Do you think it's perfectly okay to dismiss Fallout 3...

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by Quoth, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    guys even the Fallout 3 developers (tood or hines not sure) said if you WANT to play F3 like a FPS then you can. So it definetly has the qualities of one.

    I dont know why that is so hard to accept ...
  2. Faceless Stranger

    Faceless Stranger Board Drifter

    Aug 19, 2010
    Because even if you were to play it as an FPS, the mechanics, engine , and A.I. make it a shitty one.
  3. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    but a first person game/shooter nontheless. If its a good or bad one doesnt play any role in here. I dont want to discuss the true menaing of "FPS", but fact is that Fallout 3 resembels a straight first person shooter much more then anything else. The next thing you might do as well is some form of third person shooter, but that wasnt very well done in the game either.
  4. Faceless Stranger

    Faceless Stranger Board Drifter

    Aug 19, 2010
    Good point, fair enough ;)
  5. Hroesvelgr

    Hroesvelgr First time out of the vault

    Oct 29, 2008
    Hey I play X Box cause I can't afford an awesome computer... That's where I've been playing NV. I just tried to run the PC version and it wasn't quite as nice of an experience :(.

    I used to be a PC gamer, and the Fallout games are actually what got me started when they came out, but I can't afford to keep up with the games and I use a laptop now, so I can't upgrade. The X Box is a nice, standard and affordable option that I can also play with my room mates (which we do a lot).
  6. Faceless Stranger

    Faceless Stranger Board Drifter

    Aug 19, 2010
    I mean the kind of console gamer that FO3 is catered to. No offense mate ;)
  7. Dr. Combat Shotgun

    Dr. Combat Shotgun First time out of the vault

    Aug 19, 2010
    Btw someone mentioned JA as a superior game as far as combat mechanics go... I would say Silent storm and Sentinels after that improved them with destructable environs etc... Now something like that for the next FO would be awesome but is never gonna happen.
  8. Lynette

    Lynette It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jan 9, 2010
    Uh, Jagged Alliance had a destructible enviroment.
  9. Dr. Combat Shotgun

    Dr. Combat Shotgun First time out of the vault

    Aug 19, 2010
    Yeah well its been a while but... in Silent storm you could level an entire building or shoot enemies throught the ceiling... Am I just suffering memoryleaks or wasnt that impossible in JA? Not to say
    I didnt love those mercs, both 1&2 were classics, something very falloutish in them.
  10. gongos

    gongos First time out of the vault

    Nov 25, 2010
    I'm sorry if I sounded angry, but I'm not really. And you are actually the FIRST one to give a serious answer as to why dismissing Fallout 3. Nevertheless, allow me to retaliate. At this point, I will ignore the fact that Fallout 3 presentation of the world is much, much better than in the classics, which isn't a minor thing.

    Lets focuss on the so called "RPG" elements Fallout 1 has over Fallout 3. Just to be clear, I haven't played Fallout 2 (probably will once I have enough time, a month from now). I have, on the other hand, finished Fallout 1 and doing almost every side quest I could (though stupid bug prevented me to get the reinforced armor).

    1- Side Quest
    Fallout 1 isn't bigger and longer than Fallout 3. I've heard people say Fallout 3 is short, when in fact it is much longer and bigger than Fallout 1.

    You could argue the typical "quality-over-quantity", but I've failed to see F1 side quests as anything that would blew F3 side quests away. F1 side quests are just as any other RPGs out there. Not saying they are bad, but How could they overshadow Fallout 3? Beats me.

    There were some memorable side quests in F1, like the human-meat iguana bits, for example. But as I said, they are no way "better" than F3. Just equally as good.

    2 - Choices and decisions
    Many here critize F3 for having flat choices. So when I played F1, I though I was going to have an emotionally much more engaging game in regards of decisions. It turns out, they were just "as flat". In most cases, there are only two choices, and most of them involves the typical "Good" and "Evil". Once again, I'm not complaining, but how could this be better than F3? Beats me.

    You either choose to help fixing the water pump (good), or you screw the ghouls (evil). You either join the sheriff Killian (good), or join the mobster (evil). You either save Shady from the raiders (good), or you don't (neutral-evil).

