Graphics:
8.9
Gameplay:
9.7
Sound:
8.5
Control:
9.0
Replay Value:
10.0
Overall Rating:
9.6
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Bethesda
Developer:
Bethesda
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/RPG


The Fallout series has become synonymous to many gamers as being one of the highest quality franchises out there. Originally belonging to, the now defunct, Interplay, Fallout has been on a hiatus for the past decade now, as Fallout 2 came out way back in 1998. With the struggles of Interplay also came the disappointment that we may never see Fallout 3, which was been in and out of development numerous times, until it was canceled. But four years after the cancellation of Fallout 3, Bethesda has announced the return of the series, and fast forward to today, we finally got our much anticipated third title.

Now, before continuing, if you don't wish to know what the first events of the game are like, I suggest skipping the next paragraph. There are no story spoilers or anything, just a fair warning. The paragraph following the next one explains how the game's story picks-up, again, fair warning.

Fallout 3 starts off rather unconventionally, certainly unlike any other game I can think of as I write this. Your first moment in the game is your very own character's birth (literally), and here's where you're prompted to configure how he or she will look like when all grown up. After an unfortunate incident following your birth, the game forwards one full year, and here you are again…a toddler who just learned how to walk. Before actually getting into the core of the game, you go through a series of these milestone events, so after your toddler event, you fast forward to your 10th birthday. Following that you're 16 years old, and you'll have to take the G.O.A.T (Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test) exam to determine your occupational placement. Once that ends, the game fast forwards another five years and you're off…

The story starts when your character finds out that his father has escaped out into the open world, and now it's up to him to find out why. Because nobody escapes fallout Vault 101, by association, you have been marked as a traitor and so you'll have to arm yourself in order to escape to the outside world. So you set out in search of your father, and you set out prepared. Now that you've made it out, you see exactly the kind of carnage that the Global Atomic War caused. Fallout 3 takes place in Wasteland, a living, breathing post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe. Monsters such as giant insects, raiders/outlaws, and various types of super mutants run amok this ruined depiction of Washington D.C., and equipped with your Pip-boy 3000, weapons, knowledge, and some cool features, you should have all the methods of getting rid of them.

Fallout 3 is essentially Oblivion set thousands of years in the future. Instead of having swords, shields, and heavy chain armors, you have guns, reinforced military armor, baseball bats, pipes, and a slew of other modern-day and futuristic weapons. Just like Oblivion, Fallout 3 will also give you the option of choosing between good and evil, or an in-between, so you have the opportunity to approach situations from various angles, and directly affect your future. A Karma system exists in the game that'll affect your encounters with NPCs in positive and negative ways; regular NPCs will often find themselves disgusted with your presence if you've strayed towards the evil side, while raiders are more likely to ally themselves with you. On top of that, comes what Bethesda calls Limitless Freedom. Do you see something off in the distance? Go on and walk to it, because whatever you see in the world you can visit. And in Fallout 3, you'll see a great deal of ruined monuments and structures, all of which you'll be able to gander at.

Just be careful not to get near the water as its riddled with copious amounts of radiation, and unless you want your character to grow mutations, you'll want to avoid the water and consuming products you find in Wasteland. But if you have no regenerates left and your only option is to drink the Nuka-Cola you got from the vending machine, then go ahead. Fortunately for you, there are anti-radiation medicines that'll decrease your radiation exposure and heal whatever mutations you may have.

But don't get me wrong, because Fallout 3 and Oblivion share fairly different gameplay features. For example, Fallout 3 makes use of a great combat mechanic called VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), this mechanic is highly reminiscent of a similar feature found in Square's Vagrant Story, as it allows for the pausing of time in order to target specific body-parts. The health bar of the enemy will show which body-part will cause the most damage if hit, but you have to take into account the distance and angle you're facing an opponent, otherwise you'll have lower chances of striking your preferred target. Furthermore, pausing time will also allow you to build up a range of attacks to unleash on your opponents, all of which will unravel with cinematic presentation and details. Of course, you can always perform the tried-and-true method of doing it all on your own, and play Fallout 3 just as you would any other first-person shooter, by using your reticule to aim and fire at will.

With every fight and objective you finish, you gain experience points. For starters, as you progress through the game, your character will be able to gain new abilities by utilizing the game's points-based system called "SPECIAL". Basically, the system allows for unlimited customization of your character, including the learning of combat abilities and improving your skills across a variety of traits. Throughout the game, with every level your character grows, you're given points to distribute across your board of traits, on top of enhancements called Perks.

