Reviews: Fallout 3

Fallout 3: Interesting Ideas that tend to Fallout

With the new Fallout 4 coming, I figured I might add my thoughts of fallout 3

Story: To start the story itself does try very hard to bring you into both the world and the atmosphere. While it involved a lot of the personal aspects of the player, and puts you through much to attach you to that character, it doesn't truly make a coherent or very interesting layout. The diverging threads of the story are very thin, and often artificial, taking away much of your agency. You can often either be good, or evil, though for most of the story you have to align with good to even have the choice of being evil. Most other choices are minimal at best, the greatest still being a black and white decision to destroy a town or not.

Setting: The setting itself is very beautiful, and the game excels in just terms of sheer atmosphere and ambiance. The colors may be muted, but there is enough flare at times to keep it interesting. However the characters that fill this setting are often bland, or cliched. While most would say they fit the setting, other fallout games have shown that filling your world with both the comical and realistic is important. No one character feels invested both into the setting, or into by the creators, they lack any sense of being organic. Ironically, one of my favorite characters was Moira Brown. In a world of exaggerated characters she was the only one I felt that was always meant to be that way. Additionally as I said earlier, the main factions often are exasperated by Black and White moralities. The Enclave want to kill everyone, and the Bo S are the shining knights. Neither side truly shows any shade of grey, or any are rather glossed over.

Mechanics: Mechanically the game is rather sound. Most skills are useful in some way. However the fault comes when it comes to equipment and perks. Equipment is rather limited, and what there is there aren't many high end choices still. There are few end game weapons to choose from and few styles of playing. VATS is as well heavily overpowered, reducing damage by 85% and potentially lasting infinitely. As well most perks are simple skill increasing and effect very little of the game.

In all, it has a lot of faults that many should look over when looking into Fallout 4 and seeing what they changed. Many aspects have been removed, but what they've kept they haven't proven themselves with before.

A Lengthy Irradiated Romp

Fallout 3 (Or, 'Oblivion With Guns' to it's detractors) makes for a very interesting experience once you put the time into it. Despite the slow start, an issue I've found with a few Bethesda RPG's, once you hit a decent level and pick up good resources you can go on a hell of an adventure throughout the ruins of Washington DC, probing into the ancient Vault's, different human settlements scattered across the ruins, battling mutants and monsters all the way along.

The central story, focusing on your quest to find your missing father and later on battling the government remnants of the Enclave, goes on some interesting directions, but sadly it can become deeply linear at times... and if you know where to go, you can just skip about the first five missions of the questline. Yeah. Also if you don't have Broken Steel installed, well the game becomes finite if you follow the main quest, leading to a disappointing climax.

On the five DLC packs I'll give a quick rundown:
  • Operation Anchorage: An interesting idea, but not all that entertaining in the long run. While the VR aesthetic is nice, Fallout 3's shooting mechanics aren't robust enough to warrant a jaunt into FPS land. It's short, thankfully, and you get some lovely loot for the hard work.
  • Broken Steel: The most necessary of the bunch, adds several new quests, a buttload of new content, a raised level cap and allows you to continue on past the ending of the game. Entertaining and definitely worth it.
  • The Pitt: Undoubtedly the weakest of the lot. The new area to explore is almost shockingly small, doesn't have much to differentiate itself from the Capital Wasteland and is ugly to look at. The questline is so short that even taking your gear from you doesn't do much to prolong it. It DOES have a somewhat interesting moral dilemma,but that only comes at the end.
  • Mothership Zeta: Fun b-movie schlock where you and a bunch of frozen misfits fight off the aliens that abducted you. Fun, funny, and filled with new gear to make use of. Again a little short, and sadly you can't do much with the alien ship once you have it, but still good to play.
  • Point Lookout: Biggest and probably best, an eerie series of quests through the grim and murky swamplands. Creepy and very distinct from the mainland.

Worth getting the GOTY edition, definitely.

An amazing block of cheese with a bit to much brown on the top

The Fallout series is very unique. Back then, arpeegees meant either manlymanly men who wield big swords and cast magic spells, or a bunch of teenage boys on estrogen who wield large swords, and hang out with girls less pretty than them. The Fallout series is about survival. The utterly ruined state of the U,S of A, accompanied with the cheerful vibe of the 40s made for one of the creepiest and most interesting RP Gs to ever grace the computer screen. While i am happy to say that the third installment keeps the tone of the superb 1 and 2, it does some things differently, for better or worse.

