|Version Reviewed: X-Box
The Brotherhood of Steel was the most influential faction in both Fallout and Fallout 2. So it stood to reason that they would eventually get their own game. However Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (known from here on as BoS), does not match up with the two sequels at all. The Fallout world was fun because of how open ended the game could be, BoS does not have any of that open ended fun. However, for a diehard Fallout fan, BoS is something you may want to look at since it brings back some interesting characters from the original Fallout namely Rhombus (a Paladin) and the Vaultdweller (Assuming you played a male character with moderate intelligence).
The storyline of BoS is not too bad if you use the original Fallout as a reference, but as a stand alone it can be somewhat confusing. The opening video does give a brief background on the story to try and clear things up, but it makes too many references to Fallout to be of much use.
Built on the same engine used for Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, BoS plays in a top-down mode. I found this to be really frustrating since the game had some excellent 3-D graphics that you could only see when you were in conversation. The top-down view does make some sense however since the game can be played both solo and as a tag team. It doesn’t take too long to get the hang of the controls and the manual provides a good list of tips which you should definitely follow.
The music for BoS is quite good. It uses several enjoyable heavy metal tunes which set up the feeling for a battle quite well. It uses some rather well known bands including Slip Knot. The abandoning of the sort of spooky Jazz music that was prevalent in Fallout and Fallout 2, may anger some fans but in this case it seems to work pretty well. The voice acting is not too spectacular, but it gets the job done, no fuss, no muss. The opening narration uses a different voice actor from the originals and this caused a bit of an uproar amongst people who had played the original who all enjoyed Ron Pearlman introducing them to the Wastelands. Also of note, the main screen song is an interesting little honkey-tonk number about nuclear fusion.
While BoS is definitely a step down from what made the Fallout world great, it is still not a bad game. However, it is rather brief and even with a few unlockable characters, it isn’t worth playing through more then once. (The unlockable characters are just copies of the first three with a different skin). But if you found the Brotherhood of Steel to be rather interesting in the original, you might want to rent it.