Fallout 3 Reviews

By Shamus Posted Thursday Nov 20, 2008

Filed under: Game Reviews 68 comments

Reviewing something like Fallout 3 is like negotiating for peace in the middle east. It’s no fun, you can’t win, and everyone will hate you for trying.

It’s impossible to distill this game into a single opinion. As I play, my attitude towards the game oscillates wildly between delighted amusement and grave outrage. The game itself is a mix of the insipid and the inspired, of brilliance and bullshit. If I reviewed it solely as a Fallout game, my review would be a long, wretched screed. If I just reviewed it as a sandbox RPG, I could show up with nice things to say about it that would leave you ignorant of the wasted potential.

Just how important is wasted potential, anyway? If you’re playing a game, and you’re having fun, but it’s clear the game could have been ten times better for the same budget, do you celebrate the decent game you have, or lament the incredible one that might have been?

The game seems to have launched flame wars all over the internet as people divide themselves into the rabid love it / hate it factions. I can understand why. I’ve been taking notes as I play through the game, and going back and reading them later they sound like an argument.

I keep trying to calibrate myself against other reviewers I’m familiar with. Yahtzee gave it his coveted Branston Pickle Rating. Alex is having a good time with it.

Pretty much all of my thoughts on the game can be found in this No Mutants Allowed review. I threw up while reading the thing due to sea-sickness brought on by constantly nodding my head in agreement.


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68 thoughts on “Fallout 3 Reviews

  1. Avilan the Grey says:

    Heh. I agree, and yet I don’t ;)

    Seriously, I love the game. And yes, it could be (at least) 10 times better. I am unashamedly one of those who give it 9 out of 10, or 95 out of 100. Despite the flaws.

    I have so far red a single review (in Swedish PC gamer) that was sorta-negative and I agreed with (except for the point of it “definitely being Oblivion with Guns”) but all other points were fair (well that point was fair too, but I didn’t agree with it). But that review also ended in a pretty good score, 81 of 100. Basically because the reviewer felt he was having a lot of fun despite the flaws, and that the game definitely was worth the money.

    Now, if I could just get off work so I could start playing again…

  2. One site I review for does occasional things called ‘Discussion Reviews’ where two reviewers go back and forth on a game, each taking turns making points and responding to the other. We’re doing one for Fallout 3 now, and it is filled with that ‘internal argument’ stuff you mention … also agree that the NMA article is a great read – agree with much but there is also loads of hyperbole.

  3. empty_other says:

    Well, i am kind of dried out after years upon years with bad games. And this game is better than any other games ive played for quite a while, and released in a wave of other good and fun games (Far Cry 2, Red Alert 3, World of Goo) or games whom has the potential to be quite above the average game quality the latest years (Call of Duty 5, Mirrors Edge).

    I think the love the game makers lay in each game is on a rise. But they are still a bit bound by the publishers who want the game out as fast as possibly, and with as little done work-hours as possibly. So we get potential good games, but plagued with too many bugs and too few dialog options and generally too little content.
    And that is where Fallout 3 stands today. A good game, but still way below Fallout 2 in content.

  4. qrter says:

    Wow, that No Mutants Allowed review is annoying. I mean, you’d expect rabid fanboyism from anything No Mutants Allowed-related but that still took me by surprise.

  5. Krellen says:

    I solemnly swear to make no comment on Fallout 3 in this thread.

    I’m glad you keep referencing Yahtzee, Shamus. I’d get distracted and forget about him if you didn’t.

  6. Picador says:

    I haven’t played the game yet. Reading the NMA review actually made me even more excited to play it; most of the “problems” he mentioned sound cool to me. In fact, the whole review is sort of incoherent: he goes from “why is the East Coast exactly like the West Coast that’s stupid” to “why is the East Coast totally different from the West Coast that’s stupid” in the course of a single paragraph.

  7. The guys at Gamers with Jobs have a nice interview with one of the Bethesda devs (Pete Hines) in their latest podcast.


    It starts at about the 36 minute mark.

  8. Robyrt says:

    I am reminded of all the System Shock fans who were bitterly disappointed in Bioshock for being a horror FPS instead of a first-person RPG. Now we have an excellent first-person RPG, and we’re still complaining. Yes, the game could have been better – turning off VATS slow-mo, improving the writing, removing the Chinese Assault Rifle from the first dungeon, making Agility more useful, etc – but compared to any other game you didn’t spec out in your head, it looks mighty impressive.

