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Fallout 3
Take 2
Website: Official Site
Estimated Street Price: $49.99/£39.99
Review By:
Byron Hinson

Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)

Once in a while a game comes along that you just know is going to be good. Fallout 3 was one of those games, the same developers as the excellent Elder Scrolls have made it: Oblivion title that won loads of awards for its excellent gameplay almost 3 years ago. The Fallout series used to be based on an isometric view, where as here we go into full 3D in either first person or third person views.

Vault 101 – Jewel of the Wastes. For 200 years, Vault 101 has faithfully served the surviving residents of Washington DC and its environs, now known as the Capital Wasteland. Though the global atomic war of 2077 left the US all but destroyed, the residents of Vault 101 enjoy a life free from the constant stress of the outside world. Giant Insects, Raiders, Slavers, and yes, even Super Mutants are all no match for superior Vault-Tec® engineering. Yet one fateful morning, you awake to find that your father has defied the Overseer and left the comfort and security afforded by Vault 101 for reasons unknown. Leaving the only home you’ve ever known, you emerge from the Vault into the harsh Wasteland sun to search for your father, and the truth.

  • Limitless Freedom! – Take in the sights and sounds of the vast Capital Wasteland! See the great monuments of the United States lying in post-apocalyptic ruin! You make the choices that define you and change the world. Just keep an eye on your Rad Meter!

  • Experience S.P.E.C.I.A.L.! – Vault-Tec engineers bring you the latest in human ability simulation – the SPECIAL Character System! Utilizing new breakthroughs in points-based ability representation, SPECIAL affords unlimited customization of your character. Also included are dozens of unique skills and perks to choose from, each with a dazzling variety of effects!

  • Fantastic New Views! – The wizards at Vault-Tec have done it again! No longer constrained to just one view, experience the world from 1st or 3rd person perspective. Customize your view with the touch of a button!

  • The Power of Choice! – Feeling like a dastardly villain today, or a Good Samaritan? Pick a side or walk the line, as every situation can be dealt with in many different ways. Talk out your problems in a civilized fashion, or just flash your Plasma Rifle.

  • Blast ‘Em Away With V.A.T.S.! –Even the odds in combat with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System for your Pip-Boy Model 3000! V.A.T.S. allows you to pause time in combat, target specific body parts on your target, queue up attacks, and let Vault-Tec take out your aggression for you. Rain death and destruction in an all-new cinematic presentation featuring gory dismemberments and spectacular explosions.

  • Mind-Blowing Artificial Intelligence! – At Vault-Tec, we realize that the key to reviving civilization after a global nuclear war is people. Our best minds pooled their efforts to produce an advanced version of Radiant AI, America’s First Choice in Human Interaction Simulation. Facial expressions, gestures, unique dialog, and lifelike behavior are brought together with stunning results by the latest in Vault-Tec technology.

  • Eye-Popping Prettiness! – Witness the harsh realities of nuclear fallout rendered like never before in modern super-deluxe HD graphics. From the barren Wasteland, to the danger-filled offices and metro tunnels of DC, to the hideous rotten flesh of a mutant’s face.

How Does It play

As with Oblivion before it, Fallout 3 is based around a main story and many side quests, you can do things in a good way and get yourself good karma, or do things in a bad way such as kill innocents, steal and such like which will earn you bad karma. The game begins with your birth where you get to pick your sex, some stats and get used to what the game will play out like. You start in Vault 101 before your dad’s disappearance causes you to escape into the nuclear wastes to try to find him; it is here where the game begins properly.

Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)

Fallout 3's mechanics are far simpler and much improved. Over those used in Oblivion You allot your attribute points at the beginning of the game, and when you gain a level, you earn a certain amount of points to spend on the varying skills (Speech, Lockpick, Energy Weapons, Small Weapons etc.) and one perk of your choice. Perks range from thing such as Life Giver (+30 hit points) to stranger ones Mysterious Stranger, for example, occasionally summons a trenchcoated guy who kills your target and disappears. It is a really good system that works perfectly well and you can create the exact character you want. You won’t be able to access everything in the game though as you will need to play through again if you want to become a master locksmith or science expert who can crack computers and suchlike.

The quests are varied and I’m pleased to say that there are lots of them, even small ones, which are not classed as “quests” as such – like giving people, purified water and other such simple tasks. Quests can last a long time as completing the various objectives can lead on to more and more areas and things to do. It never gets boring.

Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)

The main change from Oblivion is the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) which allows you to pause time, shoot at specific body parts and hope that you hit them based on your skills. As you play you will notice how much better you become at shooting the more you put points onto skills such as small weapons and other gun types over the more regular skills like Barter and Repair. Everything is played out in slow motion and there is a lot of blood and guts on show when you get your shots right!

Graphics and Sound

Graphically the game is once again built on the Gamebryo engine, just as Oblivion was. So what we have is some excellent viewing distances, great art design with some dodgy animations and low quality textures. So it is a mix of the excellent and the average here, but don’t let that detract you, as the game still looks great in general. Performance wise you can expect a much better frame rate in the game compared to Oblivion which tended to run lower than 30fps most of the time.

Sound is pretty good throughout, the music is decent where and when you hear it, but I would have liked to have heard a bit more of the radio music as It repeats itself too often. Voice work overall is very good again, there is more variety to the voices compared to Oblivion with most of the major characters in the game voiced by different people including Liam Neeson.

Final Comments

Byron's Gamertag

Overall the game is superb, for those of you out there who can’t afford many titles, this is the one to get. It will last you ages with so many quests to get through if you don’t follow the main storyline. The whole game is well written and has a great atmosphere. It isn’t perfect, animation is poor and it has crashed once on me but you won’t get a better game this year on the 360 that is for sure.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 94%
Version Reviewed Fallout 3 (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Fallout 3 (PAL) DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Great Story
So many quests
Excellent atmosphere
Decent sound and graphics
The Bad Points Sometimes prone to crashing
HD Resolutions 480p

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