Review by Grevious1991

"Nails the lonely, apocolyptic feeling! Loved every minute of it."

First, let me start with saying, that I don't like the Elder Scrolls series too much. I enjoyed Morrowind, but that's it. The first two just didn't appeal to me at all, and Oblivion, despite looking amazing in trailers and screen shots, was disappointing and boring. So, suffice to say that Bethesda and I don't have the greatest relationship, which gave me a large number of doubts when I found out that they were picking up the Fallout series from Black Isle.

That being said, this game is easily in the running for "Best Game of 2008," and is definitely the best game I have for my Xbox 360. Sure, I think that Fallout 2 is still better, but this installment still has its own excellence. Bethesda has left the great sense of humor and the "Make your own path" gameplay pretty much unchanged, if not added to slightly, leaving the player with dozens of different endings.

You play a dweller of Vault 101, and before you even get to play the actual game, you are given the chance to play though different times in your character's life (Such as taking his first steps as an infant, his tenth birthday, and an exam that everyone takes upon reaching a certain age.) and even these moments were a lot of fun. But the story is that after the Dweller becomes 19, his father leaves the Vault, and you are pretty much forced to leave in order to find him. Right away, veterans of the game series will be able to recognize familiar opponents, such as Raiders, Super Mutants, and Deathclaw. Conversations are dealt with in the same fashion as "Knights of the Old Republic" or "Jade Empire." The sidequests are unique and live up to the quality of the main story. There are countless ways to solve them which in turn adds infinite replay value.

The creatures are rendered beautifully, and the environments are jaw-dropping. During conversations character models look a little stiff, but this is forgivable. The loading screens are minimal and everything loads up with little to no pop-ins. The map, while not as big as Oblivion's, is huge. The voice acting is excellent and the music/effects are what you would expect.

The combat has been replaced in two ways, which is the one thing that I could see people unhappy about. The first is just plain real time combat, in which can fire freely and as many times as you want at opponents, and everything continues to go on around you. This system is your standard FPS affair. The seconds is the new VATS system, which is a little like what the veterans of Fallout are used to, in which you can actually stop to aim at individual body parts, you are more likely to strike criticals and cripple limbs, and just do more damage as a whole, relying on Action Points to make these shots. Getting a hit in VATS is very satisfying and usually leaves a mess of blood and gore.

All in all, I still enjoy the older games more, Bethesda has shown that they are much more competent than the pretentiousness of Oblivion suggests, and I highly recommend you go out and buy this game.

Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Presentation: 9/10
Audio: 9/10
Replayabilty: 10/10

Overall: 9/10 One of the best games to come out this year! A must buy!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/31/08

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

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