Man was that game awesome. The character creation was cool, and I stayed inside a vault until I was 16, which then marked my journey through the vast, deserted world of Fallout 3. I’m not really used to games being so desolate, but it was actually a breath of fresh air for me despite being set in a nuclear wasteland.
Soon after leaving the safety of the Vault, I found my first town. I don’t know how people arrived to the conclusion that it’s a great idea to build a town around an unexploded Nuke Bomb which happens to be alive, but anyway that’s their thing so I ain’t going to say anything. I just sold the few junk that I picked up on the way and went on with my journey.
There is nothing to keep you from going from a place that you want to go. If you want to see the edges of the map, then by all means go ahead. Nothing’s going to stop you, except for the natural predators which is pretty much everything that moves. My first weapon in the game was just a pellet gun, but fortunately some thug came at me with a shotgun and with luck I scored critical hits on his butt-ugly face. It was a lot easier to survive with a shotgun. Also V.A.T.S. is a huge help for me especially since shooting is difficult with a dualshock instead of a mouse and keyboard. Your game gets paused and you can select which parts of the enemies’ bodies to shoot, and when you have decided, just confirm your targets and watch them fall down one by one.
Nukes make killing machines, and you’ll always encounter one while travelling the wasteland. Giant cockroaches, dogs, mercenaries, robots, mutants, freakin’ fire-breathing ants… You’ll just want to dig a hole and die if it wasn’t for your important quest. You’ll definitely going to be trigger-happy with your pulse rifles. It would have been awesome if you have vehicles in this game but then it wouldn’t be too realistic would it? Fast travel is an option, although it takes the fun out of the journey.
Survival is only for the experienced and fully equipped player. Going out without proper supplies is plain suicide, so I suggest you pack up on ammo and health items. If your health goes red without recovery items, you might have to resort to drinking radiated water, which will increase your life but can kill you with radiation poisoning if you drink too much. One thing that will also increase your survivality rate: Armor. I recommend the Brotherhood of Steel Armor which makes you pretty tanky. You will get this late at the story though so I suggest you play through the main quests until you get the armor, THEN roam the wasteland.
I can still say that the environment is beautiful even if it reeks of death and destruction. A few trees, some ponds (radioactive water though), subways, buildings, some truly unique locations all around the map for you to explore. You’ll also be calmed with great oldie songs courtesy of Three Dog, the in-game DJ. I’d remember Fallout 3 because of it’s soundtrack. “I don’t want to set the world on fire…”
What makes this game so great however is the randomness, and being set in a Nuclear Wasteland, you’ll never get enough of it. A stampede of two headed cows, an ambush from a mercenary group, giant mutants, an optimus prime, hell you’ll even find a crashed spaceship somewhere where you’ll get the most powerful gun in the game.
The story is nothing to scoff at either, and it can change depending on your play style. You can choose to be a good guy or a terrorist, and you’ll be able to recruit different companions depending on that style too. I played it nice on both my two playthroughs, but they are still pretty much different experiences. The second playthrough was much better because I already know my way around the game. I played it months ago but I still vividly remember some of my greatest moments in it.
Bethesda became one of my respected developers after playing Fallout 3. Story, environments, characters… They’re all great, and the novelty just makes it even more enjoyable. I wish I’d played it when it was just released, because It would have been fun to talk to people and share stories of your travels.