An objective review

Discussion in 'Fallout 3 Discussion' started by kriminal99, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. kriminal99

    kriminal99 First time out of the vault

    Mar 11, 2004
    I played all the old Fallout games except for BOS/POS. I learned my lesson about that type of game from X-com Enforcer.

    Anyways, the game plays alot like the old fallout games, and has even improved on a few things other than the obvious graphics etc.

    The ammo and money management seemed to play out just like the old games, until you get the scrounger perks which a short time later deals with your ammo and money issues in short order... perhaps too well. At least as much as before, specializing in anything other than melee/unarmed is difficult because of lack of ammo and even more so because of the need for duplicate weapons to repair the ones you have. For the earlier games that had the scrounger perks I think the result was pretty similar.

    The graphics are great, it's awesome to be in the Fallout world in first person, and the radio station is a nice touch. Whatever you do in game you are going to hear about it to some degree as the DJ sings your praises or warns people of you using descriptions of the same karma titles used on the stats screen. This can give you a real sense that you really ARE a scourage of the wastes or a crusader as those karma titles say. However karma has little effect other than that and a few dialogue options at different points in the game (I'm not sure that it even allows you to get someone's help that wouldn't otherwise have given it to you)

    The normal music on the other hand is dissapointing, given that the music of Fallout 1 did a lot to add to the atmosphere (I still have that hideous beat from the master's vault and chamber stuck in my head)... not so much in later fallout games. Given the condensed game length and area, the MMO/Oblivion style safe "Light general purpose music you won't get bored of" approach shouldn't have been used. I wan't to feel like I am giving up my old life when I leave the vault, was in hell when I enter the Supermutant test labs, was in way over my head in the Enclave base etc and music would have been the way to do these things. On the upside there was something a little funny and satisfying about listening to an upbeat 50s tune on the radio while torching lowlife raider gangmembers with a flamethrower.

    The real time conversion was done nicely, and I personally like the ability to have my twitch skills as a factor in how well I do in combat. (You can aim for the head and do more damage, but if you have a low skill your character will miss the reticle by more) I fear though that if I were playing it on the PC, the game would be super easy as I would just headshot anything that came close to me with the relative ease of mouse control. The vats system, when used, seems to make the game play out a little more like the old turn based system. You can often enter vats and kill or severely maim your opponent before leaving which is pretty similar to what people did with turn based before. Only now instead of a concentrated retaliatory burst of fire the enemy only gets to resume normal fire. This seems to make the game slightly easier, but not too much as real time enemies running circles around you beating you and shooting you up are harder to manage.

    It seems like specialization is not as much of a factor as it should have been. Strength has some effect on melee but that as always been one of the easiest stats to bypass with PA bonuses, drugs etc and there are no starting traits as before to boost your melee damage etc and turn you into the death ninja ycapable of using melee to handle any situation almost as well as your gun toting counterparts (although with different tactics) that you could be in earlier Fallout games. In Fallout 3, If your melee char can do it, so can my INT 10 STR 6 char (especially when he goes nerd rage on your ass, a real perk that boosts your STR to 10 at low, but survivable with the resistance boost, health).

    Perception might allow you to snipe a little better, but you rarely get chances to be that far away from your enemy and even if you are you can still hit them plenty without super high perception - There will be no enemy super snipers critical hitting you for half your health (or all of it) from across a canyon or anything. Of course thats pretty status quo, and you still can use VATS to be a super sniper yourself and wipe them out from across the map. However, just over 50 energy weapons, 6 perception, and a decent laser rifle was all it took to wipe out Enclave soldiers from a typical distance.

    With 6 endurance and never putting a point into Heavy Weapons, I had plenty of health and could kill any enemy in a few seconds wiht the heavy weapons I found.

    With 1 Charisma, I never had trouble interacting with others other than the lack of ability to lie and manipulate that my low speech skill denied me. I didn't see any of the profound philisophical arguments used to dissuade evil doers and skeptics alike that the earlier games afforded you with a high Intelligence and speech - other than one highly cliched end game argument that seemed to have been watered down by being rehashed by someone who barely understood it.

    Intelligence seemed to be the real money stat in this game, letting you do pretty much everything in the game by giving you enough skill points to get good at it all. Specialization seemed to be more in what skills you chose, and Int lets you choose more of them. It also had at least as much effect on what your character had to say than anything else (although still nothing too interesting, Bethesda is obviously staffed by more artsy types than rational minded intellectuals as also evidence by all the frequent logic error caused game wrecking exploits and poor economic models) This is more important than many people may realize as early Fallout games often had the same profound effect on players as the first Matrix movie did when it came out - don't expect to find anything like that in fallout 3.

