A summation of a game that's fuckin' TIIIIIIGHT.
I borrowed this game from a very good friend of mine who conveniently lives across the street and enjoys the same games as I do. He reccomended this one to me, and I was a little daunted by the FPS elements. When I started playing, it was though it didn't even matter. I got lost in the game, lost in the quests, and lost in the quality entertainment ... oh, and the graphics are unbelievable. If only you got to see the sex scene with Nova and the hero.
Actually, you know what, I take that back. Nova really wasn't all that great looking. Even if she was a sexy bisexual. Wanna talk about the game now?
As for any FPS type game, the gameplay isn't anything worth calling home over. What I liked is how easy it was to maneuver through the world they had created. I suppose there could be some sort of danger in recreating Washington DC for the purposes of shooting up a bunch of people who piss you off, but other than the controversy, I suppose the game is harmless. There are some key landmarks that are completely inaccessible, and landmarks that seem to be re-worked so that it is contrary to reality. Smart move, I'd say. The last thing we need is Bomby McTerrorist grabbing a hold of the game screaming "I have like a map and everything! All the subways and tunnels and everything is there, and all we have to do is just make sure we get the map down and then we pretty much can go do all of that stuff." Extremely illegal, and very dangerous. Smart game programming on their part.
What helps the gameplay here is the element of RPG that is in it. It adds an entire different dimension to the game, and it makes the game all the more fun. It gives you the choice to be Good, Evil, or Neutral, and you also gain levels through out the duration. The level gaining is one of the docking points because sometimes it seems that gaining levels pretty much means that you aren't really gaining experience in anything. You get to allocate some points to a specific specialty (weapons, marketing, intelligence) things of that sort. I suppose it helps a little, but not to a noticable extent. Not that you need it, anyways. As you gain levels, there are several more enemies you run into, some of them reaching points of utter chaos. Watch out for those Raiders, too. Those guys are a bunch of fuckers.
The graphics here are near photo-realistic, I would say. I would actually subit that the graphics here are near flawless, and the glitches are vast in between. What really impressed me was traveling through the DC area and seeing how they created such a realistic and devastating world. Another thing that caught me by surprise were the designs of the creatures that inhabited the world of Fallout 3. There are many different creatures, most of whom are human though many have been transformed in some weird way. You got your random pick of the litter. You have actual humans, Ghouls, and Supermutants. These Ghouls are actually the friendliest form altered humans that you'll run into. They actually give a damn, and try their hardest to be socially accepted. The Supermutants are another group of fuckers who just want to rape you and shoot you with their guns. Of course, you will run into the occasional friendly Supermutant, and even those guys are just weird. If I had any gripes about the graphic design, it would seem that the artists might have sort of given up on the Supermutants and said "make them all the same!"
Back to the graphics! Like I said, they are pretty incredible, and I think that the amount of imagination and accuracy put into the worlds themselves are enough to send any gamer off the wall in excitement. AND! Wait until you get an eye full of some of the nuclear explosions! That is some seriously impressive animation that will have you thinking about it for several days. I finished playing the game about a month ago, and the images stick with me. They are that good!
I can't say much about the music other than ... I was mostly listening to The Mars Volta, The Soul Cages by Sting, and ... the song Viva La Vida by Coldplay. Sure, it sounds weird enough, but you'd be shocked as to how well all of these seemingly poppy, honest, and thoughtful songs fit in to this post-apocalyptic world. Especially Viva La Vida, which is officially 'ruined' because of this game. When I hear that song, or even think of that song, my thoughts are automatically in conjunction with the game.
I did catch a glimpse of some of the music in the game, and it actually does work. What I found to be most effective and creepy was the music that would play while you are wondering the Capital Wasteland. Nice and creepy. The soundtrack will sometimes ebb and wave in dramatics, but for the most part it's consistent and effective.
Now, the voice acting ... terriffic. I had always despised the sort of voice acting in video games because the actors tend to ham it up as if they were in another shitty episode of Naruto. Here, they've risen the bar considerably. For one, the voice acting not only matches the look and tone of the character, but it aptly adapts to the attitude the character emits. I would say that it runs in comparison with Niko's voice actor from Grand Theft Auto IV. Brilliant voice work with definite tone and relatability.
Except Fawkes. But in a game where the characters are plentiful and the personalities are so dynamic, one bad seed isn't enough to send the whole project up in flames, right? It'd be like complaining that one lyric in a Psychostick song wasn't funny in conjunction with an entire album. It's just too miniscule to make a big deal over.
Liam Neeson also makes a more than welcomed voice appearance in this game as your Dad. Also, no, he doesn't look like Liam Neeson.
