Bethesda appear to have nailed it. Even the part of this game before you come to the surface, with its wrecked Eastern seaboard, sounds like a slice of RPG genius. Said seaboard includes a wrecked Washington DC, a place called Rivet City built inside the rotting hulk of an aircraft carrier and smaller places primed for nonexistence, such as the town of Megaton with its worshipped, unexploded nuclear bomb.
To intensify the claustrophobic feeling within Vault 101, where your people have lived in confinement since the bombs began, the game begins at your birth, then fades in and out of your childhood. What's more, every time you'll be subtly nudged into making vital decisions usually played out on a character-creation screen, and learning the way the game works.
At birth, your father (played by Liam Neeson) will analyse your DNA and you'll choose stuff like gender and ethnicity; on your 16th birthday, you'll take your G.O.A.T. tests to determine personal skills and traits. It all leads up to the age of 19, when dad mysteriously disappears, the fabled rolling door is opened and you emerge clad in a familiar blue boiler suit under the glare of an unfamiliar sun.
The game is causing the expected grumbling in the Fallout community, but for my part 1 certainly didn't expect so many of the hallmarks of Fallouts gameplay to be returning. The SPECIAL system remains with its perks and traits. The gore remains. A robust 'karma' morality system remains. The PipBoy remains, now in its 3000 model, with familiar quest and record-management duties. Most interestingly, though, the action points formerly found in Fallout's turn-based combat remain - now twisted and used in combat that's halfway between stop-sart shootage and realtime. You can blast away from your FPS or over-the-shoulder viewpoint, but also freeze the skirmish and spend your action points by choosing different body parts to fire at - each with a certain percentage chance of success. It's still Fallout, but a Fallout adapted to better suit our tastes and times.
We re meeting up with Bethesda next issue to ask whether adult themes of sex and drugs, dogs called Dogmeat and a parade of glorious brown will also be making a return. In the meantime, the bomb has dropped, and I'm sat atop it hollering with joy.
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I Intended, Upon leaving Vault 101, to strike out west in true pioneer spirit To begin with, I wasn't interested in Megaton and I wasn't interested in hunting down my errant father - I just wanted to push Fallout 3 as far as it would go. Sadly west wasn't on the menu (Vault 101 backs onto a mountain) so with the less catchy epithet of "Go northeast, young man" ringing in my ears I set off on a post-nuclear hike to see what I could see.
An hour later I was standing on a jut of highway sticking its nose over the lip of a nearby hill, a bombed-out town in the Bethesda district of Washington DC. I'd come up to peek inside a truck balanced precariously over a 50 metre drop, but stopped to admire the view. To the south the half-dried up Potomac River meandered past the remnants of the capital, where I could just make out the Washington Monument Everything was brooding under an atomic sky while cheery '50s music discussing the prospect of "seeing my sweetheart again" was piped from my wristmounted Pip-Boy. In my entire five hours of playing Fallout 3, this was the highlight.
You see, my first reaction to playing Fallout 3 was how empty it felt There are wandering monsters and pockets of Raiders here and there - but the feeling of stalking through a barren wasteland is like no other. Bereft of the immersionsapping load times of STALKER when moving between zones and the near-constant wolf and bandit attacks of Oblivion, this game is draped with a feeling of solitude. Sure, the tranquillity of my Route 355 vantage point would soon be lost when my attempt to negotiate the descent resulted in a 50 metre fall but, in its early stages at least Fallout 3 does have that vital feeling of being alone on a brutal and vast frontier.
Power Of The Atom
Of course, this chance to capture some me-time has to be balanced with the frequency at which you could be blowing dogs' heads off and seeing their brains rolling around. As such, even in the wilderness, violence is never all that far away. Cleverly, your UI's compass marks out areas of interest but never gives a clue as to what they are, nor how far away they lie. You simply know that if you keep on walking in a certain direction at some point you will find something, maybe hidden, that will be entertaining. Obviously you are not alone. Slavers roam the wastes recruiting strays, Super Mutants wage war with human forces, ostracised sentient ghouls live in an area of Washington known as Underworld and the unorganised Raiders occupy many of the wrecked buildings you come across. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Steel - they of big guns and power armour - return as the world's Knights Templar, forever at odds with the ruling faction, the Enclave.
