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Title: Fallout 3
Players: 1
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Developer: Bethesda
Publisher: Bethesda
Price: $59.99
Release Date: Oct. 28th, 2008

Picture the classic Fallout series turned into a free-roaming, action-RPG; that’s exactly what Fallout 3 is. First or third-person view, a detailed create a character and more weapons at your disposal than a Rambo movie all make up for Bethesda’s highly anticipated sequel.

Some games are hyped up for the sake sales, other games receive the hype because the gamers just can’t get enough of it. Fallout 3 is the kind of game that falls into the second category; where the history of the series speaks for this upcoming game’s current popularity. And just like previous games in the series, the story centers around a player-created character, with the interactive world unfolding around the custom avatar. Players will modify seven aptitudes and start by choose up to three special Tag Skills out of a total of 14 characteristics. Most of these skills are often helpful in a number ways, while other traits prove to be comically morbid or grotesquely entertaining with the results they produce. For instance, a long-standing skill trait in the Fallout series has been ‘bloody mess’. This skill trait enables the common occurrence of player enemies to die in gory, unsightly ways.

Of course, players will need a good assortment of weapons and firearms to dispose of enemies. And given that this game is heavily saturated with RPG qualities, it means that there are all sorts of weapons that can be found, built and modified. Weapons, however, will wear out over time...losing both effectiveness and accuracy. Thus, players will be required to repair or combine them to make better use of their worn out arsenal.

During combat the game makes use of the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System, or better known as VATS. This system will pause real-time combat to give players statistical data necessary for making proper attack choices, and likewise, adding a turn-based element to the real-time combat. While some people might think of this as a dated feature, or similar to bringing parachute pants into the new millennia, the turn-based combat adds an extra layer of depth to the game that some strategist might like. But with all this talk of combat and blowing stuff up I almost forgot that the game actually has more to it than just blood, guts and bullets. Players can effectively maintain progression through the game via a character that excels in communication, diplomacy and computer hacking skills. The broad range of how the game can be played is left up entirely to the player. Based on the player’s actions and choices determine how the player is rewarded or punished, which in turn will determine how the world will unfold for the player. This prompts for multiple play-throughs and lots of exploratory travel. Even with 100+ hours of gameplay it seems as if replay value is still a top priority function on Bethesda’s developmental check list.

In addition to all the previously mentioned features, this game also sports a team-party for up to three people (i.e., two of those spaces will automatically be occupied by the player-character and their canine companion, Dogmeat.) Players can designate their fellow companions to carry out specific tasks, such as having Dogmeat to scout for ammo, health or equipment. And while the NPC that accompanies players can be killed and/or replaced, Dogmeat cannot come back once it dies.

This game is packed full of features and has a very loyal following. I’m just hoping the overall experience will follow through with the legacy of the acclaimed series. Anyway, be sure to stay tuned in with Blend Games for more info and news regarding Fallout 3, which is due out this fall for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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