  9. Christopher says:

    I’m one of those fans who reads any review with a grain of salt. Even your’s Shamus. I’m buying Fallout 3, not because it’s a Fallout game, but because it’s made by Bethesda and I spent 300? hours on Oblivion and still going strong. If Fallout 3 has half as much staying power as Oblivion, it’s well worth the $50. Now I just have to spend $200 to upgrade my computer!

    Also, it seems to me that a lot of the gripes about the game is about it’s title. If you want Fallout 1 or 2 then go play Fallout 1 or 2. This is an excellent game in it’s own right and should be enjoyed for what it is.

  10. JKjoker says:

    Excellent ? i wouldnt call it excellent, maybe fun, or adequate but not excellent, in fact i rather replay no one lives forever 2 on impossible for the 120937th time than finishing my first run though fo3, noolf2 is much more of a fpsrpg than fallout3, at least you FEEL that increasing your skills change something, and the writing is so much better (ending still sucks tho, but i could count games with good endings with half a finger)

  11. Krellen says:

    Stupid oath.

  12. Martin says:

    I wanted my money back after playing for about 2 hours. I wasn’t interested in any of the quests, the options were equally uninteresting.

    As soon as I can find a joystick in a store I’ll be playing Tie Fighter again.

  13. LintMan says:

    Wasted potential can be really painful for hardcore fans – a bad version can be worse than no version at all, because the mere existense of the bad version makes it more unlikely (or impossible) for a good version to ever happen.

    I’m a pretty hardcore LoTR fan and that was my biggest fear with the movie: that PJ would botch it and we’d never see a decent film version. (Now, I have my quibbles with some of what the films did and didn’t do, but overall thankfully he did a great job.) But anyway, I understand where the upset people are coming from.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not hardcore on the Fallout series, or maybe because I’ve been forced to lower my expectations by other recent games, but despite the fact that I too could make a list of things I’d prefer to be different/better, I really like it so far. (Now some are saying the ending stinks, so that might change my opinion, but I’m not there yet and so far it’s been good).

    But then, IIRC Shamus really disliked Oblivion, while I thought it was overall great (though certainly quite flawed in some ways). My expectation going in was “Oblivion adapted to the Fallout universe”, and that’s what we got. And I guess I’m mostly OK with that – it certainly doesn’t trigger the “bad version vs. no version” feeling.

  14. Matt K says:

    All I have to say about the game (since I couldn’t get out of the Vault due to either bugs or lying system specs or both) is that it had the worst tutorial of any game I ever play.

  15. Avaz says:

    I think I might be in a better position than others when I finally get around to buying and playing Fallout 3 (after I finish my current run through Fallout 2, of course) in that I never played Oblivion, so I won’t be able to make any comparisons like the ubiquitous “Oblivion with guns” because, well, I never played Oblivion.

    I’ve so far not read a single review or anyone’s thoughts that didn’t compare parts of it to Oblivion, so I wonder how different my experience with the gameplay will be?

  16. krellen says:

    Avaz: I’ve never played Oblivion. Well, okay, I played the half-hour character creation intro part, but then I stopped.

    I did play Morrowind, and disliked it so much I sent it off for free to some Canadian who reads Shamus’s blog. Hopefully he likes it better than I did.

  17. Jim says:

    Robyrt #9 I am reminded of all the System Shock fans who were bitterly disappointed in Bioshock for being a horror FPS instead of a first-person RPG.

    I feel the same way. I wonder if the current Fallout 3 story/quest/NPCs/world were presented as an isometric turn-based strategy game if 50% of the negative reviews wouldn’t exist.

    “I don’t like First Person Shooter nonsense, I really would have preferred turn-based combat” is a perfectly valid opinion. However you probably can’t draft a review of the game around it, so instead it feels like many of these authors are instead focusing their criticisms on stuff they’d normal leave for the nitpicks paragraph at the end of the review.

  18. Michael says:

    Yeah, I’m a big Morrowind and Oblivion fan. The only Fallout game I’ve played was the Tactics version and I recall liking it a lot, but finding it a bit too difficult at the time. I’m interested in picking it up again (and the other two Fallout games I missed) and seeing if my matured abilities would favor it even better.

    In any case, going in, I assumed it’d be Oblivion, but with a lot of the niggles worked out AND have lots of mods later on down the road. I’ve already installed a few mods, like the UI mod and the Item Description mod, which adds Fallout-1-and-2 type descriptions to most items. :) I like that one. In any case, I’m enjoying the game thoroughly so far.

