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Fallout 3 (Xbox 360)

91
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Scott Monster (922)
Written on  :  Jul 13, 2010
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars4.14 Stars

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Summary

Brilliant But Not Black Isle.

The Good

Ok. Its massive. Its huge. Its just bigger than any other game I’ve ever played. You can easily beat the game without encountering two thirds of the stuff that Bethesda has created for this game. Unusual NPCs, Bizarre and breathtaking scenery, and challenging enemies are all here.

I like the fact that the designers mixed it up a bit with different factions and alliances too.

The graphics come very close to being photorealistic, especially when looking at the outdoors, with broken roads and burnt up buildings. I freak out when I see how the inside of the buildings are torn apart and crumbing. The rusted sheet metal of the Megatown buildings gives a real post war atmosphere to the game. There are so many little touches that you’d miss if you weren’t looking, like the various phases of the moon at night. The character models are very detailed and articulated. The don’t just stand around. They wander throughout the world, ready to interact with you and others.

You can play as a straight FPS, or use the VATS, which usually ends with a spectacular if not blurry death of your foes. You can size up your weapons and decide which one will be the most useful against your enemies.

There is an assortment of moral choices with long reaching implications, which is refreshing in a game. You can also make choices and add perks. The perks can really change some of the game play, making some fights and quests a great deal easier. Bethesda does know how to balance gameplay. You can play as any kind of character as you want, as long as you learn how to play with the character’s weaknesses and strengths.

I loved the collection of old time songs, and really wish they had more. I really liked how many of the songs had themes that matched with the game. The environmental music was ok, and pleasant at times but a tiny bit repetitive. The voiceovers of Malcolm McDowell as President Eaton were well done. Liam Nelson was almost unnecessary. Good job on the sound effects and foley effects.

Major Kudos to whomever designed the Dunwich Building. The Temple made my skin crawl.

The Bad

I miss the “everything but the Kitchen Sink” approach to design that Black Isle was famous for. Bethesda touches on it, but don’t go all out. The black humor that was characteristic of the first 2 Fallout games is missing or at least muted.

By their very nature, RPGs tend to be buggy. Fallout 3 had a couple bugs, but nothing too bad in comparison to others. The character models were a bit repetitive, but not excessive.

Now on to the stuff that REALLY bothered me.

A hard limit of 20? You have to upgrade to Broken Steel to get to 30? Ugh… The 3 voice actors were used repeatedly for all the same characters. Some of the quests were breakable by bugs. I had an experience where an explosion occurred on the west side of the map and when I fast traveled to the east, the NPCs acted like they heard the explosion.

The Bottom Line

Its great! It will take a while to get through. But it may also make you boot up your old copy of Fallout for nostalgia reasons.