Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 57 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 706 Ratings

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  • Summary: Vault-Tec engineers have worked around the clock on an interactive reproduction of Wasteland life for you to enjoy from the comfort of your own vault. Included is an expansive world, unique combat, shockingly realistic visuals, tons of player choice, and an incredible cast of dynamic characters. Every minute is a fight for survival against the terrors of the outside world – radiation, Super Mutants, and hostile mutated creatures. From Vault-Tec, America's First Choice in Post Nuclear Simulation. Vault 101 - Jewel of the Wastes. For 200 years, Vault 101 has faithfully served the surviving residents of Washington DC and its environs, now known as the Capital Wasteland. Though the global atomic war of 2077 left the US all but destroyed, the residents of Vault 101 enjoy a life free from the constant stress of the outside world. Giant Insects, Raiders, Slavers, and yes, even Super Mutants are all no match for superior Vault-Tec engineering. Yet one fateful morning, you awake to find that your father has defied the Overseer and left the comfort and security afforded by Vault 101 for reasons unknown. Leaving the only home you've ever known, you emerge from the Vault into the harsh Wasteland sun to search for your father, and the truth. [Bethesda Softworks] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. 100
    After this game-experience negative points are hard to find. Sure, the radio program is not mind-blowing and the third-person-view is suboptimal. But this doesn't matter, as Fallout 3 is wonderful and even a class better than Bethesda's last title - Oblivion.
  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. Fallout 3 is a game that hits all the right notes and excels in being a role-playing game that wishes to challenge the genre to bring something bigger and better.
  4. And that's the draw of the game: interacting with a living, breathing world that centers on you as the star. [Holiday 2008, p.60]
  5. A flawed masterpice for the ages. [Summer 2009, p.76]
  6. Kids, Fallout 3 is Oblivion with guns hands down. Again, that's not a bad thing, but it feels like Bethesda missed an opportunity here by playing things safe and that's fine.
  7. Yet the final product has been injured by this ambition, by having too many options and locations, the quality is spread thin and the lack of restrictions can daze some players.

See all 57 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 160
  1. Oct 14, 2012
    10
    Utterly amazing. Long hours of game-play, amazing story line, many side quests, large map, and amazing DLC. This is my favorite game, my previous being Fallout: New Vegas. Expand
  2. RyanBrighton
    Jan 26, 2009
    10
    The best game i've played in years
  3. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    Fallout 3 is the greatest game Bethesda, or any other developer, ever made. Bethesda completely succeded in turning a great turn-based game series into an amazing RPG/FPS. Expand
  4. TylerC.
    Oct 28, 2008
    9
    I pre-ordered this at gamestop and I can't wait to go pick it up and play this all night tonight! This gmae looks amazing and the fact that it's a RPG and a shooter, makes it even better. I also am getting LBP, so I will have plenty to do within the week. Expand
  5. Sep 1, 2010
    9
    The most stunning thing about Fallout 3 is not the size of the gameworld but the amout of stuff thats been packed into it and the attention to detail. I remember having played the game for close to a year and i was still discovering surprises and twists. No other game comes close to not only giving you the freedom to go where you want and do what you want but also a sense that you just have to search every nook and cranny to see what you can find. Fallout 3 is more an experience then a game. Expand
  6. Sammy
    Feb 4, 2009
    8
    Fallout 3 is most definitely a terrific game, yet its far from perfect. The world Bethesda created is truly amazing. The Wasteland is huge and is definitely rewarding to explore. The story is intriguing and well written, and the amount of voice acting in the game is incredible. The biggest enhancement to gameplay comes from the VATS system. It offers a refreshing change of pace and never gets old. However, the game suffers from many of the same problems as its predecessor, Oblivion. While the environment is highly detailed, the graphics in the game are somewhat of a letdown. There are low resolution textures, character models are mediocre at best, and the animations are surprisingly horrid. The character animations are so stiff and awkward that they become a distraction in key story moments. Unlike other players of the PS3 version, I did not experience many bugs at all with the most recent patch. The framerate and draw distance can falter at times, but it's nothing deal breaking. Gameplay is generally varied and well-paced, yet objectives are often unclear and fighting super mutants does get old after a while. Also worth noting is the excruciatingly slow walking speed of the character. Oblivion had a horse to make up for this, but in Fallout the player has no choice but to take it nice and slow. Overall, Bethesda depicts a clear and disturbing vision, although it is often clouded by a storm of minor faults. Expand
  7. SHODAN
    Nov 5, 2008
    0
    In comparison to the earlier Black Isle Studios Fallouts, Bethesda's Fallout has: One-dimensional, illogical and forgettable characters with little to no personality. Simple, linear, unoriginal narrative. Poorly-written narrative. Poorly-written dialogue. Poorly-voiced dialogue. None of the series' trademark moral ambiguity. No real freedom (there are unkillable NPCs, unavoidable combat etc.). No real choices or consequences. Tactical combat has been removed. Importance of skills/perks/traits removed. Traits removed. Psychologically and emotionally complex quests no longer present. Nuclear power was a feared thing in post-apocalyptic Fallout, and the issue was dealt with intelligently with much subtle social commentary. In Fallout 3, you can shoot nuclear-powered cars with your nuclear catapult (early in the game...), in a town built around an unexploded nuclear bomb. Fallout 3 fails to deal with any of the interesting human issues that Fallout did. The game lacks any semblance of thoughtfulness. It's also shorter. And easier. The game abuses and contradicts established lore. Fallout 3 fails to even pathetically imitate it's decade-old predecessors' design, originality or meaningfullness. Let alone exceed it. Even when considered, unfairly, outside the context of being a sequel, it is an exceptionally arrogant, incompetent and poorly designed game all on its own. The animations are clunky and awkward. AI is atrocious. Combat is awkward. World textures and character models are ugly and lacking. Art direction is poor. Much of the crowded (who would have thought nuclear winter would be so claustrophobic?) "wasteland" is sloppily and lazily copy-pasted from place to place. The musical score is uninspired and in the style of LOTR-esque epic-fantasy (in fact it sounds very similar to Oblvion...) - which is completely inappropriate in this game's setting. To top it off, the whole thing is buggy and poorly optimized. And Bethesda's attitude towards the original games' fans has been utterly pathetic. Expand

See all 160 User Reviews

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