Well, to begin with, there is you. You are literally a pallate, and you get to decide who you are in this game, which I think is pretty cool. For one, you can pertty much be a huge asshole, complascent, or really super nice. Each comes with it's own pros and cons, but I can hint at which one I enjoy the most. For one ... being good does pander to whatever empathy you have for a person in the game, and because the emotiveness of these characters is so precise, and the voice acting is so effective, it is really easy to see the humanity in the people who surround you.
Then, you can be the complascent mercenary who goes about and is willing to kill and take advantage of people but only if it's to your benefit. I thought that being evil would turn my character into a twisted psychopath ... but I think that if you really want to put on the persona of a person with absolutely no empathy or respect for anyone except for themselves, the neutral path is the path to follow. For one, you are not only pissing the good guys off, but you're pissing the bad guys off too. It's pretty funny.
Going the EVIL path is particularily fun because ... well, you are equipped from the start with an arsenal of rude, dark, embarassing, and hilarious things to say. Keep an eye out for a particularily clever line about the Sheriff's Hat once you step into Megaton for the first time. AND! Beware The Church of Atom. They are creeps no matter what you do.
Then you get the neverending list of creatures. I can't recall the names of all of these guys, but the ones that you really wanna look out for as you progress in the game are Giant Radscorpions (fuckers), Yao Gui (big fuckers), and Deathclaws (dicksqueezers). I suppose we start with square one. The Giant Radscorpian (which I think is sort of genius because of the illusion that it's smaller than you) is a huge fucking scorpion whose stinger seems to rise up about seven feet into the air, and is about 12 feet long. Yeah, he's really fucking huge, and he does not want to be your friend. He wants to impale you with his ungodly stinger, and then probably eat you after you die. The Yao Gui are a pack of mutated Black Bears that are generally easy to kill if they don't sneak up on you and rape you from behind. Yao Gui are pretty much huge pussies once you start shooting at them, but when they attack you, they fuck you up pretty good. I generally try to steer clear, but sometimes ... they are just THERE! The Deathclaws are ... some weird alien race that shows up in DC, and all they really want to do is claw you with their claws. Sounds innocent enough, until you get clawed and die in two hits. It doesn't matter how much you shoot at these fuckers, it will take you at leat 30 years to take one out. You will hate them. They are almost as annoying as the Laser Nobodies from Kingdom Hearts.
I promise to make the rest of this short and sweet.
There is plenty to offer in this game, and I suppose if you wanna stack up on achievements you might consider playing this sucker three or four times ... possibly all at the same time, which would make it seem like you are only playing it once. So ... you know, good luck with that there. Still, even if you aren't interested in the whole 'meta-gaming' aspect, it was still fun enough to get addicted to, and it never once stooped me into some somnolent trance. So if you are interested in a game that will creep you out, keep you awake, and keep you playing for hours on end, this is most definitely the game for you. Just make sure you read the gaming disclaimer on the box. Something about playing too long causing epileptic seizures. Just like Pokemon.
I think docking a game on its 'originality' is interesting in that most of them tend to follow some of the same story lines. I think the combination of FPS and RPG is brilliant in and of itself, though. I believe this angle could easily double the amount gamers who will read up on this game, and want to play it because of those elements. I had also read that this game was loosely based off of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize Winning book The Road, which, now that I think about it, makes perfect sense. I haven't played many games that have been inspired from books ... let alone good ones. So I have to hand it to the makers of this game on that front. Bravo.
By a loooooooooooooooong shot the weakest point of the game. If you are one of those gamers who are far more interested in the story, and you're looking for something that will tide you over with a gripping, human drama ... this really is not the game for you. The focus in Fallout 3 seems to be the accomplishment of random quests as opposed to finishing the story and tying up all loose ends. This is most certainly okay, because the map is so huge, and there is so much to discover through out this game that the story, later on, seems completely irrelevant.
Also, keep a wary ear out for Three Dog and his Galaxy News Radio broadcasts. I may be wrong on this one, but I think they vary depending on what you do in the game, and since everyone listens to him, they are going to know who you are if you say too much. So don't go fucking around with Three Dog.
|Gameplay||Very fun! The most amount of fun I've ever had with a sort of FPS element. The RPG elements certainly helped.||4|
|Graphics||Brilliant! Photorealistic almost.||5|
|Music/Sound||I often found myself rockin' to The Mars Volta's 'The Bedlam in Goliath' because ... there really wasn't a lot of music. When there was, it wasn't great.||3|
|Replay Value||I would most definitely play it again. I'd get the rest of those achievements yet!||4.5|
|Originality||I heard from imdb.com that it was loosely based off a book called 'The Road,' which I can actually see. Still, the story was kind of awful, but the gameplay and the fun quests were MORE than enough to make up for it.||4|
|Story||The weakest part of the game, but quite honestly, the gameplay and replay value is so strong that it doesn't exactly matter.||2.5|
|Final Verdict: 3.83|