Fallout 3 is a landmark title in gaming. It gave players an open world full of endless possibilities, the likes of which had never been seen before. The world was huge, unpredictable, and unique, which kept players returning to it for hours and hours. Fallout 3 will always be remembered as one of the most definitive gaming experiences of its time. I respect Bethesda and the amazing game they put together, and yet…
I do not like Fallout 3.
While I know I am not the only person out there who didn’t like Fallout 3, we are definitely in the minority. Hearing all of my friends stories made me glad that they enjoy the game, and are able to make these great memories. Hell, it even inspired me to pick it up and play it numerous times. Sadly, I inevitably always fell uninterested in the game. But why? I managed to narrow it down to three main reasons…
- The Design
Let me preface this by saying I am in no way a stickler for life-like, amazing graphics and animations, but the design just managed to get under my skin in Fallout 3. The human characters always looked off, which actually inspired me to play more as I wanted to get decent gear to cover myself up as quick as possible. The limb exploding was a novel concept, but resembled a crushed cherry more than an exploding limb, which broke immersion for me. The color palette repelled my eyes, different hues of yellow, everywhere. Fallout 3 really was a victim of the times when it comes to the single, dull color palette curse though, as most games were going through the exact same thing during this period (sadly, some still do).
2. The World/Story
I absolutely loved the beginning moments of Fallout 3. Being a baby, celebrating your birthday, getting your first Pip-Boy and so on. That is still a great idea that I wish more games would learn from. Shortly after that is when Fallout 3 began to lose me. The moment you leave Vault 101 you are met by the near-endless world that Fallout 3 has to offer, free to explore anywhere you may wish. That’s my problem. I love open world games and have been playing them for 15 years, but there’s something about Fallout 3 that was just too open for my taste. I got lost. I went where I shouldn’t. I died. A lot. The amount of side-quests had me losing sight of the main quest, and I got confused to which quest my current objective is benefitting.
I don’t think Fallout 3 is a bad game, there are just things that don’t click or connect with me. I think the only absolute bad thing that I experienced in my time was the combat. The shooting felt absolutely awful, making V.A.T.S. an absolute necessity if I wanted to survive. A fun, but slow mechanic that needed to be used way too often. It broke the pacing of the game and just made combat feel like a chore. Far too often I found myself out of ammo, or with the wrong type of ammo, which resulted in me having to use melee combat, which didn’t end well. I did play a bit of New Vegas, and I’ll say that improved it tremendously, but it was still far from perfect.
That said, I cannot wait to get my hands on Fallout 4.
I’m excited to see what Bethesda has planned with the power of the new consoles. It really seems like their vision for a game could benefit on more powerful hardware. I really hope they’re using a new engine, or at least a severely updated version of the original game engine to improve the minor annoyances I had with Fallout 3. As noted earlier, the problems I had with the coloring of Fallout 3 were possibly due to the times, and Fallout 4 already looks to be a more colorful game just by judging the one trailer. Since the release of Fallout 3, the shooting mechanic in games has become a gimme. Even the worst of movie licensed games can get it right, so I’m confident that Bethesda will have a reworked, fluid shooting mechanic in place. I can’t imagine the world of Fallout 4 being much larger than it’s predecessor, but I really do hope they focus on making the game as stable as possible as opposed to as large as possible.
I don’t think I would normally have given Fallout 4 a chance, after being let down by Fallout 3 so many times. However, earlier this year I had another situation similar to this very one. I have never been a fan of the Legend of Zelda series. I’ve played every Legend of Zelda game that I could get my hands on, multiple times, but never been able to get remotely interested. The world, characters, and gameplay just turned me off, sound familiar? Then, on a whim, I decided to pick up Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD for my newly purchased Wii U. I had played Wind Waker when it originally came out on the Gamecube, but like it’s brothers, it didn’t resonate. The Wind Waker HD hit me at the right place and time, as I’m currently working on the resolution of it after 40 hours. I’m interested to explore more of the Legend of Zelda series, now that I’ve gotten that first foot in the door.