Attention! The original review was written in the Community Blogs, and this is only copy of it. The review is also a bit long, so I had to put it in two posts. After decade of waiting, Fallout 3 is finally here. As an hardcore Fallout fan I preordered the game, even though in my heart I feared that the game won't be worth of the Fallout title. My fears had two points in which they were based: the numerous flaws of Oblivion and the fact that many has praised Fallout 3 to be very similiar to Oblivion. Oblivion with guns? No way that could be anywhere near as good as the title of Fallout requires. But without more ramblings let's continue to the actual review section. I have played Fallout 3 about 13 hours by now, with my XBox 360. Graphics 10/10 I have never been into graphics. If the game doesn't have any actual content but only good graphics, the game is worse than bad to me. Now, as I usually pay more attention to actual content of the game, the graphics seemed magnificient to me. Of course, someone other would say that they are oldish or not as good as they could be. But hey! So far no glitches, they look good and actually fits to the setting and the mood of the game. So what more could be asked? 10 points to graphics just because they do their job better than enough. Gameplay 9/10 The biggest complain comes from the compass system. As it shows pointer to your current quest's destination, nearest special places (both discovered and undiscovered), the pointer of your own location marker, nearby enemies and nearby allied/neutral NPCs, it is rather confusing to look at at times. Also, as it shows nearby enemies, at times in my opinion it should also show what's behind your character, so that you have actual chance to avoid attacks from behind. This comes especially irritating as the enounters with enemies ar random, so after getting past some point in map, it is possible that from the very spot some raider or creature attacks you from behind. On the other hand, a bit confusing interface for compass makes you actually look your map more often, removing the possibility to finish the game from the beginning to the end without even looking your map, which was one biggest gripe in Oblivion. Also, the idea of linking Perception ability to your compass is actually very good idea, so point to Bethesda. The PipBoy is a bit confusing at first, but after a bit using I got used to it. Especially the inventory section could have a bit clearer. Though dividing all the items to different sub-categories is good idea, makes it faster to find what you are looking for from your inventory. On the other hand there are couple of items that seems to be in wrong section. Readable books under Aid section? In my opinion those would fit under Misc. better. But that's my opinion, and after getting used to the that I can pretty easily find everything I want. Fast travelling was one feature that divided players even before the game was even published. Other thought that in Oblivion it was well implemented, others thought that the thing was pointless, badly designed abomination. I belonged the second group. In Fallout 3, I have to admit that it's well designed, and all the flaws from Oblivion are fixed. For instance, unlike in Oblivion, in Fallout you can't fast travel to location which you haven't visited before. So now you have to go everywhere on foot before you can even dream about fast travelling there. Also, there condition in which you can use the fast travel is severly limited. You can't be encumbered, you can't have radiation or poison and you can't be in fight. So no overbackaging your invetory with lots more items than you can ccarry, then fast travelling to city other side of the world map for selling the items. If you wan't to take the extra load, you walk, literally. The dialogue system was one thing that rised most fears among Fallout fans. Is it going be like in Oblivion? Is it going to be well written? The best way to describe it is by comparing to old Fallouts. It's almost identical, by few minor changes. Biggest change so far that I have noticed is that the dialogue options that are basing on your skills are shown on the list, with the check you must success. But that's not a bad thing, not at all. V.A.T.S. was one feature that woke very much interest among audience. Basically, it's purpose was to replace the old Action Point system so that similiar system could be used in fast paced real time FPS combat. First of all I have to say that you can play the game without ever using V.A.T.S, though you will definately have hard time. In normal difficult setting, there were several situations where I was forced to use it to make sure to stay alive. In close combat, in real time on shot from Combat Shotgun wasn't necessarely enough to kill one raider, but aiming head in V.A.T.S mode was almost sure instant kill, if your skill was high enough to hit it that is. Also, unlike in original Fallouts, if the target is behind the cover (partially or fully), it will affect to hit percents shown in V.A.T.S. For example, if the target was behind target in a way that only head was visible to you, other body parts showed 0% as the chance to hit. But as good as the V.A.T.S is, there is still couple of flaws there. First one comes to the fact that you can't skip the slow motion videos caused by V.A.T.S. Yes, those are cool at first, but after dozens of similiar kills, they get boring. Also, the selecting body parts which to target is a bit confusing, someone could even say that it's buggy. There is hardly any logic behind which the game select your next target when you move the stick. For example, if I aim to torso, move the stick to up and it aims to head. Now, common sense says that if I move the stick down it should again target to torso again, right? Well, that's usually not the case.. Sometimes the target moves to leg, other times to either arm and only at times to torso. Perhaps the position in which the target is affects the "cycle" the game uses, but so far I haven't find any logic. The third flaw is that which weapons can target different parts of the body and which only the NPC. Melee weapons can't target to different body arms, for example. Why not? On the other hand you can without any difficulty aim head, torso, arms or legs with minigun. And where is the logic behind that? Definately not something that Bethesda did plan well enough. Sound 9/10 Generally the sound and music fits to setting like fist to the face. The radio is especially well designed, and it's not loud enough to interfere player from hearing and making sense of other things (like dialogies) but it's still loud enough for player to make sense of it. The only negative side is that at times in dialogies, the NPC's voice dosn't fit to the emotions that comes clear from the dialogue itself. For example, NPC could seem to be very excited about what you have done, but the voice acting comes only half way to that enthusiasm. Luckily this doesn't happen often, and thus is only small (but still at times irritating) thing. Otherwise, the voice acting is very good. Story 10/10 I try to avoid spoiling as much as I can. But if you want to be sure, you can skip the following. So far, after 13 hours of game, it's rather difficult to actually say anything about the story, as I have just visited the radio station and talked to Three Dogs. But so far it has been interesting, and several dialogies have made me think that there is something very deep running behind the actual "Find your father" storyline. Why did my father lied to me? Why did the The Overseer claimed that "We all were born in Vault, we all die in Vault", as that definately wasn't the case? Why did they try to hunt the player, and even sent mercenaries after the player? (This was something I gathered from couple of discussions.) The sidequests are interesting, and even makes sense. Also, the way the quests are offered to you are more realistic. No "Well, you are stranger to us, so you are definately going to be hero to us, so you do even the smallest errant we want you to do" way of introducing the quests. In several cases the quest giver has commented that "Well, if you are fool enough to try that, I don't mind. Just don't come crying to me if you get hurt or don't succeed", though perhaps not in those exact words, but the meaning is there. Also, the quests offer some moralistic choices to player. For example, in Megaton: disarm the bomb, leave it be or even trigger it to explode? All choices bossible, each of them makes some happy but makes others hate you.