Fallout 3

aka: FO3

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Critic Reviews 89% add missing review

1UP (A)

If you seek to break the world, you'll occasionally find a way -- which is understandable, given the limits of time and tech -- but it does pull you out of the otherwise broad and engrossing experience. Faults be damned, though; this is the kind of hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often, and when it does, you'd be a fool not to play it and enjoy the hell out of it and look forward to the day (next-next-gen?) when the fidelity of open-world RPGs takes another big step closer to the uncanny valley's far side.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

GameSpy ( )

We've mentioned Oblivion quite a few times in the span of this review, since it's impossible to write about Fallout 3 without comparing it to its technical predecessor. Yes, Fallout 3 is a lot like Oblivion (with guns!), but it's a superior game in nearly every way, as it features a more engaging storyline, impeccable presentation, and hundreds of hours of addictive gameplay. While the jury is still out on whether or not hardcore Fallout enthusiasts will accept the game as part of the storied franchise, Fallout 3 is a must-have title for most RPG fans, as well as one of the finest games of this generation.

Oct 27th, 2008 · Windows · read review

G4 TV: X-Play ( )

Despite how much I enjoyed Oblivion, as a Fallout fan and a Wasteland fan before that, I approached Fallout 3 with a healthy amount of skepticism. I really wasn’t sure if a developer new to the Fallout franchise could pull off a sequel worthy of having the number “3” after the “Fallout” title. It seems the team at Bethesda must be fans as well, because not only does Fallout 3 earn its numeral, it does the Fallout name honor as well.

Oct 2008 · Windows · read review

Just Adventure (A+)

Other than its rich legacy and setting, the greatest thing Fallout 3 has going for it is the simple fact that the game-building team at Bethesda are a bunch of maniacs.

May 28th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Eurogamer.net (UK) (10 out of 10)

Fallout 3 has been by some margin the most enjoyable game I've played since BioShock - a game with which it shares a similar artistic vision and ambience. Despite so many worries, Fallout 3 almost effortlessly succeeds in its central aim of reviving a much-loved brand to appeal to the vast majority of players. It's a thrilling, all-consuming experience that will absorb you for weeks, whether you're attracted by the action, the adventure, or the role-playing, as you fall in love with the relentless excitement, incredible atmosphere, sense of place and sheer choice. Bethesda has once again delivered a game of life-affirming brilliance that will be heralded as a classic, and talked about for years to come.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

UOL Jogos ( )

Para os antigos fãs da franquia, "Fallout 3" pode não parecer uma verdadeira continuação, mas tampouco se trata de um "Oblivion" no futuro - pense em um sincero tributo por parte da equipe da Bethesda, ainda que sóbrio demais. Já aqueles que não são familiarizados com a série, irão descobrir um RPG riquíssimo em opções, com um sistema de combate viciante e um mundo aberto repleto de segredos e mistérios. É uma das experiências mais profundas e gratificantes encontradas este ano em um videogame, na forma de um trabalho primoroso de revitalização de uma marca tão importante da história do entretenimento eletrônico até então relegada ao limbo.

Nov 7th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Game industry News (GiN) ( )

Taken as a whole, Fallout 3 is a masterpiece. Whereas Oblivion raised the bar and showed people what a game really could be, Fallout 3 does the same thing only a few years later. Oblivion sat so high above everything else that it was hard to even compare it to anything. Now Fallout 3 sits just as high above Oblivion. It’s that good. And with a seemingly unlimited wasteland to explore, there should be many irradiated gamers playing this one for years to come. It earns a very rare perfect GiN Gem score of 5 out of 5, because really, nothing else on the market even comes close. Do yourself a huge favor and grab a copy today.

Oct 2008 · Windows · read review

Game Revolution (A)

That’s the beauty of survival, and this world of fallout: It feeds on adventure and breathes in freedom, yet it dreams of order and the safety of the Vault. I can describe it, explain it, tell it in finely chosen words, but I can never make you fully understand for as long as you sit and listen. But even if I die, I do not worry. There will come a time when you will seize that lever and open that metal door, and it is then I will return. And the Wasteland will greet you, the birth of a legend. For with you goes that kid from Vault 101 once more.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Eurogamer.de (10 out of 10)

Wer sich auf das Szenario einlässt und mit der ungewöhnlichen Mischung aus Rollenspiel und Ego-Shooter zurechtkommt, die sich übrigens mittels Schwierigkeitsgrad und V.A.T.S.-System Eurer Genre-Vorliebe anpasst, wird die nächsten Wochen also alles andere stehen und liegen lassen. Und da es Fallout 3 nicht nur gelingt, das fantastische Niveau der ersten Stunden zu halten, sondern zum Ende hin noch deutlich zu erhöhen, hat der Titel wie kaum ein anderer die Höchstnote verdient. Er mag trotz seiner Qualitäten nicht perfekt sein, doch er ist verdammt nah dran. Meine Weihnachtsferien sind auf jeden Fall ausgebucht: Fallout 3, Fallout3 und noch mehr Fallout 3.

Nov 3rd, 2008 · Windows · read review

Eurogamer.fr (10 out of 10)

Quoi qu'il en soit, je cherche vraiment la petite bête pour lui trouver des défauts. Fallout 3 est de loin le meilleur jeu auquel j'ai joué depuis BioShock – un jeu avec lequel il partage une somptueuse vision artistique et une ambiance superbe. En dépit de nombreuses inquiétudes, Fallout 3 réussit presque sans effort à atteindre son but principal de faire revivre un label très apprécié susceptible de plaire à la vaste majorité des joueurs. C'est une expérience excitante et absorbante, qui vous tiendra en haleine pendant des semaines, que vous soyez attiré par l'action, l'aventure, où le jeu de rôle, car vous tomberez fatalement amoureux de sa permanente frénésie, de son atmosphère incroyable, du réalisme de ses lieux et de l'immense latitude de choix qu'il vous offre. Bethesda nous gratifie une fois de plus d'un jeu génial qui sera considéré comme un classique et dont on parlera encore dans plusieurs années.

Oct 31st, 2008 · Windows · read review

Hooked Gamers (10 out of 10)

There is no doubt in my mind that Fallout 3 will end up a classic that will be remembered by many for decades to come. The game does its predecessors justice by successfully offering a modern take on one of the most revered franchises of the past.

Nov 16th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Thunderbolt Games (10 out of 10)

Fallout 3 has a weak story, but it far exceeded my expectations by presenting a world more detailed than any other entry in the franchise. Fallout 3 presents the DC Wasteland as a tangible place, with landmarks, characters, and history, and in doing so the game represents a new direction for the franchise, one that relies less on linear storytelling and more on immersion, and while this re-imaging may be a bitter pill for old-school Fallout fanatics, those willing to let the series explore new horizons will come away satisfied. I hesitate to say, at this early stage, that this is actually a better game than either Fallout 1 or 2, but it very well may be; at the least, it is game-of-the-year material.

Nov 4th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Middle East Gamers (MEgamers) (9.7 out of 10)

At the end of the day, we’re happy that the seemingly endless wait is over to get our hands on this game and yet, sad at the same time that we might not see another game of equal quality, gameplay and value for a long time to come. Combining 1950s art style with a sci-fi mix, gives the game a unique heartbeat. Fallout 3 is a game that will last in your mind long after you’re done playing it, thanks to its memorable characters and adrenaline filled combats. We can finally derive at a conclusion that Fallout 3 is NOT Oblivion with guns!

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

IGN (9.6 out of 10)

But to me, Fallout 3 is all about story and interaction. If you’re into post-apocalyptic literature, film, or games, especially those taking place in the United States, then Fallout 3 was made for you. Combine the unusual amount of realism found in every corner of the game with the endless conversation permutations with just about everyone you meet, and you have yourself one of the most truly interactive experiences of the generation. Fallout 3 comes highly recommended -- it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed. Just remember, life in the Capital Wasteland is rough. The beauty of the game is in the choices you make in order to survive.

Oct 27th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Worth Playing (9.6 out of 10)

Fallout 3 isn't perfect, and some longtime fans may focus more on what it isn't rather than what it has become in Bethesda's hands, but its shortcomings pale before the fun that kept pushing me ahead to find out what was over the next hill of rubble. The world that Bethesda has put together manages to assuage much of that worry with an engaging RPG that easily stands as a passionate demonstration of their love for the series. As Perlman says at the start, "War never changes," and with Fallout 3, the postapocalyptic spirit of the series continues to march on.

Nov 8th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Vgames (96 out of 100)

אין הרבה משחקים כל כך סוחפים, כל כך משכנעים, שמצליחים להעביר כזו אווירה כמו פולאאוט 3. פשוט תענוג לשחק בו, ותמיד יישאר לכם טעם מתוק של עוד. הוא מציע סיפור עלילתי מצויין יחד עם החופש לעשות כל דבר, מערכת קרב ייחודית, גרפיקה ועבודת סאונד ברמה גבוהה. זה משחק שימכר אתכם כמו קראק (לא שאני יודע איך זה להתמכר לקראק...) ויעניק לכם עשרות על גבי עשרות שעות של הנאה. בשנה מלאה במשחקים טובים עד מצויינים, אם יש משחק אחד שמתקרב לשלמות – הרי זה פולאאוט 3.

Nov 12th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Atomic Gamer (96 out of 100)

Sure, this game isn't perfect, but its strengths far overpower its weaknesses. From its sweeping, epic score to its ridiculously gory and amusing death scenes and on to the many thought-provoking moments of what life could be like after a nuclear detonation on US soil, this game holds sacred all that is great about RPGs while delivering that action-based punch that keeps you coming back. I just can't find a good reason not to recommend Fallout 3 to any serious gamer out there.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Softpedia (9.5 out of 10)

Fallout 3 has flaws. There are weak storytelling, unconvincing voice acting, a short main quest and stiff character models. The companion mechanic is limited (nobody seems to be interested in the fact that a Brotherhood of Steel Paladin is watching my back) and the level 20 cap for experience means that you can be very powerful if you explore side quests and hoard XP (at level 20, choose the Traveler perk and go exploring; this map might also help). The game could also have used a Survival difficulty setting (I played on Hard, some portion on Very Hard), which made munitions more scarce and limited the amount of Stimpacks and other light items you could carry. There were moments when I was powerful enough to seem a bit disconnected from the world.

