Review by mysto5
"Radiation isn't always a bad thing..."
Fallout 3. This is a world where you find roaches as big as dogs and the water can kill you. It's a setting after a nuclear war, where the land is ravaged with fallout radiation, slavers, mutants, and possibly you as well, if you want to be a bad guy. At the very least, you have to admit that sounds cool. Even though it isn't the same as Fallout 1 or 2 it still is a great game. If you were hoping for Bethesda to keep Fallout the same, you WILL be disappointed/ However it's still fun to play and besides, the water isn't that bad once you get past the aftertaste.
So on to the review!
The game takes place is Washington DC, now called Capital Wasteland. Even though the world in the game is destroyed, it looks great. The graphics are vivid and well thought out and it seems that most of the time you barely notice some of the thought going in to them. The characters, rubble, monsters, and even the ground all and to wonderful looking hell hole. The world is expansive and you soon discover literally how big the world is when you step outside for the first time. The view keeps on going and going and you discover the amazing engine they used has indeed made this wreckage look amazing. Combat reveals some sad points in graphics in the sense of no transition to the destroyed leg, caved in skull, or whatnot. They have the option of looking either somewhat healthy or mutilated. The world around you doesn't seem to change as much as you'd hope. Even if you fire 3 Fat-man rounds into the bridge, it seems to hold up fine. The world is classified as 4 things. Trash you can pick up and move, Trash you can adjust (like radio sets), unmovable stuff (Tables, Buildings, Drawers, and the like), and cars. Cars are the only part of the unmoving world that can and will explode(Without relation to story).
The only thing playing music in Capital Wasteland are the radio sets. Your fancy wrist watch (Pip-Boy 3000) is also a radio set if you want. The music is older, so those fond of heavy metal or rap may prefer to keep the radio sets off. The music adds to the unique atmosphere of Fallout 3 to make it seem almost in the past even though the game is in the future. The voices are well done on every character that does happen to say anything. Now they sometimes seem to repeat over in several characters, but it's not annoying or that noticeable. The explosions, gun shots, punch impacts, and such sounds, are done without any hitches or annoyances. Overall, keep the volume up.
Game play: (The most important part)
You start the game as a baby where you'll choose the name, gender, and appearance of the guy you'll play as. Then you grow up more to pick your SPECIAL stats (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck). Then you grow up some more to pick your general stats. Now the thing is... No stat is bad or a waste. Picking stats show how you are going to play this game. High in Melee Weapons, means that you'll be good to fight with a bat, tire iron, or other blunt object in your hands. Advantages to this are that ammo is a thing of the past. You may be tempted to sway from this when you realize that you can and will be shot at while you charge at the enemy. Small arms are great, but can't be used against the tougher enemies as reasonable. All stats are useful and this causes you to make hard choices on how your character will be. Along with the famous perks, you see how much choice is give to you.
This game is not a typical FPS. You'll find a need to fight using strategic means rather than just guns blazing. One thing that makes this more strategic is the lack of bullets and repairing need. Most enemies have little ammo to scavenge, preventing you from going full auto on any gun without losing most of, or all of, your ammo. Stores don't magically produce new ammo, so usually buying (or stealing) bullets can't supply you with infinite ammo, assuming you have the cash (Or sneaking). That means that if you find an area where most have a 10 mm pistol, you'll consider using your 10 mm pistol to fight them so you don't waste the ammo for the guns you need to fight more powerful guys. Weapons break in Fallout 3 and need to be fixed. When the condition of a weapon is low, its stats degrade. So they need to be constantly fixed and such with more weapons. In order to fix them you can pay someone else or fix them with the parts of another gun. You have other factors which change how you play. You can pick up several pieces of junk, but will find they weigh too much and cause you to have to walk everywhere. You may appreciate the complexity, but find it can get a bit annoying to repair your guns and make every bullet count. VATS causes the game play to be more strategic, by making you think to shoot in the leg to slow down the target or the arm to decrease the accuracy. Be warned though, if you cripple your body parts, you suffer similar effects. VATS has to recharge though, so you do still have to shoot the enemy without stopped time or wait until it recharges.
Radiation is a huge portion of game play and a constant struggle. The food has radiation, the water has radiation, the air can have radiation. You will deal with it a lot. Over exposure can weaken and kill you, so you must take Rad Away to be able to not die from overexposure. Water is differently radiated depending on what kind you drink. The river's water will give health with some higher levels of radiation than water from a sink or fire hydrant. You have a fancy Geiger counter to tell you how close to lethal radiation levels you're at. It isn't as ever threatening as the repair and ammo need and is easily solved with Rad Away or a trip to a doctor. It simply makes you consider is the water or food is worth the health it gives.
The decision part of the game shapes the game play quite a lot. Bad deeds like killing innocent (Needed story characters and children can't die, but are knocked unconscious) and stealing lower your karma while good deeds like saving the day in general or giving away stuff. Bad guys don't have a good life, as you have good guys attack you and people fear you and such. Bad deeds cause those around to get angry and shoot you. Good guys have enemies as well and can't take the easy way out some of the time. You don't have to be pure good or bad, and you may find yourself helping the village after stealing its cash and guns. Sadly revealing any decisions in the story would spoil the game a little, but trust me, they are quite good. Either way you'll enjoy playing the game just as much as seeing or hearing.
Game play *(9/10)*
This game can last you a long time. You can change how you play the game focusing on different stats as well as make any of the many decisions in a different path. The perks allow new things to be seen, some of which like Child at Heart, Black Widow, or Lady Killer can open new paths to take, The world of Fallout 3 is huge and will take quite a large portion of your time looking for. The game also has numerous endings to the story you see in Fallout 3. Some things will appear to you a second or third play through that you'll be glad you saw. Overall, this game can be played over and over until you have burnt out your screen from overuse.
Replay Value *(10/10)*
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/11/08
Game Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)
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