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Fallout 3: Fun, But Not Functional
on January 9, 2015
NOTE: This review is for the PS3 GOTY Edition of Fallout 3.
This is a difficult game to review. The game itself, when it works properly, is a 4/5 star game. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the gameplay, graphics, and story are all engaging, and the game combines FPS and RPG elements in a way that works really well. Unfortunately, it often either does not work properly or does not work at all. Over 2 play-throughs, I've encountered quest-breaking bugs, severe slowdown in certain areas or when several enemies are in close proximity, all manner of bizarre graphical glitches, and crashes about every 10 minutes in the later stages of each playthrough. I've heard that the bugs, glitches, slowdown, and crashes are more frequent on the PS3 version than on the XBOX or PC, but on the Fallout wiki, virtually every quest, character, item, and location in the game has a long list of bugs and glitches itemized by platform. The PS3 version may indeed be the worst, but it looks like Fallout 3 is only somewhat functional regardless of the platform.
Bethesda supporters are apt to say things like, "With such an ambitious game including so much content, there's bound to be some bugs and glitches." I can accept this, but when the functionality issues are so severe that the game becomes nearly unplayable, meanwhile instead of patching the game the developers release 5 DLC add-ons, it's clear that something has gone very wrong.
I enjoyed many aspects of this game, but I don't plan to buy any other Bethesda releases.