Store Never Changes: Old-School Fallouts Back On Steam

By Nathan Grayson on June 19th, 2014 at 8:00 am.

You might remember that a while back there was a rights kerfuffle involving sales of Fallout 1, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics. Basically, the license always belonged to Interplay, but it changed hands to Bethesda at the end of last year. The games were then removed from stores like Steam and GOG, presumably because with a new rights holder comes new terms, negotiations, etc. But now, finally, we can explore the wasteland in all its top-down glory once more, just as god intended before he left and let nukes happen.

All three games are back on Steam at a base price of $9.99 each, but they’re half off right now.

On top of that, you can buy all three as a bundle for $12.99, which is a pretty insane value given that you’re getting huge games – and brilliant classics to boot.

No word yet on whether or not Fallout is also returning to GOG, free of rusty shackles of DRM. Here’s hoping, though. I’ve mailed GOG in hopes of finding out more.

Not much to say beyond that, except that you should play Fallout 2 with the excellent restoration project mod. Of the classics, which is your favorite? Do you like the old ones better or – CONTROVERSIAL OPINION OPPORTUNITY – do you prefer the recent Bethesda-published stuff? Fallout 3, New Vegas, etc?

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73 Comments »

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  1. TailSwallower says:

    I used to prefer Fallout 2, but after my recent(ish) playthroughs, I found that the first game was a lot more focussed and much better for it.

    If someone shoe-horned Fallout 2’s companion system into Fallout 1, it would be damn-near perfect. (Oh, and make the inventory system less clunky.)

    • dethtoll says:

      YES THANK YOU FINALLY THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING

      Fallout 2 is a big mess. A fun mess, but a mess all the same. Fallout 1 is by far the much purer game.

      I actually prefer Fallout 3 to New Vegas for largely the same reasons I prefer 1 to 2. (Though nothing tops New Vegas’ DLC which will go down as some of the greatest moments I’ve ever experienced. I think their more focused-yet-episodic nature likens them more to Fallout 1, which we’ve established is the superior game.)

    • Drake Sigar says:

      I don’t like that in both games you have to find at least one story location that is barely referenced, much less given directions to.

      • HadToLogin says:

        In Fallout 2 in Klamath you learn about Vic in Den. From Vic you learn about Vault City. From Vault City, you learn about NCR and few other big cities. In NCR you can go straight to V13 (if you’re good cowboy) or you need to check with V15 first (which you learn about in NCR). Then you learn about Navarro.
        Hmm, not sure how to learn about San Francisco, outside of finding not-really-needed map in Military Base. Not sure how to learn about Military Base – maybe there’s some info in Navarro, but since I always visit it after San Francisco I can’t say for sure.

        • Drake Sigar says:

          If memory serves there’s a single person who says something vague about San Fran like ‘I hear there’s a city on the west coast.’ Gee thanks, Sacagawea. That’s a hundred miles to search!

          • HadToLogin says:

            In Military Base there’s a map showing exactly where SanFran is located – I’m just not sure there’s anything that points you towards that base. And seeing how SF is next to MB, not sure if you just won’t see SF while going to MB.
            Also not sure if Navarro doesn’t provide location of it when you look around for info about how to get to Oil Rig.

            Depending on that, SF might be only story location you need to discover yourself without knowing anything about it.

    • hjarg says:

      Ahh, but could you become a porn star in Fallout 1? No? That makes Fallout 2 superior!
      In reality though, i tend to agree with you- but does it matter? They are both brilliant games!

      • Spacewalk says:

        You could become a porn star champion boxer who is also a Made Man. You also could get a sweet ride and get tied down by your spouse of same gender. If only you could talk to all of the monsters, you could do that in the first game. Talk to them until they die.

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        Nogo says:

        It does bother me when someone implies that a Tom Cruise Scientology parody is believable Fallout canon, while a splinter group of BoS that aren’t complete jerks is apparently pure junk.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I would agree, but I really dislike the time limit in Fallout 1. I know that it adds urgency and makes the world more dynamic, but I still just don’t like it.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        In fairness that time limit is ridiculously long. I liked it, it added urgency without actually pressurising

      • LionsPhil says:

        I really liked it because it helped solve the usual side-quest-arama of CRPGs. FO1 felt very directed, like a proper tabletop session. I wasn’t idly sweeping the world for XP and completion (like in NV, where I’d almost hit the level cap before Act 2 from doing almost every possible side-quest en-route to the strip), I was on a mission to resolve a problem.

