Review by Solusx2

"Bethesda You've made me a happy man."

Fallout 3 is the next game in the popular post-apocalyptic Fallout series but unlike the previous games it is now a first person real-time RPG compared to the turn-based game play of the previous games. The game takes place 36 years after the end of Fallout 2. The game resembles Bethesda's early work, Oblivion which gave somewhat a similar feel to what Fallout 3 gives.

Like Bethesda's earlier work, the story always starts out strong. It grips and intrigues the player to unravel the where about of your father, who has left the vault. The vault is a hidden vault under the earth, protected from the horrors of the wasteland. The vaults create the atmosphere for the player of a safe and peaceful life. It is presumed the vault is inescapable, but you find out shortly your father manages to escape the vault, so in the ensuing chaos your chase after him in the unknown Capital Wasteland. The story unravels better than Oblivions, and introduces the player to the background history of your father, and the Enclave (who claim to be the descendents of the American Government). After many twists and turns the story winds up rather neatly. The main problem with the main story is everything seems to revolve around it a lot more than you would hope, after completing the main story, the end games. This is frustrating as you cannot play your character unless you reload a save which can be an annoyance. The story ends rather abruptly as well, virtually without any form of closure or a final boss fight. From a story point of view, you won't be begging for more but looking back on it, you realise it was a pretty good effort for Bethesda in a game world that was foreign to them.

Like Oblivion, the graphics are great. The visuals of the wasteland are eerie and intriguing, exciting the player to discover the background to much of the ruin and rubble shattered across the wasteland. The best of the graphics come out in the combat and weapons. Incredible models and actions as well as explosives and destruction give a crisp and satisfying feeling to the combat. The waters are excellent, the texture of the wasteland which is littered with nuclear fallout ruins and rubble of the old world. The detailed weapons and armours (power armours to name) look wonderful on the character and gives a menacing feeling when wielded by foes. The Nuclear explosion which can occur in the game looks amazing, and really shows what the graphics are capable of. Beautiful atomic sunsets and radiation polluted rivers are just some of the things you are bound to see in Fallout 3. The character creation system is better than ever before, in any game I've seen. Characters aren't ugly! Hooray! Even the ladies aren't too bad now, but you soon realise how little you will ever see your characters face, it is fun though.

Game play
The game play is the strongest point of Fallout 3. Weapons and armour are plentiful and are in a huge variety. Any game with a nail on a plank called "The Board of Education" seriously has some dam fine creative thinkers. The weapons are numerous and balanced, with enemies also able to dish out what you can in turn with the powerful high-tier weapons you find later in the game. The combat is great. The controls allow you move and control your character easily and make combat very easy to master. The game is extremely well balanced, with things like shaky scopes in early levels and low skills and weapons which degrade over time when your repair skill is low. The early stages of the game are challenging, but as your progress you are introduced to much more dangerous enemies and challenged by them accordingly. Third-person view stills sucks, by the excellent first-person view makes up for it, allowing third person to just remain the mode allowing you to get a better grip of your surroundings and not significantly hindering your survivability. The inventory and level up system is well organized and controlled through your wrist-attached portable computer called Pip-boy. This allows for easy access to your inventory, as well are crucial features such as repairing your weapons and armour, healing, using buff items and looking through your map. The pip-boy is neat and very easy to use. One of the best new features is VATS. VATS stops time and allows you to target different body parts of your enemies to cripple and main your enemy and score easier critical hits and also provide awesome animations upon your weapon being used. I could nit pick as small things, but why bother? Just enjoy it. It's great to see Bethesda has taken such a significant leap and focused on game play, because it came out great.

The sound is FANTASTIC. The best voices you will notice are Liam Nesson who provides the voice for your father and Malcolm McDowell as President John Henry Eden. Liam Nesson does an excellent job as your mentor and guide in the early stages of the game as well as creating a comfortable atmosphere when your father is speaking. Malcolm McDowell voice as the Enclave Leader John Henry Eden is extremely convincing. The Enclave has a propaganda radio station which you can access with your Pip-boy, allowing you to listen to the propaganda machine and interesting goals of the enclave. There are many more fantastic voices in the game, but these are the most notable. The background music fits perfectly with mode of the game, with a huge array of cave crawling, ruin searching, travelling and battle music. If you aren't enjoying the music, you can turn on your radio and listen to Galaxy News radio, which plays about seven songs from the 1940's, which give a great feel to the game. There is also a few other radio stations, such as Agatha's Violin channel which may appeal to players if you are looking for a bit of soft music.

Replay Value
You can easily rake up 40-50 hours on a character by completing all the missions/story and just having fun exploring. The capital wasteland is huge, and plenty of ruins, caves, buildings, towns and more to explore. After that, you'll want to create another character, as the customization options are ENDLESS, with easy options to create pretty good looking faces, hairstyles and general characters. Also, the amount of different skills from small guns, big guns, unarmed, melee weapons, energy weapons, explosives with the a large amount of weapons available means there is no reason why you shouldn't create another character and try out different combinations. There is always plenty to do if you have lost your way. Find the roach king, mingle with dead aliens and of course hit on Moira. Seriously, lose yourself in Fallout 3, you won't regret it.

Story 8/10
Graphics 10/10
Game play 10/10
Sound 10/10
Replay Value 10/10
Overall 9/10

The game isn't perfect, but it is dam close. This is however reviewing the game based on the original disc, not the download content which fixes almost all the problems you will encounter with the level-cap and story.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/02/09

Game Release: Fallout 3 (AU, 10/31/08)

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