As a gamer, I always wish to try new and interesting things, and as a writer, I wish for you to experience many different types of columns.
The experiment: Play/buy a video game that I know NOTHING about and have zero prior experience with. Write about my experience and how I would rate the game/story/series! Profit?
In this week’s edition, we head into an alternate future, after the apocalypse and all of mankind is hanging on a thread. That’s right. Fallout 3?
Is this just another pathetic first person shooter that will bore me in hours, or was there something more? Check it out after the jump!
It’s the future. Well, an alternate futurehistic timeline of earth. The events after WWII in this timeline changed the world as we know it, with a new strange addiction to the America of the 1950’s lasting throughout the events of the rest of the history, with great tension against China, Russia, and even Canada! After the last drop of oil is depleted from the earth, Nuclear bombs have utter annahilated the world of all beauty it once had, and radition has mutated mankind and the world as we know it. Water is scarce, grass/trees are nonexistant, and animals are pretty much gone.
The last remnants of mankind are stored away in “Vaults”, where they were safely protected from the radiation. The events of Fallout and Fallout 2 take place in Calfornia survival, while Fallout 3 takes place in Washington DC, the “Capital Wasteland”.
You play “101: The Lone Wonderer”. Your father, after escaping from the saftey of the vault, has gone missing. It’s up to you to find out what he’s really after in his pursuits to save the planet.
Actually, no. Not really. You can essentially throw out the plot. Or much rather, add in 150 million tiny plots in the game. The story is only a small linear path that gamers can follow if they want to. You can, alternatively, follow side plots and side missions and learn more about people in this world than you can possibly imagine, aiding them in the desolate hopelessness, or making them your pathetic weaklings and steal them for everything they’ve got. The tiny plots aren’t long and don’t have much depth, but the enjoyability and overall fun factor in them is IMMENSE. ‘
I found myself completely forgetting what I was doing in the main part of the game. Poor Dad. He’s still not found/saved, and I’ve been into this game for nearly 3 weeks now.
I do, however, have to praise Fallout 3. I’ve been completely absorbed in the lives of these whiny NPC’s constantly begging me for water, ammo, saving their friends/family, and finding the Declaration of Independence. It’s quite fun give these people hope, or perhaps totally devastate them further.
Shoot things that want to kill you. [This is everything/everybody in the wasteland. Oh joy.]
Find keys or pick locks that are barricading you. Pay/steal/kill for information you need.
It’s fairly straightforward and you shouldn’t get lost that often. Or wait… YES YOU WILL GET LOST AND GET LOST OFTEN. >_<
The map is the most useless piece of junk I’ve ever encountered in a game. What’s worse, you have to pull up your main menu to get it to display. No mini-map on screen. Yeah, there is a compass that can give you a generally direction to travel towards, but it’s more bothersome than useful. A lot of the entire Wasteland has entire areas blocked off by debris except for small underground tunnels, or finding something necessary to open a locked door. Fallout 3 is a MASSIVE world. Honestly, blocking us off from exploring areas is just annoying and broke the flow faster than you can say “RELOAD ALREADY DAGNABIT”.
Oh, and to add insult to injury: The compass does not direct you to where you need to go, but rather directs you to a straight path, where you’ll be quickly blocked off or overrun by super mutants. Even worse: the map doesn’t display the blocked off areas, nor does it give you directions for getting around them. Irritating and just bad game-play decisions.
Buuuuut… The gunplay is pretty nice, the automated aiming system is a nice assistant, the items are easily findable, missions aren’t ridiculously impossible, the towns have unique layouts, and the graphics are intense and well laid out. So, I’ll forgive the lousy maps and happily announce that the game is functional and easy to handle.
Good VS Bad
Fallout 3 has an interesting karma system. Do good deeds, and you get good karma. Do bad deeds, and you get bad karma. Simple enough, right?
Being a generally nice person, I chose to play as somebody with good karma! I was expecting to be treated with respect, get some nice perks, and even possibly get bigger/better rewards!
Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! I quickly learned this isn’t the case.
Being a good player with good karma? I got hit men sent after me! Hit men with powerful armor and huge guns! WHAT?!
Next, I quickly realized that not everything “good” is “good”. One of my good missions was executing somebody that was a bigot and who wanted to blow up a town. The said man is a really old crotchety grandpa. I offered my services to spare his life in exchange for money and for a key. He accepted, and I spared his life. I went back to the man that wanted him dead, only to have him SHOOT ME! Then, because I shot back, the entire city came after me, guns blazing! Then, I got BAD karma! WHAT?!!
The rewards also sucked. Big time. Out of the 10 or so big missions I undertook, the best thing I got was a nifty weapon and less than 1000 credits. I spent more on Ammo and guns. >_<
So I decided to be a bad guy instead! Having been treated terribly and generally angry towards the idiotic citizens who shot at me, I decided to jack everything in their houses. Unlimited ammo, some AMAZING weapons, enough food and healing items to last me forever, and naturally enough useless junk to sell for massive profits!
Everything was looking good. 😀
Until the hitmen came back. >_> Dagnabit!
At least now, however, I was able to beat the living snot out of them! The better weapons and ammo, and the large stock of healing items made my life fairly simple enough .
However, the people commented about how my mother didn’t hug me enough as a child, and had generally hateful things to say. ;____; Plus, the local radio stations called me the mean ol’ boogymen. ;____;
While the rewards/perks of being bad vastly outweighs being good, a lot of characters don’t respond as well, and generally people don’t like you and will shoot your face off.
So it’s pretty broken. Better rewards for being bad, but a cleaner/better feeling for being good, and people generally liking you more.
I’ve gotten stuck in walls [forcing a restart], had missions be failed/succeeded without me doing anything [also forcing a restart], and get a game freeze while in higher end firefights and attempting to bring up my main menu [forcing a restart]. These are some serious bugs that needed fixing, and generally made me distaste the game.
The gore is completely over the top. Heads/limbs/bodies can fly off in 20 different directions, and enough blood to make anime gore look conservative.
It’s completely uncessary and works to only appease the hard-core action gamers that require blood/gore to stay entertained.
I suppose an argument could be made that it’s an artistic statement to represent the gruesome nature of the world, and the over-exaggeration only helps to better represent how bad the world has become. I suppose somebody could, but I wouldn’t buy it.
It’s just gross. >:/
Fallout 3 is probably now going to cement itself as one of my favorite games. Yeah, there are bugs, bad gameplay designs, and the gore disgusts me.
However, it is an experience that I think everybody should try. While it’s an M rated game, and you should wait to play this game when you are a legally appropriate age to play it, it’s actually got a great message to share with everyone, and the plot is deep with emotional/political/social themes that everyone should take part in.
Seeing the devastation that war causes really brings home the message “War doesn’t determine who’s right, it determines who is left”. We see the suffering of the world when greed overtakes the human senses, and the terror that blind and uneducated patriotism can bring.
I highly recommend the game, if not for the lackluster game-play, then for the experience that the game gives us.
Karma System: B-