Review by CalmShadow
"Who knew there was so much to do in a desolate wasteland?"
It says a lot about a game when you've beaten it once, and you can go back through and realize that you missed over half of the content possible. On my first play-through, I barely reached the level 20 cap and felt I had done a pretty good job exploring. This is my second time through, my character is level 7, and I've yet to do even the third main story mission. For a post-apocalyptic wasteland where humanity is struggling to survive its surroundings, its new predators, and itself, there is a lot to do and find.
This one is pretty interesting. Your character is born, and you are then in charge of creating the way they look after choosing their sex. The character creation is sadly underdeveloped, but it's not that big of a deal, considering you rarely see the actually character. You choose between asian, african american, caucasian, and hispanic, then your typical facial details, hair style and color, and it's done. There is no changing the height or weight of the character, hair option are limited, and other flaws, but you'll be playing in first person almost all the time anyways. More on that later though. Anyways, after that, you go through the tutorial section of the game which is growing up in a vault, which is basically a reinforced cave. After this section is when the game starts to pick up. You're woken to alarms going off, and you friend is telling you your dad has left, causing a major panic, and the leader of the vault wants you dead. You then have to escape, taking down officers and giants roaches along the way. Upon finally getting out, you attempt to track down your father to find out why he left. The rest of the story is for you to find out, but I'll say it becomes something much bigger.
The controls are fine. Standard first person shooter affair here. If you decide to go into third person it becomes a hassle, but in first person it works like it should. The only real problem I had was in VATS. By hitting a single button, the battle is stopped and you are able to choose a body part to aim for. Against a normal human-type enemy, there's head, body, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, and weapon if they have one. Doing enough damage to any of these targets puts the enemy at a disadvantage. This is a great system, but the problem is cycling through which body part you want to hit. The section you are aiming for seems to jump around for no reason at times. Why do I need to target the left arm before I can choose to take a head shot, when the cursor starts on the body. Yet again, minor problems considering the gameplay is paused at that point.
Great. graphically, the game looks really good. Once again, little annoyances but nothing major. The physics work well at most times, but you'll occasionally get something that doesn't make any sense. I shot a mutated bear in the face with a hunting rifle as it charged towards me. The shot blew the bears head off (which happens all the time with head shots) and it proceeded to fly about twenty feet into the air, over my head, and landed quite a distance behind me. On the other hand, I've shot a person in the face that was running at me and they came towards me a bit as momentum carried them. Their feet flew up over their head and they landed on the back of their head, a bullet hole where there was an eye. It seemed random sometimes, and absolutely perfect other times. There's also some clipping, getting stuck in places you shouldn't, and parts of bodies twitching like crazy as they come through a wall. Yet again, nothing serious.
Great as well with some small complains as well. The music is good and fits in nicely. The voice acting is good for the most part, the guns sounds are fitting, and the radio stations are surprisingly catchy for a bunch of old big band songs. Not much is better than killing mutated scorpions while you listen to a guy singing about living in the jungle. I digress though. The only real problem with the sound is the repetition. The radio station DJ that you'll hear from talks about what's happening, giving you clues on where to go, along with discussing what you've already done, and what he thinks about how you've done it. It's awesome at first, but gets very old after a while. The same goes for the music he plays. There's only a handful of songs, so you'll hear the same ones over and over. Even the voice actors are recycled. Every old male character in the game I can think of sounds the exact same. Once again, just little nit picking gripes.
The most important part of any game is if the game is fun, and I'll tell you now, this game is amazing. Now, I didn't play any other Fallout games before this one, so I WILL NOT compare them. From what I hear, that is where most of the complains come from, is that the gameplay isn't the same. Regardless of whether or not that is true, this game is fun either way. Upon exiting the vault, you have full range of the map. Nothing is off limits, and if there is, you'll get to it eventually. One my second play-through, I managed to reach a place where if you just follow the storyline, is at the end of the game. I wasn't allowed in because it is scripted when you can enter, but none the less I found that amazing. The world is completely open. While some places are harder than others, the game makes sure that you can go anywhere with some hard work.
In conclusion, I would suggest that everyone at least give this game a shot. If you can just get through the first two missions, "Escape" and "Following in his Footsteps," neither of which is long, then you'll find a very enjoyable game with very few flaws.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/23/08
Game Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)
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