Fallout 3 is simply mammoth in size and execution. There's just so much to do, to see, and to play that at times you feel overwhelmed with the scope of the game. The game's world is estimated to be just over 15 square miles in size, and that'll take hours to fully explore, so you've got a lot of terrain to cover. Thankfully, for quicker travel, and teleporting option does exist. Aside from the main quest, there are tons of side-quests and objectives to fulfill, so don't expect to fully finish Fallout 3 anywhere less than 100 hours, or so. The two complaints I can address with the game are: the third person mode isn't any good, and I'd have liked to see a more refined camera that didn't just float around. And some more variety in enemies would've been nice too.

Visually, as mentioned already, Fallout 3 runs on an updated version of the Gamebryo engine – the same engine that powers Oblivion. The engine does run smoother, with no screen tearing, anti-aliasing, and minimal pop-up in the background. But it's not free of framerate drops, and when you get up-close to most of the textures, they aren't exactly pretty. Still, considering the sheer size of Fallout 3, it's no wonder why there's a notable sacrifice in texture quality. There's also no doubting that Fallout 3 is a solid looking game with a superb atmospheric backdrop that does a great job of immersing you into this destroyed environment, as you'll often find yourself marveling at the destruction. The return of the day and night cycle is always nice, as well.

As far as audio goes, I'm sure you're well aware that there's a megaton amount of voice acting in the game. Unfortunately, as is common with Action-RPGs like Fallout 3, Oblivion, Star Wars: KOTOR, Mass Effect, etc., the voice acting isn't always very well done, it often lacks the correct emotion and the delivery doesn't match the context. For example, there are times when you can be part of a very tense moment, but that emotion of fear and tension doesn't come through the voice acting – it's bland and emotionless. Not the entire game is like this, but chunks of it are. Still, during normal dialogue with NPCs, the voice overs do a fine job. And the background noises you hear all around you sound solid, too.

Fallout 3 isn't the kind of game you play to witness its graphical prowess, or its amazing sound. Yes, it does have a nice soundtrack, and yes it does have nice visuals. But more importantly, the game boasts an adventure that is so epic in size that it can only be the product of Bethesda. The Oblivion engine is a perfect fit to create a Fallout game around, and Fallout 3 is that much better off for it. With a game world that's as large as a real world city, mechanics that are engaging and easy to use, on top of unparalleled depth…Fallout 3 is the no brainer choice for those looking to embark on an epic quest.

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SHADOW
SHADOW
12 years ago

I decided that what with the superior graphics and ability to use mods that Fallout 3 was gonna be my first big-time PC game in years. It's downloading off of Steam right now.

SarahPalinMILF
SarahPalinMILF
12 years ago

What is steam?

WaR_HaWk
WaR_HaWk
12 years ago

yeah, Steam is so awesome. Steam is where you should buy PC games. I might buy this game 2day. Is there Multiplayer?

WaR_HaWk
WaR_HaWk
12 years ago

steam is online service/store provided by Valve. u can buy PC games on Steam

SHADOW
SHADOW
12 years ago

Steam is the premier digital distribution service for PC games. They sell all kinds of old and new PC games for direct download and often at discount prices. They also offer a number of videos, demos and even Mods now. It's the service that XBox Marketplace and PlayStation Store try to emulate.

coverton341
coverton341
12 years ago

One issue that is bothering me is this:

Oblivion was huge and detailed and beautiful. It was expansive and there was so much to explore and look at that the world seemed infinite. But; and this is the ugly part, there was a lack of things to do.

I mean with all the places to explore the missions became very redundant. Go here talk to Bob, go there talk to Reg, come back get the potion, go to Bob and give it to him.

Please tell me that Fallout 3 is not hampered in this way by this big beatiful world full of wonder and mystery and totally lacking in real depth.

TheRaPtuRe
TheRaPtuRe
12 years ago

the ps3 version is supoosed to be far worse technically than the others, why is this?

LightShow
LightShow
12 years ago

cuz valve isn't particularly fond of the PS3. one of their major higher ups (can't remember his name! *frustration*) doesn't give the PS3 any real credibility, he's about the closest you're gonna get to a blatant 360 fanboy in the dev world. The PS3 version is only there because the publisher demands it.

I use both the PS3 and a Mac, and I dont know if fallout is coming to OS X, so for me, count me out. If they dont need my money, i'm not gonna give it to them.

Arkhon
Arkhon
12 years ago

It's not technically worse, and Bethesda makes Fallout 3, not Valve. The only difference between the Xbox 360/PC versions and the PS3 version is that the PS3 version isn't getting downloadable content.

Joe_III
Joe_III
12 years ago

Thanks Arnold, in one sentence you killed my hopes for this game.
Quote: "Fallout 3 is essentially Oblivion set thousands of years in the future."

Not only was Oblivion slow and fairly boring, Fallout should have been almost completely different.

