Every fandom has its little divides. From Doctor Who fanatics favouring the current era over the classic to Star Wars fans who deride everything besides the original trilogy, there is always natural split which arises over time. However, few ever become so pronounced as those of the Fallout franchise with its older and newer generation. There remains sadly little crossover between lovers of the old and new games, and in the minds of many you either love Bethesda’s work or you stand adamantly by Black Isle Studios’ legacy. It goes without saying that the latter group has had very little fortune in the past few years, with few to no releases truly capturing the depth or style of the old '90s duology. At least until now.
Made by a group of devoted fans in the Czech Republic, 1.5 has been made to bridge the gap between the first two games. Set some years before the rise of the Chosen One, it avoids a lot of the usual factions such as the Super Mutants, Enclave and Brotherhood in favour of newer, broader ideas of an untamed wasteland. As a result the world is truly alien, and this is captured perfectly thanks to the protagonist’s mysterious origin – Awakening in a cave with little more than the Vault suit on his back, his name and a mysterious talisman clutched in his hand.
The story is vastly better staged and developed than many later sequels, lacking the overly civilized issues of New Vegas, the massive plot holes of Fallout 3 or the lack of real desperation found in 4. Instead the group aimed to recapture the more harrowing edge of the original game, ditching many of the more expectedly goofier elements. While there are still gags to be found in here, both this and the removal of so many familiar factions makes the world feel far more alive, far more alien and much more deadly as a result.
The missions themselves are a surprisingly diverse mix of tasks despite resorting to the usual skill based challenges or random acts of murder. Ranging from the expected salvage tasks to some extremely unsavoury work for criminals, you can never quite predict how a quest will turn out, or what results will stem from your actions. You can even end up being quite badly bitten in the rear should you just focus upon the objectives ahead of you without any thought or preparation; resulting in you either overlooking vital info or subtle hints allowing you to drastically change the outcome of your task.
The actual combat system itself is Fallout through and through. Save for better AI and a few less glitches, it sticks to its guns. The interface is still as detailed, if a little obtuse, as the classic games and there is a less of an emphasis upon rapid gunplay than a carefully stocked inventroy. As such, it rewards tactics, planning and the ability to quickly adapt to your foes, but lacks the risk of your companions trying to shoot at a foe through you.
Resurrection’s chief problem more than anything else is that the game can seem a little limited at times. While certainly a monumental success given the lack of any major backing, the world is undeniably smaller and much easier to navigate than the old series. What’s more, the English translation is sadly a little stilted at points, a problem which can diminish the otherwise fantastically dark atmosphere; and a few major story elements lack the depth or detailed explanations Fallout otherwise benefitted from.
Still, even accounting for those few shortcomings, Fallout 1.5: Resurrection is easily the best true sequel this franchise has seen in decades. Recapturing the sense of desperation, exploring unknown wastes and a world gone mad lost since the original instalment, you would be truly insane to skip this one. Fallout fans, post-apocalyptic enthusiasts and anyone with a spare copy of Fallout 2 from an old Steam sale, download this at the earliest opportunity.
FALLOUT 1.5: RESURRECTION / DEVELOPER: RESURRECTION TEAM / PUBLISHER: RESURRECTION TEAM / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW