The Fallout series has seen 2 games and 2 spinoff games over the years, this “Post Nuclear Role-Playing game” has now been picked up by the guys behind The Elder Scrolls, can it surpass the gems Interplay has created or should this one stay locked inside the vault?
You play as yourself born in vault 101, after your mother dies giving birth to you, you are raised by your dad James a respected scientist. This creates one of the most entertaining tutorials I have ever played in a game, you go from a toddler where you select your S:P.E.C.I.A.L points (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck) among other attributes to adulthood (20 years old) in which time the game teaches you nicely the basics. After 20 years living a peaceful life in the vault you wake up suddenly being told your dad is missing, that he opened the vault and the vault overseer holds you responsible. So you now have to go out into the wasteland in search of your father and find out why he left without even saying goodbye. The setting has been changed from the west coast to the east coast as you explore the post-DC wasteland.
The game is played from a 1st person perspective but you can switch to 3rd person if you so choice. If you seen or played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion you will feel right at home with the way things work and yet it feels different because of the many gameplay differences. One is the VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), by pressing a button the action freezes and you can select individual body parts to target. Another is the morality system which affects the world around you. Everything you do gives you karma which can be positive or negative and influence the people who are interacting with you, your dialog options and so on, for example there’s a quest early on where you are given the chose to either deactivate a nuclear bomb or detonate it and it will affect the story and people living around the city etc but you can approach it from different sides, you can simply detonate it and destroy the city, you can report the guy who is hiring you to detonate it, you can demand more money (bottle caps) for deactivating it, simply deactivate it, etc. So you have a lot of options, the overall story is interesting and well paced but a bit too short if you only do the main quests. Even if you never played a fallout game there is no need to be afraid, there is some exposition and you will figure most of the things out as you go along and it might even get you interested in the other games in the series. The wasteland is a dangerous place as you soon find out, crawling with giant cockroaches, rad scorpions, super mutants, slavers, raiders, ghouls and more. You need to arm yourself with whatever you can find, there are pistols, rifles, shotguns, laser weapons, knives etc and you can even construct your own weapons if you find the plans and components for them, f. e. the Railway rifle which shoots nails, or Rock-It! Launcher which shoots everything even the kitchen sink. There are also rare weapons, Vault-tec bubbleheads to collect and giant super mutants to take down ensuring you will have things to do for hours. Each weapon and armour you find can also break over time so you need to repair it too. You’ll explore small towns, sewers, underground tunnels, other vaults, abandoned buildings, but don’t worry the game provides also a quick travel function for places you already visited if you need to quickly get around. The game isn’t without its faults, one huge gripe is that once you complete the main story quests you can’t go exploring (has been fixed in the Broken Steel Add-on), another is the game is littered with bugs and glitches. On the PC it can crash when using more than 2 cores and the ingame radio can get choppy when played on higher resolutions. It's known to freeze also on the console versions so i recommend downloading the latest patches. Despite its glitches the game is really fun and is one of the best RPG’s I have played recently, there are many things I didn’t cover cause I want them to be a surprise, the game has great humour, music, atmosphere, characters and loads of fun things to do ensuring you will spend a lot of time in the wasteland.
If you are interested in post apocalyptic settings and the whole morality aspect pick this game up. There is even a Game of The Year edition which contains all of the 5 expansion packs which adds at least another 20 hours of fun into an already long and great game. And remember “War, war never changes!“
"Here’s a fix for the PC crashing, it is tested and fixed my issues:"
1st if you are not using any codec packs download K-Lite codec pack, it has optimised settings for fallout 3 in the presets already included
2nd find fallout3.ini and edit it in notepad and find “bUseThreadedAI*” (the number can be different depending on how many core you are using) change the number to 1 so it looks like this:
bUseThreadedAI=1 (this will make the AI script use only 1 core)
than find [general] and at the end of it add: iNumHWThreads=2 (this will make it use only 2 cores)