The game is an indubitable success. This is testified by positive reports from old fans of the series who had been used to the isometric view of Fallout and Fallout 2. Negative reports are just as numerous, yet some people are just never content with novelties and argue hotly against any digression from the established canon. It is virtually impossible to find flaws in the visual aspect of the game. We guess the developers have rendered authentically all the realities of the post-nuclear world as far as it was possible. The black humor and allusions to famous sci-fi writers such as Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick and to popular movies like The Matrix match the spirit of the first two installments of the Fallout series and make the game even more fun to play. The first-person view can be considered as both an advantage and a drawback (by the orthodox fans) but you can switch it into third-person view at any time. Ordinary shooting has a good alternative in the form of the turn-based mode V.A.T.S.
The ambitious project from Bethesda Softworks is not without flaws, of course. The most notable downside is the short and not very logical plot. However, the player is not forced just to follow the plot. The surroundings and ruins of the former Washington are vast and variegated (save for the uniform subway tunnels, perhaps) and you can spend hours investigating them, especially as there is a chance of getting original and interesting quests in some locations.
The low limit of the character’s development – 20 levels only – may be disappointing, too. As for the relative ease of leveling-up, the illogical behavior of the AI and your inability to kill children, these things may be corrected by Bethesda’s add-ons or by the gaming community who is going to get the official editor G.E.C.K. in this month.
The game is optimized well for graphics hardware and can run fast at a high level of detail even on mainstream graphics cards such as ATI Radeon HD 4830 or Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT. ATI’s solutions are mostly the better choice for playing it, yet Nvidia’s cards provide the same level of comfort as a rule.
Fallout 3 is technically a successor to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, so we are going to replace the latter with it in our future reviews of graphics cards.