Last seen at the close of Fallout 2 when their oil rig HQ blew up consigning them to the watery depths, 36 years on the Enclave's political powergrubbers are very much part of the firmament With the Washington landscape to play with, Bethesda clearly couldn't resist having the faux-American government return - now led by President John Henry Eden, ably voiced by Malcolm McDowell. Eden's voice resonates through the wasteland much as Wallace Breen's did through City 17, whether on a looped Enclave radio station or through propaganda-delivering eye-bots that roam the barren landscape. His stem barks and calls for Enclave-led unity are punctuated by teeth-grinding patriotic music, leaving no doubt as to who the antagonist of the piece is.
With Eden operating out of a mysterious HQ and the Brotherhood of Steel making their home in the remains of the Pentagon, the DC landscape is going to get fairly bloody.
Is Fallout 3 Oblivion with guns? No, not really. While it's true that when you enter houses and watch people go about their business it instantly smacks of the last rendition of The Elder Scrolls, it seems that the old Fallout sensibilities and mannerisms are here as foundation not lip gloss. Character S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats (luck, perception, etc) return as the base numbers for your character, for example. These can be boosted and drained by the full host of addictive stimulants present in the first games, such as strengthharbouring Buffout, the more traditional narcotic of Jet (the factory for which was technically destroyed in the earlier games, if I'm pedantic), intelligence-boosting Mentats and rage-infusing Psycho.
On top of these lie your skills (the numbers you can raise each time you level up, making you better at bartering, small guns, medicine, repair and the like), three of which you can specialise in and gain double the advance when it's gratz-time. While we're on levelling, it's important to underline that Fallout does address one of Oblivion's biggest foibles: the fact that as you levelled up, the entire world levelled up with you. In the wasteland, as in the original Fallout games, the further you stray the more dangerous things get - as I discovered during my lonesome trudge into the glorious northeast and was increasingly battered by the mole rats, bloatflies and Raider bases I came across. However, enemies that lie along the plotline will be levelled to match you so that the difficulty curve is kept to Bethesda's heel.
Whereas Oblivion hid away many of its stats, or at least let you batter away in mindless ignorance, in Fallout Bethesda have pulled the link between player experience and player statistics closer to Black Isle's model.
As in the original games, your skill specialisations not only give you options in conversation (my medical bent would later lead a doctor to confide a patient's medical history to me, for example), or show themselves concretely in percentage strike-probabilities during V.A.T.S. combat but are integral to your performance - such as when I disarmed the century-old nuclear device threatening the town of Megaton, having guzzled Mentats to make me extra brainy.
Having played the game for only five hours, and with many of the hang-ups people had with Oblivion only becoming apparent after 50,I can't be definitive about this - but in terms of building a modern game on the systems of one that's now 10 years old, it's hard to think of how Fallout 3 could have been tied closer to what has gone before.
Before launching into a discussion of Fallout J's combat perhaps we should take on an isolated moment of mindless violence as a case study.
When I finally rocked up at the gates of Megaton after my lengthy sojourn in the north-east I may have seen a lot but I wasn't the most tooled-up road warrior the apocalypse had ever seen. In my journey so far I had come across the rusted, water-filled underground hulk of Vault 106, stared at a bearded trader jabbering insanely about "the great one" and a "green mountain" before he collapsed on the spot and I had ferreted around a burnt-out school shooting punks and collecting charred books.
What I certainly didn't have was many decent armaments apart from a purloined sniper rifle with no ammo, a crap hunting rifle, a dodgy Chinese pistol and a machine-gun that was gradually breaking down, becoming increasingly ineffective. At this point I didn't know I could cannibalise parts from weapons I picked up and use my repair skills to fix my guns. I had been, what we call in the business, somewhat ofanoob.
So it was with great joy, then, that I met Crazy Wolfgang and his Travelling Junk Store - a man willing to barter with me for a shotgun (one of my favourite Fallout weapons). Fallout 3 runs on a similar cash/trade system to the previous games, meaning that on top of the currency of bottle caps you can throw your possessions into the bargain. Sadly, my ploy of wandering around radioactive Washington poking things hadn't been all that lucrative so far - and I can only imagine that outside of the bartering screen my offerings of pool cues, burnt books and pistol ammo was roundly sneered at by Herr Wolfgang. It was at this point that I decided to kill him with a grenade. I watched Wolfgang and his guard wander off, away from the guarded gates of Megaton. I then chased after them, stuck myself in sneak/crouch mode, approached the German-monickered rag-and-bone man from the rear and performed a good old-fashioned pickpocket Rather than pick stuff, and undoubtedly get caught I slipped an armed grenade into his trousers and backed off. Wolfgang turned towards me and frantically began to slap at his legs to find the offending article, but , unfortunately had become a shower of body parts before it was discovered.
