Review

Fallout 3 (PC)

And really, that's pretty much what Fallout 3 is, a Choose Your own Adventure Book. It just happens to be a really good one.

by HiP FLasK

Game Fallout 3

Platform PC

Genre(s) Role-Playing

Ok, so right off the bat (Bat. Hrm. I can't stop thinking about that Scout update for Team Fortress 2. The amount of life that Valve has breathed into that game is uncanny. Can you image TF2 right now without all those updates? And all for free too. That's just unheard of in “this economy.” Valve is the new Blizzard in my opinion. Blizzard has gotten too bloated with their own success and needs to be taken out behind the old red shed where your father used to make you smoke sausage in the dying afternoon light.) I enjoyed Fallout 3. I'm going to try and not be one of this nit pickers that take apart the whole game on some operation table, trying to find the littlest bit wrong with it because I believe that a game should be taken in as a whole experience. No one is perfect so I don't expect my games to be perfect. HOWEVER, if I was going to nit pick, here's what it would be.

Nit Picking

3 voice actors. It seemed like they spent all their money snagging Liam Neeson and Ron Perlman that they didn't have enough budget for anyone else.

The damn game kept crashing on me, which got insanely annoying. I checked with other people too and the same thing was happening to them as well.

More weapons. Very small pick, but I absolutely loved making crazy ass weapons from all the junk around. I wanted more of that, but I guess I'll just have to buy the extra content.

Not being able to rework my skills. It's a tough thing in an RPG to know what you're going to do. Things might not work out the way you planned so I would have liked to have been able to reset things. It does make me want to play through again and I guess they'd have a hard time explaining you relearning things in the game world. But still, if I find a gun that can blow up an entire town, I'd like to train that up a bit.


Besides my nit picking, the game was pretty seamless. There was one major problem for me, but I'll touch on that later. I've never really played a game that's drawn me into the world as effectively as Fallout 3. The closets thing I can think of is Mass Effect, but Fallout did a better job of making me feel the atmosphere. I usually play a good character, simply because it's hard for me to tell someone “No, I'm not going to save your kid from the rabid cannibals.” In Fallout 3 though, the more I played it, the more saturated I became with everything. The world was affecting me to a point where I started to turn really gray. I couldn't be that knight in shinning armor all the time. The world of Fallout is just so damn bleak and miserable that you almost can't help but feel it. That's an extremely hard thing to do and one of the best things about the game.
It looks stunning also, which helps you to feel that bleakness. Stumbling through the RUins of some suburban home, seeing the kids room torn apart.. awesome. I'm really against saying a game is good just because of how good it looks, but just like a woman, looks do matter in the long run. We're in the future for god sakes, 20 Oh whatever and games need to look stunning. Fallout 3 looks as beautiful as can be. So many little elements of awesomeness where you just stare out into the wasteland and think “This is where I live now. This is the shittiest place in the world and it's mine.” Beautiful.
Combat is really fun too. The way they implemented the VATS system was done wonderfully and reminded me a lot of Mass Effect again. (Maybe I just need to give Mass Effect another run through, I've really been slobbering for that game again.) The characters didn't really move too realistically and that would make for some awkward looking moments in VATS, but other than that pretty darn sweet.
Which bring me on to the biggest complaint I have about the game. When I was playing it, there was one thing bothering me. It was if I had a pebble (who says pebble anymore?) in my shoe and I couldn't find it and I was walking and I didn't want to stop to really try and look in the shoe because then I'd be barefoot on the gd sidewalk and everyone would be looking at me thinking “What's this idiot doing with his shoe off?” I figured it out though and I threw that pebble at those assholes gawking at me. It was the way your character moved and more specifically 3rd person. I love 3rd person. I want to dress up my character in the fresh skin of my fallen enemies and look at the way the setting sun bounces off it. I want to see that sweet ass gun I just found off that orphaned junkie I had to beat up for some quest, and Fallout 3 just doesn't do that well. What gets me is that Bethesda said they were going to make 3rd person a viable option and it just didn't happen. I tried for a while too, but it just ended up feeling extremely awkward to me and I constantly felt like I was missing items. It was also the way the character moved in general. That was probably the one thing that seemed really clunky and took me out of the experience. It felt like there was a thin sheet of ice on the ground and just the general way he moved about. It didn't feel real to me and in a game where it's main focus is making the experience seem real, it failed pretty miserably in that regard. I was going to put that little rant under nit picking, but it just bothered the hell out of me for so long and still does as I go back to play it and explore. Other than that though, it was a pretty seamless experience for me. Looks good, feels good, tons of content to explore so you get a lot of bang for your buck and one of the best sequences leading up to the end. I won't ruin it for you, but I was actually shouting in joy. Real quick though, I loved the length of the game. This is one of those minor things that makes a game better. The opposite of a nit pick. The length was perfect. It wasn't too long and it wasn't too short. Some of these RPG's drag on into infinity and while that's good in terms of dollar's for play time, I get bored with it easily. In Fallout you can crank through the main quest while still exploring some, and then you can always go back and explore the rest of the world if you so want, just make sure you save before the end because they didn't think people would want to play after they beat the game. Genius. I think I clocked in around the 30 hr mark, which in my opinion, is a perfect time frame for an RPG.
Fallout 3 is an experience and it's one of those experiences that makes me proud to be addicted to video games. It really gives you that feeling of being like “Wow, maybe games do have a place in the artistic world. Maybe games aren't about just being thrown into __(insert random war here_) or leveling up your character to infinity while you masturbate to __(insert porn random porn here)_” It just gives you this sense of immersion that's very similar to reading a book. And really, that's pretty much what Fallout 3 is, a Choose Your own Adventure Book. It just happens to be a really good one.

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