Toronto – If you had asked me to envision Elder Scrolls: Oblivion’s brother I would have said it can be no more enticing than a disfigured midget orc painted in a horrible color palette. Seriously, who wants to play as elves that look hideous and the other races and NPC that were scrawny walking, oozing pus-bags? Ugliness does not equal realism. I also had to work with a stamina system that depletes for no apparent reasons. Put that factor in and now the games sounds like: ugly old grannies from the first hut of the game beats the shit out of my more ugly convitct while he/she is sprawled unconciously on the ground and every other exchange is so frustratingly dice-based and the game world so immense for no possible practical rationale that I might as well be playing paper D&D. Enter Fallout 3 which, to be fair, wasn’t Bethesda’s game to mess up. Interplay had already screwed up in Fallout 2 a decade ago. Bethesda injected a dose of their experience on the Elder Scroll games. And out of all the warm, composting fecal matter came something definitively pristine and enjoyable. Wow.
And that’s probably as far as you should read this review: it is insanely long. The rest will consist of verbal description of this awesome-ness. First off, Fallout 3 is NOT ugly. Here, you will actually wish to see your character’s Asian/African/Hispanic/Caucasian face. So, character creation for me was a rewarding process which took 45 minutes while the game pretends baby Lone Wanderer is being born. The initial tutorial was a good rump through the ropes of the game with the Wanderer as a toddler. But be forewarned – the VATS system is never officially introduced. I’ll get into this later.