Review by chaerulez
"The great return of a great series"
The question after it was announced that Bethesda would take over the Fallout series from Black Isle/Interplay, was that would they be able to live up to the high expectations? Expectations from not only the reputation of the Fallout series, but that of Bethesda itself. The simple answer is a resounding yes. I played the previous Fallout games and have been very pleased with the outcome of this game. When I heard it was being announced that this game would use the engine Bethesda had used for it's last Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion, I didn't know what to expect since I had only played Oblivion for a short time at a friend's house. However, this game is so good that it makes me want to go back and play Oblivion, because if Oblivion is anywhere close to being as good as Fallout 3, it would be a great game in its own right.
The graphics are very good, but they aren't the best I've ever seen. The music fits into the theme of the game and the voice acting is well done, and a bonus is the voice of your dad is Liam Neeson, which I thought was a nice touch. You can tune into a radio station that plays 50's music that keeps in style with the 50's cultural theme. Washington DC is really well represented. It is cool to see all the historical landmarks and real life locations of DC in the game. The subway system in the game is modeled after the real DC subway system.
The combat system is really well done. I've heard from people who have played Oblivion that it's Oblivion with guns, but that's meant as a compliment. People are wondering how V.A.T.S. works and basically you get a certain number of Ability Points allotted, which is measured from your characters agility. With these points you can choose to target specific parts of a enemies body. This is helpful because almost all enemies will have a weak point. Then everything becomes executed in a flashy sometimes very gory slow motion. When you run out of Ability Points, they recharge in the meantime you can still continue to play the game as a regular shooter, you just won't be able to use V.A.T.S. There are also many dialogue options and side quests to do, as veterans of the Fallout series would expect. From what I hear this game isn't as non linear as Oblivion. The game does end with the main quest, unlike Oblivion. Also it's possible to skip parts of the main quest entirely if you go ahead locations in the story. I've also encountered what I assume is a glitch in the game, because after you obtain your own home you are suppose to be able to store your items in the lockers without any worry of them vanishing. Unfortunately, when I did that my items were gone after a while. Hopefully Bethesda fixes this in a patch. Those are probably the only complaints I have with the game so far. Also, this game is also pretty challenging, combat isn't going to be easy you need to be prepared and in certain situations apply some tactics.
The premise of the story a the third World War broke out between the USA and China. Results of this war were the American annexing Canada and China overtaking Alaska. In 2077 this war culminated with atomic warfare which left the world in post apocalypse. Fallout 3 takes place 200 years later, about 115 years later from the first and 35 after the second Fallout. The first two games look place in California while this one shifts coasts and takes place in Washington DC. In the event of a war the government built huge Fallout shelters called Vaults. Your character was born in one of those Vaults. The character creation process is represented in your childhood. Then when you are 19 years old, your dad (mom died in childbirth) mysteriously disappears. Apparently the leader of the Vault, the Overseer wants you dead so you have to escape. Thus the game is, finding dad.
So now after playing the game, the question becomes could Black Isle/Interplay done better if they kept the rights to the Fallout series? In the end, it doesn't matter, this is a great game in it's own right and a superb effort by Bethesda. This game gets my vote for game of the year and I think that's saying much because 2008 has been a great year for video games, especially in this past month. Only reason I'm not giving it a 10 is because of the minor glitches but they are only minor. If you enjoyed the previous Fallout games and are a fan of Bethesda there is no reason for you not to have this game. The entire theme and mood of the series is retained. From the violent and depressing world setting and the 50's cultural parody. Hopefully we get to see a Fallout 4 from Bethesda in the future.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/31/08
Game Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)
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