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i am done

With Fallout 3. Took me just under 40 hours over just about a week, if you don’t count the first weekend where I only played an hour or so over two days. Did a lot of exploring and did a respectable number of side-quests, although I didn’t clear out every location I stumbled upon, nor did I do all of the sidequests.

Sucks that I ended up with negative karma due to resolving one (just one, but I’m sure all the stealing I did didn’t help) situation in a “evil” manner, but, well, all the more incentive to play through it again! Maybe I’ll try and keep my hands to myself this time and not indulge in so much stealing.

I didn’t really like the ending, frankly. I would’ve liked endings for specific locations/towns/groups of people, much like in the originals. Instead, we seem to get one generic ending depending on your karma. So you could do one (apparently) very bad thing and do shitloads of good things for other people and still get a negative ending. And see the Rivet City marketplace riddled with bodies when, you know, you didn’t harm a soul in there. So basically it smacks of, well, organised religion. It don’t matter what you did, it only matters about how “good” or “bad” it was… judged, of course, using a somewhat-hackneyed, slightly-baffling scale.

And then there’s the cliche-ness of the end sequence itself. It is somewhat moving, I will admit, and there is a sense of things coming full circle (if, of course, you choose to), but yeah. It’s cliche. No two ways about it.

10/10? As I mentioned previously, probably not. It’s not perfect, and some decisions, like the level cap, are somewhat baffling (and almost maddening… what’s the point of having a level cap so low that one can concievably reach it halfway through the main story arc? Way to kill any sense of advancement, Bethesda). The bugs, too, are occasionally quite disruptive.

But I’m willing to forgive its shortcomings (perhaps because I hear rumours of a patch that will get rid of that damn level cap) due to the sheer… immersiveness of the whole experience. While I didn’t come close to pulling an all-nighter playing Fallout 3 (something I did with regularity with Fallout 2), the game is perhaps more immersive than the previous two. As I’ve mentioned, the first-person viewpoint and 3D engine aid immensely in this. As well as, of course, all the locations and things to find, rocks to clamber over, plains to cross and ruins to sneak through. Post-apocalyptia brought to life? Indeed.

I honestly feel a bit of attachment towards Vault 101 (and, I have to admit, Amata) as well as some of the characters I met over the course of the game. An attachment that will probably result in me starting up a new character sooner rather than later. If that’s not the hallmark of a good game, I don’t know what is.

No, not perfect. But pretty damn good. Surprisingly, in fact. Surprise of the Year? Probably!

(I just wish I could’ve slaughtered all those fucking children in Little Lamplight. You give us kids we actually want to kill for the first time but you then make children unkillable? Fuck you Bethesda, where’s my Childkiller reputation gone?)

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