Gateway 2 had been Legend Entertainment's last predominantly text-based adventure game. Then, the series jumped forward and became the first of the short-lived third generation Legend games. Oh, and it was called Mission Critical (without Gateway anywhere in the name). In spite of the missing licence, its heritage is quite noticeable. The player finds himself alone on an abandoned spaceship, in urgent need of repair, with many initially blocked off passages and bound for an as of yet unknown mission in an unknown part of space. Hm, maybe this isn't a sequel, after all, but rather a Gateway 2 remake with new graphics and a new interface?
Normality throws the player into a dystopian metropolis leaning towards the psychedelic. Right in the middle of it, you take over the role of a teenager in his fourties called Kent who finds himself in his flat which has gone under in total chaos. Due to the game being classified as appropriate for six-year-olds, there are no beer bottles, porn magazines or even a huge, filthy bong to be found. Instead, there is just a boob tube, a dripping faucet and a permanently nodding tumbler bird. The run-down gloominess of Neutropolis does not fit with the good-natured and carefree mind of the protagonist.
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.