F is for Fallout 3
Fallout 3 is one of the many titles in the Fallout series of games that have been running for about ten years brought to us by a plethora of software publishers. Fallout 3 was brought to us by Bethesda, who also own the Elder Scrolls franchise.
Now, lets give you the skinny on a game that is so immense, that I have over the past few years put in around 150 hours of my spare time. Now for a game that cost me £35 quid in 2008, that's pretty good value for money.
So, Fallout 3 as it's title suggests, takes place in a post apocalyptic world. You, the protagonist, are a resident of Vault 101. A nuclear fallout shelter designed to protect up to a thousand residents from the deadly wasteland of the state of Washington DC after a bitter conflict. You have been born here and have grown up in this environment. In fact, you know nothing else but the Vault. Your father (voiced by Liam Neeson no less) disappears one day and the Overseer in charge of the Vault goes completely bonkers and sends security forces after you, which forces you to flee into the wasteland in search of your father. To be honest, if Liam Neeson was my dad and we lived together in a fallout shelter and one day he went missing and then everyone got a bit hostile toward me, I'd be off searching for some answers too.
You escape from the Vault into what is known as the Capital Wasteland. Surprisingly, not as radioactive as you may have thought, but a wasteland all the same. Armed with what little you could scavenge on your way out of the Vault, you set off on a voyage of discovery while all the time seeking your father who it transpires may have the secret to fresh water production all up in his head. Fresh water is a very valuable commodity in the wasteland. It also transpires that people are willing to kill for it. Soon, you happen upon a shanty town called Megaton (sic) and it's residents there don't seem to mind you hanging around asking questions, in a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" kind of a way which helps you develop skills to keep you alive in the more barren parts of the wasteland.
For the little jobs you do around Megaton for it's residents lead you further and further away from Megaton discovering parts of Washington DC. The Capitol Building is there, The Lincoln Memorial and the subway systems too. You learn to avoid gangs that kill for supplies and money, rabid "ghouls": people so ravaged by the fallout that they look like zombies. Mutant creatures and malfunctioning but deadly robots too. On your way you will find weapons, equipment, followers and food that make the Wasteland a bit more bearable and later on in the game somewhere to live. Also, ever and ever closer to the truth about your father and the secret he holds. There are communities of people who you can interact with and also form allegiances with. Those allegiances might make other factions in the wasteland not like you so much.
Aside from the fantastic plot in Fallout 3, the real beauty is the fact that there is so much to do there. There is a main quest element of finding your father, but you can if you want leave that entirely alone and just, wander around too see what happens. It's just brilliant. The game is full of moral decision making which give you the opportunity to really role play. The game tells you how good or bad you are, how characters feel about you too. It's really quite breathtaking in scope.
After the main game was devoured by fans, Bethesda released five extra expansions to the game which take you a little farther afield and all the time keeping the narrative very strong. Fallout 3 came out in 2008and in 2011 Bethesda released Fallout: New Vegas which in itself is a massive game boasting 20 square kilometers of digital real estate. 20km square! Word has it, there is another part in the making for the new generation of gaming consoles. If you only play one RPG game in your lifetime play this and say I sent you. You won't be disappointed.
Rocco's Random Number is 768 which takes you to Musings of a Book Lover. Enjoy that action over there eh?