The developers tried to preserve the character attributes system from the first two games, yet the mechanism of acquiring perks has changed significantly. It used to be a rare occasion, but now you can get a perk for each new level, which gives a cause for some criticism that leveling-up is too easy. Although the character growth is limited to 20 levels, creating a universal specialist is not a problem especially as the Intense Training perk, which increases one of the basic S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes by 1, can be acquired each level.
The actual game begins when your character is 19. It turns out that Vault 101 is not an impregnable fortress forever shut from the outside world because the father of the hero disappears. The Vault’s Overseer is worried at the possibility of breaking the legend of its invulnerability and vents his anger on the hero, ordering his arrest. The hero must escape. Depending on your previous actions, you can be helped by other characters, including the daughter of the Overseer.
And so, the protagonist finds himself on the hill, a wooden door of the cozy Vault behind his back, a 10mm gun in his hand, and the Wasteland before his eyes – all that is left from Washington and its surroundings.
As we noted above, Fallout 3 has in fact transformed into a full-featured 3D shooter with first- or third-person view depending on the gamer’s choice. It means you can fight in real time just as in ordinary FPS or TPS games. However, this is not the optimal mode for saving your ammunition because the shooting accuracy, although depends on the appropriate skill, is not high. Here you can use the V.A.T.S. mode (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). Activated by the V button by default, this mode makes everything on the screen freeze and you can fight in a turn-based manner. You amount of Action Points is shown in the bottom right of the screen and you can spend them to shoot accurately at the various parts of the enemy’s body. You can shoot at multiple enemies, choosing your aim with the A and D buttons.
When you’ve chosen your aims and confirmed the attack, you see a scene of shooting in slow motion, but the restoration of the action points, the deflection from the return fire, and the search for a shelter are all done in real time, so the combat system of Fallout 3 is not entirely turned-based.
The slow motion is its main disadvantage, actually. It is a pleasure to watch the intestines of your enemies fly around, but watching similar scenes again and again becomes boring when there are too many enemies to deal with.
Talking about drawbacks, the game A.I. doesn’t always behave logically. There are a few good things, too. For example, there is an original way of killing your enemies by placing mines and grenades into their pockets using the stealing skill.
Or you can create unique weapons out of the junk and parts you find in the Wasteland. For example, you can put together an old gas tank, a handbrake, a blade from a lawn-mower, and a pilot lamp to create an excellent close-combat weapon Shishkebab that allows not only to stick the enemy through but also fry him in the process.
We could talk about the game long as it is huge and provocative, but this review is in no way a guide to playing Fallout 3. We’ve had long preliminaries, so let’s get to the point: we will now benchmark modern graphics cards in Fallout 3.