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Fallout 3 (Windows)

88
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.7
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Alaedrain (3261)
Written on  :  Aug 09, 2009
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars2.86 Stars

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful

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Summary

How to translate fantasy world into the Fallout universe.

The Good

There is a lot of creative ideas in the game, and it has its moments : like the Tenpenny Tower, which has a good surprise if you finish the quest with the "good" side.

Special award for the musics. No no, not the musics composed for the game by Inon Zur, which are as boring as the landscapes of the game. But the selection of jazzy tracks were quiet well chosen, and fun to adapt with Fallout's world.

I guess this is it. It is not that I hated all the rest of the game, I warn you right now. But... there are a lot of complaints.

The Bad

Much.
First of all, the environment. I love Morrowind and I like Oblivion despise its flaws, so do not think I don't like open-worlds game. But Fallout 3's world just feel empty. It is logical, after a nuclear war, but in a game, it just doesn't serve anything except bore the player to death. As much as I didn't like instant travels in Oblivion, in Fallout 3, I would have thrown my computer through the window without them.

Then, since we are in a role-playing-game (well, sometimes, I wonder if we really are...), the most important characteristics would be :

A) Character Development. As in all Bethesda's games, whatever you chose your character to be, they all finish to do the same. Bethesda tried the way of "choices & consequences", something they have not done in their TES series, and at the end we just have the classic good/evil differences. I may overrate Fallout 2, the only one I have played so far, but I found it to go beyond these clich├ęs, and, in a way, no one was truly good. In Fallout 3, you have Paladins (the dissident branch of The Brotherhood of Steel), you have a secret society which kills evil men (you can loot fingers on those "evil men" and give them to the society as a proof, and earn a reward...).. All of this just fell flat and killed the little sense of credibility you could expect from the world.

B) Scenario & Dialogs. Once again, here, there is good & less-good, & even worse than bad. The scenario itself is not bad, but is poorly executed. Same applies to dialogs & characters, with some of them being good ideas (like the Android quest) and some which fell completely flat (destruction of the garbage-city, someone asks you to do it, but do not give you a real reason).

C) The World It is obvious that Bethesda wanted to do their own thing with the Fallout license. While we should applause them for trying to do something new with it, the illusion of novelty fades quite quickly : you are playing Oblivion in the Fallout universe. Yes, the mutants could be Orcs, these members of the Brotherhood of Steel are Paladins who protects the weak. Heck, there are even Vampires & Druids (& now Samurai, as I heard, with the latest DLC). As much as I love these components for a TES game, it is not what I expect to see in a Fallout one.

Final thing (I may forgot a lot of others, but this one cracks me up) : the world is not that open. Yes, there are places you can't go, because of artificial walls. You want to climb this pile of debris to get inside Washington DC ? Guess what ? You can't. There is only one way : take the subway, and go out at the exact place the game wants you to be, otherwise, how could the script work ? Well, open-world & obvious linearity does not go well...

The Bottom Line

Honestly, there are two types of gamers, which won't see the game the same way :
- Fallout fans. You will hate it. Stay away, try it when it will be cheap if you really want to know what has happen to your beloved universe, but you won't like it.
- Bethesda fans : you should like it. Well, you should, because it mostly feels like Oblivion in a different universe. You won't if the "liberty" of the Elder Scrolls is what you like the most. The little additions Bethesda tried to its style are welcomed though : different paths (good/evil), even if they are this simplistic, are still better than only one forced way.