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Forums > Submission Feedback > Lewis's Fallout 3 review

This thread is in response to a review for Fallout 3 on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: November 02, 2008 (11:19 AM)
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!@#$!it Lewis! I was going to do Fallout 3. I bought it on release day and everything. ;_;

Anyway, good review, but I'm not sure I would have given it a 10. 8 or 9, maybe. One of the things I noticed is you don't mark it down for bugs on release because you're sure they'll be patched; a fine attitude for a Stardock or Blizzard game, but let's take a moment and count how many bugs are still present in Bethesda's last game.

But you're right in that the execution is sound. It's no Van Buren, but it's the closest we're likely to get, and it's a good ride.


"Either, sir, you're an ass or you're masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 02, 2008 (12:08 PM)
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Had Fallout 3 bagsied for months, sir!

The bugs issue is one that I'm always unsure about how to tread. Generally, my rule is simple: did I enjoy the game any less because of them?

In the case of something like the new STALKER (and there are considerable comparisons to be drawn between these two games: a large portion of Fallout feels like what STALKER was trying to be), the bugs were frustrating to the point where they seriously affected my enjoyment - and, in the end, my ability to actually finish the thing. Here, it was more a case of 'hey - look how that corpse is bouncing around in the corner' then moving on.

If I'd have docked a mark for stuff like this, I'd have felt like a proper mean bastard. I've not been as utterly compelled by a computer game in years. It feels like the sort of game I've been waiting so long for - and if anything deserves The Big Score, it's a game like that.

(EDIT: As a small side-query, I'd be intrigued as to what you think knocks it down a mark or two. Surely can't just be the occasional instability if it were to be an 8... and what would be a 10 for you? Anyway - scores are meaningless, and all that. Whatever number you tag on the end, I'd be surprised to hear that anyone had been disappointed by Fallout 3, aside from the predictable fanboy idiocy that's circulating the official forums.)

Thanks for reading!


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: November 02, 2008 (12:51 PM)
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I missed out on Fallout and Fallout 2, because my computer sucked. I'm finally able to play this one (just started yesterday) and I'm really looking forward to it. Your review and the discussion of freedom and the sidequests to extend the game really makes me think that this could be the proper follow-up to Wasteland that I've been wanting to play for a long time.

I realize all of the above traits were totally expected to be in this game, but still, I'm excited. Your example with Megaton (spending hours in in on one play, blowing it up in the next) was perfect because it showed the absurdly polar range of choices available, and you did it in two short paragraphs. Nice.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: November 02, 2008 (02:22 PM)
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I'd say 8 or 9 because, as much fun as FO3 is, it just isn't the same as the first two. It's like some of the magic was lost in the transition from retro isometric RPG to modern 3D FPS/RPG. And I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's just the power-armor looks more like Stormtrooper costumes than it used to (let's hope there's a fan mod). Or maybe I'm just grown-up and cynical.

I consider it more an homage than a true sequel. It's a good way to put the series to bed.


"Either, sir, you're an ass or you're masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: Halon
Posted: November 02, 2008 (03:28 PM)
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I loved the second game but for some reason don't really want to play this one (yet). It looks like a combination of Oblivion and STALKER, two games that I have no desire to play ATM.


IF YOU WANT MORE BEATS FOR YOUR BUCK THERE'S NO LUCK.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 02, 2008 (03:35 PM)
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It's more like Deus Ex meets STALKER, poured into the free-roaming Oblivion world. On only a couple of occasions was I reminded of Bethesda's previous work.

And, of course, it's not a lot like previous Fallout stuff, but it never was going to be. The rose-tinted specs bit of the review is really essential. If you wear them, you'll be disappointed - it's a distinctly modern game. But if you take it for what it is... honestly? I don't think there's much better out there at the moment.

A word about the ending, though. It's satisfying, but there was one distinct problem with it. I'm trying to think of a way to discuss this without spoiling it, which is why I left it out of the review, but basically, this:

It involves making a big moral decision, as expected for this sort of game. But there's a problem. You can pick up characters on the way through the game, and if you've picked one of them... well, it won't make much sense now, but when you reach it you'll understand. Basically, if this one character is in your squad at the time, the ending makes literally no sense. If he's not, it's brilliant. Bit of a tough one, that.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 02, 2008 (05:04 PM)
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I don't think you can mark down Fallout 3 for not being like the originals. First of all, Bethesda did an amazing job of sticking to the old standbys and the overal Fallout feel. From the opening "War never changes" segment down to the cynical sarcasm of the conversation choices, it's definitely Fallout.

I'm pleased Bethesda did something new with the series. I can't seem to stop playing it, either.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 03, 2008 (12:21 AM)
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I think it has the Fallout vibe but it's darker, more sinister. The horror side of the game is moved quite heavily to the forefront in places, and the emphasis on pure survival may come as a shock to those who all but avoided combat in the originals. But I'm so chuffed to see Bethesda create something that feels different. In a way, much as I love the series, I'm disappointed to see them announce Elder Scrolls V, because Fallout's always-tense, story-driven action-RPG hybrid style proves they have so much more up their sleeves then the now stagnating ES series.

Fallout 3 is the game I've been waiting for since Deus Ex. Seriously.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 03, 2008 (12:34 AM)
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It does play a lot like Deus Ex, doesn't it? A good thing, that.

I thought the old games were pretty combat intensive, myself. I remember TRYING to play as a stealthy character, and becoming helplessly under leveled by the time the ending rolled around.

