Fallout 3 was one of the first games I bought for my PS3 many moons ago, but just never hot around to playing it, however last month decided to fire it up. I have a lot of good things, and a few bad things to say about it, but all in all it was an enjoyable experience.
The game is set in a post apocalyptic world (as so many games seem to be these days), you character is born and raised in one of many Vaults (essentially a nuclear bunker), of which nobody is allowed outside. The story assumes that there was a nuclear war some time in the 1950’s/1960’s.
Within the first 10/15 minutes of the game, you experience birth, childhood, and early manhood and eventually leave the comfort of the vault to go and find you father who has done one.
Once outside you are presented with a massive wasteland, with friends and foes ranging from mutant bees, to human enemies walking around power armour, with laser gatling guns in their arsenal.
The game does have a very good story, and decisions you make throughout the game will effect how you are treated by particular parties and factions, and effect the outcome of the game. There are also multiple side quests which give your character additional perks, however not essential to the main story. Just following the main story arc, this game will probably consume around 25 hours + of you time, I personally did some side quests, and clocked up nearly 50 hours.
The game is essentially a 1st person shooter, however you do have the option to switch to 3rd person (however I don’t think this works too well). You essentially spend the game traveling to an area, kill whatever enemies are on the way, loot everything, and level up.
As you progress through the game, you get to select perks and talent points (same as most RPG games), these give you advantages throughout the game. These rang from Heavy Weapons, to Speech, so if you feel like talking your way through the game, you can, however if you want to tank it, thats also an option.
I found the way they used the inventory system was quite interesting, in a lot of games, you have set inventory space, and when it’s full, it’s full. In Fallout they’ve taken a different approach, your inventory is gauged by weight, so if you want to carry more than your weight limit, you can, but you’ll walk veeeeeerrrryyyy slow.
Another interesting area was the items themselves. Nowhere within the game could you buy any brand spanking new weapons or armour, however you did have the option to repair. Essentially if you had more than one of the same type of item, you could combine them to make 1 better weapon or armour piece. This toward the end of the game become a godsend, not only did I have weapons and armour as good as new, it also meant I could make some cash trading them in.
This leads me nicely to the next point, the economy. Although I found it initially quite frustrating, the economy system worked quite well. Unlike most games where all vendors have unlimited credits (bottle caps in Fallout 3), perfect goods, and open 24/7, Fallout 3 does it differently. All vendors have….well a lot of crap to be honest, and you have to make it good. All vendors have limits amounts of caps, so you can’t just offload you entire inventory. The majority of vendors can repair your goods, so found myself selling some stuff to the vendor, then having my good repaired, which gave them back some caps, which allowed me to sell the more stuff. I think throughout the game I never had any more than 2000 caps.
Now a few bad points. Although I really enjoyed the game, I did fine it glitchy as hell. I did find on many occasions, an enemy would get stuck behind a door, or table, or ….well just about anything, which I learnt to take advantage of. Most of the time when up against a melee enemy, I would simply ensure I had an obstacle between us, and then remove their head with a shotgun.
The combat system….this works well, and very different to most games I’ve played. I guess the fundaments are the same, aim, shoot, kill…however you have the bonus of the V.A.T.S system. This was best described on a recent episode of the MidLife Gamer podcast as “the system designed for people no good at first person shooters”. Basically you get the option to pause the game, select a body part of your chosen enemy, you are told what percent chance you have of hitting it…and then go ! This feature saved my bacon so many times. This also give you some great “bullet time” action. If you line a shot up well, and also get a crit shot, you can take your enemies head clean off. The weapons themselves range from sticks, to personal nukes, with everything in between. I personally found myself using the combat shotgun, and hunting rifle as my 2 primary weapons.
Ok, a little bit of advice, save often !….the game does autosave when you move into a new area, however….it’s very easy to go for a little wonder, kill a handful of things, only to walk into a load of super mutants around the next corner and die. I think the game gives you about 50 save games, so you’ve got plenty at your disposal.
All in all, I found this a very fun game, and found myself spending hours in it, not really doing anything, and the time would just fly by (like most RPGs I guess). If you are going to attempt to explorer everywhere, and do everything, prepare to write off 80+ hours of your life. Personally, I explored around 75% of the maP, did about half of the side missions, and felt the end game was a little too easy due to the perks I picked up from the side quests.
As this is now down at under £20 for the game of the year edition (including all the DLC), it’s an absolute bargain, and can’t recommend enough. I’ve yet to tackle the DLC, however think I need a lighter game in between, just to break thinks up a little.
Approx Time taken to beat – 47hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:4/5]
Games TrailerTags: 15 Minutes, Apocalyptic World, Armour, Arsenal, Bees, Decisions, Enjoyable Experience, Factions, Fallout 3, Friends And Foes, Ful, Game, Gatling Guns, Human Enemies, Inventory Space, Inventory System, Loot, Manhood, Many Games, Many Moons, Nuclear Bunker, Nuclear War, Person Shooter, Rpg Games, Story Arc, Vault, Vaults, Wasteland