Jr. Malkavian Detective
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the case! Both my minds!
So, I got the game Tuesday and it is great. It's not "the same," but I was expecting that. Yet, at the same time, it feels like Fallout. I think it's a very natural progression of the series and had Black Isle not gone under, I could see them making this game.
I guess I should start by comparing it to Oblivion, since that was the big pre-release mantra of many original gamers. The Oblivion influence is there, but this IS Fallout. You can definitely tell the same company made both games, much like you can tell BioWare made KotOR and Jade Empire.
The menus in Fallout 3 are similar to Oblivion, and you will see (and hear) Baurus walking around, but the character diversity is better. Actually, it's probably just that there are less characters running around than in Oblivion, what with humanity barely around and all. The world is similar in that you are giving a map that you can pick a direction and just run and explore, which you could do in the original games by using your map and seeing the "travel lines" until you came across something, but in Fallout 3, you just manually run. Fast Travel is in the game once you discover an area of interest, however.
Combat works well in Fallout 3, although the turn based system is gone. The game plays like a First Person Shooter, until you use you V.A.T.S. The V.A.T.S. is awesome. You pick your target, and when you bring up V.A.T.S., you are given the old Fallout targeting system. You can target the mobs head, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg, and whatever weapon they are carrying, but if you want the best chance to hit, you can also target their torso. The cool thing is that if you target anything other than the torso, there's a chance the limb will get blown off or in the case of the head, explode.
The really cool thing happens after you select your target and click accept. The camera switches to a slow motion cinematic view. It will show you different angles of the fight from behind you to behind the mob to, my personal favourite, a closeup of my character's face, gleefully smiling as rounds are pumped into the enemy!
All in all, I find the combat system to be a good balance between the faster FPS type combat and the old Turn Based combat of the the originals.
The old Fallout mobs are back. While running around, I came across a Deathclaw. I was torn between "OH CRAP! THE DEATHCLAW IS GOING TO EAT ME!" and "YES! THIS IS AWESOME! A DEATHCLAW!" It was strange mix of fear and nostalgic excitement.
Voice acting is very good in the game. Ron Perlman returns with a new "War. War never changes." speech. Then you meet your Dad, who is voiced by Liam Neeson. Yep, Liam Neeson. The only other actor I picked out was Malcolm McDowell, who voiced The President. This seems a good time to mention a cool new function of your Pip Boy. It has a radio. You can turn it on and listen to The President giving patriotic speeches about rebuilding the American government and conquering the Wasteland as you play. There's also another radio station you can listen to and probably should because the two stations have different beliefs about what's best for the Wasteland. Both stations also play music between speeches by their respective host. Oh, and while not necessary, you can also pick up clues about the main quest through the radio. You're leaving the Vault is big news, and people are talking.
Anyway, I could go on for a while, but it's hard to think what to say without giving away spoilers. Overall, I like the game. It's fun and feels like it was done right. There are some things that perhaps could have been done better, but all in all, the atmosphere of the game works. One of my favourite early moments was picking up a Leather Armour. It's a small thing, perhaps, but it looks exactly like the Leather Armour from the originals, just in 3D and much more detailed.
And with that, I'm off to kill some more Super Mutants! The Wasteland calls!