The story is fairly nice. After running away from home, you are thrust into a wasteland that home of yours provided protection from. Im not spoiling anything else, but i'll tell you it involves water, daddy, and a government-organization-remnant organization(coughcoughENCLAVEcoughcough) trying to fuck it all up. Now while real is brown is a trend that seems to follow any "hardcore" shooter, Fallout 3 uses it so many times, it is actually funny. The character models mostly look distinguished, but ofen dive straight into the uncanny valley.

But other than that, the game is very good by itself. Gameplay might take a little too much from Oblivion, but it is still incredibly fun. This is an RPG, and if you go all Gordon Freeman in the early stages in the game, you will be extremely fucked. Also, there are a lot of weapons to choose from, so go ahead and pick your poison. The music is good as well, and i always play that channel playing the 40's songs, because it clashes extremely well with the horror of the wasteland.

But now, we get to the bad. Correct me if i am wrong, but Bethesda seems to have a trend of releasing their games with enough bugs to fill an entire house. Even with the patches, it is still has a bajillion holes. Also the character animations are stiff, and unreal. I know it's because of the size of the game, and they had to make the deadline, but the lack of polish still had to be noted. The karma system wasn't well implemented as well, but this was a problem Fallout had from the beginning, and i'm running out of words to type.

But if you can look over these flaws, Fallout 3 will last you a long time. And if you get the DL Cs, you won't be leaving "Captain Justice, savior of the universe" any time soon either

More refreshing then an ice-cold Nuka Cola Quantum

It all starts simply enough... you listen to a brief opening narration before being thrown into the desolate wasteland of the future. After creating your character and getting a short tutorial the vault door swings open and you step outside. What you do from that point on is up to you...

Fallout 3 takes place in the vast, desolate, and beautifully destroyed ruins of our nations capital, Washington D.C. The atmosphere it creates is absolutely beautiful and really pulls the player in. Most of the game will be spent exploring the decaying ruins of ravaged buildings, murky mutant infested caves, and the wide open capital wasteland itself. It'll be lonely at first, but random encounters and helpful companions will keep you company while you look for your dad.

A few settlements dot the hellish landscape, but they are few and far between. The only "cities" you'll find are Megaton, Rivet City, Tenpenny Towers, Underworld, and Paradise Falls, each with their own unique history and residents. Many of the smaller towns and locales you'll visit will only have a dozen or so people in them, but each one is interesting and fun to interact with. Many places are also plagued by problems that the Lone Wanderer can choose to help with... or not.

The actual karma system is a bit flawed, though it works well enough to not be a hindrance when trying to make your character good or evil. Doing evil things like capturing slaves, stealing, and annihilating innocent people with bombs and missiles will cause you to lose karma while doing good things like donating to the poor or rescuing people will cause you to gain karma. Its not perfect, but it could have been worse.

One of the best things about the game is the sheer variety of items available. Armor, weapons, junk... there is so much to find that you won't want to stop until you've combed every last corner of the wasteland for rare goodies. Some powerful equipment can only be received as a reward for completing a quest a certain way, which adds a lot of replay value. Plus, if you get tired of using what's available you can always make your own weapons from schematics that can be bought or found all over the wasteland.

There were some things that bugged me, such as the glitches, but almost everything is great in every way possible. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you like RPG's and shooters.

The Best Damn RPG I've ever played

OK, I'm going to to make this quick: Fallout 3 rocks. Unlike many other RPG's, everything you do has a realistic consequence. If you kill someone, they stay dead, you get unique dialouge options, and an entire settlement may change. You are free to play the game however you want, either being the paragon of goodness or a Complete Monster (I usually play as something in between, but I'm almost always on the good end of the karma scale). This is Fallout 3's greatest strength, but another thing I like is that many of the quests are morally neutral, and nearly every character in the game can give you one. I have mixed feelings on Fallout 3's combat system though. It tries to combine FPS and turn based combat, and does it really well, but there is one problem: Turn based combat is not exciting. It sometimes kills the tension in otherwise awesome battle scenes. The over reliance on the V.A.T.S system and the fact that most guns can't hit anything beyond 15 feet also greatly limits the skill you can actually use in combat. Regardless, Fallout 3 is an incredibly immersive, varied, and overall awesome experience. It really sucks you in, and I highly recommend it. 9/10.