Go Here Now
Those expecting a succession of run-of-the-mill 'go here, fight these men or monsters, kill this particular man or monster, bring sorflething back' Oblivion-type missions may well be in for a pleasant surprise too. Fallout 3s missions - perhaps with thought being given to the originals' over-arching quests like "find the water chip" - are more long-running and convoluted than in Bethesda's previous works.
One character in Megaton (the first hub town you're directed to, whose interior is like some multi-layered, nightmare vision of the Swiss Family Robinson's treehouse) wants you to find her family, and points you in the general direction of far distant Arefu. Once there, before you know it that same quest has morphed into a tale of a local populace beset by a group of Brahmin-killers called The Family, and the missing characters are revealed to be in any one of three locationfrso you're off on a chain of subquests that could take hours to complete.
To add subtlety and texture, meanwhile, smaller quests aren't flagged up in your Pip-Boy. Leo Stahl, son of a local family who own one of the two Megaton bars has a drug problem and hangs around the water treatment plant at night snorting Jet - as you discover either through sharing an affinity with medicine with the local doctor, or by hacking into the Stahls' computer at night and reading their personal logs, while simultaneously opening up their safe and stealing all their worldly goods. Then, when found, you can gabble at him that you're a drug fiend too and you want to buy off him, or you can very patiently explain how his vices are upsetting his family and persuade him to give up his nighttime pursuits. And incidentally why doesn't he just give you the key to his stash for safekeeping and/or destruction?
The dialogue and voice-acting throughout seems fine - good even. You shouldn't go in expecting the reams and reams of dialogue that could present itself in Fallout of old, but you should expect the same variation, number of replies and tone. Can I vouch for it being better, worse or "Argh! So much worse!" than the old games? No, as I haven't met enough people or delved deep enough into their characters (sorry, nma-falloutcom) but I can scientifically state that both acting and dialogue are at least a bazillion times better than Oblivion's. They can put that one on the posters.
Although there's a woman called Moira who sends you off to research her book by stealing food from the Super Duper Mart and disarming mines who does sound a mite irritating.
Fears then? Well enemy battle chatter in the build I played was a bit duff, but is apparently up for a spot of re-recording, and you do have to suspend disbelief from the rooftops to believe the fact that no bugger had fixed an armed nuclear bomb in the century or so before a spunky 19 year-old and a packet of Mentats appeared on the scene.
My biggest raised eyebrow probably swings around the token of appreciation given to you by the Megaton populace if you decide to save their necks.
You essentially get a house, complete with Wadsworth the robot butler who can cut your hair and a place to store your foraged Vault Boy miniatures. You can then customise said shack in a variety of different styles through the local store - with themes like Raider, Science, Pre-war and Love Machine to choose from. To me, this seems incongruous to the post-apocalyptic setting - it may have worked in the prosperous boroughs of Cyrodiil, but you honestly feel that in Fallout you shouldn't be able to order in much more than a rusty bucket and a blanket.
Away from all the technical combat palaver and the frothing one-way debates over authenticity though, my enduring memory of Fallout 3 is simply exploring the wasteland. Just standing atop a muddy-brown peak, flipping between radio signals - perhaps - A Galaxy News reporting the latest & I on my endeavours before playing catchy '50s music or endlessly cycling haunting transmissions from long-dead triumphant conquerors or desperate survivors. This is a very different game, a very special game, and one simply cannot wait to I contaminate myself with come Autumn.
The Bomb Is soon to drop and now we have confirmation that Dogmeat, star NPC group member from Fallout, is making a comeback. In the original game you could hoodwink him into joining your party by wearing his master's leather jacket - but now it seems you find him in a junkyard facing off against some bandits, and can then heal and tame him.
As well as having a new best friend to fight alongside, you'll also be able to send him off to forage for ammo and pick-me-ups while you're snorting Jet on a ruined sidewalk. What's plain to see in these screens is how similar Bethesda's world looks to that of Black Isle's - notably on display in the design of ghouls and in the gun models.
Here he is - Dogmeat is back and fully trainable, although there's no word of whether he'll level up alongside you or gain extra abilities.