  19. Adeon says:

    I haven’t yet played Fallout 3 and I’m not really sure why. I enjoyed Morrowind and Oblivion and I love Fallout so Fallout 3 should be a sure thing for me. However I can’t muster up the care to buy it. I think that the problem is that I’d rather enjoy the Fallout games I have instead of playing a new game that just won’t be the same.

    Ironically if they’d called it The Elder Scrolls V: Oblivion with Guns I’d be much more inclined to buy it since it wasn’t Fallout.

  20. gahazakul says:

    [/friendly ribbing]
    Krellen, it most boil the tar that passes for blood in your shriveled, fanboy heart to see all these people that actually like the game speak out.
    [/friendly ribbing]

    I enjoyed everything about the title except for the main storyline. Then again, thats Bethseda. I wish they would replace some of the people that do the bump mapping with writers.

    Then again, the side quests are awesome, I spent my first 7 hours making the survival guide for the lady in the first town. She is straight up insane, I want to marry her.

  21. krellen says:

    gahazakul, stop trying to make me break my oath.

  22. mrmurphy says:


    HTML formatting (and incorrectly done at that) doesn’t actually turn being a jerk into friendly ribbing. It just makes you a jerk who doesn’t know what ‘friendly’ means. And in any event, there are what, three people who’ve commented that have both A) played the game and B) like it without some sort of qualification (e.g. fun, but not as good as Fallout 2). Incidentally, you have two people that either hated it or couldn’t get it to work from bugs.

    Sure sounds like a massive horde of people coming to the defense of the game in question. Well spotted.

    And good on you for making the survival guide. Its good you did, too. I’m sure the culture that’s lived in the wasteland for hundreds of years has yet to figure out that radiation is bad for you, or that stepping on land mines is hazardous to ones health. Keep up the good work.

  23. Illiterate says:

    I appreciate my expectations being set appropriately, but I think I’ll still try out F3.. maybe not right away, but at some point

  24. Magnus says:

    I’m really in two minds about this game, as I see eye-to-eye with many folks from NMA, and since I only completed Oblivion a couple of months ago (have had the game since it came out), and even then I got so frustrated with it that I don’t want to ever see oblivion again. Given “oblivion with guns” seems to be being used as a selling point, I feel cynical about FO3.

    Why is liking turn-based isometric games so wrong, and given that there are many people like me around, surely people can cater to our tastes…

    And on that note, I’m anxiously waiting for Age of Decadence and Dragon Age.

  25. krellen says:

    For fans of good isometric turn-based, if you haven’t already played it (it is almost ten years old), look up “Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura” and give it a play-through.

    I looked for it last year when I first heard about it and only found it for like $100, but recently I’ve seen prices as low as $25, which is why I got it. Great game, and it’s by Troika, which means much of the same developers as made Fallouts 1 and 2.

  26. Magnus says:

    I have heard a little about it, seems to get good reviews from people. I’ll have to get a copy once I have a few coins to rub together.

  27. Matt K says:

    @ Krellen: I agree, Arcanum is a pretty good game. Not a big fan of the stat system/level up but otherwise it’s a pretty decent game and I’d also recommend it.

  28. Nilus says:

    Honestly all the people I see hating on Fallout 3 were the same people that cried and yelled when Bethesda got the rights to it. Its not a top down, turn based game and that make fanboys mad.

    It seems like all the other arguements about it not being “truly” Fallout 3 is a bunch of crap. I played every Fallout game made(even the terrible Brotherhood of Steel games on X-box) and Fallout 3 is different but just as entertaining as Fallout 1 or 2 was. The story is solid, the voice acting good and the side quests and exploring all pretty solid.

    I can’t wait for Fallout 4

  29. Colonel Slate says:

    I’m telling you boys, for those that don’t like it, fix it, demand a SDK or CS from Bethesda, tell them we want it, we want to add our own content, we want to be able to make it the game it should have been, we want to make a fun game, better.

    Those fallout purists out there, if you long for an isometric game so badly, then all you have to do is a bit of python scripting that changes your perspective from first to isometric, don’t tell me it can’t be done, they did it for Halo, they did something like it for UT3 (Horrible game by the way).

    Krellen you asked why I called you elitist, for not fixing it, that topic area got way to long for me to respond, so I’m responding here, fix the game, make it to your liking, demand the SDK or CS from Bethesda.

    If you (anyone not just Krellen) complain about how awful the game is, or even how it could be better, make it better, I shall call you elitist if you don’t, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty to correct a game, a game in a series that is one of my most beloved series of all time.

