Review by Alpha_Monkey

Reviewed: 05/26/09

A NON-BIASED REVEIW.

You have probably read many biased reviews for Fallout 3.
There are those who were fans of the original Fallout games, and do not like the shift in game play, that's not me. There are those who were fans of The Elder Scrolls series, and are not a fan of gun games, that's not me. There are thoes that do not like the old Fallout games, or The Elder Scrolls games, but love any game with guns in it, that is not me either.

I play pretty much every genre of games, the two that Fallout consists of, RPG and Shooter, I love the most. I am a fan of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and I am also a fan of big name FPS' like Halo, Killzone 2, Unreal Tournament, etc...

Now that I'm done explaining how impartial I am, lets get on the review...

Gameplay: 8/10
You have probably heard somebody say something along the lines of, "Fallout 3 is just Oblivion with guns." This is absolutely true. The game uses a modified version of the same engine used for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You can play in first or 3rd person; however, 3rd person tends to hog the screen, and feel strange compared to most 3rd person games, so you will most likely avoid using it. You accept quests, crawl through dungeons, kill enemies, loot their bodies, and repeat.

Sound: 1/10
One out of ten? Yeah, one out of ten. The music in Fallout is almost non-existent, you will rarely notice it, if ever. Completely forgettable, though at no time annoying. What is annoying however, is the voice acting. This game features very few voice actors, probably (without exaggeration) around ten. One of the "races" in Fallout are the ghouls, many of them are civilized people, that have taken on the appearance of zombies due to radiation melting there skin away, and things of that nature. Every male ghoul has the same voice actor, and every female ghoul (except one woman in the game who starts off as a normal human but can become a ghoul based on the decisions you make) has the same voice actor. Now you would think, that each different voice actor would have recorded his own set of lines correct? Wrong! The majority of the characters in the game, regardless of who their voice actor was, will say the same exact things! Why would they have all 8 voice actors record themselves saying, “WHATS THE MATTER! CAN’T STAND THE SIGHT OF YOU OWN BLOOD!?” This makes absolutely no sense to me. Another annoyance you WILL find in the game, occurs when an enemy or object spawns inside of a wall or another object. This causes that object/creature to convulse and vibrate, causing an unbelievably loud grinding sound, louder than any other sound in the game.

Graphics: 5/10
You probably didn't expect a game of this nature to have outstanding graphics in the first place, so your probably wondering why I am being so critical of them. Well unlike its spiritual predecessor (in terms of gameplay, engine, etc) Oblivion, fallout is at no moment visually stunning. In keeping with the recent shooter fad started by Gears of War, all the colors have been bled out of the game, so that the only remaining colors are grayish-brown, grayish-gray, and grayish-red. I am not a fan of the whole "TURN SATURATION UP TO 89%!" fad that gears of war started. This game actually has lots of color too it, as doing a Google search will reveal to you, but you will never get to see those colors. You could probably play this game on an old black and white television, without noticing any difference in color. I am actually thinking about suing Bethesda for not including some sort of warning that lets players know, playing this game for an extended amount of time will make your eyes bleed. That's not the only problem though, all the textures and dull and blurry. You don't have to get very close to an object to see how blurry and pixelated its textures are. There is even a poem hanging from a wall early on that is significant to the story, that is so pixelated you really cannot read it. Given that most textures are simply taken from pictures of real world objects, there is no reason for this. Some people may argue that they would not have enough space for hi-res textures, I do not believe this. If anything, it would not hold true for the PS3, since a bluray disk can hold up to 50 gigabytes of information.

Substance: 5/10
You would think that this would be the area the game delivers right? Wrong! This game has tons of stuff with nothing to do.There are tons of locations in this game and nothing to get from them. Each huge quest in a game should by rule of thumb have some special reward like a new piece of armor or weapon (not 1 you can find anywhere) and each dungeon/location should as well. This is not the case in FO3. Most locations have no purpose and no reward other than some EXP (which you don’t need because if you turn the difficulty up you reach lv20 really fast) and some stem packs (which I have over 400 of FYI). Most buildings are copy and pasted, and non-accessible. In order to create the illusion of a massive world, they made a huge and empty world, where buildings without doors and giant piles of ruble route you this way and that, until you reach the next little dungeon to crawl through.

