As much as I'd love to say you need this game now, this is an EXTREMELY conditional recommendation.
If this game were as well-crafted for PC as it was on Xbox 360 and PS3, I would fully recommend this game as one of the greatest games I've ever played, and when I saw its GOTY for $6.50 when I never had Mothership Zeta on console and I wanted to see the game in high resolution and 60 FPS. Sadly, what I got was an unplayable mess. After at least 5 hours of modding and screwing up the files, and I got my Fallout 3 game, even though it has an extremely unsteady framerate.
Disclaimer: Hour count is on Steam. I've owned Fallout 3 for years on console and nearly beat the game, now I'm coming around for a second playthrough with DLCs.
|Category ||Rating ||Notes |
|Gameplay ||9 ||Like Skyrim, with Guns! No, but seriously. Powered by the same engine that ran Oblivion, the gunplay feels decent though not as great as some other games. As you'd expect from a game with the Fallout name, it's still very much an RPG and the first person perspective doesn't change that. VATS, the Vault Auto-Targeting System, brings you back to the classics by autoresolving a turn in your battles, but with post-processing and badass slowmo camera angles. It feels like a decent blend of FPS and RPG, though if you were expecting Borderlands-style run-n-gun, shoot-n-loot battles you're in for a bit of a surprise with the slower-paced Fallout combat. Note that it's entirely open-world, with most loading screens only coming up when you go to and from a city or building. |
|Graphics ||7 ||Really, it's not too bad for an open-world game from 2008. It doesn't necessarily look like ♥♥♥♥ but it still shows its age. |
|Tutorial/Intro ||8 ||Born in Vault 101 and living there your whole life was an excellent tutorial as you literally flew through your childhood, from walking around as a one year old, to your 10th birthday, to the GOAT Exam. It crossed everything it needed to, as well as fit in your character customization. It still didn't keep you waiting too long before ♥♥♥♥ hits the fan and you're thrown into the world. |
|Main Questline ||7 ||No mission in particular stands out, as you wander the Capital Wasteland in search of your father. The mission tracker and world map on your Pip-Boy do their job well. The story itself is great, but I would have liked to see more unique objectives. |
|Side Quests ||7 ||As with any Open-World game, these need to be great as they're going to make up most of your hour count. We all have our least favorte missions, but still, the game stayed solid throughout and no quest turned me off from the game. You should be careful with some, though; it can be a serious pain in the ♥♥♥ to get to some location and learn you needed 30 points of skill x to complete the task. Other than that, great sidequest missions. |
|NPC's (talking, quests, etc) ||8 ||Other than that annoying chick in Megaton that wants you to write her special Fallout 3 Guide for nerdy game-relevant object collectors, they were alright. Some might irritate you, okay. Good news is, as soon as you back out of the conversation you can just whip out your gun and teach them what diplomacy means. Much better than the persuasion system in Oblivion, right? |
|NPC's (combat) ||8 ||It's okay. They run at you. They shoot at you. They swing at you. You shoot them. They shoot back. You shoot them again. They get the job done, and unlike Oblivion's Sponge-Combat (RAH! RAH! RAH! RAH!), your guns can do locational damage and more, even more so in VATS. This means you can shoot the weapon out of their hand, or shoot a rocket that they threw... or cripple their legs, or the head. Of course, what still matters above all is whether they put up a bit of a fight, without being too unfair. This is something I'll give to the NPCs... they shoot a bit and they can be too easy at times, but it's better than being stunlockedand killed by something you never got a single chance to return fire at. |
|Map ||9 ||I want you to look at the real DC. The comparison is shocking. Nearly every detail is in place when it comes to DC... well, one question though. Where the hell did all these rocks come from? Other than the strange appearance of rocks in DC, excellent map. The map itself has a lot of detail and in areas where it matters, it very closely resembles the real places. |
|Compatibility ||2 ||Here's where the ♥♥♥♥ hits the fan. Bethesda says it's because it was for Windows XP, others say it's just a ♥♥♥♥ty console port. I don't know which to believe. What matters is, the port sucks. Note that if you have an Intel card, you're ♥♥♥♥ed. If you have an AMD card? Not sure. The game isn't optimized too well. It crashes quite a bit. It still has ♥♥♥♥ing Games for Windows Live. Of course, the next point is the reason I just BARELY shift my view of the game from "Not Recommended" to "Recommended." |
|Moddability ||9 ||This game is so easy to mod. It's got no files read-only, nothing hiding from the user. When you launch the game, it even has an option to enable/disable both your DLC's and your mods. Combine that with the Fallout Mod Manager, and you can turn this wreck of a port into something. After some configuration, I can run this game on an Intel chip, use my own resolutions, get way less stuttering, have forced Raw Input instead of Mouse Accel... the list goes on and on. The reason why I still feel borderline is that it really should be coming in an at least LAUNCHABLE state. Not everyone has the time nor the patience for fixing it themselves. |
|DLC Practices ||9 ||No horse armor here. Four of the five DLC's will add brand new areas to explore outside of the Capital Wasteland, all of which come with their own questlines, loot, and more. Like Shivering Isles from Oblivion, the new areas appear as questlines shortly after the first segment of the game. They can be accessed by following the questlines to the area, which will lead you to the new maps. The only other DLC is Broken Steel, which will completely remove the ending to the game (no Point of no Return) and replace it with a new ending, one that will give you more hours of a main questline and missions, as well add new perks and raise the level cap to 30 instead of 20. |
|Overall ||8.3 ||Great |
Okay, maybe a 8.3 doesn't sound like a "Borderline" thing, but come on... I'm sure SOMEBODY out there would agree that we should at least be able to open the game without a crash out of the box. Between me and the Fallout 3 Nexus
, I was able to fix up the game a bit and now it's nearly reached its former glory. As soon as you do some heavy modding and configurations, this game deserves an 8.5-ish score. This game is a masterpiece, and while its visuals may not have aged well, it's still just as fun as it was years ago.
If you're not big on configurations and just want to sit down to play a game, perhaps you should play it on Xbox 360 or PS3 instead.