        I think I did end up hoovering up much of the content on offer (I know I joined the Brotherhood), but it didn’t feel that I was trying to clean all the unfinished-quest smudges off of a kitchen-tile map.

        Also the time limit plus slow overworld travel made the world feel bigger. Going from town to town took planning and thought, because each journey ate precious days.

  2. newguy2012 says:

    Fallout 2 of the old ones, New Vegas of the new ones.
    Eagerly awaiting Fallout 4.

    • revan says:

      I would be eagerly awaiting it if Bethesda wasn’t developing the game. As it stands, I’m not expecting much.

      • newguy2012 says:

        Something akin to Fallout 3? Not as enjoyable to me as New Vegas but still a really fun game. Hopefully they put some more effort into their story and dlcs this time around. Make things make a bit more sense then they did in Fallout 3.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          I’ll eagerly await Fallout 4’s Obsidian made expansion. Not the base game, however.

  3. MuscleHorse says:

    New Vegas (with its atypically excellent DLC) deserves to sit alongside the originals. The less said about F3 the better.

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      Cinek says:

      +1

    • norfolk says:

      I’ve never understood this perspective. I found NV so utterly disappointing. The storylines were marginally less predictable, but the characters and places in FO3 were so much more memorable.

      • Damien Stark says:

        I normally don’t weigh in on these Fallout debates, as I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I loved 1 and 2, and liked 3 and NV, with 3 and NV blending together a bit in my memory – the shift to first person and VATS was a much bigger change to me than the difference between 3 and NV.

        But your comment about the characters? I haven’t played 3 or NV in at least a year, but reading your comment I started trying to think of characters I remember from 3 and NV. Here’s the list:
        Cass
        Boone
        Veronica
        ED-E (who amusingly I spelled EDI, like from ME3)
        Liam Neeson Dad

        I’ll leave the significance of that list as an exercise for the reader…

        • masterjacket says:

          Liam Neeson dad was a Fallout 3 character.

          I thought there were a lot of memorable characters in Fo3, you just had to root around the sidequests to find most of them. Personally I loved Fo3, and NV just didn’t do it for me, just felt too shallow. I’m always kind of shocked to find that’s a minority opinion. Too each their own, though.

      • joa says:

        I have never really understood the dislike for Fallout 3. I really enjoyed it and New Vegas. New Vegas has more interesting characters and a kind of dark humour to it, while Fallout 3 has a more memorable world.

        I have not played Fallout 1 or 2 however. But I think it’s silly to judge Fallout 3 in terms of them – take it on its own terms.

        • Slazer says:

          The reason some of the F3 stuff is so memorable is that it is insane crap that just doens’t make sense. Like for example building a whole city around a nuclear warhead, or a city of kids that kicks everybody out who is 16. Can you please tell me what these people eat, except the fresh pre-war food that is obviously still left in every building as nobody ever came looting them. F1 and F2’s cities had either farms all over the place or believable trade capabilities. F3 ignored that and got a radio DJ instead, who magically knows everything you are doing.

          Basically Bethesda put tons of “cool stuff” in the game, instead of trying to build a cohesive world. F2 shows a little guilt of the same flaw (Reno), but Bethesda overdid it imho.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      What’s the deal with F:NV DLC? I got the GOTY, reloaded a save after completing the main quest to start one of the DLC areas, the one where you get sent through a crashed sattelite. In a lab in some mad computers, it was total crap, it started with like half an hour exposition and then boring runs through dungeons. I stopped playing soon afterwards, it had nothing what’s great about F:NV base game, am I missing something?

