Fallout 3 – hands-on

There was still the matter of the missing son; while The Family claimed he was there voluntarily, they wouldn’t allow me to interrupt the boy’s meditation. Rather than attempt to hack the password to the computer locking the door to his room, I decided to take a more suave approach: speaking to a female member of The Family, I used a Ladykiller dialogue option to persuade her to share the password. I knew that perk would pay off! I gained access to the room and spoke with the boy, who admitted that he’d sought out The Family to join their community of social outcasts. I showed him the letter from his sister, which convinced him to go back home.

I returned to Arafu to deliver the good news. With the quest completed, the people of Arafu had outlived their usefulness to me… so I killed everyone in town for no other reason than that I was tired of playing Mr. Nice Guy. That sure didn’t help my Karma rating any, but it did prove that, true to the spirit of Fallout 1 and 2, no one is safe from a player who decides to go on a psychotic rampage. So, it was off to my final quest: scouting the Super Duper Mart. The Costco-like store was crawling with raiders, but I’d lucked into a Stealth Boy device that rendered me nearly invisible for two minutes - plenty of time to drop live grenades in the pockets of a few raiders. Their “ants in the pants” dances, abruptly ended by detonation, were hilarious! I also got to try out a fancy laser pistol, but since I’d put all my skill into small guns, my effectiveness with an energy weapon was reduced to “light show.”

As I looted the blasted-apart remains of the raiders in the store, I found a note from my old pal Mr. Burke - it seems he wants me dead for my actions in Megaton. I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of him, but I’ll have to wait until the fall, since Bethesda assures me that the time I spent in Fallout 3 is the most anyone outside of the company will get to play until the game’s release. Did this taste live up to expectations? Absolutely - in fact, I’d say Bethesda has outdone itself with the implementation of VATS, which makes the game more tactical and visually amazing. Perhaps even more importantly, the team nailed the look and feel of Fallout, and despite the dramatic shift in gameplay from the original - that was what truly captivated players a decade ago.

Jul 14, 2008