play their free games on the guest account if they’re rated M. Like my ability to fill out an online form would confirm the fact that I’m 17+.

  28. Lukasz says:

    @Weylund
    So gametap’s games do not support mods? so you won’t be able to use children’s patch (if it is censored version), high resolution patch (in 1680 fall looks great. It is not PS:T though) or extra weaponry mod?
    Phail

    I like how many GOG fanboys RPS has. that’s a good thing :)

  29. Weylund says:

    Last I checked, yes. However, and I will stress this, I am an idiot and may have been “doing it wrong”, but I doubt it, and apart from my own experiences, none of the third-party information I found while trying to make it happen suggested that you could do anything remotely like modding a Gametap game.

  30. Nick S says:

    For good games, gog.com and actually owning them is definitely the way to go, and I can’t even imagine trying to play Operation Flashpoint in it’s locked-down GameTap form. But I think GameTap’s idea of all-you-can-eat rentals for $5/month is the only good use of DRM I’ve seen. Who cares if it stops working because GameTap have gone bankrupt? You won’t be paying for it anymore, anyway. It’s much better than the services like Steam or newer Securom-damaged box copies that only offer single-game “lifetime” subscriptions, without clear definitions of what a lifetime is going to be. And it’s fairly large catalog means being able to try out the games you missed or weren’t really interested in (because I’m not going to want to play Overlord or Kane & Lynch again after trying them, but I still wanted to try them) or maybe even see if they’re worth picking up on budget or gog.com someday. But the presence of truly classic games on the service (they just added Fallout 2 today, for subscribers) really aren’t too useful, because those are exactly the games you should already own, or be looking for somewhere that actually sells them, not just rents them. Oh, and Fallout 1 seems to work just fine on my Q6600, GTX 260, XP SP3 system through GameTap, though I don’t know if my CD version would just work fine also.

  31. Bhlaab says:

    FYI: If you’re getting black screens in-game every now and then go to display options>settings>advanced and turn down hardware acceleration notch by notch until it stops

  32. Nick S says:

    Lukasz: Nope, you can’t even look at the files of the game, much less change them. They sit in encrypted files in a single “GameTap cache” folder (so everything must fit onto one partition), and are invisibly mounted as an additional drive through some sort of DRM driver wizardry (X: and Y: must be available or something like that, for any game to work). So unless it’s a game that uses self-contained stand-alone mods and can load them from remote locations (and, no, I don’t know of any games that do this), you’re out of luck. You’re dependent on GameTap to patch a game too, and since they seem to have a monstrous QA process, they’re pretty reluctant to do this if a patch comes out after they’ve added a game to the service (or if it comes out after they’ve started a game down the multiple-month approval process). It’s definitely the lowest point of the service, especially as the DRM driver is not available in a 64-bit version meaning GameTap is one of the few programs that force me to keep a (32-bit) XP dual-boot partition around. But it is only $5 a month. Or free if Fallout is all you wanted to try.

  33. azwipe says:

    USA and Canada only.

  34. Weylund says:

    Is there some reason I can’t get into GOG anymore? Did the open beta end? Or, is it the more palatable alternative, that I’m a stupid jackass?

    Thanks for providing some real info on GameTap Nick S, as opposed to my half-remembered speculation.

  35. Saflo says:

    If you cleared the cookies from your browser it might not be recognizing you. You have to follow the link from the original beta e-mail and log back in.

  36. cheeba says:

    Yeah, that’s most likely it, as it’s fine for me. Haven’t got Fallout there yet but it’s on the list, after I get through the frankly excellent Hostile Waters. GoG FTW. Gametap can sod off.

  37. Thirith says:

    For all those of you who are now enjoying Fallout, you may want to check out Arcanum (from some of the makers of the former game), a wonderfully inventive, atmospheric pseudo-Victorian steampunk fantasy game with great writing.

    Don’t let the dodgy graphics and clunky interface put you off, though…

  38. gnome says:

    Besides, to actually get a free copy of Fallout from GameTap you *have* to be American. Fallout, you see, is considered a mature game and though available for free, a GameTap ID is required for age verification reasons, and nobody outside the US can actually grab such an ID. Really. Just tried it.

  39. Jamie says:

    I’ve definately got a gametap ID and last time I went outside, I was pretty sure I was still in the UK.

  40. Optimaximal says:

    In related free news, The Suffering is now free for PC!

  41. gnome says:

    Odd that you mention this Jamie, for -and I’m not in the UK- I do get to tend this exact message:

    “We apologize, but the GameTap service currently is available only in the United States and Canada. The GameTap service will be expanding into additional countries, but no release dates are available at this time”

    Perhaps you’ve found a way to bypass the IP-based country check? I’d be rather interested in such a thing as I’d like to download the equally free Deus Ex…

  42. Bobsy says:

    $5.99 is what, about £3.20 or something? Hell, I’ve paid that much for a pint before (London, natch).

  43. Esha says:

    @Weylund

    In regards to GoG, I peruse it frequently because I dig the forums (they actually talk about mods on their forums, which gives them an immediate Awesome Badge, because it’s fuelling mod communities for old games), and I have noticed that sometimes I simply can’t get in there.