  4. revan says:

    Fallout 2 somehow stands out for me. Yeah, it is more wacky, but that’s what I like about it. And I found Enclave to be more interesting than mutants. But both games are amazing. Fallout:NV is a classic in my opinion as well. Tactics was ok as long as you didn’t come in expecting cRPG. Fallout 3 had a few wow! moments, but it was actually just a usual Bethesda borefest.

    • HadToLogin says:

      FO2 while more wacky, it’s also much more sinister. FO1 is “easy” – there are bad mutants, kick their arses. FO2 shows US government that doesn’t care about it’s citizens and uses nuclear holocaust as a pretext for some social studies.

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        basilisk says:

        I always thought the social experiment thing was stupid and should have been promptly retconned. It just makes so little sense, even before F3 and New Vegas turned most vaults into a complete absurdity.

      • revan says:

        Precisely. I just wish you could somehow join Enclave, as my current character would fit right in. :) There is more than black and white in FO2 while FO1 is pretty straightforward. One of the reasons I like F:NV is that moral complexity. I’m always agonizing over what to do and which faction to support in every single quest.

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          Smashbox says:

          There’s not a whole lot of nuance to one of the three factions.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Goody gumdrops!

  6. Gilead says:

    It would be good if they appeared on GOG.com again too. However, considering GOG gave all three games away when they were about to lose the rights to distribute them, I’m not sure how happy Bethesda was with that and how willing they’d be to let GOG have the games again.

    • Zaphid says:

      It was Interplay doing the giveaway, through GOG, not GOG acting on their own…

      • Gilead says:

        Oh, I’d got the impression at the time that it was something GOG.com had kind of taken the initiative on — if Interplay organised the whole thing then hopefully there’s still a chance.

        • revan says:

          Nope. All these giveaways and sales have to be approved by the publisher/IP owner of the game in question. Only ones where GOG has a say in the matter are The Witcher games, as they own them.

          • Saarlaender39 says:

            Quote Revan: “Only ones where GOG has a say in the matter are The Witcher games, as they own them.”

            Nope – CD Project RED owns them.
            And CDPR is the mother company behind GOG.com.

            Remember:
            CDPR owns GOG and CDPR owns The Witcher games –
            GOG is owned by CDPR and doesn’t own any games itself.

            So, to do a sale on the Witcher games, GOG needs permission from CDPR.

          • revan says:

            That’s what I was aiming at. GOG and CDPR are practically the same company. That’s why I didn’t even mention the latter. They call GOG internally CDP Blue or something like that. So guys who own GOG get to decide about TW games.

    • frightlever says:

      Having the original Fallout games for sales is pretty much just fan service at this point. Bethesda aren’t going to be making any significant money from new sales.

  7. Premium User Badge

    basilisk says:

    I’d be quite surprised if the Steam versions of the old Fallouts had any DRM on them. I don’t own them there, so can’t check, but a random search of the forums implies that they don’t.

    • revan says:

      It’s the same thing with Divinity 2 and Deus Ex: GOTY. You can play them without Steam running in offline or online mode.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I have a budget DVD release of them with no DRM. I’m not sure if they ever had any on; they might have squeezed into the era of “most people can’t afford a CD burner or to download a ZIP this big” copy-“protection”, and by the time they reached digital download platforms (other than GOG) it wasn’t worth the expense of retrofitting anything.

  8. Premium User Badge

    amateurviking says:

    I liked Fallout Tactics.

    There I said it. I feel better.

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      Philopoemen says:

      I liked Tactics too – it required less emotional/time involvement than 1 or 2, so it was great for playing a “mission” and then walking away until the urge hit again.

      With 1 and 2, i had to call in sick.

    • frightlever says:

      Me too, though I actually played Tactics before I tackled the two original games so I had no inherent bias. One of the few games I’ve finished the campaign and immediately restarted.

    • revan says:

      I did as well. Never finished the game though. Every time I start a playthrough, something else pulls me away, and I start from the beginning next time. Dislike of FOT comes from the fact that people most often came into the game expecting Fallout 3 or Van Buren, as it was known. Open world, lot’s of quests, RPG. But it was always just a spin-off, more akin to the games in the mold of Jagged Alliance than proper Fallout. It was a buggy game, that must be said.

