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The Life-Affirming Smell of Fallout 3
Review - posted by baby arm on Tue 28 October 2008, 06:11:39Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3
To mark the midnight release of Fallout 3 across North America, Eurogamer has posted one of the first English reviews, scoring it 10/10 and describing it as "life-affirming".
It isn't, however, all that difficult, and there's no option to crank up the challenge, other than making things difficult by heading off to areas that are too dangerous. If you even vaguely follow the main storyline, there's rarely anything that feels beyond you. This worked for me - it's more than big enough without the game bashing me over the head every five minutes - but it'll be understandable if others hanker for more brutality.
And when you get all the way up to level 20, you simply become a bit too good for the game. With your abilities capped, you're generally such a badass that the tension is reduced as you explode every head you aim for. With no more levelling possible (at least until the DLC, perhaps), there's no longer the same sense of reward, and it turns into a bit of a victory march. This is a problem specific only to truly committed players, but in a series that attracts an unusually large proportion of hardcore gamers, the endgame is relevant.
Shack News joined the party with their own review.
But despite its flaws, the game more often surprised me with its polish. Every time I tried to creatively "break" Fallout 3, it defied me. When I jumped into a slave pen from above, trapping myself inside, a guard was triggered that opened the door from the outside before attacking me. When a quest took me deep into a dungeon, and then left me wandering all the way back out after completing it, the game interjected with a scripted sequence that whisked me off to another location--one of, if not the only time this happens in the game.
And yes, the ending of Fallout 3 is an abrupt, unsatisfying halt to a fantastic experience. But as with all good things, the journey is the important part, and it simply should not be missed. This is a game that can be played and replayed. Even the plodding nature of your character's movement speed seems to be Bethesda's way of telling us to slow down and smell the Brahmin.
Be sure to check out Ausir's Across the Wastes Contest to take a whiff yourself without spending any cash.