Review by Python_2k9
"Keep your friends close, and your Super Sledge closer."
Introduction (This review also covers all 5 add-on packs for this game!)
Nuclear war. Those very words conjure images of the burnt husks of former buildings. People wandering the street, looking for somewhere safe to stay. Many think if a Nuclear war was started, everyone on Earth would parish. Fallout 3 would like to differ. Basically, this game takes place in a alternate history. Imagine if, after World War II, the time line forked in half. Our world was one branch, the Fallout universe the other. In the latter branch, technology progressed at a much faster rate, and
American society remained locked in the culture of the 1950's. In short, it's the future, but at the same time, it's the past. On October 23, 2077 (The release date for Fallout 3), which was the climax of the Great War (The Chinese/American war in the Fallout universe), everything went to hell. Someone fired a nuke. It started a globe-shattering domino effect. Everything was destroyed. Well, nearly everything. The fellows at Vault-Tec made sure at least a few people survived. They built these Vaults, which are essentially underground bunkers capable of supporting a population of hundreds of people. It's 2277, 200 years after that. You lived in Vault 101 for nineteen years, and then, the crap hit the fan.
So the game starts off with a neat slideshow and Ron Perlman as the narrator. He speaks his famous line at the end. War, war never changes. You are then brought into the world (Literally, you are actually born as a baby) and asked your name by your Dad (Voiced by the great Liam Neeson :D). He then brings down a screen showing you what you will look like when you grow up (This is the character creation screen) The creator is pretty deep, with the basics like hair style and hair color, etc. Flash forward a year later, and you're a one year old baby! This is the walking tutorial/ main attribute distribution segment. You read a book called YOU'RE S.P.E.C.I.A.L! Each letter represents a skill. Here's a quick run-down of them.
Fast forward another 9 years, and if you're good at Math, should should know that you're a 10 year old! It's your birthday and you get free stuff! HOORAY! At first, you get your Pip-boy 3000, the Fallout 3 equivalent to the Journal fomr The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It holds your map, your equipment, and pretty much everything else. After talking to everyone, your Dad (Once again, voiced by the STILL amazing Liam Neeson) tells you to go somewhere, You then get.....DUH DUH DUH DAH! A BB GUN! No, it isn't a Red Ryder carbine-action 200 shot range model air rifle BB gun with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time, it's just a plain ol' BB gun. Now you learn the shooting mechanics (More on that later). Fast forward yet ANOTHER 6 years, and you're off to take the G.O.A.T! It is a test which tells you what job you'll have in the vault when you're older. In short, what skills will be your tag skills (raised by 15) You can manually choose you're tag skills if you want.
Once again, we flash forward 3 years. You are woken up with the news your father is gone. He has left the Vault and now Vault Security is after you. The only option? Escape as well. When you DO escape, you are met with a piercing white light. When your disorientation dies down, you are met with a view of a god-forsaken wasteland. Burnt out buildings, car husks, occasional Raiders, are now littering your screen. It's up to you. Find Dad, don't, or forget he even exists. It's your game. Play it YOUR way. Basically, to sum the story up. Find Dad.
Wow. Just wow. I hope you duct-taped your jaw shut, because it will drop. The view after exiting the Vault is phenomenal. The draw distances are some of the best I've ever seen (Behind Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising) There is occasional pop-up, thankfully only a few items, like one or two trees, Textures hiccup when viewed up close, but you can't blame them.
The screen is jam-packed with detail, anything from the twigs on the ground, to the surrounding area are amazingly detailed. You can play this in 1st OR 3rd person, like Oblivion. 3rd person is actually good this time around! You can adjust camera zoom, which is great, or swirl the camera around to admire the new thing of power armor you just obtained. It would be a sin to forget about the gore! Here is a forewarning: This game is NOT for someone with a weak stomache. The gore is.....just wow. Nothing beats shooting a Raider in the face with a sniper rifle, and seeing his head implode, with bits of brain, skull, and the occasional eye, flying through the air.
Guns and explosions are nicely detailed too. Also, this game has the best ragdoll I have ever seen. It's really funny to shoot a Raider, and watch his body tumble off a cliff.
The voice acting is top-notch ( Did I mention Liam Neeson?) Everything from the gunshots from a rifle, to the yells of the Super Mutants is immersive, The main characters outshine the minor characters of course, but even so, they still sound very good. The death threats from Raiders are bone-chilling, sometimes humorous (This is a Fallout game after all!) Your Pip-boy has a built in radio, which picks up radio signals. One of my favorite stations is Galaxy News Radio. The over-eccentric DJ, named Three-Dog (AWOOOOO!) is very funny. He keeps you up to date on the happenings in the Wasteland. He will praise you or scorn you, depending on your karma level. The sound track is limited, but very good. You get a few 40's-50's tracks that fit perfectly with the setting.
