Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Fallout 3 (PC)

Fallout 3 title screen
Today on Super Adventures I've decided to have a look at RPG heavyweight Fallout 3, take a few screenshots from it, maybe put a bit of text under them as well. If I can think of anything to say.

Interplay had a good run with the Fallout franchise, getting four games out of it in the end, but after a few bad decisions (like making Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel for instance) they found themselves suffering from a wee bit of bankruptcy and in 2007 Elder Scrolls developers Bethesda presented them $5.75 million to take the whole thing off their hands. So this is the first Fallout of the Bethesda era, with a new immersive first person real-time approach to gameplay and combat that seems precision engineered to piss off the existing fan base. It was also developed with consoles in mind this time, which was made blatantly obvious to me right away by the fact that I couldn't use my mouse on the menus until I'd disabled my Xbox 360 pad!

Oh, like the Elder Scrolls games, this has all kinds of user made mods available for it, which I won't be touching. I've got nothing against mods, much the opposite in fact, I just like to play games vanilla when I'm showing them off on this site.

(Click the screenshots to double their resolution.)

Fallout 3 intro Brotherhood of Steel standing in front of the Washington Monument
The intro begins with a close up shot of an ancient vacuum tube powering up. The camera pulls back to reveal that it's part of a beat up old radio... inside the wreck of a bus... inside a ruined city... which is Washington DC... and there's a guy in Brotherhood of Steel-style power armour there too! It's a slow video, with slow music (a tune by 40s group The Ink Spots called I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire), but it's far more interesting than the equally laid-back Fallout Tactics intro, because the camera is always revealing new info instead of just staring a book for five minutes.

Fallout 3 was released a full decade after Fallout 2 and produced by an entirely different developer, so it's reassuring to hear Ron Perlman's voice again as he returns as narrator for the fourth time. He skipped 2004's PS2/Xbox Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance clone Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, but I honestly have to say that it's the least of that game's issues. Because Brotherhood of Steel is narrated by Tony fucking Jay instead and there's no way you'll ever catch me complaining about his voice turning up in a game.

The narrator explains that humanity went and nuked themselves into near extinction a while back, but some had managed to find sanctuary in giant underground complexes called Vaults. It's been two hundred years since the end of civilization and most of the Vaults have opened by this point, but the narrator informs me that Vault 101 has remained sealed ever since the day the bombs dropped. It's here where my character was born and it's here where they'll die. Sound like it's going to be a fun game.

Fallout 3 face editor screen
Just to make it absolutely clear that my hero was in fact born in the Vault as the narrator promised, I start off playing as them immediately after their birth, as their father wastes no time interrogating them to determine their sex, name and future hairstyle.

This gene projector device seems pretty similar to Oblivion's face generator, with dim lighting, limited options, and sliders that move around by themselves while you're adjusting the other sliders. I found I was frequently dragging the bars to their limit to achieve the kind of look I wanted, and I wasn't even trying for anything weird this time.

Bethesda have really redeemed themselves with the beard choices though; there's almost 50 of them here, more than twice as many as there are hairstyles!


ONE YEAR LATER.


People who were worried that Fallout 3 would be dumbed down and childish probably weren't reassured by the fact that you literally start off playing as a baby, getting taught how to walk by your father (played by expensive Hollywood actor Liam Neeson). Man I just released that I'm only one year old and I already have an amber HUD floating in front of my eyes; that's just... weird.

My first objective in the game (besides walking into the playpen at Liam Neeson's request) is to escape the playpen, which is as simple as opening the gate. So I tried to jump over instead and found that I could stand on top of the fence just fine, but an invisible wall prevented me from completing my daring escape. Pointless invisible walls in the very first room, that's just not a good sign.

Hey a found a baby book that lets me define my character attributes! Man, this really isn't the kind of thing you want to leave around where your one year old kid can get their hands on it. The descriptions are so vague that even I don't know exactly what they do, and I've only just played three other Fallout games.

