I picked up Fallout 3
a couple days ago.
- Environment: More than anything else, the game succeeds at being immersive. So much so that the tiny things stand out, e.g. non-sequitur dialog or ruins that just half-assedly cover up an invisible wall. The large, semi-contiguous map feels more unified than any of the GTA games and it's great that I can recognize the remains of various parts of DC - and I'm not talking about the White House and Capitol building.
- Visuals: The texturing is top notch, the polygon count is okay. I'm not too familiar with the various xbox engines, but the game might have benefitted from the Gears of War look - utter grittiness but still clean. It takes about two seconds to see my point, you just have to watch the opening cinema. It's a great scene with fantastic music that is totally ruined by the blocky rendered-on-the-fly graphics. If you don't have the two seconds to spare, just imagine trying to be horrified by the original King Kong.
- Leveling mechanics: Meh. Nothing fantastic here, basic rpg fare. Bethesda could definitely have gotten away with de-enumerating some or all attributes and achieved a more organic experience system. Rather than add skill points to rifle use, I'd just like to use my rifle and let increasing accuracy speak for itself. That means less stepping out of post-apocalyptic DC and a better experience.
- Combat mechanics: Sloppy. You can choose to fight regular and not stand a chance, or use bullet time ('VATS') and have the unfair advantage of being able to manipulate time. Of course action rpgs have always struggled with this and it's certainly not a bad solution, but...
- Story: I'm not deep into the story - I've taken a few detours - but from what I've seen I'm optimistic.
- Dialogue: Mass Effect has set the bar pretty high. I cringe at the thought of the dialog mapping and testing required to achieve the endless interactions, quests, and story arcs. But it's just painful to see someone greet you with a gruff 'Don't bother me' and proceed to tell you cheerily about their town when asked. That aside, the writing and voice acting is great, and so is the prevalence of snarky comments available to the user.Fallout is certainly proving great, and I'll readily nod that it lives up to the hype. As such it's very easy to identify the things that might perfect the experience.
In other news, my wine cellar is slowly growing.
And Stacy and I made dumplings.
And, er, I replaced a couple cabinet nobs. New versus old seen here.
On the list is a motion sensor outlet for the C. Crane led cans. They provide a cool glow from the ceiling not unlike moonlight.