Game breaking issues derail it but it fulfils its ambitions
The plot of Fallout 3 follows humanities struggles for life after a nuclear war between China and the United States of America. Clean water and food is sparse whereas the environment is sterile, a few fortunate people managed to endure the war and it’s aftermath inside underground vaults including yourself, however, your way of life is about to change for good. Trailing after your father you wonder into the desolate American wasteland alone.
An aid to the campaign the protagonist eventually undertakes is V.A.T.S. Borrowed from the prequels is an enemy targeting system, which enables effortless headshots and offers a very quick way of downing enemies while in combat, this may sound like a good substitute to wildly mashing the trigger button, however; it ultimately replaces and makes real-time shooting redundant confiscating the fun. Action Points, the requirement for using the system, are easily attainable thus watering down some of the challenge of the game. Additionally, the combat feels clumsy, guns never seem to shoot where you aim offering more of an incentive to use V.A.T.S. Fundamentally, V.A.T.S. seems like it has been shoehorned into the game to acknowledge past incarnations and is forced upon you, it only exists to garnish Fallout 3 with more RPG elements.
Managing statistics a player could proceed in this game in many different ways. An avid FPS player, to help the crooked aim, would naturally place points into areas such as gunmanship and endurance whilst someone who is suited to sneaking would spend points in stealth. Being able to specialise in a certain fields is one of Fallout’s strengths and can provide surplus gameplay yet certain perks are useless. Balancing issues stop certain paths being practical and can often increase difficulty needlessly.
Graphically Fallout 3 is good looking albeit some quirky design choices, mushroom clouds underscore the beauty of the game and the draw distance sustained in the wastelands could put GTA to shame. Unfortunately, the game suffers from frequent screen tearing and random slowdown.
Harmonious music dusted off from the 1950s litters the soundtrack that can be heard in the form of the player’s radio built into a gadget named, The Pip Boy 3000. The nostalgic records included within the game are obviously contradictory of the context although there are traditional overtures from Bethesda; these, unsurprisingly fit well in a post-apocalyptic world. Voice acting is okay but nothing special, Liam Neeson’s role as the father of the vault-dweller fits perfectly and thankfully is used for more than a brief period.
Hours could be spent unearthing bobbleheads, side quests and various secret weapons in the Capital Wasteland, although this scope comes at a cost. Numerous bugs exists inside the game varying in severity, for example, during the course of playing this game I could not progress in a quest; robots needed to be fixed in order to defend a town, however, the robots were absent from their intended place. Manual saves are a necessity because the auto-saving system is too vigorous causing bugs to rear their ugly head. The numerous bugs that can be encountered are one of this game’s major downfalls.
Choice, as with many games nowadays, has a predominate role in this game. You can approach quests and dialogue in many different ways, if you’re a spokesman your articulate ways can influence anyone, conversely guns can speak for you. Strangely enough, after laying the groundwork, the main story cannot be altered despite giving you the illusion. The end can change in the form of a slideshow; nevertheless, it is disconnected. Consequence can occur however; the chances to save or destroy a town early on can be favourable to you in different ways and will determine how characters will react to you If you pursue the main storyline expect to be disappointed, it can be concluded in a matter of hours, has redundant motives and is not rewarding. Truly, where this game shines is the character interaction involved with the side-quests.
Flaws withstanding, Fallout 3 is a great game, providing you seek out content and deviate from the primary mission. In the midst of the bare wasteland are various points of interest relating to quests or immediate rewards as well as willing companions. Immersion is top-notch