Fallout 3

Fallout 3 - Busy Gamer Rating 1

Fallout 3 - Busy Gamer Rating 1

First Glance:
Roam a post apocalyptic wasteland with a gun and an attitude. The long awaited next chapter in the Fallout series.

The Short Story:
Bethesda takes the reins of the Fallout franchise and delivers a visually stunning, dramatic, awe inspiring game. Unfortunately, it’s a very long, very unforgiving game for the Busy Gamer.

The Score:
There’s very little here not to like. And that’s the problem for the Busy Gamer. There’s so much here to do, see, and yes, kill, that the game is simply too expansive for most Busy Gamers. While there’s not a steep learning curve and a very good quest tracker for the game, Fallout 3 rates a 1 on our scale.

Body of review:
Let me begin by saying that I have been waiting for this game for a very, very long time. I was a fan of the first two Fallouts and even before that, played the Wasteland games. I was always curious how well Fallout would fare as a first person shooter if it was able to somehow incorporate the turn based combat into the mix and I have to say Bethesda Softworks has managed to merge the two in a very functional mix.

Fans of the series will be thrilled to see that the “feel” of the franchise has translated well in Bethesda’s efforts. The 1950s sci-fi feel is intact and the whole landscape conveys the post-apocalyptic genre that the series has always done so well. Also intact is the storyline that each chapter has delivered on.

Returning players will find that very little has changed during the character creation, the old S.P.E.C.I.A.L. build. Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and finally Luck. Some old faithful perks, unique abilities that can be chosen at each level, make their return while new, interesting perks make their debut.

The latest hero of the Fallout series begins, quite literally, at birth. The initial cutscene shows our hero being born and it is during this initial scene that the sex, looks, and stats of the character are established. Shortly thereafter, our hero begins his life within Vault 101 and the story begins to unfold.

Initially your character will begin wandering the Wastelands with a pistol and very little ammo. This would be a problem if this were a straight first person shooter but fortunately, this is where the incorporation of the turn based combat comes into place. It’s called V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) and you’ll grow to love it.

Essentially allowing you to target specific body parts with ranged weapons and slowing down the action while you fire, VATS moves you into a slow motion action sequence where you spend your Action Points to fire. The results can be quite gratifying and gruesome. Headshots can result in decapitations and skull explosions. Put the kiddies to bed for this bit.

The Wasteland you’ll be exploring (the East Coast, specifically D.C, Virginia, and Maryland) is huge and unlike the previous two chapters, which allowed you to pick a spot on the map and fast travel there even if you hadn’t been before, you must run everywhere. This increases the amount of combat you will see significantly, which is fun, but results in a much longer exploration time, a downside for the Busy Gamer.

You’ll run into some of the old familiar beasties and baddies if you’ve played the previous titles, but with much improved graphics. Molerats, Radscorpions, Raiders, and of course, no Fallout title would be complete without the Deathclaw. You’ll also see some familiar groups like the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave.

The graphics are gorgeous, the landscape is suitably surreal, and the voice acting is outstanding. This game has been a long time in the making and Bethesda has certainly not disappointed this longtime Fallout fan with its delivery. The weapons, when you can find them are devastating, when you can keep enough ammo to use them, and the skills and perks give this game high replay value.

No for the downside for the Busy Gamer… The game is huge. I mean huge on an epic scale. You have to run everywhere, at least the first time before you can fast travel to a location. Running into a location without sufficient levels or weaponry will typically end poorly though the autosave feature has saved, pardon the pun, my butt on more than one occasion.

There’s so much to do in the game, you may find yourself bogged down with side missions, completely ignoring the main quest line as you travel to just one more new location before continuing on. The characters are genuinely interesting and almost everyone you meet has some agenda that you can participate in.

There’s certainly enough here to keep you interested for some time to come but the time investment will be the main concern for the Busy Gamer. The control scheme is easy enough to pick up and an absence from the game won’t mean having to remember where you left off thanks to a very nicely done quest log. Map markers are clear and easy to follow, showing you waypoints where you may have to travel underground but always showing clearly on the map where you are and where you need to get to.

All in all, the game is fantastic. There’s just so much to do, so much to see, and so much to discover that it’s easy to lose track of time and wander the Wastelands looking for bottlecaps… And ammo.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Posted By Gritskrieg

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