This is probably the least glitchy Bethesda game I’ve played. You’d think that Skyrim would have been cleaner, or that Fallout New Vegas would be a step up from what it actually is, but surprise! Nope. While Fallout 3 does have its glitches, they aren’t prominent enough to take away from your playing experience. Let’s dive into this one, shall we? There are plenty of positives and negatives to cover.
Making an attractive character is HARD in Bethesda games when mods aren’t a factor, so prepare for dissatisfaction. Between the sliding facial feature/pigment bars and the preset races, you really won’t have a lot of room for creative expansion. If that doesn’t bother you, or if you’re content with making bland or horrifically ugly characters, there won’t be a problem. I wasn’t, so this is me bitching a little.
Second complaint is about the morality system. Don’t worry, I’ve got positive things to say, too. They can wait, though. In Fallout 3, there are two paths you can walk: total hero, or complete sadistic fiend. You can either try to save the world and make the wastes a better place, or you can destroy everything that everyone holds dear for no reason other than that it amuses you. It can get a little pretentious and flat. As a friend of mine observed, there should also be a third morality selection, a chain of decisions he categorized as “sarcastic asshole.” That way nobody likes you, but you’re still neutral and get a few benefits from both sides of the spectrum. I wholeheartedly agreed. But nope, all being neutral actually does is give you a bonus to speech. You know, if you chose that perk. Eh… yeah.
Final bout of negatives! I promise. The DLC is glitchy as hell, man. Mothership Zeta in particular was hitting problems every two seconds with questlines and character presence. You had to open up the console to collect items and advance quest steps because shit kept disappearing and reappearing and locking and freezing. It was ridiculous. The same thing CAN but won’t likely occur with the other DLCs unless you like to do odd (normal) things, like explore and discover quest areas before the waypoint sends you there. I won’t get into it, but just be sure to finish the area’s questline before you roam. That is the final major problem I have with Fallout 3. End rant.
The selection of weapons and armors is fricken amazing. I was a little disappointed that the armor was simplified down to just outfits and hats, though I suppose the main quest, subquests, and random events required a little more attention than the componential clothing did. Point being, between the power armors and raider outfits, I was walking with a swagger, deflecting bullets like a steel wall. There aren’t really any properties to them aside from general damage defense and the occasional stat/resistance perk, so throw on whatever looks flashy and step out into the apocalypse.
Let’s take a peek at what weapons there are to use, mm?
- Laser pistols, rifles, and gatling
- Plasma pistols and rifles
- Flamethrowers and gas-powered fire swords
- Rocket and mini-nuke launchers
- Alien particle guns
- Tesla cannons
- High powered fist weapons
- Ballistic pistols, rifles, and gatling
- Salvaged blades, knives, and bludgeoning weapons
Need I go on? I think not. There’s a wide variety, and the DLC only serves to expand the selection. Ammo can be scarce for rarer weapons, though, so opening up the console might not be a bad idea to keep your favorite tesla cannon stocked.
The best part of Fallout 3 has to be the exploration factor, by far. The world map is gigantic; same can be said for the number of contained areas ready for your discovering. Parks, raider camps, caverns, sewers, abandoned buildings, stores, survivor outposts, old military facilities, and laboratories… You really have to TRY to run out of things to find when playing. Yeah, the main plot bounces you around here and there, but the real playtime comes from roaming. Where do you think you find all those epic rare items anyway? The linear plot? Pshfhsh. Hahahah. No seriously. Look everywhere.
I won’t talk about the main plot, because it’s really emotional, dramatic, and long. Immersion is unlikely, in my opinion, just because of the impersonal portrayal of the main character. That’s the problem with split-morality games. The NPCs have to remain totally neutral unless the main character does something that specifically prompts a negative/positive reaction. So what’s to do but breeze through aimlessly? All in all, Fallout 3 is definitely one of the superior Bethesda games, even if it does fall on its ass in a few areas. Plus the mods are hilariously fun, so have at it.
Don’t like what I think? Need more to go on? Have a second opinion! Check out Jeff Gerstmann’s take: http://www.giantbomb.com/fallout-3/61-20504/reviews/