User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 773 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 91 out of 773

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  1. Yggdrasil
    Nov 17, 2008
    6
    Tries to catch the spirit of the old Fallout-Games but is only partly successful. Graphics look nice, but character-animation and graphics are a little outdated (Oblivion-engine). Some graphical hick-ups and minor bugs (GOAT-test does not start under certain conditions, etc.). In my opinion the game is only "worth" around 70-75%, but not 100%.
  2. dlord
    Jan 26, 2009
    6
    too long, too many repetitive side missions and worst of all game kept freezing!!!! did enjoy playing but too many problems and life is too short for that!
  3. Apr 16, 2011
    7
    I bought the Game of the year addition with all of the five dlc created for it. It only cost me $20. Considering that this was game of the year back in 2007, it hasn't age very well. The graphics pretty dull for a Bethesda game that had put out Oblivion the year before this one. But like Oblivion, the npcs have no personality and you find yourself in a very lonely non-interactive worldI bought the Game of the year addition with all of the five dlc created for it. It only cost me $20. Considering that this was game of the year back in 2007, it hasn't age very well. The graphics pretty dull for a Bethesda game that had put out Oblivion the year before this one. But like Oblivion, the npcs have no personality and you find yourself in a very lonely non-interactive world doing people favors. Its not suppose to be a shooter game, although you can attempt to use your controller to take shots at enemies but you'll waste rounds and get killed very quickly. Instead you need to rely on something called V.A.T.S that is an automatic targeting system that allows you to create damage against your enemies. So in essence, it's Fallout 3's way of using the RPG standard of tactical combat effected by your level and skills, just like another game that came out that same year, Mass Effect. Unlike Mass Effect though, it doesn't have a story to make you want to keep coming back to play. The whole story is that your Dad has left the security of the vault without telling you why and you leave to go find him, or not. It's an open world, so if you wish to go and collect old ashtrays, books, and bottlecaps for trade and wander the Wasteland. I never knew the Post-Apocalyptic world could be soooooo boring. Expand
  4. AdamH
    Nov 5, 2008
    5
    As a big fan of the previous canon Fallout games, I was very excited about Fallout 3. I bought the game the first day and sold it the 2nd day. After thinking about it, I do honestly think it's what a modern Fallout game would translate to. That being said, I had major problems with the game. For one, there should be a more expedient way to create a character (after the first time). As a big fan of the previous canon Fallout games, I was very excited about Fallout 3. I bought the game the first day and sold it the 2nd day. After thinking about it, I do honestly think it's what a modern Fallout game would translate to. That being said, I had major problems with the game. For one, there should be a more expedient way to create a character (after the first time). Second, for as far as I got before returning it, the game's V.A.T.S. system is far too powerful. I played a peaceful speech based character on Very Hard. Never put a point into Small Guns, but the vast majority of my enemies went down in a spray of close range headshots from my starting pistol without touching me. A non-combatant character should not be able to take down an entire group of raiders - these people kill people for a living. Overall, the game will be a big favorite of some players, but a great disappoint to some. Expand
  5. adamm
    Aug 8, 2009
    5
    I was really , really REALLY looking forward to this , i spent months looking around for it cheap and just couldn't believe when i saw it for 13 quid !
    I even traded in Tomb raider underworld for 6 , taking off 6 quid for the game aswell ! Then the game loaded up , my heart swelled up , and i nearly vomited at the graphics , and the story lacked any form of dramatic oomph. It's
    I was really , really REALLY looking forward to this , i spent months looking around for it cheap and just couldn't believe when i saw it for 13 quid !
    I even traded in Tomb raider underworld for 6 , taking off 6 quid for the game aswell ! Then the game loaded up , my heart swelled up , and i nearly vomited at the graphics , and the story lacked any form of dramatic oomph. It's just so buggy , it could've been a 3 out of 10 if i played for more than 2 hours . I miss you now lara...
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  6. May 1, 2011
    6
    Generally decent with okay graphics. Quests and NPCs are dull and repetitive, making for some very boring moments. The weapons are good, but are very overpowered, even on the Very Hard difficulty setting. The enemies aren't very varied, so you will often encounter many of the same enemies. The voice acting is okay but is ruined by horrible lip syncing in nearly every character. The 360 andGenerally decent with okay graphics. Quests and NPCs are dull and repetitive, making for some very boring moments. The weapons are good, but are very overpowered, even on the Very Hard difficulty setting. The enemies aren't very varied, so you will often encounter many of the same enemies. The voice acting is okay but is ruined by horrible lip syncing in nearly every character. The 360 and PC versions run smoothly and look fine, but unfortunately the PS3 version pushes the console to its very limits and thus crashes often. The textures look washed out and the same goes for the graphics. Also very glitchy. All in all, a game that received more hype than it deserved. Expand
  7. Jun 5, 2011
    6
    A bit repetitive but overall fairly fun. Biggest complaint is that the enemies don't get harder the longer you play. Also, after you get to level 4 or so there's no need to search anything (lockers, desks, etc.) other than the enemies you kill.
  8. Mar 23, 2013
    6
    You can do a lot, but this is easily holds the most instances freezing up I've ever had on a PS3 game. The combat is pretty clumsy too. I applaud the scope and premise, but wish it played smoother.
  9. Sep 13, 2014
    6
    I am The Destroyer. I will break games, complain about the littlest detail, and tell you whether or not the game is worth buying. A lot of things to say, but can't due to the 5000 character limit. The review is based on the original Fallout 3 game for PS3, without DLC.

