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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2500 Ratings

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  1. Aug 6, 2012
    A 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. Expand
  2. Nov 17, 2011
    Fallout 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.
  3. Aug 15, 2011
    I purchased this game twice. When it first came out, the whole DLC hype hadn't started yet so I assumed I purchased a full game and finished it. I quite enjoyed my first play through, spent several hours per day playing it. Now that I bought the Game of the Year Edition on Steam to have all the content I missed out on before, I am revisiting the game and now wonder how I could have put up with such shoddy gameplay the first time around. The interface is simply horrible, quite obviously dumbed down for console players. The physics system causes items to fall through the floor and often make it hard for you to use grenades and other explosives because they do not always trigger the way they're meant to if they do not land properly. The inventory management system is horrible. You can't even use the mouse and it feels exactly like a 90's DOS application. This was intended but only to hide the fact that it was designed for console users. Another excruciatingly annoying feature is that you can only wield one weapon at the time. If you want to wield another weapon, you will first have to locate it in your inventory. For a game that expects you to use several weapons at once, they sure aren't making it easy. Not to mention the massive amount of loot that you will find in this game. You'll spend a lot of time trying to find a way to make it all fit in your inventory; you will find so much that you'll be wondering if perhaps the British rioters have had a go at the scenery before you went in. The AI in the game is absolutely pathetic; it gets stuck behind every conceivable object and the way they attack is unrealistic, reminiscent of Doom 1; they simply march straight forward while firing away, always scoring several cheap shots on you while you limp (You can only walk or run, not sprint.) to the nearest cover. If you're unlucky, you'll find out the hard way that car wreckage does not make for good cover; they tend to CATCH FIRE and DETONATE like nuclear bombs!
    The good parts of this game are few. I thought the story was interesting the first time I played it through but now that I play it again, I can't help but think just how childish the writing is; Vampires? A town full of children? A town full of teenagers? A town built around a nuclear bomb? Really? I just can't bring myself to care for any of these places. They characters in them have no personality whatsoever and you continuously run into the same voice actors, destroying immersion. Fallout 1 and 2 created a much better and believable atmosphere. The main plot is reminiscent of the previous titles and arguably the better part of the experience. Unfortunately, the ending suffers from dimwitted writing once more. Haven't gotten around to trying the DLC yet. Don't know if I'll get to that point, I am already fed up with walking for hours and hours running into the same boring piece of lifeless scenery again and again while shooting the same uninspired enemy that I managed to get stuck behind the same uninspired object over and over.
  4. Mar 13, 2013
    Oh, dear, oh, dear... I tried to love this game so hard... I'm just going to say sorry for the guys that love this game. You have the right to love it, it's fair, but it seems that you either got spoiled by modern game industry or didn't know the beauty of TRUE Fallout universe. Bethesda needs to understand, that not every game that it does needs to be done in the same manner. In the end Fallout started to look like The Elder Scrolls after a while. Please, do not misunderstand me, I love TES, but it's design is unique and suitable only for itself. Bethesda seems to think otherwise. Fallout 3 turned out to be more of a shooter, than an RPG. And when I say that, I mean: 90% shooter, 10% RPG. And in the end: it's certainly isn't the best of both world, but a bad example of adapting a series. The game may be enjoyable for new gamers, but for the old school type of gamers this will be a huge disappointment. I'm still in shock trying to figure out why it's score is better than Fallout 2's... Expand
  5. Jan 20, 2012
    As a game, Fallout 3 is mediocre at best. As a Fallout game, it falls flat on it's face. It seems as though Bethesda really couldn't grasp what the feel of Fallout was supposed to be.

    Most of the environments were uninteresting, the characters really had no depth, the main quest line was a joke, RPG elements were incredibly weak (You could easily "break" the game becoming too powerful),
    the animation is just awful, and the writing and voice acting is cringe-worthy.

    The game can be enjoyable at times, but for the most part it's not a great follow-up to Fallout 2 or 1.
  6. Nov 26, 2010
    When I heard that Bethesda(somebody, please! Help me about pronunciation) was going to make a new Fallout game, I felt tight little bit. Just because this is a company that makes games which are both massive, and at the same time superb boring. Take Oblivion for example: At first massiveness of the game embraces you thanks to all the details like story, music, etc... but all these stuff has only 3 or 4 hours lifetime. We have same thing for Fallout 3 here. Post Apocalyptic world with 3d graphics, some different quest, weapons bla bla.. but beyond all of these, this game has no soul. All characters in the game are so mechanic and dull. They speak as if if they were forth or fifth class actors. All the environmental is lack of persuasiveness. so on ans so forth. From that point, this game looks like a more fan-base 3d Fallout clone(and I would give 8 if it was) rather than spiritual incomer for original Fallout. Expand
  7. May 9, 2011
    This game loves to crash, interesting my fix is not running the game with quad-cores good start. But thats fixed and when you go past it? Well it starts well the atmosphere is good though I can't say I ever felt any engagement with the plot, but none the less the atmosphere is pretty dam good. BUT, that doesnt last once the wasteland starts to feel more familiar , it feel safe, you reach a point of financial comfort and then it's kind of over. The rpg/shooter gameplay is far from a stong point and simply doesnt carry the game when the feel fades. Had the game kept the player from feeling comfy and maintained the feel of the wastes no doubt I would be giving this 8+ despite its poor gameplay but sadly this isnt the case and the game just falls short of the mark. Expand
  8. Apr 16, 2011
    I don't get it. What's all the hype about this game? Same thing over and over and over- just in different parts of the map/world.

    Seriously overhyped. This is boring.
  9. Jun 29, 2011
    It wasn't a real Fallout game, nor was it an RPG.
    Everything imaginable was done wrong, Bethesda have proved that they can't make a real Fallout game.
    It was just dumbed down into a shooter with stats slapped on.
  10. Jan 17, 2012
    I purchased fallout 3 GOTY edition last summer (2011). After my initial (partial) playthru, i confess to being astounded that this particular game could b awarded GOTY for the yr it was issued, or, 4 any yr. Virtually everything about the game is steeped n mediocrity, including (but not limited to) graphics, plot, storyline, audio, continuity & interface. It's not that it's a bad game, but there's nothing i could find that's outstanding n any way. But thats not the reason i gave it a 2.

    It gets a 2 b/c this is simply the buggiest game i hv ever purchased. U will probably find the remainder of this paragraph difficult 2 believe, but i hv no hidden agenda n writing this. There r sections of the game where i had to restart the game every 10 seconds or so for over 10 times n a row to continue playing it. There were instances when i've attempted to start playing the game & it took between 5 & 10 attempts just to get it to load, so i could start playing it. Ultimately, of course, u should check w a variety of sources of input b4 making a final decision on whether to purchase this, or any, pc game, but 4 me, i've promised myself to NEVER pruchae any product from bethesda again, since i believe there's no way they weren't aware of the bugs, but decided to release the game that way anyway. Thats a str8 punch n the face of the consumer & i feel they shld b punished. U've been warned.
  11. Mar 5, 2011
    The people in charge of handing out Game Of The Year awards should be ashamed of themselves for giving this bug ridden game the award. Bethesda show complete lack of care for their customers by churning out such a blatantly unfinished product. The gameplay is also repetative to the point of being boring. There are some saving graces but whats the point when the coding is this bad.
  12. Sep 19, 2012
    I cant remember playing a more tedious and broken game. the interactions with enemies is neither FPS like nor RPG like and the game runs terribly slow for something that has ancient graphics.
  13. Jul 17, 2011
    As a stand alone its a great game, just by being plain fun to play. Boring main quest and, unkillable children (dont put them there if i cant shoot them in the face) and other idiotic flaws like that drags it down but overall its a good game.

