Hey ladies and gents! I’m here to deliver yet another long-needed review for a game I should’ve played. This week I travel through the harsh wastelands of Washington D.C. as I finally make my first play through of Fallout 3.
The game was originally released in October 2008 by acclaimed developer Bethesda Softworks. Once again, you take the role of a vault dweller that leaves the comfort of his vault in order to find his father (Liam Neeson).
After a dramatic escape you’re introduced to the barren Captiol Wasteland, which was formerly Washington D.C. The game world is massive, allowing you to explore the destroyed expanses of a small area covering parts of Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The signs of a nuclear apocalypse are etched into the scorched rocks of the wastes and the bare trees stripped of leaves.
While these expansive scenes are impressive, getting up close to the environment means you notice that the details are nothing more than messy, well placed smudges. This minor discrepancy in visuals is hardly distracting and overall the game still manages to present itself beautifully.
All of the gameplay mechanics scream Bethesda; the open world, strong RPG elements and a convenient switch between first and third person views. While the game is still able to stand up to some of Bethesda’s later works some of Fallout 3’s mechanics have that overly-complex extra layer many older Bethesda games had.
You need to constantly be ready to repair your weapons and equipment or face the possibility of having a weapon deal less damage and your armor offering less protection. And even though item menus are much easier to understand than Oblivion and Morrowind you will still find yourself occasionally losing items within your own inventory. This is some unnecessary micromanaging that slows the game down, taking away from the fun.
You pick up quests in typical RPG fashion by simply talking to NPC’s or coming across them randomly while roaming the Wasteland. They are fairly varied; from exploring an abandoned supermarket for food and medicinal supplies to disarming a bomb in the middle of a small outpost. Or even finding a homeless man some purified water. These are some fun quests, but everything you would come to expect from an RPG.
Combat, however, is visceral and exciting. Standard first-person combat is used along side with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System or V. A. T. S. Using V. A. T. S. allows you to pause combat and target specific body parts causing specific types of damage, such as crippling legs or disarming them by shooting their weapon out of their hands.