Dec 18th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Gameplanet (9.5 out of 10)

Fallout 3 is a game that lives up to its demanding legacy, and that is saying a lot. Fallout fans should definitely give it a go, and the uninitiated are in for a treat. For me it'll be the game of the year.

Nov 5th, 2008 · Windows · read review

GamingExcellence (9.5 out of 10)

Fallout 3 is an experience in itself, and while it may not offer as much replay value as Oblivion, it’s so much more then an “Oblivion with guns”. The game features the same humorous overtones as the other games in the series, and while the main story arc is short, Fallout 3 is a faithful extension to its predecessors. Taking on a cult franchise is a mammoth task, and in this case the expectations were incredibly high after following the masterpiece that is Oblivion. Fortunately, Fallout 3 eclipses almost every one of these incredible expectations. For any RPG fan, especially with roots in the franchise, Fallout 3 is a must buy. Just do yourself a favor and play this one in the dark.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Game Vortex (95 out of 100)

Fallout 3 is an incredible game with a lot of replay value due to the number of possible story paths. While the end results may be similar, it is fun to see the different approaches one can take. For those out there that may not get deep into the typical RPG, this title can keep you feeling like you're playing an Action/First-Person Shooter, yet get your feet wet with all of the item-swapping, bartering, and awareness that it takes to build up experience. Fallout 3 is absolutely worth every penny spent on the game.

Nov 2008 · Windows · read review

Meristation (9.5 out of 10)

Os hemos contado lo que vais a encontrar en este sobresaliente título, pero solo de pasada. Hay mucho más que sólo se puede descubrir jugándolo uno mismo, y desde luego no hablamos de localizaciones u objetos. La sensación de estar en un universo devastado y de estar totalmente indefenso ante el entorno es la que vais a sentir a los mandos de vuestra plataforma preferida, una vez iniciado Fallout 3. Desde aquí, os recomendamos que toméis un asiento cómodo y os preparéis para disfrutar, pues hay una gigantesca área a vuestro alcance y recorrerla os va a llevar tiempo.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

GameStar (Germany) (93 out of 100)

Fallout 3 gehört für mich zu jenen positiven Überraschungen, auf die man nach vielen Enttäuschungen kaum noch zu hoffen wagt. Die hochklassige, den Charakter des Vorgängers respektierende Wiedergeburt eines Kult-Klassikers in zeitgemäßer 3D-Grafik bei angemessener Spielzeit - was will die Spielerseele mehr? Ich bin dem Entwickler Bethesda darum zutiefst dankbar für diesen Titel. Man hätte ja auch mit einem lauen Aufguss im Action-Gewand rechnen können, der lediglich versucht, mit dem Namen Fallout Profit zu machen. Ich habe mich mit großen Vergnügen durch so ziemlich jede Quest gespielt, verschiedene Charakterentwicklungen getestet, die deutsche und englische Version ausprobiert, mit parallel spielenden Kollegen (auch konträr) diskutiert - und bin trotz der kleinen Schwächen ziemlich sicher, hier mein persönliches Spiel 2008 gefunden zu haben. Da müsste jetzt im Dezember schon noch ein echter Hammer kommen.

Nov 2008 · Windows

GameLemon (9.2 out of 10)

*Catches breath*. So this is a whole lot of awesome game. Fallout 3 is an overall well-thought-out vision of what the world would be like after The Big One drops. It's one part First Person Shooter, and one part Role Playing Game. This is the really violent potty-mouth game that Mom and Dad don't know about yet because it hasn't been on the news. This game'll give you nightmares, kid. The combat system is really cool, and you'll probably show it to a friend at some point. If you liked Dune, check out Fallout 3. It's a really good game, and if you don't like it when video games tell you what to do, you'll play this one for a long time.

Feb 1st, 2009 · Windows · read review

Gamer.co.il (92 out of 100)

גם האקשן לא היה משהו. כאשר לא משתמשים במערכת ההנחיה משחק היריות סתמי, ותלוי יותר מדי במצב תחזוקת הנשק. כאשר כן משתמשים במערכת – ובכן, ראשים מתפוצצים ואיברים נגדעים מתיישנים מהר מאוד, וכל הדימום הזה הופך למעצבן, מסתבר. אבל ברגע בו הצלחתי לעצום את העיניים ולשקוע חזרה אל תוך המשחק, שוב לא ראיתי את כל אלו. כזה הוא פולאאוט 3 – משחק עם לא מעט בעיות, אבל הוא מספק חוויה כל כך חזקה, שחייבים לסלוח לו. הוא פשוט מצוין מכדי להיפגע מבעיות שהיו הורסות משחק אחר.

Dec 26th, 2008 · Windows · read review

FiringSquad (91 out of 100)

Fallout 3 does contain quite a few bugs however and we even had a couple of unexplained crashes to the desktop. These issues apparently plague the console versions as well. We remain hopeful Bethesda is working on a patch for these various bugs, as nothing is more frustrating than spending time on a quest only to realize the NPC who gave it to you has committed suicide. Even with these bugs, it is apparent the time and effort that has gone into Fallout 3. From the visual detail placed on environments to the careful attention paid to established Fallout canon, Bethesda has gone and made a game that is every bit worthy of the Fallout name.

Dec 9th, 2008 · Windows · read review

GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) (91 out of 100)

Simpel: Fallout 3 is een absolute aanrader. Het is een avontuur dat je niet licht zal vergeten. Het is misschien minder uitgestrekt dan Oblivion, maar het is dubbel zo intens én je keert er graag naar terug. Het maakt daarbij niet uit of je een veteraan bent van de reeks of een nieuwkomer in dit desolate universum.

Oct 31st, 2008 · Windows · read review

TotalVideoGames (TVG) (9 out of 10)

There's no denying Fallout 3 is little more than Oblivion in a post-apocalyptic setting. However that's more a compliment than complaint. Few games offer the same level of scale, freedom, and depth as to what Bethesda regularly achieves, and whilst the odd simplification and issue will infuriate fanatical Fallout fans, Fallout 3 remains one of the most absorbing and deep RPGs we've enjoyed in quite a long time.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

videogamer.com (9 out of 10)

As I said up at the top, this is a massive game: in a month that's seen the release of five or six of the year's best titles, I reckon this is the absolute peach. It's packed with interesting places, with choices to make, with that nebulous sense of adventure you only find in the best RPGs. And after a long wait, it's finally here.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Game Captain (90 out of 100)

Fallout 3 ist ein würdiger Nachfolger der Kultrollenspiele und bietet Freunden morbider Endzeitszenarien ein intensives und faszinierendes Spielerlebnis - dafür gibt es unseren Award. Getreu der Tradition erleben wir eine dicht erzählte Geschichte verbrämt mit viel schwarzem Humor und einer Gewaltdarstellung die auch die USK nicht sonderlich begeistert hat. Für ein erwachsenes Publikum mit starken Nerven und Spaß am Müllplatzflair ein Pflichtkauf.

Nov 12th, 2008 · Windows · read review

PC Player (Denmark) (9 out of 10)

Stemning, stemning, stemning. Hvis der er et rollespil, du ikke bør gå glip af i år, er det Fallout 3.

Oct 2008 · Windows

Bit-Tech (9 out of 10)

It’s neither totally a Fallout game, nor totally Oblivion – it’s wholly new. It doesn’t work all the time, but when it does it’s glorious and unbelievably good, so we think it’s well worth looking past the few niggles for. It gets a score of 9/10, though admittedly it's only just scraping that if we're going to be totally honest, because it's fun and significant, if not quite as good as it could and arguably should have been.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

DarkZero (9 out of 10)

Fallout 3 is an admirable achievement for Bethesda. It’s a game that provides action, adventure, exploration, interaction and excitement in a beautifully realised Armageddon that provides so many unexpected moments, but somehow manages to remain consistent and believable. Regardless of the sometimes-weak combat, this is role-playing at its finest. It’s almost enough to make you wish that those damn Communists would hurry up and drop the bomb!

Jan 3rd, 2009 · Windows · read review

GNT - Generation Nouvelles Technologies (9 out of 10)

Plus accessible et lisse, Fallout 3 s’adresse très clairement à un large et grand public. Cette ouverture, les fans de la grande heure ne l’apprécieront pas tant le jeu a évolué et ressemble davantage à Oblivion. Mais les nouveautés apportées par Bethesda sont lourdes, très lourdes. A commencer par un univers artistique de grande qualité ainsi qu’un potentiel de rejouabilité énorme qui font de Fallout 3 un titre à part, une véritable référence vidéoludique.

Dec 15th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Games Finder (9 out of 10)

Fallout 3 ticks all the right boxes in the action RPG genre and will have you hooked for hundreds of hours and then a hundred more.

Jun 13th, 2014 · Windows · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (90 out of 100)

Fallout 3 biedt een diepe RPG ervaring en bewijst dat het veel meer is dan een Oblivion met vuurwapens.

Oct 24th, 2008 · Windows

Destructoid (9 out of 10)

Regardless, the overall experience of Fallout 3 is unmatched, and the amount of game Bethesda has packed into this $60 title can’t be ignored. Flaws aside, taken as a whole, Fallout 3 is an astounding effort and easily one this year’s best gaming experiences. With easily more than 40 hours simply based around a main quest and countless additional hours of exploration and discovery, stepping foot out of your vault onto the ravaged Capital Wasteland is a huge undertaking. But those who take the time to explore it will be rewarded -- the bit of radiation sickness is well worth the trip.

Oct 31st, 2008 · Windows · read review

Game Over Online (90 out of 100)

In Fallout 3 Bethesda has made a very good thing, though it is somewhat hampered by the lack of variable scenery and a VATS that plays less than perfectly. From the opening strains of I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire, the chilling atmosphere is pervasive. Between the main quest line and the heaps of side quests you can pick up, I’m not even sure how long this game is. I’m closing in on 30 hours, and judging from the volume of the map space that I’ve explored I’m not even close to done. It’s a game that I’m certain to be playing for a long, long time.

