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Fallout 3 Game of the Year Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide Hardcover – October 13, 2009
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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!
The obvious: GOTY Edition contains material on all the new main, miscellaneous and side quests, in the same quality and style as the first edition. All the factions, beasts, weapons, perks, etc. covered in detail. 752 pages versus the original 464 and the binding holds together. Great manual overall, especially if you want to find all the things to do in the game.
- Some of the "Overview" charts; for instance, the 'Perks' overview chart and the 'Weapons, Armor & Items' table are missing. The bestiary and appendices charts are all still there.
- An expanded "Factions & Bestiary" section has all the new character classes with pictures.
- A new "Census" section has pictures & some bio information on every NPC in the game (seriously, its 40+ pages).
- A new "Gear" section has pictures, stats & info on all weapons classes and special weapons. I preferred the missing chart for ease of comparison versus looking at 3 identical pictures of gatling lasers but oh well. The Gear section also has pics and stats of all the apparel you can find in the game.
- The fold-out map is updated with new quest locations, a smaller map of Point Lookout is printed on a book page, and the pages changed to a slicker magazine style paper.
- And, saving the best for last: an index! Sorely missing from the first edition this is almost worth the cost of the book alone.
Worth the cost of an upgrade? Yes if you want to get the most out of the new quests or you really need that index. Lots of goodness here.
As its name suggests, this guide covers the main game and all five expansions, including complete walkthroughs of both the main quests and all the secondary and freeform quests. The book also has detailed maps of every location in the game, all the items in said locations, enemies you can encounter, and anything else you would want to know.
There is also a complete listing of all the characters you may encounter, and similar listings of all the available weapons and clothing. All include about a paragraph of description and a list of stats.
Every quest, prior to the walkthrough, is presented in a flow-chart format, so you can quickly see at a glance the ideal path for your character. There are also markers throughout the walkthrough guiding you on the karmic implications of any actions you might take.
Handy appendices in the back list locations of item sets (e.g. mini-nukes or bobbleheads), achievements/trophies and logs/holotapes (needed for some quests/achievements).
The book also comes with a full-size poster with a map of the entire Capital Wasteland on one side and detailed maps of the DC Metro area on the other.
And, to top it all off, it has a complete listing of perks and stats, with tips on how to level up. In short, if you want the full Fallout experience, you want this book.