So, did anyone else get Fallout 3 yesterday? What are your first impressions?
First, I'd like to begin by saying that I was fully aware the game was being developed off of the same engine as The Elder Scrolls IV and I realized there would be some similarities... but I guess somewhere between all of the developer interviews and staff comments about how they loved the first two Fallout titles... I found myself convinced that they would do it the series right.
From what I've played, Fallout 3 appears to be a good game. I'm going to complete it and probably enjoy it the whole way through. However, to me it is not a Fallout game, it is an Elder Scrolls game. It doesn't contain the humor of Fallout. All of the characters are very bland (like Oblivion) and they rarely have anything interesting to say. To this point, there are no random junkies or wasters in the cities that serve any purpose outside of making you laugh or sating your urge to kill someone and not ruin a quest in the process. Oh come on... I'm not the only one. The world seems all too similar to Oblivion just with different textures on everything. The characters are the same as Oblivion just with different costumes on everybody. Nothing about it feels like Fallout.
To get more in depth with the game play itself... the game has taken everything that was (and should be) a dice roll in Fallout and applied some skill based mini-game to it as they did with Oblivion. Opening a lock is not as simple as just trying it and hoping your skill is good enough for you to succeed. Instead, it is a silly lock picking game not to dissimilar from the one in Oblivion. Secondly, they've placed the same "skill levels" on locks as they did with Oblivion so you can't even attempt to unlock certain things without a high enough skill. That to me is B.S.. In the same manner "hacking" a terminal is also a mini game but with Science as the driving skill instead of Lock Picking.
The V.A.T.S. system, which is Bethesda's attempt at maintaining the integrity of Fallout's turn-based battle system, is nothing short of a flop. When in V.A.T.S., you get a set-up similar to targeting in the first two Fallout titles... from here you can spend your action points to shoot your target as many times in as many places as you can afford with AP and ammo. Unfortunately, by the time you're close enough for V.A.T.S. to be useful, you can simply just manually shoot your target in the head and cause significantly more damage with no chance involved at all.
... I am ranting at this point and to be honest I could go on for five more paragraphs but I will spare you all the reading and allow you to respond. If you're curious for more info before you purchase, just ask. I'll just throw in a quick few more bullet points: They screwed up Tag Skills, they screwed up Perks, they screwed up Skill Points, they screwed up addiction. Phew... there.
Now besides all that... it's still a good game if you try to ignore the fact that it's trying to play like a Fallout game. Even if it's only supposed to be trying a little.