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.
There are only very few games out there which actually deserve the over-used label 'epic'. Usually, games called 'epic' just go for broadness, i.e. they offer lots of stuff of the same kind. For example, such a game would have lots of levels, but all those levels require the same few activities and strategies.
Mike Singleton is one of the few game designers who tried to work around the usual limitations of the genres and fixed player expectations, and in that process, he created some of the very few truely 'epic' games in gaming history. The prime example in the area of classic games would be his Lords of Midnight, for younger players, it is Midwinter.
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.