Vault Dweller has written up an article for RPG Codex explaining what he sees as the problems with FO3.
Bethesda has moved the game to another coast, which was a smart move.
It could have allowed them to make their own version of the Fallout
world, to share their vision with players, to make some mistake and get
away with them. It was a license to be creative. For Bethesda, it was a
license to fuck things up. Big time.
The neo-Fallout setting is loaded with super mutants hiding in dark
places and the Brotherhood of Steel stormtroopers protecting the
wasteland. Neither group should have been on the east coast, especially
in large numbers, for reasons obvious to anyone who had enough patience
to finish the first game. Why? Well, according to the first game there
was only one Forced Evolutionary Virus (F.E.V.) research facility, that
was used to produce super mutants. Since the super mutants were
sterile, and most of them and the research facility were destroyed in
the first game, nothing short of lame "uh...there was another F.E.V.
facility" would explain the super mutants presence in FO3. As for the
BoS, it was a small monastery-like organization, very similar to "A
Canticle for Leibowitz" monk order, interested only in preserving
technology and not being disturbed. Saviors, knights, police,
liberators, and the last hope of humanity the Brotherhood of Steel is
The article is heavily critical, and I think it makes a lot of points that are difficult to argue with. On the other hand, there are some (unsupported) quotes from Todd Howard in Game Informer that do lend some hope - such as one quest path will cut off others - and Vault Dweller skips on these. No doubt he would claim that Bethsoft made the same claims about Oblivion, which turned out to be close to outright lies (or they simply didn't know how the final product would turn out and were getting over-excited ala Peter Molyneux).
My biggest criticism out of everything is the lack of style and character in the screenshots. We get a generic big scary monster, and a generic gritty post-apocalyptic city. As Vault Dweller says:
Other than lame "HAY! WE R FROM TEH 50'S!!!" posters and boards,
there are no traces of either the 50's sci-fi influences or the Fallout
art style in the game. Such a shame, and not even because I care about
the consistency, but because having a certain style is always better
than going with something generic. The biggest problem with the
carefully chosen screens is that they lack personality and distinctive
character. They could fit any game, from Wolfenstein to Resident Evil.
I'll put up my more detailed thoughts on the GI article later on (probably on my blog rather than here, unless people are especially interested or they're especially coherant), but the general gist is that there's positive mixed with negative, and the negative is given way too much screen-time - where're the examples of dialogue? The mutliple-solution, game-affecting quest lines? - which could lead someone to think that that's where Bethsoft are focusing.