189 points, 10 votes, 3.5 TOP GAME votes
Mordy: This had a multitude of bugs that kept it from placing higher, but despite those I still gave it about 20 hours or so before deciding to wait for a major patch or two. Half my vote is for what I’ve already seen — a sharp, well-written game that is deserving of the Fallout brand (if you include Wasteland it’s my favorite video game series of all time) — and half for what I hope: that further patched play will reveal an incredible game. I’m embarrassed to admit that like a fallout-crack fiend, despite being disgusted by the early crashes, I still played about 4 hours of this last night. I got down to Primm and cleared that shit out (took a couple reloads tho, I’m not in love with my character build atm). It’s very familiar to F3, especially wrt the types of items you find lying around. I’m playing on hardcore which is actually kinda hard (gotta remember to tote around purified water and food) and led to one of my cooler Fallout experiences. Someone got a critical head shot on me while I was in the middle of clearing Primm and since stimpacks don’t heal critical damage on hardcore I basically continued to fight with my head in poor condition (since I didn’t want to run away and see a doctor). Every few minutes the screen went all blurry and shaky and static came up, which was a really cool way of indicating trauma and reminded me of the malaria mechanics in Far Cry 2. It’s hard killing gangers when you can barely see the screen or aim your gun.
jjjusten: So yeah, people keep saying that this is just a content expansion pack for fallout III but eh I call bullshit, its a better swing at the fallout universe than III was in pretty much every way that matters – the characters are far better, your companions are more than just bullet sponges, the plot actually has legit moral choice based branches, the locations look better. yeah sure, its the same game mechanic, but once you peel back the grime filter from gta4 yer still pwning pedestrians and boning prostitutes, so whats the big deal. still loving this game but:
A) no one in the entire world will ever get excited about the stupid survivalist thing
B) some of the fixit quests are a little badly designed ie “here is a broken food processor, and here is the list of 74 pieces of junk you need to fix it. no, we will not keep track of this for you, so i hope you have a pen and paper handy”
C) some of the quests are pretty counter-intuitive, I’ve had to gamefaq a couple which always sucks.
that being said roaming the tight vault passages fuckin’ peeps up with a chainsaw is like the best shit ever
NI: one of my favorite moments of the game was me and boone spending about an hour blowing away the mother and alpha male deathclaws and their clan in that mining pit. avoided it for so long as i’d heard deathclaws were pretty much unkillable this time round but boone + missiles + incinerator + my cunning technique of running up a mine chute squealing like a girl soon sorted them out.
im up to about level 24 now, only just entered the strip and i can sense the old FO3 syndrome of it getting too easy starting to kick in. been doing a bunch of no-risk ‘wander about and chat to people’ missions in camp mclarran and freeside and it’s all getting a bit zzzz. the xbox loading times between locations is frustrating as hell too.
Princess TamTam: combat’s wayyy better imo – the true iron sights are a great addition, and because of that i’ve barely touched VATS so far. sneaking and sniping is my tactic of choice. enemies are still bullet sponges (im playing on very hard btw) which is unfortunate because I really prefer shooters where one well-placed headshot = a kill no matter what. the ammo variety is great, AP bullets actually work, and the new guns are all awesome and make bethesda’s weapons look retarded (it’s really jarring when you equip say the 10 mm pistol and it’s this weird clunky made up gun that doesn’t fit in with anything else), reload animations are sick nasty too. I was fully on-board when I walked into Nipton and the fucking Necropolis music from Fallout 1 started playing. Also, fucking JOHNNY GUITAR. Just as an aside, I think this game will be remembered as one of the most progressive AAA titles ever wrt its treatment of gay characters. Most of the v/o is a huge step up. It reminds me of how impressed I was by the presentation of the first Fallout… it was really cool that whenever you had a talking head convo, you knew you’d get some great voiceover from people like Clancy Brown, Ron Perlman, Keith David, Frank Welker, Richard Moll, etc. I took a break from the game this week, but I’m playing again today. I just got to Jacobstown, and lemme just say that I’m glad mutants have personality again instead of just being bellowing hulks.
Magnificent *kisses fingertips like a french sommelier*
jeff: bugs so far today: got stuck between two crates that were seemingly stacked right next to each other. guess not. and then one where my fire button stopped working and my weapon would only fire when i exited out my pip boy menu. had a really fun vats experience where i just watched a gecko run at me in slow motion for a minute while my gun did nothing.