    I don’t have the luxury of a CS or SDK, and I’m still breaking down the code for all the language, and making a dumb version, and making a version where speech and int count again. Not easy, but I want it, I’m doing it.

    Fan content made oblivion (not exactly my favorite game) much more fun. And if we do it for Fallout, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we get a Fallout 2 or Fallout 1 in the Fallout 3 engine.

    Krellen, you have the rights to return fire at me if you wish, I want to know what you think, or if you had an idea to make it better, feel free to say it.

  30. gahazakul says:

    MrMurphy, that remark for krellen was from a fun back and forth from yesterday, so he got it and that was what I was aiming for.

    Internet, as they say, is serious business.

    Krellen do I need to email you a hug and you can take pictures, post them somewhere so I can show that there is no animosity between us and the internet police will leave me be?

  31. Matt` says:

    On wasted potential… a decent game in the place of what could have been an excellent game is disappointing, although you do have the decent game as a consolation prize. The real pain comes when you were promised an excellent game, shown an excellent game in demo videos, then sold a turd (cf. Spore).

  32. krellen says:

    Colonel: Not everyone has the time or skill set to design games. On the other hand, if someone that does have said skills needs someone to help them write a better plot or better dialogue, I’m sure there’s tons of people here, or in the GM Advice threads, that would love to lend a hand.

  33. I’ve been playing Fallout3 for about 6 hours now– having never picked up the first or second game, nor any of the spinoffs.

    I’m having a _blast_ with this game. A seriously good time, with only a few immersion breaking elements. I sort of get that people wanted a different game, but the one we ended up with in this reality is quite a bit of fun. Buck up, stop comparing the game to the Platonic Ideal of what Fallout3 “should have been” and enjoy what we actually received…

  34. Magnus says:

    I (and those like me) should “buck up”?

    You’ll have to forgive me if I choose not to blindly roll over and accept whatever is pushed in my direction.

    Bethesda made their choice, and have lost some customers as well as gaining others. I will make my choice, which will probably involve me never experiencing this game.

  35. Jeff says:

    I can’t really disagree with the NMA review.

    I actually do like the combat system though. (I’ve got FFT:A2 on my DS for my turn-based needs, hehe.)

    The main storyline is lackluster, and I really hate two things: Lack of individual resolutions (endings for towns), and no item descriptions!

    The main quest not being up to snuff wouldn’t be that important if the side quests had resolutions, tying the entire journey together into a “what you did to the wasteland” story, as opposed to just the “look for dad” story.

  36. Jock says:

    As someone who has played all of Fallouts 1, 2, and 3, I have to say that I had just as much fun playing 3 as I did 1 or 2. Yes, 3 is different, but to dismiss it just because of that difference is like saying an Apple that doesn’t taste like an Orange isn’t Fruit.

    The only caveat (which I think many will agree with) is that I would have appreciated a stronger ending, but that has nothing to do with whether I think it’s a worthy successor to the Fallout name.

  37. Nalano says:

    Jim: I feel the same way. I wonder if the current Fallout 3 story/quest/NPCs/world were presented as an isometric turn-based strategy game if 50% of the negative reviews wouldn't exist.

    Yes, but only because with all the money they saved from their art department they could have hired some decent writers.

    Seriously, Fallout fanboys aren’t all gushing over isometric turn-based combat. They want the story. It’s the story that drives a post-apocalyptic thriller and people will jump all sorts of hurdles – bad combat engines, annoying bugs – if the story is compelling!

    Everything else is just griping about being given a decent game with glaring flaws and being told it’s an excellent game that deserves praise. Hype turns people bitter. Stop the two-year hype machine and maybe you won’t get such angry customers.’

    In short because I can’t repeat it enough: Story story story! Put those underemployed English majors to work!

  38. ashmind says:

    I have never played Fallout 1 and 2 (I had played Tactics, however), but I mostly agree with NMA review.

    The Vaults are the most visible missed opportunity. Extremely interesting social experiments presented as a number of enemy-filled dungeons, now that’s a lost chance.

    However, in general the game is quite fun. A number of minor tweaks would make it almost perfect, except for the idiocy of the main quest.

