Review by Raganork10
"An experience unlike anything you've ever played before"
First of all, yes, I am the person that gave this game a 3 out of 10 before. After about 3 hours, it got taken down by administrators due to its misguided information. After this event, I played the game again for a couple more days, trying to prove myself wrong from what I said in my old review. It's a good thing this happened, as I can now believe what others say about this game being a really good RPG/Shooter. It may not be perfect, but it is actually a fairly good game well worth your time to play.
Now, despite the game being an enjoyable experience, there are still a few flaws. Nothing major that will prevent someone from playing it, but nonetheless, they are still present.
The main focus for me in games are in the story and gameplay categories. The story in this game centers around a 19 year old male/female that escapes from their sheltered life in Vault 101 to look for their missing dad. It starts out strong and ends strong, but for a good 3-4 hours, the story starts to fade.
I actually enjoyed the beginning of the game. It's unique, being that you live through parts of your characters life as he/she is growing up. It's fun and short, basically a good start for the game.
Right after you set off looking for your dad, the world becomes your sandbox. Meaning, you can choose to follow the main storyline or do whatever you desire. For me, my first run of the game consisted of running around trying to collect as much bad karma as possible (something I'll explain later). While fun, you really miss out on some really great parts of the game. Such as the giant robot that destroys everything in its path on the games last mission. So the reason why the story gets a 8 and not a 10, is mainly because of the way it's presented. The story will only unfold as you progress in the main storyline, but even then, you will miss out on some interesting information. This includes, notes, journal entries, and conversations with side characters. While the story is great, the only way of completely understanding every single thing is to go slightly out of your way. Which is great for players that don't really care for the story, or for players that wouldn't mind spending extra time to understand the story a little better.
Unfortunately, the ending of this game is very Anti-Climactic. Despite what Bethesda said about this game having hundreds of endings, it only has 6. The ending you get depends on two factors: Your karma level and the decision you make at the end of the game, leading to six different possibilities. All of which involve a two minute narrative explaining the results of the actions you made. I think what Bethesda meant by there being over a hundred different endings is when pictures flash on your screen showing what things your character did in the wasteland. But even then, that doesn't change the overall ending. Also, if you don't own Broken Steel, then you have to reload an old save to play again. Why Bethesda chose to do this is beyond me, maybe to get more people to download their add-on's.
As for Karma, it's a rating of how evil or good you are in the game. Things that influence karma are the actions you take, be it good or bad, donating caps to the church in Megaton, doing good deeds, and killing good or evil characters. Almost every action has some kind of effect on your karma. There are five levels of karma: Very Evil, Evil, Neutral, Good, and Very Good. Depending on your karma, you might be able to recruit certain characters and, as mentioned before, it will effect the ending.
---Main Game: 7/10
What does it do right and what does it do wrong? Where do I begin?
Let me start out by saying what I feel spoils the experience. First is the difficulty. It doesn't matter if you choose very easy or very hard, the only thing that will change is the damage enemies dish out and the damage they receive. This game will only be as hard as you make it. If you don't dedicate time to exploring and doing sidequests, then it will be quite difficult. Money isn't an easy thing to come by, and the main ways you'll be making money is by selling items you don't want anymore, and by rewards from doing quests. There is a third option, which involves being evil and killing innocent people to loot through their belongings for goods, but people don't always want to be evil. Of course, the higher the difficulty the higher the experience gain, which is good. But since the game has a level cap of 20, experience gain shouldn't be a problem for people that enjoy playing through a game thoroughly.
