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Choose Your Own Fallout 3

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Choose Your Own Fallout 3

Review - posted by Jason on Wed 5 May 2010, 17:53:50

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

Emily Short's latest "Homer in Silicon" column takes a gander at character creation and development in Fallout 3, lamenting that many character choices are frontloaded rather than occurring as the game progresses.

Example: Fallout 3 concerns a man who has made significant sacrifices in order to offer a safe and healthy life to his daughter (or son -- the protagonist, in any case).

Up to the point where I discovered that bit of backstory, I had been playing my character in the default mode that I use for all RPGs: with an emphasis on intelligence, ranged weaponry, and any skills that look like they'll get me out of tedious melee fight sequences; generally friendly and ethical, except when the dialogue tree offers me something irresistably sarcastic to say to a character who is irresistably annoying.

When I found out about Dad's sacrifice, though, I immediately wished I'd chosen differently. It would have been much more creepy and compelling from the point of view of story if, actually, his daughter was a sociopathic monster. That would produce a much darker narrative, perhaps with a bit of a theme about not investing too much hope or ambition in any single person besides yourself.

But by the point in the story where it's a narratively interesting question what ethical character you have, you've already made a lot of fundamental choices and established quite a lot of karma.​

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