Jan 5th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Eurogamer.pt (9 out of 10)

Quando se avança e progride de nível mais o jogo oferece em variedade e possibilidades reformuladas de interacção, sem olvidar os momentos de reviravolta e total surpresa. A exploração livre estende-se pelo tempo que aceitamos disponibilizar para descobrir cada cêntimo da história. E aqui não há como causar magreza, pelo contrário. Um contexto apocalíptico credível de um imaginário futurista, nunca mereceu um desenvolvimento tão vasto e denso como até aqui. Falta à Bethesda reclamar a autoria e os detalhes caracterizadores do universo Fallout. Muitos dos princípios basilares de Fallout 3 são quinhão da Black Isle Studios. Apesar disso é indiscutível que a Bethesda soube ter nas mãos e cuidar com o devido respeito o nome Fallout. Mais que saber reinventar um jogo e assegurar uma evolução desejável, é sobretudo na base e composição de um mundo voltado ao avesso pela rudeza da guerra e onde os sobreviventes lutam pela vida no centro da destruição, que se logrou o maior passo.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

PC Games (Germany) (90 out of 100)

Natürlich hätte ich Fallout 3 auch einfach in 10 bis 20 Stunden testen können. Doch dann hätte ich so viel Wunderbares verpasst, so viele Charaktere, Dialoge und Details nicht erlebt, dass meine Wertung vielleicht ein bisschen niedriger ausgefallen wäre. Nein, ich hänge mich nicht an den eintönigen Dungeons oder den Menüs auf - denn das wäre Erbsenzählerei. Bethesdas Werk hat mir so viele actionreiche, spannende. motivierende Stunden beschert, in so einer atmosphärischen, clever aufgebauten Welt, dass man schon unter Rollenspiel-Allergie leiden muss, um dabei keinen Spaß zu empfinden. Ich habe deshalb nur noch einen Wunsch: ein dickes Add-on zu Fallout 3.

Nov 26th, 2008 · Windows

GameSpot (9 out of 10)

No matter what platform you own, you should play Fallout 3, which overcomes its issues by offering a deep and involving journey through a world that's hard to forget. It has more in common with Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series than with previous Fallout games, but that is by no means a bad thing. In fact, Fallout 3 is leaner and meaner than Bethesda's previous efforts, less expansive but more intense, while still offering immense replay value and quite a few thrills along the way. Whether you're a newcomer to the universe or a Fallout devotee, untold hours of mutated secrets are lurking in the darkest corners of Washington.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

YouGamers (90 out of 100)

Great game and definitely worthy of being called Fallout, easily beating my modest expectations. Not perfect, but the flaws are mostly inconsequential when you consider the big picture. Excellent storyline, interesting game world and plenty of gratuitous violence.

Nov 6th, 2008 · Windows · read review

3D Juegos (8.9 out of 10)

Fallout 3 devuelve una saga de leyenda a la primera línea de los videojuegos, y lo hace con notables aciertos. Gráficamente es un título muy potente, logra una ambientación realmente cuidada, y su tamaño, dosis de libertad y prisma son de una calidad digna de encomio. Es un juego tan cautivador en primer término, como fácil de abandonar para muchos usuarios a medio plazo; no obstante es un título que, como mínimo, hay que probar.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Krawall Gaming Network (89 out of 100)

Bethesda hat es tatsächlich geschafft, mit „Fallout 3“ das bisher beste Rollenspiel des Jahres zu kredenzen und viele der anfänglichen Befürchtungen waren zum Glück vergebens. Die Gamebryo-Engine wirkt trotz des oberflächlich kahlen Szenarios wesentlich lebendiger und glaubwürdiger als in „Oblivion“. Besonders die Charaktere passen sich besser in ihre Umgebung ein und wirken nicht mehr wie Fremdkörper in der Spielwelt. Auch die Geschichte ist einfach spannend und zieht einen so sehr in das virtuelle Universum, wie es seit „Gothic 3“ kein Spiel mehr geschafft hat.

Oct 31st, 2008 · Windows · read review

Tap-Repeatedly/Four Fat Chicks (88 out of 100)

Otherwise, and that issue aside, gameplay is king and Fallout 3 delivers in bountiful amounts. Play Fallout 3 and you’ll not only be treated to what might turn out to be one of the best Bethesda games ever to come down the pike but you’ll also experience echoes of Deus Ex, Half Life 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and Bioshock. In the end this game is a worthy successor to the Black Isle series and a respectable submission into the canon of post-apocalyptic gaming. What began on the crudely pixelated tiles of the admirable Wasteland, matured in the fantastic Fallouts, has emerged, changed, altered, yet authentically realized in Fallout 3. All this is a long winded way of saying Fallout 3 is very, very good. It’s not a towering masterpiece like Planescape Torment, my particular gold standard of gaming, but at the end of the day it still gets a Four Fat Chicks gold star. Just not a 24K gold star. If you want hard cold numbers, it’s an 88 on a scale of 100.

Nov 21st, 2008 · Windows · read review

Armchair General (87 out of 100)

There are a lot of really pleasant gameplay moments in Fallout 3, both within and outside of the main quest story. You may have to force yourself to turn off the analytical portion of your brain for awhile to look past the blatant bug errors, at least until they are completely fixed via patches or until the public release of the content editor tools, which I am looking forward to. If you can do that, you may find, as I do, that Fallout 3 is a good and fun game. Notice I didn’t say it’s a good Fallout game. I see this as a good nuclear-holocaust-survival first-person shooter.

Dec 12th, 2008 · Windows · read review

4Players.de (87 out of 100)

Wenn man erstmal den grandiosen Einstieg der gespielten Charaktererschaffung genossen und sich an die spröde Schönheit des postapokalyptischen Washington gewöhnt hat, dann kommt man so schnell nicht mehr davon los. Man versinkt zwischen Aufträgen und Abhängigkeiten, zwischen Vorurteilen und Überraschungen, zwischen unbesuchten Orten und nicht gehackten Computern - es gibt so viel zu entdecken, während sich die Atmosphäreschlinge gnadenlos zuzieht. Das Kampfsystem ist allerdings ein zweischneidiges Schwert: So sehr man sich über das taktisch kluge Anvisieren sowie die spektakulären Zeitlupen freut, so sehr fallen die Aussetzer im KI-Bereich auf, die so mancher Situation die Glaubwürdigkeit rauben. Fallout 3 hat auch Komfortlücken im Inventar sowie Schwächen im grafischen Detail, die aber durch die architektonische Monumentalität und die Endzeitstimmung wieder ausgeglichen werden.

Oct 30th, 2008 · Windows · read review

GamesVault (8.5 out of 10)

Tak więc drogi graczu, jeśli szukasz gry RPG na wysokim poziomie, możesz bez obaw zaopatrzyć się w najnowsze dzieło Bethesda Softworks i cieszyć się wieloma godzinami doskonałej zabawy.

Jan 11th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (17 out of 20)

Fallout est mort, vive Fallout ! Tel pourrait être l'épilogue d'une polémique qui n'est cependant pas prête de s'éteindre. En préférant élargir son public plutôt que de répondre aux attentes des joueurs de la première heure, Fallout 3 se mettra naturellement à dos une partie des fans de la série. Mais ce que certains considéreront comme un mauvais Fallout reste un très bon Elder Scrolls post-apocalyptique, qui parvient à faire valoir des qualités bien réelles quoique différentes. L'essentiel est que le plaisir de revêtir son armure de cuir et de partir à l'assaut d'un camp de super mutants soit resté intact. Bref, Fallout 3 c'est du Nuka-Cola light, mais c'est vachement bon quand même.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Game Shark (B+)

Given all this, is Fallout 3 worth playing on the PC? Clearly the answer is yes whether you’re a fan of the first two games, a fan of Bethesda’s past work, or a fan of other PC RPG-shooters with a story, like Deus Ex and BioShock. Don’t let the fact that there are undeniable problems with the plotting and some of the game mechanics sway you. This is a good game. It's a really good game. Its only failing is that it has a mark of greatness upon it and, ever so cruelly, fails to completely achieve it.

Oct 28th, 2008 · Windows · read review

RPGWatch ( )

Somehow it all works; somehow you can forgive the silliness and lack of depth and closure and lousy writing and combat issues and on and on. Somehow you just keep coming back, trying to avoid hitting the end of the main quest so you can just keep on exploring the Wasteland. I cannot say it is the best game I've played over the last twelve months - it falls behind King's Bounty, the just released Geneforge 5 (for the Mac only right now) but is better than the recently released NWN2: Storm of Zehir expansion. But it is a really good game and certainly one of the better games I've played and one that I wholeheartedly recommend as a 'must buy' to all adult fans of RPG's and action / shooter games.

Jan 26th, 2009 · Windows · read review

Factornews (8 out of 10)

Fallout 3 ne sera jamais ce que les fans attendent : la vraie suite du grand Fallout 2. Mais ce n'est pas non plus Oblivion avec des flingues. Derrière le middleware d'Oblivion se cache une bonne couche de crasse, des aventures palpitantes, une ambiance de folie et un excellent gameplay. Fallout 3 est violent et sinistre à souhait et vous fera passer des délicieux moments pendant quelques dizaines d'heures.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Giant Bomb ( )

It's unfortunate that Fallout 3 is saddled with so many little- and medium-sized issues, because they get in the way of what's an otherwise fantastic experience. The world is well-realized and full of options. It'll be a struggle in spots, but I'm willing to guess that most people will be able to overlook a lot of the game's problems and still have a very good time exploring the irradiated wasteland formerly known as Washington DC.