My favourite improvement in this itteration had to be the skills. Redundant skills (gambling, anyone? Outdoorsmanship?) were removed or bundled into other skills, and each skill truly is useful. I wasn't sure they'd be able to make stealth useful, but the ability to do one shot kills (or at least double damage) on a stealth shot makes it very useful indeed. The others speak for themselves.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: November 03, 2008 (12:43 AM)
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Agreed, but I'm a little sad that Speech doesn't see more play.


"Either, sir, you're an ass or you're masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 03, 2008 (12:44 AM)
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I agree stealth wasn't too much cop in the earlier games, but generally there were far more 'safe areas' in the originals. In Fallout 3, very few places feel truly safe, and you're always on-guard. I saw this as a brilliant thing.

I really am wildly impressed with this game, and I'm glad it only seems to be the Rose Tinted Specs Clan that aren't, because I couldn't give a toss about them anyway.

Will: I poured my stats so heavily into Speech that I could talk my way out of almost any situation by the end. There were a total of big plot changes in my game as a result of it.


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: November 03, 2008 (05:20 AM)
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Fallout 3 is the game I've been waiting for since Deus Ex. Seriously.

This is a pretty big statement, Lew.

I'm still clawing away at the things I need to do before I fall into to Fallout completly.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 03, 2008 (07:00 AM)
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"This is a pretty big statement, Lew."

It is, yes, but I think it's a justified one. It's not as delightfully groundbreaking, certainly, but I honestly reckon it's the first game since Invisible War to take this truly multi-faceted approach to quest-completion. And since Invisible War was a let-down in other areas, Fallout feels almost as exciting as Deus Ex did back then.

It probably won't stand the test of time in the same way that DX did, because like I said, it doesn't really break new ground. But as an improvement on the formula, and as an open-plan action-RPG, it's at the top of the pile, in my mind at least.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 03, 2008 (10:45 AM)
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Yes, speech is very plot changing, if you build it up. I only use it for the occasional "talk me out of this situation" bit.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 03, 2008 (10:59 AM)
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By the way, Lewis, could you tell me roughly how far into the main quest I am? I don't even dare ask on the side quests... I've clocked about 30 hours, am level 16, and am still running errands for Moira.


Anyways, for the main quest...

SPOILERS


... I just rescued my dad from the simulation program in Vault 106, and I'm headed to Rivet City. After some stops, of course. But does that ring any bells? Any idea, maybe percentage wise, how much more I've got to go in the main?


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 03, 2008 (12:10 PM)
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Somewhere around 2/3 through the main quest.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 03, 2008 (12:12 PM)
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Thanks!


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 03, 2008 (01:37 PM)
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Be careful not to finish the game by accident.

Unlike previous Bethesda titles, the game is over as soon as you finish the main quest - but there's little indication that it's about to be over until the final sequence is well underway, at which point the game autosaves and you can't do anything other than finish the quest. Make sure you keep a regularly updated 'normal save' slot in case you end up finishing by accident.

As a guide, once you head off with the ENORMOUS ROBOT (incredibly cool, by the way), you're headed for the final showdown. You should be able to tell when this is coming (the game repeatedly asks you if you're ready, but it does rush you along), so just put it off for as long as possible and you should get the most out of the tale.

I'll be interested to hear if more people get the stupid ending. I couldn't think of a way to word it in the review without a big spoiler, so I didn't put it in at all, but it is worth a mention as the only real design oversight in the whole of the game. Now I've heard Ross Atherton of PC Gamer put it into nice safe words, I'll steal his:

It's possible, based on an earlier decision, to be in a situation where the ending doesn't make sense. Which is pretty bad, really, as it does produce a gaping plot-hole that it makes no attempt to fill, and it's clearly down to shoddy planning. Shame - the rest of the game is magical.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 03, 2008 (04:42 PM)
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I was wondering about both of those things.

As far as getting to an ending spot, I feel it starting to wind towards a climax, and yet I haven't explored even half the map! I haven't even been to Paradise Falls or the Commons. I'm in the Brotherhood Citadel right now, but I'm really just staying long enough to see if they'll sell me anything. Then it's back to Megaton to pick up my now functional Power Armour, and then off to visit a Mr. Tenpenny for some much deserved retribution.

As for plot gaps, I've encountered a few already. Actually, quite a bit. A lot of times, I will have seen someone before which opens up a conversation choice with someone else, but the choices reference things I didn't ask that other person about... things like that. I was hoping that the main plot would at least be cohesive, but it sounds like there are ways to make it not so.

The only things I've done so far that seemed a little out of touch with the main quest were that I killed the Overseer before even leaving the vault (a very bloody death, considering all I had was a BB gun) and I didn't spend a lot of time in the town Simulator. I didn't feel like going to the effort of breaking up the marraige, so I went straight for the shutdown sequence.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: November 03, 2008 (05:26 PM)
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You missed out on a lovely and disturbing sequence by getting straight out of the sim. Shame.

It's weird - there are tonnes of little things that I keep finding that should hinder my enjoyment of Fallout, but they simply don't. It's magical. Seriously, far and away the best game released this year.


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: November 04, 2008 (06:55 AM)
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I knew I had to be missing some disturbing stuff, but I just wasn't in the mood to be pushed around by a little girl. My heart was torn between my desire to see mayhem and my desire to maintain my twisted sense of dignity and ego. Ah, it's situations like that which make Fallout great.

Definitely high on the running for game of the year. Although I am dissapointed in the friend AI. I have Paladin Cross on my team, and I spend most of my time keeping her alive or equipped with ammo. It feels like such a waste.

I'm gonna use her as a one shot helper for taking out a Talon base, then I'm gonna send her ass away. I prefer to travel lonely.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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