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Fallout 3 7-Years Later Review

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With the recent release of Fallout 4, it seems a good time to return to the previous games in the franchise. More specifically, return to both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas to see how well they hold up and if they are worth returning to now. I do have copies of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics, but do not have the time to review them ahead of the Fallout 4 release and I prioritized the two newer games.

The whole of the Fallout franchise is set in a science-fiction future after a great nuclear war when the descendants of survivors, and some original survivors, fight for their own survival in barren, radioactive wastelands. Beyond the threats of harsh environments, mutated monsters and other people also present a constant danger. In Fallout 3 you explore the Capital Wasteland, the ruins of Washington, D.C., and can take on the area's problems as you try to learn why your father abandoned you in Vault 101, the only home you know. With the DLC, which I have all of, you can visit other environments such as The Pitt, the ruins of Pittsburgh; Point Lookout; and Mothership Zeta. Unlike previous reviews where I have covered DLC, they are not getting their own section(s); I will cover each separately in the Gameplay section. I forgot to record separate playtime for them, and did them during the course of the game instead of separately.

When I think about Bethesda RPGs, there are two things that come to mind. One I will discuss later and the other is mods. Previously I have refrained from modding games while reviewing them, since a modded game does not necessarily reflect what it is you purchase, but I am making a restricted exception of this franchise. At a significant point in the game (not going to spoil it), I enabled a handful of mods so that I can present the game in its base form and also show off some of its potential through mods. These mods are only graphical, as that is the one restriction I have on them. If I review other modded games in the future, I will likely keep this restriction for them as well.

Fallout 3 has an M rating from the ESRB for blood and gore, intense violence, sexual themes, strong language, and the use of drugs. I know the media of this review includes some of that content, so if such content is inappropriate for you, chances are the review is too.

Speaking of this review's media, in the middle of the review I changed how I was capturing and editing video. Prior to this review, I used NVIDIA ShadowPlay for video capture, but while doing some editing I discovered it was not capturing at 60 FPS, but at 30. What I had not realized before was that ShadowPlay can only record resolutions up to 1920x1080 at 60 FPS, and as my monitor's native resolution is 2048x1152, it would only be captured at 30 FPS. To remedy this I switched over to using OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), which does not have the same limitations and can still use NVENC, like ShadowPlay. For editing I also started using FFmpeg instead of other software because it allows for some more advanced edits than what I had been using and gives me better control when re-encoding.

With that covered, time to see if we should venture out of Vault 101 or stay inside our comfortable, safe home.

  1. Fallout 3 Review - Introduction
  2. Fallout 3 Review - Graphics
  3. Fallout 3 Review - Story
  4. Fallout 3 Review - Gameplay
  5. Fallout 3 Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Fallout 3 Review - Conclusion
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