    As a sequel it fails miserably, at least according to my personal definition of what a sequel is.
    This is a first person real time action/rpg with
    pause bullet time. (NO GROIN SHOTS WTF)
    It fails to capture the spirit of its predecessor, not saying Fallout 2 is a better game, but fallout 3 is a horrible sequel.
  14. Nov 17, 2011
    for what was a very creative and fun game series, fallout NV and 3 set an all time low. Sure, fallout 3 and NV pulled the series to 3d and open, and i admit it was kind of fun, but that fun was ruined by the major bugs, freezes, glitches and crashes i experienced on my copy. it happened on my PC,ps3 and 360 copies so its not my system. This is a very crap game that does not deserve a sequel. If 4 gets made, it must not be developed by obsidian and not use that crap gamebryo engine. I cant even tell you how bad the DLC makes it. Its unplayable after 3 hours gameplay. its like it purposly freezes to tick you off! Expand
  15. Feb 7, 2014
    This game is **** Starting since player born till the player death at the end it looks like The Elder Scrolls Spin-off. The storyline is boring, game has some quests but they are crappy. When you want to buy the REAL FALLOUT you must buy Fallout: New-Vegas.
  16. Aug 26, 2011
    This might not be completely fair as i never finished the game but the game just did not resonate with me. The story was decent but not as entertaining as i wanted, i found the gameplay to be incredibly boring for the first two hours and once you finally escape the vault, the wastelands are depressing and unappealing. The graphics were good but because of the setting it just felt too heavily textured and bland. The guns were okay but i didnt progress far enough to discover anything all that interesting. On top of that the game felt confusing with too many things going on at once. In the end i just found the game to be unattractive and boring. Expand
  17. Sep 9, 2012
    When Bethesda announced new Fallout game i was really excited. In the end fallout 3 was one of the biggest disappointments. Game play is inferior to both Oblivion and original fallout. The main story line is short and boring. I expected much more from Bethesda.
  18. Jul 29, 2013
    Trash and disgrace to the name. It's a mediocre shooter game, except that you will miss even if your cursor is exactly on the target since your skill with guns isn't high enough. Nice graphics, sure, but the gameplay is way out of anything related to Fallout. I didn't play it past the starting location and I am sure there is nothing more to see in this game. The developers are just another league compared to the creators of the original Fallout 1 and 2 games. If you want to make a shooter game, name it different, why take "Fallout" and anger the fans? Expand
  19. Jul 18, 2013
    If you like to consume fresh feces then you will like to play this game, however if you don't like eating fresh feces then don't play this game. Daniel Nem Singh does not approve of this game.
  20. Sep 10, 2010
    This game sucks ass. If it weren't for the awesome user made mods I never would have bought the game. In no way is it anywhere near as great as the originals. **** writing, **** storytelling, **** graphics, **** fps integration. Just a horrible, horrible game.
  21. Sep 23, 2010
    A great game attempted to get through, but was crushed under the heaping pile of excrement that is the Gamebryo engine. It adds an element of suspense though, should I save now or walk a few minutes more and risk it crashing to desktop for no reason at all? The same problems that plagued Elder Scrolls Oblivion came back in spades, to the point where attempting some of the expansion packs makes the game completely unplayable. I love the Fallout series and have played them all, but I really wish they'd hand the series over to someone more capable. Expand
  22. Jul 14, 2011
    A boring, glitchy and mindless mess. If you want a good RPG forget this and go play Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, made by a company that actually knows what it's doing.
  23. Jul 15, 2011
    I don't even know where to start... Fallout 3 is most certainly an amusing game - when it works. Yes, when, not if. This game is moody like a pregnant woman, no two seemingly identical situations actually turn out exactly alike. And unfortunately, thats mostly not because of the - admittedly - inventive ways to solve quests, but rather the result of a failing script. So let's start with the positives and then work our way up.

    - Atmosphere: The game has that. You step out into a vast, devastated wasteland, inhabited by mostly hostile creatures after your hide. The world is enormous, it takes weeks to see all the places, never mind solving the problems you are confronted with.

    - Variation: As said above, every little job has a good handful of solutions. Want the super powerful armor out of that deep pre-war bunker? Perhaps hacking through the security systems will do? No? Then perhaps you could pick the locks and trust in your weapons for the hostile robots and turrets in your way. Of course, if you are good enough, why not sneak past them? Or, of you are the Highway-man type, why not just tell someone else where to find what you seek and wait with your gun at your side once they fought through hordes of robots, turrets and traps so you won't have to?

    - Humor: Admittedly, not everyones cup of tea, but Fallout has and always had a pretty... unique type of humor. Fallout 3 dropped the ball a little compared to its predecessors, but it still does a fine job confronting you with dozens of scenarios that leave you standing there scratching your head.

    - Compelling Story: Yup, it has that. Definitely. Long, interesting and with a lot of twists and a very interesting ending - which I loved. Just that much: The solution stares you in the face since you learned to walk and yet it takes a couple of minutes to think of it. Brilliant!

    That leads us to the bad parts. I will not list them all. I will simply list the most glaring of them. - Bugs: Yes. Loads and loads and loads of them. Some are critical, some are not. The fact is, this game is the worst bit of software I have ever had the misfortune to lay my hands on. I bought the game twice - once at release and then a few years later via steam. Neither version could be compelled to work as intended, if at all. Most of the time, you sit there wandering how the heck you go around that particular bug again. Not fun. At all.

