Fallout 3 won the game of the year award in 2008. Before this happened I wasn’t overly interested in playing “just some other fps”. I did absolutely no reading about this game prior to playing and picked it up from a gaming store simply because it was cheap. I brought it home and put it on the shelf never putting much thought into playing it. About a week ago I decided to break open the package and see what it was all about.
You start the game by picking your sex and physical features, when you come of age, right after your mother has given birth to you. Apparently complications arise from childbirth and your mother passes away. A few years pass and you find yourself in a play pen with your father across the room talking to you. Eventually your father leaves and you are able to explore for the first time in the game. In order for events to proceed you have to find a book and choose your stats. Soon, several more years pass and you find yourself at your 10th birthday party. This is where you are first introduced to the karma system. Decision that you make throughout the game effect how you can interact with any given person. For instance, if you have bad karma, bounty hunters will be after you. If you have good karma, evil folks will hire hit men to come after you. After asking around you find out that you are in an underground facility called a Vault. This is also where you learn about the V.A.T.S. system which later, I will talk about more. Several more years pass and you are forced to take a test. Don’t worry, the test is simple and the results can be changed when you talk to your teacher. These skills are vital for the first stages of the game. Another time jump occurs and you find out that your father has left the vault without telling you. You head after him into the Capital Wastelands.
Free Roam World – This is probably the best feature of the entire game. You can go wherever you want and there is a lot to explore in Capital Wastes. Looting is essential in this game as it allows you to trade for things that you can’t find. I found myself wandering around for hours during the game and being thrilled with finding new Raider bases and other places to loot.
V.A.T.S. System – The V.A.T.S. System is something new to the fallout universe. It allows you to slow down time and “take aim” against targets that would be difficult to kill in real time. Bullets are a valuable commodity in this game and wasting them is very silly. I did find that this system took a little of the challenge out of the game. With the multiple difficulty settings this problem is easily fixed though.
Skills/Perks – I really enjoyed how the game made an attempt at a realistic way to “level up” a skill. I also really liked how they included enough skills in the game that you have to choose which direction you want your character to progress. I personally took small guns as my weapon skill and it helped me drastically throughout the game. The perks you are able to take are also pretty interesting. Unfortunately some of them seem pretty useless. There are others though, that really help you throughout the game.
Game Setup – The overall game setup is absolutely amazing. The story had me captivated throughout its entirety. The integration of a role playing system into an fps, or vice versa, was a brilliant idea and works fantastically.