Fallout 3

Fallout 3 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

Long-awaited sequel to the award winning RPG.

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9Out of 10
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The past 10 days have been very busy for me. I've broken into countless military bases, taken vast quantities of drugs, and have shot several hundred people in the head. I've stolen the Declaration of Independence. I've moonlighted as a contract killer. I've helped to run a warped presidential election. I've even gotten really sick after drinking from a toilet bowl. But enough about my holiday trip to Skegness - let's talk about one of the biggest releases of 2008.

Fallout 3 is a massive, massive game. This magnitude exists on a number of levels: for a start, there's the game world itself - a scarred post-nuclear Washington, packed with decrepit survivors, mutant beasties and marauding raiders. Then there's the enormous degree of change since the last game - a shift of developer and a move into full 3D graphics. There's the huge degree of anticipation, both from enthusiastic newcomers and from the more sceptical Fallout hardcore. It's probably due to a combination of all these factors, but for whatever reason Fallout 3 feels like the biggest game I've played all year - so much so that I've already run out of synonyms for the word 'big'. And despite a number of flaws, it's also one of the best games of the year too.

For the benefit of the uninitiated, here's a quick recap of the backstory to the Fallout universe: In the year 2077, World War III turns most of the Earth into a giant nuclear ashtray. A small percentage of the US population survive the conflict by fleeing into Vaults - giant underground shelters built by the VaultTec corporation. The first Fallout placed you in the skin of a jumpsuited resident of Vault 13; when your water purification chip breaks, you are chosen to set out in pursuit of a new one - braving the wasteland of post-apocalypse California. After a remarkably downbeat ending to your adventures, your Vault Dwellers set off to found a small village of their own. Fallout 2 cast you as a grandchild to the first protagonist, offering a much larger play area and a greater variety of distractions from your quest to find a GECK - a powerful piece of technology with the power to save your dying tribe.

Fallout 3, set some 36 years after its predecessor, shifts its focus to the East coast of America - to the claustrophobic confines of Vault 101. The game begins with your birth, generating your character's gender, name and appearance. After this you'll spend about 20 minutes speeding through your childhood and adolescence via a neat quest designed to introduce most of the game's key concepts and mechanics - including the much-discussed VATS combat system. At the end of this brief introduction your rebellious father disappears; his sudden departure enrages the vault authorities and causes a minor riot - leaving you with no choice but to follow him. You emerge from the underground, your vision blurring under a sun you have never seen before - and then you set out across the Washington wastelands.

You start in the vault but don't stay there for long

You start in the vault but don't stay there for long

What follows is really up to you - in the short term, at least. You'll be given a pointer about where to look for your Dad first, but the world is more or less your oyster. Since this is an RPG, your main priority should be to get some experience and to start levelling up. The area immediately surrounding Vault 101 isn't too lethal, but if you immediately head to the far corners of the map you'll swiftly find yourself in trouble. Bethesda has largely abandoned the mechanic used in Oblivion which scaled random enemies to match your capabilities - so if you go wandering off into a dangerous area, you're bound to come a cropper. As a result of this design choice, the wasteland immediately feels a threatening place - something further compounded by the devastated scenery that surrounds you in every direction, thanks to a rather spiffy draw distance.

As you might imagine, the thermonuclear apocalypse has had a detrimental effect upon public transport - so you'll be doing all your exploration on foot. In all likelihood, you'll be viewing proceedings from a first person perspective - a third-person option does exist, but most people are likely to get fed up with the slightly floaty way your hero moves. Either way, you'll soon find that the landscape itself is the star of the show. Bethesda have done an amazing job in creating a ruined environment: from burnt-out towns and twisted highways to the looming metropolis of downtown DC, the in-game scenery drips with a tragic, ruined atmosphere. This is probably just as well, since it takes a fairly long time to walk from point A to point B. On the plus side, once you've discovered a given location, you'll be able to instantly fast-travel back there at any point you wish. To be honest, I was initially fairly uncertain about whether or not I thought this was a good idea: It's certainly a convenient feature, but its not a particularly realistic one - and for a while I was concerned that it would dilute the dangerous atmosphere of the wasteland itself.

