Fallout 3, commonly referred to as Bethesda’s biggest milestone in the gaming industry and a game that has revolutionized RPG’s. However what makes this game so brilliant? below I’ll delve into each aspect of why players find this game so thrilling and compare against a few other RPG’s along the way.
Before I begin as usual I’ve pasted a YouTube video of some of Fallout 3’s music at the bottom so press the play button and continue reading.
Fallout 3, i’m sure we’ve all heard of it but if you haven’t it’s a first person shooter role-playing game set in a parallel apocalyptic world. Centered mostly around the D.C ruins the game lets you roam freely around the vast map in search for treasure, enemies or just to chill out at local pubs. The game consists of a “SPECIAL” skills system when throughout the game you can level up for increased skills. Special stands for: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. Along with these you also get other more general skills such as: Big Guns, Lockpicking, Explosives, Speech, Energy Weapons and many more.
The special system is a brilliant idea constructing the basic foundation for any character you wish to build, although by the end of the game all the characters are pretty much the same anyway due to the large amount of skill points you get upon level-up. I found this feature to be a little disappointing due to friends and I always having fun comparing our characters in games where they could have a large difference between skills. Perks are another feature your able to obtain to give your character various and commonly un-natural powers, a few of them are:
Bloody Mess – which lets you do 5% more damage and lets enemies explode into a red paste of bodyparts,
Sniper – Which gives you +25% chance to hit an enemies head in VATS. (Explained later)
Grim Reaper’s Spirit – If you kill an enemy in VATS you regain all your AP when you exit it.
These perks make the game much more fun, especially the bloody mess perk, and give a little bit of diversity between characters.
The aesthetics in Fallout 3 are nicely rendered to provide a desolate, scrappy and re-built feeling, especially the first town you come to, AKA Megaton. This theme is consistent throughout the map except for one or two locations you reach through the main storyline which I won’t spoil for you. Below is a picture of Megaton with my character shooting an Experimental MIRV at Colin Moriarty, those projectiles are Mini-Nukes and provide a massive bang so I really should have taken a few more steps back. There are many, many guns in Fallout, the one below is the strongest of them all but it’s very inaccurate. Your effectiveness with all weapons stems from your skill in either Big Guns, Small Guns, Energy Weapons or Explosives.
If you find the game too easy on the first run-through you may choose to only use a knife through the game or, your fists which also isn’t that hard once you level it high enough. If that’s still too easy you can find Fallout 3 challenges around the internet where people describe what you can and can’t use. Here’s two challenges I’ve found below:
There is a fair amount of replay-ability in the game with all the various choices of perks, items, SPECIAL’s, skills and quests, however once you’ve completed them all, shot them all and unlocked them all you’ve basically finished every part of the game, although there is a surprisingly large amount of fun shooting friendly people with massively overpowered guns and watching their bodies fly across the map.
I thank the game designer who thought up the system of VATS! It’s brilliant and lets you affect your enemy during a fight such as crippling it’s legs to slow it down, but typically people aim for the head for maximum damage. Your also able to use it a few times before your Action Points run out, and your able to select perks which increase your maximum AP for multiple devastating attacks. However the part of VATS I love the most is the dynamic camera that zooms up of your face and around to the enemy to see them explode into a gut-ridden-paste or fly through the air from the impact. Left is a picture of me using a Sniper Rifle in VATS before it zooms to the enemy’s body.
I love the diversity in the game where the scenery changes from destroyed city buildings to desolate wastelands crowded with hostile creatures, to bustling cities with people going about their daily life. The realistic time is another fantastic point, watching the sunset from the top of Rivet City is a spectacular view. To make it even better you are able to call any place with a container in it your home, just place your un-needed items inside, place a marker on the map to remember where it is then set off for your next adventure. So you can actually use the top of Rivet City as your base due to being around 3 containers up there. If your not into “renting” scrap heaps as your base of operations your able to gain access to various houses through the game, below is a picture of my house in Megaton with a Vault theme applied to it which is bought from Moira just around the corner. It contains a butler, nice scenery, a Bobblehead stand, various seating places, a bed and around 20 usable containers for all your items.
Now Bobbleheads are rare one-of-a-kind items that are scattered through the game which give you either a +1 to a SPECIAL skill or +10 to a general skill such as Small Guns and upon collection they give you a special phrase for that skill which I thought is a nice touch. In the second picture below is the Luck Bobblehead which I found inside a building in Arlington. I’d love a Bobblehead for my desk but unfortunately they only came out with a rare-ish kind of pack when Fallout 3 was released.