  9. Maritz says:

    Well for me it goes like this: FO1 > FO2 > FO:NV > FO:Tactics > FO3.

    And we don’t mention BoS.

    • PsychoWedge says:

      I liked BoS more than I liked Fallout 3. Mostly because they didn’t even try to be something more than a stupid shooter while Fallout 3 tried very hard in that field indeed. xD

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        jrodman says:

        Yeah, I played fallout 3 well after its release date, and found the tutorialish section kind boring and immediately hated the shooty bits once i got outside. Total time played probably 20 minutes.

        Meanwhile 1 > 2 in my book, though it’s kind of close.

        So I guess that’s..

        Fallout 1 -> Fallout 2 -> almost every other game I’ve ever played -> Fallout 3
        Didn’t have the heart bother with new vegas.

    • Frank says:

      Let me try!

      1 >>> 3 > 2 ~ NV >> the rest

      In principle, I like Tactics, but I never got far beyond the tutorial.

      • HadToLogin says:

        You must be in some really small minority.

        “NOBODY” considered 3rd to be something else then either 1st (usually it’s people whose only RPGs are Bethesda games) or last (people who like RPG games where stats and dialogues matter).

        • JFS says:

          My ranking is 1, NV/3, 2, Tactics. You’re disproven. 2 is just too big, and Tactics didn’t click with me. FO1 IS the best, but the newer ones aren’t that bad either.

    • evileeyore says:

      Maritz “Well for me it goes like this: FO1 > FO2 > FO:NV > FO:Tactics > FO3.

      And we don’t mention BoS.”

      Ditto, except I don’t talk about BroSteel because I never played it being an Xbone/PissStation only game.

  10. altum videtur says:

    In the final New Vegas DLC you can choose to nuke both the Legion and the NCR. Doing so actually opens up parts of Mojave world map.
    That’s right kids. Fallout New Vegas incentivises nuclear terrorism. (and slavery and cannibalism)
    (oh and murder)

  11. InternetBatman says:

    I like them all.

    Fallout 1 has the most cohesive world, and you feel the aftermath of the bomb more than any of the others.
    Fallout 2 had the unflinching devotion to player choice and amorality; if you wanted to do it you could and probably should.
    Tactics was trying to be something different and it had an interesting narrative / choices.
    Fallout 3 is a fun dungeon runner / theme park if you avoid the metro.
    Fallout NV had the best faction system (wish they could have done a legion DLC), the best choices, and some really fun melee combat.

    • Damn Rookie says:

      That’s a pretty solid summation of the series. They all have good points, and for me at least, were all enjoyable to play.

  12. CaidKean says:

    Nathan, Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics are isometric. Not top-down. Those are actually two different perspectives.

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    DrollRemark says:

    I only played Fallout 1 a few years ago (possibly after doing some of 3?), and thoroughly enjoyed it. To my shame I’ve never gotten far in 2 though.

    So, err, 1 it is.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, for some reason I lost steam (not Steam) in 2, despite considering 1 one of the finest CRPGs I’ve ever played.

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        jrodman says:

        It definitely lacks focus, and by comparison is fairly long.
        I got probably 95% of the way though Fallout 2 and then tossed in the towel, though that was because brawlers don’t work in the endgame.

  14. Tatty says:

    The new old Steam Fallouts also have built-in support for those of us lucky to have those fancy new 16:9 monitors. Can’t see any difference in terms of the in-game options to the Fallout 1 & 2 resolution mods and have no idea if the re-releases have any ‘unofficial’ patch content. Probably not.

  15. cylentstorm says:

    I still own all 3 through GOG, and so remain available to me, even now. So there.

    Actually I grabbed them all for the grand total of FREE sometime in December, and managed to avoid steam once again. I do, however, use steam for the occasional free game that it manages to squeeze out of its ass.

  16. xenothaulus says:

    Is it sad that I will probably buy them during the sale, because I would rather spend 5-10 dollars than go rooting around in storage bins looking for the disks?

    • revan says:

      No. It is not sad. The fact that you didn’t manage to get them while they were free? That is sad. :)

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      jrodman says:

      I bought FO2 from GOG for the same reason.