Craig G: A new Fallout game and Cowboys must be cool this (last) year I guess. A lot of people criticized New Vegas because it looked dated, still using the Gamebryo Engine. I guess I didn’t notice this because it hadn’t been that long since I finished playing Fallout 3 and all the DLC. That said, in spite of the fact it is my game of the year, for me New Vegas wasn’t as good as Fallout 3, but in an intangible way. I guess it could be because Fallout 3 was something new, and I spent way more time just wandering around the environment looking at things, and exploring for the heck of it. New Vegas was familiar, and for that reason just not quite as exciting. It brought lots of nice additions though; modding weapons to stick a scope on my usual favorite the Hunting Rifle makes it pretty fun to wander the wastes picking off Bad Dudes. The new factions cover a wide range, and it was a pretty satisfying hour and half clearing out Cottonwood Cove and The Fort of the Legion jerks. I think it will be better for multiple playthroughs too, as the options available, both for side quests and main quests, seems more flexible than Fallout 3 was. Cannot be assed with playing Caravan though.
bnw: I’m playing hardcore mode. It’s not really that tough so far, we’ll see when my resources dwindle further. One fight gave me problems so far, took like 10 tries. I’ve had a couple freezes and a corrupt auto-save. Seen some coyotes stuck in the ground and some other animal stuck motionless on the road. Overall a bit of letdown as it’s like a more buggy fallout 3. Also seems lacking in the great underground tunnels fo3 has. seems kinda silly that hardcore mode cripples you so realistically and effectively wrt injuries and weight and yet you can still “fast travel”. You can even walk/run as fast as a gimp, you just limp at equal speed. I do think you’re more vulnerable in those areas if crippled though. Also not a big fan of CRAFTING. So far it is completely unnecessary and just a pain to manage 8000 different ingredients. My character is a black lesbian obv.
Ste: Some of the feelings i get from this game are too real and not fun enough lol. one mission had me lure some guy in front of a sniper. but i got told off for having no evidence. it was quite funny to see the guys head explode as i talked to him, but i felt really shitty when i was told off by the sniper guy.
need to level up before i go lurking into areas with deathclaws, they’re sons a bitches but at least i got my egg!
EZ Snappin: Might have been my game of the year if it didn’t ship horribly fucking broken. Better story than F3, even more of a mess technically. If Obsidian ever manages to release a finished, working, product the world might end. I believe their “unnamed development project” after Dungeon Siege 3 is scheduled for release December 20, 2012. Make of that what you will. No bugs, still lovin’ it (almost 10 hours in), playing with Wacky Kooky Wasteland but haven’t seen anything kooky or wacky – just radscorpions, ghouls, molerats and the like. I’m enjoying it more than F3 at the beginning, and the humor seems less LOOK! FAN SERVICE FUNNY! than Fallout 3.
Forks’ Fallout 3 Soundtrack:
The Master Keys – I Don’t Mind the Rain (Unreleased, radio)
Charles Brown – It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That
Nat King Cole – Nature Boy
Son House – Low Down Dirty Blues
Dizzy Gillespie – Oop Pop A Da
Jack McVea – Open the Door Richard
The Stanley Brothers – Death Is Only a Dream
The Big Three Trio (Willie Dixon) – I Ain’t Gonna Be Your Monkey Man
The DixieAires – Joe Louis Is a Fightin’ Man
John Lee Hooker – Crawling King Snake
Amos Milburn – Bad Bad Whiskey
The Big Three Trio – Signifying Monkey
Redd Stewart – Brother Drop Dead Boogie
The Dominoes with Clyde McPhatter – The Bells
Earl Hooker – Sweet Black Angel
Eddie Boyd – Third Degree
June Christy with The Stan Kenton Orchestra – Everything Happens to Me
Howlin’ Wolf – Evil
Junior Wells – Somebody Hoodooed The Hoodoo Man
Little Walter – Mellow Down Easy
Lambert Hendricks and Ross – Standin’ On the Corner, Whistlin’ at the Pretty Girls
Little Richard – Slippin and Slidin’ Peepin’ and Hidin’ (Piano/Drum Demo)
The Starlight Gospel Singers – I Got a Right To the Tree of Life
The Weavers – Sixteen Tons
Bobby Blue Bland – You Got Bad Intentions
Bo Diddley – Hey! Bo Diddley!
