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I have played games for a decent amount of time, ever since I can remember. I played through some great ones as a kid, and even today I find something that suits my fancy to a good enough degree to declare truly great. We all have a tendency to rate most highly that which we play as children, or at least young adolescence because, in my opinion, this is our moment where something can perfectly define what we are, or do something amazing we never thought could be done. There’s so many different experiences that what caused your favorite game to be there is often up to the right timing, right lifetime frame of reference and perhaps countless other things leading to what that one game is that is just bliss. For most, as mentioned before, this happens as a child. Look at all the fans of Zelda games, or other older childhood games that were made when gaming itself was in its childhood. But irregardless…
Not quite so for me, as you may have ascertained from the title. I have played many games, and had played many before Fallout 3, with Bioshock being in a close span. I had just gotten into gaming websites as a hobby, and read about the game. The box got me, and after doing the research I tried the demo that enthralled me with visions of Rapture (teehee) but then I got another game. This one was a darker looking game as well, and I bought my copy used out of a GameStop with my older brother’s age advantage. The game had an interesting and incredibly detailed little game manual, a little booklet to describe how to survive in the nuclear holocaust. I looked at a back, promising choice and limitless possibility, and the...naughty? Mischievous?...way it said find your father...or not, with a wink made me smile. A game that promised much, and delivered. It trounced the already amazing sequence from that Bioshock demo, and blew me away like so much nuclear ash. And so, Fallout 3 could begin, with a blinding light, the last of many for a new awakening.
Yes, perhaps I was something of a sucker for that dramatic little intro that so effectively introduced, not with word, or cut scene, or anything so physical-but that entrance into the hell of the wasteland. Yes, the sections where they dazzle you with a sudden revelation seem to have suckered me in as a kid, but nothing but that Bioshock scene has struck me in quite the same way. It threw you out into the world, running from bullets and your previous home into this new, destroyed world. There were so many different directions to go, the world was mine to explore. But the game was signposted well enough to let me know that megaton should be my next destination. This game blew me away, the emotions swirled and mixed and I felt shock and awe at what had befallen the world, even knowing what the game was about. It was an amazing moment, and I spent so much of that first bit just exploring the houses, looking at those skeletons and considering what had happened to those poor people.
The game is so littered with interesting set pieces, and there’s more than a few odd things that even as much as I have played this game-and I am willing to guess it goes above 200 hours- I still find new things. The world is so dark and depressing, but full of potential exploration and good memories. I remember killing raiders and then summoning a robot ally from his stasis to fight their support in the Super Duper Mart. I remember running from raiders and swimming away, my prior choice taking the lead belly perk proving to be a wise one. I remember the eeriness and unsettling atmosphere of the Dunwich Building-and the disturbing, unexplained, unexplainable obelisk within its bowels. I remember the nerve-wracking fight through each building filled with howling ghouls screaming in the distance. I remember the raiders who shook me down for the Nuka Cola formula so they could reinstate the great hockey arena battles that time and bombs had worn into a twisted memory of the true past. Some of these moments were unscripted, and they just happened, or at the least weren't tied to quests persay. So many more happen every time I play the game, and the world is so atmospheric, as things crash and explode in the distance as you wander this lonely, desolate shell of a world. It feels like an apocalypse, the world is deep and oddly quiet, with music kicking in but never being obtrusive or noticeable to an irritating degree. There were things that made me chuckle, things that made me laugh, and through all of it the shocking violence,
the horrible meat sacks the mutants carried and left behind…the first centaur encounter out of nowhere…it’s a game made all the more wonderful by its atmosphere, and the grim sadness that pervades everything.
Yet its enthralling, and the true freedom of choice is astounding, with unspeakable acts of violence or heroic acts of kindness-or the cold detachment that more than a few characters seem to have invested their points into…I love the world. The menu is intuitive and build into a wrist mounted computer, which further immerses you in the world, and the side quests are numerous and for the most part interesting, or linked to something interesting. It’s hard to truly put into words, hard to sum up how I feel about this game without writing a book…..but ok to sum up, if I had to try and end this with mere words…..