    1. Story In the beginning, you are growing up with your father in an underground bunker called a Vault, located in the
    I am The Destroyer. I will break games, complain about the littlest detail, and tell you whether or not the game is worth buying. A lot of things to say, but can't due to the 5000 character limit. The review is based on the original Fallout 3 game for PS3, without DLC.

    1. Story
    In the beginning, you are growing up with your father in an underground bunker called a Vault, located in the north-western parts of Washington D.C. As you grow up it gives you the various tutorials on how to play the game. Once it's done, **** hits the fan, and your father leaves the vault with no explanation. The story revolves around you, the Lone Wanderer, trying to find your father in the Capital Wasteland, a world that was desecrated by nuclear war. Now as you get further in, the story won't feel all that interesting compared to other video games you may have played, but by the end it will feel like it has a meaning.

    2. Voice Acting
    Unfortunately most of the voice acting isn't all that great. In fact, it unbalanced! Super Mutants sound constipated when talking. Civilian and town resident voice lacking enthusiasm in anything they do or say. Even the voice actors of the raiders and robo mechs have more believability than the characters you speak to during the main storyline. Guess that what happens when you have to roleplay 30 different characters in a single game: you get tired of it. Fortunately, it won't take you out of the Fallout moment.

    3. Graphics and Visuals
    Gameplay was put before the graphics this time. Even in HD it still has the looks of an original Xbox or PS2 game. While some areas are withstand-able to look at, other areas are downright ugly and can take you out of the Fallout 3 moment.

    4. Gameplay
    Gameplay refers to combat, customization & level up, and various areas you can explore within the game. Put it all together and it's deserves the highest rating possible!

    -Battle System-
    There are many different ways you can play the battle system in this game. You can play stealthy, snipe them, run in guns blazing, place frag mines down and have your foes run into them as they chase you, or just blow their guts out with the good-old fashion Missile Launcher. And these are just examples. You'll find other ways to play this game, each tactic feeling more satisfying as the other.

    -Customization-
    The customization looks pretty but the level up system is quite broken. Any perks that give you a skill point increase with no special ability is essentially worthless! And if you don't level yourself correctly, you can easily screw yourself in the worst possible fashion! A sour taste is left in your mouth at lvl 20 when you realize you should have picked this "perk" at level 5 or 10. You'll wind up having to do multiple playthroughs just to get the perfect stats that you desire, leaving you frustrated in between.

    -Exploration-
    Though the graphic aren't great to look at, the exploration was. It's an epic feeling to enter an abandoned building or subway to find what's inside. When traversing the overworld, you are in constant pressure of being attacked by various dangers of the wasteland! Areas that may feel bland & boring can change at a moments notice as some nasty creature spawns from nowhere and forces you to utilize your survival tactics. Any game that makes you feel that much suspense deserves phrase!

    5. Soundtrack
    The soundtrack is highly forgettable, including the radio stations! No disrespect to music legends such as The Ink Spots, Jack Shaindlin, and many others, or Bethesda for making the generic music, but none of these tracks fit in a shooting game. Fortunately it gives you the option to turn off the music all-together so it isn't that bad.

    6. Bugs & Glitches
    This is where the experience destroys you! They're everywhere! ... EVERYWHERE!!!! Bugs existing in every single quest. Bugs that still aren't fully listed on fallout.wikia.com . If it didn't trigger on your first playthrough, it will be waiting for you on another playthrough! Without spoilers, here are some game ruining bugs that can happen to you...

    - Friendly NPCs will randomly become hostile even though you didn't wrong them in anyway.
    - Big Town residents found dead inside their houses. (not outside)
    - NPCs missing dialogue, or won't talk upon interaction.
    - Game frequently crashing when traversing the Wasteland!!!
    - Quest characters disappearing from the game, making the quest impossible to finish.
    - Companions disappearing from the game, with no way to hire new ones.