    Agility adds a few more VATS points which are usually just overkill anyways.

    I can't really comment on Luck as I didn't test it much but it's stated in different areas to have its critical hit effects as well as its skill use bonuses. You are probably better off with INT for this in the long run however. I don't know about finding stuff you wouldn't have otherwise, though I never found the Alien Blaster with 5 luck - only ammo for it.

    I think more could have been done to emphaisize each stat... A closer translation would have a faster agility speed up all actions in real time. However that would have required analyzation and math skills that might not be Bethesda's cup of tea. There should be better ways to specialize in ninja ala "traits" and for that matter just more ways to specialize in general. Bethesda seems to have missed the pun and the point with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system.

    In many other ways this game is far more comparable to Fallout 1 than 2. If they make a sequel or expand on the game somehow then maybe things will approach the Fallout 2 level. The game is short, and if you complete the main quest line your character is toast - no tying up loose ends or wandering the wastes with the knowledge that you are the ultimate bad ass. Thats pretty much how Fallout 1 played out as well. Like Fallout 1 the end game is somewhat anti-climatic. It took a few minutes to take out the major enemy base unlike in Fallout 2 where there was quite a maze involved. Also like most later Fallout games the ending flashed by in seconds and made the whole thing hardly seem worth it. No terrfying cutscenes of Supermutants wiping out your old buddies at the vault, or other types of emotional scenes like fallout 1 had.

    Like Fallout 1, the subquest plots are fairly shallow and sometimes poorly described - Unlike Fallout 2 where every town was almost a whole game unto itself. The follower system sucks like Fallout 1's did, although for different reasons. Like Oblivion, all but the toughest followers just run in between you and the enemy and die after you accidently shoot them once or twice. If you can spare stims to put in their inventory, you might keep them alive a bit longer but don't get your hopes up. They do make nice pack mules if you can keep them out of harms way though, and there is at least one follower that kicks ass but y ou won't get him until towards the end of the game. The volume of items is reminiscant of Fallout 1 as well. Fallout 2 definitely added a lot of variety in that regard making you feel as if there was a million different ways to kill someone, a feeling that is not present in Fallout 3.

    Many people when redoing a franchise like this make the mistake of thinking that updating it to current graphic standards is all it takes to do credit to the name, ignoring the game depth that made the original so popular when that was all designers had to focus on. Bethesda did NOT do this (except for leaving out some of the immersive tactics that Fallout 1 used, but Fallout 2 left these out as well), and you have to cut them some slack and not compare its depth to fallout 2 which was a game created from a well established setting and set of tools such that their main responsibility was to add that additional depth in story and equipment that fallout 2 is known for. Just like how GTA4 lost much of the depth that GTA3 had due to work on the new platform engine etc Fallout 3 lost some of the depth Fallout 2 had. But unlike in the case of the GTA games where the advantages the new platform/engine etc provided wasn't worth it, in this case it was worth it.

    All in all I would strongly recommend this game. It is Fallout, it is in your face in ways that the old games could never accomplish (minus their masterful use of primitive music which is lacking in Fallout 3) and in some ways is even improves the old gameplay model above and beyond the obvious 3d immersion.
  2. Crowley

    Crowley It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Dec 12, 2003
    Fair enough, but I am struggling to understand how the opinions of one man (or woman), no matter how well they may be rationalized, can be called "objective".
  3. kriminal99

    kriminal99 First time out of the vault

    Mar 11, 2004
    As well as the opinion of many can be. Thus the working definition of objectivity is just considering the opposing points of view with the knowledge that if you do not you are just causing chaos since other people will sway people back away from what you have said. Better to read one objective opinion that might miss one or two things that a person from a different perspective would see than to read 20 unobjective opinions trying to get the big picture by stitching it all together.
  4. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    What part of this review, exactly, is objective? You don't use any proof, references or objective comparisons between the games, you just say 'I think this is better', which makes the review inherently subjective.
    Like, y'know, practically any review.

    It's also bizarre how you have a rather long list of complaints in how the game is significantly different in many aspects from the original games, yet conclude your review with the note that Fallout 3 is better than the previous games.
  5. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 2, 2008
    lessons learnt from other games, (and no I'm not going to reference PoS at all here) but why should these 'lessons' put you off of completely separate licenses or games?

    This is basically a direct copy of a similar thing from GTA:san andreas radio?

    Sorry to hear this.