I guess I'll go back to playing fallout 2 every year and hoping for a true sequel…

=(

coverton341
coverton341
12 years ago

AMEN to that

shaydey77
shaydey77
12 years ago

Is there online splitscreen??

dillonthebunny
dillonthebunny
12 years ago

no, no online or split screen im afraid,

Steam is like the PSN but for the PC.. lol

its cool, i have HL2 multiplayer online through steam, came with four other full online games too.. all for $5, which is sweet fa in British Pounds.

seeing as i have the Orange Box on Ps3, i just need a decent multiplayer to go with it, and Steam was the only way i could get it.. very cool.

anyway, bit off topic there…

Fallout 3 looks and sounds amazing, I know IGN went on about bugs, but from what i see, its these sort of bugs that are very fixable through a patch, so im sure one will come forward.

also i heard the PS3 wasnt getting any expansion, but didnt they say that about Oblivion at one point? anyway, by the time we do get it.. i probably wouldnt of even finished it anyway to warrant the extra cost of the download, lol.

MetalHead09
MetalHead09
12 years ago

that game does sound sweet but it brings a question to mind. if bethesda can make a game of such high quality, why do the star trek games feel so uninspired?

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
12 years ago

the only probelm with the ps3 version i heard was that it crashes occassionly…. a patch could solve that , and they say every time a firend signs on or gives u a message the game pauses for a second, i deffianty intemd to get this game on friday.

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
12 years ago

lol I'm assuming you're waiting for a paycheck like me?

dillonthebunny
dillonthebunny
12 years ago

probably a different team to those who work on Oblivion or this Fallout.

shame really because even tho i dont really like Star Trek 'that' much, i have to admit… they could do SO much more with it.

Frenchy17
Frenchy17
12 years ago

Is Bethedsa a part of Valve? I thought they were two totally separate companies?

Joe_III
Joe_III
12 years ago

i'm pretty sure that the only thing bethesda has to do with valve is that they use steam to distribute, like almost every other company nowadays

Zaben
Zaben
12 years ago

I've been interested in this game for a while… Maybe I'll pick it up for Christmas.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

I have no idea how Bethesda and Valve are affiliated, but Bethesda seems capable of very great or very mediocre things. I'm no fan of the first person RPG but I do trust Arnold and I might give this a rental, but jeez, a dev must really have no self respect at all (that fatty mcbutterpants I forget his name too) to put a highly anticipated game out with one version gimped just because you want to prove that the TRULY gimped console is better.

Ed_Wayne
Ed_Wayne
12 years ago

Why do I see people talking about Valve here? This has nothing to do with Valve. It is made by Bethesda and published by Bethesda. It says it at the top of the article for christ's sake.

It is distributed on Steam for PC's but that has NOTHING to do with consoles or the development for the game whatsoever.

Yes, Gabe Newell is an idiot but you need to quit bringing his name up. Every time I read it an image of his putrid picture pops up in my head and I get nauseated. Oh god, now I typed his name. *vomits*

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't think they were associated. I been fooled!

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
12 years ago

Thanks, Ed. Glad someone said it before me.

Guys, Valve had nothing to do with this game. Bethesda developed it from the ground up for both consoles, with no lead console in mind. LightShow has his information all wrong.

LightShow
LightShow
12 years ago

I do?

apologies, I dont pay much attention to vlave projects these days. If i am misinformed, then I retract my statement.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
12 years ago

TheRapture: The PS3 version is certainly not far worse. Both versions are practically identical.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

This is what happens when people are willing to believe that every PS3 multiplatform version is automatically inferior…

Daedusian
Daedusian
12 years ago

After reading the IGN review and seeing that they gave the PS3 version a lower score than it's 360 equivalent (not that I care), I was wondering what they are doing to determine these results. Do they play the game and finish it on the 360 and then wait until they find a bug in the PS3 version and call it quits or what lol. Wish they would explain rather than saying "there were far more bugs in the PS3 version than that of the 360 version."

AntDC
AntDC
12 years ago

True, it seems ridiculous to rate a game lower on "very slight technical differences". It's bias and it's crap and it has to stop. Gamespot are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to that.

AluShady
AluShady
12 years ago

I heard that the ps3 version is worse of graphically.

Last night me (PS3) and the roommate (360) both got Fallout 3 at Gamestop even though I don't really like that place the people there are pretty kick ass which is rare to find at a Gamestop.

A bit off topic there. Anyway the way I see it is that the games look fairly identical. The 360 version is slightly better and I don't know if that's because it was built from that and ported to the Ps3 or not but it's nothing to WHINE about or not get the game over. I can barely notice and my roommate didn't notice at all to be honest.

This game is similar to oblivion and I was afraid it was just going to be Oblivion with guns.. but it's not. So all of you worrying about that can stop now.

Honestly I'm just giving helpful advice for those people looking for a great game on an unbiased view of both versions in my household. I say get it.

P.S. Yes it does pause when a friend signs in to PSN and it's rather annoying I hope they fix that soon.

