Review by AxierLionheart

"Fallout 3, from a Fallout fan's perspective."

Fallout, one of the best RPGs ever made. Fallout 2 was the best of the series. Fallout Tactics fell short, but was still enjoyable. When I found out Fallout 3 was being made, I got excited. Nearly a full year after its release, I have a full understanding of it, and have experienced it fully more than 3 times, with all of the add-ons, and I feel ready to make a definite judgment before everyone who hasn't played picks up the GOTY edition, slated for this October 2009.

Lets start with the concept. Fallout 3 is based on an alternate universe. In this universe, the 50s failry well stuck in the American culture, and its technology shows. With a lack of major micro-processors, every known computer is enormous, and mostly restricted to local networks and simple consoles. Robots have taken the step into your home, and the major entertainment is still the radio, and apparently still Black and White TV. Around the 2050's, the oil started to dry up, and America got hit by a new plague. After that, it didn't take long for war to start. America funded a project that was allegedly to save people in underground bomb shelters, but could only make so many. While America achieved fusion power in the year 2077, it was too late.
On Saturday, October 23, 2077, nuclear missiles fill the skies. This is how the world ends... And yours begins...

In the year 2277, packed up tight in your underground vault, you are born into this world. You are born in the Vault, but you ain't gonna die there... Not you. Instead, you are thrust into the most unorganized storyline since Oblivion... I wonder why I made that reference? Well, Bethesda did try harder this time. Without much spoilers, your Father runs off out of the Vault, you try to find him after everything goes FUBAR and you are nearly killed. SADLY, after that it is so un-flowing, that the side-missions feel more like mini-games at times. Nothing feels right about the story line's flow, but tt fits into Fallout lore and it tries to tell a great story, but falls out a little short. Main Story - 7/10

The gameplay, would like to shine, really it would, but it has some holdups. The shooter aspects feel worse than an arcade game. There are no iron sights, and that means no real way to enjoy the game as a survival shooter. This also means you cant turn off your HUD without nearly killing yourself over the difficulty aiming. Make the game easier, and enemies go down like flies. Make it too hard and you go down like a fly while your enemies absorb thousands of slugs. The RPG aspects fall short as well. The aid items aren't that hard, so you wont have much to worry when it comes to health, and you can carry all you want. That goes for ammo too. Since when does ammo not weigh anything? This reduces the feel of a survival game to a straight up shoot em' up with stat building. The guns also have NOTHING to do with Fallout 2, witch is odd. The plus is that it IS enjoyable, even though it could be better. Most of those criticisms are just things that you would expect from a Fallout game, but its hard to compare. This is the only live action FPS Fallout game. The only MAJOR problem is VATS. Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System. This is what replaced "aimed shots", and it fails. Is it fun? Yes. Is it cool? Absolutely! The problem is that it makes you basically invincible, increases the crit chance, and takes absolutely NO skill. It just feels out of place. It would have been better to have some form of "bullet time", but it could have been worse. All together though, the gameplay is addictive, but you will either like it or hate it. Maybe even love it. Gameplay - 8/10

Graphics make most games now and days. What you will experience is some of the most detailed renders, and fantastic landscapes. The beauty of this game is, however flawed. You notice the flaw as soon as you see someone move. THE ANIMATIONS ARE STILL CRAP!!! I say still, because this is Bethesda, and Bethesda makes games with crappy animations. (IE. Oblivion). There are also minor issues with the maping that leaves some gaps and "see-thru" walls, but not too many. The artists should be proud, the animators should be shot.
Graphics - 7/10

Sound quality is decent. The explosions sound good. The voice acting is fantastic, as it is Bethesda's only claim to greatness since Morrowind. The guns, however, sounded less like real guns than Call of Duty. If only we could get the guys who do the sound work for EA Dice. The laser weapons sound 50's though, and that works. Sound - 7/10

Mechanics are lousy. There are many glitches gameplay wise that make no sense, and gravity sometimes doesn't work on some objects sometimes. Collision boxes for some items are bugged to where you cant even get some items that should normally be obtainable. Sniper Rifles sometimes hit, but do no damage if you are out really far, and some items don't even function properly in VATS. That being said, its still a fun game to play, it just gets a little quirky. Mechanics - 7/10

Overall, its a great game, it just needs some patches. It also doesn't quite feel Fallout-ish, and seems to lack the depth of Fallout 2. Sadly, Bethesda doesn't patch much of any of their games. Hopefully some third party can help the PC owners with a patch mod, but consoles are SOL, unless someone gets Microsoft or Sony to allow console mods. (LIKE THATS GOING TO HAPPEN ROFLCOTPER!!!) IF you have a PC that can run it, PICK THIS GAME UP!!! There are a bunch of mods made by the community that are REALLY fun and interesting. If you are stuck on a console, think about it. It is a great game, but I would wait until the Game of the Year edition comes out somewhere around October. It will likely be the standard new game price, but contain the 5 current DLCs. I would recomend this to any Oblivion fan, and I would at least suggest that Fallout fans rent it, or borrow it, then make a decision.

PC 8.75/10 (Only because of Mods)
Xbox 360 and PS3 7/10 (Because Mods are the only way to fully enjoy it.)


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/21/09

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


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