    3 - Storyline
    Obviously, F1 takes also huge credit for being the first Fallout, and hence presenting the world as it is in the series, but that aside, lets analyze a bit the plot of the quests in general.

    Let's get something straigth, I loath F3's main plot. It had it's particular momments, such as the Virtual reality vault. But the main plot overall was crap, and me having Fawkes at the ending made it even more stupid. No doubt F1 main plot is thousand times better, and the ending on that one was great.

    But the main plot is just a small part of the Fallout games, I'm sure we can all agree in here. I know F3 takes a few detours from classic Fallouts in terms of lore, but that nevertheless doesn't mean it is a bad game on it's own.

    If we look at side quests, we probably will be stomping into the first item, but many of F3 sides quests were actually pretty good and original. F3 wasn't shallow at all, and exploring it was fun because of different things we could discover around. For example, Vaults are great to explore in F3, finding out what experiment were driven there is always epic. And I love how the kept that with New Vegas.

    4 - SPECIAL
    Well, this is true. F1 uses SPECIAL in better ways. But then we are back to the argument of the gameplay. F1 is much more stats-based than F3, so it is obvious that such stats will have an even larger impact on the gameplay. In F3, these SPECIAL are affecting only on a second plane. But the fact that it combines this with a more intense action, it makes it a much juicier game.



    At this point, it is silly to argue which one is better. But we have to agree that both games are great. You may not like F3 as much as F1, just as I didn't like F1 as much as F3. Nevertheless, I think F1 is at outstanding game. I wish you could apreciate F3 the same way instead of bashing it as if it was "mediocre at best", when it is a game that beats the vast majority of other contemporary games.
  11. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Only walls and doors could be breached with explosives. So in that Silent Storm for example did improved alot by making whole buildings destructable meaning that you could even blow a hole in to the ground climbing down to a lower level. Sadly the game didnt made much use of that.
  12. Stanislao Moulinsky

    Stanislao Moulinsky Vault Fossil

    Jul 16, 2009
    You are also conveniently ignoring that the world in FO3 doesn't make any sense, which isn't a small thing.

    FO3 is longer because is full of filler. Compare it in terms of side quests and all of a sudden it will be much shorter.

    Better writing and more tied to the setting and theme of the game.

    You are right. FO1 is generally simple in its quests. It's FO2 the real benchmark.

    A "few" detours? It would be easier to list the stuff Bethesda got right that the things they got wrong. And FO3 IS shallow in terms of story. How could kids keep the SMs at bay? No explanation. Why Mr. Burke was so fixated on destroying Megaton? No explanation. How could AntAgonizer control ants? No explanation. Why were Talon mercs fighting SMs in DC? No explanation. What were searching SMs in DC? No explanation. And so on.

    Sure, stats in an RPG are meaningless, right? And it's a fact that intense real time action is superior to tactical turn based combat, right?

    Also, Deus Ex has shown that you can have a FPSRPG with stats that affect the gameplay.

    I appreciate FO3. Seriously. But it's not a great game, not with all the problems it has.
  13. Hroesvelgr

    Hroesvelgr First time out of the vault

    Oct 29, 2008
    No argument there, Fallout 3 has around 100 hours of gameplay while Fallout does have many less explorable locations and quests.

    This is where I will begin to differ. The quality over quantity standpoint is quite valid, and in my opinion the whole design of the quests in Fallout is not only much better than FO3, it is better than most other RPGs. The structure of the FO3 quests is horrible. First of all, I have to at least mention the main quest line. It is such that you are never presented with a choice that has an impact on the story - the story is impervious to your actions and you just have to go along with it. When the developers have to make certain NPCs invincible for the main quest to function, I'd say they've done a horrible job when we're comparing Fallout games.

    As far as multiple solutions to each quest goes, there is no comparison. You will at some point be rewarded for the decisions in your character building that make each playthrough unique. If you choose x perk or skill, you will be able to complete x quest in a certain way and the dialogue gives you a satisfying nod. This is almost entirely absent in FO3.