The game also has two weapon classes: Melee weapons and ranged weapons. Melee weapons can be just as powerful as ranged weapons if you devote your skills to the melee and unarmed categories. However, there are many more ranged weapons than there are melee ones. The ranged weapons include guns ranging from pistols to rifles. The game has a unique way of giving the player weapons. It will give a player the opportunity to handle a strong weapon right from the get-go, but with limited ammo. This is a great idea as many games save powerful weapons until the end of the game, a pointless idea as those weapons are more useful early on than they are later in the game. There are also schematics, or blueprints that allow you to make your own custom weapons. These are by far the most entertaining weapons in the game. With weapons such as the shishkebab (a flaming sword) and the dart gun ( a crossbow that fires poison darts), you can really find endless fun killing people in different ways.
There is also the Pip Boy 3000: an enlarged watch-looking object that serves as a multi-functional device. It stores weapons, clothing, and random junk, it has a map, a radio, and even displays current mission objectives. It also serves as a flashlight in dark areas. Also included with the Pip Boy 3000 is the Vault-Tec Assisted targeting System, or VATS for short. VATS allows you to freeze time to pinpoint a location on an enemies body that you want to hit. You can use VATS strategically to weaken an enemies legs, making them limp, or even cripple their head, which greatly reduces their accuracy. VATS really helps out when fighting from long range and even comes in handy a few times when fighting close range. While VATS is great, it feels a little broken, mainly due to the amount of action points required to use it, or AP. At most, you can use VATS 6-7 times in a row before your action points need to recharge. At this point, you must rely on shooting without an aiming system. Shooting without VATS takes some getting used to, as some guns have better accuracy than others. It's not an impossible task, as some people enjoy playing the game without using VATS at all, but it's not the best option to take, especially for sniping.
There are also perks, which are abilities that you gain from leveling up. Whenever you level up, you can put points into different categories (such as big guns and lockpicking) which will increase your skill in that category. Having a high lockpick skill will allow you to pick locks with higher difficulties, just to set an example. You also get a list of 2-7 different perks, from which you can choose one. These perks are abilities that effect either gameplay or your characters stats. These can be either entertaining, or extremely useful. An entertaining perk would be the sandman perk, which allows you to stealthily kill people instantly if they are sleeping. A useful perk would be sniper, which allows you hit an enemies head more easily. A really useful and creative way of leveling up that allows for better re-play value if people decide to start a new game again.
As of sidequests, there sure are a lot of them. For the most part, they're just chores that you are doing for people to get a reward. Some are actually worth your time doing just to witness the outcome (Most notably the Power Of The Atom sidequest). But some are just busy work, like repairing the pipes in Megaton or getting a violin from a deserted vault. You don't have to do these sidequests, they are just for getting items and caps, and some are even worth achievements. It's just that there should be more "Power Of The Atom" sidequests and less "Agatha's Song" sidequests.
Speaking of achievements, there is a problem with skipping some of the main storyline missions. Depending on the choices you make, you can skip quite a few of the achievements that can only be obtained through the main quest. Meaning that if you keep one save and want all the achievements, you might need to start a new game. I managed to skip the Goat Whisperer myself, but then again achievements are just for fun anyways.
---Operation: Anchorage DLC 5/10
On January 27, Bethesda released the first of three DLC packs for Fallout 3, named Operation: Anchorage. Is it worth 800 ms points ($10)? Is it long?
The answer to both those questions, in my opinion, is no. My biggest complaint with this DLC pack is that you can only access it once. Upon completing this DLC, you won't be able to return unless you reload an old save from before exploring this new area.
Another complaint I have is the longevity of the add-on. It can be completed in roughly two hours on your first try. I went back again to try out an infamous glitch and beat it in about a half hour on normal mode. In my opinion, paying $10 for only a few hours of gameplay, that you can't access again, is a scam. Why? You can't loot bodies of dead enemies (since you're in a simulation for this DLC), you can't ever access it again, the only new noteworthy weapons that you can get are Jingwei's Shocksword and the Gauss Rifle, and it adds no new gameplay mechanics. It feels more like a FPS than an RPG, which isn't what Fallout 3 is about.
