Considered by many to be one of the most successful games of the last year, Fallout 3 has gained enourmous popularity and critical acclaim. Fallout 3 takes the last title, released in 1998, to a whole new level of gameplay. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, who’s previous heavy hitter The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was well recieved by the gaming world. Although viewed with much skepticism by a critical fan base, Bethesda managed to create the world of Fallout in such a seamless fashion that it left the gaming community asking only for more.
Released October of last year, Fallout 3 takes a full customizable character from the massive fallout shelter “Vault 101” into the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Washington D.C. in the year 2277. The storyline in a nutshell for those new to the genre is simple: World War II gone wrong, communist China, no resources, nuclear war. The game takes many elements from the past and mixes them with those of the future to create an amazing retro-futurist environment for players to explore. Did someone say explore? One thing I should mention that like the Elder Scrolls series, Fallout 3 features a massive, fully explorable world which will keep you playing for hours. You can interact with allmost every aspect of this environment, from the most useless tin can or broken cup , to the fully automatic gatling laser cannon.
The gameplay features a classic first person or FPS point of view, the the option to go to third person if you so desire. Allthough the game appears to be a shooter at first glance, it is anything but that. While players can shoot and aim the same as Gears of War or Halo, the damage, accuracy, and effectiveness of the weapon is heavily dependant on the players level and stats. This means that although you can dodge enemy fire and even get a few well placed headshots, you will be using the unique VATS system most of the time. What is this “VATS” you say? Well, VATS or “Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System” is a feature that allows players to freeze the game mid combat and target specific body parts or areas of an enemy. This uses AP or “action points” and forces the player to choose the target wisely, and once you choose to attack, the whole sequence is shown in glorious “bullet time” or slow motion, which is especially satisfying when you land a headshot.
Fallout 3 also features many different weapons, ranging from handguns and sledgehammers to the “Fat Man” mini-nuke launcher. Each weapon, although some the same in principle, can have entirely different damage outputs depending on the condition the weapon is in, this forces players to constantly repair thier weapons or simply kill an enemy to plunder a new one. Speaking of plundering, one intersting feature of Fallout 3 is the “karma” system, which allows a player to choose to be good or evil. The players karma depends on dialogue choices, who the player kills, and often whether the player sides with one faction or another. This almost effectively doubles the gameplay, as replaying the game as both good and evil seems like an entirely different experience each time.
Revolutionary gameplay aside, Fallout 3 also contains a deep and addictive storyline, which is slowly built up as the play discovers bits and pieces of the puzzle all over the shattered wasteland. The voice acting is for the most part excellent for a video game, and the graphics make it seem like you are in a full feature movie at times. There are also dozens of sidequests that spiral off the main quest chain, and even without all of these, players can simply wander the bleak wasteland, as there is much to explore.
Fallout 3 is a great experience for the casual gamer to the obsessed Fallout fanatic, with so much to do, and so many ways to do it, Fallout is well worth the investment. If you even manage to fully explore the wastelands of D.C. then Bethesda has downloadable content packages that will take you to pre-nuclear Anchorange, Alaska, put you in the shoes of a Brotherhood of Steel recruit, or even let you traverse the remains of Pittsburgh. Best of all, you will be able to use the same character in almost all of these adventures. The conclusion? Fallout 3 is a must buy, and even if you tear through games like a fat kid through a bag of chips, Bethesda keeps the content fresh and exciting… What’s not to like?
Article from Gamersyndrome.com