Fallout 3 PC

Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
Buy On
  1. The main quest is pretty short and unimpressive, but this was never the “backbone” of a Fallout game. I’d estimate that an uninterrupted run through the main story could take around 3-4 hours, while not being particularly juicy.
  2. Fallout 3 is just mediocre. It’s bogged down by too many problems, engine issues, and poor writing to really wrestle its way into classic status.
  3. Edge Magazine
    70
    It’s a game that rewards the long-haul with deep, inventive missions which eschew the usual fetch and kill structure, ensuring that the many hours spent in Fallout 3’s wasteland aren’t wasted. [Christmas 2008, p.88]
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 3491 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 95 out of 640
  1. Aug 6, 2012
    4
    A horrible, flawed title with bugs, a poor storyline and little roleplaying options - an undeserving attempt at one of the greatest RPGs ofA horrible, flawed title with bugs, a poor storyline and little roleplaying options - an undeserving attempt at one of the greatest RPGs of all time - Fallout. You manage to defeat Vault security despite being a Level 1 wimp, then proceed to destroy supermutants and the Enclave with no particular hardship. On your journey, you meet boring, shallow and two-dimensional characters with poor voice acting who give you just as boring and shallow quests. The UI can be a chore to use. The game has countless bugs and the animations do *not* resemble human beings. That's not to say, it contradicts the already established Fallout lore. It can be a fun game, but only for a little while. Full Review »
  2. Nov 17, 2011
    2
    Fallout 3 is bland, lengthy, tedious, and repetitive. I often hear people say they like it because the world is so big. Honestly though, whoFallout 3 is bland, lengthy, tedious, and repetitive. I often hear people say they like it because the world is so big. Honestly though, who cares if the world is "big"? It really is all just the same burning rubble copy-pasted all over a big map, so there isn't really a whole lot to explore because very little of it is new and you also can't interact with much of it anyway. The only things that break the repetition and boredom are the cities, but there aren't that many, and they are very few and far between in a HUGE wasteland. The world is definitely "big," but there also isn't much to do in it or interact with.

    The developer didn't provide any vehicles, so while "exploring," you get to have fun walking...everywhere... at a painfully slow pace. Imagine GTA, but without cars, with a lot of burning buildings that you can't really interact with the vast majority of the time, very few people, and it's populated by the same 5 kinds of bad guys all across 90% of the map. Despite the terrific art-style and interesting setting, the game does a terrible job of storytelling, and what little story-content there is is spread out throughout approximately 60 hours of mind-numbingly repetitive combat and "exploration." Soon, you realize that you are fighting the same bad-guys over and over, that the houses and assorted bits of rubble and trash you see lying all over the world all look more or less the same, and the whole experience is downhill from there.

    Repetitive combat + copy-pasted rubble + no significant story = boring waste of time.

    Don't buy into the hype about the game being "open-world." Open world games aren't that great when everything you come across in the game looks bland, lifeless, and identical to 80% or more of everything else you've already come across in the game.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 15, 2010
    6
    I don't know how so many people reviewed this so highly. Fallout 3, as a game, is directionless and vague in all it does, poorly structuredI don't know how so many people reviewed this so highly. Fallout 3, as a game, is directionless and vague in all it does, poorly structured (you can skip out half the story if you're not careful), caters for gaming idiots and worst of all is anything but true to the Fallout name.

    Ok so I shall start with the positives, it's a good looking game as long as you remain in first person, apparently no one in Bethesda has ever seen a real person walking as evidenced by switching to third person. There are some truly great scripted moments that are only really effective because of the level of the graphics, anyone who's played it should know what moments I'm talking about. Moving onto the world itself, it is big and there are a lot of places to go and visit, a lot of people to meet and a lot of items to collect (if you're a hoarder like me). The ambient sound is ok in most places and good in a few, it never gets annoying so I can't really fault it. Weapons sound as they should or probably should, the music sort of sets the scene but is relatively forgettable. That just about wraps up the good things.

    Ok so first of all this game suffers from all the faults Oblivion had and some. "Dungeons" or "Vaults" as Bethesda would have you believe all have that same rehashed feeling they had in Oblivion, as do buildings. As I already mentioned, third person character movement is appalling, though this is not too much of a problem as most people, as I did, for a bulk of the game will be playing in first person. You would have thought with the budget they had and the time they had they could at least get that right however. The other thing is that it can't be played as you would play a first person shooter, you can aim your cross hair over an enemy all you want but that doesn't make it any more likely you will hit; whilst this is true to the Fallout series it doesn't translate in their first person iteration of it, except for when enemies are firing at you; they don't seem to be bound by the same constraints. Neither does VATS for that matter, in the original if you specifically targeted and hit an enemy's body part it would have a noticeable affect on that enemy's ability to fight, in Fallout 3 it doesn't seem to make a blind bit of difference, for example, blinding an enemy would make it near impossible for them to attack you. As for the storyline, what there isn't of it that is, now I know that there is much more to a game in terms of its immersive-ness than the main storyline but it does have to provided direction and motivation to finish the game. The main storyline can be completed in five hours or less if you're skipping parts of it and is not once engaging or driving enough to want to continue. Not good by any standard. It doesn't help that the story is told by an incredibly lacklustre group of NPCs. In fact nearly every character in this game has a personality roughly equal to a shade of beige. They are an incredibly boring group and there is little diversity to them, in fact you will come across many with an overwhelming sense of familiarity, even though you may not have met them yet. Also the game is incredibly buggy, even after numerous patches.

    That covers all of the issues I see with it except for, what is for me, the biggest one of them all. Now then, if you're going to take up already established IP and expand on that you have to pay attention to what that originally stood for. Now I know Fallout has diverged in the past from it's roots but never has it strayed this far. The first two of the Fallout series had some intelligent and very witty writing, a varied, interesting and soulful group of NPCs and hugely interesting world full of sleaze and humour. This variation on the Fallout theme has stripped out all of this, there is never a funny moment, the writing is appalling, NPCs are bland and the sleaze has completely gone. No more can you take a job as a porn star or engage with the post-apocalyptic mob or score drugs from a shady character to fuel your addiction. This strips most of the realism and life out of the world and the fact of the matter is that by comparison to most of the rest of the series Fallout 3 has no soul, it's been stripped out in an attempt to bring it to all out commercial success (yes I know this sounds whiny and unrealistic as these companies are there to make money, but do that with their own IP not just off the back of a recognised and fondly loved and remembered franchise).

    Anyway in conclusion Fallout 3 is, as a game, a mildly above average game. However, as an addition to the Fallout series it is an incredibly poor and disappointing addition so far removed from what Fallout was that it is barely recognisable any more. I just hope that with some of the original Fallout team working on New Vegas they can get that amazingly lively, funny world that Fallout used to be back.
    Full Review »