Review by MarkoftheFighters

Reviewed: 11/03/08

One Hell Of A Post-Apocalyptic World

Fallout 3 takes place about 30 years after the events of Fallout 2, still set in a post-apocalyptic world with a retro-futurism theme. War has destroyed the planet, forcing people to live in underground tunnels called "Vaults." You are born into Vault 101. Literally, you begin the game at birth where you customize your character's appearance. Years will pass by while you undergo basic tutorials until you reach at the age of 19 when you discover that your father has left you and the vault. The overseer of the vault has deemed you and your father as criminals. You have no choice but to leave the vault and search for your father.

Fallout 3 was created by the same studio that developed Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bethesda Softworks. Fallout 3 uses the game engine as Oblivion so there are a lot of similarities between both games. Fallout 3 basically "Oblivion with guns." It's a RPG shooter that focuses more with the RPG elements. You do not need to play the past Fallout games to play this because it starts off as a new story. War has changed the face of the planet, creating monsters, ghouls, and contaminating the water with radiation.

After you leave the vault, you will enter the giant immersive wasteland of the surface world. Your key tool of survival is your "Pipboy 3000" which is basically your menu that contains your stats, skills, perks, items, map, quests, radio, etc. You have a compass that will always indicate to you to the destination for your current quest. You can choose to do the main story quest or take some side quests. There are tons of side quests available to you to earn some nice rewards and hefty amounts of XP for future challenges. The wastelands isn't a safe place. Water that you touch or drink, to replenish health, contain radiation that will give you illness. Raiders and wild animals inhabit various parts of the land and attack you randomly. There are some cities and towns where you can stop in to talk to people, buy stuff, or sleep in.

The game can be played in either first-person or third-person view but third-person is not recommended because the perspective is way off. Combat is basic but very gory. Limbs fly all over the place but this ain't no Halo or Gears of War. Just shoot to kill. Occasionally, you can hide behind walls, objects, or other obstructions to cover from fire. Now, the highlight of the game is the V.A.T.S. system that you can activate anytime if the "Action Bar" is ready which regenerates over time. Basically, it stops time for you to choose a limited amount of targeted limbs of your victim and automatically attack them. It gets the job done sometimes. You can miss during these slo-mo scenes so it's not as "overpowered" as you may think.

The difficulty on Normal Mode is harder than average. You will die a couple of times. Enemies do not level up as you level up like in Oblivion. You cannot indicate when you should fight harder enemies so you've got to level up more and stock up on a lot of ammo. There's a good variety of weapons (bullet guns, laser guns, and "big guns") but minimal apparel. Your character can only wear three separate articles of apparel: Body wear, facial wear, and head wear.

Fallout 3 had been in development with Bethesda Softworks for about three years after they completed Oblivion. These three years have showed some good improvement from Oblivion to Fallout 3 like the voice overs, A.I., and dialogue however, there are some issues...

The graphics are outdated. They look almost the same as Oblivion. Similarly, the animation is still stiff and weird. Often at times, the game would freeze on even with computer specs higher than the game's recommendations but luckily, the game auto-saves every time you enter a new instance. There are also some bugs and glitches but they do not heavily affect the game's playability.

The main attraction of Fallout 3 is the world, story, and creativity put into the game. A game with gigantic open world sandbox set in a post-apocalyptic world is rare and fun to explore. Games with "limitless" possibilities are always fun. You've got to be competent to play this game because there is a lot of foot running to do and lots of quests to complete but you do have the choice to "fast travel" to locations that you have already discovered.

Story 7/10 - Short and deep but cliche.

Design 9/10 - Minor changes from Oblivion. Huge interactive world. Some technical flaws.

Graphics 6/10 - Outdated graphics.

Gameplay 8/10 - It's a basic shooter with a lot of things to do.

Fallout 3 can be finished in about 10 hours without side quests and you cannot continue after the ending unlike in Oblivion. I can trust Bethesda Softworks is working on patches to fix these various bugs and glitches. Hopefully, there will be mods for Fallout 3 to make the game more enjoyable with more endless possibilities just like Oblivion. So if you enjoyed Oblivion, you'll enjoy Fallout 3. It's worth playing.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Fallout 3 (US, 10/28/08)

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