    7. Personal Enjoyment
    Completely gone when the bugs start.

    8. Overall Verdict
    While the game has some amazing ideas, it flaws from massive bugs even after it's final patch. It's a shame for a masterpiece to become a disaster. For this reason alone I cannot give a recommendation to you consumers as to whether or not you should buy this game. The overall verdict is a 6 out of 10. With each bug experience being different, buying this game will be at your own risk.
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  10. Jocelynv
    Jan 4, 2009
    7
    The game lacks personality. there is nothing epic about this game.Longevity is its strong point..besides that theres much more that could have been done with this title..I have seen many areas only to find out the same generic props lying everywhere..the story is not bad. I enjoyed completing it in about 40 hours..I wont play again.
  11. SomeReviewer
    Jan 15, 2010
    5
    Fallout 3 in it's pure form is a game that is overall lacking and unpolished. The developers did a horrible job of making sure the game shipped without bugs and failed to provide the players with a ton of content like oblivion had. The only saving grace for this game is the fact that it has a large community of mod makers who make the game better than the original developers did. I Fallout 3 in it's pure form is a game that is overall lacking and unpolished. The developers did a horrible job of making sure the game shipped without bugs and failed to provide the players with a ton of content like oblivion had. The only saving grace for this game is the fact that it has a large community of mod makers who make the game better than the original developers did. I have tried my hardest to enjoy this game countless times but, I am always overwhelmed by the constant crashes and other errors. At this point, I've gone through around 4 characters that have been unable to pass through the game due to the various bugs that the game contains. The quest in the game lack variety and the enemies are easy once you have the right weapons, overall the game is dull and gets boring when you're a high level. I would defiantly pass this one up and get TES4 instead, unless you're getting this game for under ten dollars, leave it alone because, you don't want the headaches it brings. Expand
  12. StephenC.
    Jan 15, 2009
    7
    Pros: Huge arena Great detailing - fantastic scenario design Does RPG v. well Great HUD / inventory design cons: Bugs !! Characters / enemies clunky - unengaging Some key commands could be better thought-out Character interactions get a bit tedious.
  13. Nurak
    Jan 31, 2009
    5
    Generally, I did not see what the hype was about.
    I thought the game was annoying when you had to save it before doing anything that could get you killed.

