Monday, December 29, 2008

Fallout 3: First thoughts

My brother introduced me to fallout 3 yesterday after buying it for the Xbox 360 recently. So last night I got a chance to play it! The game is made by Bethesda Softworks, makers of Oblivion, Morrowind, and a bunch of other awesome RPGS. Now if there's one thing Bethesda knows how to do well, it's character creation. They have this really awesome habit of blending it in with the storyline, where the choices you make at the very early stages affect your character to a large degree!

The game begins the same way as all our games begin, with screaming. Your screaming. And blood all over the place. Now, before you think you are thrown into the action head first, the next words are something along the lines of "Oh, it's a beautiful baby ____!" Talk about starting at the beggining! And then you get to choose whether or not you're a boy or a girl! After you choose that, they bring over this screen thing to "See what s/he'll look like when s/he's older". At this point you get to customise what you'll look like when you're older, right down to the hairstyle. Which is a little ridiculous, I mean, they can hardly predict what sort of crazy fashion trend you'll be following when you're nineteen. Also, why is that the first thing they do? For me, knowing what my child would look like when they're older would kinda spoil the surprise. And then, your mother suffers a fatal heart attack. It's sad, but after you've played so many RPGs, you kinda expect your parents to die at the drop of a hat. Especially moms.

So it fast-forwards to one year later and you're 1, and the game introduces you as a toddler, and you learn to crawl around, and choose your main attributes out of a child's playbook, and that's really about it. Some stuff about how your mother would have been so proud of you, which once again is sad, but like I said, after you've played so many RPGs, you realise that at least one of your parents always dies. Luckily, your father is actually a really nice and awesome guy, so they reverse this trope
really well by having your dad still love you all the same even though you caused your mother's death. Which is a bit of a twist, as usually in games this drives the father figure to be a bit of a jerk.

Fast forward nine years later and it's your tenth birthday party! You are given your cerimonial wrist doohicky thing that shows map and ammo and all sorts of good stuff like that, and this is where the real decision making happens. You meet Amata, more or less the girl-next-door who has organised your party. And you are given the generic three choices.
1: good guy response "Thanks for the party!
2: medium guy response: "Yeah, it's ok, I guess..."
3: heartless fiend from the pit response: "It's probably the worst party I've ever seen."

And these are basically the three choices you will have all throughout the game. Angel, Normal guy, or what can only be described as the foul offspring of robot hitler and the devil.

You walk around a bit and talk to the other guests at your party, turns out for some reason your character wisely decided to invite the three school bullies to his party. actually, there's one other guy who seems to just be an aquiantance, Amata, and the three bullies at your party along with some adults. Not the best guest list. Not to mention not the best dressed list either, the entire starting story takes place in a giant nuclear bunker, so you're all wearing blue jumpsuits. At any rate, you get a sweetroll as a gift from some old lady at your party as a gift, and one of said bullies basically says "Gimmie the sweetroll." Your options are basically
"Yes sir...."
"No. Go away."
and the ever-wonderful robot hitler devilspawn option
"What? Did your mom drink away all your food stamps again?"

Now, you're supposed to pick one of the latter two, then a fight breaks out, and the game teaches you how to fight. But I wanted to try to be a christian in this game. So I spent a good 10 minutes staring at the screen.This is your first big choice in the game. Who are you going to be? I eventually opted to hand over the sweetroll, maybe he genuinely did need it due to lack of food, who knows. Appeasing hitler, or pulling a Ghandi? You decide, I guess. you get a bb gun from your dad later and learn to fire weapons in a pretty subtle but effective way of the game teaching you skills that will later be useful in life when giant burly muntants are chasing you with clubs and you need to shoot them. Thanks for the lesson, dad! 

Fwwwwaashooooommp! another 6 years pass, and it's time for your generic aptitude test, to pick your class! There's a confrontation scene beforehand where said 3 bullies have started a gang with greased back hair that is effectively some sort of cross between jets and sharks from west side story. They're picking on Amata, and you have three options.
"Stop or I'm going to make you stop"
"Here, let me help you, she's quite sensitive about her weight...."
"F*@& off, let's do this. Right here. Right now."

Seeing as the only options are fight or help them make fun of Amata, I opted for the fight. Nobody makes fun of my plucky suggested love interest and gets away with it! In reality, I probably would have done something less violent to be honest, but I suppose that's a blog for another day. Besides, I needed to learn how to fight! you beat the three guys and they go away, you take the test, it gives you a class that shows you what skills best suit you, like bartering, electronics, science, small guns, melee weapons, miniature nuclear warheads, that sort of thing. The test runs like a series of choices and depending on what you pick, you get different suggested classes. I got chaplain,  very encouraging, I guess. You have to love the last multiple choice question: "Who is the undisputed leader of the vault, who gives us food and keeps us safe, and graciously provides for all we have?" You have 4 options to this multiple choice question.
"The overseer"
"The overseer""
"The overseer"
"The overseer"
"Jesus" (no not really.)

Fwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssshhhhorrrp! 3 years pass, and oh noes! Your father has escaped the vault! nobody escapes the vault! The overseer is super pissed and killed your dad's friend! Amata wakes you up, gives you a pistol and it's escapy time, but not before a decent amount of satisfying bully-beating. Yes, said bully who stole your sweetroll and slagged your impliled ladyfriend is in need of your help now, and the shoe is on the other foot! His mom is being eaten alive by radioactive super-cochroaches and only you can save her! (But only because he's to much of wuss to save her himself.) You can walk on, save her, or walk on after leaving a snippy comment. I opted to save said lady (Who actually does turn out to be an alcoholic, perhaps he needed that sweetroll after all! Or not.) Double oh noes! The overseer has captured Amata and guess who's beating the information out of her! Yes ladies and gents, it's the two bullies from before, and the only real option you have is to kill them. Apparently though this angers people, so I opted to try to lock them unsuccessfully in a cell. But the were running around too fast so I had to shoot them in the legs a few times to slow them down. Only later, lying in bed, did I realise it took me 10 minutes to make the sweetroll decision, but shooting these guys in the kneecaps seemed like an obvious choice that took 5 seconds. Go figure, these games can make you out to be the nicest guy in the world, but apparently that means it's ok to not have any qualms about killing mountains of people. Go figure! You escape the vault, and make it outside! Now I only played a little bit after this, but I have one last thing that irritates me.

Everything gives you cancer. The game is set after a giant nuclear war, so everything is irradiated, and the game keep a running tally of radiation you've absorbed, and if you get too much, you turn into a freaky zombie thing that makes people terrified of you. But the game goes on anyways with you as a freaky thing with no skin. Don't drink the water, it's radioactive. Don't eat that meat, it's radioactive. That wastelander you killed had some squirrel stew on him! Allright! A decent meal! Nope, just kidding, it gives you cancer. Blow up a bus? The bus is now radioactive and gives you yet more cancer. stand too close to an unexploded  atomic bomb? Gives you cancer. (Well, this one makes sense at least.) They have the radioactivity count in "RADS", but I can tell you, there is nothing rad about it. Everything you touch in this game seems to want to make you lose all your skin, I'm not even kidding.
It would appear now that I can definitively say that this game includes: 

Subterranean lesbian zombies. Not even kidding.
Abraham Lincoln's hat as a wearable object.
"We are born in the Vault, We live in the vault, we die in the vault."-The overseer.

No comments: