Fallout and Fallout 2, although stone-cold classics of the isometric RPG genre, are, nowadays, a slightly dubious prospect. Before Obsidian and New Vegas, Bethesda and Fallout 4, Black Isle created one of the richest and most vivid PC games in history. By modern standards, however, those original Fallouts are a little obstructive and fussy. You want to experience their humor, their style, their wonderful mix of role playing and choice, but they can be difficult to grasp. On a related note, if you’ve just finished Starfield and you’re eager for a new space-faring RPG game, or if you just miss the isometric classics like Planescape Torment, Baldur’s Gate, and Diablo, there’s good news. Available to try thanks to a free demo, a new Fallout-style RPG is out of Steam Early Access, and it’s already picked up rave reviews and industry awards.
Space Wreck from Pahris Entertainment is an isometric RPG game with flashes of classic Fallout, DnD, and Sierra Entertainment’s satirical Space Quest series. The name is a clue – trapped aboard a derelict, decaying old system of space stations, you need to finish quests, negotiate with NPCs, and scrounge for supplies to try and bring the entire place back online and get back home. The premise might sound a little familiar, but Space Wreck is all about depth, and a loving fidelity to RPGs of the past.
The game is almost entirely non-linear. It hands you an objective, but the way you do it is entirely up to you. Similarly, your character build is completely customizable. There’s no back story, no overarching narrative pretense. You build who you want, how you want, and your choices have actual consequences.
Various actions are decided by dice rolls – if you make a character with high charm, then you’ve a better chance of passing conversation or negotiation rolls, whereas a low science and tech knowledge character will blunder things like hacking and make computer terminals explode.
Combat is turn-based, but you can finish the entirety of Space Wreck without killing anybody. Even if you fail a mission, a new path will open up to you. This is role playing to the classic extreme, where just about everything is authored, guided, and decided by you.
The full version of Space Wreck launches today, Tuesday, October 10, and it’s already picked up a ‘very positive’ rating on Steam during early access. Likewise, it was named Best Indie at the Game Development World Championship in 2022. And if you’re still not convinced, there’s a free demo, so you can try before you buy. If you like Fallout and the classic era of the RPG, though, this is a must-play.