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
12 years ago

Thanks for the info. I'm sure you are correct about them being basically identical. Oblivion was slightly better on PS3 than the 360 so I knew Bethesda wouldn't let us down. The way I see it, it's more PS3 experience under Bethesda's belt and next time a game from them will be even better.

Alienange
Alienange
12 years ago

Got F3 today. It's frickin' great. I loved Oblivion so maybe I'm biased, but this is not Oblivion with guns either. I has some similarities to be sure, but the combat is fantastic and frantic. 1 exp for killing radioactive cockroaches? Awesome!

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
12 years ago

Yay just 35,893 radioactive cockroaches until the next level! Woot! lol.

AntDC
AntDC
12 years ago

lol are they kinda the equivelent to mud crabs in oblivion?

javon_27
javon_27
12 years ago

My problem with Oblivion and the past elder scroll games were the colors. The bland, pasty, muddy colors would make me sick in my stomach and make me run to the bathroom. Especially Oblivion with its shiny looks. Everything was reflective in that game! I really wanted to enjoy Oblivion, but I couldn't last 15 minutes without $h* ing or throwing up.

I really wish I could play this game, but if it looks anything like how Oblivion looked, no thanks.

NoMoreWar
NoMoreWar
12 years ago

man that blows. if you truly get sick from bland colors, then don't get this game. i think it is great so far, but bland colors, as one would expect, is pretty much all there is to see out in the wasteland. maybe try renting it and see…

Daedusian
Daedusian
12 years ago

You didn't like the way Oblivion looked?? It never bothered me… heck, it never even crossed my mind. I think it fit perfectly well with the game, but, meh, whatever, it's your opinion, not mine.

AntDC
AntDC
12 years ago

You didn't like the graphics in Oblivion? Wow, I think that they're insane.

ec0li
ec0li
12 years ago

Was this game really developed from the ground up for both machines? Most of the reviews I've read seem to point out that the 360 has a noticeably less amount of graphical glitches and flaws leading me to believe it's another multiplatform port job. The game is still probably great and the graphical flaws won't be a deal breaker between PS3 and 360 versions. But I'm a bit dissapointed at Bethesda knowing that when they released Oblivion for PS3 a year later after 360, they actually improved upon some of the flaws that plagued the 360 version. If they did develop Fallout 3 from the ground up for both versions, why make one inferior(not including the downloadable content) no mater how little the difference is.

whooka
whooka
12 years ago

Ack! I really don't like the idea of these RPG's moving into FPS territory. That really turned me off on Elder Scrolls. I hate playing FPS's on a console, the controls just don't do it for me after years of playing on a PC. I seriously hope this doesn't become a trend, keep them 3rd-person isometric!

ZubraZap
ZubraZap
12 years ago

This game is oozing with cyber-punk. Calling Fallout 3 "oblivion in the future"(only gameplay is comparable) is asanine. Your quests are never restricted, its your call at all times. You do drugs in this game, you cut people's arms off in slow-mo, shoot people in the head while high on psycho(speed), and I've never seen more clever and humorous writing in a videogame. The story so far has taken hold of me.

coverton341
coverton341
12 years ago

I have to admit I was skeptical at first, and I believe it was for good reason, but I have to admit that I really enjoy this game.

It doesn't do it for me as a true sequel to the first two games as it really isn't anything like them, but it is an amazing game all-around.

Quincho
Quincho
12 years ago

This game is a masterpiese, best game i ever played

FPDH
FPDH
12 years ago

i think it does a good job as a sequel especially when you consider that horrible crap i had for ps2. i mean its open ended. not as gritty in the dialogue sense as 1 and 2 but plenty of gore with the bloody mess perk and the similarity to oblivion didnt so much as hinder the game as it did help its nothing like oblivion except for map layouts,markers and what not which works just fine for oblivion. i think the similarity just makes it an easier game to pick up and play if youve played oblivion because you dont have to figure out wat does wat. in oblivion i didnt notice i could move items until about half way through the game lol (shame on me)

Arkhon
Arkhon
12 years ago

You look hungry, Butch. What, did your mom drink up all the ration coupons again?

If I listen closely, I can here my genes crying.

1. You are approached by a frenzied vault scientist, who yells "I'm going to put my quantum harmonizer in your photonic resonation chamber!" What's your response?
b. "Yeah? Up yours too, buddy."

I love the dialogue in this game, although the voice acting wasn't as good as Mass Effect.

thj_1980
thj_1980
9 years ago

I know I am way to late in this discussion, and why am I doing this, but it's because i stumbled upon this.

I review is excellent but the score is over the top.

an 9 at the most because of the technical part of this game on the ps3 version is absolutely without a question horrible. BUt if you can somehow in a perfect world get past that part and somehow not mind it 9.6 is agreeded!!!!

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