Originally posted: Nov 26, '08
Although I admit it feels like Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion in the first place, it is a completely new experience for the true RPG fanatics. Its free world to roam, a devastated world at that, with guns instead of your common sword, axe or bow from traditional RPGs because of its futuristic plot is what made Fallout 3 a legend on its own. First, in this game you are free to create the look of your own character, so it's really something that bonds you to your character's development; next is the stats where you are also free to create your own build, be it melee or long range, stealth or all-out, and anything in between. Another thing that adds to your stats are your perks, these bonuses really determine what your character can do. And lastly the VATS, the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System, which make Fallout different than your average shooter; with the help of VATS, you can easily plant bullets inside your enemies' bodies without them interfering, but be careful on this because after the VATS animation, you are back to the FPS or 3PS view. There's nothing more I can say about character development aside from the fact that your level caps off at 20, so better put skill points on what you really intend to use.
On to the gameplay, when it comes to your menu, you have the Pip-Boy 3000 which is a cool looking gadget attached to your hands but its true purpose is it serves as your all around menu, from your stats, items, weapons, armor, quests, etc. it displays all the information you need. Then there's the basic sneak mode, lockpicking, hacking and dialogue, which you may already be familiar with if you've played Oblivion, and you know that these are important skills to level up. Also here you have the choice to be good, bad or neutral, which most RPGs now incorporate to fit the game style and personality of everyone who plays the game. Next, when it comes to side quests, Bethesda (this game's creator) really let you feel that they are important individual quests on their own, and sometimes even better than the main storyline, and best of all you can do them in any order you see fit aside from ones that open up after finishing certain ones, which I think in this game are only a few. On to combat, when you first start the game, it's not that fun because you can easily get butchered by enemies; but when you got the cool weapons, the minigun or missile launcher for example, then that's what really bring excitement to the game, seeing your enemies head explode, their bodies turn to dust or melt, it's sometimes rewarding.
You can finish this game at about 15 to 20 hours if you only play through the main quest, but to do every achievement it took me 50 to 60 hours, and if you plan to explore every nook and cranny, I think it will take you over a hundred hours. But even though you can finish it under 20 hours, there's still replayability on this game, because you can try becoming bad in your next gameplay if you finished it before on good and vice versa, and see different results. The game's audio and visuals are amazing and really captures the feel of the game which is sometimes creepy but sometimes funny. This game is a must play for any RPG fans out there, it is available on the Xbox360, PS3 and the PC. This is my vote for any Game of the Year contest that will come out this year ender. This is the true hack and slash RPG game, because you literally hack (well.. computers) on this one. Ten out of five stars. Okay just kidding, maybe 9.5 out of five stars. Go play it!