Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life in Fallout 3

Hey folks sorry for last week's lack of blog.  I was quite ill. I hope this will make up for it.

Now being a Fallout RPG turn based fan I was skeptical but Fallout 3 turned out to follow Fallout 2 (1997 and 1998 sequel to the original) in the same standing of being open ended with no time limit to speak of.  10 years had passed since Fallout 2 and we were promised by Interplay then Black Isle that we would see a Fallout 3.  Finally after buying the rights Bethesda Softworks brought us our FPS/skill-based/post-apocalyptic dream come true.   Rather than be in California as the two predecessors were, this takes place in the heart of democracy Washington D.C.  After 2077 it is now referred as the Capital Wasteland.  Our great monuments have collapsed, roads and freeways are devastated and no government or police are in control.  Might makes right. 

We start off the game with a series of cut scenes from your character’s birth and growing up in Vault 101.  An underground fallout shelter that is capable of housing 1,000 people.    I should note no matter your sex or skin color your father James is still white and voiced by none other than (Liam Neeson of Darkman, Love Actually, The Phantom Menace and Schindler’s List)  James is a scientist who believes in helping his fellow humanity as best as he can.   As you age you learn more about your relationship with your father and life in Vault 101.   Your mother dies delivering you in childbirth so you are raised solely by your father.  You grow up in spurts through cut scenes, little whispers throughout each aging process hints to events of the past and the present day.   James tells you as an infant a bible passage that reflects his life’s work in trying to better humanity.   At age ten you receive your own Pip-boy 3000.  This arm band computer interfaces with radio signals, tells you your health, points out radiation in your area and inventories your supplies you pick up during the game.   At age 16 you take your Generalized Occupation Aptitude Test or G.O.A.T. to help sum up what career you are best suited for in Vault life. You of course try to weasel your way out of it by faking a cold.  Best of luck with that when your father is the Vault’s chief physician.

 After breaking up a squabble or joining in on it, you take your test and proceed on to Age 19, to be awaken by your friend Amata to discover your father somehow left the Vault and the Overseer is furious.  The chief of the guards beat your father’s assistant Jonas to death.  A man you have known and respected your whole life.  You must choose to escape or be dealt the same.  Fending off radiation enlarged cockroaches and some of the vault security.   Save the ammo folks.  The ball bat does a pretty good job of defending yourself and it is, kill or be killed scenario. You make your way to and out of confides of the home you have known since you were a boy/girl and out into the unknown with nothing more than what you took with you.  Vault 101 is up the hill from a shambled town known as Springvale.  One lone resident silver is hiding out from a neighboring town called Megaton.   You will have to probe her for answers if you care to know.  Or be a brute, kill her and take everything she owns.   An elementary school is not far from Silver’s place is crawling with raiders.  If you are lacking in firepower or armor, my advice is get stocked before waging a fight with these lot.

Wandering out into the wasteland you will encounter raiders that prey on the helpless, Ghouls and Super Mutants, creatures that were once human now mindless monsters that terrorize the surrounding towns.     Meeting pockets of humanity and their plights it is up to you what sort of a person you are going to be.  Will you be a decent compassionate man/woman?   Will you turn into a heartless monster with no cares except your own interests?   Will you be passive to some and help to others that can pay you a wage?   The choice is yours.  Are you to be the savior the Capitol Wasteland or its destructor?   Will you be a hero or villain?  Only you can answer that.     The graphics engine that Bethesda Software developed is phenomenal.   The background, the colors from rusted metal to the rising and setting sun this game was awarded Game of the Year in 2008 and people are still raving about it and recommending it to friends.   Its Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System or V.A.T.S. for short allows characters to train their weapons melee or firearms alike at points of vulnerability.  Ideal for the sniper character or if you just simply think it will take out your target faster.   An amazing voice cast with Liam Neeson and Malcom McDowell to name a few.  Sound captures the imagination so well.  Different outfits and armor can change the pitch of what shoes or boots you are wearing.  Guns and rifles are not a universal lumped effect GOTY allows modifications on everything from characters and armor to the quests and weapons.  I have also been able to play the PS3 console based game and the controls are a bit sensitive but you soon develop a rhythm.  

  A word of warning for those photophobic or seizure prone:  This is a real-time fasted paced game.  There will be a quick pitch in combat especially in V.A.T.S. as you see your character shoot, slash or bash your targets and it could very well be jaunting so my advice is to skip it if you suffer from either affliction.  That being said from the rest of you who are Fallout fans, DO NOT let this one slip through your fingers and enjoys the in-depth story arc and game.