So after a great deal of persuasion, and constant complaining from a certain admin, here I am.  And I’m going to talk about my latest addiction.

Fallout 3.

A much anticipated and long awaited game released in October by Bethesda Softworks, creators of the magnificent and long running Elder Scrolls series of games, Fallout3 carries on from the much loved Fallout series.

Fallout3 Running man

As a long time fan of Fallout, from when a friend introduced me to the games, I was one of the many who eagerly awaited its release, even going as far as purchasing it when my own computer wasn’t up to the task of running it. Having to purchase a new Graphics card and being a first time hardware installer can lead to a lot of ‘fun’. After the resulting chaos of several hasty purchases to rectify the physical problems I caused to my own much cared for machine, I eventually got Fallout3 installed and working.

Now there are those out there who say that Fallout3 doesn’t deserve the name, as it is made in a different style from the original Interplay version, claiming it should be called somethign along the lines of Fallout-RPG or some other applicable name showing that it is not presented in the same style as the earlier games. In a sense, I would agree. yes, Bethesda tried to have the content faithful to the Post Apocalyptic Universe of  Fallout, but almost everything that could be compared to the originals has been, for lack of a better word, reconstructed from the ashen ruins of civilisation.

Moving from a birds eye view of the player’s character, to a more First-or-third person perspective, changes elements of the gameplay. However the one advantage this brings is you get to admire the scenery just a little bit more.

On Top of the world

As a fan of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I pretty much put a lot of expectation into Fallout 3. Having attained more than 300+ hours of playing time in Oblivion and still not having touched the mainline quest, I was hoping that Fallout 3 would prove an equal for single character playability. This has to be one of the more disapointing letdowns that you can find in Fallout 3. There is a character level cap, which is rather too low for my liking (and many others from what I’ve read elsewhere) which just leads to a relativly short game for something that has a large playing area as you can find in the game.

While the playing area is immense, comparable to Oblivion’s explorable area in size, there are a lot fewer locations to check out. While many of the areas are spread out, there is little reason to actually visit most of them. A handful contain sidequests, or interesting items which depending on how you develop your character may prove useful but the majority are just places to visit on your path to exploring the wasteland as a whole. Then again, you may need to visit them to pick up some of the games ‘clutter’, items you can pick up which may be useful for easy ‘bottlecaps’, the game’s currency, or to make one of the few weapons you can pick up schematics for.

Now while the games short length may be something I can complain about, most of the other features I actually enjoy.

The VATS targetting system, an ingenious way to target and attack the numerous enemies of the wastelands you will encounter. It allows you to target specific body  parts with a projectile weapon, such as the head, arms, legs or torso (assuming it’s a human) using action points, defined by your characters Agility characteristic. The VATS actually increases the chance of you doing extra damage to your target when you use it making it a must use when facing tough opponents.

The weapons. While there aren’t as many as there could be (the future releases of downloadable content will add more, such as the gauss rifle from Operation Achorage) there are still a selection of fun to use guns and blades. The ability to acquire weapon schematics adds a new twist to the game, as you collect components (I assure you, there is no shortage of these) to make your own. Weapons like the Shishkebab, a flaming sword which ignites any opponent you hit (not to be used in certain areas), the Rock-it-launcher, a weapon that can use any of the wasteland’s clutter as ammo (death by tin-can or teddy bear anyone?) and the Railway rifle to name but a few. However, even some of the standard weapons can be quite fun to use. The flamethrower is a personal favourite, the plasma rifle turning opponents into goo, and the Gatling Laser, a rapid fire repeating laser gun. However to top all these is the Fatman mini-nuke launcher, a ballistic close range heavy weapon that can turn even the hardest opponents to ash (including yourself if you’re not too careful.) Along with these, it is possible to find a selection of unique variants of the standard weapons, which alter some of the abilities making them desireable to acquire.

The Fatman

The Sniper Rifle

The Minigun

Some Cars Go Boom

Gatling Laser

The armour. There is also a wide selection of bodywear that your character can acquire ranging from business suits, to the unique T-21b Power armour. Even some of the simplest clothes give some bonus to wearing them. However my personal favourite would be some of the power-armour you get, which can increase your strength attribute allowing you to carry more. But personal tastes aside, you can pick up armour from any person equipped with it, from raiders to civilians.

The radscorpions. “The what?” you may ask. The Radscorpions. Giant mutated scorpions which can be quite challenging to fight if you’re not prepared, particularly the giant variety. Nothing says futuristic post-apocalyptia  quite like a giant mutated bug than can kill most things it comes into contact with. I quite like them….when they aren’t trying to kill me.

Giant Radscorpion

Another valuable feature will be the possibility to download extra content once it’s released. An example of this would be Operation Anchorage (I have yet to acquire this) which is set in Anchorage, Alaska, as part of the leadup to events that started the Fallout setting. These add new missions, weapons and items which increase the playability of Fallout3 for a single character. Another 2 are expected to be released adding many more missions and possibilities (hopefully)

All in all  I would say Fallout3 is an enjoyable game with many hours of play which, if you are a fan of RPG’s, may be worthwhile looking into. Not to mention I’ve persuaded about 4 people to give it a try.

Fallout3 copyright Bethesda Softworks.

Posted by Pacifist, filed under Uncategorized. Date: March 7, 2009, 9:59 pm | 1 Comment »