Monday, 7 September 2009

Review of Fallout 3 - Part Five: The End?

Continuing on from my last post, these are my thoughts on Bethesda's action-rpg, Fallout 3.

Of course, at the end of every journey, it must come to a close. Well, okay, it could decide not to come to a close and encourage open-world gameplay, but that only works if your world is interesting and there is some sort of appropriate award for doing so. (Learning more about the story, for example, is often a good reward for RPGs. Unfortunately the story in Fallout 3 is too weak for this, as I mentioned in Part Three of my review.) I don't really think Fallout 3 would benefit from an open-world ending, so the rather abrupt and decisive ending didn't really bother me. Still, if you want to be able to continue fighting "the good fight" after the ending, you may want to look into getting the some of the DLC (downloadable content) such as Broken Steel, which apparently lets you play after the ending.

Truly he was the master of the wasteland.

At this point though, I found myself a bit confused. I had finally gotten through the game. It had been a long and hard journey, and I had conquered all odds. But... something was missing.

Sometimes games have the problem that, after you beat them, you just want to keep playing. But at a certain point I found myself not even looking forward to playing Fallout 3. The world was too bland, my skills were too high, and I had to install a mod to allow me to keep levelling up, for I had hit the level barrier way too soon. There just wasn't a challenge. When I beat the game, I felt relief.

Except... I didn't.

I have to admit, shots like this are pretty awe-inspiring when rendered in full 3d.

There was something about the wasteland that called me back. Maybe it was the fact that half the map markers were left un-seen. Maybe it was that I had played the good guy yet in the end I died, leaving a hollow feeling like all my work was for naught. (Speaking of which, in the end you either live or die, and it's pretty much a yes/no choice.) Maybe it was even that I wanted to know more about what was going on.

But it wasn't any of those things. I'll tell you what it really was:

I was bored.

This guy may be having more fun than I was at that point.

When it comes down to it, I think Fallout 3 is quite honestly one thing: Unsatisfying. That's not to say it's bad, as it's quite a bit better than some RPGs (like Dungeon Lords, though that isn't hard), and the gameplay is pretty satisfying, but it's really not much better than playing solitaire for hours on end. There quite simply isn't much thought, and the world isn't very intriguing.

And I think what bugs me the most is that it could be so much better. There are some really bad mistakes that Bethesda made, that really hold the game back from the title of "masterpiece". I really wanted to like the game, and there were a few points (listening to my robot butler tell horrible yet brilliant science jokes, completing the Wasteland Survivor Guide for Moira Brown, taking out a base of raiders or slavers with a sniper-rifle) that were really fun and are even, dare I say, memorable. But most if it is just so bland.

It's too bad really, because I spent a long time on this game, and I'm not sure if it was worth it. On one hand, it pushed the bar and reminded me that "satisfactory", "safe" and "solid" games aren't good enough, and had some really nice moments. On the other, most of it was forgettable, and the ending gives no satisfaction.

I guess to summarize: Gameplay? Pretty good. Story and Dialogue: Passable. Graphics? Both impressive and lacking. Music? Great. Overall?

...I don't know. I've written five parts about this silly game. It's crazy. The game's not bad, like Dungeon Lords. The game isn't really good, like BioShock. The game's just... mediocre? No, even that isn't right. I don't know what to think, or what to say about the game. It's... solid. The game is very solid. My reccomendation? ...I have no damn clue. Borrow it from a friend? Try it? Hopefully all this helped, cause I still don't really know what to think.

Just... something doesn't feel right. Could this really be... the end?

Images used in this review do not belong to me, nor do their contents. I took none of them myself, but merely found them on Google. I assume no ownership and am using them for referential purposes. If you do not wish them to be used, simply send me an e-mail and I will replace them.

No comments:

Post a Comment