    Secondly, and returning to side quests, Fallout 1 usually presents you with choices regarding how you deal with them that will actually manifest changes in the world. Fallout 2 and New Vegas are perhaps even better examples of this. The design is so much superior that it's hard to imagine. If you take x path on x quest, you recieve this reward but are denied y quest. The quests are set up more like trees, whereas in FO3 it is entirely possible for one character to do almost ALL of the quests. Once again, one of the reasons I like NV more than FO3 is because it returns to this mechanic and then some. In every game besides FO3, you are given options as to which path you will take and your choices lead to consequences that you must deal with, often sealing off entire quest lines. The world also changes to reflect your decisions. This brings us to our next point of contention...

    While you are correct that in many cases you are only provided with basically two choices, those options are in every way more meaningful than what you get in FO3. And almost none of them are simple good vs. evil decisions. Sure, helping Gizmo is the shady thing to do, but under his rule the town is ultimately better off. Every game in the series except FO3 goes through a lot of effort to make it clear that there *are* no black and white decisions in this world.

    You can gallavant around acting like you are the sole law and order of the wastes, killing every bad guy you meet and supporting all the good, honest folks. But at the end, the game tries to tell you that your self-righteous assery has basically caused more harm than good, and in spite of your best efforts to be a white knight, you fucked a lot of people over. I'd say my absolute favorite quality of the Fallout series, and the one the unequivicolly made me a fan in the first place, is that they try to convey a deeper sense of complexity than your typical good vs. evil kind of story. You can do good and make things shitty, and you can do bad and end up making them better. FO3 does not even pretend to present you with morally grey situations.

    In stark contrast to the other games, Fallout 3 presents you with choices and consequences that are obviously 100% good or 100% evil. Sometimes you get minor options like mean vs. nice. And there are only a very few quests that give you these options at all.

    Furthermore, and a very imortant issue to this discussion, there is the question of consequence. As I said before, the other games will actually corner you and force you to decide, here and now, do you want this to happen in which case these will be the consequences and you will not be able to do this, or will you go with the other path, in turn closing of these other options? It forces you to make decisions that matter not only to you and your experience as a player but to the world in the game. Fallout 3 has absolutely *0* consequences for anything you do. Sure, you can blow up megaton, but if you are smart you will do it after you've tapped it of its quests and resources. The other games present you with these choices up front. If megaton were in Fallout 1, you could choose to blow it up or leave it, but you would not be able to pursue any of its further quests until after you had already gone past the point of no return. In FO3, the only consequence you get is a hit to your karma, which means absolutely nothing, and the loss of one pit stop on the road. You still get a house, you still get to do the survival guide quest etc.

    Lastly and of no minor note is how consequences arise in the game world itself. Megaton is the only good example of this in FO3, simply because if you blow it up it is gone off the map. The other games force you to choose this community over the other, or find a way to make it happen for both. Whatever you decide, the rest of the game reflects your decisions in a rewarding way, and no matter how successful a diplomat you are there is no way to please everyone. In FO1 & 2, if you open fire on the citizen of a town in the open you had better be prepared to kill them all, period. They aren't forced to forgive you after leaving for a few days because the poor design of the game means you have to go back in order to complete the one way main quest.

    As far as story goes, you said it yourself. Not only is it better in terms of writing, but in terms of design. In FO1 there are multiple different endings, good bad and in between, that can be accessed at different times and places in the game. What's more the story line makes sense and doesn't use pathetic cop outs to explain itself, like Fawkes in the end of FO3, at which point I almost considered walking out of my house and living a hermit's life in the woods just to clean my mind and soul of such an egregious cultural moment.

    You're kind of meandering backwards here, to the point that FO3 is a superior exploration game. And you're right. You can't argue that exploration is better from an isometric, world map system with shitty graphics rather than a first person perspective in an open, sand box world. I would definitely argue that the vault and dungeon areas in FO1 & 2, while less numerous, are at least as good and as fun to explore though.

    And Fallout 3 was extremely shallow, but we'll get to that in a second.

    Special might as well not even be in FO3. It has pretty much no impact on the gameplay at all, and neither does the skill system. The fact that almost every perk gives you a straight up bonuses to your skills means that they might as well take them all out of the game or make them all level evenly with your character. FO3 is the only fallout game where, through a combination of perks, skill points and the ridiculous bobbleheads, you can literally max out everything by the end of the game or at least get very close to it without the DLC. Why even bother? Why not just say, ok, we had these different challenges that would reward different priorities in character building, but since you can max them all out we're just going to take out every locked door, terminal and speech check in the game cause you can eventually do it all anyway. Might as well.

