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Fallout 3 Questions and Answers
Fallout 3 for PC: Questions, But No Answers
Long before the release of Fallout 3 I had posed these questions to be submitted to Bethesda and Mr. Pete Hines, who never seemed to find the time to provide us the answers up front. Since the game has now come out and I have completed it twice I have decided that I am now qualified to answer my own questions and address my own concerns.
SPOILER ALERTS!! Hide your eyes from some of my answers as I will most assuredly give away some game events to answer my own detailed questions. My apologies for that, and nothing else!
Is it an expansive game? Well, sort of. Covering D.C. and part of Maryland it does give you a sense of travel though it did have more of a sandbox feel to it than previous Fallout games. Moving across the map in the previous Fallouts conveyed a real sense of travel and locations to be well away from each other. I never got the feeling that I wasn’t just a short jaunt away from a location.
A pretty good variety of weapons still exists, though the lack of ammunition will have you hauling several favorite weapons you rarely get to use. Previous Fallouts didn’t have this bad an issue with ammo with the possible exception of the coveted 7.62 mm rounds for the FN-FAL rifle, etc... 10 mm seems somewhat plentiful but it doesn’t pack so much wallop so you go through it fast – especially fighting Super Mutants even in V.A.T.S. mode, which you live and die by in this game. The weapons repair system is an interesting feature but only if you can find more than one of a particular weapon. Fifteen 10 mm machine pistols found – no problem. Finding a Mini-gun? Dream on if you think of finding multiple from the mutants when most of them seem to be carrying melee weapons. Several of my favorite weapons failed on me as I had no replacements to rip off spare parts from and you soon find out that the NPCs in the game have limited repair capabilities as well. You definitely have to skill up to keep your gear up to snuff.
With this question comes a trend I found with this game that is hard to avoid – Bethesda imitates previous Fallouts and if you had never played Fallout and Oblivion as I have, you might not end up disappointed at the lack of achievement in this department in the game. Any Fallout dedicated follower, especially if they have played Oblivion, will be disappointed with the outcome. There are some differences in how the NPCs ‘react’ to your input and conversation but it didn’t convey the convincing of Fallout 2’s actor NPCs reactions in both voice and face animations. Subtlety abounds in this department and I would have hoped for a greater emphasis on this to allow for better emersion. It’s not there…
You get basically to pick up one NPC in game and Dogmeat. Of course you don’t get Dogmeat if you blow up the entire wrecking yard – those cars are all explosive when you hit them with hot lead. The issue with picking up a NPC to party with is your Karma score. You have get it match what NPC needs for you to have, else no dice Mr. Soloist. In departure from past Fallouts you only get the one, plus the dog.
The safe bet by Bethesda was to limit the game to a specific region that was an extension from the original versions located in California, Nevada and Arizona. The storyline here is such that you could easily have had an excursion by a group to another part of the country and make that into another game. Bethesda took to changing the Vaults from being all the same to each having a different form of existence control parameters. This again easily leads to creation of a new game based upon another Vault. Also, there is the link to the Enclave and such from Fallout 2 that continues the line of the series.
Here’s where the frustration in technical errors in the game forced me to reinstall and thus reconsider my in game tactics. (Hide your eyes here for sure!) Starting in Vault 101 again after having to totally reinstall my game I took a totally different tactic with the Vault before my departure – I slaughtered anything that moved! I loaded up with the most expensive gear and ammo that I could carry to take with me to Megaton. I took the baseball skill during the SPECIAL training and used melee as much as I could to save ammo for outside the vault. So the girl was mad that I capped her dad, oh well. Nothing personal, it’s just business babe. There are some places like the Super Duper Mart and my personal favorite – a scavenger hideaway just NE of Megaton that you can turn into your own personal hideaway once you evict it’s residents – permanently. It comes equipped with a nice bed and a large cache of weapons and goodie. There are a few like that about the game but nothing as lucrative as the raider’s underground complex in Fallout 2 – a virtual FN-FAL gold mine!
This would be the first props I’ll give Bethesda, because they deserve it. I did plenty of side quests and some of them I really regretted. (Major Spoiler alert!) When I did the dirty deed to Megaton and got my nice crib setup in the Towers, I really felt like a chump. I wanted to just waste the whole place but that wouldn’t have done much for the remains I’d left behind in the crater. One could find plenty of replay and exploration if they tried to do all of the potential quests and I ended the game in two different fashions, dying both times but saving humanity one of them. I will have to say though that while finishing the deed to end the game and seeing the paladin through the window, my thoughts drifted to some other words….”The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few….or the one”
Yes and no, but mostly yes. This isn’t exactly City of Heroes type of character control but it does give you enough control of the face (that you seldom see anyway) and features. The skills are true to form with the Fallout predecessors so this is one area Fallout followers will not be disappointed with. Moving points to different stats and picking up skill is a seamless replication of the original series and well done.
Again, true to form of the series this remains a single player game with help from your real life buddies.
Here I’m going to make a wild assed guess and say probably, with no effect. Already the previous owners have reported to the IRS that they’ve made financial investment into the Fallout MMO venture but in reality it would take someone with much deeper pockets than that group to pull it off. Would it fare well in the world according World of Warcraft? Me thinks not.
Again, pure supposition on my behalf here but I am going to say no. Those that played the original Fallout franchise from Wasteland to Fallout 3 never lost love for it because it was just that kind of game. This includes many on staff at Bethesda. Interplay got deep in the stinky stuff and the opportunity was too great to take a classic and make a natural continuance of it. Those types of opportunities are both rare and exceptionally tied to timing. The chances for a repeat here are phenomenonaly against.
Wasteland. Fallout. Fallout 2. Fallout Tactics. I’ve played them all many times over, uninstalled, reinstalled and played many times over again. I did so until the graphics became unbearable with my system. There are going to be 4 distinct classes of player of this game:
Okay, there could be numerous variations but I’m sticking with these because, well, it’s my article! The most disappointed group would be my group, number 1. The rest of the groups will probably be fine with it, Oblivion fans and Fallout fans who hadn’t played Oblivion being the most satisfied in my opinion with those having done neither being close behind them.
Then there’s my group. The Oblivion engine is good engine and lends itself to this kind of game. However, there can’t be ignored this feeling of Oblivion painted to look like Fallout while in game, probably because that is what it is. If you go into the game expecting anything else you will be disappointed. This is a scientific hybrid of Fallout and Oblivion. If you have never played both or have played just Oblivion, you will be pretty darn happy with this game. I am not. Personally I think that the replay value is totally suspect and this will end up being a dust bunny right next to the Oblivion disc
I haven’t touched since 4 months after release. I found that V.A.T.S. became a mandated system to use even against vermin, and doing so as often as needed interjected delay in the game that disrupted my desire for more fluid game play. In other words, it was just slowing down my personal action clock yet that was the only way to win the battle. I will say this one good thing though – V.A.T.S. shots of the missile launcher are priceless!! And while it was exhilarating to be back in Power Armor shredding Super Mutants into piles of goo with my mini-gun once again, the thrill was too short lived and left my Fallout Jones still intact – only teased.