Ahh, Fallout 3. I really love this one, it appeals to many of my various cravings. Nuclear hell at the click of my mouse, long-range sniping, spamming bullets with AK's, even running people over. I can even thwack people over the head with a crowbar if I see fit. It also has a very deep story that, if you just zerg rush the main quest, you'll NEVER see.
I tend to like single player games, especially ones with good replayability. This is where Fallout 3 shines. The setting is quite unique, very interesting to look deep into. I keep checking every terminal I find in the hopes to find some nugget of life before the nuclear war. If you desire to see something a bit more up-to-date, if you will, there's plenty of action going on in the wasteland to stick your nose into. Slavery, warring cults, even the remnant of the US Government itself. Such an immersive world has not seen my harddrive since the last time I played HL2. You don't have to pick a certain side, either. Will you slaughter the slavers or join them? Nuke Megaton or disarm it?
Bethesda seems to have designed the game engine with third party mods in mind. You name it, someone's probably made it. Porno mod? Check. Weapons mod? Two major complete overhauls and thousands of individual weapons to throw bullets at fleshy things with. Want a vehicle? Take your pick, there's hoverchairs, motorcycles, cars, personal Vertibirds...and if you grow bored of the Capitol Wasteland, relax. There's plenty of new lands to explore, new buildings to break into, and even new ways to break into those things. You can molest the wildlife, as well, add in trees, remove the haze, even purify the Potomac! IF you think your character is a bit boring looking, you're in business there as there's a plethora of clothing, body replacers, even custom races. Even pipboy replacements that remove that bulky thing from your arm!
Playing through once unmodded is recommended, but once you've done that let loose the mods.
All good things, however, usually have a nasty side. Fallout 3 is no exception, and it comes in the form of instability. Even on the most stable system on this planet the game can, and often will, find a way to crash. Boot to the Head, my trusty old S939 rig, isn't exactly the most stable computer in the world, so FO3 absolutely LOVES to crash. If I step on a radscorpion, there's a chance to CTD. If I shoot my gun, there's a chance it will CTD. If it doesn't CTD, it glitches like crazy. Last playthrough I had a quest glitch where I had an item in my inventory, went to turn it into the NPC in exchange for some cash, and the NPC's dialogue didn't have the appropriate choice. How nice, I'm stuck wandering the Wasteland with the single most important document this nation ever penned folded in my back pocket next to my S&W 500. Brilliant, FO3...
The DLC is pretty good, too. Some are better than others(Op: Anchorage mainly for backstory relating to some pre-war events, for example, and Zeta/PL are cash cows), but they're all worth buying. But again, the DLC comes filled with all sorts of nasty little bugs. Quests can glitch, NPCs fall through the environment, and of course the ever-present CTD. Especially with mods, they really seem to aggrivate the issue.
Overall, FO3 is a permanent resident on my hard drive. Glitchiness aside, I love playing it, and even if I can only play it in 30 second spurts, I'll keep on trying. I'll get it quasi-stable eventually. I'd recommend it, certainly one of the best games out right now for those of us who don't want to blindly shoot anything that moves and hope you don't get a TK kick...although you can do that if you want to. Final score: 8/10
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