Hello gamers and happy hump day!
Surviving the Nuclear Apocalypse in the #28 Position…
There is a sort of beauty in a destroyed world. The way a post-apocalyptic expanse gives an eerie ambiance and aesthetic, while being familiar and at the same time starkly different from our own reality; at it’s best, it can truly amazing. Fallout 3 accomplishes this in stellar fashion, using one of the most recognizable settings on the planet: Washington D.C.
The rebirth of a franchise
10 years after Fallout 2 was released, we were given the third full sequel in the Fallout franchise. The destroyed beauty of this world, as well as the Golden Oldies-inspired soundtrack, gave Fallout 3 a flavor all it’s own right out of the gate. Using the cool ambiance of that bygone era brings a unique feel that many other post-apocalyptic worlds simply don’t have. The world’s persistent use of atomic energy gives not just a view into what could have happened in our own reality if we’d stayed on the atomic energy path as a culture, but it also takes the idea and goes way over the top. From nuclear automobiles to hovering sentries, it takes the nuclear theme to an almost absurd extreme, but ultimately it serves the game well and makes for a truly amazing setting.
The gameplay of Fallout 3 is really where the game excels. Unlike its predecessors, (which heavily leveraged a top-down and turn based combat system), Fallout 3 is, at it’s core, an FPS. The game sticks somewhat to its roots by using something called the V.A.T.S., or Vault-Tech Assisted Targeting System. This mechanic is a sort of targeting system that allows you to pause the game and single out specific body parts to hit, giving each spot a percentage chance that you have for hitting it. Depending on where you land a hit, you could get anything from extra damage from a headshot or you might disarm your opponent with a well placed shot to their arm. This can remove much of the feel of a normal FPS, but it does call back to the series’ earlier iterations and ultimately, it works pretty well.
It’s a dark, new world
The game world of Fallout 3 was massive. You could do just about anything you wanted. I remember wandering the wasteland for hours just finding out what random things I could actually do. This included some fairly eyebrow raising events like the mission “The Power of the Atom” where you got to choose to defuse, ignore or detonate an atomic bomb that sat, fully armed, at the base of a village. You were tasked, (by a rival city’s leader), to detonate the bomb. It was either that or leave the town alone. Your choice. This mission alone brought a lot of ire from critics and governments, specifically the Japanese, who saw shades of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That mission wasn’t the only part of the game to raise the hackles of critics and politicians. Fallout 3′s ample use of drugs brought many governments and political organizations to call for censorship of the game.
Fallout 3 is an animal in its own zoo. It is a shooter, RPG and tactical game all rolled up into one. It pushed the envelope and became an iconic game that will be remembered and played for years to come. It took a singularly unqiue world from the PC universe to the console and for all of these reasons the Newbiverse gives Fallout 3 a 5 out of 5.