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January 7, 2009
Fallout 3 - PS3 Review Page 1
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
31/10/2008Red AntBethesda SoftworksBethesda Softworks1None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc4300MB720pDD5.1NoMA15+

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Fallout 3's graphics are impressive.
The PC gaming scene has seen some pretty awesome exclusives in the last decade or so. Games like Half-Life, Diablo, Starcraft and so on have always been key reasons to own a gaming PC. But more recent times has seen a lot of these big names hitting consoles as well. Some, such as Half-Life 2, have even been really good ports that play extremely well. And now, whilst a very different type of game to its predecessors, Fallout 3, the latest instalment in a hugely beloved PC gamers franchise, has come out, and found its self hitting our favourite piece of technology, the PS3, as well as other platforms. Under the creative wing of RPG-experts, Bethesda Softworks, known for their Elder Scrolls series (the most popular of which being TESIV: Oblivion), is this the game that Fallout fan boys have been foaming at the mouth for? Or just another dumbed down console port?

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Yep, a Super Mutant's stats...
Set in a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland, the world took a different path from the 50s as to what it did in our universe. Steampunk took over, and nuclear technology became extremely prominent. An era of clunky robots and crazed government officials came about before a war raged across the globe, consuming everything, and plunging the world into a chaos of mutants, radiated water, and decay. Washington D.C., where players will spend their hours trekking through, is the scene, and it's a dead sterile environment if ever there was one. Buildings falling to rubble, civilisation all but nonexistent, a few small pockets of life here and there, no vegetation, and no clean water; there is danger at every turn. The feeling of isolation here is second to none, and this is definitely not a feel-good happy game. Players start out in an 'ideal' environment; an underground vault, safe from the radiation and exposure to the elements.

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Remember, don't ask questions around the Overseer.
In fact, players start from the day your character is born. It's a fairly unique and interesting way to deal with character development. You pick out your characters looks and so on based on a conversation between your newly born self and your father (so, more of him talking, not a conversation). Time passes in blocks and you play through parts of your youth, and further make selections pertaining to your character and the nature in which you are likely to play the game at the appropriate moments. Some decisions will even need to be made in these early portions of the game that may very well impact future parts of your game, depending on other choices you make. Oh, and did I mention there are choices?

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The world is suitably destroyed.
Skip forward a little, play a few more bits, and the story kicks in when your father escapes the vault. You are awoken by your friend, Amata, who tells you that he has left without warning and that her father, the overseer (the only real authoritative figure in the vault) and his security have killed Jonas, who helped him escape. Amata is, naturally, concerned for your own safety and fills you in on a plan on how to escape the vault (assuming you want her help that is). This seemingly small event sets the game up for a massively intricate plot with a whole host of different paths that can be taken at any point. For once you escape Vault 101, the vault that no one ever enters and no one ever leaves, you are met with a huge sprawling world of decay and danger. How you make your path through it is really up to you and your individual play-style.

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Fallout 3's hero uses a rocket laucher.
For those of you who have played through any of the Elder Scrolls games, you will have some idea of what to expect here, but whereas Oblivion, Morrowind, and the others focussed on hundreds of small quests, Fallout 3 instead has a smaller range of quests that have a lot more depth to them. It is not uncommon to be making your way towards one of your quest locations and in the process come across a random survivor from whom you will gain another quest. Follow that quest and you may find something else to do along the way. Everything is strung together exceedingly well and there's no real point in the game where you feel like you have nothing to do. Of course, some of the quests are your usual run and collect affairs, but some others are truly remarkable, such as the choice to destroy or save an entire town that is built around a dormant nuclear bomb. And each quest has its own choices to be made that can then have further impact on other aspects of the game, or perhaps will just make you stop and think due to the moral implications. No other game to date has offered the player choice in anyway even close to what Fallout 3 offers.

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