|Credit: Paul Porthouse|
So begins Fallout 3, Bethesda's first foray into the Fallout universe. I purchased this game at release, played it avidly, and then set it aside for a time. Then, during December 2012, I picked it back up, started a new character, and have been playing it off and on ever since. Fallout 3 is enormous. I logged well over 100 hours in the game, and by the end I was making decisions to explicitly skip areas and quests and just finish the dang game. I wanted to finish it before traveling abroad this fall.
|The neighborhood has gone to hell.|
Even more amazing is the opportunity to explore the ruins of Washington D.C. in the game. You have the opportunity to visit the national mall, and visit many of the museums and monuments there. These include the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial, the Jefferson memorial, several of the museums (American History, Technology (i.e. the air and space museum), and the National Archives), and the Capitol itself. Outside of the Mall are other notable locations, including the bombed-out remains of the White House, the Arlington Cemetery, and the Pentagon. While the external maps had to be scaled to fit within the game, I was amazed to find how well I knew Washington D.C. geography having played this game during a recent real-life visit to the city. Even many of the smaller locations match reality: the subway terminals are largely based on real life, with the names and sequences of stops in the game often matching reality: Metro Central, Chevy Chase, Farragut West, Foggy Bottom, Vernon Square, Falls Church, Anacostia Station, etc. Really neat.
|Hey, does this planetarium projector still work? Yup.|
But watch out behind you.
|Lincoln's Repeater. Best small gun in the game,|
if you can keep yourself in 44-ammo.
|Welcome to the history museum! |
Mind the ghouls.
It was a great game. It's hard to say if it was better than the original games because they are so different, but at this moment I am leaning toward saying yes. While the others were arguably more innovative, Fallout 3 brought it all together in an incredibly world that you get to experience like nothing else. This game is so big and so incredibly satisfying that finishing it feels like I've just completed a chapter in my life.
An easy 5/5.
Postscript. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I made heavy use of eolsunder's Fallout 3 walkthrough. I'm not great with open sandbox games like Fallout 3, and following a walkthrough helps me keep focused on the fun as opposed to wondering what I should do next. Eolsunder's walkthrough was perfect for me: concise, generally averse to story spoilers, and yet still enough detail to help me solve some of the hidden riddles and puzzles that I sometimes would get frustrated with. I know walkthrough's aren't for the cool kids, but I like them, and I like eolsunder's better than pretty much any walkthrough I've used thus far. Kudos!