I mean take Perception here, the book claims it affects my sense of taste, smell, eyesight and hearing. Fair enough, but does that increase my ranged weapon accuracy? Does it open up new dialogue options? Can I use it to loot more out of containers? What exactly am I getting for putting points into it? The older games gave me immediate feedback on how my chosen attribute scores were affecting my stats, but in this it's all a mystery.


NINE YEARS LATER.


Nine years later to the day in fact, as it's my 10th birthday and the Overseer is handing me my very own Pip-Boy 3000! This is a different model to my little personal computer from the original Fallout games, and looks about 3000% more portable.

Anyway, I've got a whole birthday party to explore now! People to talk to, chairs to jump on, maybe even gifts if I'm lucky... and I'm sure it won't be interrupted with anything dramatic happening at all!

And then the game crashed.

A quick internet search revealed that this is a common problem on modern systems and that I have to edit the game's ini file to fix it, changing one line to read:
bUseThreadedAI=1
And adding the line:
iNumHWThreads=2
I'm writing the whole thing out like this in case it helps someone else. We'll soon find out if it worked for me, and I'm kinda hoping it does, as I don't really want to play through the game in 10 minute sessions.

Why won't they let me out? I don't want to spend my whole day trapped in here with these people! Am I supposed to be doing something in particular to trigger the next time jump? I found a party hat, but putting it on didn't help much.

Oh this is my back you're looking at right now by the way. Now that I've grown up a bit I'm allowed to switch to third person view. The lack of diagonal walking animations makes me think it probably wasn't a big priority during development, but it seems to work well enough.

Hang on, there's a message up at the top of the screen.

Man that's creepy. That corner of the screen is where notifications like "Autosaving..." usually pop up; floating Vault Boy head shouldn't be using it to order me around, that's not how it works!


SIX YEARS LATER.


After six long years the party finally ended and I was set free to... take a test. But first I have the opportunity to stop this asshole harassing my childhood friend Amata.

Thankfully Bethesda have decided to drop the persuasion mini game they introduced in Oblivion and it looks that certain dialogue options are more likely to work if I've sunk points into the appropriate skill. So I guess if I go with that choice at the top and it doesn't work, I can just load my save and retry it until it does. Or I could just beat him into a bloody mess with my bare fists instead. It's nice to have options.

I talked him down in the end and then sat down to take the infamous G.O.A.T. test, to see what job I'd be ideally suited to carry on doing for the rest of my life in the Vault.

There's an interesting variant on the US flag hanging over there on the left... hang on WHAT did you just say? Granny, no...

By the way I love that granny's speech bubble in the background has the 'Bloody Mess' trait cartoon from Fallout 1 in it, that's an awesome little touch. Then again all the Vault Boy images are awesome.

There's no option to just... ask her what's going on? Maybe I can resolve this whole thing peacefully if I just raise my Speech skill a little higher!

Oh whatever, where's my tea at?

Well I got my results back and the G.O.A.T. has determined that the job most suited to my particular personalty is 'Vault Loyalty Inspector'. Says a lot about this place really. Also it says a lot about Fallout 3 that the G.O.A.T. test is entirely optional. You can talk your way out of taking it.

My job determines which three skills are tagged, though I'm free to change that and make my own choices. The skills are pretty similar to the set in the earlier games (and nothing like the Elder Scrolls series), though Steal, Throwing, Traps, Gambling and Outdoorsman have gone AWOL, and First Aid and Doctor have been combined into Medicine. Thankfully.

Well it's a Fallout game, so tagging Small Guns is practically mandatory. Speech would probably give me an advantage in the 'talking' side of the game so I'll go with that too. The last one I'll tag is... Repair. I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that it's a good skill in this. Or maybe it's Science I'm thinking of.


THREE YEARS LATER.


Well that's my childhood all over with, I suppose I'd better get on with being an adult then; living the exciting life of a man sealed inside a maze of identical metal corridors.

