Review by sanctus_arbor

Reviewed: 11/03/08

Good Effort.

Review for Fallout 3 for the PC.

As with any Fallout out game, when I heard this title was in development, I was absolutely thrilled. And after seeing several screen shots, I knew I would love this title. Well, I was wrong. Make no mistake, this is a solid game but I think there are some glaring errors. I shall address these in greater detail later in this review. Onto the scoring.

Technical Scores:

Graphics- 8/10
The graphics here are solid, with good shadow and HDR detail. Characters looks believable and terrain is appropriate with few errors. These are not the best graphics, but I don't think anyone will be disappointed with them. As with the previous game released by Bethesda, Oblivion, I think that the sun glare is a bit much, and I found myself turning down the settings manually in the .ini in order to avoid straining my vision while playing. Otherwise, no complaints.

Sound- 6/10
Apart from the excellent job done by Liam Neeson and the voice actors in general, the sounds delivered in this game were so-so. Everything made the appropriate noise, and a few extra sound effects were present but forgettable. The old style music was a good choice for it's comedic and surreal effect, but there weren't enough songs to make listening to it tolerable after an hour of playing. All in all, not impressive, but not horrible.

Control- 8/10
The control in this game is fluid and simple, making for an enjoyable experience. They are configurable as well, so if they are uncomfortable to the player, they can be adjusted. The character is responsive to the control, so motion and navigation is easy enough. I did notice that sometimes my character would continue to move a tiny bit after I released the movement keys. I am not sure if that is an issue with my system setup, or a gaming error, so I will not deduct for it. The game handles well, but isn't doing anything revolutionary nor are the controls so well designed that I would score too high. The controls do the job well enough.

Stability- 5/10
I have read a lot of different complaints on this games stability issues. I personally have experienced only a few. Where they were, the game locked up and crashed several times, but eventually righted itself. It also crashed when I tried to close the game, on occasion, and so I can't rightly give this a good mark for system stability. I would generally go for hours without any problem at all, but for a game I spent a good chunk of cash on, these problems were far too persistent.

Gameplay Scores:

Story- 6/10
The general storyline is good enough, with a number of endings that can be earned based on the characters actions. For being an RPG of sorts, I felt as though the characters were under developed and that it left the overall emotional tone of the story to be a bit bland, even when when truly joyous or saddening events occurred. If this were a straight and narrow first-person-shooter, I wouldn't have found this as problematic, but when we're talking about the Fallout lineage, there should be no question that the game will be clever, deep and filled with its unique brand of witty and and sometimes dark humor. This game seemed to be lacking much of this, and opted to use unconventional and sometimes vulgar humor instead, which had good shock value, but isn't something a games should be built around.

Combat- 8/10
This game attempt to combine the old ways of combat with the new FPS style. I think, as an amalgam, it works well, far better than I was expecting. The implementation of the V.A.T.S systems was an entertaining gimmick, and provided a separate method of attack that could be used, but was not forced on the player, allowing for a mix of your liking. My only complaint is that the crippled limbs really didn't seem to have much of an effect, only mildly changing the situation, and it leaves the player needing only to aim for the head, rather than attempt a different strategy for each creature. Despite that, it's still very entertaining.

Content- 6/10
I was I little disappointed at the amount of content in the game. There are only a few weapons and there are fewer monster types, which really surprised me considering the potential of a radiation-soaked post-apocalyptic future. Also, the newer graphics engine could allow for so much more in the way of objects being rendered the way the creator wished, but sadly this wasn't the case. On the upside, the world you play in is quite large and has a creepy ambiance. I'll be waiting for user-created content to fill the void.

Replay Value- 6/10
Despite the lack of content and mediocre story, the option to be as good or evil as you wish along with the size of the world, allows for at least one more play though, which is better than some games.

OVERALL: 7/10
Perhaps I missed a lot on my way through the game, and that is making my review for this title a bit more sour than what's fair, and to make sure there isn't an error, I'm going to go through it again and then once more. I imagine with some patches to improve stability, some user created content to create atmosphere and variety, and perhaps and expansion to add onto the story, this game could be amazing, but as a stand-alone this game could have used a some extra time in testing and development. I'd still recommend buying it, as it's a game I think everyone should play, but don't go in expecting gold just yet. I will revise this review when the patches and mods can improve the game because I know this game can be amazing with just a little more work.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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

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