Exploring This Wasteland Is Worth the Money
I was completely ignoring this game when it came out because I wasn't generally into RPG's, and I hadn't played the previous Fallouts. It took me half a year to finally look it up, being inspired by all the praise it had received. So I got it used for about 20 € and popped it in my ps3 with no expectations whatsoever. Now, you can probably see from my rating that I was far from disappointed. It really opened my eyes for RPG's and after some hours, I was willing to call it one of my favorite games of all time. There's just something about the atmosphere, reminiscent of the movie Road Warrior, depicting a man's merciless strive for survival. And survival is what Fallout 3 is all about.
The atmosphere in this game is unlike anything I've previously experienced in a video game. Games and movies that try to be scary usually fail to do so by being too predictable, but Fallout 3 is different. Pretty early on in the game when you escape the vault and get to explore the vast landscapes of the game, you'll soon realize that the Capital Wasteland is extremely uncompromising and full of threats. Games usually start easy and slowly progress in their difficulty, but here you're open to the dangers of the entire game world from the get-go. This gives you the sensation of living on the edge and it provides more convincing moments of horror and survival than any game or movie of the said genre could ever hope to deliver. If you start exploring the world, you could easily end up getting killed by some of the toughest enemies in the game just because you got too curious. So you really need to be careful or you could risk losing either your life or a lot of health/medicine. Unfortunately though, this sensation disappears once you've leveled up and collected enough medicine to survive even the biggest attacks, unless you try avoiding these life extenting methods altogether, of course.
The world of Fallout 3 is incredibly vast and spontaneous with dozens of quests and characters you can communicate with. Wandering around the wasteland, you might hear explosions in the distance and you might even find dead bodies with names on them, meaning these bodies used to be characters you could have interacted with had they not died. Surely this is a recipe for plenty of disastrous bugs, but that's just part of the game's appeal. There's a good chance you run into a glitch that will make you laugh furiously, but also a good chance you run into ones that aren't that pleasant, especially since the game uses auto-save, you might end up being trapped and forced to reload a custom save, losing several hours of gameplay.
A game with this amount of epicness isn't only plagued with bugs, but also suffers from lack of variety. Not the variety of the quests or characters, but the monotonousness of the landscapes and voice acting can be a bit tedious. Especially the whole metro system can be very confusing when there's very little graphical difference in these tunnels. Also Capital Wasteland is a world dominated by colors like grey and the boring shades of brown, but maybe it's justified, I mean, the place is a result of a nuclear war, and that's really what it should look like. It's understandable that they couldn't hire a different voice actor for each character, but at times there could be five different characters in the same room with the same boring voice. On the other hand, the game does have an enormous amount of dialogue, so a little repetition is justified.
There's easily hundreds of hours to be spent playing this game, assuming you want to try finishing the game multiple times, making different choices to affect your karma level. But even one play through may last hundreds of hours, depending on how interested you are in discovering every corner of the game, and there's a LOT of discovering to do. The game has nearly 200 locations that you can discover on your map, and that's only the bigger locations. In addition you may run into several unique smaller places that aren't marked in the map. Finishing the main quest may take up to 50 hours depending on how well you can maintain yourself from completing side quests.
One of the most enormous game worlds ever created, accompanied by an atmosphere that makes you feel like a character in the game. The game freezes a lot though, but it usually unfreezes after a while.
Everything looks pretty good but monotonous to some extent. Animations are pretty weak except for facial animations.
The voices of the actors get old, but there's an impressive amount of dialogue, and it's done fairly well.
There's something exciting about wandering around the place talking to people and trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic wasteland. The combination of RPG elements and FPS works beautifully.
- Lasting Appeal
This is a game that can make you lose yourself in the moment and forget about stuff like eating and going to the bathroom. I've played it for about 120 hours so far and I've enjoyed every minute of it.