Fallout 3 is the long awaited sequel to the Fallout franchise, and also one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year. I’ve never been much of a fan of open world games, but I decided to pick this one up. Did I make a big mistake? Did it live up to the intense hype? I tried to keep the review as spoiler-free as possible, but there may be a few small spoilers. Read our full review to find out.
Gameplay was the biggest concern for me before playing because as I mentioned before, I do not normally like open world games (except for GTA, but I did not like Oblivion very much). The thing that separates a good open world game from a bad is how clear the objectives are, and for Fallout 3 they are perfectly displayed on the extremely handy Pipboy-3000. The story is also an important aspect, and the story here is very compelling, and fits the world perfectly.
Fallout 3 can be played in a variety of ways and in either 1st or 3rd person perspective. It can be played like a normal FPS (but I do not suggest it). You could also take advantage of the surprisingly effective and useful V.A.T.S system (which is allows you to specifically target body parts and tells you the percentage of a hit). The system works well without making things too easy, and the RPG elements really help give the combat a sense of strategy. You could also, if you wanted, play the game with little to no combat by just talking your way through things instead, but this would probably not be too exciting.
The RPG elements consist of many things but predominantly S.P.E.C.I.A.L, Perks, and Skills. Special traits are very broad and are broken down into 7 categories that are mostly chosen at the start of the game. Perks are given every level and vary from specialized weapon training to more gore and damage. The skills are things used directly in the game from lock picking to weapon skills or medicine. These all help give the player a great sense of choice and the ability to influence how the game is played which is very refreshing.
Exploration is a huge part of the experience here, and to say the least, it is extremely enjoyable to be able to travel almost everywhere in this desolated wasteland and see everything it has to offer.
Fallout 3 takes place in a wasteland, and this wasteland is perfectly realized and almost eerily realistic. Many people feared that the visuals for Fallout 3 would just be Oblivion with a different coat of paint, but that is most certainly not true. The character models look similar to Oblivion, but considering how stellar they are I really cannot complain too much. The game features an almost photorealistic depiction of Washington D.C. literally torn apart by nuclear warfare.
This generation seems to have a great hold on realistic visuals, but over the last few years atmosphere has really taken a much larger role in many great games. Fallout 3 has one of the best atmospheres to date and could easily be compared to Bioshock’s. The wasteland screams out death and is chock full of unique objects and obliterated environments. The visuals do a great job of showing how people are forced to live from a town being built around an unexploded bomb to a bunch of children living in a cave.
Realism is something that the visuals obviously reflect because for the most part everything looks photorealistic. As great as this is, what makes it better is the fact that everything and I mean everything in the game is unique from what we see in our everyday life. The cities are torn apart and crumbling, and the weapons are worn and beaten. The gore is done perfectly and some of it is really brutal so this one may not be for kids. To say the least Fallout 3 is one of the best looking games of the year, and of this generation.
At some point a game comes along that is so compelling that it just takes you away and you become addicted until you finish, and this was the kind of game Fallout 3 was for me. I was engrossed in the world it created and really didn’t want to leave, but instead wanted to just explore forever.
Not only is the exploration fun, but the combat, and even when you are literally doing other people’s errands it feels like you are truly interacting with the world. The stellar story sets the game apart from others, and really gives you are sense of purpose instead of restless wandering. The games is also much more refined and polished than many others of the genre with little to no bugs at all, and nothing to really interrupt the gameplay other than a few annoying load times. The game is very fun, and will be enjoyed by almost everyone who gets into it.
Fallout 3 is a fantastic game that was well worth the hype and the wait. It is completely different from Oblivion and from almost every other game of its kind. I a lot more fun with this game than I ever could have imagined, and really wished it would never end. There are almost no drawbacks to the game other than some annoying load times, and that it starts off a little slow. This is definitely a must buy, and maybe even a contender for Game of the Year in my book