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Edward R Murrow's Dissertation on Fallout 3

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Edward R Murrow's Dissertation on Fallout 3

Review - posted by DarkUnderlord on Fri 21 November 2008, 02:05:12

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

Greetings, gentle readers. Fallout 3 has no doubt, been the most highly anticipated game here at the Codex in a long-time. Fallout - that classic RPG we all hold dear - done by Bethesda - that not-so good RPG developer. What would the outcome be? Esteemed critic and world-renowned philosopher, Edward R Murrow, has taken a break from his busy schedule and provided you, gentle reader, with the opportunity to peruse his thoughts of Fallout 3 in "Edward R Murrow's Critical Dissertation on Fallout 3: Islands of Good Awash in a Sea of Mediocre, Time-Wasting Drivel". Here is but a sampling for you to digest:
From here though, it just got worse. Most other quests devolved into dungeon crawls. Take the "Stealing Independence" quest. Go into the National Archives and grab the Declaration of Independence. Seems like it should be fun enough, and offer some cool science and stealth options. Nope. Go through a bunch of DC metro tunnels while killing raiders and ghouls, then fight through 2 floors of mutants, and a floor of robots to be able to use a speech check to get out of a fight with a low level robot with a little personality. Wonderful. And the idiocy keeps going like this, where quests devolve into boring monster hacks with a usually useless speech check at the end. They have all this potential, and then throw it away on dungeon crawling nonsense. They even brought back an Oblivion fan favorite quest, except instead of collecting X amounts of Magic Wine you collect X amount of Nuka Cola Quantum. Obviously this quest is not an artificial time lengthener that exists just to drop you in more dungeons. Even worse, quests have almost no consequences. Even blowing up Megaton doesn't close out the big quests there, as the quest giver conveniently becomes a ghoul and still offers the quest to you from a different location. Working with Paradise Falls didn't seem to stop me from helping some escaped slaves in another quest, and I bet it would likely be the same vice versa, even though Three Dog is blasting everything you do across the Wasteland. Karma is the only consequence of quests and is pretty much useless except for the companions who cast Detect Good/Evil on you. Both good and evil characters get mercenaries on their tail, and I found trying to play a neutral character near impossible, as contrary to what Todd said, there are no rewards for neutral characters. Plus karma is pretty broken seeing as your robot butler can essentially give you infinite pure water to give to beggars for Karma ++ and you can always donate caps to churches for Karma ++ because it's not like Fallout ever had some sort of key anti-establishment tone in it or this is some tired RPG cliche that needs to be put to bed. And evil unspeakable is only stealing a whole house full of crap away, or perhaps killing some generic Megaton citizens who will respawn in the two days it takes to forget your crimes. So essentially, they neutered the only real consequences in their game.

The main quest is rubbish, pure and simple. Most every quest devolves into killing, and the only virtue of it is that you can skip most of it. It suffers also from another flaw of Oblivion, the player character is not the main character. Just like in Oblivion, how Martin was the true "protagonist" and you were more a glorified errand boy, you basically play this same role to daddy Liam and his pet project. Now, it's not being a “Chosen One” who must stop the ancient evil, which could be seen as a progress of sorts. Unfortunately, it's a case of being thrown out of the frying pan into the fire as you are the Chosen One's sidekick, who fights the mildly venerable evil. Also like Oblivion, it ends with you watching a big thing fight other big things instead of doing some ass kicking yourself. If I'm going to play a game riddled with combat, at least let me feel badass about it instead of cock-blocking me. Even in Bloodlines, when it devolved into a hackfest, my character was killing tons of stuff and wrecking house. I get to demolish the big players who had previously pushed me around, if I so chose to, not watch Smiling Jack fight them in his Mecha Battle Sarcophagus. But to make the climax something the player watches rather than participates in? What the hell, this isn't a jRPG you twats. Oh, and the ending is pure idiocy and to add insult to injury, they didn't even bring back the ending slides. Over 200 permutations my ass. It's more like one based on karma, one based on one choice at the very end, and one based on another choice at the very end.

We at the Codex intend to ensure our coverage of Fallout 3 is comprehensive enough to give every angle and the wide-range of opinions there no doubt will be on this beginning, to what is intended to be the re-birth of a long-running franchise.

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