Review by ThunderCL0UD

Reviewed: 03/05/09

Okay, definitely not game of the year material

Coming from the makers of The Elder Scrolls, I had high hopes for this game. Oblivion was absolutely great. Fallout 3 takes a similar approach to the RPG genre as Oblivion, but with key differences, that in my opinion, are not for the better.

GRAPHICS - 8/10
Graphically, the game is good, but not great. Everything runs smoothly on my 8800 GTS 640mb but it is a game that takes it safe. It seems that the graphics were dumbed down a bit in terms of detail in order to run such a smooth thing. This is a good thing, but it does not allow for the game to really shine.

SOUND - 9/10
The sound of this game is nearly flawless. The guns and sounds during combat are great, as is the voice acting. The songs that play through the radio are great as well, definitely adding to the creepy atmosphere of the game. Unfortunately, this is where my only complain is. There should be a couple more songs that do play, as for a player that is going to spend many hours of this game, the songs do start to run stale.

STORY - 7/10
The setting of Fallout 3 takes place in the Washington DC area that is completely destroyed by nuclear warfare. You start off your tale in Vault 101, which no one is ever let out of or let into. When you turn 18, your Dad out of no where leaves the vault, which leads you to follow him. The main storyline could probably be finished in about 8 hours. Overall, it is somewhat captivating and enough reason to play the game, as there are a couple of twists that really got me a couple of times during the game. The side quests are what really hurts the score for story. After completing all of the side quests in the, there were only about two of which I found interesting or compelling. Most side quests just had nothing to add story wise and I felt I was only doing them to complete them.

GAME PLAY - 6/10
Here is where Fallout 3 really just lost it for me. I'll start off with the biggest problem of the game; the level cap of 20. This game is very light on the RPG elements. Leveling at least allows the player to add to certain weapon skills, lock picking skills, and many other skills and to choose one perk that could boost stats even more, modify how others treat you, are a variety of other things. The leveling is all good and fun, but it ends far too quickly. 17 hours into the game I had already hit level 20. Once I had reached it, things started to seem pointless as I longer gained EXP. Having a higher or no level cap would have made the game far more enjoyable. Now moving on - the Karma system. Karma is given for good deeds and taken away for evil ones. It is also possible to stay neutral. For anyone that has played Mass Effect or either of the Knights of the Old Republic Games by Bio Ware, then you'll be right at home here. It's a solid system, although it didn't really make me check my gut in decisions, they all seemed pretty straight forward. And now back to another tragic part of the game, the combat. The VATS system always a player to pause time and use AP to choose where to shoot the enemy in a slow motion cut scene. This is a pretty fun feature and adds a little more RPG flavor to the game, as you can pause the game and attack kind of like in some RPG games. But the majority of combat will take place not using VATS, as you have only so much AP. So combat becomes strictly FPS. This game as an FPS is extremely weak. Even with good weapon stats, aiming does not feel right and is a little too difficult. I also found it extremely annoying for weapons to be constantly breaking. I know this helped keep the game balanced, but coupled with running out of ammo in most every fight till the last forth or so of the game, I thought it was completely unnecessary. Overall, this game needed to be more RPG and less FPS

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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

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