Escape the vault and travel to the capital Wasteland, the Pitt, space and many other places to find answers, truth, and a better way of life for humanity. Or be evil and destroy as many lives as you can! In this ever growing world you decide the fate!
Fallout 3 is one of the best and longest role playing games to date. From the moment you step out of Vault 101, you will be taken aback by the detail in the environment, the destruction that spreads as far as the eye can see. The game's story involves a nuclear strike that ruined the area, with some people who lived in the vaults and were safe from the bombs. Others were irradiated and because of all the destruction, everybody left on the outside had to fend for themselves. Now the city is a lawless waste where anything goes and every person has to struggle for survival against each other and other creatures looking for food.
The game starts off with you being born and slowly growing up inside Vault 101. Once a member of the vault leaves, chaos begins and you have to somehow find a way out. Once out you can begin roaming the open world. You can pretty much do anything and visit anywhere you'd like. However, the world is very dangerous with Super Mutants, Death Claws, mole rats and many other creatures out looking for food. It is recommended that you visit the first local town and begin helping out the citizens so you can earn caps and weapons. If you go directly to looking for the person who left the vault, you are guaranteed to run into a ton of trouble without the proper items.
Fallout 3 offers over 30 quests to do, but only half of them are required to beat the game. Doing the main story missions will take you all over the capital wasteland, from Vault 101 to Rivet City. During the quests you will meet a lot of people, some good and some bad. It is a good idea to meet as many people as you can so you can get information out of people that will help you in later quests. They may even help you earn weapons and supplies. Many of the people you meet will ask for favors, but choose wisely in who you help because some of the tasks will get you good or bad karma. The karma will go a long way when it comes to earning people's trust in those difficult situations.
The good thing about this game is that it allows you to communicate with people however you see fit, meaning you can be nice to them or talk to them very rudely. But again, be careful how you approach certain people because your choices affect if they will help you or not.
This game has a lot of interesting features, for example the VATS system. If you don't want to manually aim your weapons at enemies during a fight you can choose to use the VATS system on your Pip Boy. Your Pip Boy, which is the device attached to your arm, will tell you everything you need to know about the game. It acts as a map, shows you what weapons you have along with the amount of ammo and all your other supplies, your available quests, your health and radiation level along with a lot of other useful information. Using Vats, you can select various body parts to shoot your enemy and as long as you have enough hit points you can successfully kill an enemy that way. It is actually a lot easier than manually aiming and it is a very neat addition to the game.
Another feature is the extensive level up system. Every time you successfully break into a lock or computer, make a successful speech challenge, kill an enemy or pass a quest, you will be given experience points (XP). When you have earned enough on the current level you will level up and you can choose to upgrade your skills. Some of the skills include: barter, big guns, sneak, speech, medicine, repair, lock-pick, big guns, small guns, plus many more. You also get to choose another perk, such as: educated, child at heart, intense training, swift learner, and many other ones to choose from. Each perk offers its own incentive to having it, for example the lead belly perk allows you to take 50% less radiation every time you drink from a water source. When you level up you should really think about how you want to approach the game and use the upgrades and perks on the items you will use all the time. Another way to boost your perks is to collect all 20 of the bobbleheads hidden throughout the game. Each one offers a different skill and once placed in one of two designated areas your stats will permanently get a boost.
Even with the VATS system, the battles aren't very fun, there are only so many raiders, Super Mutants and Death Claws you can fight in a game and the battles quickly become boring. This game's best feature is probably the exploration and story but even with the wide variety of quests to do they quickly become boring. The main story has you searching for information and the side missions either have you doing jobs for caps or for access to other areas. Unless you're a die-hard fan of the series or you want to get all the trophies you will probably only do the main story and stop playing The game is great because it's very long but at the same time it lacks intensity to keep it going to the end. And sometimes the game will have you travel to a location on the opposite side of the map. If you've discovered nearby areas you may fast travel there but if not then be prepared to do a lot of walking. This part can become very dull as the land offers very little to look at. The only buildings worth risking your life for would be the landmarks in downtown DC, the White House, Capitol Hill and many other landmarks litter the streets. Be prepared to fights lots of Super Mutants as they populate this area.