Oct 27th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Gameblog.fr (8 out of 10)

En prenant ses distances avec le mythe, ou pour ceux qui ne l'ont pas connu, Fallout 3 reste incontestablement un très bon jeu, et même un bon RPG. Ce n'est pas le chef d'oeuvre que je n'attendais d'ailleurs pas, mais ça aurait pu être bien pire. Le V.A.T.S., le système de combat qui met la pause et permet de cibler précisément ses adversaires, ne se marie pas parfaitement bien avec le temps réel, et ses ralentis qu'on ne peut pas désactiver pourront vite énerver. Mais il offre tout de même un contre-point salvateur au sentiment de flottement pénible du temps-réel, surtout à la manette pour les versions consoles. Et surtout, les amateurs du genre trouveront là des dizaines et des dizaines d'heures de jeu, au-delà de la quête principale plutôt courte, qui valent définitivement la peine qu'on les découvre, dans un univers unique.

Oct 30th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Jeuxvideo.fr (8 out of 10)

Situation délicate que celle de Bethesda. Il était commercialement suicidaire de réaliser un titre techniquement dans la veine des précédents Fallout, mais il fallait tout de même s'éloigner suffisamment d'Oblivion pour que le titre ait une identité propre. Un défi que les développeurs sont parvenu à relever avec toutefois un bémol : Fallout 3 est vraiment très agréable, mais il est difficile d'y voir le fils spirituel des précédents opus. Il a également d'autres choses à revoir (l'interface notamment) et nous espérons vivement que la communauté PC puisse réaliser les mêmes prouesses que sur Oblivion, mais même en l'état, Fallout 3 est un grand jeu. L'ambiance y est excellente, l'univers très réussi et le scénario plus que correct. En définitive, on regrettera tout de même que Bethesda n'ait pas davantage rendu hommage aux deux premiers opus (cynisme en retrait), mais que vous soyez joueur PC ou Xbox 360 (nous attendons encore pour la PS3) vous devriez largement y trouver votre compte.

Oct 30th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Gaming since 198x (4 out of 5)

Etincelant de richesse et diversité ludique, polishé d'une finition stylistique sans fausse note, Fallout 3 récupère une note inférieure à celle que j'aurais collée à l'instable premier S.T.A.L.K.E.R., d'où problème. Les deux jeux ne jouent simplement pas dans la même catégorie. En FPS pur, l'auto-aim et le V.A.T.S. n'ont rien à faire là. En RPG pur, Pip-Boy ne tient scénaristiquement pas la route face à un Gothic. Reste donc un siège dans cette salle d'attente bi-classée, qui de mon avis réservera un de ses trois meilleurs fauteuils à un titre d'une si exemplaire qualité. Orgueil snob, te voilà pacifié. Mea culpa, mes frères.

Dec 13th, 2009 · Windows · read review

GameDaily (8 out of 10)

Fallout 3 delivers a megaton blast in terms of storyline with a tale that will evaporate hours from any gamer's life -- and with a main story that covers about 25 hours, you'll experience many a sleepless night. But there's at least 20 more hours of map yet to be explored (and there's a download option here for future updates). While it lacks a diverse spectrum of enemies and the V.A.T.S. system isn't perfect, Fallout 3 remains a well-balanced game of story versus combat, something that every gamer needs to experience just to understand why engaging stories often make the greatest games.

Oct 27th, 2008 · Windows · read review

RPGWatch ( )

Finally, we have to consider the overall "fun factor" of the game. Fallout 3 attempts to cater for all possible play styles. If you prefer something akin to TB play, then VATS is for you. If you prefer the frenetic action of a shooter, then you can play it that way. Those who wish a more diplomatic approach have that option some of the time, while players who prefer stealth are very well catered for as well. Taken together, this produces a great deal of fun that is well packaged and presented. Sure it has its failings, but overall I had a blast (literally) playing the game. I’m not a big fan of heavy action games, I prefer the tactical opportunities of TB, but I found plenty of chances to use tactics here and the mix of VATS and RT worked for me. If for you it’s not a ‘true’ Fallout game, then my advice is to "get over it" and enjoy it for what it is; a fun, action RPG that has been well designed and implemented within the limitations I have already detailed.

Jan 27th, 2009 · Windows · read review

JeuxVideoPC.com (15 out of 20)

Malgré quelques errements regrettables et une trop grande parenté avec Oblivion, Fallout 3 est un excellent jeu à ne pas manquer. Que l’on soit fan de la première heure ou néophyte de la vie post guerre nucléaire, il ne faut surtout pas manquer ce RPG qui nous sort quelque peu de l’éternel univers médiéval fantastique resservi jusqu’à la nausée. N’oublions tout de même pas de mettre un carton jaune à Bethesda qui, il faut bien le dire, n’a pas déployé tout son talent et à préférer se reposer sur ses acquis.

Oct 29th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Absolute Games (AG.ru) (75 out of 100)

Оно и понятно — несмотря на то, что «пиратка» для Xbox 360 всплыла в Сети за три недели (!) до релиза, продажи на этой консоли в три раза лучше, чем на PC. Суровая постъядерная романтика стала откровением для владельцев приставок. Те, кто гуляют по радиоактивной Америке уже одиннадцать лет, наверняка увидят в Fallout 3 лишь работу над ошибками, которые были допущены в Oblivion.

Nov 9th, 2008 · Windows · read review

JeuxActu (15 out of 20)

Vous l'aurez compris, Fallout 3 ne doit pas être abordé comme un chef d'œuvre absolu. A l'inverse, il serait totalement malvenu de le vouer aux gémonies car il possède ce petit goût de reviens-y qui fait la force des bons titres. La qualité de l'ambiance et la force de l'univers décrits nous interdisent formellement de jeter l'éponge à la moindre frustration. Il faut juste savoir éviter les trop longues sessions de jeu, qui ont tendance à en surexposer les défauts. Tel un alcool fort, ce Fallout-là doit être dégusté par petites doses. On y revient alors toujours avec grand plaisir.

Nov 7th, 2008 · Windows · read review

ComputerGames.ro (72 out of 100)

To me, Fallout 3 is Bethesda's best game yet, but it's got more holes than a sinking ship. It's a perfect symbol for contemporary games: oversimplified, too accessible and way too commercial. The clever, edgy dialogues are gone, along with the complex relationships and the depth of the game world, replaced by a flawed visual feast, generic conversations and a gameplay fit for the masses.

Nov 9th, 2008 · Windows · read review

CPU Gamer (7 out of 10)

Still, Fallout 3 is not terrible. Some quests are genuinely fun, the experience of exploration which has been key in every Bethesda RPG is here in full force and provides easily the most compelling experience of the game. The details of this world are far more interesting than the blank desertscape of earlier Fallouts, and without doing any of the quests you can fully explore the abandoned metro stations, highway outposts, and ruined factories Bethesda has constructed. That’s worth a lot, especially considering very few other studios really make the effort to make their vast worlds worth taking a look at. Fallout 3 is just mediocre. It’s bogged down by too many problems, engine issues, and poor writing to really wrestle its way into classic status.

Nov 17th, 2008 · Windows · read review

2404.org PC Gaming (7 out of 10)

So where does this leave us? Ironically, Fallout 3 shares many of the flaws of the original Fallout games, in that it’s restrained by its engine from fully realizing its potential. It introduces new flaws, too, in that quests, characters, and locations are cut too often from the same generic cloth.

Nov 17th, 2008 · Windows · read review

GameBoomers (B-)

The game is an entertaining post-apocalyptic romp reminiscent of “Mad Max” and “Road Warrior” with minor references to Ellison’s A Boy and His Dog and Sir William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. It is an interesting blend of FPS and RPG genres, but the unwieldy inventory and character development feel rushed and lack real usefulness. I think I would have identified with this game more if it were released as a stand-alone title by Bethesda rather than releasing it as a follow-up to the Fallout series. Overall the game is fun and does provide many hours of good game play. Although I wish Bethesda would have put as much work into character development, leveling and the story line as they did into the rest of the game’s features.

Nov 2008 · Windows · read review

CanardPC (6 out of 10)

Au moment de poser une note, je flippe un peu. J’hésite. D’un côté, le dernier jeu de Bethesda est rempli de trucs insupportables qui me font écumer de rage. De l’autre, il garantit à pas mal de monde beaucoup d’heures de découverte et de détente. Sans compter qu’un vrai fan de Fallout y trouvera peut-être une demi-douzaine d’heures dignes de l’amour de sa vie. Seulement, ça me ferait mal de coller une bonne note : la bonne ou l’excellente note, il la méritera lorsqu’il sera moddé d’ici six mois-un an. Et c’est aux moddeurs qu’on la décernera, pas à Bethesda.

Nov 15th, 2008 · Windows · read review

Abandoned Times Magazine (3 out of 5)

In conclusion, while both games have hits and misses, FO1 was the first in the series and remains the original and the best. FO3 received a ton of both criticism and praise but in my opinion it’s great (although there’s room for improvements).

May 2009 · Windows · read review

Player Reviews

A peculiar experiment.
by St. Martyne (3648)

The Good
Let it be known from the very beginning that Fallout 3 is a RPG, just as original games were, just as Oblivion was. The majority of the outcomes of your actions will depend on your skill points. Shoot, hack, talk, repair, shop or do anything else and you can easily expect a dice roll determining the success of your action. There is another thing I should get out my system right away before getting down to the fine details. Fallout 3 wasn't developed by Black Isle. This means a number of things, but most importantly it entails an idea that Bethesda couldn't physically deliver a game which would have stayed faithful to the classic Fallout games. This should be remembered while evaluating this game.

Alright. So what is great about Fallout 3, you ask? Very many things is the obvious answer! The most outstanding aspect of this game is that it was developed for explorers. Being one very deep in my heart, I just can't possibly resist a game that offers a huge world filled with thousands of hundreds of details to uncover, characters to meet and places to roam. This is where FO3 differs greatly from Oblivion. There are no generic Ayleid ruins #53 or the samey Cave interior over and over again. The locations in Fallout 3 have history to them or at least a peculiar idea behind their existence.

