Review by MEPS3

"From the mouth of your President, John Henry Eden"

PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
Believe me, I was prepared. I'd heard so much hype around this game that I reserved my copy and almost missed my Tuesday O Chem lab to pick it up. Was it worth it? Yes and no. It's a great game, but nowhere near what it was hyped up to be.

STORY 7/10
The main story is pretty good, and Liam Neeson makes a great father figure voice, but it takes a backseat to the rest of the game. Personally, I think the main quest should be just that, they should drive the game. The side quests are little stories in themselves, but they can get bland, repetitive, and just tedious, especially the second time around. Wandering through the subways for two hours to go give someone a minor message is kind of annoying. The main story has some good twists, but it abruptly ends just when things really start to get interesting! And the whole 200 endings things is B.S. There is probably around 10 ending videos which are basically the same. SPOILERS!!! (The legendary so-and-so was Good/Bad/Neutral, they made this one particular choice, as well as this one. The End.)

GRAPHICS 10/10
Sublime, terrible beauty. The ruins of Washington D.C. and the surrounding Capital Wasteland are captured perfectly. Character models look great too. No complaints here.

GAMEPLAY 8/10
The FPS controls are a little clunky, but this isn't an FPS it's an RPG so I can forgive that. VATS is fun to use, but watching the same animations of exploding heads gets old when you see it every two seconds. I liked the opening levels in Vault 101 where you play through your character's birth, childhood, and adolescence to create your personality and stats. Pretty unique. Character customization is excellent, with plenty of skills and perks to choose from. Unfortunately many of these are pretty useless, so there's not much hard decsion-making involved (more on this later) I don't know why they bothered adding the third person perspective though, because it sucks. The gameplay is focused on exploration mainly, but this gets BORING. The quests and main story are good fun, but I don't feel like spending 100 hours exploring the wasteland just because it's there or to collect every last bottlecap or something. I need purpose, a story driving it, like in the main quest when you are 'Following in His Footsteps'

THE POWER OF CHOICE 5/10
The Karma system is a gimmick. It doesn't really affect your playthrough much at all, and it's so easy to change that your choices lose their weight. Tired of being hunted down for all those innocent people you butchered? Give a few beggars some water and your slate is clean. Most of the quest choices get repetitive too, and the side quests don't even really matter that much. Plus the characters are so one-dimensional and wooden that they usually don't even have a reaction to you. The only real heavy choice you are given is Megaton, which they hyped up before the release, and occurs within the first two or three hours. Better NPC relationships would have been nice. There are tons of dialogue options, but they're all one of three things, Good, Bad, Neutral, and in the story they all lead to the same path anyway, it doesn't matter what you say. As for your stats, many of the skills and perks are useless. Small Guns covers basically what you'll use for 85% of the game. It includes rifles, shotguns, besides handguns of course. Big Guns only covers things like rocket launchers and the Fat Man (my personal favorite) which you rarely get to use. Same goes for perks. I did like how core attributes could affect dialogue options though, with high enough Strength adding intimidation, Intelligence giving you the option to convince through logic and reason, etc.

REPLAYABILITY 5/10
Despite what everyone else will tell you, I thought two playthroughs was plenty. I missed out on a lot, but the things I missed were little ones that I don't care about. And playing as a good guy and a bad guy was still pretty much the same experience as a game, being bad just makes you feel like a worse person.

FINAL COMMENTS
Amazing game to play through once, and maybe again to make sure you didn't miss anything. The first time through NO ONE EVER ENTERS AND NO ONE EVER LEAVES your room because you'll be so hooked. It'll feel like living in a Vault. But once the adventure ends it loses most of its appeal, and there's no online play to keep it new and interesting. I sold it back while it was still worth something.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/09/08

Game Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)


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