Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fallout 3 Review

Fallout 3 is an RPG/FPS game available for all major platforms(PS3, 360 and PC). It is based in a post apocalyptic world with some themes of mid - 20th century USA.

First of all, the main I can't sing the praises of the main storyline in Fallout 3. I found it rather tedious in fact, it has a very linear series of quests with very little variation. The story begins with the character, the lone wanderer progressing through various stages in age and eventually escaping from Vault 101 and roaming the wasteland in search of his father. After finding him, he dies very soon and lets you carry out the dirty work. The story cannot be majorly criticized however, as the open and sandbox nature to Bethesda's RPG games make any storyline seem restricting and monotonous in comparison with open exploration. One problem however is completing the final mission results in the end of the game completely, and the need to reload a previous save (In my opinion, a major and unnecessary mistake on Bethesda's part) unless one has the expansion pack "Broken Steel" which extends the storyline.
The world in Fallout is in my opinion fantastic! There are two main areas of landscape, the wasteland, which covers roughly 2/3 of the map, and the Washington D.C ruins, which covers the rest. Much of the D.C area's roads are blocked by rubble, forcing the player to travel underground in subway tunnels to reach various parts of the city, however I think this is a good idea, and proves a nice variation in scenery as you travel (There is always fast travel). There are plenty of interesting places to visit in the game, for example:
Paradise Falls - An abandoned shopping mall now resident to a group of slavers.
The Citadel - Clever manipulation of the modern day Pentagon now housing the Brotherhood of Steel"
Washington Museum - The ghoul city
Megaton - One of the two main towns in the game, containing an unexploded atomic bomb
Rivet City - One of my favourites, an aircraft carrier cleverly converted into a city.
The vaults - As well as your own, there are plenty of other vaults, all with their problems. For example: One vault has hallucinogenic gas which will intoxicate the player and produce a trippy adventure. Another is resident to many clones of "Gary", all will proceed to attack the player with sledgehammers on sight.
The characters in Fallout 3 are exceptional. All characters are fully voice active and interesting. Each has various dialog options, enabling the player to ask about their background/history and other trivial things. Characters have daily schedules, some of which are influenced by the storyline, they sleep, go shopping, talk to certain other characters at regular intervals etc. Creating a very immersive and realistic experience.
Fallout 3 contains no "Factions" as such, like Oblivion did. However there are factions which a player can do quests with etc. Which will reward you with goods. Some are friendlier than others and will react to you in different ways as you make various moral choices throughout the game. For example a player with positive Karma will be hunted by the Talon Company, a player of positive karma will be hunted by the Regulators. Some factions to note are the Brotherhood of Steel, Enclave, Slavers, Ghouls and several other minor factions, which a player rushing through the game may overlook such as the Family, Reilleys Rangers and Brotherhood Outcasts. Each faction has its respective, in depth lore and have a variety of quests available. Whatever you may choose to play as, there will always be a faction you may want to try and fit into to accompany your playstyle.
Character stats and attributes are reasonably well done, a player will choose their "SPECIAL"(Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Agility, Luck)) at the start of the game and they will, to a certain extent remain the same. Skills on the other hand are increased through a selection system as the character levels up, with a certain amount of points to delegate to skills.
Equipment and weaponry is very well done. A player can acquire a large variety of weapons and armor throughout the game, from sniper rifles to mines and rocket launchers, its all there! There are really no criticisms on the selection available, as it is likely to keep a player perfectly content with their gadgets, however some weapons can be considered too "overpowered", even with raised difficulty levels, "end game" weapons such as the Gattling Laser and Experimental MIRV shred enemies in seconds, and can really remove any difficulty from the game, however one is not obligated to choose these, and can easily take another root, however you always get the feeling that you are "gimping" your character by not using these weapons.

Graphics in Fallout 3 fall under the category of "reasonable as far as modern games go. In my opinion compared to some of the leading graphical games, some of Fallout 3's textures seem a tad grainy and the long distance view inferior, however this did not bother me too much. The explosions and gun animations are great, and characters look far more realistic than they did in Bethesda's previous RPG, Oblivion.

Sound may seem like a neglible factor in comparison to graphics, or even further so, gameplay. However it is an absolute essential for immersion and making that combat perfect. Sound is by no means exceptional, like in games such as Call of Duty, however it is good, and most gamers will be quite content with this. Explosions make a great noise and all NPCs are voice acted(as previously mentioned). There are a huge variety of voice actors in Fallout 3 and this brings about a great sense of individual personalities in each character, perfect for immersion. The game has also a few cute nostalgia orientated theme tunes, played through various radios etc. In the game, which is a great bonus to know Bethesda care about the little things.

Other Notes
I believe Fallout 3 can only be fully appreciated with a hint of roleplay on the players part. I found it especially satisfying to model my character on one of the factions (In my case, Brotherhood Outcasts) and collect armor and weapons appropriate to that faction to build your perfect character. This factor will give the game far more replay value as you experiment with various playstyles.

-Detailed and fully explorable, immersive world
-Immersive characters and side quests
-Many iconic locations to visit
-Factions and quests related to them to add variety
-Many different types of weapon and armor
-Good animations
-Full voice acting
-Dull storyline
-Inferior graphics compared to other modern games



  1. Excellent review of an excellent game, I always find myself drawn back to the Fallout series.

  2. I loved F1, F2 and I love F3! Really great game!
    Also nice review ;)

  3. I've heard so much but still haven't gotten round to playing it.