    I do think though that whenever this happens, it’s because they’re doing maintenance on the site and rolling out new features. It’s still in beta currently, so that’s probably the most likely explanation for the occasional outage. The point of this though was simply to say: don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

    As for Fallout and GameTap, I didn’t want to say too much because I’m trying not to get myself painted as the local frothing anti-DRM tool in the way that Leonard Nimoy tried to avoid being painted as Spock, but like Spock, I think I’ve failed because I wanted to back you up on that.

    GameTap does indeed keep things on a virtual hard disk, which is encrypted, the docs of nosey people are out there, if you want to have a peek, and it’s a tough thing to crack. Oh and don’t even dream of trying to poke around in there when you have a game running. I tried that twice and both times I experienced an unrecoverable lock-up, that was very fun.

    Apparently, their software is that paranoid that it completely stalls the computer if the user starts poking around in the GameTap directory. GameTap crashing/closing, I could understand. But an unrecoverable lock-up? That’s just going a tad too far.

    And it’s not like I don’t ready myself for lock-ups either, I’ve played plenty of unstable games, and more often than not I’ve wrestled my computer back to usefulness without a reboot, even when I’ve been told that it would be utterly impossible and hopeless to do so (it’s a gift). The GameTap lock though… it haunts me. That was one time I simply had to cut the power.

    I suppose that some people will take me wrong with going on about how GameTap does that, but the thing is is that I actually really do like GameTap, I dig them and I think what they’re trying to do is great (bringing games to more people on an entirely reasonable budget, allowing those who aren’t made of money to enjoy a large selection of games). But I just realise they’re not for me.

    I like to poke around, and I love to mod my games because I’ve pretty much had a 100 per cent success rate when it comes to mods making a game an eminently more enjoyable and polished experience (Media Molecule had something to say about that recently, too, and it was nice being verified by someone smarter than myself). So I like having mods in games, but you’re right and you’re not being stupid, it’s just not really possible to mod GameTap games. If you try to fiddle, you get your wrists slapped.

    I’ve never had any troubles at all with GameTap if I didn’t try to fiddle though, so everything I did I brought upon myself.

    One thing I wish GameTap would do is actually work with their community to figure out which are good mods for games that everyone would like and then roll out two versions of a game, vanilla and modded. That would actually make their free version very worthwhile, but with the mods out there now and how much they enhance a given game, running a game vanilla is just silly.

    That’s why I too recommend paying 3 squids for the GoG.com Fallout if one has it lying around and cares about seeing what mods can do with a game. If one doesn’t give a damn about such things though… GameTap, definitely GameTap.

    (Oh, and for those wondering. I had a US friend who let me borrow a sub-account, GameTap does no checking whatsoever for the locations of IPs. So once I had that I was able to check out their full software catalogue, watch their media, and even got to play Uru for free for a bit, too. I know, I’m a lucky bastard. If you have US friends with GameTap, pester them, it’s worth a look.)

  44. ape says:

    For anyone who has not played Fallout this is a must. I already own a copy and have a “pirated” back-up and somehow I still feel like downloading it… I hope this is not technically an “I already own Fallout” post or else I shall prepare for beheading.

  45. Mathew Jensterle says:

    You know, despite the whole set of issues regarding Gametap, I was quite excited by the idea of playing Fallout again, until I discovered that their player software refuses to work on my machine. 3d video acceleration appears to be off Gametap? I think not.

    When does GOG.com go live? Will have to wait until then for my fix.

  46. Bobsy says:

    Er, while we’re here… where the hell do I find a rope? Don’t tell me I have to go all the way back to that Shady Sands place or whatever.

  47. James G says:

    I think I headed all the way back to shady sands, but I seem to recall that there is also one hidden away on a locker or some-such. Possibly it was on a lower floor though.

  48. Alex says:

    I bought it last month for a couple of quid off Amazon. The old ways were worse.
    …Well, I should qualify that. Ye olde games are too slow-paced for a twitchy, borderline-ADHD youth such as myself. Fighting a lot of rats and reading a lot of ‘you missed’ just frustrates me.
    Also, look at that screenshot! People say modern games are too brown. EDIT: Damn, beaten to it by the alt-text. I should really have read that first. Damn you, RPS! Daaaaamn yoooou!

  49. no says:

    Why is it bad news for GOG? I bought all three Fallout games from them for $18 total. Including manuals, reference cards, videos, artwork, wallpaper, sound tracks and the actual games. And no DRM. And I can even play them in a Windows XP VMWare Fusion instance withim my OSX desktop. And I was able to copy them over to my laptop and install them there, too. Without paying an extra dime.

    I didn’t have to install any game tapp crap. Sign up for anything. Jump through any hoops. Nothing.

  50. Nerd Rage says:

    “phil says:

    Free or not I’ll pass, this is clearly just Balder’s Gate with guns.”

    As I assume this was a tongue in cheek “Oblivion with guns” reference – I had a good chuckle that ended with an annoyingly loud snort. People are staring at me…