Fallout 3 has been arguably the most anticipated game of 2008, and it’s recent release has seen it fly to the top of sales charts pretty much across the globe. Now it’s time to see if it will be well received, or considered a huge disappointment.
The amount of hype surrounding Fallout 3 has been without doubt unrivalled this year, so much so that you can be forgiven for forgetting it has only just hit the shelves – with the game being on the lips of everyone at gaming industry events throughout the year so far.
The build up to Fallout 3 promised much, including a game world with the kind of freedom that has never before been seen in a computer or video game of any kind, but at the same time being a glimpse into the future of how games after it will be constructed in terms of fully explorable environments. Thankfully Fallout 3 appears to deliver on all the promise displayed in the preview trailers, interviews and screenshots.
From the very beginning of Fallout 3 you are sucked right into the immersive storyline which is far too elaborate to fully explain here and is best experienced on your own, but we’ll give you a quick summary of what to expect. You and your father are living in Vault 101, one of many incredibly large post nuclear structures which are protecting you and the rest of Earth’s residents from being wiped out – the year is 2277. Before long, your father escapes Vault 101 without giving a second thought to leaving you behind, so you find your own way out and set off to track him down again. You soon become embroiled in a power struggle between political and scientific factions that will eventually allow you to change the world’s future.
As you progress through the many areas of the world you will come across a number of twisted adversaries including an old guy named Harold who is an interesting character to say the least, but just one of many. Nobody you come across takes to you immediately, and the decisions you make throughout the game will help or damage your chances of gaining peoples trust which ultimately affects events later in the game when the trust of certain people would have come in very useful – and if you chose to do them wrong earlier in the game, they will be much less helpful later on than you would like.
It is this freedom and decision making which sets Fallout 3 apart from other first person shooter and adventure role playing titles and to be honest puts it into a completely new level of it’s own, and it will certainly be the title that others to come will aspire to match when it comes to the depth and variety the game offers you as a gamer. Also it boasts a huge replayability factor thanks to the various affects that your decisions have on events in the game – you will always be wondering how things would have panned out if you had done something a bit differently in the early stages of the game.
The combat system in Fallout 3 will appeal more to role playing gamers than to first person shooter fans out there, as the most satisfying way of taking out your enemies is with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System which features, in some form, in previous Fallout titles. This system allows you to pause the action mid-battle and spend action points to target specific limbs of your enemy which in turn unleashes a gloriously gory slow motion cut-scene of your hit, that is if you do manage to land the hit of course. If you do not have much patience, this combat system can become frustrating, but there are many out there who will gladly sit through the extra few seconds as the results look so good and brutal.
The complete game experience is incredibly difficult to sum up in a simple review such as this, as the depth is like nothing I personally have experienced before in a game. Taking a few short runs through the game allows you to discover things you did not expect, and things that you may never come across again such is the freedom you are given from the outset.
What can safely be said is if you are a proper games fanatic, Fallout 3 is quite possibly the best you could expect from the power of today’s gaming systems. If anything is going to better Fallout 3, it will appear on the next batch of consoles in four or five years time. Fallout 3 is today’s gaming at it’s best, and is a must buy so go get it.