Actually my father's just found a way to escape and it's triggered chaos inside the Vault. Anyone even suspected of helping him is getting beaten to death by Vault security and the Overseer's men are out looking for me now. Still, I reckon if they were that serious about it they probably would've found me already, seeing as I'm inside my own apartment right now.

Well I suppose I'd better grab my baseball bat and go see what's going on out there. No sense wasting this exciting opportunity to begin some kind of hero's journey.

Oh well that's just typical, the Overseer has my childhood friend in his security room and he's got one of his goons smacking her around. That's your own daughter you son of a bitch!

I immediately ran in there like a big damn hero, pushed the Overseer into a corner and told him that I'd surrender all my weapons and come peacefully. He was happy to accept my surrender, and was positively overjoyed to start beating the crap out of me while I was unarmed.

Well beating the Overseer to death with my fists wasn't really the way I intended that to play out so I'll load my last quicksave and just creep on by instead. Actually I'll open the door, let Amata run out, and then make a run for it myself.

In that unrealised reality where the Overseer lay dead at my feet, I'd searched through his pockets and noticed that he had an office key and a terminal password on him.

But now that I've loaded my save and he's alive again I have to find another way to get this door open. It's possible he's got another key in a box somewhere or maybe I could've pick-pocketed one off a guard, but I've decided to shove a screwdriver into the lock and see where that gets me.

The trick is to turn the lock slightly with the screwdriver and see if the hair clip rattles. Rattling means I've got the clip tilted the wrong way and need to fine tune the angle before trying again. As lockpicking mini games go, it's not so bad. It's less of a pain than the lockpicking in Oblivion that's for sure, and more satisfying than just relying on chance like in the earlier Fallout games.

Now I have to get around the password check on his computer as well. I'm glad Bethesda remembered that the Fallout world was up to the 'monochrome CRT' stage of monitor technology when the bombs fell, because I love the look of this screen.

The hacking mini game is all about picking the correct password out of the text on screen. When I make a choice, the software lets me know how many letters were correct, and I keep doing that until I either run out of attempts or get it right. Hidden inside the code are brackets and if I click a pair that match (like the bit I've got highlighted right now) I get a reward like a dud word being removed, or my allowance being reset.

I actually like this minigame... I think. I've definitely seen and played much worse. Also when you hack a computer in this, you tend to get some information about the people who owned it and what they were up to as a reward. Kind of like an audio diary... except in text form!

Wow, Vault 101's door mechanism looks totally different to Vault 13's back in the first game. Though that's not actually that weird, I mean they are on the opposite side of the country from each other. Maybe this was built at a different time.

Wait, I don't have time to rationalise justifications for potential lore discrepancies, I'm being chased by people trying to kick my ass for the crime of being related to someone who opened the Vault door... I don't even want to know what they'd do to me if they saw that I'd opened it again myself.

Like Oblivion, before I step outside I'm given a final chance to redo my appearance, skills and attributes now that I have a better idea how the game plays. It was a good idea in that and it's a good idea here too.

Wow, I have to admit I was kind of expecting something more impressive from my first glance of the outside world. Though there's some Washington DC landmarks over yonder in the distance! The Washington Monument and... some other building to its left. The Capitol Building maybe?

You know, in Fallout 1 you can get out onto the map screen in under five minutes on a new game if you avoid most of the rats, and that's including the mission briefing. In Fallout 2 you can get through that bloody Temple of Trials, across the tribal village, and out to freedom in under 10 minutes without skipping dialogue. In this it took me more like HALF AN HOUR to see daylight.

But look at it all, ruins stretching out as far as the eye can see! All of them no doubt entirely empty after being thoroughly looted over the last few decades! I don't even care, I'm going to pick a direction and go exploring.

