Dont you open that
For those unaccustomed to Oblivion, Fallout 3 is much of the same. A role playing game in which you level up and increase your skills, which carrying out quests and tasks to both aid your own plot and other characters within the game.
Fallout 3 starts in the year 2277, 30 years after Fallout 2 and 200 years after the nuclear war that caused the earth to be scorched and infected by radiation and famine.
You take control of your own custom character in a community kept underground. Vault 101, nobody leaves to the outside, and no-one ever enters, the people who live down there stay there for most of their lives, until your father, James escapes without explanation, and we begin our story to find your father.
The minute you leave Vault 101 you’re immediately thrown in on your own, with a vague direction of where to go to find Dad, your given free reign to explore the destroyed ruins of what used to be Washington D.C. From here one, direction of the game is entirely up to you.
Hunting Rifle to the head usually drops these fools...
This style of gameplay however automatically increases the difficulty, I won’t lie here. Fallout 3 is definitely not one of the easiest of games, and once your out of the Vault, its all about scavenging, not only will you have human enemies, but animal and radiation infected enemies to deal with, if that’s not bad enough, you’ll also need to be aware of your health and radiation poising which can have serious effects on your stats, and then if not fixed, kill you. What you can find to survive your exploration is yours to keep. Fast tracking is available if your destination is a little further than expected, but ONLY if you’ve been there before. Ultimately meaning, if you want to find everything this game has to offer, your gonna have to walk it to find it, and boy is there a lot of stuff.
Now although Washington D.C. is a massive place to explore, that doesn’t mean there’s not much to do. Within the first hou8r and a half of playing the game, Id grown from 20 seconds to 20 years old, escaped the confinement of vault 101 and I may have set off a nuclear bomb in a nearby town which its inhabitants had built their community around. The term, my bad came to mind. Although my guilt was quickly washed away, my first reason was I got a great visual display I had of seeing a full sized nuclear bomb go off. Front row seats! And also on my travels around said town, whilst doing my day to day thing, it seemed me and the community of Megaton had had a little, falling out, over a mug. Don’t ask, lesson learned on my part was to be wearier of talking to moving characters, if they move to quick, you may accidentally steal something. Their lesson was they shouldn’t attack people in their town who have the decision of saving, or destroying their homes. Which brings me nicely onto…
The vast amount of outcomes available when you perform quests, whether it’s talking to a certain NPC in the right manner, or pointing your weapon at the wrong person, it can all have a massive effect on your game. Not so much the story line, but rather how you’ll manage on your travels, whether it be earning respect of other communities, or earning yourself a nice safe house to keep all your stuff in, complete with a house robot. You can also get karma depending on your actions, be a saint amongst those in need and grab yourself some good karma, do something mean say…steal a mug and nuke a city, your in for some bad ju ju, which in turn, has its consequences.
Just one of the hundreds of towns of Washington D.C...
Now when you’re not stealing cups or talking to people, you’re probably exploring the wasteland or some new town/building you’ve found, so your going to need something to protect yourself.
Along with armour which can be bought, picked up and stolen from enemies, also comes weapons, from the simple Pistols, to rifles, shotguns and grenades, all the way to Baseball bats, laser rifles, ‘Mini nuke’ launchers, flame throwers and home made weaponry, everything on people can be taken, and even scrap can later be used to produce some highly equipped weapon, from a few pieces of scrap metal, some surgical tubing and an old book. Here’s what I made earlier!
Unfortunately, along with all these weapons comes the occasional weapon degradation, buy your weapon from a trader or make it yourself with a high repair level and you’ll find yourself with shiny new killing machines that don’t break. Steal your assault rifle from a Raider, and find yourself with slower rate of fire, poor accuracy or it even breaking mid combat. Bad times.
To make combat more fun, Bethesda has introduced a new combat system. Fighting can be performed in third or first person combat, and you can also use your V.A.T.s which in Bethesdas words, mixes real time combat with turn based attacks. In this mode, you can use ‘hit points’ to take out certain body parts of 1 or more enemies, aim for the head and go for a headshot, or go for the knee caps and cripple him so he cant run away, this boosts tactics a lot more as you can take down larger more daunting enemies, as well as mix this in with normal combat. However you will find yourself cursing your character as a lot of the time, shots can be missed, wasting hit points and your ammo.
As most role playing games go, a lot of your statistics are easily upgradeable through the help of experience points, this comes from performing tasks, fighting enemies and of course completing quests. With overall level, comes the grant to upgrade your other skills with skill points, now this is different to Oblivions level up, as EXP was earned to certain skills when you performed something which required that skill, here we see having to level ourselves up before advancing. This can at times be a little frustrating, as you’ll need many of your skills like Science, Lock picking etc quite high before you can use the skills often, and a lot of the time you get to the point where you have too many skills and NOT enough points to share out.
The 'crotch' target was removed shortly after passing through censorships...
For the size of the game, the game is very impressive and pulls off a post apocalyptic America really well. The game also occasionally adds elements of survival horror into the game with a lot of indoors areas being very dark with your torch lighting the way, not to mention after a long hard expedition out into the world of F3, you do start running low on the essentials, in this case, health and ammo.
The sound works with the game, in game music can be played by radio stations found around the world, keeping with a 50/60’s style of music. Other than that most other game music is to create atmosphere which definitely works, especially in the darker scarier buildings with a lot of ghosts and ghouls about.
The game has a massive main quest line to go through, which will take you a very long time to progress through, especially as there’s so much more to find and do. If you can go through the whole game sticking to the main quest story and not finding yourself going. ‘Oooh what’s that in the distance lets explore!’ Then you’re just not human.
A massive role playing game with tons to keep you busy with, not to mention tons of more reasons for you to go through it again to get a different experience and catch the stuff you missed last time around. But will it have the same amount of appeal as Elder Scrolls and bring Bethesda yet another game of the year? We’re going to have to wait and see on that.
Published by: Bethesda Softworks
Developed by: Bethesda Game Studios
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Genre: Action RPG