Fallout 3 - Review
Graphics - 4/5
Sound - 5/5
Presentation/Atmosphere - 5/5
Controls - 3/5
Fallout 3 is one of the top 5 games I have ever played. Now that I've started off with a bold claim, let me break down the good and the bad of one of my favorite games I've played in the last 5 years.
The world of Fallout is just absolutely oozing with atmosphere and a slick presentation. From the opening credits of your character's birth and a taste of life in the vault that serves as the tutorial to the breathtaking first view of the Capital Wasteland, the world of Fallout just feels alive and real in every way. Tuning my Pip-boy radio on and listening to the various factions stations or reading the computer entries of a maintenance worker of a robot factory as it fell apart, every single aspect of the world felt alive. As i finished quests, the radio DJ would discuss them on the radio. If I performed good deeds, Mercs would put a contract out on my head and setup check points to take me down. Every action I took had a ripple effect that I would feel in other parts of the world. The simple ability to know that my actions were impacting the world was a feeling I have not experienced in gaming. The presentation of Fallout 3 is simply one of the best I have ever seen. I have never been so completely swept away in a gaming world and been lost for so many hours.
Now the great setting and atmosphere means nothing without game play to back it up. Fallout has great combat. I will admit upfront that I love gore and violence in games and this game delivers both in great detail. The infamous VATS system makes combat an absolute joy. After over 85 hours of game play, I never once tired of watching the heads and limbs explode in slow motion. That is great for the VATS shots, but how does the combat hold up in non-VATS situations? In general, the combat is just OK. This is where Fallout shows its true colors as an RPG and not a true shooter. The shooting works, but there are enough times where clearly lined up shots will missed or enemies will glitch and lead to some very minor frustration.
Bethesda has crafted an interesting tale for Fallout 3. The story is very brief but well told and kept me hooked to reach its conclusion. In addition, the side quests offer a ton of variety in terms of choices, ways to finish, and activities. The world itself also goes very deep. You have to constantly be aware of your weapon's condition, karma levels, radiation levels, and many other factors while playing. If you let yourself sink, the world will totally consume you and it's a great feeling.
With all the great features of Fallout, there are some minor bugs in the game. Frankly, the game locked up on me at least a dozen times while playing. I experienced a massive host of little glitches like characters getting stuck in the environment, events not triggering properly, and others. You will experience about 1600 subway's that all look exactly the same. The same goes for the interior of some of the side buildings. While the game world is massive, there are big stretches of open hills with just rubble and not much else to fill it. With that said, there is also a ton of interesting characters and places to explore that make the journey an absolute joy .
Before Fallout 3, I never played a Fallout game or a Bethesda RPG in my life. After this, I am a big fan. I have completed the game with all the DLC and I cannot wait for the next chapter in the universe. If you love a deep engrossing world with tons to explore and complete, this game will gladly take as many hours as you have. This is simply a must-have title for any gamer