Overall, everything is silky smooth. If you've ever played the original Fallout games, you may recall VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). It makes a return. Basically, VATS freezes time and zooms in on a nearby person. You can target individual body parts or the weapon (Shooting frag grenades while somebody is holding one is hilarious and bloody) and a percentage pops up telling you how much of a chance you have of hitting the targeted area. Every shot costs AP( Action Points) which regenerate over time. When you're happy with your shot-queue, the game resumes.....in super slo-mo. The camera shifts to third person as you take your shots. The camera gives you dramatic angles (One in particular is where the camera follows the killing bullet all the way to the target). It's great fun, and easy to use. If you shoot when not in VATS, don't expect to hit every time. Every shot is a hidden dice roll. If the roll is high enough, it's a hit. It looks and feels kind of clunky. It's the only reason the gameplay gets a 9. The level up system is different from Oblivion's (THANK GOD). It's the more traditional Experience points way. Every time you level up, you can add points to your lesser skills and choose a perk.
Perks are essentially rewards for leveling up. You're always unlocking new ones. They range from awesome (Mysterious Stranger=Occasionally in VATS, your Guardian Angel, armed with a .44 magnum, lends a hand.) to the weird (Cannibalism=lets you eat humanoid corpses for health and bad karma.) to the useless (Mister Sandman=lets you instantly kill a sleeping character, There aren't many sleeping enemies around >.<) You also have a karma standing. Doing good stuff nets you good karma, evil stuff nets you evil karma.
Not much to say here. Controls are buttery smooth. Everything feels natural.
Okay, here are my reviews for the downloadable content, which come with the Game of The Year edition on a disk, for those of use who don't have Xbox LIVE (Like me >.<)
OPERATION: ANCHORAGE 8.75/10
This one is started by receiving a radio signal. There are these people who need help with something, and you're the only one who can help. Basically, they can't get this door open, which they believe is blocking off a room full of goodies. The only way to open it is by completing a simulation of the American liberation of Anchorage, Alaska. ("Wait, WHAT? Alaska is part of America, you idiot!" you may be thinking. Well, it WAS. Sometime in 2066, China invaded Anchorage for oil) The reason only you can do the simulation is your Pip-boy. When you enter the sim, you lose your inventory (Don't panic! You get it back!) . When you leave, you lose the sim inventory (unofrtunately). Basically, you help blow stuff up and liberate Anchorage. It's short, sweet, and packed with action. You also get to take anything behind the door after you beat it( completely worth it).
The Pitt 7.5/10
This one starts with another radio signal. You meet a guy named Wernher and he tells you he needs help to liberate the slaves in this place called "The Pitt". Turns out, the Pitt is actually the remains of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! When you get there, you pretend to be a slave. Oh, you lose your inventory again (but you get it back....again) You can side with the slaves, or the slavers. You get a a few new weapons, like the Auto-Axe, which is a modified working tool. This DLC isn't that great, but it's not bad either. It's average.
Broken Steel 9.5/10 (SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you've beaten the main quest line, you know the game actually ends. Broken steel changes that. You get knocked out and wake up 2 weeks later at the Citadel. This DLC lets you finish off the Enclave for good, and adds a new weapon, It's called the Tesla Cannon. It's uber powerful and accurate. That is all. The reason it gets such a high score is because it alters the ending. Oh, and it raises the level cap to 30. That part was kind of important too :P. Also adds some new Three-Dog dialogue over the radio (no new songs unfortunately)
Point Lookout 9/10
Once again, you get a radio signal. A boat from the mysterious Point Lookout, Maryland has arrived. It is selling a mysterious fruit called "Punga." It is also willing to sell tickets to Point Lookout for the traveler who may want to discover the riches of the place. Point Lookout was never bombed. Society forgot about it, forcing some of the natives to inbreed. Ew.
The result? A hella fun experience. This one comes with a rather large are to explore (about 1/5 the size of the capital wasteland.) This one felt more Fallout-y than the others. Adds some new weapons and clothing like the Lever Action Rifle and the Confederate hat (these are hillbillies after all)
MOTHERSHIP ZETA 8.75/10
This is the most unappreciated DLC of them all. I don't know why. Basically, you pick up another radio signal (what's new?) and you go lookin' for the source. You find a crashed UFO (I ain't kidding). suddenly, you get abducted by aliens (Not kidding still) You awake in a cell, with your equipment gone (......again) and you must escape, This one nets you some kick-ass alien weaponry and a phenomenal view of Earth, Also, you can get Samurai Armor (STILL not kidding). I like this one a lot, which is apparently pretty rare. It adds aliens, which is the ONLY thing Fallout 3 was missing.
Whew, that was a lot of typing. I hope this has persuaded you to give Fallout 3 a chance.
-HUGE replay value
-You get a nuke launcher called the Fat Man
-GREAT ragdoll effects
-The actual shooting out of VATS is clunky
There ya have it. My own personal opinion of Fallout 3. Now please, go buy this game. Now.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/13/10
Game Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)
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