I played through megaton.
I must say, I'm not terribly distraught about how fallout 3 turned out.
As a friend of mine put it, "Why spend 30 minutes bitching about dog
shit you find in your yard when you fully expected it to be there."
This travesty of a reskinned oblivion might have been a little
easier to swallow had oblivion itself not been such a flaming piece of
The AI (of course, it's a bethesda game) is utterly terrible, and
the puppet show "towns" only seem to be a vehicle intended to kick you
in the face over and over with the knowledge that life in the wasteland
is a fucking errand boy's paradise of "oblivion" quests. You know,
those type of quests that are so poorly written that you neither know
nor care why someone would be trying to send a letter to their parents
who live a five fucking minutes "overburdened" stroll from where the
letter was written. Or, you could help someone write a book by going to
check out the supposedly 200 year old wal*mart, which, as well as every
other little "hey, we remember the 50's so we're going to put fucking
50's bullshit EVERYWHERE throughout the wasteland" has decayed only
enough for you to notice that it's decayed, but not enough for you to
miss how fucking clever todd howard was when he noticed people noticing
the 50's and decided to mention it. You know, like in the original
Fallout, where there were 90% legible billboards everywhere with a
bright, shiny picture of CAPTAIN PROTON that has it's lower left corner
looking a little crumpled.
Besides the fact that the wasteland is a insulting puppet show of
random encounters from STALKER filled with signs and portents that
bethesda really wanted to be let into the "we talked to someone about
what fallout was about and tried our best to fit in" club, the skills
have been dumbed down to a bioshock level of crudesence. That's right,
Crudesence. Medical, which replaces first aid and doctor has thus far
yielded absolutely zero role playing application. Nor has repair (only
used for fixing/creating weapons) or science (only used for hacking
terminals). But wait! If you have Explosives (now combined with
throwing, because throwing a football and using a land mine are the
same skill when you're designing games for xbox fans) you can do the
quest regarding the bomb in megaton!
Hey! Now we're talking! Forget the unkillable npcs that are already
littered throughout the game (Andy the fucking robot?) and the fact
that exactly like oblivion, the weapons certain people are holding are
level scaled out of the game if you manage to shoot them the three
times it takes to kill them (I'm talking about you, sheriff of megaton,
you tutorial npc piece of garbage who's dialog options let me inquire
about things it is literally impossible for me to have heard about
yet). Forget all those "features", you can use your explosives skill on
the bomb! Now we're talking!
Oh, so you've clicked on the bomb, gotten the ridiculously belief-
suspension shattering popup WAARGK! ERROR! WARRRGK! ERROR! MYSTICAL
INTERFACE SPEAKING TO YOU ERROR! YOU, PLAYER CHARACTER! YES YOU! YES
I'M TALKING TO YOU! YOU MUST HAVE EXACTLY 25 SKILL POINTS IN EXPLOSIVE
TO QUOTE UNQUOTE INTERACT WITH THE BOMB. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.
At this point I just sat with my head in my hands going "Wow, so
you people didn't play fallout, did you? You just didn't actually play
the game, huh? You saw the game. You heard about why people loved it...
or more to the point, what game magazine reviewers have written about
why people loved Fallout, because you refused to listen to what the
fans of the series were saying. We loved the game because of many
reasons, so many that many fans might even choke up a little and be
unable to describe exactly where those feelings came from. But one
thing that's really, really damned easy to mention is the immersion.
The fact that when you tried to do anything, the game addresses your
character in the dialog box as "You." "You attempt to pick the lock on
the door, but fail." It's this indication that like in real life, your
character can attempt and fail things without having some red goddamn
hologram pop up and say ACCESS DENIED. THIS DOOR REQUIRES 100 LOCK PICK
SKILL. YOU CAN TELL. IT'S CLEAR FROM THIS RED GODDAMN HOLOGRAM."
Where the hell did you go so far wrong that you decided that
between wrist radios that function after 200 years, but look about like
they just came out of a goddamn plastic molding factory (like
everything on the oblivion engine) and teddy bears being fired from a
spring decapitating raiders that you'd prefer to Set A Course for
Shitville, heading 102.285, Warp 8 rather than play the original games
and see what made them special?
You can take the 50's feeling into the wasteland, plaster our
beloved icons all over the place, do up your own really "endearingly
clever" (in your own opinion) recreations of the original art and
plaster it on immortal billboards and install process slides, but if
you miss the fact that being railroaded through a clearly fable-esque
childhood tutorial that only exists because you "fine folks" got a
chortle out of thinking up the "You're SPECIAL" book, and needed, by
any means necessary and excuse to include it in the game, despite the
damage it did to the entire credibility of survival in the wasteland
experience, especially in sight of the fact that the entire
introduction sequence is clearly a teary eyed "heheheheheeheheh!111" on
the part of bethsoft, managing to work their little garbage "we do this
every time" elder scrolls prison sequence into the game, you are and to
put it lightly "responsible for a terrible game." Oh, it's a
metaphorical prison though. Nobody will notice that like in our
ACCLAIMED SERIES FOR XBOX AND XBOX360 THE ELDER SCROLLS we've forced
the character to start in a prison where he can create his character,
do a tutorial, then escape, do a combat tutorial and then receive the
insulting "Are you sure this is what you want the character that you
are playing in this video entertainment game Fallout 3 by Bethesda
Softworks Copyright 2008 Bethesda Softworks to be like? Feel free,
despite the fact that you're already responsible for several things
that have happened and have probably killed something and been injured
already to click NO on this dialog and recreate your character starting
with appearance. Copyright 2008 Bethesda Softworks" dialog before
exiting into the wide, wide, wide, smaller than the last game we made
on this engine, society and world of the wasteland.
I seem to have unfortunately spent the 30 minutes complaining that
I mentioned I was going to try to avoid doing, and I really haven't
even scratched the surface of the things which stood out to me as
blatantly shiesty about the game. I guess if you want to pick up where
I left off, just take a look at the things that sucked about oblivion,
sucked about morrowind and have always sucked about Bethesda games and
tack those on the list, tear that page off, start a new page and
include the fact that fallout 3 plays exactly as poorly as every other
carnival ride 60 bucks at the door xbox360 game, then take the entire
list and bury it, as no matter how many times people say this exact
same thing over and over again, nobody will read it because it's not
economically viable to make games that arn't garbage.
Or at least, that's the way things appear. Prove me wrong next time guys. Prove me wrong.