Or maybe I'll receive a mandatory level up first. Unlike Oblivion, I don't have to sleep to level up so there's no way to avoid it, but that's fine because I get the impression that the levelling up system in this isn't a shitty broken mess. It's much closer to the original Fallout games, where I'm given some points to put into my list of skills, and then I get to choose a perk. No traits this time by the way; they've been combined with the perks to give players a chance to make a more informed choice.

I'm going to go with Intense Training this time I think to get an extra attribute point, then I'll stick it in Luck. I have ambitions of getting critical hits.

And now I'm free to explore the wasteland!

Or... I could follow the main quest and investigate the nearby town of Megaton for information about my dad.

Nah.

I do appreciate having the journal entry and the quest marker pointing the way on my compass though. I know a lot of people find it turns these kinds of games into a series of mindless journeys from point to point, but personally I find that knowing exactly where I should be gives me more freedom to go where I want to be, without worrying that I'll lose my way. Also if this means less searching around buildings for the exact item I need to recover/activate/shoot/whatever, then I can live with any downsides.

Damn, were these guys camping outside the Vault door or something? I see the game is keeping up the fine Fallout tradition of random raider encounters giving you grief between towns in the wasteland. Or maybe it's following the Elder Scrolls tradition of bandits jumping out and harassing you wherever you go.

There's a good question actually: is this closer to 3D Fallout or a post-apocalyptic Elder Scrolls? Is Fallout 3 just Oblivion with guns?

Fallout N99 10mm pistol in Elder Scrolls Oblivion
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with guns (Photoshopped, I'm afraid).
Well the answer is clearly no. Or maybe yes. It’s like the two game series hooked up and had a kid, and apparently Fallout was the father as it’s taken his name. A few other game sequels have famously dropped their original isometric and turn based styles and gone first person shooter purely to get mass appeal *cough* Syndicate, Shadowrun *cough* but it feels to me like Bethesda only wanted to make the best modern Fallout game they could with the expertise and tools that they had. It's just that... well, Bethesda makes free-roaming first person 3D games, so that how their sequel turned out.

It's funny how different the same engine can feel though when all the plants are dead, the buildings are trashed, and it doesn't have epic fantasy music playing all the time. Fallout 3 doesn't let me increase my jumping height by bouncing everywhere either, but it does make up for that by not saying "Loading area..." every few steps.


Here's one way the two games are similar: equipment gets wrecked now the more you use it.

9 times out of 10 I'm totally against item durability and I think it's basically a shit idea, but I gotta admit they've used it pretty cleverly here. Items become weaker as their condition deteriorates, so it's possible to find decent weapons early in the game without them ruining the balance too much, because they tend to be wrecked to the point were they do reduced damage. To fix equipment I need to combine it with another one of the same item, destroying the second piece of gear in the process, but the max condition I can achieve with this is limited by my Repair skill. Or I can take the stuff to a shop and get it fixed for money, which is limited by my money. It's basically like level scaling the loot, except I'm not penalised for finding something early.

It sucks that I don't get to see the gear previewed in the window though. I gotta keep putting the Pip-Boy down to see how I look.

This is supposed to be better armour than my Vault 101 Jumpsuit? I guess it works on the same scientific principles as the chainmail bikini, giving me higher defence due to... I dunno, mobility? My raw sex appeal throwing off their aim?

Incidentally the armour you find in this magically transforms to match your gender, so you can bet this isn't going to be quite so exposed on a female character. I wouldn't have thought this feature would be an issue to anyone, but I've heard a couple of good arguments why it is. It's designed to make all gear functional for either gender (and the earlier Fallouts handled armour the same way), but it means you can never dress your female hero up in a suit or give a guy a dress... and in fantasy world set 200 years after the fall of civilisation, why not?

One of the downsides of completely switching the genre of the next game in a well loved game series is that, well, you're going to piss off all the fans who don't like the new genre all that much. Why even use the brand name if you're not going to try to appeal to the existing fanbase? So Bethesda tried to meet the fans halfway with the V.A.T.S. system.