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User Comments

dammu's Avatar


outstanding game im not so good at rpg like i was crap at oblivion but once u get
somthing like a shotgun or assult rifle the game gets good also the amount of ways to tackle a quest definantly in the top 3 in game of the last year
Posted 10:46 on 25 January 2009
mydeaddog's Avatar


Bethesda are raising the level cap in one of the DLC packs out in the first three months of 2009. They've also said that they'll change the ending to let you continue after the ending, but I've no idea how that's going to work....
Posted 13:49 on 31 December 2008
Jax0r1337's Avatar
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20 level cap. fail fallout 3. as soon as I reached it my interest has been constantly slipping and the fact that during the loading screen in which u can see ur progress to the next level is still there after reaching level 20 and shows that level 21 is the next level, and yet nothing u do gives u any exp, dangles the fact that all picked locks, killed enemies, hacked terminals and completed quests are in vain leaving only the achievements to motivate u which most of the time is simply not enough. The closed ending is very, very stupid. i cannot for the life of me fathom what was going through their heads when then they said "hey, lets not let them play anymore once they finished the main quest." a game this big and their going to cut u off? ****ing retarded. i was lucky enough to have a friend warn me just before i finished the game to create a seperate save file before i entered the last room so that i could leave the memorial and continue other quests. during the main story quests, the game was enthrawling and highly addictive, but once that 20 level max is reached, player interest is doomed to fall. u get so used the satisfying "cha-ching" sound after gaining exp that when its taken away u almost feel that despite ur efforts, uve accomplished nothing. i dont see the problem others seem to have with vats or the aiming while out of vats, it just takes sum getting used to. yes "whoopie!" the map is big, but the journeys from a to b are long and repititive unless uve been to that location before in which case u can fast travel but the map is so big, chances are uve never been anywhere near ur destination. another huge problem is how often ur weapons condition decreases. in an attempt to make the game realistic u must repair ur weapons regularly, but the rate at which their condition decreases is so far from realism it serves only to be an extreme annoyance. one thing i will say for the game is the role playing. more than almost every other game, fallout 3 makes u believe u r the character.
i loved(past tense) this game, alot. mostly becoz i owned, hard. i know this might sound extreme but the level 20 cap ruined it for me. and the closed ending didnt help. i sincerely hope that theres going to be dlc released in which u can attain higher levels, or ill be trading this game in for one that lets u decide when to stop levelling up, and that lets u decide when to stop playing.
Posted 13:19 on 30 December 2008
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wowwwwwzer boy

OK OK OK FALLOUT 3 wow, in my opinion i love this game but i guess its just the fact that my friend is a jerk and lets me play 30 mins while he plays i dunno a good 5 hours of it while I am at HIS house. But still when i DID get my chance to play this pretty good looking game i got hooked and now i am in need of going and buying this for xbox 360 unlike my friend who has a lame ps3 but still i love the gameplay. I am a big fan of elder scrolls i love to play them and pretty much all rpg games. But to my opinion this is the best. I love first person shooters and slashing a few guys with my blade and this game fits it all for me i get to blow some heads of with a rock-it-launcher and slice some puny vault 101 gaurds with some kid i killed in vault 101 that always picked on me. NOW THIS IS A GAME but you know i really havent been able to play it to its full capacity. But if you enjoy becoming the richest jerk in the whole wasteland and the friendly settlers trapped and abused by those super mutants murderer then this will probably be your type of game. I mean really who wouldnt want to make friends with some friendly renegade soilder guys and once they keep walking past you you pull out your minigun and just mow them down like a piece of trash would do it! But really you should get this game if you like rpg games
Posted 07:11 on 28 December 2008
jacob's Avatar
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i got this game today...wow the worst game i have ever played it is so boring
Posted 07:03 on 26 December 2008
RoranTK's Avatar
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^Looks like u donno the meaning of a "real" RPG if u r reccomending Fable2 over Oblivion/Fallout

