The Fallout 3 Journal: Day 6

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“I do not respect your breakdancing skills.”

(Read Journal #1 here)

I’ve now been wandering the apocalyptic wilderness of Fallout 3 for nearly a week now, and have a much better sense of the game than when I started. I was skeptical of it at first, with its endlessly bleak and depressing landscapes and run-smack-into-the-wall difficulty curve, but as I’ve progressed, I’ve come to see how great it really is.

Things were not going well to start. I almost threw my controller through my TV when I died for the tenth time against a bunch of goddamn fire ants in a town I discovered. Seriously, fire ants? I was beginning to think I just plain ‘ol sucked ass at the game, something that hasn’t happened since the last time I tried to play Madden, but I found my frustration would be short lived.

I started focusing on the main quest, instead of wandering into uncharted areas on the map that were all spelling certain doom for me. In the main quest line I found level appropriate enemies who did NOT always tear me limb from limb, and I started to level up and find new weapons.  fallout_2

The Brotherhood doesn’t mess around.

Some things I’ve noticed as I’ve progressed:

How exactly does one be an evil character in this game? For example, one of my first side missions was to decide whether or not to blow up a dormant nuke in Megaton. Now, if I had done so, I would have lost a number of different quests, not to mention all the town’s stores and a damn house to call my own. Why would anyone do that, unless they just wanted to see what a mushroom cloud looked like?

Also, there is no crime and punishment in Fallout. If you accidently hit someone or pick a lock you weren’t supposed to, the entire town will turn against you. And you’ll either have to run for dear life being chased by an angry mob, or stand your ground and kill every single one of them, running into the same sort of consequences you would if you had just nuked all of them in the first place. The only way to avoid it is to reload your game and play nice. It seems the only legitimate way to be evil is just to be a dick in conversations.

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Option #3: “Go %$^# yourself.”

This game is so much more detailed than Oblivion was, and I did not think that was possible. The map might be smaller, but the landmarks are all unique. There are no repeating caves or mines or ruins. Each landmark was specifically designed for a purpose and because of that the game never, ever feels repetitive, despite how massive it is.

One of the coolest things I’ve discovered is the ability to forge weapons. You find schematics and random pieces of wasteland trash, and you’re able to assemble some badass weapons. I took a pilot light, a motorcycle handbrake and a lawnmower blade and created the “Shishkebab,” a gas-powered flaming sword. Seriously. Or how about the railway rifle which shoots iron spikes with such velocity that they pin peoples’ heads into the wall? Dear Lord it’s amazing.

I’m maybe twenty hours in and there’s still a giant stretch of map I haven’t even touched yet. This is without a doubt the most broadly scoped game I’ve played since Mass Effect, and I find myself thinking about it whenever I’m not playing it. Which is not very often.

Tune in next time as I see if I can find this magical G.E.C.K. I keep hearing about. And when the hell do I get this dog?

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“Here boy! I promise I wont eat you!”