Fans of nerdlore will recognise that this shot echoes the final scene of Fallout - when the exiled hero walks back out to the wastes, spurned by his own people.
This scene is your 10th birthday. As well as enabling you to customise your character, a young Amata - the Vault Overseer's daughter and probable future love interest -will be eating too much jelly, while the Mr Handy robot will hilariously mess up cutting the cake.
The PIPboy 3000 is shaping up to be the best designed PDA and container of roleplaying stats around. And note the red buttons at its base - they carry the same sheen and design as those in the first games.
A worry for Fallout 3 is just how involved the dialogue will be, with the chat shown here being of an Oblivion standard, rather than a Fallout. Bethesda better have hired in a good director for the voice talent to boot.
This chap looks like Fallout's Harold the Ghoul, even if he doesn't have a tree growing out of his head. Maybe another sign of Bethesda's standpoint on art design.
The question is, if you can blast bits off thundering great mutants, can they do the same to you? Still, imagine this slow-motion scene coming after you've selected a risky shot in a paused combat sequence - satisfaction is not the word.
Sitting In Bethesda's temporary European HQ in the heart of London's trendy Soho, just near the excellent Red Lion pub and some brothels, Bethesda's resident do-everything man Pete Hines is extolling the virtues of the free-roamer RPG.
"I could tell you what you'd be doing every single minute of Call of Duty 4," he begins. "Don't get me wrong - that game is fucking amazing, but I could tell you what happens in every minute of every single mission within very small parameters. What weapon you were using... everything.
"With Fallout 3, you could be 10 hours in and I couldn't even guess 20-30 per cent of what you'll have done. We made our reputation by doing big and crazy - things people hadn't tried before. We feel that we've gotten good at it now." This much is incontrovertible, the open-world structure of Oblivion was sometimes seamless to play through and the Al-driven daily routines of Cyrodiil's denizens a delight to play around with. The same will be true of Fallout 3, when you're out in the wastes.
You could be walking along and there'll be a diner off to the side, you'll wonder what's over there - and it'll turn out to be a Raider base and there's mutated bodies hanging from the ceiling," explains Hines. "Suddenly the Raiders could show up - and that's just due to the time of day. If you want to play the game hardcore, you can sit and wait and watch these guys over a period of time and figure out what their schedule is - go in while they're out or when they're sleeping."
The start of the game though, as it was with Oblivion, will be inherently linear -although perhaps not in the temporal sense. There's probably no need to bore you with the way the action cuts in and out of various events of your childhood, nor with the fact that many of your perks, stats and abilities will be selected at various points within this. So let's just cut to the meat and reveal that when you're born, a left-click of your mouse will make you cry. And then, when you're a year old and escaping from your wire-fence playpen, the same button will make your character say stuff like, "Dadda!" No word if you can go rooting though Liam Neeson's cupboards and valiantly attempt to drink bleach just yet though.
As soon as you're out in the wilderness in your late teens, everything opens up before you - the landmass is smaller than that in Oblivion, but Bethesda insist that it won't necessarily feel that way.
"When you started Oblivion you had all these cities around that you knew about - you could travel all over the world, then explore from each one," says Hines. "In Fallout 3, you emerge from the Vault and you don't know shit You're not getting anywhere in a hurry."
The idea is that being forced to travel around on foot, with no real idea of what direction stuff lies in, will force you to appreciate your immediate environs more - as well as give you a strong sense of exploration. Much as in the original Fallout games, where you'd only be told settlements were vaguely to the south or were completely unmarked.
This 'less is more' ethic extends to NPCs as well, having a more limited number of wordier tykes milling around, rather than the hundreds of three-line conversation 'tell me rumours!' variety that inhabited Oblivion. In the new scenes on show in Pete Hines' presentation, the improvement was marked - when bickering with a childhood bully there are at least six or seven different retorts to your foe, for example. We're also promised that there are at least 60 voice actors and that the more recognisable ones from Oblivion ('You have my ear, citizen!') haven't made the cut Hines reckons they've nixed the old chestnut of conversation between NPCs being stilted and dull to boot.
When they talk to each other they can do it by name," he explains. They understand that this person is someone they have a certain sort of relationship with, and so they can talk about a certain set of things. When the player sees that it's more realistic. The more we can do to make characters believable when you walk past them, the better."
