developer: Bethesda Softworks
publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Game mode: single player
Fallout 3 is another installment in the cult role-playing game series originated in 1997. This part was developed by the creators of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, using the same, though improved, engine. However, animation system and lighting effects were designed from scratch.
You may switch between FPP and TPP, according to your preferences. The developers gave us a chance to live a life in a post-nuclear environment from the moment of the character’s birth. At the very beginning you are taken away from your dying mother, and subjected to a DNA test by your father (voiced by Liam Neeson). At this point you get to choose your sex, ethnicity, specific elements of appearance, etc. Some special attention was paid to face – after completing the process, you can take a look at your father’s face, which is clearly similar to yours.
Adjusting the seven main statistics of the protagonist is presented in a form of reading a book for children, whereas the process of learning to walk serves as a control tutorial. At the age of ten you get a BB gun and a wrist computer Pip-Boy 3000, where you can e.g. check your health, skills, or items. This device also allows you to listen to radio stations after tuning into their frequency. Broadcasters not only play original tracks from 1940s and 50s, but also provide important information (e.g. jobs that need to be done). Your preparations to leave the Vault 101 end when you are 19 years old and you decide go after your escaped father. The year is 2277.
The main hero’s statistics are presented in the form of the SPECIAL system (strength, perception, endurance, etc.), typically used in Fallout games. You can chose any three out of the fourteen characteristics that you want to develop faster than others. Living outside of the Vault 101 is actually a constant struggle for survival. You cannot do without water (which is often radioactive, so you have to possess some medicine too), food, and of course weapons (e.g. various guns, a chainsaw, or a hammer, just to name few). You can use it in combat, which uses so called VATS system (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). This is based on action points, and allows you to pause time and target specific parts of enemy bodies. The game’s world is not much smaller than the one in Oblivion. You move around the vicinity of the ruined capital the United States, so you often come across its distinctive buildings (e.g. Jefferson Mausoleum).
Fallout 3 for PC, X360 and PS3 does show off violence. For example, once hit, an enemy head may splatter everywhere. This kind of scenes are presented in slow motion. Combat, however, is not very easy because of the high-level AI. Enemies can make use of environmental covers, gather together when facing danger, etc. It is worth noting that, unlike in Oblivion, there is no level-scaling when it comes to opponents, so it is only possible to visit some places after reaching a certain experience level (up to 20).
The developers of Bethesda Softworks took care to offer us a lot of possible game endings. Obviously, these are dependent on the choices you make while playing. Again, karma system characteristic of the Fallout series comes into play. It takes notice of your actions and determines your relations with in-game characters. You may hire mercenaries to follow you, although Fallout 3 is mainly about playing solo.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8800 or better), 7 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista
Microsoft Xbox 360
Uses: Xbox Live