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Customer Review

201 of 250 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Parents' Fallout, November 3, 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Fallout 3 - PC (Video Game)
Fallout 3 represents Bethesda Softworks' first take of the legendary game franchise since they purchased the rights from the failing Interplay in 2004. So, how did Bethesda do? In essence, Fallout 3 is Oblivion (Bethesda's most well-known game) with a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic skin on it. The Good, Bad, and Ugly on this game includes...

- Spectacular Graphics (I'd have said beautiful, but we ARE talking about a post-apocalyptic world here). From blown-up highway overpasses to angry super mutants, players will be completely visually immersed in the game.
- Massive World. Fallout 3 is not a "first ten hours and you're done" game. The developers have said that F3 contains over 100 hours of game play if all of the side quests are done and, having played a good portion of them, I can say that this seems to be correct.
- Interesting World. There's a lot to see and do in post-war D.C.! Visit the Washington Monument, try and find historical documents, join a cult, stop slavers, or become one yourself! There are plenty of new (and different) things to do in Fallout 3.

- No Turn-Based Combat. Fallouts 1&2 featured turn-based strategic combat; Fallout 3 is primarily First-Person Shooter style. The V.A.T.S. system of location-specific targeting has been added to sort of simulate turn-based combat for those interested, but it is poorly done (EX: what appear to be high-percentage VATS shots with a clear view from first-person end up being completely blocked by the target's slight movements; VATS will not stop the shooting even though precious ammo is wasted). Gameplay is primarily first-person, though a buggy "shoulder camera view" can also be used. If you love FPS games, this will not be an issue.
- Lacks Original's Dark Humor. Forced jokes do not make a Fallout game - the creators simply were not able to capture this aspect of the original.
- Linear Solutions. Initially, it seemed that there would be a lot of choices in how Fallout 3's quests were to be solved (EX: Lie to solve a quest or do the actual legwork? Blow up a city or disarm the bomb?); the problem is, these options tend to disappear shortly after the game starts - especially in the main story line. Most of the time, players can choose between the "Good" option and the "Evil" one - and that's it. Small choices like hacking a gun turret to clean out a room of Super Mutants or tossing in a few grenades to clean them out (two different skills) still exist, but the results tend to be the same. Fallout 3 tends to offer players the illusion of choice rather than actual choices, and that's not in the spirit of the Fallout series.
- Poor Music. The background music is both repetitive and boring; The "radio" songs are too few/not fitting to the zones.

- Quest Bugs. Many of the side quests have bugs in them that, while they can be worked around, still detract from the game. The Big Town quests have many examples of this.
- Crash Bugs. I didn't have any problems installing the game on my Vista system (many people report such install problems, however). I played the game for many hours without any crashes. A few days after installing the game, however, it crashed on loading a saved game and then refused to load up at all. Allowing my game to connect to the internet/Live seems to have cleared the problem up, but it is still very strange.
- SecuROM. Parts of your system will be scanned and various aspects checked to see if installation will be allowed. This is a very serious issue for some consumers (especially those that get installation errors), but not a big deal for others.

Fallout 3 is an excellent First-Person Post-Apocalyptic Action Game. Older fans may be extremely disappointed with the changes that have occurred to the series since Fallout 2, and may want to avoid this game if they are looking for a direct update. New players, however, will greatly enjoy the game if they liked Bethesda's previous game, Oblivion, or if they had fun with 2K Game's Bioshock. In my view, Fallout 3 is definitely worth playing - it just isn't the Fallout fans of the franchise might be expecting.

12/18/2007 Update: For those interested, Bethesda Softworks - the creators of Fallout 3 - have released an official worldbuilder/editor for the PC version of the game. It is called the G.E.C.K. (like the item in the game), and can be downloaded from the official Bethsoft website.
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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 4, 2008 11:23:23 AM PST
Actually, SecuROM simply checks to make sure the disk is in the drive. There are very rarely any legitimate issues with this, most people who have issues are trying to crack it, ala The Witcher's problems with this were mostly the result of people attempting to run a cracked copy.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2008 12:08:04 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 31, 2009 10:28:48 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2008 8:53:14 AM PST
Voyager says:
According to the Besthesda support site, having specific software installed on your PC will cause the game to be unplayable. For example Nero cannot be installed while you play the game. I suppose anyone who uses Nero to backup their PC, is trying to crack the game?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2008 12:16:48 PM PST
Raltar says:
Also, SecuROM in this case is not part of Fallout 3's disk check. The disk check is built into the launcher for the game and will continue to function even if you remove the SecuROM files and registry entries from your computer. So honestly I'm not even sure why SecuROM needs to be part of the game at all considering it doesn't appear to actually DO anything to protect the game...

Posted on Nov 15, 2008 7:16:22 AM PST
J. XIA says:
A very well-rounded comment and very informative.

I am maybe half of a fallout fan and played fallout 2 for about 5 times. (though never played fallout 1) It is a pity that some good features of past fallout series are lost but this game is still very attractive to me since it gives me a chance to actually "see" the fallout world from "my eyes". The experience is quite exciting.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2008 10:25:51 PM PST
Great review here, I like how you explained all your pro's and con's effectivelly. Let us hope that, if they make a Fallout 4(which they undoubtably will due to the amount of cash flow this is getting a lot of plot points and the ending's somewhat point towards a larger Fallout world beyond the confines of D.C.), that they will take to heart the many gripes of the hardcore Fallout fanbase. The way the gaming business works nowadays doesn't make this likelly, but Bethesda is one of the few computer game developer's with complete control over their own products(like Blizzard), so it may happen.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 7:00:49 AM PST
I just finished the game yesterday after playing for two weeks. I liked your review, but respectfully disagree with your comments on the music. I thought the music in the game was absolutely fantastic and the different radio broadcasts a fantastic game addition. I also thought the inappropriate music for the setting (which was generally being broadcast from a radio on site) was an act of genius and added frisson and dark humor. Listening to Bing Crosby or Ella Fitzgerald and then getting jumped by feral ghouls was definitely more adrenalin-spurting terror than having dark background music give away the ambush ahead of time. just my two cents, and I appreciate your review.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2008 10:46:06 AM PST
Thanks for pointing out the conflict with Nero, Voyager. I'm not experienced with the previous Fallout games and was very curious about trying this one when I saw the glowing reviews on many sites and game mags, but if I have to delete a bunch of stuff from my computer in order to run this, I'll find a different game instead.

Posted on Nov 25, 2008 8:28:18 PM PST
I'm a long time Fallout fan myself, and I agree with almost each and every point in your review - except your assessment of the music. The music is great. Great selection of songs that present a dark ironic contrast to the violence and grim atmosphere. The only gripe I have with the music is that they are too few, and there is only one radio station! Hopefully they will expand the music selection in the form of downloadable content or expansions.

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 11:10:03 AM PST
Keith Tokash says:
Thanks for the heads-up about SecurROM. I keep running into games I want to buy and seeing that thing on there. I'm not putting that software on my Windows box, so I'll just wait around until game execs figure this out, which could be quite some time (I have it on really good authority that the geeks at the game companies actually also hate DRM).
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