Fallout 3

In 1997 Interplay created one of the most special and unique games on PC, Fallout. It was enough of a success that Black Isle, a division of Interplay, created an awesome sequel in '98. From then, it has spawned a good bit of extra games, yet none of them are actually considered sequels. Bethesda Softworks has finally created another sequel to the Fallout franchise and, thankfully, it has been done with special care as not to ruin the greatness of the series. Fallout 3 is ultimately the best game in the series and one of the best of this generation.

So, story isn't a huge component of the game. It has a little better than okay story and, in the end, it is kind of short at around 12 - 15 hours, with differing difficulty levels. Basically, your father leaves the safety of the large, underground Vault 101 and you are forced to go out and explore the large Capital Wasteland to find him. This leads you to the great wonders of the large world that humans and mutants inhabit. There are many quests to initiate and finish, over a hundred locations to discover along with a lot of enemies to fight. Most of what you do in here is rewarding in some way and nothing beats that more than leveling up.

Leveling up acts in a way that is quite similar to that of the original Fallout games. You pick some of the skills that you have and put points into whatever you feel like putting them into to. This time around, you pick a perk once every level, each of which help your character in dozens of different ways. It really is rewarding to look at a new perk and go "Holy crap! That looks frigging awesome!" Every choice you make in leveling up makes an entirely different character, so choose wisely.

Combat is played out in two modes; normal, FPS fare and the original Fallout system, VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), which pauses time and lets you select certain body parts with an allotted number of action points, before letting it play in slo-mo and watching mutant body parts fly. So enjoyable.

If there's one thing I should mention, it's the voice acting. It is definitely some of the most superb acting I've heard in a game in a long time, with possibly only Uncharted achieving greater success (seriously). Sadly, animation is... atrocious as everyone looks like they're walking, sitting, running, etc. with wood in their bones. Surely, Bethesda can do more with their characters than make them robotic in terms of movement.

This definitely isn't the most polished game experience you'll find. Enemy bodies will get stuck in objects, weapons will disappear without a trace, and some texture popping occurs. Luckily, it really isn't enough to ruin the experience for everyone who touches it.

To sum it up, Fallout 3 is an experience that puts many other titles to shame. The nice mix of rewarding gameplay, satisfying combat, a huge world, a ton of characters to meet, and things to steal creates a game that is utterly amusing and should have you coming back for hours (in my case, 3000 hours).

Score: 9.5

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