What of Dogmeat though? We touched on him last issue, but now his full range of capabilities has been laid bare. You talk to him as if he were a real person - no doubt causing a few raised eyebrows in the wastes - and can tell him to help out in combat, scavenge the vicinity for food, weaponry or stims a (which could take him up to two in-game hours if hard pressed) or simply to head back to the entrance to Vault 101 and wait for you there. He won't level up or learn anything new ("He's just a dog," says Hines) but if he dies then he's dead J for good - and you won't meet any other muscular, English-comprehending canines either. Dogmeat's a one-off.
"There are human companions as well," adds Hines by way of consolation. "It'll probably end up as one companion, so you can have a human and Dogmeat with you.
I've A Confession to make: I never played the original Fallout games. There's no real reason why, they just passed me by somehow. I've played both of the Balclur's Gate games, Planescape: Torment, the first Icewind Dale, and both Neverwinter Nights, so why not Fallout? I really can't answer that question satisfactorily. So I wasn't one of the people fearing the integrity of Fallout 3, especially as I liked Oblivion more than Moirowincl (you can spit on the floor and call me names now). However, I haven't been 'grabbed' at all by this one. At least I can have a stab at answering this one.
I don't think it's the scenario, as the radiation-soaked landscape and post-apocalyptic settings interest me. Maybe it's the potential of playing Oblivion, maybe it is the cool-but-lacking-in-any-required-skill VATS combat system? Maybe there are just too many other games that offer me an experience I haven't yet had before (which links back to the playing through Oblivion point).
I keep hearing tales of exciting setpieces and interesting locations to be found, so why do I go back to Left 4 Dead or NBA 2K9?
I think Fallout 3 will be a game I complete to say "I finished it". But there isn't any other reason for me to do so. As an RPG, it's light years behind The Witcher in sophistication and, as an action game, VATS doesn't let me feel my ability to make an impact on the game. Maybe I'm just a cynical bastard.
What Can Be said about Fallout 3 that has not already been said earnestly and with stabbing finger motions in a pub by Will Porter already? Not a whole lot, it must be said.
The sprawling post-apocalyptic adventure captured the imaginations of millions, and the downloadable content, at the very least, scrubs memories of Oblivion's horse armour right out of our memories.
In exchange for a booster shot of Rad Away, lead designer Emil Pagliarulo offered up some inside info on the game's development. What a nice guy.
"VATS was a top priority for us from day one, really. We knew we needed to somehow replicate the body-targeting system used in Fallout and Fallout 2, but in a realtime, primarily first-person, environment And we also knew we needed to make it really visceral. Todd Howard had this image in his head of the crashes in the Burnout series - in those games your vehicles' smash-ups get repeated in slow-motion - somehow applying that to whatever cinematic mode we came up with.
"I have to say that the end result is remarkably close to what Todd and I originally envisioned. It's both tactical and visually exciting, but it's also very fast and easy to use. Really VATS is everything we had hoped it would be."
"When we started working on a new Fallout game, we never dismissed any fans, and never would. At the same time, you have to be confident in your own creative abilities, and confident in your team. You have to trust your own creative judgment. If you can't do that, then what's the point? The whole reason we acquired the Fallout license was so that we could make a Fallout game we wanted, one we thought would be great.
"So, at the end of the day, we listened to all the fans, but we had to make a game that feels right. That's what we did, and it was definitely the right way to go."
"We did very few in-game iterations of the art style. For us, it was more a matter of doing tons and tons of concept work before finally deciding on the appropriate art styles. Especially for the really key visual elements, things like the Pip-Boy 3000, the Vault 101 suit, all the robots - we really wanted to make sure we nailed them at the concept stage.
"The one thing we did change a bit in-game was the overall colour palette. It was a challenge trying to find one that was both appropriate and wasn't too oppressive. It's a wasteland, so everything's dead, so the atmosphere is pretty darned bleak. So the trick was making the world seem dismal, but not so much that it's depressing to actually play through."
"There aren't many differences when deciding to play as a female character. We made a conscious effort to make the gameplay identical for both male and female characters.
"There is one significant way in which the game can be easier if you play as a female character. If your character is female, and you take the Black Widow perk, you'll do extra damage against male characters. The majority of enemies are male. So if you go that route, you'll have an easier time. It was unintentional - a by-product of the way the systems worked."