Here's a last message received by a 911 operator at a police HQ. Here's a Vault with a cloning project gone bad. Here's a Nuka-Cola plant, complete with a working conveyor belt and specifically designed robotic security. Here's an Oasis with the real trees growing amidst the wasteland. Here's a US fort with an ability to launch a nuclear missile, or another one introducing to you the latest, unique model of power armor. Here's a museum of technology with a number of expositions still working. Here's an abandoned hotel with the residents gone mad worshipping a deity with a silly name -- an obvious nod to Lovecraft. This list can go on forever.

No matter how much time you invest in exploring the locations of Fallout 3, you will always be rewarded with either a unique weapon, armour, environment or a story. That really brings the exploration aspect of the game to the foreground of Fallout 3 experience. The feeling of discovering a yet another interesting location carries with it the most pleasure to be had with this game.

Not to say that it doesn't excel in other areas. There is a lot of talk, saying that Fallout 3 has been dumbed down when compared to its predecessors. It's not a completely unreasonable claim. However, personally I was amazed by the amount of details which comprised the RPG system of the original games making their way into Fallout 3, with a few welcome additions. Because your stats really matter. There were always doors and locks I couldn't pick, computers I couldn't hack and NPCs I couldn't outsmart. The repair system works fabulously well, making sure that you won't be getting a great weapon from the enemy corpse that easily. The barter system really works too with me being short on cash most of the time. Sure, your experience may differ. But I really felt the challenge this game poses, and I have completed both Fallouts without a drop of sweat! Just kidding, it's an easier game, but certainly not "dumbed down".

At this point we should really to talk about the inevitable. The visual representation. I deliberately avoid employing a word "graphics", because it usually implies a number of distinct technological requirements and Fallout 3, while not exactly belonging to the Luddite camp of modern day Adventures is still two or three years long out of date. This is not by all means a cr(y/i)sis, because the lack of technological prowess is easily made up with stupendous and absorbing world design. I am not sure how Washington DC will look after a nuclear blast, but Fallout 3 gives a very convincing picture indeed. Desolate square miles of concrete debris populating a scorched corpse of a land aren't that easy to forget. The menacing remains Washington monument seen from all over the wasteland are akin to the tower in Cyrodiil in Oblivion, but, of course, the effect here is much more intimidating and depressing.

Sure, doesn't avoid repetition at some parts, but I guess that's price you have to pay for achieving such a strong homogeneous look. And, seriously, we don't really expect one collapsed building to be drastically different from the other?

But worlds mean absolutely nothing without exciting stuff to do in them and while exploration aspect, which I mentioned in the second paragraph, is all nice and cool, the RPG is nothing without quests to perform and NPCs to please. Now, quest system in Fallout 3 is a coin, and a very doublesided one at that. By no means they are dull. God, no. There is always a double bottom to every one of them and it's impossible to predict where a quest might take you or what turn of events might await around the next journal entry. Even more than that, Bethesda clearly made its homework, for not only the quests are interesting they are also filled with numerous choices and checks. Don't want to be bothered going to a remote minefield? How about lying that you did? Suspicious of your quest giver, ask around, maybe there is something completely sinister about his motives. Pretty much every quest is multilayered, filled with choices and really provides an opportunity to flex all of you various perks, skills and attributes in numerous checks.

The Bad
Now, here comes a tricky coiny part. Surely, the quests in Fallout 3 are amusing. But that's that. They are just hilariously amusing leaving us with nearly an ocean of unused opportunities and an Everest of untouched subjects and themes, post-apocalyptic fiction is usually respected and loved for. A humanity rebuilding itself from the ruins of the nuclear holocaust has nothing better to do than collect Nuka-Cola bottles, build towns around atomic bombs for other people to blow them up, live in towns full of children, listen to the radio DJs and dress up in ridiculous super hero costumes. I mean really? Where is the slavery, violence, bigotry, gambling, prostitution, rape in the amounts encountered in the original Fallout games? Most certainly not here - for Fallout 3 takes only a passing glance at those themes at a curious angle, as if asking the player "Isn't that fun?". So much wasted chances for the stories that would really matter to our hearts and brains.

This is true not only in regard to the quests of Fallout 3. It's really a part of a much bigger problem. Which is this: Fallout 3 quadruples all the superficial aspects of original games, without being able to match their true nature. What do I mean by "superficial aspects"? Well, you've seen them all in the marketing: Vaultboy, Nuka-Cola, 50's aesthetics, mellow jazz and well-known standards, over the top violence and so on. Indeed, all these were bringing a huge amount of style and identity to original games, but they were much subtler there. Retro stylistics were only there to introduce you to the world of Fallout, to make an initial shock of encountering this horrifying world for the first time. This was a sort of an amusing gimmick, that really helped a transition into the much more grittier and darker world, in which nobody really knew or cared about the vault boy, retro songs, American lifestyle, rock-n-roll jackets and robot butlers.

Not so in Fallout 3. It remains rooted in those amusing gimmicks right to the very end of the game undermining any attempts to make this version of a Fallout world believable and vibrant. With the exception of amazing environmental design, it's simply a fake. Its characters are fake, their feelings are fake, their stories are not that real either.

And I firmly believe that many other problems with the game like uneven voice acting and dodgy writing are also the symptoms of the overall superficial quality the game, unfortunately possess. The worst part in all this story is that it was a deliberate decision on the developers part, who wanted this game first of all be amusing and franchise once again recognizable. Oh, well.

To a lesser degree one can easily be annoyed with poor animation, not exactly the best interface, few unimportant bugs and a rather generic, by-the-book soundtrack clearly lacking a masterful touch of Mr. Morgan.

So, without further ado, let's sum it up!™

The Bottom Line
Talent: 3/5

Bethesda is no Black Isle or Troika. There was absolutely no need to create or play Fallout 3 to state that. But what they can do, they do nicely. An amazing look of the Capital Wasteland stands as a proof that Bethesda doesn't need any tree rendering middleware for it's locations to look stunningly great.

Ambition: 4/5

Merging two RPGs of such different pedigrees is a spectacular feat in itself. Just as with Oblivion, Bethesda really believes that with games like Fallout 3 it's creating a great new brand of RPGs for the future. Many people believe that, while I just applaud the moving forward even though I am wary of the direction the wagon is facing.

Originality: 3/5

Fallout 3 owns every bit of its personality to a couple of well-known games. The strings that hold these two together are interesting enough to examine up close, though.

Effort: 4/5

Bethesda tried, it really tried hard, having created tons of original content, quests, locations to absorb you into its world and never let go. They worked long hours to integrate SPECIAL system into a completely new context and that shows. One point off for not hiring Mark Morgan and a new animator.

Adequacy: 2/5

Oh, well. Contrary to what people say, Bethesda did get Fallout. But, unfortunately, chose to ignore it in favour of the more recognizable, fan-base building and generally amusing gimmicks.

Total: 3.2/5

Oh, what a pity. I advise you not be fooled by such a low score. Fallout 3 was a successful experiment, even though it is based more on a compromise rather than "the best of both worlds" philosophy. So, in line with the positive outlook of the 50's America I suggest looking at Fallout 3 as a continual growth for the Bethesda game company, building upon its own achievements while not shying away from taking the tips from the classics. And as for original games, they are always there to provide a nostalgic shoulder to cry on about the days long gone. So stop this nonsense about butchering the franchise, and enjoy the game for what it is. An interesting experiment that manages to produce an excellent breed of great RPGing, at the same time rejecting any emotional connection you try to establish towards it.

Dec 16th, 2008 · Windows

A gaming legend gets a new lease on life.
by Steelysama (106)

The Good
Fallout 3 is a game that I have been waiting for from the moment I finished Fallout 2.

Of course, back then I never visualized anything like Bethesda's Oblivion-like treatment of the game. I was thinking of - and wanting - another iteration of the classic 2d isometric game style. And if that is what we had gotten, then I would have been ecstatic.

When I found out that it was Bethesda which was going to make a new Fallout, I was somewhat apprehensive. I had played the stuffing out of their last two Elder Scrolls games - Morrowind and Oblivion. However, I have to admit that I was finding their formula a bit stale. In particular, Oblivion is a game which I gave an earnest effort to getting into, but never found compelling enough to complete.

The worry which I had was whether Fallout 3 would remain true to the series or simply be Oblivion With Guns. Well...the good news is that it is true to the series. The bad news is that it is also Oblivion With Guns.

The Fallout series had its start back in 1997. Game wizards Black Isle developed the title, as well as its later sequel Fallout 2, for publisher Interplay. Heavily influenced by classic DOS title Wasteland, the plot involved people living in the aftermath of a massive global nuclear war which almost destroyed humanity. The player, known as the "Vault Dweller", was among a select group of people who had been living in underground protective vaults since the apocalypse. Your vault, number 13 (a number which hints at the dark humor of the series), has run into an emergency when the computer chip controlling the water purification system needs replacement. Armed with a weak pistol, an even weaker knife, and dressed in a spiffy blue jumpsuit, you are dumped unceremoniously into the bitter wasteland to save your people. In the process, you find out that there is something much worse than a water purification crisis facing the world. So the legend of the vault dweller began. And from the quirky 50's/futuretech stylings of the world to the visceral combat, gamers loved it.

As classic as the first Fallout games were, the combination of key staff members going elsewhere and a lack of success with spin-off games made it so that fans of the series eventually saw a third game as unlikely. So it was that the news that Bethesda Softworks had acquired rights to the IP sent an electric shock through the gaming world. Strong opinions abounded, as they still do, about whether or not it was a good thing that a company known for a very different style of RPG would do justice to a series which was so iconic.

Fallout 3 is, if nothing else, a loving homage to its predecessors. From the Pip Boy character to the use of the Inkspots for the opening music, there is a great deal of classic series nostalgia here. There is no doubt that this is meant to be a continuation in true spirit.

While the first two Fallout games took place in California, Fallout 3 takes place in the wasteland around Washington D.C., including southern Maryland and northern Virginia. The player character grows up as the son of a brilliant scientist in one of the underground protective vaults - Vault 101. It is in this environment that the player gets their first experience with the game, going through a few different stages of early life while working out their initial stats, looks, and such. Some parts, like the GOAT exam, are reminiscent of the old Ultima series where you would be asked a series of situational questions to determine what your character would be like. However, if this is not for you or if the test gives you results contrary to what you wanted, you can adjust things accordingly.

