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.
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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An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.