Beyond the big stuff—the struggles to survive in a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland and the occasional tussle with mutant monsters—the Fallout series is about nothing so much as making the best of aging technology.
That's partly why the Fallout 1.5: Resurrection mod for Fallout 2 is such a treat—it takes the base game from 1998 and uses it to deliver a story that usually holds its own with the originals. It's stuffed with around 25 hours of content spread over dozens of maps, and were I not the wiser, you probably could have convinced me it's a leaked official game that was never properly released.
But it's a mod, all right. Strictly speaking, it's not even new. Fallout 1.5 is the work of several Czech programmers who first posted it back in 2014, but it didn't get an English release until July of this year. Before that, it spent almost a decade in development.
It was worth the wait. The Fallout world these days often carries a whimsical air, which certainly helps even out the drab, blasted color palettes that define Bethesda's open-world efforts regardless of whether they're set in Las Vegas or Boston. But true to its name, Fallout 1.5 harks back to the grim and punishing 1997 original. Hope is as rare as trees in the central New Mexican desert that serves as its setting. No matter which path you choose to push the story on, someone's going to get hurt.
If that sounds like the kind of fun you're looking for on a pleasant Sunday afternoon, then you can download it here. As PC Gamer's Richard Cobbett recently wrote, if you prefer the isometric 90s Fallouts over the likes of Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, "this is as close to a proper third installment as you're ever going to play."