The second and third installments to Crispy Gamer's 2008 Game of the Year feature are now online, the latter of which hands Fallout 3 the top award.
Sometimes it just takes a setting. Like last year's Bioshock, Fallout 3 works because of what it shows us more than because of how it plays. Here we have a convincing alternate future that somehow is dominated by images from our past. It is, in many ways, a sterling example of how, even if Bethesda still doesn't understand characters or dialogue; no developer makes better use of the human urge to explore, to see what's over that hill. But none of this would be enough to make it the Game of the Year if it weren't for the excellent general structure of the game. You stagger out of a vault on a simple quest to find your father, and quickly become the go-to guy for every major and minor task in a ruined capital. The combat is excellent, even if the V.A.T.S. targeting feels like a bit of a cheat, and the quests keep pushing you onward with just enough time to rest and enjoy the scenery.There are also mentions for World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, in case you're interested.