Friday, May 20, 2011

Fallout 3 (Revisited)

I beat Fallout 3 about a week and a half ago. I've been meaning to write up my final thoughts on the game (you can read my initial impressions and introduction here), but I've been too busy playing Fallout 3. As soon as I beat the game, I immediately went and restarted it from the beginning. This game was so good, so rich with story, so full of quests that are impossible to complete in one play through, and so open-ended that every player's experience is going to be different, that I knew I had only scratched the surface of what it had to offer after completing it the first time. When I complete the quest again, chances are good I'll create another character and go for a third trip.

The games choices are open-ended and structured so you can play the game almost anyway you'd like. If a character has an item you need, you can entire try to talk them into giving it to you, go on a quest to perform some task for them, or just kill them and take it. The first time around, I played the hero, while this second time around I had more fun and terrorized the entire Capital Wasteland, killing anybody who got in my way and taking the quests that were provided by the bad guys. I don't want this to come out sounding weird, since I'm really a very nice, moral person in the real world, but there is just something very cool about a videogame that lets you kill just about every non player controlled character in the game. 

Here's an example of what I'm talking about: Early on in the game you are approached by a shady character who asks you to detonate a nuclear bomb in the town of Megaton because the criminal syndicate in which he is involved wants it wiped off the map. When I played as a hero, I said no way, then went and turned him into the sheriff. This time around, I said sure. Blowing up the town cut off he quests you could acquire there, but it links you up to other quests from the criminal syndicate that would've been closed off otherwise. Also, the view of the town blowing up in a giant mushroom cloud on the horizon was one of the most astounding visuals I've ever seen in any videogame. It was suitably beautiful and horrifying.

Even forgetting about the quests and missions entirely, it's still fun just wandering around the wastelands of the post apocalyptic D.C. At one point while wandering around at random, my radio picked up a strange signal that sounded like gibberish. As I began to investigate, moving closer to the signal's source, I discovered a crashed UFO with a dead alien lying next to it. After searching the wreckage,  I found an alien blaster that kills just about every enemy in the game with one hit, disintegrating them so only a pile of ash remains. I don't care who you are, that's just bad ass, and it's only one of many little secrets and easter eggs I found littered throughout the game. The world is huge, but it pays to go exploring.

The game isn't completely perfect, however, since I found a few bugs here and there, though never so frequent or so catastrophic that they ruined the experience. Sometimes my character will slide around even though I'm standing still or I'll jump a few spaces after killing an enemy. Once my character got stuck to a wall, and another time the game froze up completely, but luckily I save often so nothing was lost except the time it took me to restart my Xbox. Also, while it's nice to have the in-game radio (with the lovable DJ Three Dog and some wonderfully atmospheric big band tunes), it got really repetitive after a while, because the DJ keeps repeating the same news items over and over again, and there are only about five or six songs that keep playing.

However, having said all that, Fallout 3 is my new favorite game on the Xbox 360, and one of the most fun and satisfying games I've ever played in my entire life. Even though it came out about two years ago, I'm still getting hours of play out of it, and I don't see the end of that coming any time soon. Even after I do complete it again and find myself ready to move on, there is downloadable content to add on and even a sequel set in Vegas, although it is supposed to be very buggy and not as good, but I'm sure I'll pick that up once it comes down in price. If you haven't played this game, check it out because it works both as the best action and RPG title I've ever played. And if you have played it, get back in there and play some more.

1 comment:

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Sounds like my kind of RPG. I love games where the decisions you make affect your experience in a real way.