Platform(s) PS3, Xbox360, PC
Publisher- Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax Media
DLC: Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, PointLookout, and Mothership Zeta(released in order)
You begin your journey as a toddler in this FPS/RPG adventure. Developers really have a sense of humor in this game and the beginning character development is no exception. There are crude bits of worthless material strewn about in this area that at times are out of place but nonetheless pretty entertaining.
Once you begin the actual game you arrive in an underground vault. Make your way through the beginning quest and you find yourself for the first time in this massive sandbox called the Capital Wasteland. Yes that was a double meaning. This game has a huge, expansive, detailed and at times painstakingly unforgiving world. From your first steps into the sands of atomic misfortune you have free reign to explore uncharted territories, track down bandits and raiders or venture into other establishments looking for quests, weapons and other loot.
Fallout 3 has a main storyline that at times pulls the character through the game but not at an alarming rate and of course you have the option to do those quests at anytime, so by all means stop to smell what is around you.
The story begins as you breach the Wasteland in search of your father, James. These quests are slightly more difficult and more time consuming than many other side quests but they offer great rewards.
As for side quests, these are a must and the quickest way to reach maximum level, which is set at 20 unless you have the Broken Steel content, then the cap is 30. Reaching these milestones does not require “farming” of any-kind, instead consistent questing and exploring as well as skill-based rewards from picking locks or hacking computer terminals will net you experience levels rather quickly.
Progression happens in a couple ways. First is obviously your level, which comes with benefits such as skill points to apply to whatever stat you wish to increase as well as “Perks” which are similar to feats or special abilities. The second method of progression is your gear. The beginning of the game can be rather difficult to get started. What I mean by that is you have little ammo, poor armor and low skills, so moving forward can be more of a crawl until you get your feet under you. Ammo is also difficult to acquire and should be used sparingly. Look for the headshot, conserve and switch weapons when you get low to avoid completely running out of a particular kind. Ammo is your life in this game, unless you specialize in melee or unarmed combat, which may be a wise choice as an alternative if you run out of bullets, buy any ammo for weapons you regularly use and try to keep your selection limited. For example, instead of investing in Energy, Big, Explosives and Small weapons, pick one that suits you and get that stat high, stick with those guns and you will have an easier time.
This game has a quiet crafting element to it and isn’t necessary, which was a disappointment. There are seven recipes and all can be gained numerous ways, from quest rewards to treasure.
The trophies/achievements in Fallout 3 are fairly easy to acquire and you should expect to platinum in roughly 55-65 hours. There are 50 trophies in all to earn Platinum. Although cheap, it is possible to get all trophies in one play through.
There is only one trophy that can be missed and that is the bobble-head trophy: Vault Tech CEO.
Three of the twenty if missed are gone for good and you will need to start the game again to earn this trophy.
Combat in Fallout is simple and engaging. There is a targeting system called V.A.T.S, simply put, allow you to strike particular body parts or weapons on your target. Most of combat you experience in close quarters should be done with this system.
Stats: Perks will have pre-requisites for these values, in order to be used.
Strength-Affects you’re item capacity, damage with melee/unarmed, unique dialog
Perception-Affects you’re proficiency with lock-picking, explosives, enemy markers on radar
Endurance-Affects you’re HP, resistances, few dialog options
Intelligence-Affects skill points available at level-up, dialog options
Agility-Affects you’re AP (# of attacks in VATS)
Luck-Affects all your skills and your critical strike chance with all weapons
You begin the game with 5 in each stat, these can be changed higher or lower. The max is 10 and you should not waste raising a stat to 10 upon creating a new character. There are ways of raising these throughout the game: collecting bobble-heads, perks and equipment.
The story behind Fallout 3 was done fairly well and the timeline in which those events took place made sense and fit the surrounding elements of the game. The environment is believable and realistic, true to what most people would consider post-apocalyptic, America.
There was been some controversy over the mutant infestation and frankly, I could have done without it. It’s understandable that something like this could be put into a game, because games have the freedom to do things that are not possible, and the mutant infestation happens to be one of those examples. The game never really alludes to how the Mutants came to be, this element would have gone over smoother if developers had made more of an effort to elaborate on their background, tone down the mutation level or put in transitional mutants.
There is a game element of good/evil in this game, called Karma. I like these types of elements of choices you make affecting future endeavors or dialogue, but the manner in which it was done in Fallout 3, fell short in my opinion. My reasoning is that it wasn’t believable. It was simply a meter of good vs. evil and you could be anywhere and do anything and commit whatever type of acts you wished, apart from killing city folk in broad day-light and everyone would treat you the same. Karma will open or close options to you and you do not really need to take it seriously, apart from killing NPC’s. This issue was addressed in Fallout 3: New Vegas set to be released in the near future. This is a stand-alone game and not DLC.
As with any game title there are fans and followers, good and bad aspects and even though Fallout 3 had some major flaws, the game experience was great and the content was top notch.
Some of the flaws include getting stuck and game freezes and at times quest bugs. Save often and most of the flaws will not have an impact on your game.
The DLC can be installed at any time before you finish the main storyline and expands the game world with added content, quests, trophies etc. If you plan on doing this I recommend “Broken Steel” to be the first one that you install. If you happen to get the Game of the Year Edition of Fallout 3, then you will have access to everything right from the beginning.
If you are a fan of RPG’s and are in for post-apocalyptia, Fallout 3 is a great addition to your collection. I played through three times, earned a Platinum and still go back to it now and then. I would buy new or used.
Purchase @ $60