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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
PlayStation 3
Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks
October 28, 2008

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition

Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition

More in this Series
 Written by Kris Rosado  on December 11, 2008

Review: Prepare to face Oblivion... I mean Fallout!

By now, I'm sure you have read a majority of the reviews floating around the Internet. Most of them relate Bethesda's take on the Fallout franchise as an instant Game of the Year winner. I however, cannot say as much. It's not that Fallout 3 is a bad game in any right, other than a small number of technical issues, that is. It's that Fallout 3 doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from Bethesda's previous game, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

If you were ever going to copy an open world role-playing game, then yes, Oblivion should be on the top of your list. But what Bethesda did with Fallout 3 felt almost like they were too afraid to take a chance on the game by almost mirroring everything about Oblivion, just in the Fallout world.

Exploration, interaction (especially poor voice acting), and even some of the game's quests feel lifted straight from the medieval RPG. Like Wired pointed out in their review, a vampirism quest in Fallout feels out of place. Why not a quest where you turn into a ghoul? If this is in there forgive me, I haven't been through 100 percent of the game even on two playthroughs.

However much Fallout 3 may feel like Oblivion, all is changed with the combat system. Mixing both a first-person shooter and the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) just works. Using V.A.T.S. to get in a couple of well placed shots followed by a last second finishing stand-off in a hail of bullets (or lasers) both feels natural and is the best way to progress through combat. For the brave, combat can be taken as a first-person only affair but it for some reason it doesn't feel right and since you can't solely use V.A.T.S. due to Action Point limitations, mixing the two is the best way to go.

Along with bringing the V.A.T.S. system along, Bethesda also squeezed in the dark humor that the Fallout games were famous for. Nuking towns, grenades-in-the-pants, and enslaving your fellow citizens with head popping collars, Bethesda brought what is perhaps the most important trait of the Fallout series (other than the nuked America and Radscorpions).

For those that are still wondering whether or not there really is a difference between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game - there is. Despite what you may have read on message boards and where else, there really is a noticeable difference between the two versions in terms of graphics, but nothing that gamers with only a PS3 should worry about (you guys just worry about the no DLC thing). The differences come down to the Xbox 360 showing more in the environment's distance along with brighter colors while the PS3 version showed less distance, darker coloring (no the coloring wasn't affected by the time of day), and jagged models.

PS3 owners will also have to put up with a few more bugs than Xbox 360 owners thanks to a particularly annoying bug that freezes the game whenever your friends log in or try to contact you on PSN. Outside of that there are some technical issues with animations, ghouls flying through stairs, and some slowdowns.

Bottom Line
Kids, Fallout 3 is Oblivion with guns hands down. Again, that's not a bad thing, but it feels like Bethesda missed an opportunity here by playing things safe and that's fine. It's not going to win my game of the year but it is going to win a spot on my shelf and probably a lot of my time going on to next year.

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