    There is one other thing that you didn't touch on that is equally important to me as these others: writing and dialogue.

    Next to the complexities of the other games, the one that that really wows me every time I play a new character is the quality of the writing, dialogue, and in the first two games, the status log messages and item descriptions. 1, 2 and NV are ripe with wit, intelligence and amusement. I would put some of the writing right up there with Douglas Adams in terms of humor, or Phillip K. Dick and H.P. Lovecraft in terms of atmosphere, originality and perspective. Since I love to read this was a HUGE factor in making me love the original games. Not to say that every dialogue tree was pure genius, but a many of them were not only well constructed but were guaranteed to make me think, laugh, or even get the chills. Plus, I had to smile every time I read something like "Unfortunately, his spine is now clearly visible from the front." The game didn't even need to show me graphically, as to me those few words or ones like them were worth a thousand pixels.

    FO3 is so barren of any semblence of good writing or dialogue that I can't see how anyone could argue in its favor on this topic. Sure, there may be one or two good lines here or there, but there is no way to compare how the dialogue, quest design and statistics system in FO1 & 2 combined to provide an experience that was often thought provoking or amusing. Some of the writing is so bad in FO3 that I almost felt physically ill.

    I appreciate that you have been respectful and I know I'm not going to change your mind either, but I simple can not agree to these points. We obviously have very different preferences in what makes a good game, and were we talking about any other game than Fallout I would probably agree with a lot of what you're saying. However, Fallout 1 & 2 set the bar high for me in the areas that mattered to me most and were the first big examples of the excellence that a simple video game could reach. Once again I can agree that FO3 is at times a great visual and exploratory experience that has a good Fallout face to it, but it is a shallow husk of a game compared to the others in spite of its technological superiority. I'm glad that you've played and enjoyed FO1 and NV, and definitely encourage you to try FO2 as well because I think you may like that one a lot too, probably even more than FO1 as it is slightly better technically and is far larger with a lot more to explore and do. My conclusion:

    I gave FO3 a fair chance when it came out and was very hopeful and excited as I first played it. However, the feeling of disgust and betrayal that unabatedly tinged that first experience is one that I con neither forget, nor forgive, and I will never admit that FO3 deserves a place amongst FO1, 2 or NV. Or even Tactics, for that matter.[/i]
  14. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I think with Deus Ex in particular cause its many times mentioned as example for a FPS/RPG hybrid it worked only as it was tweaked for the shooter combat first and the RPG gameplay later with more focus on the characters and story then real use of skills in that matter. I mean the time when the game was released we and I mean with that me and my friends havnt really thought about Deus Ex as anything else then a very inteligent shooter with rich story and believable content not from realism but the way you advance in the game, it feelt even with the small world you had around like exploring a real world following the story and what is behind it the many details you had inside helped here a lot. Of course many of that makes as well a good RPG, but maybe thats more coincidence. But I dont know it of course as I never talked with its developers.

    Its sad to see many of the rather traditional RPGs dissapear from the mainstream market.
  15. Stanislao Moulinsky

    Stanislao Moulinsky Vault Fossil

    Jul 16, 2009
    Well, of course Deus Ex is more action than RPG but the point is that stats and "perks" influenced a lot the way you played. With a low Guns skill your hand was so shaky that you couldn't hit anything at medium/long distances. With a low "Big Guns" skill your walking speed was obscenely low and the reloading time extremely long. With a high Low Tech you could one-hit kill enemies if you could sneak behind them. And so on. It's sad when stats matter more in a shooter than in what is labelled as an RPG.
  16. cronicler

    cronicler Lurksalot

    May 31, 2006
    One of the main problems for me in FO3 was the writing.

    The open world, silent stories, exploration were all ok but whenever the game opened it's mouth, it was face-palm ville.

    The game shamelessly coasted on the "destroyed iconic places" and lots of unrelated large dungeons to keep you occupied.

    It was not a horrible game but considering the materials they had, it should have been better.
  17. ramessesjones

    ramessesjones It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 27, 2010
    I think Fallout 3 is a pretty good exploration game, but a bad RPG and bad at following up on what made Fallout and Fallout 2 good.