    When playing a ROLE PLAYING game, I prefer to have the abilities of the ROLE I'm playing used as oppsed to my own personal abilities, just my take on what RPG means to me.

    sounds to me like the ability to specialize into a 'ninja' char or melee in general has been a little overlooked due to FPS nature of the game.

    These Enclave chappies sound a bit weak?

    this sounds a little off, no SP into heavy weapons and still able to rip things up? I'd like to see this if nothing else patched to be correct, I'd expect an untrained guy to pretty much miss (recoild etc) with Heavy weapons.

    Again sorry to hear this especially that your opinion it was laziness that brought it about.

    the depth IMO of all the GTA games just gets better and better, as for FO2 having the groundwork done and Blackisle simply added moar stuff, well the ground work for FO3 is essentially the same stuff, the same history the same setting etc, fair enough go ahead and get a more modern graphical approach, but its should not be that the 'guts' of the game have to be re-invented?

    I'm still not wholly convinced, but thank you for your write up.
  6. kriminal99

    kriminal99 First time out of the vault

    Mar 11, 2004
    In order to gauge the objectiveness of a post, you would first have to comprehend the meaning of ideas like "proof", the real world usefulness of "references" and "subjectivity".

    To start there is no such thing as proof. Just because some piece of information seems meaningful to you does not mean anyone else is going to or is obligated to interpret that information any specific way. Often they may know somelthing that paints that gives that information a different meaning.

    People who refer to references are usually trying to make some non specific reference to the scientific method and the success it has been attributed (perhaps falsely, due to a lack of uniqueness from any intelligent approach to knowledge) Anyone can refer to their own experiences to verify things that are said are true. This is a more valuable method then constant reference to third party information, since third party information can always be faulty or faked.

    I am not sure what objective comparisons consist of in whatever dimension you live in, but here it simply means presenting signifigant amounts of information before making conclusions based on that information that anyone can follow.
  7. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    I am well aware of both the scientific process (to which I was not referring by the way) and the meaning of proof and references, and I don't mean the wikipedia way.

    But really, which part of these sentences seems objective to you:
    Fallout 3 looks demonstrably worse than contemporary games (Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect are my two favourite examples), and the idea that it's awesome to be in the Fallout world in first person is entirely subjective again (I didn't find it very interesting, nor does the world seem very Fallouty to me).

    Not that there's anything wrong with subjectivity, any review is going to be subjective, but claiming you are being objective while you are inserting those sentences is just weird.

    Also, objective or not, this is just wrong:
    The combat system plays nothing like the old Fallout games, the main plot is much more railroaded and you are very restricted in your movements. Dialogue is much worse, and stats and skills seem to be much less important.

    You acknowledge these things yet still claim that it plays like the old games?

    It's not really a bad review, but it is far from objective.
  8. kriminal99

    kriminal99 First time out of the vault

    Mar 11, 2004
    It's just generalizing from one's experiences using concepts rather than metaphors. Enforcer wasn't in the same genre as the rest of thee games in it's line and was just a quick attempt to cash in on th e X-COM liscence. BOS was the same thing. Games like this rarely have any of the elements that made the original games so interesting.

    Actually now that you mention it the radio thing is similar to GTA games, but the radio host comments on you on your father much more often and gives you different titles according to your actions.

    If you take that "ROLE" reasoning to the obvious extreme then you shouldn't be playing your character at all it should be playing it's "ROLE" itself. If thats the case why should your personality or planning skills determine what the character does? Even in the context of just acting/storytelling the argument doesn't really make sense to me. The role element of role playing has to do with the fact that you are not living your normal life going to work etc, rather you are using your knowledge and skills to succeed in a different enviornment.

    Melee is effective in the game its just that you don't get any huge advantage by going pure melee over someone that doesn't. For that matter you don't get very much for specializing in anything - its just all easy for everyone.

    Yeah the enemies are definitely weaker. In the old games you couldn't even scratch people wearing power armor without really good criticals or really powerful weapons. In this game the threshold aspect of armor has been removed greatly weakening enemies against the less powerful weapons. Enclave soldiers can easily be wiped out by 10 mm SMGS.