No point writing it down all in comments , i just wnna give +1 to all those who say its a great game , +2 to those who say its AWESOME-EPIC , n +10 to all those wastelanders who say its the GAME OF THE YEAR ;)
Steel be with u all
Posted 16:04 on 16 December 2008
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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sry bout all the misspellings in my comment but i think you guys get the point and can figure out what i mean
Posted 04:14 on 02 December 2008
TRBO RAD's Avatar
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Never did get the point of these games i def. won't spend money on this i bought Oblivion for my birthday when i came out on xbox....DISAPPOINTMENT..... is an understatement i would wonder around for hour upon hours and spend countless hours building up skill then would go to a shack where to my suprise a crazed person with more skill would annihilate me and leave me to start ALL OVER... not to mention i would travel long distances to find new places to fun into a monster... huh and seeing i had not chance on beating them i would run away to only get about 3 ft and be killed by non other than a rat that was chasing me and every attack would be pointless bc they would always miss i was basically casting spells at the grass and poking the earch with a spear these games are soo boring and i can't believe ppl get into these so much they are pointless......play FABLE if you want a real game!!!!!!!
Posted 04:12 on 02 December 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Lolly

Originally Posted by Lolly
I am interested in getting fallout 3 and have read some good reviews, but have also been told that the game is nothing more the just walking around and talking to people and not much combat. Someone said that they played the game for 2 hours and they didnt get into any combat. Can anyone tell me if this is true please?

It's the same as any RPG, you can walk around town for hours and not kill anyone, or stay outside and hunt things down to your heart's content.

I would guess that to hunt down and kill everything in each area in Fallout 3 would take about 250 hours (not including respawns). That's just the hostiles, you can kill friendlies too.

If you've played any of the Elder Scrolls titles like Oblivion then it's the same thing here in terms of stuff to kill.
Posted 22:30 on 01 December 2008
Lolly's Avatar
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I am interested in getting fallout 3 and have read some good reviews, but have also been told that the game is nothing more the just walking around and talking to people and not much combat. Someone said that they played the game for 2 hours and they didnt get into any combat. Can anyone tell me if this is true please?
Posted 19:35 on 01 December 2008
Audiokyle's Avatar
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bought this game a few weeks back due to being a huge fan of Oblivion, but was thoroughly disappointed with it, mainly because there is not as much addictiveness as the was with Oblivion, I found the missions boring and long winded making everything as difficult as possible and instructions & maps for the missions were confusing. The only inventive thing being the VATS system, which was easy to use, but made confrontations difficult with multiple enemies.
The most enjoyable part of the game for me was when I got my money back and bought Quantum of Solace.
Posted 16:25 on 01 December 2008
sumthing's Avatar
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Fable 2=Fail
its that simple people
Posted 19:05 on 20 November 2008
chris's Avatar
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picked this game up last week and it was very good and gripping, bethesda has impressed me once again. the guns and armor are great, quests are well done. only thing i cant stand is how the game "ends" and how in VATS you sometimes miss a 95% shot on that creature that is just about to knock the sh*t out of you, but those are minor gripes. executions never do get old :D
Posted 14:32 on 20 November 2008
Bullet to head's Avatar
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Bullet to head

Blowing heads off never gets old!
Posted 01:52 on 20 November 2008
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James Player

