Two weeks ago it was Empire Total War. Now it’s Fallout 3 that is getting the 50% off treatment on Steam. I’m downloading as I type this. Bonus: I can use my 360 controller. I’m excited to see what all you guys have been raving about.
Calling this a “First Impression” might be a bit misleading considering I have all the achievements, even the “Bog Walker” which means I’ve visited all the locations in Point Lookout. However, until I have the time to do a longer write up this will have to do.
Point Lookout is a true expansion to the game. Sticking close to what Fallout 3 does best, with some combat, plenty of exploration, and just enough story to keep things interesting. I love the new weapons and I enjoy what they did to the setting. The terrain and enemies are largely different, with a few familiar faces from the Capitol Wasteland also taking up residence in Point Lookout. On a lark I decided to go to Point Lookout with no weapons other than a Ripper and basic Leather Armor. I think this was the best idea as I had to rely mostly on what I found in the new location. Players often complain about the DLC, but if I showed up with my full kit then it would not have presented much of a challenge.
On the other hand, Fallout 3 was my favorite game last year and I’ve purchased all of the DLC, so keep that in mind. This one isn’t without its problems, but really it’s just the same problems that plague Fallout 3 in general.
You’d think I’d talk a little more about games, seeing how this is a video game blog and all. So now that I’ve poured a few hours into some games, let’s talk:
This goes beyond the regular first impressions, I’ve logged almost 20 hours. First things first, Fallout 3 is a GREAT game. I’m not going to go through the superlatives. It’s good. It is not without hiccups, but overall it is excellent.
The game is an explorer’s heaven. If you’re like me, you have to open every door and open every container and look in every corner. If your front door is left unlocked (or not), I’m coming in. Some people refer to this as kleptomania. So be it. In Fallout 3, it’s survival. The explorer itch is scratched over and over. In fact, it’s starting to hurt and get red. There is just so much to see. You could be heading to a specific location and take two hours to get there as you look around, take on new missions and find boxes to open. I can’t miss a thing.
The story starts off slowly and I really didn’t care much for the characters at first but things are getting interesting. The world they have crafted feels real without being realistic, if that makes sense. Seeing the dilapidated Washington Monument was jarring. There’s something about seeing a familiar sight and something not being right. Well done, Bethesda.
There are problems, things that aren’t deal breakers, but issues nontheless. My biggest issue is with the NPCs. I believe Oblivion suffered from some of these issues. First off, most are terrifying to look at. Character models are not this game’s strong suit. Their interactions with me, the Vault 101 guy, also leave something to be desired. One minute they’re rushing up to me in town, telling how happy they are for what I’ve done, and giving me the goods. Two seconds later they hate me. What gives?
I mentioned the game looks good, but whatever you do, DO NOT go third person. The game suddenly looks markedly worse. Game-play is mostly on the level. Character progression is well paced and the variety of skills are expansive. Combat isn’t terrible, either. This isn’t a shooter,. I love the VATS targeting system. Unloading my minigun on some Super Mutant’s head is very satisfying.
If I had to guess, I’d say I’ve made moderate progress in the “actual story”. That might not seem much, having played so much already, but I’m okay with that. I’m in no hurry for this game to end.
Gears of War 2
I enjoyed the first Gears. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was a fun game and didn’t take itself too seriously. The sequel (or as Nat calls it, expansion) takes what was fun in the first one and makes everything better and tighter. The core game hasn’t changed. Gears of War 2 lives up to its expectations.
Thing is, it’s almost too polished. Gears of War 2 is the video game equivalent of Pop Music. It is expertly produced, aimed directly at it’s core market (18-34 y/o males), glamorizes a particular lifestyle, and is narrowly focused. It doesn’t take a lot of risks. I guess it really doesn’t need to.
In the end, I’m enjoying quite a bit what I’ve played so far. most of my time has been spent playing the main story. Everything I’ve read about the multiplayer games has me really excited to dip into those waters. I gave Horde Mode (survival mode) a try with split-screen co-op, and this mode resonates strongly with me. I can see this be the beginning of a long relationship.
Let me be brief here. Here is a game where the level cap is 9,999. My main character is level 8. It is a strategy RPG (read: portable crack). It may or may not have a story. It has exploding penguins.
I will be playing this for a long time.
I grabbed this one on a whim, needing to justify ownership of my Wii. The idea is simple — there’s a stack of blox, knock them over with a ball. Simple. I figured the kids would dig on it pretty good. Turns out both kids really like the game. In fact, my little 3 year-old is quite the Boom Bloxer. Not sure if this is a keeper, but it will provide plenty of Wii gaming.
Phew. There’s quite a bit on my plate right now, with more to come.
You know who you are.
I’m so unbelievably weak.
If the store had only had the normal version of the game, I could have easily resisted. But of all of the collector’s editions this fall, this is probably the most substantial. And for what you get, the cost difference was worth it in my mind.
To make penance for my lack of willpower, I am going to leave it sealed and wrap it up in gaudy paper and leave it under my Christmas tree until December 25.
I know, I know. It seems like every other post is a new game to play. I swear I’m not buying another game (until Gears of War 2). I’ve got a ton of games to be played (I also bought the full version of Braid last night) so I just need to stop. But I can’t help myself.
If you’re like me, then you wouldn’t be very familiar with the Fallout series (other than recognizing that it was/is a series of good games). If that’s the case, check out Gametrailers’ The Fallout Retrospective to get the back story.