V.A.T.S. is a homage to the 'called shots' system from the earlier games, intended to help to make the game more accessible to people who enjoy classic RPGs more than first person shooters. It removes the need for twitch gaming skills by letting me freeze time and queue up shots automatically aimed at specific body parts, by spending action points. Then I hit accept, watch the bullets fly, then get my head down and wait for the points to recharge.

It's entirely optional though and, unlike in Fallout Tactics, taking actions in real time doesn't use up action points, so it seems like I'm getting a bit of an unfair advantage here. Plus I get cinematic camera angles of my carnage! I love both these things!

After the fight I ducked inside an old abandoned school nearby out of curiosity and found that raiders have been dressing the place up to look like something out of Silent Hill. I'm especially vulnerable right now with only a quarter of my health left and no ammo, so I'm trying to creep around and catch them unaware... with my baseball bat. There's no regenerating health in this, though once they're all dead I can go find a bed, have a good night's sleep, and get my hitpoints back.

I'm also struggling to fight off the urge to steal every bit of crap I find in here. I have absolutely no use for bent tin cans, Abraxo cleaner, ruined books and coffee mugs, and the game's straight up telling me that they're near worthless... but I need every bottle cap I can get for bullets! It kindly tells me that the lockers are empty when I highlight them so at least I don't have to search everything in here.


SOME LOOTING LATER.


Alright fine, I'll go to Megaton and see if I can find this guy who knows where Liam Neeson ran off to. I need to offload this crap I swiped from the raiders and buy some ammo anyway.

This junk town has an interesting problem as it was kind of built around a 200 year old unexploded nuclear warhead, and the thing could go off at any second. Even if it doesn't, the bomb must be leaking a crazy amount of radiation at this point.

Anyway that's their problem. I've got problems of my own to worry about, like trying to find my way around this maze of walkways. How the fuck do I even find the shop in this place?


EVENTUALLY.


Well that took longer than it needed to; this town really is a bloody maze. There's no Barter button in this so I can only trade with shopkeepers like Moira Brown here who have a dialogue option for it. Man, look at the way the camera's gone and zoomed right into her face. They've blatantly just reused Oblivion's code without any thought of staying true to the established style of the Fallout series!

If you look at the original Fallout's dialogue system on the other hand you'll see that...

Fallout (PC)
Oh. Well, okay that pretty much looks exactly the same, except with a border around it. The text is even the same shade of green in Fallout 3 by default, I just decided I liked the look of amber more.

Hey there's a Fallout 2 callback behind her. If you scroll up you'll see that she's got that Vault jumpsuit strung up on the back wall in the same way as you find it in the Temple of Trials.

See, I *knew* that this was made by people who give a shit.

Annoyingly the game has the same issue that the earlier Fallout games have, which is that people around the starting area aren't rich enough for me to offload all the crap I've scavenged onto them at once! Well I suppose I could pay her to fix my baseball cap so that she'll have some more cash on her. That thing gives me +1 Perception so it's in my interest to keep it from disintegrating.

I went to the bar to find info on my dad, but instead found Mr. Burke here with an interesting offer. He wants me to detonate the bomb and destroy Megaton because... well, because he's a cartoon villain basically.

The actor's playing the guy as if he's the world's worst spy, saying lines like "I'm afraid there's been a misunderstanding. I'll be sure to address the situation... personally" with an astonishing lack of subtlety.

I called over the Sheriff to deal with the situation and the dumb bastard comes in, arrests Burke, then tries to lead him out the door with his back turned! He was dead before I'd drawn my pistol. I decided to shoot Burke's gun out of his hand anyway though, because it looks cool. I love these cinematic action shots that come up after I've made my move in V.A.T.S.

Just out of curiosity I decided to reload my save and see if there's any other way this could've gone down.

