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Friday, January 23, 2009

Fallout 3: Retrospective

This post will be pretty much nothing but spoilers.

Finished Fallout 3 last night, which disappointingly ends the game definitively for the character. It's actually a bit jarring because for a game which prides itself on open ended designs and providing the player with choices - you really don't get many choices. Basically you can sacrifice yourself or be a jerk and have another character do it. Specifically one character, which doesn't make much sense since there's a decent likelihood that you have access to a character which could survive the radiation blast - Fawkes or Charon. Since ghouls are healed by radiation, Charon could have possibly turned into some kind of superghoul from the blast...

It's an annoyance because I know there are locations in the game I haven't found and I'd like to wander some more - so I'm probably going to pick up an old save to do just that. It's just a nuisance, not to mention a bit of an unsatisfactory end to the story. First, Dad didn't have to die. Sorry, but I could torn every Enclave soldier to pieces with my Fisto! before breaking a sweat. So Dad dies in a kinda falsely martyr like way - and then I kinda get forced to do the same? Gip.

Especially taking into account that the MC in FO3 is what - 18? 19? I know the Wasteland is harsh, but wouldn't somebody have thought of stopping me from certain death?

I don't have any real interest in playing the game over as a new character, though part of that is having been forced to restart it three times. As some point it might be interesting to try the "stealth" or "barter" approach, just because I'd see it as a challenge. I ended the game more or less as a tank. I think I had something like 20 DR before armor, and with the Ranger Armor fully repaired I could walk into a room full of plasma fire and it would cost me about a stimpack. I began and ended the game with Fisto! as one of my most effective weapons - The Girl was pleased to see Col. Autumn's head pop off with a single punch.

I do wish Sony would get the DLC packs - but considering the hours I've spent so far in the game, and the hours I could spend just finishing up exploring, I'm more or less OK with it. FEAR 2 is coming up, Godfather II is coming up, I still need to play more LittleBigPlanet and I'd like to try Resistance 2 at some point as well - so truth be told the Fallout 3 DLC is in about the same camp as the GTA IV DLC. It would be nice, but its not like I don't have other stuff to play.

All in all though, such a fantastic game. I know some Fallout fans would disagree, but some Fallout fans complained about Fallout 2, so what can you do. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a brand new turn-based more traditional RPG set in the universe as well, but Bethesda has added a very welcome addition to the franchise.


sterno said...

I agree with you on the ending. I would have liked to have continued to explore the world after the end but there was no opportunity to do so. Furthermore, the ending made zero sense, as you point out with a radiation absorbing tank on my team. I tried to get him to go in and he's like, "nah, this is your problem." Well screw you!

I did try to go back and play as a jerk as an experiment. The only problem with this is that I nuked Megaton before I got the pointer to the next part of the finding dad quest. So I'm pretty much just left to wander the earth until I happen to stumble upon GNR. I'm glad I didn't nuke megaton on the first run through.

Overall though a very good game and it felt decidedly more open and flexible than something like GTA. There's a much more distinct sense that there's multiple legitimate paths in this game even if they'll all ultimately end up at the same point.

Josh said...

It was odd this last time because I didn't really go looking for GNR right away, but ended up stumbling on Dad's old Purity notes. This alters what happens between and Three Dog when you meet up.

I can actually see playing the game through again. I'd like to try the jerk route. Maybe the neutral route, although I can only imagine what a pain in the ass that would be to maintain.

I'm also curious to see how non-violent you could be in the game in general. It doesn't seem possible to avoid violence, but maybe with a strong enough henchman early in the game...

Josh said...

Oh and apparently Bethesda may be planning on an alternate history to explain the DLC plots for the PC/360. Bit odd, I think, that they close off the game when they should have known they'd have expansions.