Fallout 3 can't quite figure out what it is.

Fallout 3 is the Fifth game in the Fallout Franchise and the first game in the series published by Bethesda. The game runs on the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion engine and brings the games from a top-down perspective to a third-person/first-person perspective.

FO 3 departs the original setting of the West Coast of California and centers itself squarely in the ruins of Post-Apocalyptic Washington, DC. As Bethesda itself is in neighboring Maryland, it's no surprise that the ruined DC looks great. There's a nice atmosphere going.

Your character is a Vault Dweller, raised in Vault 101 by your single father, James. James tries to instill virtues into your character as you grow up, and then when you're 19, he ditches you and escapes the Vault for who knows why. And that begins your quest to catch up with him out in the Wasteland.

As an RPG, the game is rather primitive. When you have a choice, you tend to only have two - good vs. evil, with a third option far too rare. And even when you make a choice, it generally doesn't affect more of the story, which is a failure of the writing team. Instead, the game relies heavily on combat and action, so having more charismatic or 'intellectual' characters in the Wasteland rarely fits.

But as an action shooter, it's inconsistent, especially early on. Your ability to hit is based on your 'skill' from the RPG mechanics, so having a low skill those will put you in trouble rather quickly. Many of the areas you have to travel through as part of your quests are set up as linear 'action stages' - some of which deliver a healthy dose of combat, while some miss out on great opportunities. I thought the big climax fight of the main story from the Citadel to the Purifier could have been much more grand if Liberty Prime weren't involved and it was just you, your follower, and a squad of elite Paladins assaulting the enemy forces.

Ultimately, Fallout 3 doesn't know what it is. It's not a great RPG because it relies on action and shooting. It's not a great shooter because it relies on RPG mechanics and fails to deliver at key moments.

The result is somewhere in-between shooter and RPG. It offers more choices to a fan of shooters than they usually get, but pigeonholes fans of sandbox RP Gs into linear action sequences.

Fallout 3: A mess of intentions, mood-wise.

Fallout 3 has an amazing amount of content and a sort of dumb difficulty curve, and is quite fun to play. That's been covered before, so this review will focus solely on the mood of the game.

Fallout 3 has no idea what mood it's going for. The main quest goes for 'Epic tale where much is sacrificed but which eventually reaches a happy ending' The game world and sidequests keep switching between 'It's a horrible world, everything is radioactive and Humans Are Bastards.' and 'Hur hur hur minigun'. The 50's based black comedy (which was one of the most important factors when I decided to buy the game, and an large part of the game's marketing) barely exists in the actual game. Actually, there is a bunch of 50's-inspired humour, but it's less Stepford Suburbia and more I Love Nuclear Power, something which very much clashes with the 'horrible world' mood mentioned earlier. The rest of the humour in the game is mostly double entendres, pop cultural references and... Um, the room of deadly plungers. Some of the rarer pieces of equipment go for camp as well, such as the repellent stick (A stick partially covered in glowing green liquid, which causes mutant rodents' heads to explode) and the rock-it launcher (a device crafted from various household items, which can use almost any item as ammunition. Including teddy bears, mutilated body parts and a jar containing a piece of your own brain). Also, there is a bunch of clothing items that would be more appropriate in Animal Crossing.

The DLC's only makes this problem worse; Broken steel tried to supply realistic, grey military gunplay, an ambition that falls flat when the first mission revolves around a giant laser-shooting robot. The pitt introduced moral ambiguity and very many shades of orange. Operation: Anchorage started with a sniper/stealth mission that differed from everything else in the game ever, but then went back to a whiter and more linear version of normal gameplay. Point lookout was all about horror (Of both the cosmic and the slasher kind), hillbilly jokes and blatant racism. Mothership zeta went full camp, by beaming the player to a flying saucer, complete with little green men that wore aluminium foil space suits and wielded ray guns.

Still, as I said, it's quite fun to play.