In honor of the recent release of the national video game craze Fallout 4, this week I took the time to wander through the nuclear classic that started it all, Fallout 3 for Xbox 360.
Fallout 3 takes place in the year 2077 in the aftermath of a world-wide nuclear holocaust. To avoid destruction some people were stowed away in massive underground safe havens called vaults. This is where your character is born. To begin you choose your character’s race, sex and physical features. As the story goes, you force your way out of the vault on a quest to find your father, who has escaped into the upper-ground wasteland.
Your character initially makes their way to a place called Megaton, a civilized wasteland community where you can purchase medical materials, weapons and ammunition, while doing jobs for an array of characters to earn “caps,” the new currency of the apocalypse.
At first, I was just as obsessed with this game as the rest of its insanely passionate fans. The in-depth graphics and detailed surroundings coupled with the intense and immersive story line had me instantly hooked and excited to improve my survival skills and customize my character.
After doing a few jobs, accumulating caps, I found myself in constant shoot outs with hostile bandits and raiders of the wasteland who were constantly trying to kill me. After taking intense damage I discovered by far the most annoying part of this game- the fact that I could be “over-encumbered” with damage, forcing my character to walk as slow as a turtle with cement shoes.
On a trek back to megaton to heal myself, I found myself being constantly ambushed by raiders who would kill me over and over again. The most frustrating part of this was that when I would come back to life or respawn, my character would still be so severely wounded that he couldn’t move any faster, caught in an endless cycle of death. Finally after reaching Megaton [which took about 45 minutes] I did everything possible to heal myself. I was still moving slow…so…insanely…slow.
I understand for the sake of realism; the game’s intense difficulty makes sense, as an apocalyptic nuclear wasteland would be a tough place to survive. But for the sake of gaming pleasure I would’ve like to have been able to play longer than five minutes before being shot up and famished with radiation poisoning.
Call me impatient, but I just didn’t understand the way health worked in this game. In a world where everything can kill you, I think your health should be able to regenerate naturally over time like in a lot of games, instead of having to bend over backwards across a mile long wasteland trying to find food and supplies to heal yourself one percent at a time.
I will say, optimistically, I’ll probably keep playing Fallout 3 in a never ending gaming quest to figure out why so many people love this game so much. Some parts do still have me hooked – I will admit. The vast range of weapons you can use and craft with found materials. The way you can scavenge and pick through abandoned buildings and pick pocket people for food and water. The endless landscape with limitless environments and characters you can discover. It’s all what makes playing Fallout universe an amazing place to play. But until I can figure out how to play at a high level I will continuously be a victim of the wasteland.
Although this is a negative review I do encourage players to give the Fallout games a chance as it has a fan following of millions and if they all love it, I must be missing out on something that everyone else seems to know. So wander on wanderers and good luck out there. Oh ya, and watch out for the mutated animals, they’re weird and can kill you. Especially the crab people…they’re scary.
Nick Tocco can be contacted at email@example.com