One of the most important aspects of the Fallout tradition is the "S.P.E.C.I.A.L." system for stats. In my earnest opinion, it is one of the finest roleplaying systems ever created. The system is based upon the primary statistics of Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Each of these has possible scores from 1 to 10 and in turn effects a variety of derived statistics. Then there is a large set of skills, from combat related abilities to speech and bartering, which are influenced by the primary stats as well as points applied directly by the player. SPECIAL is essential to the full experience of Fallout. Bethesda knew this and reproduced it mostly intact. The few changes they did make I have to say I enjoyed. Having new perks - special bonuses or abilities - every level more than made up for the removal of the two starting traits from the first games.

All seems to be going reasonably well in the placid but slightly uneasy atmosphere of the vault until one day everything falls apart in a hurry. Suffice it to say that your father has left the vault and you need to go after him, starting the game in earnest and beginning the main quest line. And once you enter the outside world, you find that it is a place where even if you are skilled with words, some things have to be solved with a bullet (or a sledgehammer...or a missile...or a laser bolt....or a power fist.....etc)

The variety of weapons in Fallout 3 does not disappoint. You can choose from small guns (eg. sniper rifles, assault rifles, pistols), energy weapons (eg. laser rifles, plasma rifles), melee weapons (eg. sledgehammers, swords, baseball bats), big guns (eg. missile launchers, miniguns, a tactical nuclear bomb launcher), explosives (mines and grenades), and "unarmed" (which actually includes things like brass knuckles and power fists). Within each category there is a decent selection of options, each with different strengths and weaknesses. The assault rifle puts out a lot of bullets, but does not have very impressive critical strike performance. Meanwhile, the sniper rifle has a higher chance to cause a critical strike and packs a punch when it does. Different weapons have distinct situational uses as well as play style uses.

There are also schematics available to craft your own weapons from wasteland salvage. It is a nice way to use all that clutter which you are constantly wading through in the game. All I will say about the specific weapons is that firing the railroad rifle is very satisfying.

Combat itself is a mixture of real time and turn-based, as compared to the original turn-based style of Fallout 1 and 2. You can play entirely in real time if you wish and some weapons work much better this way - especially those with high rates of fire. However, aiming is not quite like a normal FPS where things go pretty much where you aim them. Rather, the RPG engine is underneath the action calculating your accuracy and effectiveness based on a variety of factors.

Along side the real time action, there is a turn based mode known as V.A.T.S.. Hitting the VATS button causes the action to pause. At this point, the player can choose to target various parts specific locations on one or more enemies with ranged weapons, depending on how many action points are available. Melee, unarmed, and grenades can also use VATS but they cannot target specific body locations. I found that this setup was gracefully instituted in general. It works very well for quick and accurate head shots or, when facing a powerful enemy, for tactical attacks on limbs. And shooting a grenade while it is still in the enemy's hand is always a great moment.

Combat in general is visceral and brutal in the game. Slow motion critical strike take-downs can be quite entertaining. In the tradition of the earlier titles, deaths can get gruesome, with blood and gore spilling out liberally over battlefield. Adding the infamous Bloody Mess perk just ramps up the carnage.

Using the same engine as Oblivion, the graphics in Fallout 3 to be technically excellent. The overall sense of devastation after a nuclear war is impressive and leaving the vault for the first time is one of the best moments of gaming, no doubt. The models and textures that are used are all very well done.

Character interaction was somewhat faithful to the earlier games. There are some genuinely fun characters in the game.

As far as quests, the side quests are really the shining point of Fallout 3. Most of the smaller quests and side quest lines are fun to play and some are quite memorable I think that I had the most fun with the character of Moira and the quirky missions she sends you on in order to complete research for a book. But that is just the beginning. Exploring the wastes, you find yourself rescuing mercenaries, retrieving historical documents, dealing with costumed crazies, and more.

While you are taking care of business, your exploits are announced to the world via one of the in game radio stations - Galaxy News Radio. In general, GNR serves as an extra soundtrack, providing a list of old big band and jazz classics, including the iconic "Maybe" by the Inkspots. During interludes between the music, DJ "Three Dog" will make news and public service announcements. Being able to hear about your adventures over the radio is one of the coolest ideas I have seen in gaming. Bethesda gets a big thumbs up for that one.

Thanks to the release of the modding utility, a robust modding community has now sprung up around Fallout 3. They have introduced a variety of possible changes, extensions, and fixes to the game which can significantly improve the experience. I highly recommend checking out what is available.

The Bad
As I said, Fallout 3 is Oblivion With Guns in many ways.

To start out with, I have always found that in Bethesda games there is a strange sense of things being incomplete regarding how people react to your accomplishments. For instance, in Morrowind, I was head of the Fighter's Guild and yet when I needed to hire them to guard my new house, I still had to do quests for the Fighter's Guild.

In Fallout 3, I found myself disappointed that when I finally did return to the vault briefly, no one really noticed that I had come back as a seasoned wasteland warrior in a suit of power armor. I might as well have been walking in wearing my vault suit and carrying a baseball bat for a weapon.

Repetition is another major issue. Just like in Oblivion, while Fallout 3 is massive, the set of models and textures is just too small. After exploring for awhile, the continual sameness of many of the locations saps away some of the life of the experience. Variety is the spice of life. Bethesda needs to get a bigger spice rack.

Now I will stop here and say that I do realize one could say the same for Fallout and Fallout 2. Absolutely. But those games were made a long time ago and, furthermore, were not 3d first-person games. As soon as you go into that realm, any sameness becomes much more noticeable.

I would much rather have a smaller world with more interesting places to see.

For contrast, look at Bioshock. Yes, Bioshock is much smaller. However, every place had a very strong sense of reality to it and was distinct from the others. Exploration of the Bioshock game world was extremely rich because every location was fully unique.

Also the same are NPC's - both in models and vocalizations. There were a few big name actors who, naturally, provided good work to the game. However, most of the voice work for the minor characters in the game sounds as if Bethesda had something like five total voice actors available. Indeed, as far as I can tell, there is only one male and one female VA for ghouls period. And, unfortunately, the dialogue often sounds unnatural and stilted.

It became quickly tiresome to run into the same voices and models all the time. And, worse, it destroys immersion and makes it harder to take the characters seriously.

Additionally, while I loved GNR, the same small list of tracks plays over and over again until you start to become really tired of it. For an A-List title, I really find that problematic. And the fact that there is no built-in utility to have a custom playlist (as there is in the much lower tech Grand Theft Auto games) is a sever omission. However, the modding community has come to the rescue on this with custom playlist mods and even a wonderful library of classic music to extend the GNR library by as many as 100 songs. The latter mod is called More Where That Came From and it greatly enhances the game experience.

In general, I did not find the plot of the game to be as well put together as that of Fallout 1 and 2. There were some severe holes, especially in the ending (which thankfully was changed by the Broken Steel expansion), and it was too short. Further, some things in the game seemed too gimmicky, which also hurt the overall sense of narrative.

Finally, there are numerous bugs, including quest breaking ones. Things like character walking off of high ledges and falling to their deaths should not happen in an A-list title. Even with patches, things are still messy and that is unfortunate.

The Bottom Line
Fallout 3 is a very enjoyable and engaging action RPG with a classic post-apocalyptic setting. A must-play for Fallout fans. But it is not without its flaws.

Jul 31st, 2009 · Windows

How to translate fantasy world into the Fallout universe.
by Alaedrain (3477)

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
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 clichés, 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.

Aug 9th, 2009 · Windows

Fallout 3 isn't really a true Fallout game, but if you can forgive that, it is still an incredible game.
by Kaddy B. (795)

The Good
Fallout 1 & 2 are the best games ever. When I heard that Fallout 3 was being developed, I crapped myself in anticipation. Sadly, even though the Van Buren demo provided some morsels for us fans, Black Isle Studios was bought out and shut down. It was canceled. Years later, Fallout 3 would resurface helmed by Bethesda Studios. When I heard this, I was mixed. I knew from the start the game couldn't touch the first two games, yet I really liked Daggerfall and Oblivion so I wasn't really outraged.

In the end, I was completely right: Fallout 3 is not a true Fallout game. Sure, it has the Vaults, radioactive scorpions, brahmin, a pipboy, and it is set in a big desolate wasteland, but everything that made Fallout unique is stripped away here. But in the end, if you can forgive this and if you like Bethesda's work, you will still find what is arguably their best game since Daggerfall.

The graphics may not "Wow," but character models are very good and the art direction is superb and lends the game a perfect post apocalyptic look.

Gameplay is much like Oblivion, although it improves upon Oblivion by having a larger number of enemies as well as improving the acting and other areas that made Oblivion somewhat lacking in the immersion category. Obviously guns play a bigger part here instead of swords and spells like in Oblivion. With said guns comes the "V.A.T.S." system, which allows you to freeze time and pick off body parts with greater accuracy and a Michael Bay camera shoot. VATS uses action points, and different weapons modify how many action points you can use and naturally each different enemy has different shapes and body parts, affecting what you can shoot based on your location.

The game is gory as hell, and while I would've liked to see some actual pre-rendered death animations much like in the original games which made deaths seem a little more... erm, "painful" and creative, as the physics system is fairly rudimentary, it is still fun to watch and is ridiculously over the top. Splitting apart a raiders chest and then watching his limbs fly off is a simplistic joy.

The game sounds great too, the acting is VASTLY improved from Oblivion, and characters sound a little more distinct and into their roles than in that game. Weapons sound good and unique, and enemies make good sounds as well, be it in their life or in their death. The game also has a radio which plays fancy old tunes from the 30s/40s/50s as well as funny comments from a snarky D.J. as well as the occasional adventure of Herbert Daring Dashwood, which are funny and fun to listen to, although I wish there were more episodes.

Although the role playing system is dumbed down (See the "What I didn't like" section) and doesn't offer as much variety or replayability as previous Fallout games, the game still has several side quests and a genuine need to survive, which really immerses you in the role.

