"After the world ends, life begins."

After the world ends, life begins.

To understand the wonders of the world! But alas, I am stuck in this Vault. Vault 101. They say no one ever leaves here, that you grow old and die here. I got my first job role through that dreaded G.O.A.T. I'm going to be a Pip Boy programmer. Wow. Well, I guess it's an important job. Those young ones have to have Pip Boys after all. What I wouldn't do to leave this vault, to see what wonderful land is out there. Maybe one day….

Control 9/10

Fallout's control scheme works surprisingly well, and the amount of polish Bethesda gave to it is evident. I rarely found issues with the control scheme, all the buttons and standard FPS controls work as well as you would expect. However, the hotkey assignment to the D-Pad often leaves you selecting a weapon you didn't intend (it's the same as Oblivion's Hotkey assignment) or leaving you barehanded because it registered your command twice. Also, the Pip-boy at times can be confusing to navigate, so give yourself some time to learn how controls are used navigating the Pip-boy menus.

Sound 9/10

Fantastic sound effects. From the nostalgic music to the sounds of war, they are all faithfully recreated with great detail. You can really get absorbed in the theme of the game through it's soundtrack, and the everyday life of characters in the game make a believable environment. The noises of the environment have to be heard to believe, as each thing you do sounds as if it would in real life. The downsides are irregular noises, such as a weird echo explosions during a V.A.T. attacks. Also, if you aren't a go getter expect to hear the same stuff from GNR radio station's DJ. You will probably find yourself turning the radio off and on occasionally throughout your game.

Graphics 9/10

The graphics engine is similar to Bethesda's last game, Oblivion. However, the version of Havok used allows for dismemberment, which is far more believable especially using some of the more powerful weapons. The character reacts as they should when limbs are crippled, but even as such you're never sure how certain crippled body parts affect your enemies, as they seem to be doing just the same as they were before you crippled them. Glitches and clipping happen often, but usually when small objects such as bottle caps are placed on the ground. Oh, and you'll see the occasional “What Just Happened” glitch. They're often funnier than they should be, and seem almost placed instead of accidental.

Fun Factor 9/10

Despite the learning curve with the menus and skill delegation, the game is one of the most enjoyable ones I've ever played. You have endless opportunity to be who you want to be, and just like real life, to deal with the consequences of your actions. It's easy to lose yourself in this massive game, regardless of the issues. Fallout 3 has minor annoyances though. All I can say is get used to the subways.

Overall 9/10

In all, Fallout 3 is a great game that has the potential to steal your life. You will never see all the game has to offer in several play throughs, and the amount of proposed endings leaves you wondering what would have happened if you chose this option over another. It doesn't reward or punish you for choices you make, but it does make you think about outcomes beforehand. That having been said, get out there and make history. Or destroy it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/05/08

Game Release: Fallout 3 (Collector's Edition) (US, 10/28/08)

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