Reviewing Fallout 3 as a semi-sequel to Oblivion
I admit that I never played any games in the Fallout series but I did play a mega-ton (see what I did there) of Oblivion. Seeing how Bethesda made both and based most of the elements from the Oblivion framework (as well as add on to it) I had to check it out. So I went to the rental store and got myself a copy of Fallout 3.
The game starts out by showing the debut trailer for some odd reason along with the song 'I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire' by The Inkspots (which has been stuck in my head for hours) and begin the real game.
You start off early in your character's life being in underground bunkers called Vaults to hide from nuclear war. These early scenes for example is being born and for some reason the father (who delivers you even though he is not a doctor) and asks you question like what sex you are, what stats like strength and luck and what you will look like in the future. After that you get the standard 'here's how to do stuff' . This also includes an Morrowind-like quiz and based on your answers, you'll get what different skills. It's an interesting way of giving you skills if it weren't for the fact you can change your skills to your liking making the test useless.
Your dad leaves the vault without a word and it's your quest is to find him. The way Fallout works is you can do anything to anyone at any time and you don't even have to touch the main quest. You can take on side quests which range from defusing a atom-bomb in the middle of a town to collecting old technology.
While in screenshots Fallout 3 looks like a FPS, it's has alot of RPG elements and one of the the major factors of the RPG side is V.A.T.S. V.A.T.S is like a cross between a MMO boss loottable and turn-based combat. If you have enough Attack Power for the weapon you are using you can enter in this frozen moment in time which you can place your shots to different parts of the body and each have a percentage rate of sucessful hits. For some reason this never gets old and I do not know why. Besides that you can do your normal FPS moves like running and gunning. One very disapointing factor of Fallout 3 is the amount of gameplay features that would be have been a great addition from Oblivion missing and it's more then one. For example the social system from Oblivion is gone so you can not charm or birbe any characters in the Capital Wastlelands. Also disapointing is the lack of gear. While I understand why this isn't any enchant chinese rifles the only gear slots for what you wear is head and everything else. No boots, gloves, pants. Nothing, it's all tied to the suit your wearing. Beside that Oblivion's game design stays mostly intacked.
The visuals is mixed. the biggest problem of Fallout 3 is the setting. A nuclear wasteland is not a very good place to base a free roaming RPG. EVERYTHING is either brown rocks or brown buildings fallen over. Sometimes you'll see something amazing like the aircraft carrier city but everything else is dry and colourless. The game is based in the Washington area and includes famous land marks like the Captial Building but for some reason are very hard to get to let alone get into. Also, one of the worst endings ever. I won't spoil it but something happens in the game which you are no longer play in the game world so unless you saw it coming or have a late save (which auto save won't help you) you are pretty much screwed.
Playing Fallout 3 makes me really want to play the Oblivion sequel but it's decent and has many great ideas on the formula and I hope Bethesda can improve on it.