This DLC focuses on the liberation of Anchorage Alaska from the Chinese. You are given a few tasks in this new area; blowing up huge guns, clearing areas of Chinese presence, and disabling a pulse field. Then, you're done. Wow, that was a lot of stuff to do for $10 right?
So why can't you return to Alaska after beating this DLC? Because you are playing in a simulation in a hidden facility. Upon beating the simulation, you are kicked out of the machine and no one will help you operate it again. So it is a one time deal.
So in all, you're paying for a few hours of repetitive gameplay and a few new pieces of armor and weaponry. Overall, it feels like a rushed add-on that adds nothing exciting to the game. PS3 owners aren't missing out on anything worthwhile.
--- The Pitt DLC 5/10
Unfortunately, this DLC package is barely any better than O:A in terms of getting the most out of your money.
Like O:A, this DLC costs 800 ms points. Also, like O:A, the whole quest can be completed within 2-3 hours if you take your time. I'm not going to repeat how much of a waste of money it is to pay for an extra few hours of gameplay that doesn't really add anything revolutionary to the game.
The graphics are gorgeous in this DLC pack. The lighting effects, environment textures, and particle effects like fog are nothing short of amazing. This DLC even has an area where you can witness a breathtaking view of Pittsburg from the sky. Aside from the environment, everything else looks average. The raiders are similar to those in the main game, with the exception of different armor. Also, from what I can tell, there are no new voice actors.
This pack, like O:A, also adds a few new goodies for you to find. There's the AutoAxe, a circular spinning saw with a large handle, the Infiltrator, a silenced assault rifle with a scope, and some new armor. The AutoAxe and Infiltrator are great additions to any players arsenal, and some of the armor looks quite nice. My only complaint is the new weapon selection. First of all, there are about 4 AutoAxe variants, all of which are exactly the same with the exception of firepower. Then, there's two similar silenced assault rifles, one unique .32 pistol which is similar to the standard .32 pistol, and a unique Laser Rifle. So in all, there are only really 2 NEW weapons in this DLC pack.
The story is very forgetful. You find a man named Wernher who is an escaped slave that wants you to find a cure to a disease. This disease can turn people into Trogs (Read: Feral Ghouls appearance on all fours without radiation), which is bad. So you go in by pretending to be a slave, collect some Steel Ingots (Read: Currency of some sort), enter a tournament and win, then chose to kidnap a baby, turn off some floodlights, and you're done. Yeah you can chose to side with the slavers at the end, but the end result is similar to just siding with the slaves. That's it. Your reward? Some radiation resistance and access to an ammo press. Wow. That's a lot. Of course you can kill the leader of The Pitt, Ashur, and steal his armor as a reward, but that's really not much.
The gameplay actually feels more Fallout 3-ish than O:A, which felt more like a shooter. After reaching a certain point in the quest, you can use any weapons and armor you collected from the main game, which O:A didn't allow. Also, you can return here anytime you want, something Bethesda couldn't think of doing for O:A for some odd reason. As for replay value, you can always come back to collect the 100 steel ingots, because that's always fun right?
The biggest problem with The Pitt is that it is glitchy. There are a few glitches and odd things in this DLC. First of all, the game freezes more often than the main game. I counted 4 freezes within 3 hours for The Pitt, while I only found 3 in about 55 hours of playing the main game. Secondly, the lip-syncing is off. I'm not sure if it's just my Xbox, but I found the lip-syncing to be way off at many points in the DLC. Thirdly, some textures took a few seconds to appear in the downtown area when entering it from a different area.
Overall, this DLC pack focused with making the add-on feel more like Fallout 3 than O:A. Though it does feel right atmospheric wise, it doesn't really offer much in terms of new content. It offers a low selection of new weapons, one new enemy type, a boring sidequest of collecting steel ingots, and it can be completed quite quickly. It isn't a huge step up from O:A, and it definitely isn't worth $10, but at least you can return whenever you want.
