A lesson in patience can be learned to play Bethesda’s newest game Fallout 3. With such a vast open world, at times the task can seem daunting. But with patience and some good old exploration one can feel right at home in the Fallout universe. Just make sure you have the time to get all you can get out of it. With all that said. Fallout 3 is a really good game. So good in fact that I would just like to go out and say that it would be my pick for Game of the Year.

Never has a world in a video game been so realized. While some may argue that the world is bleak and depressing. Some would even call it boring. In my opinion dark, bleak and depressing is what it was intended to be. This is why I say it is the most realized game world ever. It literally puts you there, and what’s there isn’t flashy. It isn’t a happy place. It’s miserable. The Wasteland just isn’t a nice place to be.


The most important part of any game is gameplay. This is the one area where I felt that Fallout 3 faltered just a bit. The game is advertised as a First Person Shooter-RPG Hybrid. As for the FPS aspect; I felt the controls to be a little too loose. Even when adjusting the aiming and look sensitivities it just never felt like a tight FPS. This is countered however by the amazing VATS system.

VATS allows you to specifically target certain body parts of enemies. This is where the RPG aspect comes in. VATS uses AP points. While this doesn’t turn it into a typical turn-based, it allows it to really give it an RPG feel. You can’t use the system all the time, which forces you to play it as an FPS about 40% of the time. Even though the FPS controls are a little loose, they are still very manageable. It’s a small gripe at best.

As for the 3rd person view, well to put it plain and simple it sucks. You’ll really only use it to see how your character looks, and at times to get a quick glance at what’s around you. It’s shame that Bethesda didn’t improve this any from Oblivion. This doesn’t really knock the game’s grade down any though because the game was meant to be played in the first person perspective.


There is also, of course, the standard character building aspect to the game. You basically have skill points that are earned by leveling up and then putting them into different attributes. It’s pretty standard stuff. The Perks however really shine. Perks allow you to gain special bonuses that can help to; boost damage, conversation skills, weapons repair, etc. I personally recommend getting good at weapons repair. You will most defiantly need it.

The story of Fallout 3 begins with you’re birth and you’re mothers death. The first hour of the game is a quick montage of a childhood that ultimately serves as a tutorial. You will also customize your character’s attributes.

When you turn 19 you’re up and leaves the vault. This leaves you to be hunted for the info, making it necessary to get the hell out of dodge. Coming out of the vault for the first time is an amazing gaming experience. It is truly where the immersion in the game begins. Your eyes must adjust to the natural sunlight, and you see a barren wasteland. It is from this point on that the story is completely up too you.

You can take the story route and find the city of Megaton. Or you can go off and do it your way. I’m not going to spoil the story for anyone. I just recommend taking your time. To get the most out of this game one must explore. There is just so much out there to see and do. Overall the story doesn’t let down. There are some nice set-piece battles and some drama to boot. Yet to get the most out of it, once again explore.

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Fallout 3 is not a stunner visually. It’s more of a stunner in a sense of what isn’t there and what left. The imagery of Fallout 3 creates an atmosphere of misery and awe. The kind of awe that says how did we get here? The imagery aids the story and on that front, the graphics succeed. This just isn’t meant to be a pretty game. Some of the animations are a little choppy and the frame rate can stutter just a bit at times. Usually during moments where there is a lot going on. But it’s hard to really fault Fallout 3 on any of these when the world is just so huge, with so many people in it.

Fallout 3 is not a traditional fun game. It’s not a game to rush through. It’s not meant to be played in any way. Fallout 3 is an experience. It’s a world to get lost in. To just let yourself be there. If you can do that it will love this game. It’s not an easy game to really describe. Everyone will ultimately play this game their own way.

If you wish, continue to Point Lookout review.

FUN FACTOR - Fallout 3 packs hours upon hours of gameplay into a world so big it could consume you're real life.
GRAPHICS - The game is not a looker in the typical sense. The graphics are amazing, but the barren look of the wasteland is not the most pleasant sight that you're eyes will ever see.
SOUND - The sound design in the game is flawless.
SINGLE PLAYER - The game is absorbing from start to finish. With so many different paths to take the task can seem daunting at first. However, once you settle into the groove you'll feel right at home in the strange atmospheric world of Fallout 3.
CONTROLS - The controls are a bit loose. The RPG elements are solid. As a shooter the game slightly falters.


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