    There are two things that really stand out to me as poor in Fallout 3. First, which has been mentioned several times is that is it much too easy to max out all your stats, killing any chance at making unique or different characters, which basically destroys the role playing side of the game.

    The second and bigger problem for me is that that game world makes no sense. Civilization has yet return in 200 years, yet places like the US Capitol build are still standing and in relatively good condition. Little Lamplight is all children but has no apparent way of creating more children. The damaged Washington moment was designed to be one of games iconic images, but its construction is completely incosistent with the real Washington moment (which is free standing masonry, no metal framework). Moira becomes a ghoul if you do something really stupid right at the start of game. People live off package 200 year old food and don't farm, how Brahmin feed I don't know. Who is buying all the slaves and for what reason? The Talon mercenaries make up half the game population and seem to have no real goal other than killing you. Do the super mutants have any sort of motivation? Why is the Enclave Colonel turning on the water purifier such a bad thing? How does he survive when your father dies? How does the Enclave get into the Vault with the GECK? Why doesn't anyone want to use the GECK the way it was meant to be used? I could keep going on like this for quite a while, but I think everyone gets the point the now.

    As for the original post, I think its fine to skip Fallout 3, it is not consistent with the rest of Fallout universe and really quite a different type of game. But it is ok enough as a different type of game and did allow New Vegas to get created, which is a very good game.
  18. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    I remember reading that Warren Spector and his team at Ion Storm never really looked at Deus Ex as an RPG, and the view only really works if you look at shooters as games which cannot have anything other than shooting in them. In some senses, Deus Ex is merely an extension of Half-Life's formula of setting the game in plausible, realistic environments, and narrative focus. The sequel, Invisible War, did exactly this, and I think it's telling that it wasn't actually worse off for it - the poor shooting, lack of advancement over the first game, cramped levels and comparatively poor writing and voice acting are why the game is generally panned, not because it doesn't have a cumbersome inventory screen. As much as people like to remember Deus Ex as an RPG, the truth is that the RPG side of the game is really just a layer to make everything a bit easier to manage.
  19. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I can not do much but simply agree with both of you :D

    It is quite sad to see the curent development of games today where many popular titles have apealing visuals but usualy very boring may I say almost childish content (and that if you consider that a high number of gamers are adults ...) while the niche titles lack visuals but have interesting content.

    I mean ... cant the there be some kind of ... midle ? I am almost so far to completely forget about RPGs as they ... well move so far away from it that I personaly can barely see them as RPGs anymore. Vegas is a nice exception here but even this game plays with the rules of the popular titles, and sadly you see that many times in effect well mainly when we talk about criticism regarding Vegas.

    Not that I have something against Sand box games its a gameplay which many people enjoy. But they simply dont offer what I like(ed) with RPGs. Ah well ... it seems its always about dumping down or always talking about a "revolution" in RPGs when all they do is simply put in more action or shift the gameplay (like from tourn based to real time ... thats not revolution in my eyes nor any improvement for that matter).

    When I played Deus Ex for the first time, Iremember thinking about what we might have in 10 years after Deus Ex ? Maybe NPCs that feel so real you would not believe to play on the computer. But it seems all the hardware is simply used only for the visuals and nothing else. Pretty sad in some way.
  20. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Well, the real issue is that good writing and innovative design is not a priority for the vast majority of developers. When the raw process of creating a functional game is becoming exponentially more expensive year-over-year, just getting a product that looks and feels competitive with everyone else is an ordeal, even more so when you have to stretch your budget as far as you can and the price of failure is death. The cheapening of the RPG genre and its distinctive features is a direct result of the need to appeal to wider audiences and to simply ship games as soon as possible.

    People have shown through their purchasing habits that they want "visceral" experiences, not intellectual, thoughtful ones. That all we have to show for the "games as art" argument is BioShock and Mass Effect feels like some sort of cruel, twisted joke. These aren't bad games, mind, but if they are supposed to represent ten years of innovation, improvement and refinement, they certainly haven't done much other than building upon the basic tenets and foundations of titles like Half-Life. The fact that games a decade or more old still have writing and design leagues better than existing games is just incredible when you try to think about it. I don't think any single other modern artistic medium has exhibited such stagnation, or even entropy, in the wake of such rapid technological improvement.