  39. Poet says:

    A few friends of mine picked it up the day it came out. Their opinions were as split as everyone elses. Love or hate, it seemed there was no middle ground. Then I began talking to the haters. Quite a bit of their loathing (and even that isn’t a strong enough word) stemmed from memories of Fallout 1 and 2.
    So I challenged them–replay the old games, then Fallout 3.
    Today there was some shifting, some backpeddling, quite a bit of, “Well, when I said X, I really meant Y.”
    Much of the hate is derived from memories that are foggy at best. The overall experience of 1 and 2 were fantastic, yes, but they weren’t the Holy Grail, they didn’t cure cancer. They were amazingly good games, but they weren’t and aren’t the end-all-be-all of RPG’s.
    That title goes to Planescape: Torment. Everyone knows that.

  40. Nalano says:

    I played Fallouts 1 and 2 as recently as last month. Hell, they were still installed when I picked up Fallout 3. My memories are not hazy.

  41. Cavtroop says:

    I played 1, 2 and Tactics. Loved them all. I like F3 to a certain extent.

    My main gripe is the FPS – I don’t like ‘twitchers’, and this essentially forces you to play one. Sure, they have VATS, but once you are out of AP, you have three choices:

    1.) Play an FPS, and spam the fire button
    2.) Sit there and soak up a ton of damage while waiting for AP to replenish
    3.) Run around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying not to get shot while waiting for AP to replenish

    None of those options are what I’d consider fun, really.

  42. Nalano says:

    Heh, Cavtroop. Just wait ’til you have to play a real FPS where your opponents don’t just run at you in a straight line.

  43. Evangel says:

    A lot of the hate comes from it being called Fallout 3. It’s not a spinoff, it’s a direct sequel. A sequel typically expands and improves upon the gameplay and story in the previous game. Fallout 3 doesn’t expand or improve on the gameplay or story, it outright butchers it.

    The Brotherhood of Steel, in 1 and 2, they’re a monastic order dedicated to being “technology police”, no outsiders allowed (except in very rare instances, you can only join them in FO1) and not enough members to protect the population, even if they wanted to, which they don’t.

    Mutants and super mutants are genetically modified humans with a theoretical infinite lifespan… except they go senile with old age. They don’t go insane and start eating people, they go braindead.

    If they called it Fallout: Capital Wasteland or something, there’d be a lot less criticism leveled at it.

  44. Nathanael Phillip Cole says:

    Fallout 3 is one of the best games I’ve ever played. I’ve logged 8- hours in it now split between two different characters, and don’t see myself stopping any time soon.

    Fallout 1 bored me, and Fallout 2 was pretty terrible.

  45. Nathanael Phillip Cole says:

    Oops, that shoulda said 80+ =)

  46. Namfoodle says:

    I bought FO1 & FO2 from Good Old Games. I finished FO1 & I’m playing FO2 now.

    I bought the special edition of FO3 with the Bobblehead and the Pip-Boy. But I haven’t started yet, so I can’t make any comparisons yet. Enough people have said they liked FO3 that I’m not worried that I won’t enjoy it when I get around to it.

    But I think that the number of years gone by and the new developer made it inevitable that a large percentage of teh fan population wouldn’t like the game.

    I don’t think there’s ever been a game where the developers didn’t leave some possible improvements on the table. A lot of good games would be great with this or that tweak, but you’ll probably never get two people to agree on the tweaks.

    Even the first two Fallout games have few broken quests that couldn’t be solved, and lots of loose ends that could have led to quests that were never finished.

  47. Evangel says:

    Namfoodle, just because something is broken in a previous game does not excuse it being broken in a later game.

  48. DKellis says:

    One reason I don’t like The Fallout Series Fanbase is because they have turned me into one of them. As in, easily annoyed and bitter, prone to see negative things where they may not exist, jumping angrily at shadows.

    This is likely over the amount of sheer flak I have received for liking both Fallout 2 and Fallout 3. If I remember, liking Fallout 3, apart from making me Not A True Fallout Fan, also means that I am a mouth-breather, a drooling idiot, a Halo fanboy (I can’t refute this, since I do like Halo, but I keep thinking they mean a different thing from what I think they mean), a console gamer (I suppose I am), fourteen years old (mid-twenties, actually), have no imagination, have no strategy, a frat boy (never been in a college fraternity, not that I know what’s so bad about it), and generally lacking in intelligence.

    I just want to discuss the game that I like, without having to wade through all the noise (as opposed to signal) of “but it’s not a True Fallout Game!” That may be so, but it still has nothing to do with how I think Moira Brown is kind of cool, or how much fun the sniper rifle is.