Alas poor Megaton, you were once a blight on the wasteland and now you're a smoking radioactive crater. Actually it was a radioactive crater already now that I think about it. Probably won't be much of a surprise to you to hear that this quest was taken out of the Japanese version of the game.

It's funny just how trivial the justifications for doing this are, there's basically no reason for it beyond 'I didn't like the look of it from my balcony'... and you could barely even see the place from here! I think Bethesda were just trying to win over all the people who liked to massacre entire towns in the original games.

Anyway I can't let Megaton be nuked, I'd be throwing away all that potential XP from sidequests just to get a cosy room in a posh hotel! I'm going to reload and disarm the bomb this time.

Well this is my reward for disarming the bomb. A house-shaped pile of corrugated scrap. Just think of the futuristic diseases I could catch in there if I made the mistake of touching anything and cut my hand open on the sharp metal edges.

It comes with a robot! A posh hairdressing robot with a British accent and a spinning saw blade on his arm! I guess this place isn't so bad after all. It's even got some lockers for me to dump my gear in. Kinda wish I'd held onto some of that Abraxo cleaner earlier though, because damn.

I still don't get why these people chose the radioactive bomb crater to build their fortified town around when there's a half intact village just down the road with a large school building. Sure there were raiders around, but I managed to clear them out on my own with a baseball bat in about five minutes, so that's barely an excuse. Use the scrap to build a fence and some guard towers, problem solved.

I asked around the saloon and found someone willing to give me info on where my dad was headed... for a price. I was thinking about hacking his computer or something, but it seems that every immoral act in this deducts karma whether you're caught or not, so I just paid him his bottle caps and left with a new objective.

Then I went north instead and found this poor dog all alone in a scrapyard! Like I said, I use quest arrows as more of a suggestion than a guide. When I'm bored of exploring it'll lead me back to where I need to be (and if I'm too far off I can always fast travel to the closest discovered location using the map).

The saloon owner told me that my dad was heading to a radio station in the middle of Washington DC, though it's going to be a bit tricky getting there as half the skyscrapers have been blasted into walls of debris. Even the ones that look like they're climbable usually aren't, which is a bit of a pain in the ass. So I have to duck down into the subways instead.

Man this reminds me of all the bullshit I had to do to get around Necropolis in Fallout 1, ducking in and out of sewers. Though at least this time I have my awesome Pip-Boy map. Yep, that's a auto-map in a modern(ish) 3D first person shooter you're looking at; it turns out that such a thing is possible after all!

Well there it is, the ruins of Washington DC. Honestly I would've expected it to be worse considering this was a priority target for the nukes. I guess they must have been tiny little low-yield nukes.

Don't worry, the dog's still with me, he's just standing a little bit out of shot. Either that or he's been eaten by a sneaky super mutant. I hear this place is crawling with the bastards, that's why no one lives here. Well, except for this radio DJ I've come here to find.

Oh shit that's a big mutant. The guy's using a hydrant as a club and a bloody car door as a shield (it's ingenious really, as he can use the wing mirror to spy on threats approaching from behind).

Still, I don't care how much of a heavy-hitting bullet-sponge boss he is, I can just go shoot him from a doorway and duck inside when he gets close. I bet I've got more rifle bullets than he's got hitpoints.

Plus it helps that the enemies in this are scaled to my level. I know that's often a terrible idea in RPGs, but kind of necessary in open world games to a degree and I think they've actually pulled it off this time. It's far better than Final Fantasy VIII or Oblivion's systems anyway, where I avoided levelling up entirely as it'd actually put me at a disadvantage.

Oh shit, he killed my dog! I saw the super mutant kicking him around like a stuffed toy, but I thought he'd just be knocked unconscious or something.

I reloaded this bit like five times, trying to tell my dog to leave the fight and go back home, but every time I failed. It turns out that the only way I could keep him alive in the end was to load an older save and not bring him along in the first place. What's the point of giving me a companion who can't survive a decent fight? I mean I'd understand if I had direct control of him, but he's a purely AI driven sidekick.