Leaving The Vault
"The experience of leaving Vault 101 for the first time is something we definitely wanted to bring home for the player. So in that sense, it was a very specifically crafted moment.
"It was interesting because, if you'll remember, the player had a very similar experience at the beginning of Oblivion. You leave the Imperial Prison, and emerge out into this beautiful forest scene. "For us, it was this big question: In Fallout 3, how can we give the player an equally memorable experience, while showing a post-apocalyptic wasteland? How can we make a wasteland beautiful? And there were other things to consider, too. Like, what if the player decides to wait while in the Vault, and they end up leaving at night? How will the wasteland look then?
"So yeah, there were a bunch of things we took into consideration. We knew that initial introduction to the Wasteland would be critical to the way people responded to the game."
Neeson Or Stewart?
"Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Patrick Stewart, or work with him directly for his voice session.
"I did get to meet Liam Neeson, however, and help a bit in his recording session, and I can tell you straight up that he's the real deal. A great guy, and a consummate professional.
"I remember when he was recording the Dad holotapes, many of which I had written, and he was just sort of sitting there in this dark recording studio, talking into the microphone. It was as if the Dad character was sitting there in his lab, making his holotapes. Todd and I sort'of looked at each other; you could feel this sort of creative electricity in the air.
"So yeah, getting to see Liam Neeson act out material I had written is, really, not an experience I'm ever likely to forget. It was amazing."
"The thinking was that the fashionable '50s clothes would have some benefit and not just look pretty. Every piece of clothing modifies a skill or attribute. So what they lack in damage resistance, they tend to make lip for in skill or attribute modification.
"We did this to give those clothing items some kind of real gameplay value, so not every player would be compelled to wear power armour. And it makes sense. If I'm a doctor, I'm going to perform my medical duties better wearing scrubs (with medical equipment stuffed in the pockets) than I am wearing raider armour.
"And it doesn't hurt that the r50s outfits look so cool. They definitely give your character much more personality."
"No quest was left out because it was too dark. But Tranquillity Lane is morbid enough. I wish I could give you an answer as to where that quest came from. I sometimes dredge these things up from my sub-conscious.
"For me, really unique gameplay sequences like Tranquillity Lane tend to come from my experience as a gamer. What have I seen before? What haven't I seen? What have I always wanted to do in a game? What would give me a new experience? And for me, being the Pint-Sized Slasher and getting to kill people wearing that clown mask, well... that's the cherry on top.
"It helps, obviously, if you have a really sick sense of humour."
"Quests like Stealing Independence are all about our designers taking ownership over ideas and really running with them. In the case of that particular quest (which was conceived long before the original National Treasure movie ever came out, by the way), it was one of our designers, Al Nanes, taking a concept I came up with and really just knocking it out of the park.
"He researched the signing of the Declaration of Independence and found one of the signers, Button Gwinnet, and decided to base the robot on this guy, and it sort of took on a life of its own."
"I didn't know if the idea for Tranquillity Lane would stick, or what the gameplay would end up being, but I knew I'd wanted the player to be able to experience Fallout's world before the bombs fell. And I wanted it to come as a complete surprise.
"I think, when the player gets there, the mission really helps with the pacing of the game. It breaks things up, and it gives the player an entirely new, unexpected experience."
When you think about it, Fallout 3 is actually what is responsible for the Fallout series that we have now. This is what turned it into one of the most massive RPGs series in modern gaming and after going back and playing it recently, I can hand on heart say that it holds up very well and is still an awesome time.
Welcome To Washington
The setting and story of Fallout 3 are both fantastic. The game is set a few hundred years into the future and the world has been decimated by nuclear war. You live in this vault where you are “safe” One day though your father leaves the vault and you decide to head out to find him and this leads you on a quest to not just find your father, but the truth about the vault you called home and what is really happening on the surface. It is a fantastic sci-fi style story and one that holds up very well to this day.
Do What You Want
It is not an exaggeration to say that you could play Fallout 3 for 100 hours and still not see all that the game has to offer. I have played Fallout 3 on PC, PS3 and 360 and across all platforms, I would hate to think how much time I have spent in this Washington DC wasteland! The game clearly has a main story for you to play through and that is awesome, but like any good RPG, the side quests are what will suck up all of your time.
Fallout 3 is the kind of game that will have you on one quest, then you get swept up into another and before you know it you are down a rabbit hole five quests deep from the original quest that you were doing! This may sound like a nightmare, but it is just what makes the world of Fallout 3 feel so huge and real.
