Fallout 3

Bethesda rocks my socks.

Platform: PS3*/Xbox 360/Windows PC
Genre: FPS/RPG
Players: 1
ESRB: Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs)

I’ve held off on this one for a long time, and today I’ve decided to tackle it, hopefully doing it justice.

Fallout 3 is arguably the best game I’ve ever played. The expansive Wasteland is full of surprises and fun to be had. In traditional RPG fashion, you will sink more hours than you care to admit into this title.

The story begins with your character in Vault 101, one of many barracks in which people escaped the nuclear devastation of the world, or at least America. The character creator is certainly sufficient, and the attribute system is also solid. Your father, voiced by Liam Neeson (Yes!), flees the vault. You follow him and discover the vast Wasteland. From there, the story is up to you. You have the opportunity to interact with characters as you see fit, kill as you see fit, and pick sides as you see fit.

From the beginning, Fallout does a wonderful job of immersing you in the world. Killing simple radroaches with your BB gun in the beginning feels like a huge accomplishment that you can be proud of, and as the story progresses, so do you. Before you know it, you’re assaulting Super Mutant Behemoths with mini nukes and feeling just as satisfied at the end of the battle. It’s an awesome experience.

This title focuses on the DC area, so your adventures will take you through the White House, the Jefferson memorial, and you’ll even get a chance to see what’s left of the Lincoln Memorial. These are all very cool contrasts to the bleak wasteland.

Fallout is by no means a scary game, but the spontaneity is exhilarating. In this open world, one might come across something new, perhaps even threatening, at any time. Who knows what lies in the next building? You’ll find yourself itching to find out.

There is a great selection of weapons, although many people will argue the combat system is flawed, which is probably true. It’s not superb, but it’s also not the single selling point of this game. It’s also arguable that the RPG aspect is not fully fleshed out as well, but the two aspects compliment each other well in a way that makes it hard to complain.

No game is without it’s drawbacks. Some people argue the main story is weak, although I disagree. It doesn’t look fantastic, but with the open-world format, it’s hard to complain when there’s so much available. And finally, the game is prone to freezing and slowing in high action, so save often. Patches have addressed this issue, but not completely resolved it.

The add-on content is great, so get the game of the year edition. They fit seamlessly as if they’d been there from the start.

It’s really hard to convey how great this game is without actually immersing yourself in it. The fate of entire cities literally lies in your hands. You’ll interact with religious societies, an odd tree, hermit scientists, and be exposed to a fantastic soundtrack. You can find a link to several of the tracks on Amazon on the “Cool Links” page.

If you haven’t picked up this title, you’re missing out on one of the hallmark games of our generation.

Bottom Line: 9.8/10

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