Anyway I killed the mutant (told you he'd be easy), found the DJ... and learned that he wanted something from me first before he'd tell me what I wanted to know. I'm spotting a pattern here. 

I continued playing for a little longer, but the post's getting ridiculously long now so I'll just leave these pictures here in case anyone wants to click on them, and then I'll get on with writing up my concluding thoughts.


Fallout 3 has issues, I'm certain of that, but after a couple of hours of playing it I'm struggling to actually list any. Well I suppose the gunplay isn't exactly top-tier (no iron sights), the graphics are a little dated, and I believe there's a severe lack of crazy shit you can get up to compared to Fallout 2. But there's more than enough here to keep me happy. Though I'm sure a couple more trips through those Washington DC subways would soon wear down my good mood.

One thing I found interesting about the game's main storyline, is that no one gives you the quest to find your father at the start. In fact he gives you a message asking you not to follow him. The Vault Dweller in the first game was sent to recover a water chip or else there'd be GRAVE CONSEQUENCES. The Chosen One in the second game was tasked with recovering a G.E.C.K. device or else EQUALLY GRAVE CONSEQUENCES. But the Lone Wanderer in Fallout 3 steps out of Vault 101 with absolutely nothing driving them but their own motivations. Sure it'll develop into a 'save the wasteland' plotline eventually, that's just inevitable, but right now it's an entirely personal quest, and that's really rare. The player has got no greater ends to justify their shitty means for once, no excuses.

But yeah, this game was practically custom made to appeal to me specifically on every level, so there's no way I was ever not going to love it. I mean the only way I could possibly like it more is if they added some kind of spaceship level as DLC...

    

Okay now's your chance to tell me how wrong I am about everything in the comments box below. Or you could talk about what you like about the game, what you think about the Fallout franchise in general, you know, all kinds of things. Speak your mind.

4 comments:

  1. This is my second favorite game ever. I remember the first time I played it, 6 months just whooshed past, I spent every little bit of my free time playing it. I even took leave from work to stay home and play. I eventually started metagaming and using the Fallout Wiki as a checklist, I'm pretty sure I have done and seen everything.

    I've found that Americans tend to like New Vegas better, whereas anyone who didn't have the US Civil War shoved in their face through school tends to like FO3 better.

    I tried New Vegas but it just crashed every 45 minutes like clockwork. Now you mention it, I didn't try bUseThreadedAI and iNumHWThreads which I did have to set for FO3. That's probably it. How about that.

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  2. I liked the series and this brings back some memories. Looks like fun for a couple times through anyway, will have to give it a try. Thanks for the quick tour.

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  3. This is one of my favorite games. It seems like people are always arguing over which is better between this and New Vegas, usually saying that the one they don't like is awful.

    Well, having 100%'d both I can safely say that... they're both good, so I don't know what people are on about. I think I'd give the edge to this one though. It really does have a way of drawing you in after a while. The first time I played it, I got about as far as you did before I put it down because it just seemed depressing and dismal. Picked it up again two years later and got through the entire game in a few weeks, enjoying the hell out of it.

    Interesting that the Megaton quest was edited out of the Japanese version.

    Speaking of gender and outfits, I don't know if you've played Demon's Souls, but it does something interesting that no other game I've played (including its own sequels) has done: You don't choose gender from "male" and "female". Instead, there's a slider that you adjust to determine your character's gender-appearance, going from very masculine to gender-neutral to very feminine, and everything in-between. It's interesting and I'm wondering why more games don't allow that level of customization.

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    1. I've never played Demons' Souls but I'm sure I saw a gender slider in Saints Row 2 as well. Though not in its sequels interestingly.

      I guess the reason most games don't go that far is because it's hard and the developers are busy. I mean Ubisoft has its 30,000 studios working night and day and even they weren't up to the task of giving Assassin's Creed Unity a female player character!

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