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Friday, November 28, 2008

Fallout 3

Description :

A lot of games make a big deal out of player choice, but few in recent memory offer so many intricate, meaningful ways of approaching any given situation. You fulfill or dash the spiritual hopes of an idyllic society, side with slavers or their slaves, and decide the fate of more than one city over the course of your postapocalyptic journey through the Washington, DC wasteland. Your actions have far-reaching consequences that affect not just the world around you but also the way you play, and it's this freedom that makes Fallout 3 worth playing--and replaying. It's deep and mesmerizing, and though not as staggeringly broad as the developer's previous games, it's more focused and vividly realized.

This focus is obvious from the first hour of the game, in which character creation and story exposition are beautifully woven together. It's an introduction best experienced on your own rather than described in detail here, but it does set up Fallout 3's framework: It's the year 2277, and you and your father are residents of Vault 101, one of many such constructs that shelter the earth's population from the dangers of postnuclear destruction. When dad escapes the vault without so much as a goodbye, you go off in search of him, only to find yourself snagged in a political and scientific tug of war that lets you change the course of the future. As you make your way through the decaying remnants of the District and its surrounding areas (you'll visit Arlington, Chevy Chase, and other suburban locales), you encounter passive-aggressive ghouls, a bumbling scientist, and an old Fallout friend named Harold who has, well, a lot on his mind. Another highlight is a diminutive collective of Lord of the Flies-esque refugees who reluctantly welcome you into their society, assuming that you play your cards right.

The city is also one of Fallout 3's stars. It's a somber world out there, in which a crumbling Washington Monument stands watch over murky green puddles and lurching beasts called mirelurks. You'll discover new quests and characters while exploring, of course, but traversing the city is rewarding on its own, whether you decide to explore the back rooms of a cola factory or approach the heavily guarded steps of the Capitol building. In fact, though occasional silly asides and amusing dialogue provide some humorous respite, it's more serious than previous Fallout games. It even occasionally feels a bit stiff and sterile, thus diminishing the sense of emotional connection that would give some late-game decisions more poignancy. Additionally, the franchise's black humor is present but not nearly as prevalent, though Fallout 3 is still keenly aware of its roots. The haughty pseudogovernment called the Enclave and the freedom fighters known as the Brotherhood of Steel are still powerful forces, and the main story centers around concepts and objectives that Fallout purists will be familiar with.

Although some of that trademark Bethesda brittleness hangs in the air, the mature dialogue (it's a bit unnerving but wholly authentic the first time you hear 8-year-olds muttering expletives) and pockets of backstory make for a compelling trek. There are more tidbits than you could possibly discover on a single play-through. For example, a skill perk (more on these later) will enable you to extract information from a lady of the evening, information that in turn sheds new light on a few characters--and lets you complete a story quest in an unexpected way. A mission to find a self-realized android may initiate a fascinating look at a futuristic Underground Railroad, but a little side gossiping might let you lie your way to quest completion. There aren't as many quests as you may expect, but their complexity can be astonishing. Just be sure to explore them fully before pushing the story forward: Once it ends, the game is over, which means that you'll need to revert to an earlier saved game if you intend to explore once you finish the main quest.

Fallout 3 remains true to the series’ character development system, using a similar system of attributes, skills, and perks, including the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system from previous games for your attributes, such as strength, perception, and endurance. From there, you can specialize in a number of skills, from heavy weapons and lock-picking to item repairing and terminal hacking. You will further invest in these skills each time you level, and you'll also choose an additional perk. Perks offer a number of varied enhancements that can be both incredibly helpful and a bit creepy. You could go for the ladykiller perk, which opens up dialogue options with some women and makes others easier to slay. Or the cannibal perk, which lets you feed off of fallen enemies to regain health at the risk of grossing out anyone who glimpses this particularly nasty habit. Not all of them are so dramatic, but they're important aspects of character development that can create fascinating new options.

The Good

  • Freedom to explore what you want, when you want
  • Fantastic, intricate quests can be completed in a variety of satisfying ways
  • VATS combat system results in all sorts of tense and gruesome encounters
  • Outstanding art design makes for a desolate DC
  • Rewarding mixture of excitement and atmospheric exploration.
The Bad
  • The story and characters can feel a bit sterile
  • Combat feels mildly clunky.

System Requirement :
Minimum System Requirements:
o Windows XP/Vista
o 1GB System RAM (XP) / 2GB System RAM (Vista)
o 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
o Direct X 9.0c compliant videocard with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better / ATI X850 or better)

Recommended System Requirements:
o Intel Core 2 Duo processor
o 2 GB System RAM
o Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA 8800 series, ATI 3800 series)
o Supported Video Card Chipsets:
+ NVIDIA GeForce 200 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 9800 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 9600 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 8800 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 8600 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 8500 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 8400 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 7900 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 7800 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 7600 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 7300 series
+ NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series
+ ATI HD 4800 series
+ ATI HD 4600 series
+ ATI HD 3800 series
+ ATI HD 3600 series
+ ATI HD 3400 series
+ ATI HD 2900 series
+ ATI HD 2600 series
+ ATI HD 2400 series
+ ATI X1900 series
+ ATI X1800 series
+ ATI X1600 series
+ ATI X1300 series
+ ATI X850 series