Fallout 3 is a rather interesting game. The first time I played it I found it hard to get into; whenever I didn’t use VATS (the auto-targeting system in the game) I felt like I was wasting ammo and just didn’t like the general feel of it. It took a different mindset to get me back into it. I had to think to myself “Alright, I’m just going to explore the wastes and not go directly for the main quest-line. Act like an adventurer.” Perhaps you’ll have to put yourself into the mindset if you play this, or perhaps you’ll fall in love with it immediately.
The game takes place some two hundred years after a nuclear war in which the United States is severely crippled. Landscapes have turned to rubble. The player is born in a vault (underground communities created to shield people from the nuclear explosions) around the Washington D.C. area. You grow up, and at nineteen years old your father escapes the vault without telling you. So, being a good son/daughter, you also escape and follow his trail to find out why he left.
The graphics of Fallout 3 are quite good. The barren wastes look just as I would imagine they would after a nuclear holocaust. You even get to run around a post-nuclear D.C! Many landmarks stand apparent, such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the US Capitol building. These are the only ones I noticed on my own, however, and are probably the most noticeable.
Fallout 3’s game-play is very expansive, including many weapon types, armor types, and medicines. Even though you can contract it, radiation isn’t much of a problem in this game. Taking a RadAway (drug that reduces your radiation sickness) every now and then reduces this element of the game into a very small threat. Besides, you can only die when you contract the maximum amount of radiation, which is a LOT. Other than radiation, guns are fun to upkeep (you must repair guns frequently) and are very fun to use. VATS adds a lot of fun even though it gets kills quite easily. All around the game-play presents itself as a “rough ‘n tough” style of surviving that feels realistic at most points.
To enjoy Fallout 3, in my opinion, a certain attitude should be taken. For maximum enjoyment, I recommend just doing whatever you want. It’s that simple. See that guy sitting in front of Megaton begging for water? The world wouldn’t miss him so much, would they? Blam! Certain discretion should be taken in certain situations, however. Actually killing somebody inside of Megaton (only large “town” kind of area besides Rivet City) would almost guarantee your death if you are a lower level. The game creators even encourage freedom of choice. I would also recommend not instantly pursuing the main story-line. Exploring many undiscovered areas will almost always result in a quest or an extremely fun and heart-pounding encounter, great for getting used to the feel of the game and the limits of the main character.
My final decision? It’s a hard one. Fallout 3 is a fantastic game, although not everyone will grasp the concepts needed to have a good time with it. Despite these players (which might count for a majority), the game is loaded with quests and exciting battles. The map is huge, offering many unexplored areas to dig your teeth in. A 4/5 would do this game justice Besides, a Game of the Year Edition of Fallout 3 was released not too long ago, including all 5 of the DLC. If you are interested in this game, that might be a purchase to consider.