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A great companion to a massive game
on October 14, 2009
Writing guides for expansive games like Fallout 3 must be a daunting task. However, David Hodgson did a fantastic job of organizing this guide in a smooth and logical order.
I ordered this in conjunction with the Fallout 3: GOTY Edition and was very pleased. At over 750 pages, this guide covers every aspect of the game on all platforms (PS3, 360, and PC). As an owner of Hodgson's original Fallout 3 guide released in 2008, I was pleasantly surprised to see a vast number of improvements.
First and foremost: pictures! In the 2008 guide, it listed each enemy, weapon, and armor on pages upon pages of tables. It wasn't flashy, and it wasn't very exciting to look at. Now, though, there is a compendium that includes large, colorful photos of each enemy, weapon, and armor (including helmets and eyewear). Also included is an entire census of NPCs that you will find in the wasteland, each accompanied by a portrait, their location, their significance to the game, and other vitals. This really is a nice touch.
As for the guide itself, each quest is mapped out with the precise locations and steps needed to accomplish each task. The guide avoids spoiling future quests as well. In open-ended games, it's easy to get sidetracked or even completely lost when trying to achieve your goals. That won't happen with the help of this guide.
Just like the previous guide, there is a large foldout map included. It's about as big as a normal size state road map, which just goes to show how big this virtual world really is. Every location that you can unlock on your Pip-Boy map is shown and easily located with the help of a grid system. Never get lost in the Wasteland again!
Additionally, until I purchased the strategy guide for the original Fallout 3, I had no idea how many side quests there were. As it turns out there are about 17 of them (as well as many more in the DLC expansions and countless other freeform "mini" quests). Sometimes to initiate these quests, you must travel way off the beaten path. In fact, they will often be in the far stretches of the Wasteland where you may only stumble on them accidentally. Without this guide, I probably would have missed about half a dozen of them (maybe more). You don't want to miss these quests, either, since many of them offer unique rewards such as secret weapons/armor, hidden perks, followers, and a nice boost in XP as well.
All in all, this is a complete book and there are no glaring omissions. If anything, it has additional helpful content that was left out of the original volume. And since it covers the entire game, including all five DLC expansions, you really can't go wrong. The binding is strong, and overall, it looks and feels a little more polished than the previous guide.
I know some people like to play games without aid, but even then, this guide could come in handle with its immense inventory/bestiary/character database. The pages are crisp and glossy, the pictures are bright and colorful, and the maps are finely detailed.
If you're looking for the definitive Fallout 3: GOTY Edition companion, this is it!