The weapons offer a wide variety of ways to kill your targets. From the simplest pistol to the Fat Man you can find whatever suits your skills best. There are also schematics to collect, which in return you can create some pretty powerful new weapons if you have the right equipment. As long as you have powerful weapons the enemies are pretty easy to defeat, it only takes a few head shots to make them die, however if you have smaller, less powerful weapons your enemies will likely defeat you because if you use VATS you only have a limited amount of action points. Running out of points is an annoying thing to occur during gameplay because it forces you to retreat while your action points regenerate. There isn't much use manually shooting them because most enemies in the game are powerful and fast and will kill you pretty quickly. That is one of the few things that feels unbalanced about the game.
The voice acting is pretty decent as well, some people have excellent dialogue, however, some sound like they are dull and depressed. Not to mention a lot of the characters in the game are plain and boring. They make very few movements and have no angry reactions, or happiness or anything else of that matter. As good as this game is it really has no personality and neither do any of the characters.
The Game of the Year edition includes all five of the DLC on the disc. Each dlc, Operation Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta offer three main story quests and a few side quests to do once you travel to that destination. Each dlc pack also includes new enemies and weapons, along with a brand new open world environment to explore.
Broken Steel is the dlc that extends the story and raises your cap level from 20 to 30. This expansion pack has you fighting alongside the Brotherhood of Steel as they try to distribute clean water to the rest of the wasteland. The enemy, The Enclave, is trying to prevent that from happening. Once you reach Adams Air Force base the game becomes pretty hard. You have to fight death Claws and heavily armed and armored Enclave soldiers. Once you pass the three quests you'll feel a huge relief knowing you passed the hardest expansion pack of the five. Since this dlc took place in the Capital wasteland you can continue exploring or move on to the next area.
Operation Anchorage places you in a simulator which is supposed to be a testing area to take back Alaska from the communist country of China. If you've played Fallout 3 before you know that China took control of Alaska just before the bombs fell. If you can finish the simulation and help them defeat the commies you can go back to the Capital wasteland with a lot of cool weapons. Once you leave the simulation, however, you can't return to Alaska. You also can't collect any weapons, caps or anything else during your stay.
The Pitt has you traveling to Pittsburgh via a ferry. Your main goal is to help free the slaves by pretending to be one and defeating the slaver boss. In between quests you have the option to secure all 100 steel ingots. Collecting them all will get you a nice silver trophy and a lot of goodies if you can find the guy to sell them to. And like most of the Fallout game you can choose who to side with, will you help the slavers or the slaves? Always choose carefully because your choices will determine who your enemies are and what the outcome is as well. Once you pass the quests you can return to the Pitt whenever you like.
Point Lookout takes you to a Civil War landmark in Pennsylvania. This area has 3 main quests and about 5 side quests, plus a very expansive area to explore. Point Lookout doest offer much of a story other than helping out some people in the area. You can help a guy defend his mansion or choose to go against him and help the Brain instead. You can come and go as you please so there aren't any real hurries into finishing the quests for this dlc. However there is a pretty tripped out quest here so you may want to stay and finish it as soon as you enter since this dlc is one of the best and most fun out of the 5 expansion packs.
Mothership Zeta puts you in a alien ufo. You are captured and liely will be subject to tests. Once you meet your new friends you can escape your cell and travel the ufo in search of a way out. On the way you have the option to free more captives, in return you can get them to help you through the quests. Notice how they all come from different cultures and time periods. I'd recommend playing it safe here as there are a lot of aliens and their small alien guns can do lots of damage. Go through the quests as you determine how to unlock the shields and reach the ship captain. Once you defeat the ship captain talk to your friends because they might have goodies for you. loot as much as you can carry before you head back to the wasteland because you can't return once you leave.
Overall this is an excellent game. If you are looking for an experience that's going to last you a long time, this is it. The graphics are decent, the gameplay is great and the open world is endless with possibilities. You can walk around exploring for days and still have plenty of places to see. Or you can spread terror in small cities and watch them die or you can help them out and reap the rewards, its all up to you. Whether you are a RPG fan or just looking to try out something new this game is worth a shot. The very slow paced setting and lack of action will scare some away from the game and that's understandable because this game isn't for everybody but at least give it a try because once you enter the wasteland you will be hooked. The dlc will add many, many hours of extended gameplay, not to mention a lot of new weapons as well so it's definately worth picking up the GOTY edition instead of the regular edition.