Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fallout 3 Review | PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360

posted by Tyler Barber @ 2:48 PM




I'M A SLAVE TRADER.

I profit from kidnapping and imprisoning people for life. Doctors, security guards, shop owners... children, I enslave them all. My malevolence wasn’t inert though. It slithered out of me slowly, gaining strength from the toxic wasteland of Washington DC. But that’s skipping ahead. Nineteen years ago, in 2258, all I knew of the world was the sterile, but radiation-free under-ground Vault 101. I went to school and had friends, but when my father mysteriously left the vault — something that’s not happened in the 200 years since nuclear war ravaged the Earth’s surface — everything I’ve known to be true has become undone.

Fallout 3’s stage is a grim, and articulate one. The parable “it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters” aptly sums up the Fallout 3 experience.

Though it may look like it from the back of the box, Fallout 3 is not a typical first-person-shooter. In fact, it doesn’t even play like a FPS (not in the beginning at least). Like developer Bethesda’s previous game, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3 relies on role-playing elements like skill-building and leveling-up to push the player deeper into its rich world. Roaming the massive wastelands, you’ll come across all manner of individuals that need help. It’s the typical questing for some poor sap, but it’s the context of Fallout’s world that sets it apart from other RPG experiences. For example, I happened across a Ghoul (humans horribly disfigured from too much exposure to radiation) that felt discriminated against. He wanted access to a town of “smooth skins,” but everyone inside was bigoted against his kind: Leaving me with a moral choice, fight for his rights, or exterminate his settlement. It wasn’t a necessary quest to complete the main story, but this, and many other side-quests like it, are too compelling not to see through.

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