    And frankly, it’s all getting extremely repetitive, especially if the reasoning given is “it just isn’t” or variations. For example, “Fallout games need to be isometric turn-based.” Why? “It’s the only way to retain the Fallout feel.” Why? “Because that’s the way it should be.” Why? “It just has to be.” Arguing in circles; I’d really like to hear of any progress in this front.

    To clarify, this doesn’t apply to krellen, since at least he’s been civil.

  49. Evangel says:

    DKellis, it needs to be turn based because the original developers were making it as a pnp game on a computer.

    Initially, Tim Cain was the sole person involved in the project, programming the incipient game engine himself. The goal of the project was to create a computer game that was “as close as you can get to playing GURPS, short of playing GURPS.”


  50. DKellis says:

    The obvious followup question to that is: the “PnP game on a computer” thing is why it was turn-based. But why does it need to be turn-based in order to be A True Fallout Game?

    My inability to comprehend this could be because of my stance: as long as the name is on the box, and it has the blessings of the current holder of the rights, then it counts as a game of the franchise, regardless of its quality.

  51. Arson55 says:

    I can understand complaints about the storyline (I’m not a fan of any of Bethesda’s storylines, this despite the fact that I adored Morrowind, and enjoyed Oblivion, my problem there is that I always looked back at Morrowind and thought about how much better the old game was). Then again, by and large, I’m not a fan of video game storylines in general. Most are so illogical that they make you stupider if you try and think it through. Yeah, every now and then a game catches my attention with its storytelling, but largely if I’m looking for a good story I read.

    I can also understand complaining about the characters, for the most part they sucked (except Moira, she was just fun because she was so freaking nuts). Then again, having the majority of characters suck is once again nothing new for games.

    And yet, Fallout 3, was the most fun I’ve had with a game for a long time. I’m not ready to count it with my all time favorites by any means, but the game was well balanced, I thought combat was interesting. Sure, some people may not agree, I’m sure the mix of first person combat and the slowed down VATS mode isn’t for everyone, but I liked it.

  52. Evangel says:

    DKellis, I suppose I’ve gotta say that to be a “true” Fallout game in the fans sense (since the current rights holders can put out any old dreck set in a high fantasy setting and call it Fallout and it’d be an “official canon” game), it’s gotta expand and improve upon what was set in stone in the previous games. Taking what was and changing it to what you want it to be is not expanding or improving, but rather butchering.

    But by your definition, anything labeled “Fallout” by the current rights holders is an official Fallout game.

  53. SolkaTruesilver says:

    I remember reading something about Fallout 3’s hype in the latest PC Gamer magasine. There was a quote that made me ponder..

    “In retrospect, Fallout 2 wasn’t that great. It was a buggy game that threw you into an empty wasteland and you had no freaking idea what to do, or how to do it right”.

    And.. (while my quote is not 100% perfect) I have to agree. Fallout 2 wasn’t that great when you thought about it. The endquest was broken into almost un-related parts (Vault 13 –> San Fransisco –> Oil Rig). And the combat system was so easy to abuse.

    It was a great game, but it wasn’t “that” great, except when you compare the title to the other games that existed at the time. Also the target market. Always consider the target market: I will try hard to convince my girlfriend’s small brothers to play Fallout 1 and 2, but I am sure they won’t really be interested if they get their hands on Fallout 3. Because.. well, let’s face it: we are a minority.

  54. Scourge says:

    “In retrospect, Fallout 2 wasn't that great. It was a buggy game that threw you into an empty wasteland and you had no freaking idea what to do, or how to do it right”.

    I rather would call that the right thing to do.

    You, the character, have lived in isolation for a few fifty years or more and suddenly you are supposed to go out into the huge wastelands. Of course you will don’t know what is going on, where to go, what to do or do it right even, not that you could do anything right anyways, you just do it as ebst as you can or how you think it should be done.

    I dare to say that this is immersion, at least for me. I ahve no idea how post apocalyptic wastelands will look and hence I will be disoriented and by exploring will I slowly learn about the things. Note that I refer here to my character.

    Fallout 3, as i said before, is a fun game that is already made better with various mods by the community and they don’t even got the SDK yet.

    I even can forgive beth for the horrible ending, but what broke the game for me was when I was in a vault again and saw a woman cowering in a Corner, heads over her head and obviously stricken in terror. Nice guy that i am i walk over to her to ask her what is wrong.. and what do I get
    “Hello, how are you today?” *said in acheery tone with a smile*
    So I cancel the dialogue, thinking I was just mistaken, and she goes back to cowering on the ground.