Chuck Berry – Maybelline
Eddie Banks and The Five Dreamers – Sugar Diabetes
Elvis Presley – Blue Moon
Patience and Prudence – Tonight You Belong to Me
Nhex: coming back in 3 years after the fan patches make this playable
266 points, 15 votes, 6.5 TOP GAME votes
Mordy: Somehow, Bethesda went from the quirky, though fairly generic world of Elders Scrolls, to the thematically rich, emotionally painful, and – fuck it – literary world of Fallout 3. No game ever moved me this year as much as Fallout 3 did. When I left Vault 101 for the last time, marching back into the wastes after reconnecting with the friends of my youth, I choked up. I found myself thinking back to the vault for the next hour or so, thinking back to what was forever lost, to what I’d never see again. Fallout 3 was full of these kind of gorgeous moments. An unexpected Town House excursion exposed beds full of skeletons and a still functioning robot. When turned on, he read a poem to the children’s dead skeletons. The poem? Sara Teasdale’s There Will Come Soft Rains. The Town House had no connection to any quest, no goods worth salvaging. But it was my most amazing moment of gaming in 2008.
John Justen: Absolutely no question that this is the best, most involving RPG I have ever played. This is the way to get people who don’t like RPG’s to take a second look. I really hope there is an achievement for obsessively turning on ham radios and opening toilet stall doors, because I’m pretty sure that I’m in the lead on that one. There really isn’t anything that this game does wrong, music included.
CraigG: It’s both exciting and daunting in terms of how big this game seems; I’ve barely made a dent in this after ten hours of play. It’s part of what really got me into gaming as a hobby.
Mitch Krpata: The most fully realized game world since Crackdown, at least. I’ve yet to play it for less than three hours at a time.
Circa 1916: Awesome so far, despite weird little things. Animation is awkward and comical sometimes. Combat can get a little wonky. I killed a guard with one bb to the chest (?) and enemies don’t really react to getting shot. Only 3 hours in. Spent most of my time wandering around a town chatting with people and I can’t wait to get back to it. Scarily addictive and ridiculously fucking awesome so far. I’ve already logged 20 hours and I haven’t even really touched the main quest yet. The sidequests are mostly excellent and feature a surprising amount of different outcomes. The game feels huge but not stretched thin. The replay value is ridiculous. I’m super impressed overall, it’s worthy of the Fallout name. Every time I fire this up I become more and more enamored. This has got to be the best RPG of the 00’s. Eh?
Forksclovetofu: Now that I just got past my first (wounded) deathclaw and marauded the shopping center, I got to say this is so addictive and fun and engaging. Improved Oblivion basically with a much more agoraphobic and nihilistic setting. I’ve been real happy with the pirate radio on the PIPboy. The further I get into this game the more vast it feels. Just got a house with requisite robot butler and am on the third chapter of Moira’s crazy book and am ready to take some time off from that particular quest batch. I can’t walk out the door without some oddball thing happening: robot firing lasers at me, three man merc hitsquad after my bounty, giant crab men chasing me down the street, fire ants that breathe actual fire, mine infested bridges… it’s always something new! I am regularly struck by how uncomfortable I am killing folks who’ve set up little shelters under bridges or in utility sheds; they see me running up the hill with an assault rifle and of course they’re going to start firing. Then I kill them and take all their stuff. And _I_ get the good karma?
I ran into a shitload of freezes getting by some mirelurks and then more when I was going to rivet city. Weird music/sound hitches. A spot where the world geometry came apart and threw me into a black hole. At least five cases where I’ve run into divots of rough terrain that I simply couldn’t extricate myself from. Doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason and it comes and goes. But I can’t stop playing! The carrot for me now is to visit all the places on the map that the wanderer perk opened up. I’m going through by quadrant and the main hassle is fear of running out of ammo; the alien blaster has been a real consistent life saver and I don’t think there’s any more ammo to be found for that weapon. As soon as that starts to wear, I’ll certainly head to the end. I’m expecting to be done with this game in the first week of the year and then put it in lukewarm storage in anticipation of the DLC. Still finding surprises round every corner tho! Button Gwinnett robot! Nukalurks!
