Fallout 3

Kapow!

I seem to play video games 3-4 years after everyone else has already gotten sick of them.  Part of it is just my contrary nature; when something is being hyped, I don’t want to like it… which helps me to continue to delude myself into seeing myself as an independent thinker.  And I am in need of a tech upgrade before I can run any of the newer titles.  So, Fallout 3 (released years ago) has finally made it to my desktop.  And I love it.

If you don’t know anything about Fallout 3, look at things like this wikipedia article.  Fallout 3 is to Oblivion what Gamma World was to D&D.  Back in the Halcyon days of my youth, when I was less jaded and still liked things and video games needed you to put a quarter in to enjoy the sweet stick figures of games like Venture, we played D&D a lot.  And we loved it.  Then one day, my friend Alan picked up Gamma World, and that was even more fun, simply because the game lent itself to a certain black humor and had fewer pretensions to realism or seriousness (at least in our game group).

I really like the art direction that Bethesda used for Fallout 3.  Ruined technology and cars looked like what people in 1950s America thought the future was going to look like — lots of rivets and vacuum tubes rather than transistors and solid state.  Everywhere is dangerous.  And there is some great old-timey music in the game, including Bob Crosby’s “Good Hearts and Gentle People.”  When you shoot people and creatures, their limbs and heads tend to fly off if you score a critical.  If you use V.A.T.S. (a special targeting system), they explode in slow motion and you get to watch it in 3rd person.  And there are lots and lots of guns.  My only complaint is that the monsters and NPCs are sometimes just pretty stupid, and I wish the game had a more extensive bestiary — thus far I have fought mole rats, mirelurks (which are crab people), human bandits, bloatflies (which are giant flies that shoot larvae at you like bullets) and giant scorpions… and as I get tougher, I suspect other monsters will be encountered, but, still, I’d like more variety. D&D spoiled me because there was always a new monster.
I’m only about 5-6 hours in, but having a blast.  It is usually the simple things that make me happy.



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