Weapons:4/10
There are very few guns in this game, and once you get a little bit into the game you become a god who can kill anything and everything with a crappy "Chinese" machine gun. you can get all your weapons early on and then you use the same ones for the entire game (this is part RPG; you are supposed to slowly get better stuff). You can get the ultimate armor in less than 5 hours. Eventually you get "super" versions of your weapons, which look the same, and are useless, because your weapons are already so strong. Especially if you built up 1 or 2 weapon types. Most of the weapons in this game are so weak, that every character will end up using the same ones; the combat shotgun, the mini-gun, Chinese machine gun, and 10mm machine gun. All of which you can get within an hour of playing.The fat-man and rocket launcher, are only there for fun, as nothing will demand that you need them. All other weapons are ridiculously weak and useless.

Enemies:
This game has a disappointing amount of enemies. Most RPG's design a large amount of enemies, then quadruple that number by making stronger versions of past enemies which are merely pallet-swaps, or slightly uglier version. Not Fallout 3. Even in regular FPS' they have bosses. This game, which is part RPG, has no real bosses, just a behemoth, which there are 5 of, and are not spectacular at all! There is one massive creature near the end of the game, which I will not tell you about, but I will tell you this: You do not get to fight it. This game needs something big and challenging to go against. I was never challenged, NOT ONCE, in this game, and I have the platinum trophy. The only time I used my Fat Man (a gun that fires mini-nukes about 6 feet in front of you), was for fun, the same is true for the rocket launcher. There is nothing powerful enough to demand those weapons.

Other Problems:
1.)Its soooo glitchy. Oblivion was never close to being as glitchy as Fallout 3, in fact, I have never had oblivion lock up my system. Fallout locks up so much I cant help but wonder how much abuse my system took playing it. There are glitches with multiple characters that cause you to be able to do a "speech attempt" over and over, giving you an infinite amount of EXP. There will be times when you enter a city only to find a dead NPC, killed by spawning too high above the ground, or inside an object such as a barrel, which if you kick into people you can use to kill them without any loss of karma.

2.)Speaking of Karma, the Karma system is a joke. You can go from being good to evil in mere minutes. You can negate 100+ hours of good deeds by simply stealing everything from a local store. You can negate 100+ hours of evil deeds (such as slaughtering an entire village) by giving away bottles of water to an old beggar, an Item which you can get an infinite amount of from a robot that lives inside your home.

3.)Computer hacking is really annoying, especially once you get to the "hard" computers. Its actually not a hard mini-game, but it takes lots of time, a pen, and many sheets of paper.

4.)The maps for this game are horrible, when you go inside a building, you can’t tell where you have been, because all floors are merged into one unreadable map, that looks like a bunch of scribble inside the shape of the building. You will see an arrow pointing to the next door you need to take on your compass, but not know if its 3 floors above you or 3 floor below you.

5.)Radiation is a pointless addition to the game. At no point did I care about my radiation, when I saw, “you have radiation poisoning” I used a rad away, which are everywhere in the game, I have a few hundred in my characters inventory.

6.)It’s the only game where you can shoot somebody in the foot and their head explodes.

7.)Since a lot of raiders use physical attacks, you spend a lot of time shooting forward while back peddling, until you run into something.

Conclusion: 6/10
This game seems so awesome when you start off in the vault, I was looking forward to the hours yet to come, but after a couple of hours in the wasteland, its as I have said. Yet I kept on playing, hoping that it would become fun again, and something interesting would once again occur, but it never did. All in all, this game is neither like Oblivion, or a good FPS, it DOES get old. Pretty fast in fact. I really hope that this game does not get the "Game of The Year" award.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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

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