Roberto Spiralli: i definitely agree with the scarily addictive tag. First time in a long time that I’ve done that thing where i thought 10 minutes had past and it was an hour. When I first arrived at Megaton and did my early exploring it really did feel like I was just back playing Oblivion, but the more I play, the less I find I can rely on the tactics and the approach I used playing that game. I am also going the ponderous/exploratory route. I lack the self-discipline to stop myself being distracted by everything I wander across so the main quest hasn’t seen much love.
Jim: OK, I have killed so many people already. This is a buggy piece of shit. Just jumped off the bridge that goes over the river in the south-east going across to DC and the second I hit the water it crashed. Jesus Jones. There’s plenty of games I’ve enjoyed playing more, but I’ve notched up 37 hours in a week and despite now having it crashed eleven times and corrupting a save game I’m still persisting at it. Actually if I was to enumerate all the lame things in this game that pissed me off, it would sound like I disliked it, but that couldn’t be further from the case.
Kingfish: Found Hubris Comics last night, and the text adventure in the basement. I like having the Explorer perk, as it reveals every single place; I feel like I’m cheating but I’m not! Huzzah! The guys at Obsidian and Bioware would have probably done a better job of strengthening and filling out the story bits for the quest, but for a big-budget/blockbuster title, I’m happy with what we got. Needs more funny, but it does wonders in expanding the world and backstory. Not only do you get to see more of their ruined society, you get to investigate museums to see how their ruined society spun off.
Cozwn: The water mechanic doesn’t feel properly developed enough for it to have any significant or meaningful impact on the way you play the game and so the way you interpret its meaning – however I do agree that the end of the game does undermine a lot of what’s gone before (inasmuch as its somewhat redemptive)… for me, it’s the finality that jars (I know, right? the game has to end) as so much of the game is about the world and its inhabitants scratching through but for the most part slowly wasting – memories wasting, and bodies wasting physically (psychologically, and emotionally)… I would have preferred something a little more elliptical, less obvious, more elision less bang.
S1ocki: It’s kinda crazy how much I THINK I’ve done, but you guys are all talking about weapons and techniques and shit I’ve never even heard of yet!!
Goole: i don’t really have much to say except this game is awesome and it’s taken over my life.
23 points, 3 votes
BNW: The game’s best and most creative DLC yet.
CraigG : This DLC returned me to the original creepy atmosphere of the original game. I remember when first playing Fallout 3, sneaking through big dark buildings, wondering what is around the next corner, etc. Operation Anchorage and Broken Steel didn’t really have this, and the only time I felt the same in The Pitt was the train yard when collecting the steel bars. Point lookout was altogether more sinister (perhaps because of that Ferris Wheel and my deep seated fear of carnies), and the punga fruit trip sequence was pretty cool, albeit pretty Max-Payne-dream-sequence-y. I also genuinely felt a little violated at having part of my brain removed, but was glad I could pick up the jar with it in later.
JimD: The reason there aren’t many big games in my list is that I spent most of my year playing Fallout 3. This is the best of the expansions, and when I finally decided I was ready to stop playing, I went and got on the boat with that girl I’d rescued, turned off the 360, and imagined myself making a little life with her. Let’s be clear – I’ve never imagined the post-game life of any of my RPG characters before, and it’s not something I intend to make a habit of. But that’s how good Fallout 3 is, I guess.
15 points, 1 vote
Jordan: Broken Steel adds a “Puppies!” perk so that if your dog gets killed you can just grab a new one from the litter.
Goole: BS raises the level cap to thirty and extends the main story. If you’re gonna get only one bit of DLC for Fallout, I’d get this one.
MH: I’m amazed by the power of the Tesla Cannon; it completely sucks in a close-quarters firefight but if your character stats are reasonably high, you can pick off Enclave guys from what seems like a half mile away.
CraigG : Fallout was the game I played most in ’09, but it’s an ’08 game. Hooray, then, for the DLC. Broken Steel was a good, tight bunch of missions with a fairly linear story line which would normally be a bad thing, but I think it’s exactly what the DLC needed to be. I think it was made all the more enjoyable because it raised the level cap, so your character was leveling up, plus you are killing so much enclave that you just keep filling your pockets with great armor and guns. I did have a few embarrassing moments though where I would be repairing my armor with some newly acquired armor and end up with my dude running about in his pants for a while accidentally, but I think that’s a Fallout staple. My only criticism of this expansion was the albino radscorpions.