    Anycase, to the Turn absed question, I honestly don’t think it is neccesary for the “True” Fallout feel, but whatever flaots other peoples boats.
    One thing about turn absed is that you need to ponder your actions though and prepare for the several possible actions the foe could or will take.
    Right now charge the raiders, when wielding close combat weapons, straight at you. With distance weapons they will at least shoot you and take cover by standing behind things and gladly NOT fire their rocket launcher.

    Overall would i say that F3 is a good game and the main critique point is that many feel the most interesting things that were in F1 and F2 were left out.
    Like you could become a pornstar in F2, sleep with several woman and men to get cheaper stuff or information and what not.

    The “gritty” and “harsh” and “Depressed” feeling of the old F1 and F2 universe is not THAT present in F3.

    I mean, how can a village of childs survie all alone without any source of food? And still work perfectly?
    Where do all the big cities get their food from?
    Where do all the small villages get it? Once small village, 4 huts, had a pair of Brahmin nearby, i can imagine that they will slaughter them for meat etc, but the other cities have no such way at all to feed themself, and neither do the raiders. Although that can be handwaved by saying they steal brahmin.

  55. Evangel says:

    Solka, Fallout 1’s main quest can be described as Vault 13 -> Necropolis -> (Either) Military Base or Cathedral and Necropolis is a completely optional part.

    The end game in Fallout 2 doesn’t start at Vault 13, it starts at Arroyo with you being told of Navarro. Ignoring the bugs since Fallout 3 has way, way, way more than it’s fair share, Fallout 2 is an exceptional game and saving and loading each turn until you get a critical is metagaming that cannot be predicted by the devs.

    The beauty of Fallout 1 and 2 is that they aren’t telling you the story of the world, they’re telling you the story of your character. What you do in the world and the choices that you make. It ends with showing you how your choices affected those you met.

  56. Derek K. says:

    I’m 12-16 hours in. I haven’t even gone to look for Three Dog. I agree with a surprising amount of the NMA review, which is funny, because I generally don’t like the tone there. But yeah, I felt the review was, generally, positive, and how I feel. A few bits of “bah!” but overall, I’m enjoying it. But I already have a few mods, and I’m waiting for a few more.

  57. DKellis says:

    @Evangel (#53):

    But by your definition, anything labeled “Fallout” by the current rights holders is an official Fallout game.

    Well, yes. That was my meaning.

    I mean, it happens for the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, merchandise and novels and all. It happens for superhero comics, Marvel and DC and whatnot. It happens for Final Fantasy.

    It may not be good, but it’s still official.

  58. SatisVerborum says:

    @Evangel, #44

    Every time somebody bandies around the ‘such-and-such was different in 1 and 2’ argument, it makes me wonder if I was the only person paying attention when they explained exactly WHY things were different.


    The Brotherhood on the east coast is a splinter group, cut off and operating on their own under a different edict. Elder Lyons explains this the first time you go into the Citadel – rather than go back to Cali, they decided to stay and help out against the Super Mutants. The Outcasts operate pretty much exactly like the west coast Brotherhood, in that they’re only interested in pre-war technology and are indifferent toward the locals; they’re only ‘outcasts’ because Lyons calls the shots in DC.

    The east coast Super Mutants are not remnants of the Master’s army that migrated east – they’re from Vault 87, which was experimenting with different strains of FEV. If you poke around the Citadel, there are files that flat-out state that local Mutants are physically and mentally different from the originals for unknown reasons. Hell, when you go back to the Citadel after being captured, one of the things you can report to Lyons is that you’ve discovered the origin of the DC mutants!

  59. Licaon_Kter says:

    i recommend this review too: http://computergames.ro/en/games/viewitem/id/1002/name/fallout-3/section/review.html

    don’t stop at the low score, just read it ;)

  60. Deuce Bigolow says:

    You know what? I hate this game as much as I hated Anathem, and I think it’s for a lot of the same reasons.

  61. Tahadar says:

    When I read something like “F3 is a great game” I know that the person who wrote those words belongs to a certain group of people (gaming wise). Those people are playing racing / flight simulators, FPSs (CS, anyone?) and honestly are something I would not like to step on. Are the same people that say “WoW is a great game” “Quests in Dungeon Siege are tough” “FT:BoS was a hard game”. I think you got the ideea.

    I’ve finished the so-called F3 in about 24 hours on hardest dificulty, I’ve used less than 50 stimpacks and I honestly suck at FPSs. I don’t want to play it anymore, not even for trying another char build. After I hit the Citadel I lost any desire to finish the game, but I kept playing and doing all the side quests.

