Imagine a world decimated by a nuclear holocaust and filled with mutated beings of what used to inhabit the land. The sky is a constant grainy brown and grey and the ground is even less hospitable with its barren and rocky surface. There are buildings that once stood tall over the horizon now barely support themselves; bringing a once wondrous city to its knees. This is the world of Fallout 3.
Fallout 3 is a single player, 1st or 3rd person view game that revolves around creating a character, surviving the wastes of the destroyed Washington D.C., and deciding your own moral code to live by. It is a game where you can do almost anything that you want to. If someone runs up to you asking for help, you can ignore, help, or even just kill him or her for the heck of it. All of this is based with an amazing main story, plus as many side quests as you wish to take.
Your character starts his or her life in Vault 101, one of the many underground bunkers that were built to survive the nuclear war. You are alone with your father in this artificially lit place that looks and feels like a prison rather than a home. Your character is sent through short memories of growing up, each with some sort of decision that eventually shapes your character in the certain skills and attributes that you want to take. Through a sudden series of events you escape the vault, opening yourself to the Capital Wasteland and filling you with a lust for adventure.
During the beginning of the game, you are asked to assign five extra points to your attributes. These are the base stats of your character. They determine how naturally talented that your character is in some skills and less talented in others.
- Strength- governs how much weight your character can carry, and how much damage your character can do with melee weapons and your fists.
- Perception- affects how well your character is at picking locks, using explosives or energy weapons, and also sets the range at which your character can detect enemies on the screen compass.
- Endurance- affects your ability to use Big Guns (rocket launchers, mini guns, etc.), sets the number of hit points, and increases your resistance to radiation.
- Charisma- sets how well your character is with social skills, allowing your character to smooth talk his or her way out of a situation, or into one.
- Intelligence- affects your skills in repairing, medicine, and science and sets how many skill points that you get to assign every time you level up.
- Agility- affects the number of Action Points that you get to use in V.A.T.S. and bumps up your small guns and sneak skills
- Luck- this is the weirdest attribute, it gives a few skill points into all stats for each point that you place into this attribute and it affects your probability of landing a critical hit.
The leveling system in Fallout 3 is detailed, giving your character experience for every task or quest that involves any of the character’s skills. When your character does level up, you are allowed to spend a set number of points on the wide list of skills that range from shooting a rocket launcher to hacking computers. Then you are given a list of perks to improve your character further in certain fields.
The world is massive, and ever inch of it can be explored. There is also fast traveling option where you may select places on the map that you have previously explored and go to it instantly instead of having to walk all the way to it again.
One really neat feature with this game is one known as V.A.T.S. or Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. This ability comes from a device called the Pip-boy 3000 that you receive in the beginning of the game and it allows you to pause the game and target an enemy with the weapon you are carrying. Then, using AP or Action Points, you can select sections of the enemy’s body to target and fire at. Once you are finished selecting the attacks, the game cuts to a slow motion scene of your character automatically making the attacks that you ordered. This can be done with any weapon, melee or ranged.
There are a few small problems with the game that some may not like. For one, with any weapon other than the Scoped .44 Magnum and the Sniper Rifle, your character cannot aim down the iron sights of a gun. When aiming a firearm, the camera will just zoom in a little and there will be less recoil to the shot. A second problem that I had with this game is that if your character is not skilled with a certain weapon, the weapon would not do as much damage. This may sound like it is not a problem, but it is when your character goes at point blank range with a pistol and plugs three bullets into the enemies head and he or she does not die.
All in all it is an amazing game and should be recommended for anyone that likes the post-apocalyptic genre, or anyone that loves shooter roleplaying games in general.