While I would always class this game as an RPG, the gunplay in Fallout 3 is pretty solid. It is because of this that I feel that this is a great game for someone who has always wanted to try an RPG, but never felt they were for them. I am not saying that this is a first-person shooter or anything like that, but it does have far more in common with them than most other RPG’s I have played over the years.
Wasteland Washington Has Never Looked So Good
Even after all these years, Fallout 3 is still a game that looks great. You could say that it is so dark, grimy and brown and green, but after a nuclear fallout what do you expect! The way this has affected the people to turn into mutants and the creatures to become monsters is really cool and I love the creative way the people behind the game decided what a world set after a nuclear fallout would look like.
While we have had a few Fallout games since Fallout 3 I really do feel that this game holds up well enough from a presentation point of view and gameplay point of view that it is still worth playing through. It is a fantastic RPG and one that has a far better story than people give it credit for if you ask me.
- I love the main story
- Wasteland Washington DC looks amazing
- It is quite an easy game to get into
- The side quests are a ton of fun and there are loads of them
- The game holds up great in the graphics department
- Some of the text is kind of tiny
- It can take hundreds of hours to beat!
Fallout 3 is an expansive, post-apocalyptic RPG released in 2008 by Bethesda Game Studios. Well known for their work on the RPG series The Elder Scrolls, Bethesda combines the setting and tone of the Fallout series with their signature RPG gameplay to create a unique product. As a Fallout title, Fallout 3 is a huge change from the franchise's normal formula. Instead of a highly strategic RPG played from a top-down perspective (like the original Fallout and Fallout 2), Fallout 3 feels more like a first person shooter with a huge map and tons of missions. While it's a definite change from what fans are used to, Fallout 3 manages to be both surprisingly deep and fun to play. Some franchise veterans will be upset with some of the changes, but for the most part, Fallout 3 is a greatly rewarding and personalized RPG.
The story starts off with you creating a custom character before starting your life inside Vault 101. Buried deep underground, Vault 101 is one of many vaults designed to protect citizens from the nuclear fallout on the surface. You experience your early life inside the vault, until the age of 19, when you brave an adventure to the surface to find your father. You enter into the “Capital Wasteland”, a fictional version of Washington D.C. that has been decimated by nuclear attacks. Among the chaos, factions of survivors attempt to hold land and protect themselves. Armed with a small knowledge of the world around you, you set off to retrieve your father and take on the Wasteland. Fallout 3 deserves praise for its huge narrative, which features branching paths and moral decisions. As the player, you are tasked with often making huge decisions that have major impacts on the game. As you explore the world and meet characters, you'll have to go on various missions to help them out. These missions will have you investigating a huge variety of locations, from abandoned subway tunnels to crumbling buildings. The world of Fallout is harsh and dangerous, but if your arm yourself well and keep your wits about you, you'll find it easier to survive.
Unlike the past Fallout games, Fallout 3 plays from either a first-person or third-person point of view. Combat has also changed, as Fallout 3 feels more quick and active than any previous entry. When you encounter an enemy, you're free to shoot at it normally, as you would in any other shooting game. You can also zoom in on the creature using the VATS system, which allows you to select different body parts to shoot at. Your combat effectiveness is tied into the game's interesting leveling and crafting system, which has you earning experience and selecting new “perks” for your character. As you craft and discover stronger weaponry and complete missions, you'll quickly have an impressive arsenal at your disposal. However, you'll have to manage your inventory and items, as your character can only hold a limited amount of weight.
There are a huge amount of quests and locations to discover in Fallout 3, and ultimately, the game is about freedom. You're encouraged to follow the main quest and discover more information about your missing father, but you're also free to disregard it entirely and forge your own path. The decisions you make along the way have lasting effects, which makes the game feel personal to your experience. The story has numerous endings, which provides another layer of replayability. Between leveling up your character, exploring the Wasteland, and completing missions, you'll easily spend hundreds of hours in the world of Fallout 3. Even once you've seen most of the narrative content, you can always replay the game and make different decisions, which leads to new missions and activities. When it comes to pure gameplay, there's more than enough to keep you interested in Fallout 3. Luckily, that fantastic gameplay is wrapped in a compelling story that focuses on player choice. It's easily one of the most impressive RPGs of all time, regardless of your familiarity with the Fallout franchise.