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Fallout 3

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is an action role-playing open world video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios, the third major installment in the Fallout series. The game was released in North America, Europe and Australia in October 2008, and in Japan in December 2008 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Fallout 3 takes place in the year 2277, 36 years after the setting of Fallout 2 and 200 years after the nuclear apocalypse that devastated the game's world in a future where international conflicts between the United States and China culminated in a Sino-American war in 2077, due to the scarcity of petroleum reserves that ran the economies of both countries. The player character is an inhabitant of Vault 101, a survival shelter designed to protect up to 1,000 humans from the nuclear fallout. When the player character's father disappears under mysterious circumstances, the Overseer, or the leader of the vault, initiates martial law, and sends security forces after the player, who is forced to escape from the Vault and journey into the ruins of Washington, D.C. to track him down. Along the way the player is assisted by a number of human survivors and must battle a myriad of enemies that inhabit the area now known as the "Capital Wasteland".

Fallout 3 was well received by critics and received a number of Game of the Year awards, praising the game's open-ended gameplay and flexible character-leveling system. The NPD Group estimated that Fallout 3 sold over 610,000 units during its initial month of release in October 2008, performing better than Bethesda Softworks' previous game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which sold nearly 500,000 units in its first month. The game has received post-launch support with Bethesda releasing five downloadable add-ons. The game received controversy upon release, including the use of and the ability to be addicted to morphine and other drugs including alcohol in the game for Australia, religious and cultural sentiments in India over the cattle in the game being called Brahmin, and sensitivity in Japan due to a weapon that launches mini nuclear bombs called the "Fat Man" and a quest involving the detonation of an atomic bomb.

Fallout 3 Plot

The introductory sequence introduces the player to their character's father James, a doctor and scientist in Vault 101. James frequently makes comments about the player character's deceased mother Catherine, and her favorite Bible passage, Revelation 21:6, which speaks of "the waters of life".

The main quest begins after the player is forced to flee Vault 101 when James leaves the vault, throwing it into anarchy and causing the paranoid Overseer to send his security force after the player. The search for James takes the character on a journey through the Wasteland, first to the nearby town of Megaton, named for the undetonated atomic bomb at the center of town, then the Galaxy News Radio station, whose enthusiastic DJ Three Dog gives the player the moniker of "The Lone Wanderer". The player travels to Rivet City, a derelict aircraft carrier now serving as a fortified human settlement. Here the player meets Doctor Li, a scientist who worked alongside the player's father. Doctor Li informs the player of Project Purity, a plan conceived by Catherine and James to purify all the water in the Tidal Basin and eventually the entire Potomac River with a giant water purifier built in the Jefferson Memorial. However, continued delays and Catherine's death during childbirth put an end to the project, and James took the player's character as a newborn to raise them in the safety of Vault 101.

After investigating the Jefferson Memorial, the Lone Wanderer tracks James to Vault 112, and frees him from a virtual reality program being run by the Vault's sadistic Overseer, Dr. Braun. James and the player return to Rivet City, and James reveals he sought out Braun for information on the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (G.E.C.K.), a device that contains the components needed to finally activate Project Purity. James and Doctor Li lead a team of Rivet City scientists to the memorial with intent to restart the project, but the memorial is invaded by the Enclave, a powerful military organization formed from the remnants of the pre-War United States government. James floods the project's control room with radiation to stop the Enclave military leader, Colonel Augustus Autumn, from taking control of it, killing himself (but Autumn survives), his last words urging his child to run. The Lone Wanderer and Dr. Li flee to the ruins of the Pentagon, now a base for the Brotherhood of Steel and now known as the Citadel. With Project Purity still inoperational even with the Enclave occupying the site, the player travels to Vault 87 to find a G.E.C.K. and finish James's work. The player finds the Vault to be a testing site for the FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus), and the source of the Super Mutants in the Capital Wasteland. After the player acquires the G.E.C.K., the Wanderer is ambushed by the Enclave and captured.

At the Enclave base at Raven Rock, the player is freed from their cell by the Enclave leader, President John Henry Eden, who requests a private audience with them. En route to his office however, Colonel Autumn defies Eden's orders and takes command of the Enclave military, ordering them to kill the player. Fighting their way to Eden's office, the player discovers Eden is actually a sentient ZAX series supercomputer who took control of the Enclave after their defeat in Fallout 2 on the West Coast thirty years ago. Eden wishes to repeat the plan of then-President Dick Richardson using Project Purity, infecting the water with a modified strain of FEV that will make it toxic to any mutated life. This plan will kill most life in the wasteland including humans, but the Enclave, due to their genetic "purity" as a result of their isolation, will be immune and free to take control of the area. The Wanderer, provided with a sample of the new F.E.V., is given a choice to either leave peacefully or convince Eden to self-destruct the entire base. The Lone Wanderer escapes Raven Rock and returns to the Citadel.

