Review of Fallout 3 - A Post-Apocalyptic Wonderland

Shake off those Muties, buckle up your Power armor, and fill up on some Cram... we're goin' wastelandin'!

Saddle up for the adventure you always knew you wanted to go on but hadn't been programmed yet.  Fallout 3 is simply the most exquisitely crafted, immersive world I've had the pleasure to be irradiated by... even better than Bethesda's previous masterpiece, Oblivion.  Stay tuned to your tube radio and learn why Fallout 3 had better be on your list of must have games.


The overall idea behind Fallout 3 is that the world has been devastated by nuclear warfare and radiation, creating a world topside called the "Wasteland."  The game focuses on the "Capitol Wasteland," the remains of Washington, D.C.

Your character didn't grow up in the Wasteland, however.  Below the surface lies Vault-Tec nuclear fallout shelters, which employ the most advanced technology to keep its denizens alive through even the most taxing nuclear war.

I won't give away any spoilers, but let's just say that events in the Vault lead you to flee to the surface in search of your father, a brilliant scientist... and your adventure begins.


The gameplay in Fallout 3 is primarily that of a first person shooter.  Players of Halo, Doom 3, F.E.A.R., BioShock, and other FPS's will feel right at home.  In addition, the crew at Bethesda has given Fallout 3 a heavy RPG feel, with customizable stats, fun "perks," experience, leveling, sleeping, and even a "karma" meter that reflects your actions in the Wastes.

Combat is fast and furious, and the choice of weaponry is extensive - including some weapons that you can craft yourself (we'll touch more on this later).   Adding to the RPG feel is the "V.A.T.S." system, which allows you to pause the action and select an individual body part of your enemy to target.  My favorite, of course, is the head.

Open Ended Gaming At Its Finest

Fallout 3 is so much more than combat, however.  The true appeal of the game (in my opinion) is the promise of a living, breathing, open ended world.  The moment you first step out of the Vault and look upon the open wasteland is one of the biggest moments in gaming you'll experience, trust me.  With little more than a simple gun, your wits, and one quest, you're unleased upon the Wasteland.

You'll spend an awful lot of your time wandering and exploring, discovering new and interesting locations, meeting strange citizens, warding off irradiated zombies, and completing quests for experience and rewards.

[[ad]]One of the biggest accomplishments of this game is the true feeling of solitude and desperation it imparts on you while you play.  In the beginning of the game you are weak and basically unarmed, causing you to scavenge your way to becoming a more mighty warrior.  Every clip of ammo, any little item you can sell, becomes a thing of great value.

In addition, you won't form any long lasting bonds with any of the characters you'll meet.  Pretty much everyone is rough around the edges and untrustworthy - exactly how you'd think they'd be, it IS a post-apocalyptic dog-eat-dog wasteland, after all.

Graphics and Sound

In a word, Fallout 3 is one of the most visually (and aurally) stimulating games I have played in a very long time.  The audio stays true to the mood and character of the Wasteland, right down to Three Dog's radio broadcast from the grumblings of Super Mutants to the rough-and-tumble merchants in Rivet City.  The voice acting is quite superb considering the monumental task of lending charcater to literally hundreds of NPC's, shopkeepers, enemies, and townsfolk.  Listening to dialog never gets old like you'd think it would.

Fallout 3 XBOX 360 Review

The graphics are equally phenominal in the tradition of its fellow epic RPG, Oblivion.  The Wastes are depicted accurately; decaying buildings with exposed girders and rusty trash dumpsters, makeshift lean-tos and tents in military bases, right down to scavenged flickering neon signs and empty whiskey bottles littering  seedy, understocked bars.  Your site distance is incredible, objects in the distance are rendered in staggering detail.  Enemies and NPC's are animated with incredible realism and attention to detail.  

Character: This Game's Got Plenty To Spare

Speaking of detail, this game has CHARACTER like none other I've played recently, and is what makes it truly special. Everything in this game oozes love and care... as if the developers took everything personally, and wanted to give each and every element the personal touch to make it that much more special.

Review of Fallout 3

This attention to detail shines through in the clever tunes played through Galaxy News Radio.  It shows when you discover that each pet "friendly" dog has its own unique name.  You can hear it when you overhear a conversation between Super Mutants, you can feel it when you converse with the Nuka-Cola addicted Wastelander who sends you on a collection quest.  Each weapon is paired with a unique and often humorous sketch on your inventory screen, and each computer terminal sports unique features, journal entries, and more.

All of these things only contribute to the feeling of immersion and wrap together all the elements of the game.

Conclusion: Only A Peabrained Zombie Wouldn't Like This Game

Unless you only play sports or puzzle games, you should go out and buy Fallout 3... now.  I can bet that the majority of gamers will find something to enjoy in this experience.

There are some minor complaints about the game that you should be aware of, though, before proceeding.  The game uses a very sparse visual style, wnd while it's fitting for the environment and perfect for the mood, it has grated on some people.  Also, don't be expecting a plot worthy of a New York Times bestseller, you won't find it here.  There is a cnetral storyline, but it's rather short in my opinion.  The true beauty of the game is pretending the story isn't even there and just playing to survive in the massive, perilous Wasteland.  One last thing... if you're looking for this game to hold your hand, it won't.  It's truly open ended.  You make your own destiny.  Want a quest?  Go explore and find one.  You can choose to be evil or good, to learn heavy weapons or speechcraft, to steal or to create.  The choice is up to you.

Another outstanding element of Fallout 3 that cannot be missed is its massive replay value.  There are dozens of unique items to locate and find, exotic "unique" weapons to discover, status-boosting "Bobbleheads" to collect, and more.  I've spent almost 60 hours exploring, collecting, and killin, and I have probably 60 more hours before I'll see it all.

That being said, I think it's time to load up my Rock-It Launcher with some old tin cans and teddy bears... there's Super Mutants to splatter.

[Fallout 3 Wiki]

[Fallout 3 Official Site]


Connect With Techlore