Fallout 3 – First Impressions

Well, I’ve played Fallout 3 for a few hours (amidst after-hours calls for work issues, but that’s another story).

As somebody who has played both Fallout 1 and 2, I’m quite pleased with the way the game turned out.

Performance wise I wasn’t too sure how I was going to go, my gaming boxes traditionally don’t stay up in the high-performance category for long, and my current one is nearing a year old now.  The 9600GT SLI configuration handled High Detail with a few tweaks (Resolution turned up from 800×600 to 1600×1200, Anisotropic filtering turned off and Anti-Aliasing set to 2x) and I’ve been enjoying a very smooth and responsive framerate.

If you’ve played Oblivion, the commonalities created by both games using the same engine are fairly obvious – Fallout 3 has the same fast-travel system, mapping and fundamental menu arrangement, just all styled to look like the pip-boy rather than the Oblivion in-game menu.

Combat is relatively easy at first, but becomes punishing quite quickly – I found myself with plenty of ammunition, but a lack of healing/treatment items to deal with common HP loss.

Story development so far is a bit… absent.  But that’s mostly because Bethdesia has taken the same approach as they took with Oblivion where they throw players off into the wild without much guidance and hope they’ll stumble into the story along the way.  A bit more guidance would be nice – it took me a while to get the whole subway navigation thing straight in my head, especially since the world location cursor doesn’t move as you make your way through the subway tunnels.

All in all, it’s a very pretty game – it plays well, looks good, and fits the Fallout franchise nicely.  I can see myself plodding through this game to reach the end.

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