Fallout is a role-playing open world video game produced by Tim Cain, developed and published by Interplay in 1997. The game has a post-apocalyptic and retro-futuristic setting in the mid-22nd century, featuring an alternate history which deviates some time after World War II, where technology, politics and culture followed a different course.
The game is considered to be the spiritual successor to the 1987 role-playing video game Wasteland. It is not an official sequel, although it was initially developed as one, because Interplay did not have the rights to Wasteland at that point. It was also intended to use Steve Jackson Games' GURPS system, but that deal fell through due to the excessive amounts of violence and gore included in the game, forcing Black Isle to change the already implemented GURPS system to the internally developed SPECIAL system.
Critically acclaimed, the game inspired a number of sequels and spin-off games, known collectively as the Fallout series.
Gameplay in Fallout centers around the game world, visiting locations and interacting with the local inhabitants. Occasionally, inhabitants will be immersed in dilemmas which the player may choose to solve in order to acquire karma and experience points. Fallout deviates from most role-playing video games in that it often allows for the player to complete tasks in multiple ways, often choosing solutions that are unconventional or even contrary to the original task, in which case the player may still be rewarded. The player's actions may ultimately dictate the ending of the game, or what future story or gameplay opportunities are available. Ultimately, players will encounter hostile opponents (if such encounters are not avoided using stealth or diplomacy), in which case they and the player will engage in combat. Non-combat portions of the game are typically played in real-time.
Combat in Fallout is turn-based. The game uses an action point system wherein, each turn, multiple actions may be performed until all points in the pool have been expended. Different actions consume different numbers of points, and the maximum number of points that can be spent may be affected by such things as chems or perks. 'Melee' (hand to hand) weapons typically offer multiple attack types, such as 'Swing' and 'Thrust' for knives. Unarmed attacks offer many attack types, including 'Punch' and 'Kick'. Players may equip at most two weapons, and the player can switch between them by clicking a button. The Perception attribute determines characters' 'Sequence' number, which then determines the order of turns in combat; characters with a higher statistic in this attribute will be placed at an earlier position in the sequence of turns, and subsequently get new turns earlier. Perception also determines the maximum range of ranged weapons, and the chance to hit with them.
A diverse selection of recruitable non-player characters (NPCs) can be found to aid the player character in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Examples include Ian, an experienced traveler and gunman who can equip a pistol or SMG; and Dogmeat, an NPC of a dog the player may recruit in Junktown by either wearing a leather jacket or feeding the dog an iguana-on-a-stick. Unlike in Fallout 2, there is no limit to the number of NPCs that the player may recruit, and NPCs' statistics and armor in Fallout remain unchanged through the entire game; only their weapons may be upgraded.