With the knowledge they possess, the G.E.C.K. and the means to activate Project Purity, the Brotherhood assault the Jefferson Memorial, spearheaded by a giant robot named Liberty Prime. In the control room of Project Purity the player confronts Colonel Autumn, and has the choice to persuade him to give up or kill him. Dr. Li informs the player that the purifier is ready to be activated, but the activation code must be input manually, and also that the control room is flooded with lethal amounts of radiation. The Lone Wanderer is forced to choose between sending Sarah Lyons of the Brotherhood inside the extremely irradiated purifier or entering themselves. Whoever enters into the chamber inputs the code hinted at through the game, that being 21:6, and dies from a radiation spike.

If the "Broken Steel" DLC is installed, the player survives if they activate it themselves, but they also have the option of sending one of their radiation-immune companions to enter the code and start the purifier with no casualties. The player also has the possibility to enter the F.E.V. sample into the water prior to activation, having adverse post-ending effects on the game's side quests.

Fallout 3 Gameplay

The game starts with the main character as a newborn, whereupon the player determines the race, the gender, and the general appearance of their character. As a one year-old baby, the infant reads a child's book titled You're SPECIAL, where the player can set the character's starting S.P.E.C.I.A.L. primary attributes: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. The character gains a set of Skills with base levels determined by these attributes. At age 10, the player obtains a Pip-Boy, a computerized wristwatch which allows the player to access a menu with stats, maps, data and items. The player also obtains their first weapon, a BB gun. At age 16, the player takes the Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test (G.O.A.T.) to determine the three Skills they wish the character to focus on.

As the character progresses through the game, experience points are earned that are used to achieve levels of accomplishment. Upon achieving a new level, the player receives a set of skill points that can be assigned to improve any of the Skill percentages. For instance, increasing the lock pick skill grants the player the ability to pick harder locks to unlock doors and supply crates. A Perk is granted at each level, which offers advantages of varying quality and form. Many Perks have a set of prerequisites that must be satisfied, and new Perks are unlocked every two levels.

An important statistic tracked in the game is karma. Each character has an aggregate amount of karma that can be affected by the decisions and actions made in the game. Positive karmic actions include freeing captives and helping others. Negative karmic actions include killing good characters and stealing. Beyond acting as flavor for the game's events, karma can have tangible effects to the player, primarily affecting the game's ending. Other effects include altered dialogue with non-player characters (NPCs), or unique reactions from other characters. Actions vary in the level of karma change they cause; thus, pickpocketing produces less negative karma than the killing of a good character. However, the player's relationships with the game's factions are distinct, so any two groups or settlements may view the player in contrasting ways, depending on the player's conduct. Some Perks require specific karma levels.

ReceptionFallout 3 received critical acclaim from many reviewers, with an average GameRankings score of 92.79% for the Xbox 360, 90.69% for the PC and 90.60% for the PlayStation 3. 1UP.com's Demian Linn praised its open-ended gameplay and flexible character-leveling system. While the V.A.T.S. system was called "fun", enemy encounters were said to suffer from a lack of precision in real-time combat and little variety in enemy types. The review concluded, Fallout 3 is a "hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often". IGN editor Erik Brudvig praised the game's "minimalist" sound design, observing, "you might find yourself with nothing but the sound of wind rustling through decaying trees and blowing dust across the barren plains ... Fallout 3 proves that less can be more". The review noted that the "unusual amount of realism" combined with the "endless conversation permutations" produces "one of the most truly interactive experiences of the generation". In a review of the game for Kotaku, Mike Fahey commented that "While Inon Zur's score is filled with epic goodness, the real stars of Fallout 3's music are the vintage songs from the 1940s". Will Tuttle of GameSpy commended the game for its "engaging storyline, impeccable presentation, and hundreds of hours of addictive gameplay". Although Edge awarded the game 7 out of 10, in a later anniversary issue it placed the game 37th in a "100 best games to play today" list, saying "‬Fallout‭ ‬3‭ ‬empowers,‭ ‬engages and rewards to extents that few games have ever achieved".

Some criticisms were the bugs in regards to the physics and crashes—some of which broke quests and even prevented progression. The AI and stiff character animations are another common point of criticism, as is the ending. Edge stated that "the game is cumbersome in design and frequently incompetent in the details of execution", taking particular issue with the nakedness of the HUD, the clarity of the menu interface, and that the smaller problems are carried over from Oblivion. Edge liked the central story but said "the writing isn't quite as consistent as the ideas that underpin" and that the "voice-acting is even less reliable".


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