Fallout 3

Posted: 28th June 2010 by Mister Critic in Random
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Reviewed by Mister Critic

Being a child of the 80s has left me with a fascination with and constant fear of nuclear apocalypse. During the height of the Cold War, I am sure I drove my father crazy with questions about what would happen in a nuclear war. Would there be any chance of survival? What would the world look like? That fascination, coupled with my aforementioned love for the survivalist genre, has led me to my dystopian utopia called Fallout 3.

I have been a fan of this series from the beginning, but I have to say the creators of Fallout 3 have outdone themselves this time. They have created a game that really immerses you into their world. They have thought of every thing. And I love them for that.

Basically the premise of the Fallout series is that world has been destroyed by nuclear war and a few lucky people were able to escape annihilation by sealing themselves away inside vaults.  A vault has all the comforts of home without all the fuss of pesky radiation fallout. But there would be no game if you just stayed inside all day.  In Fallout 3, your Dad, voiced by Liam Neeson, has pissed off the Vault leader and left the Vault without you, so you have to set out into what used to be Washington, D.C. to find dear old Dad to find out why he left.

You will find that the outside world is not as comfy as the vault.  They don’t call it The Wasteland for nothing. You will find murderous raiders, angry super mutants, and really, really big radiated insects. In this world, good stuff is hard to find so keep your eye out for valuables. Although, you can only carry so much, so choose wisely.  You can barter with others to unload your treasures, and you can even sell drugs and alcohol you find lying around. But be careful dipping into your product, you could get addicted to the game drug of choice, Jet. And as hard as supplies are to find, it is even harder to find someone to lend you a helping hand. But if you meet the right people, say the right thing, or carry the right weapon, you just might find what you are looking for.

Fallout is a role playing game where no two people will play the same game in the same way because of the choices you make throughout the game. You can be any type of character you want. From a dim-witted, heavy handed brute, to a brainy science buff who’s got hacker skills (yes, you actually get to hack into computers by trying to guess secret passwords), to the smooth-talkin’, sharp-shootin’ gunslinger.

The choices you make in the game effect your karma. Steal stuff and you get bad karma; save a damsel in distress and you get good karma. How you are treated by other characters in the game will depend on the karma path you have chosen. Some companions won’t join you if you are too much of goody-goody, but you’ll also find yourself in trouble with law (what little there is) if you have too many evil intentions.

For some reason I always find myself balanced between good and bad. I am drawn to becoming a thief (I like to think if it as property reallocation), sneaking around stealing people’s stuff. However, my conscience usually gets the better of me so I always do the right thing eventually to help people out in their time of need. Just be aware that I may get you that part you need to bring fresh water to your town, but afterwards I’m going to pick the lock to your safe, rifle through your belongings and pickpocket you when you’re not looking. Not sure what that says about the real me. Or you can be like my friend and faithful reader, Jeremy, and play the whole game as a pure evil, bad guy, killing anyone who talks to you.  Difficult to win friends and influence people, but it is one way of accomplishing a game.  Perhaps he can share with us his exploits.

Furthermore, the choice is yours if you want to complete the given overall mission to find your Dad, or just run around for hours playing a bunch of mini-adventures. And time matters in the game. When you arrive at a certain location will determine what you find there since people are always on the move.  And there are tons of different weapons to play around with: small guns, big guns, lasers, grenades, or find the right blue prints and you can make your own out of stuff you find out and about. How cool is that?!

I just know I am leaving something out because there is so much going on in this game, but I have to wrap this post up.  I just want to end by thanking Bethesda Game Studios for the Fallout series. Please don’t ever stop making these great games. I love their creativity which is present even in the manual for the game, titled The Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide. I really like this little cartoon guy they use, as exampled on the right. If I hadn’t spent so many hours playing the game, my family would be living comfortably in our own vault by now, standard issue jump suits and all. This game is a blast (pun intended), and I highly recommend you check out the entire series.