    Now after I finished the game, I can say the main quest is the most pointless storyline I’ve seen. Even Warcraft have a better one and for me Warcraft / WoW players are the bottom/rear of gamer world.

    Skill development is stupid and also pointless. You can ignore all your combat skills when level up and still be able to kill all the enemies you meet. You can mess your character real bad, there is no turning back and still be able to play the game.

    You find bottlecaps in pre-war old lockers (wtf, they had dollars back there, not bottlecaps), computers – also pre-war old – in middle of nowhere in wood-made shacks that magically works without electricity and/or flaws. If you play on hardest dificulty quest characters have a very big chance to get killed. A lot of people act illogical, there is no reason behind actions (things are in this way because are in this way, period). Game ends when main quest ends.

    … and I should end Here and Now (perk). :P

  62. Avilan the Grey says:


    I know this is an old topic but this statement of yours is so weird that I had to respond to it. I assume you are a member of NMA?

    1) “When I read something like “F3 is a great game” I know that the person who wrote those words belongs to a certain group of people (gaming wise). Those people are playing racing / flight simulators, FPSs (CS, anyone?) and honestly are something I would not like to step on. Are the same people that say “WoW is a great game” “Quests in Dungeon Siege are tough” “FT:BoS was a hard game”. I think you got the ideea.”

    Really. Personally I hate FPS games, I loathe flight simulators but I do enjoy racing games. My five favorite games of all times are:

    BG 2
    BG 1
    FO 3
    Civ IV
    Civ II

    How does that fit into your theory?

    A majority of the people who enjoyed FO1 enjoy FO3. A majority of the people that like CRPGs enjoy FO3. In fact, I bet my right hand that most buyers of FO3 for PC are CRPGers. For console, I don’t know (I don’t see the point of buying RPGs for consoles, period, but that’s me).

    Btw You did ALL side quests and the main quest in 24 hours? On Very Hard. It strikes me as very unlikely. I assume you did fast travel as much as possible?

  63. musichyper says:

    I agree that there was a greater complexity and darkness in this version because I've never played the previous two.
    This game got some good ratings and feedback so i had to play it. I'm really glad I did. it's brilliant.

    I Hyped Fallout 3 on Everhype and gave it 80% which I think is fairly accurate.


    I wouldn't mind getting some opinions on it . If you get on there, rate me a 5 & request friendship.

  64. Deadeye-Jim Grizzle says:

    “Wasted potential can be really painful for hardcore fans – a bad version can be worse than no version at all, because the mere existense of the bad version makes it more unlikely (or impossible) for a good version to ever happen.” – Lintman

    well said. i have not yet played FO3, though i really want to. on the other hand, i’ve played through FO1&2 more times than i have any other game, so i’m also rather dreading this sequel. i can handle the loss of true turn-based combat and the isometric camera, but it’s the dumbed-down dialoge that will likely clinch it for me.

    if you’ve never played the originals, take a run thru FO1 and talk to Gizmo, Tandi, Set, and above all, Harold. visit the monks at the BOS compound, sneak into the Thieves Guild, and don’t miss The Glow. try playing a char with INT 3.

    in FO2 be sure to annoy Renesco, rebuff Myron’s advances, and again visit Harold. listen to the ladies faking it at the Cat’s Paw. tell me that writing isn’t funny as hell.

    the first 2 Fallouts have style in spades and some of the best dialogue ever put into a game. the problem the “hardcore” fans have had with FO3 is the fact that they’re the base that kept the IP alive, and now they’re probably never going to see the sequels live up to the potential. i’m sure i will enjoy FO3 for what it is, but for what it isn’t is like a suckerpunch.

  65. Maldeus says:

    I’m going to say, without reading the rest of this thread at all, that I think right now it’s far more important to encourage good games than attack wasted potential. Thus, it’s best to applaud the good game we got than the amazing game we could’ve, at least until good games are more or less the norm.

  66. GarfunkeL says:

    A majority of the people who enjoyed FO1 enjoy FO3

    What? Where did you pull that one? From Bethesda-forums where the “true” Fallout-fans (who torrented or GoG:ded the game, tried it for 10 minutes, didn’t even make it out the first cave since it’s TOO HARD!) live, eh?

    F3 is a horrible disappointment. And saying that we should be grateful for it is pretty horrible. Like saying that we should be grateful that after yesterday laser-shark attack (Oblivion), today we only got regular shark attack (F3).

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