Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Starting Fallout 3

Out of all of the computer games I’ve played I’ve always enjoyed role-playing games the most. I started out with the Gold Box Dungeons & Dragons games for the Commodore 64/Macintosh and Wasteland, graduating to World of Warcraft before finding a home in EverQuest 2. When SOE announced that the release date for the next expansion for EQ2 is February 2010 instead of November 2009, I started looking around for an alternative game to play to stretch my EQ2 content to last another three months. So what is the first game I tried? The game everyone on the podcasts I listen to raves about: Fallout 3.

Over the weekend I started playing Fallout 3 and finished my game session by reaching the town of Megatron and doing a bit of exploring in the town. So far I’m really impressed by the game. I love the character creation in the game. Instead of starting the game in a small village or winding up in an outpost, you are in a delivery room being born. The devs continued with the theme and incorporated the tutorial with your character growing up. An interesting part of the tutorial appears to be a test you take that I think sets your starting personality, or karma, for when you leave the vault. Once you’ve become an adult, the game begins with you escaping from Vault 101.

The game has other mechanics that I like in addition to the character creation and karma system. I loved using the V.A.T.S. system. That is a system that slows the game down and allows you to take aimed shots at parts of your target’s body. Yes you can take head shots and yes, those are bloody. I also like the scrounging you have to do in the game. Don’t let the NPCs in the game rush you. Stay calm and search for what you need. At least in Vault 101, you get more time to scrounge if you just kill the bad guys.

Another feature I like is the Pip-Boy. The Pip-Boy is a combination inventory management/map/quest journal item. Oh yes, it is also a light and a radio. I got a kick out of listening to Enclave Radio. I’ll have to make sure to listen to the radio when I’m out of settlement areas to try to pick up more of the story. I wish I could look at the Pip-Boy map and wander around at the same time, but you can’t have everything.

So did I throw EverQuest 2 to the side in order to play Fallout 3 over the last 3-day weekend? Hardly. I took advantage of the XP bonus weekend in EQ2 to level my sage to level 70, armorer to level 65 and carpenter to level 40. I also raised the amount of AA points on my ranger from 186 to 188. But I did spend two hours playing Fallout 3 and I think I’ll spend a couple of hours every weekend playing the game. If the rest of the game is like the first couple of hours of play, I think I’ll probably go get some of the downloadable content (DLC) like The Pitt.

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