There are lots of different weapons and armors to discover, which all have different affects and values. You can also gather parts to create weapons, each one unique and cool, although it doesn't get much funnier than the Rock-It-Launcher; a gun that shoots random crap you pick up in the wasteland. Sending a milk bottle through a super mutants head and watching it break apart in 3 pieces or slaughter a group of raiders with toy cars is absolutely fricken' hysterical. Schematics are expensive and often hidden, and there is incentive to find multiple copies, as it improves the usefulness of the weapon you wish to build.

The game encourages exploration, and there are tons of eerie, strange places to explore as you scavenge and become a wasteland denizen. Sometimes the most fun the game has to offer is to try and find as many unique areas as possible, and see what secrets they hide within. It is very satisfying to stumble upon something hidden and uncover a side quest, a unique item, or just a strange random encounter.

Scaled leveling makes an appearance here, but it actually works in this game. Normally I am against the concept, but considering that Bethesda didn't make a large variety of monsters and since raiders rarely have unique characters in their ranks, scaled leveling makes sure that you will always fear what might lie around the corner or behind that ominous door.

The Bad
The biggest problem is that the role playing system from Fallouts 1 and 2 are extremely dumbed down. SPECIAL hardly affects your character anymore, in the first two games it was extremely important and each trait would be completely different based on the points you put into them, in Fallout 3, the effects of those stats are barely noticeable. The Tag skills system isn't dumbed down quite as much as the other areas, but the various permutations and numbers crunching in the background have been significantly reduced and tag skills have no affect on SPECIAL or traits like they did in the old games. Optional traits have been shuffled into the perks system, and perks are no longer granted every so often, they are granted every level. They are hardly "Perks" if you get them all the time. Several classic perks return, albeit changed greatly and like the rest of the stats, they've been dumbed down. This hurts the replay value, and unlike in the first two games where each character felt unique and different, most of the characters you create in FO3 will feel the same.

The karma system is busted beyond belief. You can be a thieving serial killer who eats his victims and then uses their body as a toilet, yet if you remember to give all your purified water to a bum you can have a high karma level. The game claims that karma and "Choice" play a big part, but they do not. There are a few interesting "choices," but it is annoying that they either make you the second coming or make you the devil, and if you make a "Choice" that karma is permanent, there's no altering it ever again. It constantly flops around, and has no real affect on the game except for the way the DJ talks about you, and if you are REALLY good people in Megaton might give you stuff, but that's it. Karma has no affect in the game whatsoever.

Although most of the graphics are nice, the animations are even worse than they were in Oblivion, and characters always look like they are skating on thin air with rocket powered jet skates.

Since the game has a habit of "Dumbing down" things, another thing that the game dumbs down is radiation poisoning. Radiation poisoning in Fallout 1 & 2 was a real threat, but in FO3 the worst that may happen is you won't be as fast or strong. It can kill you, but rather than killing you slowly like in the first two games, it only kills you if your geiger counter maxes out. I actually found times where I had severe radiation poisoning and had no idea, because my character seemed to act the same way.

The storyline, while it has moments, is relatively lame and the ending is possibly the worst ever. The ending is an anti-climax, and the final boss couldn't even contend with the calculator from Fallout Tactics. Hell, he's actually one of the weakest characters in the game, even if your arms, torso, and head are all crippled and your perception, strength, and agility are all nil you can tear him to shreds with a pistol that is about to break after one use. You also can't continue past the final quest, which is annoying because I did not want to have to create a brand new character just to continue exploring and find more quests. This was remedied in Broken Steel, but it is still a fault with the game. The main quest line is also ridiculously short and easy, it can be completed in a mere hour without much effort put into it, unless you've never played a shooter before and can't find out which button is the trigger.

VATS, while fun to use at times, is not really much more than Bullet Time with a shaky camera. It claims to be unique when it really isn't. On the same line, guns feel somewhat clunky and inaccurate, although they are still fun to shoot.

The monster roster is a little slim and I wish there were more. Although most of the more famous monsters, such as the Death Claws and the radscorpions, make appearances there isn't quite as much variety in them and some monsters are clearly just palette swaps. It is also annoying that Bethesda added radroaches and bloatflies, these monsters are extremely pointless as they barely do any damage and after level 1, you don't even get experience for killing them yet they appear as an arbitrary MacGuffin to make sure you can't sleep or travel and Bethesda makes sure they appear in a swarm so you have to beat tons of them and since there's no experience reward for killing them and the fact that they are no threat at all, it simply isn't fun to have to bash them just so you can be on your merry way.

The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that it is not truly a sequel to Fallout, and is not even in league with those games, Fallout 3 is still a great Bethesda game. It has their mark, and it's easily comparable to Oblivion, but as mentioned before it is truly much better than Oblivion. The game is highly immersive and fun to play, and exploring this game will reveal it is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Many secrets await for you in the Capitol Wasteland, and if you can ignore the relatively lame main quest line, there are many rewards to reap in the desolate wastes.

Oct 31st, 2009 · Windows

Traveling the wasteland is certainly not a waste of time.
by Asinine (1003)

The Good
Introduction sucks you in.

Storylines are well written.

Controls are functional and what you expect from Bethesda.

World-design is very intriguing and makes you want to explore.

Been able to lose limbs is an interesting idea.

Nice atmosphere.

Perks and leveling.

The Bad
This game just LOVES crashing.

Karma-system feels out of place.

The stats on items are vague at best.

Repairing weapons.

Too many different bullet-types.

The Bottom Line

In Fallout 3 you take control of a “vault dweller”, one of many people who sealed themselves into an underground bunker in preparation for the nuclear apocalypse. The game starts quite literally where the character does, at your own birth. The introduction takes you through several stages of your character’s life and has you making small choices that change your statistics and future appearance. Most Bethesda games do this kind of thing, but I must say that Fallout 3 is the first time they have done it right. Whereas in Oblivion and Skyrim you just magically arrive in the world with no backstory at all, this intro not only serves to fill you in on the lore, but it also familiarizes you with the characters and makes you emotionally invested. Soon enough though, the shit hits the fan and your father leaves the vault overnight, forcing you to go after them lest the security forces pound your brains in.

Once outside the true Bethesda feel takes over and you are free to pursue your father or delve into hundreds of fascinating side-quests. To my knowledge the team that wrote the Dark Brotherhood quests from Oblivion was in control of all the missions in this game and this leaves us with much better tasks than ever before. One point that still bugs me though and this is true for every Bethesda game I play, is that characters seem way too trusting. In the very first town I was approached by two individuals, one of which wanted me to set off a nuke that was in the town and the other wanted me to get irradiated for the sake of her research. Both of those requests seem like basic RPG-stuff, but consider for a moment that I just randomly walked into a bar after freshly emerging from a cave and suddenly some guy asks me to murder hundreds of innocent people. His justification was “you have no connections here” and while that is true, it still seems risky to assume random people might be insane enough to do something like that.


There are two problems that make playing Fallout 3 feel rather rocky: the interface and the fighting. Let’s talk about the interface first. The problem is that they tried to go more for atmosphere than functionality, so you get a rickety old computer that serves as your inventory, quest-log, map and everything else. The lack of size however means they had to cut down on text and minimize the amount of information that you can see, so a lot of terms that you need to remember are also abbreviated. It can also get downright confusing, such as when I scoffed down a handful of items that I thought would reduce my radiation poisoning, but after closer inspection were expensive radiation-resistance booting items. Where the combat falls flat is that it sometimes feels like a modded Oblivion, especially some guns feel more like firing arrows than firing actual bullets. At least in Oblivion every bow didn’t need some kind of fancy different ammo-type though! I am always low on ammo because there are so many types that it gets ridiculous, I can agree that a sniper shouldn’t have the same ammo as a rocket launcher, but then why did they group together pistols with SMG’s? Sneaking and explosives can also be really obnoxious, especially sneaking which you need to level up really high to have any use from. Most enemies spot you regardless of whether you are sneaking or not, some even from a considerable distance.

Everything outside of combat is very good though and I especially like the new mini-games they came up with for lock picking and hacking. These mini-games nicely combine the player’s own skill with the points they cared to invest in the stats-screen. Gaining a new level is also amazingly satisfying because of the brilliant perks you can get every time you do. After putting your points into the skills you want to upgrade, you’ll be send to a different screen where you can select a special upgrade. These make use of incomparables, meaning you can’t weigh off the effect of one against the other and decide which one is the best (as you could with a weapon in a RPG). Instead there are options like “getting gorier kills” or “special dialogue combined with more damage against male enemies” and the likes. It’s a bit rough around the edges and there are too many perks that just instantly boost your regular skills, but this is something that needs to be perfected. There is also not so much managing to do and this really benefits the more explorative nature of Bethesda games. Instead of spending minutes of your time comparing weapons in the interface, Fallout keeps everything rather straight in terms of items and armor. There are only a handful of weapons that give you bonuses and most of the time it comes down to what you happen to like, I decided to take a bit of everything in terms of weapons and I never had to deal with fancy firearms because the game just gives you a pistol, not a “venomous pistol of fiery death”, But a regular pistol. You just need to make sure you keep the ammo coming and invest skills in your shooting if you want to get better with it.

I must also say that they ironed out a lot of flaws that soured Oblivion for me. Times after the nuclear war are tough, so tough that nobody can really claim authority and punish you. In Oblivion (and to a lesser extent Skyrim) you would always run into pesky guards that punish you for the slightest provocation. The laughably bad AI often had them drawing their weapons when you did something as innocent as taking a cherry from a bowl in someone’s living room. Fallout doesn’t have that and instead the law of the gun is in place. If you do something people don’t like they’ll shoot you and you can shoot back, the one who lives was in the right. Loading times are also notably faster and there is a lot less time wasted on asking questions about the lore, time that you can instead spend on having more fun.


