Nik the Russian's Blog

Posted on Sep 30th 2008 at 09:02:02 AM by (Nik the Russian)
Posted under History, Fallout, Total Annihilation, DirectX, PC, Windows

September 30, 1997 (11 years ago): Fallout is released.

September 30, 1998 (10 years ago): Fallout 2 is released.

Consoles: Windows PC

If you have not played either of these RPG titles, you should at least try. Set in a violent post-apocalyptic future, Fallout games stood out with their dark humor, art-deco designs (many items and technology the player encounters are from the 1950's), and themes meant for more "grown-up" audiences (plenty of 'casual' language and blood). The player explored the world in real-time, while combat was turn-based and used "action points" (like in the awesome X-COM: UFO Defense). Many balanced skills made it actually possible for the player to rely more on stealth, or diplomacy, instead of force. Furthermore, the quests often had multiple outcomes, granting varying experience and affecting the player's karma.

As for myself, I was glad to see an RPG that did not have any elves or magic, but instead lots and lots of guns, which I liked. The art direction was another thing I liked, as well as many pop-culture references (like a card game called "Tragic: The Garnering", or the Nuka-Cola drink).

As I am sure many of you know, after shutting down Project Van Buren, a Fallout sequel in development, Bethesda purchased the rights to the franchise from Black Isle and is about to release a sequel of their own, Fallout 3, on October 28th of this year. I know that I will buy it, play it, and hate it, but continue playing it. I could go on a rant about Bethesda and their "experience" in game-making, but there are other sites on the Internets for that.

To reminisce, here is the opening video from Fallout, along with the awesome music ("Maybe" by The Ink Spots) and narrated by Ron Perlman:

Here is the intro to Fallout 2, in case you have not seen that in a while either (the song is "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" by Louis Armstrong), in two parts:

And here is the trailer to Fallout 3, so far keeping with the style of previous games (the song is "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire," by The Ink Spots):

Other historical events for today include:

September 30, 1997 (11 years ago): Total Annihilation is released for Windows PC and Mac OS.

The first Real Time Strategy game with 3D units and terrain, this was also (as far as I know) the first RTS with a library of third-party downloadable units. The successful RTS Supreme Commander, also made by Chris Taylor and Gas Powered Games, is usually considered to be in the same style.

September 30, 1995 (13 years ago): first version of DirectX API Library is released to be used on Windows 95.

How is this related to games? Well, DirectX (and particularly, the Direct3D application programming interface) is responsible for the fact that Windows has the most games today as a console, and also the reason why other systems, like Mac OS, could not compete in terms of gaming. DirectX and its later revisions (current version is 10.1) introduced many new special effects in games, and made it easy for programmers to implement them.

Though, I must say I am disappointed with DirectX 10 subtle effect differences, performance lag, tie-in with expensive hardware, and the whole pointless Games For Windows initiative. Feels more like a marketing scheme.

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Nice article! Smiley

Question: What source do you use to know what games were released on what dates?
I actually beat Fallout 2 for the first time last week Smiley Definitely looking forward to #3
this feature is awesome. don't ever stop. Smiley

I use a few sources. Wikipedia proved to be surprisingly good:
If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you will see links to see different years in more detail, like, say, 1998.

Sometimes, though, I have to dig deeper, and for some of my favorite games (mostly DOS games of early 90's) I still cannot find (even approximate) release dates. I will probably do a special feature for such games.
I never could get very far into the games. I played them at a time when I was also playing WoW and so had no taste for much else unless it was extremely short...Needless to say I could tell they were well made, and watching the gameplay videos of 3 makes me sigh as Bethesda seems to making an Oblivion/Bioshock clone.
Yay for Fallout!  Though you should keep an open mind for Fallout 3, even though it is from Bethesda, it may be taking a new direction with the 3d n' stuff, but you might like it.  If not, I'll be sure to show you all the cut-scenes and important stuff, or funny stuff, like the troll who committed suicide under a bridge in Oblivion.  What I hope for is that Bethesda will put a LOT more unique-ness and variety in it.  :3
Your article was awesome by the way, just got carried away, sorry about that, but you know me. ;p
Fallout 3 is gonna be horrible to me to the point that I refuse to play it.

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