Saturday, 6 April 2013

F is for Fallout 3

Yes, I am a 39 year old father of two. I have responsibilities. Things to pay for, fix and feed. I do however once in a while, when I'm not blogging, working, doing stuff with the family or singing with the band, have some time to myself and like to kick back and play vast RPG's on my games console of choice. The first one I ever played of the "modern" generation was 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?

Rock on,



  1. I've heard many good things about this game, but one I've steered clear of, only because I don't want to get sucked in to 100+ hours of solo gaming.

    Unfortunately for me, online gaming has made me more of a group player now as opposed to single player - but then remember, when I started gaming the internet was in its infancy and many were wary of it (including me) and stuck to single player games. My first was Quake II, but then Unreal Tournament came along and pulled me into the online scene, along with Master Cat. Oh, fun times making maps, emailing them to cat, then signing into our IPs and going head-to-head.

    Now, sir, I seriously suggest you look at 'The Elder Scrolls Online' and consider joining us there once it is released - plus we need to get this dinner date thing organised pronto ;)

  2. We tried Fallout 3--the preview on Playstation, and weren't too impressed. We heard great things, but I don't think it was so much of a fit for us. (My hubby and I play together.) Maybe we're just getting old, have too many kids, and can't get invested like we used to. Maybe we're silly and have fallen into the trap of bright and pretty RPGs produced by Square Enix. (And yes, I am a woman so I'm allowed to call a video game "pretty.") Either way, you make me interested in taking another look.

  3. I checked with my son and he said that New Vegas is easier and there is more to the story, but that 3 is cool because of where it takes place...just some info from a teen. :)

    1. Andrea, I forgot you in the reply below! Apologies. Your son's opinion is right, New Vegas has a much stronger story element, but I don't think you could really appreciate it as much if you didn't play Fallout 3 first.

  4. I am really bad for console games. I sometimes watched my brother play them but I don't do it myself.

  5. I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out how it is that my 4 year old is better as skimming stones on the wii than I am. (:

  6. Hey all. Thanks for wandering by and reading.

    I don't know if I could manage online gaming Mark. I have so little time these days. I hear loads about it though and feel that if I did, I'd be hooked and divorce and two bigger waist sizes might be the result!

    Crystal, I hope you do give it another try. It is pretty in its own way. The NPC's are a little clunky at times but the vast swathes of landscape when wandering the wasteland are pretty special when viewed in HD.

    Al, its not everyone's thing consoles. I get that. But if you were ever tempted, this one would be my first recommendation.

    Elise. Rocco, my six year old is more au fait with the Xbox than I sometimes! He can do things on the Lego video games that just knock me out...


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