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Fallout 3!

Bethesda, creator of the acclaimed Elder Scrolls series brings you one of the most anticipated games of the year, but will Fallout 3 be able to take the franchise in a new direction?

First Impressions: Whenever possible, we try to give our loyal website viewers the most video footage and most in depth unbiased reviews imaginable. Part of that development is our "initial impressions" where we offer up our first impressions of the title that we are playing.

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If you scroll to the bottom of the page in the Rent vs. Buy section of the review and do not see the "final impressions" assessment then it's safe to say that you are reading our initial impression of the game. Once the final impression is up, there will be no further video or review done to that particular title.

Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

You can locate the final impressions assessment in the "Rent vs. Buy" section of the review (always located at the very end of all of our reviews). Here you will be able to read our final thoughts on the title and also see any potential grade changes that were made to the game as well (higher or lower). Should a grading change occur, it will be clearly noted with the previous grade, the new grade, and why the change occurred.

Although this approach is more time consuming and requires many more man hours, our entire goal has always been to provide the best and completely unbiased reviews possible and we feel that the inclusion of the Initial Impressions and Final Impressions sections will give you a better view of what to expect from a new game.

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Crispy: The story of Fallout 3 takes place in the 1950s, in the era of warfare and nukes.

After the world discovers the power of nuclear bombs and the destruction they can cause, the world - mostly the US and China - begin engaging in deadly nuke warfare that causes untold amounts of terror in a short amount of time.

Before the nukes hit the Earth, many people invested in the ability to live their life in a safe haven below ground called Vault 101.

When the nukes hit, they destroyed nearly all that man built and constructed and the timeline split.

One side of the timeline remained in the 1950s, where they struggled to even survive. The other timeline, the Fallout timeline, also suffered the consequences of mass nuking, though they were somehow able to technologically advance astoundingly quick.

They were able to utilize computers, lasers, advanced weaponry and other modern technologies.

You take the role of a handmade character that you will be able to customize using a customization system similar to the one used in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

The customization options do not feel as significant or drastic as they did in Oblivion, as you were able to create total freaks of nature. Whereas in Fallout 3; you are only able to create slightly misshapen men.

That's not to say that the options are not robust, they simply are not as dramatic as they are in Oblivion.

Choose Your Destiny: As you guide your character through infancy, fast-forward to childhood and then you are shot into adulthood, you will take part in some unique training missions that fit into the game neatly.

You will learn how to walk and pick things up as a toddler and shoot a gun in your childhood. These approaches to common tutorial missions are quite fun and unique to boot.

When you turn into an adult, you will be able to choose your abilities (which tend to be very similar to those used in Oblivion) from basic attributes like Strength, Intelligence, Endurance and such.

During your time in the Vault, you will be introduced to combat and interaction with the various characters that also live in the Vault.

Interaction with the characters is very much like that which is featured in Oblivion.

You have the ability to choose from a few different options that will appeal to different people, depending on their personality. Your dialogue choices end up deciding what kind of person you will be (Good, Bad, or Neutral).

Crippling Good Fun: The combat feels significantly different from the system that Oblivion employs, as it features guns and a new combat feature.

The gunplay is pretty basic stuff; shooting as fast as you can at as much as you can. What makes the combat different from anything else ever seen though is the V.A.T.S combat system.

V.A.T.S (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) allows you to stop the combat and target specific body parts to attack

. Although each body part has a certain percentage of chance to hit successfully, V.A.T.S. still tends to make the game quite a bit easier. Most of the time you are able to land many of your targets, though it is not a guarantee.

The percentage that each target has varies depending on range, weapon range and many other factors, giving the system some strategic elements as well as some balance.

The system is still very fun to use, as landing critical blows to your foes and crippling them in nearly everyway is quite satisfying.

The Wastelands: After your father escapes from the tightly locked Vault 101, you begin a journey to find out where he is and discover why he left the safeness of the Vault.

As soon as you manage to get out of the Vault you will discover what is left of the United States, now called The Wastelands.

In the Wastelands you will be able to explore what remains of America's landmarks; such as the White House, several Memorials and many others found in Washington D.C.

In the Wastelands you will encounter mutated humans, robots, scorpions, cockroaches, dogs and other creatures that were transformed into freaks of nature when the nuclear bombs hit.

Along with the fallen monuments and mutants, you will also find common locales like grocery stores and abandoned houses where some hidden treasures may be located.

The Wastelands are massive and you could easily be sidetracked for days exploring the landscape or searching for hidden goodies.

Lookin' Good: The visuals in Fallout 3 are also very impressive. The landscapes are massive, but highly detailed. Everything has a unique texture and look to it, whether it's a bombed out home or torn apart grocery stores.

The character models are also detailed and highly realistic. The characters all have their very own unique look, voice, and personality.

As is the Bethesda standard, the sound effects and voice-overs are outstanding.

Each character has tremendous voice acting behind them and all of the sounds from firing guns to walking on glass just sound right.

Rent vs. Buy: Fallout 3 had high expectations, and fortunately Bethesda managed to fulfill them all with ease.

Living up to expectations, the exploration is highly enjoyable and the combat is unique and exciting. To top that off, the sound effects and voice-overs are outstanding and the graphics are very life-like and detailed. In short, the gameplay is tremendous.

Fallout 3 is not the "Oblivion with guns" kind of game that you may expect. It is something that has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

If you are looking for a successor to Oblivion, you will be disappointed here. If you are looking for a unique experience that has many strengths and very few weaknesses, then you are in for a treat.

Fallout 3 is a phenomenal game that should not be missed by anyone. Whether you are a combat junkie or love exploring open worlds, you cannot go wrong by investing your time (and it will suck in a lot of it) and money in Fallout 3. Note: Many gamers were worried about the differences between the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. In our experience, we did not find any notable differences between the two versions, thus the reasoning behind the identical scores.

Report Card

If you are looking for a successor to Oblivion, you will be disappointed here. If you are looking for a unique experience that has many strengths and very few weaknesses, then you are in for a treat. (Krakrabbit.com)


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