    I think GTA4 was missing a lot that GTA 3 had. Your character didn't get stronger by working out or by experience. A large number of vehicles and weapons were missing. But to stay on topic, when I say talk about things that can be reused and things that have to be redone I am thinking in a much more pratical sense. For Fallout 2, the textures, the engine, many of the items and characters etc were already done. For fallout 3, they had to redo all of that stuff - and I mean retexture the new models, make the new textures for the landscape etc etc.
  9. frosty_theaussie

    frosty_theaussie Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 22, 2003
    ... what? GTA3 did not have more depth than GTA4. San Andreas sure, Vice City maybe, but not 3.
  10. Public

    Public Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    May 18, 2006
    How it can play like old Fallout, when you have a totally different gameplay?
    What do you mean by "primitive"?
  11. kriminal99

    kriminal99 First time out of the vault

    Mar 11, 2004
    Youve got some good points, but the combat doesn't play out all that different. If you think of the use of vats as your turn, and the real time play as the enemies turn, then the only difference is that you can take pot shots during the enemies turn and they can during yours. Unless you are a god with the sticks you are not likely to get many deadly shots in during real time, you are lucky to hit them in the pinky toe with the exception of a few weapons that don't really need to be aimed like flamers. You get your good hits in vats, and the enemy does in real time.
  12. frosty_theaussie

    frosty_theaussie Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 22, 2003
    Unless you've never played a FPS it's not that difficult to take down someone without VATS, especially since they often charge right at you.
  13. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    ^^ Just because you can find some similarities in combat, doesn't mean the two games "play the same". For example, FO3 is a combat-centered game with lots of dungeon crawl, FO2 is an RPG with lots of dialogue and minimum dungeon crawl.


    It's not hard to take someone down in RT, but wastes much more ammo.
  14. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    If you think of a dog as an elephant, then the only difference is that one of them has big ears and a trunk.
  15. cratchety ol joe

    cratchety ol joe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 2, 2008
    to refer again to the role play aspect, yes I get to choose the role of the character, but quite frankly IRL I'm a rather dull guy thats ok with modern office programs and a dab hand at graphic's I myself have a good head for numbers,

    Not once while 'role-playing' a 12th level Half-Ranger Half Barbarian did my own skills in MS Excel actually help me out (other than being able to make an automated character sheet) and likewise I don't see why any one person should have a benefit / disadvantage because of how well they can perform the tasks of a First Person shooter (be it X box controller / mouse or whatever) If this little example still fails to get through the point I'm attempting to make then i can only assume your character has a low INT or PER.
  16. Gooscar

    Gooscar It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2008
    On the subject of music, from the prespective of a music enthusist with catholic tastes:

    Fallout 3 does lack for the most part the rythmic beat sound effects of the prior titles to include Tactics. It instead uses more classical thematic cues and progressions as opposed to static ambience, however there are some static ambience tracks and spans. While yes Mark Morgan set up prescedent because he was involved in the first two games, static ambience with rythmic beat sound effects is not a strictly Fallout hallmark, because there are classical thematic cues and progressions found in the soundtrack of the first two games.

    FO1 - Shady Sands
    FO1 - Brotherhood of Steel
    FO1 - Followers of the Apocalypse
    FO2 - Followers' Credo
    FO2 - Dream Town
    FO2 - Biggest Little City in the World
    FO2 - My Chrysalis Highwayman
    FO2 - Many Contrasts
    FO2 - California Revisited
    FO2 - Gold Slouch

    Fallout: Tactics's soundtrack is nearly half non-static ambience, being tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15.

    As you can see, classical progression and cues become more prevailent with every step away from the original. Fallout 3 simply follows the pattern of the prior releases by becoming prodominently filled with classical cues and progressions. Understandably, Inon Zur has composed the last two entries, so it's not a complete reflection of what Mark Morgan might have done if he was involved in the production, but it fits the pattern that the production design of both Interplay and BethSoft were moving the music from a static background layer to an occational character with a voice. The nature of the games simply means that Tactics's themes were continuous and Fallout 3's themes were event based.

    In my opinion, I enjoy Fallout 3's music, it works well with the event based music scripting and the inbetween filler tracks play to the strength of the DC wasteland being a continuous journey and one singular community.
  17. MrBumble

    MrBumble Vault Fossil

    Jan 17, 2006
    Here is my subjective review : fuck this game.

    I'm seven hours into the game and I don't want to play it anymore. Can't believe I've bought it ( "it can't be that bad lulz !" ).
  18. DForge

    DForge Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 29, 2006
    Followers' credo was one hell of a track. Very epic, despite it was very simple.

    I hear F3 misses that kind of music. Pity.
  19. Gooscar

    Gooscar It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2008
    It has it, it's just more Inon Zur than Mark Morgan, or to use an analogy it has more John Williams than Hans Zimmer.

    And for the record I like Hans Zimmer more than John Williams.
  20. Black

    Black Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 21, 2007
    Well, at least it's not less objective than OP's review