The time has come. The night of all nights has arrived, where I will dive into darkness. Evil awakens and a nightmare comes true: Dracula rules our city of New York and the lord of darkness is also the head of the local corporation for cyber-genetics, cyber-space, cyber-surgery, cyber-technology, cyber-weapons and cyber-surveillance. Appropriately, it has been a very long time since the city has seen any light; we are in an apparently endless night.
On its surface Fallout 2 looks like nothing special: Seems like yet another one of those typical RPGs from around the millennium. Which means isometric view, small characters running around, giving each other a bad time with their weapons, a health bar somewhere… hmm… but not in a cheesy ‘epic’ fantasy world? No, actually this takes place in the exact opposite: A violent apocalyptic setting. That's already setting it somewhat apart from the rest. But its real strength only becomes apparent by taking a closer look: The one thing in which Fallout 2 really excels is its high degree of freedom, hence its potential to create your very own story with your very own character that comes bundled with this. In so doing the role playing isn't simply restricted to choosing what kind of damage you want to deal, but for once you can fulfil almost any tasks in your very own way. Thus Fallout 2 is one of the few games which comes as close as it gets to a decent implementation of pen&paper role playing on a computer, as best as it’s possible without some fellow human players. The brilliant game world, created with great love for detail, ensures the icing on the cake.
If the history mankind has shown us one thing, it is that seemingly all-powerful empires will fall eventually. Their power depends on many psychological factors. Among them, the disunity of the people they rule over. Once those manage to ally, the sated, tardy and overly bureaucratic empire suddenly isn't so invincible anymore.
The funny thing about conventions of gaming is that in such a set-up, it would be universally assumed to take over the role of the "rebel" faction. Which makes sense, because giving a player the initiative promises a lot of potential reward. The reverse role of defending may not be so rewarding. If you start at your height of power, things can only take a downturn.