Fallout 3: review


One of the things that scared the hell out of people not long ago was the threat of nuclear war. The knowledge of weapons so powerful they could wipe a city out in the blink of an eye had people living in real fear. In the years of the cold war children were taught to hide under school desks and housewives were told hide in cupboards, none of which could save you from an atomic blast of course. These fears were never justified as the future came around, but in the alternate world of Fallout these preparations were not in vain.

Paradise Falls

Fallout 3 is set in a world much like ours, but unlike ours, nuclear technology was embraced. A world where cars are nuclear and rocket-shaped, where robot butlers were realised and where televisions were proudly branded ‘Radiation Kings’, and a world where the bombs did drop. The technology in this world is not too far from our own, yet if we align the time-lines, seems much more advanced. The 1940’s-50’s American styling in this world is reminiscent of an age forgotten in our own history, yet is still so familiar to us. It’s this that pulls you into the world of Fallout so effortlessly; the similarity of its world and our own brings about a believability that we just allow ourselves to become part of it.


HEY! Is this an eyeball in my beer?

It all starts with you being born, and moves in segments through your life as a Vault Dweller in Vault 101. This ‘growing up’ process is by far one of the most innovative ways of teaching the player the basic controls to a game we’ve ever seen. Getting used to the dialogue menus, your Pip-Boy, shooting stuff, and moving around is a breeze but it also gets you used to living in the vault. This makes the desolation of the outside world that little bit more harrowing when you eventually leave ‘home’. As you gingerly wander from the vault for the first time, you realise that the world of Fallout is a devastated one. There are no rules out here, no law to protect you, and you’d better learn this quickly.

Long Road

There are many settlements dotted around the war-torn ruins of old DC, and it’s within these places you will find your fortune. The beauty of Fallout 3 is its freedom of choice, as soon as you set foot into the wastes you can do as you wish. If you’re planning on murder and robbery to be your chosen form of funding so be it! If you’d like to become a saviour to the lost souls of the wastes, you can give that a go too. It’s all about how you want to play, and what you think is the best way around each situation you encounter.

Sheriff Sims

The attention to detail in Fallout is nothing short of amazing, every building still standing holds things to find and stories to be told. From the Keller Family holo-tapes littered around that will have you chasing a family’s desperate struggle to stay alive, to the self-explanatory man-in-a-bath that didn’t see the mushroom cloud. All these things immerse you further into Fallout’s world more than any CG video ever could.

Broken Homes

Hmm, it looked better in the estate agent's picture

Fallout’s mechanics will be recognisable to those who have played Bethesda’s Oblivion games, and those who haven’t will quickly pick it up. The levelling-up system is an intuitive one and allows for unique player growth, letting you shape your player into someone who best fits your style of play. There are also ‘perks’ that give you special abilities, from sneaking more effectively to having better aim in battles which will see you crafting your guy (or girl) into something almost hand-made throughout your adventures. Another system in the game known as V.A.T.S lets you effectively stop time and strategically pick out body parts of those nasty enemies. Say a group of raiders ambush you, you can then switch on V.A.T.S and target the first guy’s head, the grenade on the other’s belt, and the last guy’s leg. Press ‘go’ and watch as your player rips them all to bits! This may sound like cheating, but like all things in Fallout, you have the choice to use this or not, and there will be times you’ll be very thankful of it.

Feral Ghoul

Welcome to the weight-watcher's office!

The main story of this ‘episode’ of Fallout can be done in around twenty hours, though if this is all you do with this game you will be missing nearly 80% of what’s on offer. The sheer size and depth of this game will have you awe-struck, and those who enjoy adventuring through large worlds will no doubt revel in what’s on offer here. Fallout will offer you the chance to indulge yourself in a place of mystery and excitement, will give you a place to become the most evil scourge of humanity or one of saintly proportions.


This cow has a secret, but what?

Fallout 3 is a jack of all trades, but not a master of none! It manages to incorporate elements of strategy, RPG, FPS and does it all with ease. There’s even an ‘old skool’ text adventure (from the days of the BBC micro) in there if you can find it. Somehow, Bethesda has managed to ball all of these genres together and make them work seamlessly in a believable world that could suck you in for months. Whether you buy them individually or pick up the ‘game of the year’ edition, the DLC packs give you even more to sink your teeth into, and will add another thirty or so hours onto an already massive adventure.


We are bin-men, and we have a job to do.

There’s a good reason Bethesda’s calling it game of the year too, it has almost limitless possibilities. Even if you do every last little thing in this game, you could re-play it again in a totally different way and see things you didn’t the last time around. You won’t play Fallout 3, you’ll live it.


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Written by R.Furie

Ross has been playing games since he can remember and has had games machines around him all his life. He's what we now refer to as "Old Skool" because he grew up playing games with a hand carved wooden joystick on a TV forged from rope and stone. Nourished on a diet of Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Joust, Gauntlet, Bomber Jack and other various wholesome arcades he has grown to become a versatile and open minded gamer. Favouring the style of open-world games he's sure VR can't be far away, and looks forward to attaching himself to a colostomy bag and slipping into a deep VR coma so he need never have to deal with real life again.


  1. Best game on the PS3.

    Time will tell if Uncharted 2 takes its place….

    • Fallout3Expert /

      I agree uncharted 2 is REALLY good, but i highly doubt it wouldnt be boring after 148 hours of gameplay.

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