Review by satinangora

"Fallout 3: A Review By A Soft Fur Sweater."

Imagine, if you will, that the world has ended. A nuclear holocaust has left the world in ruins. The only ones who managed to survive without being irradiated to the point of hardly looking human are the ones who were lucky and wealthy enough to buy a spot in high tech bomb shelters known as Vaults. Human trafficking is painfully common and people are murdered for scraps of rotten and irradiated food. This is the world that you must live in, the world you must fight in, the world you must survive in. This is the world of Fallout. Don't drink the water.

Now that I've got the super dramatic introduction out of the way, let's get on to the important things. Things like why you should play this excellent game.

Gameplay

Fallout 3 has strayed from it's predecessors in terms of gameplay, leaving the more strategic point and click gaming behind for something a little more “first-person shooter”. Depending on your perspective, you might see this as a negative or a positive; I'll leave that decision up to you.

There are several different endings one can receive upon completion, all depending on the choices you make in the game. You can choose to be good, taking the moral high ground in all you do, you could be the last, best hope that the Capital Wasteland has. You might also fall into the seduction of the dark side, killing and enslaving people, and hated by all. You might also be indifferent to both sides, content just to survive. It's all up to you.

An interesting feature added by Bethesda Softworks is the “Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System”. Inspired the ability to target individual body parts in Fallout 1 and 2, “V.A.T.S.” causes real-time combat to be paused and allows you to specifically target certain parts of your enemy's body at the cost of Action Points. Although one could easily play through the game without going into V.A.T.S. mode, the 15% increase in your chance for a critical hit on your enemy is very useful in a pinch.

Going back to the ever subjective morality thingy, you also have the option to use drugs that enhance your skills in some way. You do risk becoming addicted to these substances and will be required to feed your addiction almost constantly. Use wisely children.

In the game, there are about 30 quests for you to attempt. Sadly, they only take around 15-20 hours to do and in my opinion, a game with this large of a world deserves a lot more than that. Hopefully the upcoming DLC will fix that but, it should have been included in the original release but, that's neither here nor there.

Story

You are the child of a scientist living in a bomb shelter known as Vault 101. Unknown to the actual vault dwellers, each Vault that was built had a specific experiment. Vault 101's experiment was to see what would happen if it was never opened. You lived in relative peace, the most hostility you ever experienced was that of the local bully. That is, until you turn 19 and your father, James, breaks out of the Vault without any explanation to you. How inconsiderate. Obviously, your only option at this point is to follow in his footsteps. Now you're thrust into an unfamiliar world, filled with less than hospitable beings, and you must begin your search for your father. The journey will take you radio stations, battleships, “explosive” towns, slave camps and many other places. All of this will lead you to a choice that will affect the lives of all the people in the Capital Wasteland.

Graphics

The Capital Wasteland and its inhabitants are beautifully rendered; all the more to show you the horrors of a world ravaged by hate and war. The wasteland is barren and the metro tunnels you traverse are dark and sometimes hard to navigate because they all look the same. The drab design does get kind of old after a while but, what else do you expect from a post-apocalyptic game? Daisies and butterflies?

Music

Cause one dog ain't enough, and two is too low, here's Three Dog! Fallout 3's soundtrack is mostly classic songs from the 30s and 40s, which stick in your head long after you finish playing. I've randomly started singing “Butcher Pete” in public, only to be arrested for conspiracy to murder. When faced with these charges, I merely threatened to chop the meat of my cellmate. After that I was promptly released but, you obviously don't care about my legal troubles.

If you so choose not to indulge in the wonderful tunes of the past, the incidental music provided really does add to the creepiness factor of the game. You really can't go wrong either way.

The Replay Factor (way better than the O'Reilly one)
While the questing may be a bit lackluster, the different moral stances you can take in the game warrant a few replays, plus going to every single location in the game would take you quite some time.

The End

Well, this concludes my review of Fallout 3. I hope you enjoyed it. Now, now children, don't look so sad. I'll be back. I've just got to kill a couple Super Mutants first.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/20/09

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


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