    - No customer support: Bethesda has kept themselves rather... covered concerning their shoddy piece of junk. No solutions are forthcoming unless you brave the community-forums - which are admittedly very open and helpful.

    - Combat: Not half as much fun as it is supposed to be... for a shooter, the aiming is to imprecise and the damage simply too low to be fun. For a tactic-shooter, the mobs are too stupid. Hide behind a corner with your trusty Combat-Shotgun and nothing will ever be able to stop you. So yeah, nice idea, bad execution. Try again, please!

    In conclusion: This game could be great, but it simply isn't because it isn't working. Don't do this to yourself until Bethesda fixed what they should have done right in the first place. Amusingly enough, a quote from the game itself: "It is easier to do things right than later explain why that hasn't been done." [I am unfortunately german, thus have the german version which is even worse due to horrid synchro. So the quote MAY be diffrent in english, I wouldn't know. The meaning is the same.]
  24. Dec 30, 2011
    Were I writing a review for the Xbox version, it would be a 10. This game simply doesn't work on many computers (with no solution from Bethesda or anyone on the internet) which blow the system requirements out of the water such as mine. I could say that this game was my favourite game ever, except that on the PC I can't play it.
  25. Mar 28, 2012
    One of the worst games I've ever played. This game is terrible. There are much better games than this. The critics provided good reviews for this game and I don't know why. The game is terrible.â
  26. Apr 11, 2013
    The worst Fallout game and one of the worst games I have ever played.

    If you want a Fallout game with a first person view that actually feels like a Fallout game, then get Fallout: New Vegas, it is a great game!

    Avoid this huge pile of crap at all costs. You have been warned.
  27. Dec 22, 2012
    I have read about the constant crashing of this game but I thought that since they released a GOTY version it would probably have already been fixed. WRONG!. The game crashes every minute (literally) even if I have followed the steps to fix it that were posted in most forums. Is is completely shameful that such an unstable game is out in the market YEARS after its release with no fix. It only cost me 2.5 euros in GamersGate but I am still really angry that I have spent hours trying to fix it to no avail.

    Shame on you Bethesda
  28. Oct 22, 2013
    The developers of this game refuse to do any kind of work to support the game with Windows 7 or higher. So, as soon as you upgrade your rig you can kiss this game goodbye.
  29. Oct 30, 2013
    The worst first-person Fallout game you could imagine! Small game map, oblivion-like instances, bad skill balance, horrible graphics (even old Fallout isometric graphics looks better), combats are extremely boring, VATS is nothing here while you have a high skilled character after 13 of game and a 99% headshot chance...
  30. Jan 13, 2014
    for making me believe that this is gonna be a new fallout, well it makes me sad and shows, where the priority lies for bethesda. certainly not games.
    funny though, its not so bad a game on its own, and ironically the best use of their oblivion-engine(less melee). its in that tradition, so if you think skyrim and oblivion have good writing, interesting sidequests and npcs, go ahead, this
    is what you want!

