Fallout 3 - Pinks

Awhile back I wrought a bit of a review/overview/introduction to Fallout 3 when I first played it. I'm wondering what others would think of such a thing and how I wrote it, and if they have ideas on what to work on if I were to continue this.

Anyway, it's kinda long, and wasn't revised at all, so know that before going into it. With that said, be as harsh as you feel you need to be. I'm not gonna throw a hissy fit because someone said something I don't like.

"I'm assuming by now everyone knows what Fallout 3 is, and has probably played it, but for those who don't, its a post-apocalyptic RPG published by Bethesda, who also of course make The Elder Scrolls.

The story is, and i'll keep it as spoiler free as I can, you play a male or female during the post apocalypse. Before the nuclear war that caused this, the US had a large number of 'Vaults' created, which are essentially fallout bunkers designed to be able to house a large number of humans for an incredibly long amount of time, I myself assume at least up until the nuclear fallout becomes irradiated, but that seems kind of impossible.

You live in Vault 101 in Washington D.C with your dad, your mom died giving birth to you. One day, at the age of 19, your dad escapes the vault, which happens to be forbidden, and the overseer, essentially the mayor of the vault, gets pissed and then tries to kill/capture you. He, probably, fails. You can of course manage to die somehow, but it'd probably be really difficult. If, or more like when, you escape the vault, as that is your only choice, you can decide to either go in search of your dad, which is the main story quests, or just do what huge sandbox RPGs are made for and explore and goof around. Of course, doing the missions will make it easier to get stuff, and to find new places, but the story areas usually don't have any of the fun secret stuff, like the gun that fires 8 nukes at once.

Gameplay wise, Fallout 3 is great, the only gripes I have is its rather hard to find bobby pins later on, when all of the locks start to become incredibly hard and make you break a ton of them. Another thing, which is much harder to get around, is that sometimes, when hit, my character will sometimes raise their gun up, not to block, but to just raise it up. It makes it so I cant shoot, and it blocks a large chunk of the screen. I'm assuming it's a sort of stagger thing, but I think it would make more sense if he fell onto 1 knee or something instead of his gun going all over the screen...

Then there's VATS. VATS stands for something I don't remember, all you gotta know is it's a sort of vision thing that lets you select a part of a NPCs body to have the game aim at for you specifically for a few shots, the chances of you hitting that part, and the damage it might do on hit. Might because it never seems to actually do the right amount of damage late in the story. Of course, you can fire without VATS, and you can either use the scope/iron sights (Sorta) or hipfire. Firing while crouching and aiming grants the best accuracy, but makes you practically immobile.

The story overall is pretty good, there are of course multiple dialogue options to pick from during chats, and 'karma', which despite being notoriously pointless and usually only making sense to a select number of people, actually works pretty well in this game.

Doing bad deeds like stealing or killing civilian NPCs will probably lose you karma, doing good deeds like freeing captives from one of the 'bad' factions or killing 'bad' NPCs will generally give you good karma. Of course, in this system bad karma is much easier to get than good, but the payout in each is actually kind of balanced. Karma only affects which companions you can have, 2 of the ones you meet during story quests require you to have good karma, while 2 of them require bad karma. The few good karma companions are free once you have the required karma, but there's only 1 free bad karma companion, so you will be pretty limited with bad karma if you don't want to spend a lot of money.

But really, none of that really compares to the 2 other elements this game really has. RPG leveling, and sandbox exploration.

The RPG leveling system is extensive, though not to much where you'll be needing a spread sheet of it all. There are base skill categories, strength, intelligence, agility, endurance, luck, charisma and perception. Strength is most noticeable with how much you can carry, intelligence affects some of the choices in chats and has a large role in the more specific skill sets, agility is speed of course, endurance is.... I think max health? Not entirely sure. Luck is chance of scoring critical hits, plus it adds 1 point to all specific skills, charisma is used for lowering shop prices, and to use certain speech options that only have a chance to succeed, and finally, perception is aiming and how close you have to be for something to show up on your compass.

There is a multitude of specific traits such as lock picking, sneaking, big guns, explosives, barter, etc., each going from 1-100 in points, each having a specific kind of impact on the gameplay, and each sometimes forcing you to take the hard way, like in a situation where you COULD turn on the turrets in the next room to kill the 7 enemies in there who are ready to gun you down, but you don't have enough Science skill to hack the console. There's not much to these, most of the names are self explanatory. Though I should add, if you plan on just exploring and getting stuff, you probably want to start out with Lockpick, Speech and Science. I should also add, near the start you get to pick 3 of these skills and add 15 points to it, these are essentially your 'specialty skills'. Along with that, on each level up, you get 20 points to put into whatever skills you want.

Last part of the RPG elements is Perks. The list of perks is actually kind of short, you can easily get the maximum amount of perks from just a small amount of exploration. Each perk does a different thing, such as add ~5 to 2 specific skills, increase damage to a certain kind of enemy, give you new abilities such as cannibalism, and much more.You can pick 1 perk per level up, and which perks you can pick depend on your level, and what your base stats are at the time. There are also a few hidden 'perks', which are gained through certain quests, or other things. The only one I got on my first playthrough was Power Armor training, which is the only way you can wear the best armor in the game and retain movement.

Now for the last piece. The Sandboxy-ness of the game.

Of course, it is a huge map, but huge maps need things in them to really be a sand box. And Fallout has a lot of stuff in it. You can explore the D.C. Ruins, you can wander through the wasteland find small towns and stand-alone shacks, you can explore abandoned factories and schools, you can go in the sewers and the metro stations, there's a HUGE amount of places to go, and you will probably take at least a solid 20 hours of game playing to find most of it. There's a lot of side quests that vary in difficulty, usually because the rewards are either small, like a small amount of money, or access to a certain town, or they're hard as hell, and get you into a huge armory that features the strongest armor in the game, some armor that makes you invisible while crouching, and a gun that shoots 8 nukes.

Another quick thing before I end this. If you've played another Bethesda game, you know they're prone to a large amount of bugs and glitches. At one point in my game, a dead body fell through the floor and the model was stretched and was flailing around, filling up most of the room, while at another point, an enemy I had to kill was stuck half way in the wall and up near the ceiling, so I didn't notice them for a few minutes of looking. Just something to keep in mind while playing."

 

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