The textures around the world were a little small for my liking, and didn’t contain too much detail, my Pc ran the game on max settings with half the graphics card to spare! Great optimization from my point of view but again the graphics could be spiced up a fair amount without re-using the game models in some places. There is a nice texture pack which you can download via a torrent which upgrades most of the textures in the game which I’ll link you to below. I tested it and it works nicely and still runs very fast for my computer.
Fallout 3 texture pack: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4543673/Fallout_3__High_Definition_texture_pack
The animations in the game were nice for the game’s size, and provided a fairly realistic yet entertaining combination, especially watching the raiders run and cower in fear after taking a lot of damage. The face also matched with the vocals nicely and gave characters a natural and fluid feel to them.
There are over 300 unique items in the game which are obtainable ranging from guns and ammo to books and drinks. There are so many guns in fact that I guarantee there’s at least one you haven’t found, most notably the Experimental MIRV which can shoot 8 Mini-Nukes at the same time to create a massive and devastating effect to any enemies in the vicinity. The picture above shows me about to obtain the gun, mini-nukes and Nuka-Cola Quantum from it’s hiding place. Another rare and sought after gun is the Alien Blaster, only found when the alien spaceship crash lands from space. You get a gun an alien and a fair amount of ammo for it, (The gun not the alien Lol). Below is a picture of the gun after the spaceship crashes, it’s also recommended that you crouch to obtain the ammo and stay back, as it occasionally falls through the ground making it un-retrievable.
There couldn’t possibly be a game of this size without some sorts of errors occurring, so here they are. You can occasionally become stuck in the ground and in various objects lying around when forging new paths, although I prefer this to having invisible walls that come in Fallout New Vegas which become extremely annoying after awhile. Due to this I recommend you save fairly often or use the quick-save button before trying to jump over rough objects.
Another common glitch is that while completing quests the programming might screw up and your unable to finish it, or you complete a quest before you start another one which makes it impossible to finish the second quest. This has happened to me a couple of times, and the only solution I’ve found was to load the game a few saves back, which normally fixes it.
The graphics also occasionally screw up and either sends an enemy flying straight up into the air, most notably a deathclaw, or spreads its arms and legs out over a massive distance and shoots the body around the map like a pinball machine. Below you’ll find a picture by ratchet573 which demonstrates this glitch.
Well that’s all there is for Fallout 3, as you can probably see i’m trying to up the amount of pictures I have in blogs now, and taking them myself. The story gets a 100% for having a fantastic storyline with background information as well as being quite long if you haven’t played the game before, otherwise you can cut out 3 hours due to knowing where you must go. The gameplay was fantastic and combines the aesthetics nicely with the programming although there are a few places where the code breaks.
Fallout 3’s graphics are nice, looking them at a whole but are greatly improved by the add on texture pack which you can find the link to above. The animations have been done thoroughly and provide each characters disposition nicely in a visual form. This combines with the vocal work and sound effects to even further enhance the NPC’s realism. Personally I loved the music and radio channels and listening three-dog rave on about how i’m doing in the wasteland, although mostly he bags out on me after what I’ve done recently to make their lives miserable which is always fun to listen to. Also somehow you never get tired of listening to the same radio songs over and over, possibly because of the intermissions of three-dog or the adventures of Herbert Daring Dashwood.
Oh boy is this game fun, the first few times you play through it you are exploring the world, gaining levels, and always running into traps set by enemies. Over time however you learn all the little secrets and aim to max your character, but the game gets easier the more you play it however there are also challenges set by other individuals to increase the enjoyment and challenge as I went through above.
That’s all there is for Fallout 3, I highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t played it yet, which is highly unlikely though, and after being out a couple of years the price should be great now, I got my copy for $30 AU from Ebay with the expansions bundled with it which is a great bargain for a game of this magnitude.
Here’s the final score out of 100%:
Fun Rating: 100%
0% – 24% = Hopeless Game, Definitely not worth buying! if you have it sell it now while its worth something!
25% – 49% = Terrible Game, This game will not prove to be very enjoyable, and may only be played once and forgotten.
50% – 59% = Average Game, A very mediocre game that you may play occasionally to pass time but doesn’t prove to be very enjoyable.
60% – 69% = Nice Game, A game you would play once or twice to see how it is, but ultimately lacks replay-ability and immersion.
70% – 79% = Brilliant Game, This game would satisfy your gaming needs for a very long time but would eventually be forgotten over time.
80% – 89% = Fantastic Game, A very fun game that proves time and time again to be enjoyable and addictive.
90% – 99% = Amazing Game, Extremely Enjoyable and has lots of replay-ability content, as well as pushing the boundaries for future games.
100% = Epic Game, Go and buy 20 copies right now! (In-case there’s a nuclear war and they get destroyed)