    its not what i like or want.
  31. Aug 18, 2014
    Real time combat in this game is not existing I cant find way to play it as FPP game for example Half Life. Ok I understand there may be boss as deathclaw but in Fallout2 I was able to kill one by machine gun survive where here am climb on rock and do some else dirty trick to jam monster on obstacle which looks so stupid cheating but I just cand do it normally am shoot monster in head from sniper riffle at large distance and he is able to run from there and even don't care am machine gun his eye. The same boss problems have on island DLC Where am actually lost every items from ufo DLC am take all trat super treasures to locker in my house, then I go for trip to island and when am return all that items was gone. So what am actually have interesting? My best gun is AK47 again? Am really feel like stuck to some simple weapon and cant understand it break with every shoot am made. This should be in (un)realistic mode because am found this annoying in normal game. I just cant play this any longer when my battles looks like jam monster on obstacle and watch animations as bullet come out from riffle and slowly travel to monster head.. everytime.. eve-ry sin-gle ti-me this is not postnuclear FPP as I thought it to be, this game have something broken and am found it to be unplayable or frustrating & boring. Well what you may expect from Elder Scrolls, these games are.. as they are everybody known. Definitely this is not true Fallout 3 its just postnuclear mod to Oblivion. It is well done mod but not Fallout 3 game I dont see any reason to do it in 3D, it could be done on Infinity Engine, for example modification to Baldurs Gate 2. I could see that working, but Oblivion? Noo not really.. My score is low because I dont enjoy it anymore, I cant complete this game which is crazy. If this was real F3 then am already would complete it 10x am pretty sure of that, but I don't completed it even once which mean this is not F3 it is fake game, modification to completely other game.This is like unplayable mod to Oblivion nothing more in my opinion. Actually if this was mod am would score it high as about 8/10 but this is not game, this not working because it obviously cant. Its like modify car into washing machine by rolling it from hill, this just don't work whatsoever and whole idea is ridiculous... turn Oblivion into Fallout 3 ? LOL Why somebody ever tried that? Ok am actually interest to see Fallout 4 on Skyrim.. but hey.. isnt Skyrim is actually modified Fallout 3.. huh? Weird or what? So we already seen Fallout 4 on Skyrim engine.. it is Fallout New Vegas! OMG that is so ridiculous. Look, they improved Oblivion to make F3, then they improved F3 to make Skyrim and New Vegas this is the same engine rolling. Expand
  32. May 13, 2014
    When I've had Vista on my computer, I played this game, but it was so boring I wasn't able to finish it. It's some sort of pseudo-open world, it's repetitive, every location looks the same. Now I decided to play it again, but NOW I have Windows 7 on my computer and guess what? This piece of flip is crashing because of 2 two things - Windows 7 and Windows live. Windows live is lame as flip and not workin', and Windows 7? This game has compatibility of hamster. 10 year old games are perfectly playable even now on modern systems, but game made in times of Windows Vista has issues on Windows 7! So, basically, this (s)flip is crashing, playing it is a pure deprival. I destroyed my DVD and buried that crap in a sewer. Expand
  33. Feb 28, 2014
    This is definitely a game where the user reviews reflect the quality far better than the critic reviews. As an FPS the game is slow and clunky, the weapons lack iron sights, and the enemies are hp sponges.(Human enemies can survive point blank headshots.) Vats is what you'll be using, a boring slow mo action sequence that's buggy and unreliable. As an RPG there is decent c&c, but character building is uninspired and many of the perks and stats have little to no effect on how you play the game.

    It's bug riddled, even with the patches, the ending is shoddy, and it isn't much better with DLC. All in all fairly mediocre, it does have scale on it's side, it's one of the larger games I've played, and the atmosphere is rather nice, otherwise don't bother with this game, it certainly doesn't stand the test of time, and likely only garnered universal acclaim because of it's sheer scale at the time of it's release.
  34. Oct 14, 2014
    I do not consider this a Fallout game. This is a fan mod created in Oblivion engine with horrible game designers behind it. The dialogues have been improved in comparison to Oblivion, but they come nowhere close the brilliant writing of the original games. Let me just give you one example of Bethesda's writing quality. When you describe your father to people you describe him as a "middle aged man". I am not kidding. That is the description you give to people, as if your dad is the only middle aged man in the world. *facepalm*

    Combat is horrendous. When the camera is not flying around and taking you out of character, you are shooting people in the torso with fluffy teddy bear toys while enemy's head and hands are falling off as if they were glued together. Now to be honest, original fallout games had decapitations too, but animations were much better there and they weren't so jarringly off (and usually they occurred very rarely). What is the worst about the combat is however the whole mechanic which revolves around you running up to the enemy, shooting 173 bullets in his head, then running away while the VATS system recharges, and then repeating this boring process until the enemy is finally dead.

    The music does not resemble original Fallout games at all and does not fit the post apocalyptic world at all.

    The stupid GPS compass which hand holds you to your goal is back from Oblivion and this removes any sense of achievement or exploration. So, its Oblivion all over again with better dialogues and some choices and consequences this time.

Universal acclaim - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Minor niggles aside, Fallout 3 is almost entirely spectacular. Everything from the graphics, to the sound, to the plot is first-rate. The VATS system worlds like a charm, and it’s so easy to get the hang of, you’ll be cracking skulls like there’s no tomorrow. [Dec 2008, p.55]
  2. A vast and open world of unimaginable possibilities opens in front of you in Fallout 3. Great story, flawless combat system, and the option to choose your own way makes it a hot candidate for game of the year. [Nov 2008]
  3. Fallout 3 is one of this year's best games. It's an unforgettable journey that lives up to the series. You are an ex-vault 101 inhabitant, and you discover a whole new world, full of zombies, mutants, raiders, aliens and all kinds of creatures. Welcome to this post-apocaliptic reality, where you are going to spend hundreds of hours.