A bleak yet awesome post-apocalyptic future.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the world succumbed to nuclear war? No? Well the Fallout franchise has, and the newest addition to the franchise, Fallout 3, is no different except in the sense that it has a new first-person interface, better graphics, more user-friendly gameplay, and a more engrossing experience for the player. Fans of the fallout series might be a little skeptical to these changes, but these changes have made fallout better than ever.
Those unfamiliar with fallout, might at first glance think that Fallout 3 is a First-person shooter, but do not be fooled, Fallout 3 is a 100% Role playing game. The game begins with your character being born and you start by choosing the sex, race, and appearance of your character, none of these decisions affect your game experience in any way and are purely aesthetic. As you progress through life inside vault 101, you gain new items, skills and start to shape the foundation of what you want your character to be. Before long you are nineteen and life is good, but one day you wake up to discover that your father has left the vault and that the overseer is none too happy. So naturally you escape the vault to go find your dad. So the main quest consists of finding your father and uncovering the truth to why he left the vault.
What is so great about this game is all the features and options it offers you towards character custimization and completing objectives. Everytime you level up you get to apply skill points towards improving any of your many skills as well as select a perk which adds a little bonus to your character. Most of the quests can be completed in several different ways which makes it easier for you to play to your strengths, whether it be stealth, persuasion, hacking, or just good old-fashioned shooting up the place.
While shooting like it's an FPS can feel awkward and get you nowhere, there remains an alternative to this which is using the V.A.T.S. targeting system. V.A.T.S. is an interesting combat feature because it allows you to use action points to queue up attacks on different body parts of the target. Each body part on the enemy has a percentage displayed on it which is the chance that your attack will hit, these percentages are based on the distace of the target, whether they are moving or not, the angle of the attack, the condition of your limbs, and most importantly how high your skill is in that weapon category.
During the game you make moral choices often in quests such as helping the victim to be a good guy or sympathising with the antagonist for fortune, these moral choices also occur just when you are wandering around as well. Your morality is scored through fallout's kharma system. For instance, you gain kharma for helping victims of crimes, doing charitable deeds and killing bad guys. You will lose kharma for killing good guys, helping bad guys and commiting crimes such as killing, stealing, and trespassing. Kharma affects how people see you and interact with you, as well as what NPCs will be interested in accompanying you.
There are some minor glitches in the game, such as your NPC followers walking too slow or running like maniacs. As well as some characters in the game just randomly running away from you. One instance, I had a friendly character run away from me because my follower was a super mutant (I'm assumingthat was the reason), and I have yet to run into that character again. The framerate will drop slightly when large explosions occur or things get very intense.
Fallout 3 is a spectacular experience that has few noticable flawsand is a RPG that should not be missed.