Apparently, Fallout 3 is already out there for "reviewing," and the first two "reviews" aren't even from the English speaking world. French mag PC Jeux and Swedish PC Gamer dish it to us. First, from Swedish PC Gamer:
I'm going to take the sting out of this review right now. Fallout 3 IS
"Oblivion with guns". Whatever I stated in any earlier issue. So, with
that said, there is no going back.
Regardless of your orientation, frames of reference and your
expectations, you are sitting and screaming inside right now. I know
it. But do you scream of happiness or horror? Are you the little naive,
new kid on the block that loved Bethesda's last blockbuster to the
core, or are you an old dusty turn-based- and topdown purist from No
Mutants Allowed and always stated that Fallout 3 will be the spawn of
No matter orientation- read on, I'm going to take you to the
radioactive wasteland. And when we're finished you're going to cry
instead. Of happiness or sorrow.
EXPECTATIONS ON SHAME
The search for my father which has left the "security" of the Vault for
his ambition to change the world is leading me deeper and deeper in to
what once was Washington DC, the centre of USA's political force. Every
dawn in the radioactive wasteland offers new adventures, every night
something is lurking in the shadows, ready to devour me whole. And it
would all be wonderful if it wasn't for something unidentifiable that
just isn't there. Call it "spirit", call it whatever you want. But when
the gates to Vault 101 are far away from me, my eyes have become used
to the sunlight and almost 15 hours have passed come the thoughts. As
if the expectations had gone a bit awry.
Because in Fallout 3 I get almost everything served directly. Bethesda
have tried to squeeze in as much as possible on area as small as
possible. Substance enough for a lifetime in short-movie format, if you
want to. And the result is an anticlimax, too much of the good in too
short time. One minute I'm running into a nest of rad-scorpions, while
there is a peaceful camp of settlers 30 meters away. Some slavers are
walking around with their slaves just around the corner and some
raiders just settled down a bit farther away. A quick jog and I'm a
nest of deathclaws. It's compressed, maximized and anonymized at the
same time. It feels like a enormous orgy where nobody wants to fire
away. There's tight and crowded, but no friction nor excitement. Many
parts, but no entirety. And this feeling of getting the world pushed in
my the face is the single largest weakness with Fallout 3, and every
one that loved the original two games will scratch their head,
[reviewer's conclusion - NMA] Even if I can't leave my roots as an old
Fallout-player when I'm sitting with the third part I do try to let go
of the comparison, and the game is suddenly a lot more amusing.
Don't let your frames of reference limit you, but rather try to
experience the game on it's own merits. No matter your story, Fallout 3
is for some moments a fantastic game, only limited by the prequels.
81% - Has to be experienced in spite of many small and a few big flaws.
Check out pictures from the article here at NMA.
Second review is from PC Jeux:
Quests are quite varied and go beyond the mere
extermination of everything that shows up on screen. You'll have for
instance to go through several tests for someone who is writing a
survival guide, which includes getting exposed to considerable amounts
of radiation, steal the Constitution of the USA in order to avoid
anti-slavers getting their hands on it, or getting involved in huge
military operations with dozens of belligerent parties. Everybody will
get his share, with different ways to succeed : with brute force or
eloquence. Sometimes you'll even be able to complete some quests by
lying on the fact that you have indeed done what was expected of you.
Bethesda does not have the reputation of releasing finely polished
games. Fallout 3 is likely to change that. The game, is not bug-free.
There are still collision, pathfinding and lighting problems but they
are not too numerous.
Thus, the fear that Fallout 3 could be a post-apocalyptic Oblivion
is totally gone. A few hours with the game will be enough for Fallout
veterans to get their habits back and be able to walk with confidence
through the game. New players will not feel totally lost either because
references to the previous games are rather scarce and discrete. If
most changes brought to the series are technical, the spirit is still
there, sort of. Indeed, it's a shame that this episode is so serious.
It has lost, it seems, a good deal of the humour and even irony that
was part of the series. Cinematographic references or completely
twisted conversations with NPCs are gone. Aside from this, Fallout 3 is
an excellent RPG and a good Fallout. The score is rather different but
the music stays the same.