I've recently acquired a copy of Bethesda's Fallout (Yes, I know, technically it's called Fallout 3). I would have played it on my laptop but, like its predecessor, my laptop overheats when asked to do anything as strenuous as running a game. It has the grunt, just not the heat dispersal. *mutters*

So, I've been playing the rather buggy game on Matt's 360. I say buggy for two reasons - firstly I've managed to crash the game and lock-up the 360 several times, secondly because many of the in-game quests are broken, it would seem. What is it with me and doing things with games that the designers never planned for?

An example would be my first fight against a super mutant behemoth, this enormous critter that has a scripted encounter. Well, it was kinda scripted..
I've seen others play through and they met a group of Brotherhood of Steel dudes who assisted in the fight and provided a weapon to quickly defeat it (the "Fatman", presumably named after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 9/8/1945 and based on the M-388 Davy Crocket nuclear recoilless rifle). Well, I visited a city in the South East of the map and met a character that broke that encounter.

I had to fight the damn thing on my own and I can tell you it takes a lot of rounds to put that git down. Thankfully the building I was sheltering in made me essentially invulnerable and it was just a case of wearing him down. Still, well done on the game design there, Bethesda..

What I can say of the game is the following, in the style of PC Gamer review sum-ups.
It is:

  • Enjoyable
  • Fairly large
  • Pew pew pew
It's not:
  • Fallout
  • Fallout 2
  • Built on a game engine that doesn't suck
I can't fault it on being a good game but it lacks a lot of the things I loved about Fallout and Fallout 2. For example, there aren't any descriptions. If you examine an item the game doesn't tell you anything. Yeah, not liking that. Furthermore, the third person perspective doesn't work very well at all.

Then there's the engine, which gets its own paragraph..
The Gamebryo engine is apparently what it uses and I'll say this - it sucks. It's terrible. The collision detection is appalling, nothing has the correct weight and the characters seem to glide slightly above the surface of the floor. Maybe I've been spoilt by the engine used in GTA IV but the glaring issues with the physics annoy me. I've shot things and they've not just retained momentum, they've accelerated. I've walked into the carcass of a bus and had it jiggle and slide out of position.

Maybe it's just me but I don't think a 1950s style coach should be easily pushed out of position by a single person, not unless they're a super mutant or similarly epically strong character.
Right, back to work!

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