Fallout 3 Revisited

It was PC Gamer that best summed up Fallout 3 as simply as you could possibly do it:  It doesn’t religiously follow any of the standard conventions you would normally find in a game.  At its core, it simply drops you into the world and leaves you to rot.  It’s up to you to figure out where to go, what to do, and most importantly, figure out how to survive.  I think this is from where a lot of the appeal of the game derives.  You can lose yourself in this world, basically doing whatever you want and exploring wherever you want. 

The world is the game’s greatest feature.  The starkest moment for many who play the game is the view you get when you first step outside of Vault 101 and see what the world has really become after it was destroyed by nuclear war:

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And thus ends the games involvement with you.  Now go.  Survive.  You’re on your own.  Human interaction, or rather, interaction with anything that won’t try to kill you, is pretty scarce.   As a result, you will find yourself savoring any that you find.  The first settlement you’ll come across is Megaton.  Depending on the path you choose, you can even end up with a permanent residence here, complete with a robotic butler. 

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As I mentioned, it won’t only be humans that you’ll find as friendly (though they will try to kill you, too, of course).  There are the rare instances where a Ghoul or a Mutant will be nice to you, though I will admit these are rare cases.  I wish there were more of them.

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The second greatest feature of Fallout 3 has to be the VATS.  Basically, this little jewel lets you pause the action while you organize your attacks on whatever happens to be attacking you at the time.  You are presented with a close up view of your enemies, and you are provided with all the available hitboxes and your current chance to hit each one of them, displayed as a percentage.  So for example, you could have a 95% chance of hitting a mutant in the torso, but only a 60% change of hitting them in the head.  You can then choose just about as many shots as your’d like, hit accept, and sit back and watch the carnage.  You’re then provided with the action from many different and unique angles, sometimes resembling hand-held camera recordings.  The best of these, of course, are when the camera follows the bullet to its destination. 

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Seeing the Washington Monument in a decayed state was rather creepy, I will admit.

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And the view from the top of it isn’t much better, either.

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Some levels are incredibly dark and claustrophobic.

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Guess which one I chose?

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Klaatu Barada Nikto.

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And now for my favorite part of this post:  Movies.  Using VATS never, ever, ever, EVER gets old.  Trust me. 

We’ll start out very simple.  One target, simple carnage. 

Let’s get a bit more complicated shall we?  Two targets!  It sort of annoyed me that the NPCs actually got the killing blow on the first target.  Too bad I was playing a goody-two-shoes this time around, or I would have just killed them first.  Ha!

The VATS really takes a lot of the twitchiness out of the game.  It makes it feel even more RPG-ish than it already did.  Without VATS, I probably wouldn’t have had enough time to react to both of these ghouls at once. 

The only reason this one is here is because I love the angle:

There are three reasons why this last video is here.  One, it gives you a good example of how useful the VATS is with it’s ability to slow down time and allow you to get off all of your prearranged shots.  Two, it shows the cool feature in the game where if you cripple a bad guy, they actually stop and clutch where you hurt them, giving you even more time to kill them before they attack you.  And last, look closely when I blow his head off.  See his eyeball flying through the air?  Awesomely gruesome. 

And thus ends our revisitation of Fallout 3.  I plan on checking out the expansion packs this time around, even if they are inferior games, so I may have some stuff to report back on them soon. 

Now playing: Shiny Toy Guns - Ghost Town


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