That’s right- I said it. Radscorpion. The things are fucking everywhere in the Capital Wasteland! What’s this? You never heard of the Capital Wasteland? Well what about “Fallout 3”? Oh, you have heard of it? But you’ve never played it before? God, I’m surrounded by nincompoops. OKAY- if you want, I’ll give you the skinny on Bethesda’s “Fallout 3”…
It all began with my good friend, and dictator-for-life of 515comics, telling me I should play it. Now, I know what your thinking. Your thinking that the Dick-tator “told” me to play it. As in he threatened to sick a ravenous, blood-crazed weasel after my genitals, if I did not write a review of Fallout 3. Not so, I assure you, dear reader. He threatened to smash my junk with a 2 ton anvil if I didn’t get it done in time. TOTALLY DIFFERENT. So I went down to my local video rental place, and rented said game. I popped it in, not expecting much. I was amazed. Stunned, shocked, all the other words you could find in a thesaurus next to surprised. The game was a blast, and I won’t ruin the story for you, but I’ll tell you what to expect.
GRAPHICS- As someone who likes the Havok rag-doll engine, I was happy to see that “Fallout 3” used this in copious amounts. Kill an enemy, say a feral ghoul, raider, or even the aforementioned radscorpion, and they go limp. What I was ECSTATIC about was the realistic gore in this game! Say you have a shotgun, and a raider is running right at you with a tire iron- no shit, this happens a lot in-game- you pop into “VATS”, target their head, and squeeze off a few blasts. Their head EXPLODES IN A BEAUTIFUL CACAPHONY OF RED. Two eyeballs, some skull fragments, and maybe a jawbone GO EVERYWHERE. The body tumbles, and falls to the ground mid stride, blood spurting in fonts from the stump of it’s neck. Finally, the one thing I have been dying for in a game- realistic gore. And this happens with any limb- you can blow a head clean off the shoulders, take arms off, take legs off, or, completely splatterfy your opponent! I couldn’t believe how good it all looked too. Everything is beautifully rendered- people look like people, the Wasteland you wander around in (although residing in Washington D.C., which looks and seems like it would be a tiny place) is massive, and there are tons of chances to completely squash some bitches- and even get squashed. I remember watching the screen in horror as my face was crunched by a vicious Yao Guai (a mutated super bear thing), that had literally appeared out of nowhere. Scared the Bee-Jesus out of me. Or- when I was blown apart by a missile-launcher toting Talon Company Mercenary- that was a pain in the ass. Of course, there are one or two spots you can actually get stuck in-most adventuring games have this pitfall. This was a cause for some frustration, I’ll admit. But, if you make use of the “fast-travel” option, you can use it to get from where you are to a place you have already discovered, thus freeing you from your stuck-ness. If you can’t fast-travel from the place you are, the game auto-saves a lot too, which you can use to go back to maybe a few minutes ago, and avoid being stuck. The auto-save feature is also handy because every once and awhile the game would freeze and you’d have to start over from the most recent save- this may have been my Xbox’s and I’s fault. My fault because I was playing the Xbox too much- like, 8-10 hours at a time- and the Xbox’s fault for being fairly old. But, very minor glitches and hiccups aside, the game runs smoothly, no framerate problems, and everything looks like a barren, desolate wasteland- all dusty and hopeless. Overall the graphics were great. Very fun and even pretty to look at, if you’re not too busy running away from super mutants.
GAMEPLAY- The great thing about this game is you can explore every nook and cranny, and still run across something new every once and awhile. Missions are everywhere, and you really can be good or bad, dependant upon your responses to the NPCs you can talk to everywhere, and your actions. Carve up an innocent wastelander, and you get Bad Karma. Rescue slaves from the Slavers or Super Mutants, and you gain Good Karma. You can even provoke NPC’s to fight you, if you’re not careful about what you say, or, if you WANT them to take you on. Some of the NPC’s will go traipsing around with you, all of which is also dependant upon your karma. Characters that have a leaning towards good won’t wanna tag along with you if you kill children and old people, and vice versa. I had several sidekicks in my travels, from a pooch, to a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin. Both of these died within minutes. The only one who ended up being worth a damn, and didn’t die almost instantly (Actually at all…), was the intelligent super mutant Fawkes. In fact, Fawkes was a motherfucking tank. That, and I enjoyed having a super-mutant sidekick. There was just something neat, and ironic, about that… anyway!
The Pip-Boy you have is a tool you will become very fond of. You can check yourself for Radiation Poisoning and heal yourself, you can cycle through your inventory, etc., etc. Here’s a helpful tip- only carry 4-5 weapons with you at all times. You do not need to carry one of everything! I made this mistake myself, and I regret not having thought of this sooner. You can collect a lot more stuff this way, and therefore make a shit-ton more caps by selling the crap you collect!
The game has several different upgrades you can choose from, called “perks” you can pick each time you level up. Something like 40 perks in all, and some you can pick more than one rank of, to give yourself additional bonuses. This I liked a lot. These “perks” could do so much as increase your damage resistance, your strength, radiation resistance, to affecting the game directly- “Bloody Mess” is my favorite- increases damage done by +5 to all weapons, AAANNNDDDD your enemies explode in fountains of gore. A LOT. I picked this one as soon as I could…
Overall, the gameplay is great. Not hard or confusing, almost intuitive at times, and can even be downright hilarious- tell me you don’t bust out laughing when you successfully sneak up on a nest of super mutants and you can listen in on them discussing just how exactly to cook the poor bastard they caught- all in primitive mongoloid speak. Priceless.
STORY-“Fallout 3” had one of the most immersive stories I’ve been apart of that wasn’t part of a franchise like Halo, or Splinter Cell. The game is very self contained, and I like that. There really isn’t a need to continue the story after the end credits roll. It doesn’t leave you hanging, like some OTHER games…
However, there are several types of side stories to be found here- political intrigue, drama, romance, and quite a few laughs. Many of the characters that inhabit the capital wasteland are almost exact mirror images of people you see on the streets of the real world. From snooty uptight bastards, to the dregs of society, and everything in between, all of these characters have a story. All you have to do is wander around, find these people, and find out.
The story is soooo big, and there is so much to learn in the Capital Wasteland, that I doubt you could find it all in one play through of the game. If you can, kudos to you, ya jerk. If you can manage that, you win the “I’m an obnoxious geek/overachiever who has never seen a vagina in real life” Award. Yippee for you….
As I don’t want to give it away, I won’t say much for the story itself, other than it is very intense, and I’m sure it can vary depending on you Karma. Sadly, before I could try that out, I had to return the game. For me, I found a game that I can put on the “To Buy” List. Rock on, Bethesda. You made a good ‘un.
That concludes, what I guess you could call, my first honest to God review. Hope you liked it, and I hope the tips I gave you helped you have a good time with “Fallout 3”! Now get out there and blow some shit up!