Many developers have been going darker with the tones of stories lately. It's time we stop asking definitively if this is a good or bad thing and consider the artistic value at hand.
Reasonably Priced Game of The Week: Episode II
This week I didn’t have to look very far to come across a truly magnificent bargain. I spied with my little eye something for five sterling pounds (Eight bucks), Fallout 3. Fallout 3 is an immersive RPG from Bethesda set in post apocalyptic earth, you’re a survivor from an underground vault that protected you from the fallout (get it?) you begin as a new born and progress in the vault until late adolescence where you escape the vault, the rest is entirely up to you. For those of you that have played this game you’ll understand why this is a big time bargain but for those who haven’t here’s a few reasons why you should go and pick up this game now.
Your character is completely unique, all the way down to your eyebrows. Everything can be customizable, you can pick what clothes you wear such as the Brotherhood of Steel Power Armor, you can choose your hairstyle/colour at the beginning and you can use a huge array of weaponry. All these little options of customization make Fallout a really personal adventure with your own creation parading around the wasteland ultimately removing the need for any kind of online interaction as there’s simply so much to do.
The plot to Fallout 3 is a deep and often emotional one, you follow in your fathers footsteps from birth and the relationship between your character and their father (voiced by none other than Liam Neeson) often proves to be the fuel for the plot. Twists and turns occur with the return of the Enclave and the antics of Supermutants and that’s just the main quest line. Rich and touching tales are to be found literally left right and center in the wasteland where you’ll meet a whole array of post apocalyptic individuals, each with their own story and quest. Ive played the game through three times and am still yet to complete every quest on each run through, just to give it some proportion.
The bad guys in Fallout 3 are pretty much everyone. It’s a free for all in the wasteland where you’re pitted against a vast army of critters, ranging from your average cannibalistic Bandit to your irradiated Feral Ghouls all the way to the Super Mutant Behemoths. Random encounters add variety to loctations and environment specific creatures help to develop a sense of realism and logic to an apparently chaotic world. Another nice touch is that enemies raise in difficulty with you so when you’re level 30 you’ll still be having a heart attack when a deathclaw strolls over the hill.
As I mentioned before, ive played this game through three times. This is becuase your karma levels affect the game, Positive makes you like-able and offers certain NPC followers, Negative makes you despised and offers alternate NPC followers. Each of these karma levels create different gaming experiences because of the intelligent and reactive AI the game possesses. The third run through, if you were wondering, was to do it on neutral karma simply for a trophy. DLC content is also available for when you think you’ve truly exhausted the game play. DLC is impressive and adds around 40 hours extra game play, exclusive weapons and armor and some novel experiences such as battling Aliens (Mothership Zeta addon). In regards to the DLC, if you have a true burning desire for it i’d buy the GOTYE which will be a little more, obviously, but comes with all the DLC.
You may have read that and thought “What the?!” but i’m serious. With all these recent releases so focused on multiplayer and the online experience they’ve forgotten about the campaign and left us with a diminished single player experience. Fallout avoids that and delivers a compelling and time consuming single player game that removes the annoying requests for a game and allows you to progress at your own pace. A bit of solitary gaming is never a bad thing.
In summary, this is my all time favourite game. For such a stupidly low price I can’t encourage people enough to go out and grab this game, it’s immersive, long, unique and personal and DLC is out there and is well worth the extra money. There’s a very good reason this game got Game of The Year and now is as good a time as any to find out why. Enjoy.