Immersive post-apocalyptic action RPG shooter, and the Fallout franchise’s first foray into 3D.
This GOTY package deal is the definitive way to play one of Bethesda’s most controversial releases to date, but, in my eyes, atones for its sins.
Bethesda’s Fallout 3 (not to be confused for the Interplay game that never was) brought the cult classic series to the mainstream console market as what some considered to be a watered-down imitation. But in my opinion as reasonable fan of the older games (and not a rabid and petulant fanboy), Fallout 3 provides a highly enjoyable experience and a welcome continuation of the Fallout canon.
This new breed of Fallout game is a first-person (or optionally, third-person) romp around a large, pre-built, environment with a focus on exploration, combat (both the standard FPS wild-loose-swinging melee option, and more commonly, gunplay). The environments may look bleak and barren (how apocalyptically appropriate) but look perfectly functionally well to me. The appearance and animation of the fully 3D characters and creatures do look a little more noticeably polygonal, but they too are by no means as horrifying as some detractors might lead you to believe.
Fallout 3 does weight in at slightly more intensive than what I would expect a “low-end” present-day PC to deal with, but, satisfyingly, the developers had the foresight to include a full array of optimisable graphical settings, some combination of which will surely get the game running for you decently.
FO3 GOTY is all of the purely singleplayer fun that endeared the franchise to a new generation of gamers, it includes the entire base story of your customisable protagonist exploring, and shaping, the ruins of the ruined American capital and the five expansion-pack stories and all of the added content they bring; a covert-ops mission through communist-occupied Alaska, the struggle for hope and freedom in a toxic city of slaves, a mysterious voyage through the mutated swamps of the Deep South, a surprisingly lighthearted adventure in the bowels of an extra-terrestrial death-machine, and the highly-lauded post-game adventure that lets you see for yourself the consequences of your in-game actions. Combined with hundreds of sidequests to complete and locations to visit, you will certainly get as much out of this game as you are willing to put into it, and it is certainly worth your time if you want to check out the Fallout franchise, or would just like to try a first-person-shooter that does something to break the mould of most FPS’s.
Fallout 3 very thankfully comes with native controller support, and I recommend that it be played with your choice of controller peripheral. The navigation of in-game menus does give the sense that it was (as one would expect) build for, and around the control systems of, the seventh-generation consoles. The slower-than-most gunplay doesn’t lose anything when using any twin-stick setup (unlike most PC shooters) and you will easily pick up the control scheme in no time at all.
In my experience with Fallout 3, I saw very little in the way of bugs. Unfortunately, I did notice a handful of crashes and sudden freezes, which, while rare, still come a little more frequently than I’d like to see. Fan-made patches are evidently abundant on the internet and claim to fix many of the problems which supposedly cause these incidents, but that does not negate that it bears mentioning these problems here.
A final point which I will bring up because I feel it pertinent is that this Steam port of this game does not include Steam Achievements, not necessarily a big deal, I know, but the console versions of the GOTY did include roughly seventy-five achievements in their respective systems, and I would have very much appreciated some of our own, I can only hope they get patched in at some point, but I wouldn’t hold out for it.
While not perfect, Fallout 3 GOTY is certainly a fine, and fun, continuation of the Fallout franchise. If you’re not familiar with the series up until this point, you might consider this a good place to become acquainted. I look forward to seeing where Bethesda takes these games in the future.