---Broken Steel DLC 7/10
Finally, this is Bethesda's most recent DLC pack and it's the only one that you might consider purchasing.
Basically, this DLC picks up where the main story ended, allowing you to take part in missions from the Brotherhood of Steel. The storyline for Broken Steel is to eradicate the Enclave threat once and for all. So you get to explore more locations, get new weapons, fight new enemies, fight with Liberty Prime (a giant robot), and, the best part, continue leveling up all the way to level 30! Yeah, that's what I'm talking about! This should have been the very first DLC available. It is almost infinitely better than the other two combined. You can return to nearly every new area you encounter (such as Adam's Airforce Base), fight stronger enemies (such as Albino Radscorpions), use new weapons (such as the Tesla Cannon), and obtain new perks on your way to level 30. This DLC has enough content to keep you entertained for about 10-12 hours or so. But that being said, there are a few flaws that come with this DLC.
Number 1: MOST of the new perks are either terrible, or downright useless. Most of them were just added randomly just for the sake of adding something new. Perks such as Almost Perfect (setting all your SPECIAL stats to 9) and Quantum Chemist (which lets you obtain an infinite amount of Nuka Cola Quantums) are pretty cool to get. But some of them like Rad Tolerance (which means that you wont suffer from minor radiation sickness) are terrible. In fact, Rad Tolerance might even be the most useless perk in the entire game.
And Number 2: Most, if not all, of the missions for this DLC are tedious and repetitive. There's nothing new here that you haven't already done before. There's a fetch quest, a gather information quest, and a go kill the bad guys quest. None of these quests offer anything new in terms of innovation, and only exist to offer a "wrap up" to the ending of the game, since the original ending was shameful.
---Point Lookout DLC 8/10
The 4th DLC pack for this game is Point Lookout. This DLC is probably the best one you could purchase right now as it offers a huge new map for you to explore, it has the Fallout vibe that fans have been longing for, and there are plenty of things to do to keep you playing for a long while.
You start off by riding on a boat to Point Lookout to find a woman's missing daughter. From there, you ambush a mansion, attempt to join a cult by embarking on a journey that takes you across the map, and make a moral decision at the end which nicely cleans up the main quest for this DLC. It has a dark stoyline, and the atmosphere of Point Lookout produces a great creepy feeling. It's a whole new area that has many new places to find and explore, and you can come back whenever you want. New weapons include an Axe, the Lever-Action Rifle, and a Double Barreled Shotgun. There is also new clothing to find, new perks, new enemies, and new achievements.
There are still glitches in this DLC, which I expected since the other 3 DLC had them as well. One major one that comes to mind is a perk which is supposed to let you do +5 damage to ghouls, but instead adds +5 damage to every shot from every small guns weapon. Meaning, weapons such as assault rifles will do a lot more damage than they regularly should. This isn't a bad thing, but a major glitch nonetheless.
Overall, I think that this Add-on is on par with Broken Steel in terms of enjoyment and the new things it offers.
--- Mothership Zeta DLC 3/10
And I thought The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage were bad. This DLC takes the cake for being the most tedious, repetitive, boring DLC for Fallout 3. To think that everyone was hyped up to get this DLC, only to be let down.
The premise is this: You get abducted by a spaceship and team up with other people and try to escape.
In reality, it's just Operation Anchorage in space without the great loot at the end. Almost all of the weapons in this DLC are useless. You'd think that advanced alien weaponry would be powerful, but in MZ, they're not. You'll find TONS of these alien weapons scattered throughout the ship and you won't bother picking them up because they lack the firepower you'd come to expect. The alien blaster, which you can find normally in-game without MZ, is the best alien weapon in the game, and you don't need to pay an extra $10 to get it.
Weapons aside, the story is also uninspired. The whole plot is to blow up parts of the ship to distract the aliens, spacewalk to the top of the ship, and kill the opposing alien ship. to go back home. There is absolutely nothing special about this story, and there are no plot twists.
