At last Fallout 3 is here and everyone’s very excited about it. I guess that’s because everyone loved Oblivion so much. Call me weird but I just couldn’t get into Oblivion, but Fallout 3’s set in a grim post-apocalyptic future with lots of sci-fi stuff in it so it’s much more my cup of irradiated tea.
You begin the game as a baby. The last time I played a baby in a game was Jack the Nipper on the Spectrum but this game’s far more complex. It’s here you go through the usual tutorial of learning to walk, interact etc as you flash forward to your tenth birthday and then to your teenage years. It’s a long tutorial as you roam around Vault 101 where supposedly you’re born and also die. No-one comes in or out, until of course a fateful day where you escape the vault and hunt the ruins around Washington DC to look for your Dad.
Of course there are similarities with Oblivion but also Deus Ex 3. The scale of this game is immense and really does feel like a living, breathing world. In atmosphere stakes, less is more here. The wind howls as you walk the wilderness. Creatures attack you and others and it’s really eerie when the sun goes down.
There are plenty of people to meet and decisions to make as you work through Fallout 3. Will you choose to blow up a whole city or save it? Will you free a bunch of slaves or dob them in to their masters? Will you even succumb to your hunger and become a cannibal? It’s all your decision to make.
There are 20 levels in Fallout 3 and every time you level up, you can choose where to make your character stronger. Lock picking, sweet-talking and guns specialisms are just the tip of the iceberg.
So what’s combat like? Well, you can choose to aim and fire as if in an FPS or use the V.A.T.S system which freezes time and lets you target specific parts of the body and even enemies’ firearms. Depending on the range you are from your target and on the condition of the gun, you’ll get critical hits or miss entirely. It’s a great way to play and flows seamlessly with the real-time combat.
There are also plenty of places to explore. Old townships, museums, lone shacks and scrapyards all feature, as well as an underground system of subways which link locations together. These serve as the dungeons you may find in other RPGs.
There are some negative points. Playing in third person is a bit rubbish but it’s useful to switch into just to see what your character’s wearing, and because you can fast-travel to locations you’ve visited, it’s all too easy to warp back to a place to heal before heading back to your next batch of enemies.
Still, if you love RPGs and you’ve been waiting for another hige adventure to call your own, the wait is over. Fallout 3 gets a whopping 9 out of 10.
All Fallout 3 reviews