Fallout 3 Review

Score: 98 / 100

*Good:* Amazing open world, almost unending amounts of gameplay, outstanding new combat system, beautiful graphics, you can use google maps of DC when you get lost

*Bad:* It's Oblivion with guns, game gets old after a while, RPG elements seem to slow gameplay at times

I suppose I have been somewhat intimidated to write a review for this game. I think I have waited long enough though, so here it goes.

I really don’t even know where to begin with Fallout 3. There is so much to do, the review could really just go on and on for pages. So in an effort of keeping this relatively short, I will start with the beginning.

You begin Fallout 3 coming out of your mother’s womb. This is when you see Liam Neeson in video game form playing your father. This is also when the entire character creation portion of Oblivion…I mean Fallout 3 begins.

Change your facial hair, your skin pigment, your jaw bone and so much more. The character customization system in Fallout 3 is right out of Oblivion…for the most part.

The game then let’s you wander around the vault that you live in: Vault 101. For all of you who haven’t heard of any of the Fallout titles, the game is based on a world engulfed in nuclear fallout. Fallout 3 takes place in Washington DC and your first task is to escape the vault and find your father. In fact, finding your father is the first large part of the game.

Once you have left the vault, you stumble into a world that is a nuclear wasteland as far as the eye (or your video card) can see. This is where the game really starts.

To briefly cover what you do in Fallout 3 is quite a challenge, but I am going to try. You can wander around the wasteland finding tons of side missions, new towns, and unique enemies to fight. You can follow the main quest, find your father, and try to complete the storyline. You can do small favors for people that can unlock weapon blueprints or your own house. The list just goes on and on. Basically if you played Oblivion, you can get a grasp as to how big this game really is.

The overall gameplay of Fallout 3 though is fantastic. Wandering and questing through the world is outstanding and makes me feel like a little kid in a nuclear fallout candy store. Let's talk combat though. The main element Fallout 3 has added to the Oblivion engine is the VATS system. Essentially you can go through Fallout 3 running and gunning like any other FPS, or you can pause the game right before combat and select what areas on an enemy you wish to target. Sounds like it would slow the game down, right? Well it doesn't at all and I, as an avid FPSer, love using the VATS system to blow the heads off of mutants in a very violent and messy manner.

Fallout 3 also sports an unbelievable leveling system. Though it is vastly similar to Oblivion, it has a distinct Fallout 3 vibe to it. I mean you couldn't really level up your laser weapon ability in Oblivion, right?

Another nifty new feature is the ability to repair your weapons with other weapons. The ability to do this can not only make your weapons more valuable, it makes them vastly more powerful. I foolishly didn't figure out how to do this until I was towards the end of the game. That is when I started a new game and enjoyed Fallout 3 even more, for a second time around.

As far as drawbacks for the game, it carries the same fate as Oblivion. Fallout 3 can get old, just like Elder Scrolls did. Wandering through the world is only entertaining for the first 9 hours of play, then you just got to move on to something else. Also, and no surprise here, Fallout 3 is Oblivion with guns. Enough said. Finally, the RPG elements of the game kind of slow it down. Though it doesn't happen often, having to click through dialog is rather boring.

Frankly, Fallout 3 is one of the best games of 2008 (In fact it came in second for game of the year). Not only did it live up to the hype, but it went above and beyond. If you enjoyed Oblivion or just love an open ended amazing FPS RPG, do yourself a favor and pick up Fallout 3 for any system. Whether it is controller or keyboard, Fallout 3 is absolutely amazing.

- Tyler (Chiko)

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