    The third person view was terrible and out of sync with the ground in my views, and the only noteable thing I could say about the game is the VATS.
  14. LarryP
    Nov 10, 2008
    7
    While the game itself is great, and there's plenty to do, the fact that it ends after you complete the mainline is horrible for an enormous sandbox. It annoys me that I have to restore a game prior to the end to enjoy the rest of the content. And I also believe the mainline was way too short. Otherwise, fantastic game with great characters and memorable experiences.
  15. AbeL.
    Nov 2, 2008
    6
    The game is good, but it's full of bugs, many of them game breaking. For example, the GOAT froze on me the first 4 times I tried it (and it's happened to a lot of other people), which is absolutely inexcusable. In case you don't know, the GOAT is a test that determines your skills, and you need to pass it in the beginning to continue the game. It's disgusting that The game is good, but it's full of bugs, many of them game breaking. For example, the GOAT froze on me the first 4 times I tried it (and it's happened to a lot of other people), which is absolutely inexcusable. In case you don't know, the GOAT is a test that determines your skills, and you need to pass it in the beginning to continue the game. It's disgusting that Bethesda actually released the game with this bug (and others) in it. Do they even have bug testers? Expand
  16. AndrewG
    Jan 17, 2009
    7
    Fallout 3 has some awesome elements to it but is very overrated. The first 5-10 hours were really impressive and engrossing - the atmosphere, the side missions, the first skill advancements, etc. But, once you get to about the halfway point, the story really deteriorates and the level cap looms on the horizon. At the end of the game, your character will probably be ridiculously dominant - Fallout 3 has some awesome elements to it but is very overrated. The first 5-10 hours were really impressive and engrossing - the atmosphere, the side missions, the first skill advancements, etc. But, once you get to about the halfway point, the story really deteriorates and the level cap looms on the horizon. At the end of the game, your character will probably be ridiculously dominant - to the point where the ending seems like just a normal battle. There are also a number of bugs that I ran in to - game crashes, getting stuck in rocks, etc. Relatively minor, but it's especially annoying at the end when the game's a chore anyway. Expand
  17. Dec 1, 2013
    6
    I have followed these role-playing types of game a long time, but never got into any as I lacked the time and interest in the setting of the vast majority of them. Something about Fallout 3 grabbed me, so when the price finally hit an all-time low, I decided to pick it up off the bargain rack to see if this series was for me. Fallout 3 isn't a terrible game, but it's not an especially goodI have followed these role-playing types of game a long time, but never got into any as I lacked the time and interest in the setting of the vast majority of them. Something about Fallout 3 grabbed me, so when the price finally hit an all-time low, I decided to pick it up off the bargain rack to see if this series was for me. Fallout 3 isn't a terrible game, but it's not an especially good game either.
    I knew something was wrong just by the way it began. The graphics suck, especially by PS3 standards. This is a minor complaint as gameplay is most important, but there's no denying the characters look like they were carved/painted out of blocks of wood, or that the environments are bland and uninspiring. Another problem I have is the voice acting. Liam Neeson does a fantastic job as James, but other characters can be incredibly annoying, or worse, have little to no personality. Too often, it didn't feel like I was talking to real people. Instead, they felt like they were only there to make the task of completing the game's story more difficult for me. No one will help you from empathy, they always expect you to do some favor for them before they give you just enough information to keep going, but never quite enough to reach your goal. Even the seemingly kind Moira of Megaton does not offer so much as a stimpack before sending you to do research for her book in a wasteland where she knows everything imaginable wants you dead. This was a serious impediment to my progress, especially for someone playing for the first time.
    Gameplay falls short too though. Ignoring some minor bugs and glitches I experienced, the world is deceptively empty. It's huge and full of lots of detail, but has little worth doing in it. AI also sucks both for allies and enemies. Battles are more boring and AI more stupid than Call of Duty campaigns. Essentially, you stand out in the open and shoot someone 10 or more times to kill them before they can shoot you 10 or more times; not that it matters very much since you can heal mid-combat no problem. Use a stimpack, eat some food, even repair weapons and armor mid-combat, and you're back in the fight in no time. I don't think one guy should be able to kill 10 or more bandits like it's nothing, but it couldn't be easier here.
    The level system makes this process even more monotonous as later enemies are more resilient to gunfire for no reason. It really makes me wonder if any of the designers ever shot a real gun, because they don't seem to understand how powerful they are. It is here I must point out how overpowered the V.A.T.S. system is. Sure, getting a kill is satisfying the first few times, something interesting may even happen here or there, but it just takes what little strategy existed in gunfights and completely removes it. For these reasons, I didn't feel a sense of accomplishment when fights were over. I just felt grateful to still be alive and not have to redo the segment again. Perhaps this is an authentic representation of how one would feel in a real nuclear apocalypse, but it's not the kind I want to pay for.
    Quests are too confusing. I had to research tutorials and the Fallout Wiki more than once to solve some of them. There is nothing wrong with a game that challenges your mind, but when it becomes "You need to pick up the tapes in this order, then you need to talk to X person, then you need to go to X location," it is too much. Some parts are meant to be confusing, like how to get out of the Tranquility Lane simulation with good karma, but there you know the state of things, and you expect to do a bit of puzzle solving. Elsewhere, this makes no sense.
    Are there redeeming factors then? Well, yes. Otherwise I would not have talked about this game so long. The main story is very interesting, and the main characters are compelling. The sheer number of quests in the game can keep you busy for weeks if you insist on doing everything, and there is replay value in that you aren't going to see everything on one play through, from a single perspective. I had a lot of fun investigating the back story of this world too. There's the general information of course, a Great War brought a pervasive nuclear wasteland, but few people know much about what happened exactly. Scattered clues like Chinese equipment and bodies, the number of hideously mutated humans, and even some alien sightings raise even more questions. Uncovering the sinister ambitions of the prewar United States government, as well as its fascist remnants the Enclave, learning the story of how people were manipulated, and ultimately uncovering the truth of how humanity destroyed itself is intensely satisfying.
    I thought about scoring this a 4/10, but I have to admit the presentation of the game's setting won me over. However, no amount of professional storytelling can cover the fact that Fallout 3 is simply an incredibly mediocre game that doesn't deserve the acclaim it has received. 6/10.
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  18. Oct 9, 2013
    7
    This game is marvellous post-apocalyptic fun. However, its greatness is somewhat restrained by the insurmountable number of bugs, engine problems, and poor story choices...
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 57 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. Oct 27, 2010
    76
    Until you can play the game without unpredictable crashing and quirky issues surprising you it's going to be tough to find the maximum amount of fun I know this title can offer.
  2. 100
    This is the kind of hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often, and when it does, you'd be a fool not to play it and enjoy the hell out of it and look forward to the day (next-next-gen?) when the fidelity of open-world RPGs takes another big step closer to the uncanny valley's far side.
  3. 94
    It's rare that a game can hit the mark in so many different and often conflicting areas. Fallout 3 offers freedom without sacrificing a focused story. It delivers fantastic combat without forgoing a deep role-playing system. The characters you meet are engaging and oftentimes hilarious without feeling out of place in this harsh world.