In recent years the market has become flooded with games which have a very brown and gritty style of graphics, but Fallout manages to impress, even with this bland aesthetic. How they did this is simple: they just designed the world to be as atmospheric and imposing as possible. I have walked through roughly a hundred ruined cities in my gaming career and never have abandoned buildings seemed so eerie, never has a wasteland felt so full of adventure and NEVER have I screamed like a little girl while exploring relatively simple areas. The last time the game scared me was even more humiliating than you would think, because I was looking at a distant sculpture thinking it was an enemy, only to be jumped at by a cockroach instead. My point is that with good level design and the right atmosphere, even the overused brown aesthetic can be made into something entertaining.

The in-game presentation is amazing, but there is still something that bothers me: The technical aspect of this game. I bought the Game of the Year edition on Steam, this assuming it would come with all the DLC and with most of the bugs worked out. I was VERY wrong about the latter. The game did start up after the installation, which is at least further than Bioshock got, but after that it became a hell. The game would crash randomly almost every ten minutes for no apparent reason and trying to fix it took me several hours of looking through forums. It turned out that it was a processing problem and I had to edit lines of code in the .ini file… I don’t care what you say, that is fucking inexcusable. Even after I fixed it did crashes remain fairly common, especially when alt-tabbing or locking the computer. I bought this game at 11AM and was busy with it all day. At the end of that same day I had only racked up a total of 2 hours of actual playtime and I had only just left the vault.

Replay value

Bethesda games have always suffered from the fact that they aren’t really fun to replay, but save-files can’t be relied upon to stick around either. Sooner or later you are going to delete your file by accident or it will just get corrupted. In a game with so many variables (to the point that it saves the placement of every single item you drop) there will be a point at which it will just burst and die. This is often the point where I stop playing these games: it happened after 500+ hours in Oblivion, it happened after 75+ hours in Skyrim and I fear for the day that it will happen with my Fallout save. I really recommend that you make back-ups of your save, just to make sure you won’t lose them.

To its credits: Fallout 3 is more replayable than any of the Elder Scroll games. This is because the game is not very big on lore and therefore you can play it again without having to sit through endless conversations again. Having to repeat quests is still very obnoxious though, as it will always be. The many choices you make in Fallout’s story do seem to have more of an impact and aren’t as bland as in other games that claim to have choice. Sometimes you are even making choices while you don’t realize it, such as when I murdered my way through a cave where some troublemakers were residing, only to come to the realization that I could have let them live and get a whole different experience. “Choosing” how your character develops is still pretty simple though, even more so than normally. In Oblivion there were milestones that gave you bonuses when investing enough points in your skills, but here your accuracy just increases or you unlock tougher challenges. Especially the weapon-based skills are somewhat odd, since you can get along just fine without them if you’re good at shooting games.


Outside of the main story there is plenty to do in Fallout 3 and I am not talking mini-games here. There are many side-quests that you can pick up, most of which are longer than your average MMO fetch-quest. Finding these quests is also a small task on its own, as you will have to ask NPC’s for rumors or possible leads. The map is also pretty large and some quests are hidden in obscure locations, so if the dungeons alone didn’t provide enough incentive already, there is also the joy of finding a new story to follow by simply stumbling upon a shack. Fallout 3 also has a total of five DLC packs that you can purchase (or get for free with the Game of the Year edition) that add a new main story line to the original game (I’ll review them individually later).

The level cap in this game is twenty, which isn’t that high, but any higher would have rendered the Perks system useless. As stated before there isn’t a lot of grinding to be done for weapons either, but there are still some neat ones that require some extra work and searching. Once you’re done with all of that, I suppose you could try to clear every dungeon, but that would really be pushing the content to the maximum. One problem though is that the final mission of the main quest also marks the end of the journey and if you finish it, then you are send back to the menu. The only way to explore the content after the final mission is to reload a save, but the game locks the doors after the game auto-saves from entering the last room. This is very obnoxious if you have no extra saves to load up, because the only way out is to buy the DLC-pack “Broken Steel”, which will make you pass out and wake up in The Citadel area.


Fallout 3 is so far my favorite Bethesda game out there and in the land of RPG’s it ranks fairly high. While the gameplay tends to be a bit rocky and unbalanced, the story and atmosphere do more than enough to make up for that. One thing I can’t forgive however is the load of technical problems I had while using the Steam version of this game, including not receiving the DLC and having the game take a million screenshots at random moments throughout the game. I know some people still claim to this day that Fallout 3 is a bad game because of how different it is from the original games, but frankly I prefer it when a franchise has some diversity (such as Donkey Kong Country), as opposed to just making the same kind of game over and over again (the direction Kingdom Hearts is going in).

Fans of the old Fallout games are certain to have some good times revisiting the Wasteland and Vaults with this game, as long as they are willing to deal with a slightly less complex experience and more streamlined controls. Likewise Bethesda fans are certain to have a blast with this if they can deal with the lack of medieval themes that usually characterize Bethesda’s high-profile titles. If you have never played the games I mentioned, then you can also ask yourself if you would be interested in a somewhat challenging open-world RPG. If the answer is “yes”, then sit down and enjoy some Fallout 3.

Aug 14th, 2012 · Windows

The prostitute of the year
by Open_Sights (473)

The Good
Full 3D world, good graphics.

Very entertaining when playing without questioning things.

The Bad
Bugs and crashes.Lots of them.

Failed to establish the same atmosphere from the predecessors.

The Bottom Line
Being an old school player, I had the privilege of being able to play the series back in the day. They were something completely new then, and still are, since there is a lack of successors. However fallout 3, which caused me much anxiety, was something different.

When I first got the game, I had problems trying to run it, every time I clicked in new game, the game closed. After just a few hours of useless patching (yes, it took hours), I discovered that I was not the only one with this problem and just gave up, gave the dvd to a friend of mime, just to find later that he had no problems to run it, except for recurring crashes, that look like everybody else had.

The game extinguished the isometric theme of the series, adding a new 3D world, which is a very good thing, but apparently the attention to the graphics are not reflected in the rest of the game: the optional missions are varied, but with tenuous motivation. The VATS system seems to be a murdering tool, implemented to disguise the FPS nature of the game, instead of a remake of the old system of post-apocalyptic atmosphere combat. The atmosphere did not save the game to resemble "Oblivion with guns", an unhappily true cliche by now. There are many small illogical details, as the fact that you cannot sleep in a bed you don't own. All this leads me to believe that this is not only an unreliable sequence of fallout, but even not a pure RPG (consider the fact that the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system has only a fraction of the game effect from the previous), just a commercial exploit with the name of the series and most of their elements.

Nevertheless, the title is interesting as a FPS dressed up like a RPG. If seen this way, it offers a good deal of action (since gun blazing it's the way to go, unlike the previous two games when you could beat the game killing only the final boss, not necessarily fighting) and the bonus of good music and a bit (or a lot,if you like) of wandering mixed with a different background of most contemporary action games, which are settled almost exclusively in WWII and modern warfare environments. Therefore, it's recommended for a large audience, and should earn a higher score if it wasn't the bugs and crashes.

Mar 12th, 2010 · Windows

Simply brilliant - but might not be for everyone...
by Marina Shoykhet (3)

The Good
True enough, it offers almost limitless freedom of actions, perhaps more than Oblivion ever did. You explore huge devastated city, with no chance to ruin something for yourself if you get there ahead of time. Nice implementation of VATS - they found use for those old turn based action points, to placate old fallout fans no doubt. Amazing soundtracks and 2008 graphic at its best. Voicing isn't bad either, at least much better than Oblivion is.

The Bad
None so far, beside little accidental crashes, but happens VERY rare. Some small items a little bit easy to miss, but I guess it's part of realism.

The Bottom Line
98% of people will love it, as its unmistakably best mix of RPG and FPS yet, but then again, those 2% who like the pure genre (skipping through talking, or finding it to be too much of an action game) will absolutely hate it. Oh and don't let anyone say it's short, there is no way one can skip through it in 7 hours unless maybe they sit with a guide in their lap and skip all conversations in mindless effort to pass it in record time (and even then I doubt it possible without cheating). Absolutely worth time spent - hopefully they will release add-ons, it seems to be build pretty much like Oblivion, with .esm files loading at start.

Nov 1st, 2008 · Windows

Oblivion with guns
by dorian grey (251)

The Good
It improves on Oblivion in some ways. The environments are more interesting and varied (but most feel more artificial than Morrowind). The faces look normal again (still miles away from e.g. Mass Effect or Crysis). Level scaling seems to be mostly absent. The PIPBoy interface is well done. Physics is improved, and by improved I mean that cups are now bolted to tables and so on.

The Bad
Fallout 3 is really an action-adventure title and not a RPG. The stats are mostly meaningless.

The set pieces vary from decent to abysmal and do not from a coherent whole. The nature of presentation in previous Fallout games left a lot to the imagination and you could fill the details yourself and pretend it made sense. In F3 everything is available in very graphic detail and it does not come together well.

Radiant AI is still crap. The results are either hilarious or frustrating, depending on your mood.

There's some swearing, prostitution, and tons of gore, but it doesn't feel like it's part of the world, but rather it that it was just tacked on to make the game edgy and mature. This is a rather dubious addition to a game which mostly feels like a Disney production.

They tried hard to include "Fallout features" like being able to put explosives onto people but apparently it didn't occur to them that some were a design flaw in the first place and while it was cute in a 2D isometric RPG game in 1998 it's kind of stupid in a modern fully 3D first-person game.

The Bottom Line
It's Oblivion with guns. It's very far from an ideal "Fallout 3", but depending on what you are expecting it might still be enjoyable. Playing it I can't help but feel that the target audience for Fallout 3 is ten years younger than for the previous Fallout games.

Nov 4th, 2008 · Windows

Plus 148 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Cantillon, Wizo, Trevor Harding, ryanbus84, chirinea, Rebound Boy, Alsy, Tim Janssen, Solid Flamingo, Patrick Bregger, Big John WV, Utritum, Jeanne, Samuel Smith, Xoleras, CalaisianMindthief, Kabushi, Dariusz Sadkowski, Alaedrain, Klaster_1, Gonchi, jaXen, Jo ST.