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Now, where do I begin...Bethesda, the creator of some of the best RPG's to play that don't involve a monthly fee, constant internet subscription or are horribly addic--nevermind, that last one is the worst one to say. Bethesda created the Elder Scroll's series, including the pinnacle of the series, Oblivion, which I am sure, if you are reading this, you have played at least once. And now, their gaming greatness, have done it again.
Fallout 3, will take you deep into the past of a post-apocolyptic world that has to have happend sometime in the late 50's or so (I am only going by the music, talk of Commy's and way things seem in the game). While the game can be classified as a awesome gaming experiance, I cannot help but notice that I am playing a similar game.
Now, this is where I will have people screaming at me, leaving hateful comments, downvoting, death-threats, etc., but please, keep in mind, I have NOT beaten the game, nor even followed the story of either of them. Yes, I am one of the people who treat the game as a simple sandbox to run around and kill anything that moves or farts wrong, steal anything that isn't bolted down to the floor and calculating exactly how much I can carry to the point where i am 1 point from being over encumbered with loot.
Now, Down to the nitty-gritty. Fallout 3 is easy on the eyes, ears and other loved senses. It treats your mind to a plethora of joy in the simple opening video. Once you start the game, you are born. Yes, born into a "Vault" like underground housing system that was created to keep radiation out, and you in. Your father, Qui Gon--I mean, Liam Neeson (Great voice actor, Star Wars, Batman Begins, & Taken) explains to you who you are, and allows you to pick your future self. Once you have decided whether you will have a full out Fu-Man-Chu or a "Tony Stark Stache", your mother passes and the game jumps you a few years / months ahead, where you pick stats and learn some basics. Past that, you have a birthday party, where you are awarded the very easy to use inventory system and meet some of the characters in the game. After a quick introduction by your hellish bullies, potential love interest, and other characters, you are treated to the bread and butter of the game. The combat system.
This is where I fell in love with the game. Now, when Oblivion was first announced, the combat system, graphics, and feel of the game was enough to make any non-RPG player to at least check out the game and to this day, they still play it because, by god, it is addicting. This combat system, takes Oblivion's and throws it out the window, but not before Drop Kicking it.
The "VATS" system, add's a shooter's dream to the game. While the "bullet time" feel to it seems a little redundant, the fact that you can pick which part of the enemy that you want to defile, makes me love it much more. While you are simply hunting a pesky roach at the beginning, it allows you to choose to shoot it in the back, head, each of its legs, butt, left antenna or wallet pocket...ok, so im joking about the last 2, but its etensive.
After learning the combat system, you will be thrusted later into the future, where you must take a test deciding your Profession, or as a term we are all comfortable with, "Class" by taking a funny test in game known as the "G.O.A.T."...I never cared enough to know what that meant. After your class is chosen, the fun begins...you find your daddy has ran out of the vault and for some odd reason, his best friend was murdered and now you are being hunted. While running out, you gain some weapons, basic armor, and have a chance to get back at your bullies, affecting your Karma (I'll get to that later...).
Once you are done with the beginning, you have completed your "Oblivion entry dungeon" level, and are now free to roam the open world...
Here is where I began making my judgements and allegations. Bethesda got a little bit lazy. If you remember playing the very beginning of Oblivion, as soon as you came out of the dungeon, you came out of the side of a mountain, and were treated to a lush plethora of grass blowing, trees swaying, and some deer prancing by, with land as FAR as the eye can see...or at least your Far Plane clip (PC users). Fallout 3, is very very similar. Land. Lots of it. Almost if you took a simple spot, and copy & pasted it over and over again, adding a few baddies every few feet, copying that of Oblivion. Imagine Cyrodil after being hit with a few Nukes. Welcome to post War DC.
Which leads me to my next two things. The baddies, horribly over powered at first. When I first "Escaped", I was greeted with a welcoming party of VERY angry bandits, who told me I "was not going to make it out alive" and immediatly started firing at me off screen...from a long ways away...and hit me with every shot... As i turned around, I was smacked with a flamethrower, set ablaze, and respawned after watching a slow-motion ass whooping of my character. When I finally came back, again, i was greeted with the gun-toting bafoons of the future-past, and killed. After 5 times, I started to run and sucked down every restorative item I had on me until I ran inside a house occupied by a former lady of the night.
This is when I engaged in coversation and noticed the new Karma system. Upon further investigation, I found out that all your actions in the game affected your charisma and how people saw you, and your story's outcome. This quickly changed when I stole everything this woman had, and shot her several times. Wielding a new weapon, more liqour than i knew what to do with, and a bunch of health items and drugs, I ran outside and quickly dispatched my pursuers. After it all, I noticed I had quite a bit of lower Karma. Karma system Bad. So, i decided to make it worse.
While the game is great on the eyes in this apocolyptic world, I wouldn't like to take a trip here any time soon. Now, i say that when the world ends, it will be a Nuclear war (like this game) or a Zombie Apocolypse (please see L4D review). The controls just flow into the game inside and out, with ease, while the audio is amazing down to the effects.
But the fun factor falls where some of the bad guys are simply too strong for your low level character until you beat them all. I was strolling down the street, seeking out a story point, when suddenly the combat music came on. I was immediatly in the middle of a firefight between some bandits and "Super-Mutants" who look like some serious steroids abusers. After they riddled my body with as many bullets as they could, they turned to each other while i was hiding.
Feeling inexperianced, I shut down the game for a little while. When I came back, I realized that I was not going to win this fight till later. I ran around seeking anything I could fight and kill in the game, to get stronger. After awhile, I had killed almost everything in the game...minus Liberty Prime. Then, once you have killed the baddies of the world, most do not respawn (at least they didn't for me), Leaving replay / rekill value at a very minimum for me, until the DLC comes out.
Not to mention, the fact that you have a level cap brings me down as well. I do not have the DLC nor will i be buying any part of Alaska (no offense) but I have had enough of it. But, I would have rather been happier to just kill anything that movies to raise my level to infinity rather than pay for an update. Although, I see their point they are subtlely tying to make. They would rather not want the player to out level all of the new content and FLY through it without dying once (I.E., Wrath of the Lich King's Level restriction / gear).
After all is said and done involving this game, I would rather play it for a bit when I have exausted all of my library of games, ran out of a XBL gold membership, and are playing something simply passing the time for a class, waiting for laundry or cooking. I recommend this game TO EVERYONE, whether you are a RPG player or not. Everyone will love this game, if not forever, then for a moment. This game is definitly a fun, time passing game, that is graphically gorgeous and sounds great in surround sound. Just keep in mind, there is a limit to your enjoyment, level and how much some people can take by going back over and over in the game.
Now if you will excuse me, I will be getting back to watching my friend annihilate the hordes of hogs in Kung Fu Panda, since she loves it, while i contemplate on more 1 liners from CSI: Miami, and sip my Monster Assault.