Some parts of this DLC also don't make sense, like this: When you space walk, your left hand is exposed because of the pip-boy. In reality, wouldn't your hand freeze and fall off? Just a minor complaint, but it just doesn't make sense.
Earlier I mentioned that this was like Operation Anchorage. Well, it is. It is almost entirely combat based, there are absolutely no moral decisions, and you fight the same exact enemy over and over the whole time. The main enemy is Aliens, which makes sense, but there are hardly any variations of these aliens. The ONLY other enemy type are Space Drones, which are weak versions of Sentry Bots.
There are some positive aspects, such as space epoxy, which lets you repair any weapon a certain % without the use of other weapons. Then there's this alien gel that restores a large chunk of your health, but with a random side effect. Then there's Samurai Armor, which looks kinda cool. A Samurai Sword to go with the armor. And,um...that's all I got.
But my biggest complaint is that you can't explore the whole ship after beating the main quest for this DLC. Sure, you can return to the ship whenever you want, but you can only explore 4 sections of it. From those 4 sections, only 1 has any use. Meaning, you can't go back to the shooting range, and you can't fully explore the ship in case you might have missed some things. I'm sorry, but I don't count this as being able to come back whenever you want if you can only explore 1/6 of the ship.
Overall, you're better off buying O:A than MZ. At least you get some good loot at the end of that. In MZ, you won't want to use 1/2 of the equipment you can get.
If you could buy just 1 DLC for Fallout 3, make it Point Lookout or Broken Steel. The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage aren't awful, but they're just not that fun. And avoid Mothership Zeta at all costs. Trust me, it looks cool, but it's not. You might think people are lying by saying that it's bad, but they're right.
There are many different ways to listen to music in this game, such as listening to it through radios scattered throughout the wasteland, through the radio on your Pip Boy, in cutscenes, and so on. I really don't prefer the music genre the game provides, but the songs are fitting considering that the game is fairly reminiscent of the 1950's. My personal favorite would have to be Agatha's musical scores. Despite going through a monotonous sidequest to get this signal, it actually provides a nice atmospheric score when fighting off raiders.
As for Sound FX, everything sounds great. The bigger the gun, the stronger and louder the noise, which makes sense. Explosions sound realistic, and pretty much every sound seems to fit in great.
The game has an extremely detailed landscape, which makes the trek through the wasteland very enjoyable. Every building looks fitting for the atmosphere of the game: dirty and destroyed. Every city, every town, and every house just looks well-crafted. You could tell that Bethesda dedicated their time to making the landscape look good. The enemies also look well-detailed. My only complaint is the lack of enemies. Each enemy type (such as the Super Mutant variations) look the same, they just have different stats and different weapons. If there were more enemies, and enemies of the same species but different types looked more unique, then the graphics would've received a better score.
I also must comment on the weapons in this game. Again, the developers in this game decided to include a huge selection of weapons. Almost every weapons has a 'unique' counterpart to it, which is the same thing only stronger. The problem with these 'unique' weapons is that they are not truly unique; they are the SAME EXACT weapons with a damage boost included. The look is the same, it hasn't changed (with the exception of Lincoln's Repeater Rifle). It's just like the enemies: same look, but stronger. It's not bad that these weapons aren't different in appearance, but they shouldn't have a different name just for being slightly different.
OVERALL: 7/10 (Not an average)
---Weapons selection is amazing
---Enough things to do to keep you busy for hours
---Karma brings along some re-playability
---Story is bland
---Most sidequests are chores
---Not many great musical scores
---Most DLC is not worth the money
I really had to play this game twice to fully explore every feature and give a thorough review. It's a great experience that provides many hours of entertainment. It's a definite rental choice, and maybe even a great buy for some people, but the game is by no means perfect. It has some flaws, but nothing too bad that makes the game unplayable.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/14/09, Updated 08/06/09
Game Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)
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