7. Moral decisions actually carry weight and relevance
In Oblivion, your moral "choices" largely amounted to "do this task and get a reward" or "ignore this task and get nothing." While you could wander off and follow completely different plotlines for as long as you wanted, ultimately you didn't have any real effect on the game's plot - you just chose how you wanted to follow it.
Above: Walk away. There's been too much violence. Just walk away
Fallout 3, meanwhile, will enable you to approach major events in different ways, and the choices you make will determine how they play out. In the early parts of the game, for example, a creepy guy named Burke will ask you to destroy the struggling little town of Megaton by detonating a dormant atomic bomb at its heart. You can do as he asks, report him to the authorities or try to kill him yourself. For that matter, you can kill just about anybody, depending on how much of a bastard you want to be. (Child-killing won't be a possibility, however, which probably comes as sad news for any longtime Fallout fans out there.) Just be prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions - life in the wasteland is harsh, and retribution is harsher.
8. Better drugs
While Oblivion's Skooma and booze would just addle you while exerting mild effects over your stats, Fallout 3's candy-colored array of drugs will play a major role in wasteland survival. Think of them as being like Oblivion's confusing array of potions, only with clearer effects and no need to mix them yourself.
Above: Enjoy those Stimpacks while they last - you'll have to rely on morphine soon enough
Ranging from painkillers to performance boosters, drugs can give you an edge incombat, temporarily increase your skills or just get you really high. Regardlessf their effects, though, approach them with care; if you use them too much, you'll become addicted, and a resource-starved nuclear hellhole is no place to develop a substance dependency.
9. Better dogs
This is the dog that follows you around in Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion:
And this is the dog that follows you around in Fallout 3:
(In case you're confused, being followed around by a dog that isn't dead is usually better, especially if you ever plan on sleeping. Also, the dog on the bottom will watch your back and scavenge items for you, while the dog on the top isn't good for much aside from creeping you the hell out.)
10. Nuclear catapults
In Oblivion, your projectile weapons were limited to simple bows and arrows of varying destructive capabilities. Oh, and magic spells, if you chose to become some kind of fruity wizard or whatever. Fallout 3, by contrast, gives you access to a broad variety of firearms, and the most impressive one we've seen is a handheld nuclear slingshot called the "Fat Man." Load up this baby, and you'll be able to launch tiny tactical nukes against your opponents, which produce huge explosions that you really don't want to stand too close to.
So, yeah: primitive bows and arrows versus shoulder-mounted atomic frigging catapults. We'd say Fallout 3 is the clear winner here.
HOLY SHIT YOU CAN WEAR HATS INSTEAD OF JUST HELMETS NOW.
Jul 15, 2008