The Day Late and Dollar Short Gamer: Fallout 3

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Is this your future? Scientists say: "Probably not"

I’ve made enough comparisons at this point to Fallout 3 that I suppose I should actually write a review on it. I’ll just give you my stance on it right now: It is easily the best game I have played so far on the Xbox 360.

Granted, I haven’t played much on my 360 so far, nor have I played Fallout 1 or 2, but I’m fairly confident that I won’t find anything better in the 360 backlog, nor will there be a game that surprises me as much as this one did.

I was first introduced when at a friend’s house. He showed me the game on his PC and I was impressed with the combat, the level design and the characters. He told me I should start with at least Fallout 2 before I jump into this new one so I can get a feel for the game…

So off I go.  I find it, install it and get ten minutes in when I think to myself “This game makes me wish I was aborted!” (My apologies to any offended aborted fetus that may be reading this) The top down angle was the real killer for me since it looked like a combination of Command and Conquer: Red Alert and any of the Final Fantasy games.

Side note, I hate RTS games and turn based combat so much it makes my eyes bleed.

I draw a lot of flak for statements like that, but I also don’t like Battlestar Galactica, so I’m used to having the unpopular stance. It’s preference, and if I could get beyond those little hangups, I’m sure many other great games would open up for me. Unfortunately, I’ll never review a Final Fantasy game because of those problems.

I do want to try out Kingdom Hearts though…

ANYWAY! What is important here is that Fallout 3 is great. It combines first person shooting with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (VATS) where the player can pause the game and take careful aim at a specific area of the enemy. This is especially great for people what play while alone in the dark on a stormy night while drinking and come across their first Centaur. I needed a moment to stop freaking right the f— out.

If you’ve played the first two, the plot isn’t much different. You run around a bombed out city, this time Washington, D.C., and complete tasks to level up, kill things and basically be a bad ass all throughout the wastelands.

You can do good things or bad things which seems to be the theme of games these days, especially ones that want to slap an RPG genre sticker on their game. I beat the game being as good as possible, mainly because I feel guilty being an ass to virtual people as well as in real life, but I am getting over it and have started my second venture as a complete bastard. I would suggest the bastard route since the only real change in gameplay is you don’t have to spend as much money since you can kill or steal whatever you want.

The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system is still in place, skill points and various perks are available each level you gain that vary depending on what level you are and your current bastardness level.

There’s too much to put into any review to properly cover everything. As you discover different places, you can fast travel to the location rather than walk across the wastelands, but I am electing to walk it this time. There are many new things to discover and enemies to kill as you move along, as well as caps (money) guns, ammo and all manner of insanity for you to pick up and destroy with. This is one of the few games where I started a new game immediately after finishing my first time through, and someone with as much ADD as me, that is a feat.

Yes, there is a reason it got as much praise as it did. As a First Person Shooter, it is nine kinds of amazing with new things to discover every time you play. I suggest picking it up and telling your family you are in a coma so they don’t bother you.

As a side note, on time of writing this, I’ve beaten the first Downloadable Content Anchorage, Alaska, but not The Pitt. Beating these will give you armor and weapons not available in the regular game and totally make you the envy of the Wastelands, no matter how much my imaginary girlfriend denies it.

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