First of all I?m going to start by saying that no, I have not played the other two fallout games, all I played was oblivion, and I didn?t like that very much to be honest.
In fallout 3 you start of being born into a blurry room with your father watching over you, you then proceed through the ages of 1 year old, 10 years old, 16 years old and 19 years old. This process I believe is very clever, by having the player born they can develop a deeper immersion into the game itself, whereas, in oblivion for example, you are brought into the game in a cell, regardless if you are wishing to become the kindest ****er imaginable, which I thought was kind of retarded at the time. Anyway, in fallout 3 after progressing through the different ages, having your 10th birthday party, doing you ?GOAT? test at 16, which basically consisted of telling me I was going to be a chef, and at 19 when you discover your father has left ?the vault? your sacred place of birth, for reasons unknown, and your tasking with finding the useless ****er. At this point I?d like to bring something to light; I played this game from the start twice, the first time, all smooth, the second time, not so smooth. I started off being born at a different camera angle from the first time, seeing ?my farther? looking not at me like the first time, but at something to the bottom left of my screen. The nurse in the background decided that she was going to go for a walk without moving her legs, and proceeded to go through a medicinal cabinet. And that was just at my birth. After choosing my second character, with a friend, to look like the ugliest dike imaginable, we came up with something that remotely resembled a small Chinese woman that had ran face first into a giant wall of sh*t coated bricks. This was sweet because I wanted to know if the ?overseer?s? daughter, from my first go, turned out to be a dude if I was a chick; I was wrong but oh well. After becoming the biggest dike of the century, ?my father? proceeded to make the comment for the second time, that I looked like him, well I know the visions blurry, but he isn?t that ugly, not being gay but my character looked retarded. When I got to choose my attributes, strength etc. I decided to choose full strength, zero intelligence and charisma, 10 stamina, 10 agility, and 7 luck with the rest at the lowest possible; after all I needed the strength to match my macho character.
Anyway deviating a bit, the outside world of the vault is a post-apocalyptic landscape, it looked pretty good on my small screen but that was just outside the vault. On my first character I decided to become the most evil sun-of-a-bitch since the rise of Jesus. I killed shop keepers, hookers, blew up megaton etc. The usual. After placing a charge on the atomic bomb in megaton, a town you find at the beginning of the game, I proceeded to tenpenny tower, to watch it explode, because I am an evil sun-of-a-bitch I killed everyone in tenpenny tower with nothing more than a lead bar, which was coooooooool. After this I played through the game, killed a few ghouls and the occasional scavenger humanoid to retain my ?very evil marauder? status. And then things got a bit weird, at first I shot a ravagers, ranger , r-something guy with my rock-it launcher, in the face for less than a metre, which caused him to be launched 60 feet into the air, landing on a invisible wall somewhere above me, leaving him able to shoot me, but not working visa versa. I then had to reset the game from my last save to rectify this minor setback. Again a problem, I was walking through d.c. with my trusty lead pipe when, oh sh*t, the game froze, this doesn?t normally happen in games, and I can imagine you ps3 fan boys now, ?loling? at your computer, to the resounding ring of, ?you shouldn?t have gotten a sh*ttin? Xbox then douche tard? first things first I?m not going to get into an argument about the online and multiplayer split-screen capabilities of the xbox360, which are far superior to that of the ps3, but anyway. Second thing, this is a brand new game, bought the very morning, this sh*t doesn?t happen to any of my other games? This was a major let down, the game play was good, if not slightly monotonous, V.A.T aiming thing, headshot, next target, repeat etc, but the game itself was so crammed up the ass with bugs it was annoying! Almost as annoying as when you?re trying to chase someone down with your melee weapon, when they can run faster than you! ARGH! Haven?t finished the game yet, it may make up for it later in the game, but I don?t know, not holding my breath.
To conclude, good game play, not allot of replay value, even though you may feel the urge to rectify your choice mistakes, like I did. But let down by the surprising number of bugs, and I?m not talking about the piss weak ?whatever the their called? that manage to take over vault, when you can one hit them. Ha Ha Ha.
Posted 10:31 on 17 November 2008

Game Stats

Fallout 3
Out of 10
Fallout 3
  • Jam packed with surprises and interesting quests
  • Enormous, highly atmospheric world to explore
  • Strange depiction of radiation
  • Dialogue suffers in comparison with previous games
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 31/10/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 1,449 293
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