Fallout 3 Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 57 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1066 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 dynamicVault-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] Expand
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  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Genre(s): Role-Playing, First-Person, First-Person, Western-Style
  • # of players: No Online Multiplayer
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • Rating: M
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In the end, Fallout 3 feels like a Fallout game, and that is absolutely the highest compliment. Despite the changes, much of the charm and fun of the franchise remains intact, and despite the similarities to "Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion", I never felt that I was playing anything but a Fallout game.
  4. More than reinventing a game, Bethesda could assure a desirable evolution. In a world devastated by the war, the beauty of the entire environment is the greatest step in Fallout 3.
  5. The overall experience of Fallout 3 is unmatched, and the amount of game Bethesda has packed into this $60 title can't be ignored. Flaws aside, taken as a whole, Fallout 3 is an astounding effort and easily one this year's best gaming experiences.
  6. Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
  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: 22 out of 203
  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, myUtterly 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. AnonymousMC
    Jun 10, 2009
    10
    I cannot believe the amount of detail that the developers coded into this game -- it's easy to make a world that's nice and neat,I cannot believe the amount of detail that the developers coded into this game -- it's easy to make a world that's nice and neat, but to make one that is very messy takes a lot of time. They sure did a great job -- this is by far the largest game I have played (number and size of maps and detail of each location).
    The main story is too short, but the endless side missions and freedom to do whatever you want, and searching for unique and fun stuff makes this game last for months and months. I sure hope they make another one just like this.
    Expand
  3. Mar 2, 2017
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. [Originally reviewed on Apr 2, 2016]
    Fallout 3 was the chapter, in Fallout's saga, that made me fall in love with this magnificent and magical universe. My love for Fallout 3 was fate: since the first video-gameplays released by Bethesda, I realized that this game should have been mine. And I have to thank it, because it let me know the two previous chapters as well.

    I'm part of that large group of players, who learned about Fallout, thanks to Fallout 3 and then the whole saga's backstory and plot, it's been brought to me with this game. I learned about the 2077's Great War, the technologyc retro-futuristic future, experiments with Vaults, and everything else, just playing Fallout 3. The legacy of the historical background it's been harvested to perfection. Bethesda has made the concept of Fallout 3, very close to what it is to live our life in the real world. You were born in the Vault, you grew up in the Vault, you left the Vault and you deal with a whole new world. From microcosm to macrocosm, the Lone Wanderer follows a ritch along with the player that, thanks to Fallout 3, begins to know the true world of Fallout. This philosophy, this concept is brilliant. Simply brilliant. The plot makes perfectly the sense of violent and mature epic, an adventure into the unknown to discover a whole new world. From Vault 101 to Galaxy News Radio, from Rivet City to Tranquility Lane, from Vault 87 to Raven Rock; the plot is simply an unforgettable odyssey. The use of narrative devices of first Fallout, as the water stands for life, and Fallout 2, Enclave and the find of GECK, were very well integrated, adding that little bit extra derived from the Bible's quote, and the theme of a son looking for his father running away, which is his only real contact with the world outside.

    Fallout 3's gameplay is quite extensive. Assuming first that it's no longer a turn-based RPG with isometric view, and that many game mechanics, have been altered. For who starts with Fallout 3 obviously this change is not visible. Although the gameplay of Fallout and Fallout 2 was near perfect, I have to admit that this new incarnation in Fallout 3, as well as shocking, it worked. It worked great. The change to first/third person view and real time combat is something that Fallout needed, and it's been done quite well. The beginning is extraordinary because the main character is born: the adventure literally begins with you, and use the editor to give him the look you want is great and accurate. The game has a high difficulty rate: during the first 20-30 hours of play, you limps to move forward, trying to survive. Stimpaks, ammunitions and maintenance of weapons and armors are essential. It's a difficult step at the beginning, but that's the fun part: everyone has to do it. The progression system of the character is very well done and faithful to the classic; skills weigh heavily on the development and use of weapons, items, or in the interaction with NPCs. The S.P.E.C.A.L. system is essential and, rightly, it hardly changes in the course of the adventure. The V.A.T.S. works nice, and it's fun to use. Pip-Boy 3000 was made very well and it is very useful for the control of information and holotapes, radio listening, progression in quests and inventory. The dialogue system is refurbished, but yet very classic and well made. Some actions like to pick a lock, or to hack a terminal are represented on the screen in great detail, and it really gives you the sensation of what you are doing. There are many companions, and they are useful, but in some cases they can die very easily, so they need medical cure. The map of Washington D.C. is very wide and there is plenty to explore, many side quests to complete, and secrets to discover. The level of gore, splatter and violence is extraordinary and great, true to the saga.

    Graphically Gamebryo makes Fallout 3 very nice to see. Certainly not the best, but some details such as caring in guns, hands, clothes, facial animations, and settings are simply breathtaking. The art style is simply unforgettable, and makes fall in love quickly with retro-futurism and steampunk. The soundtrack by Inon Zur, as well, is particularly beautiful. Songs available in the radio stations are fantastic, of a completely different era, yet beautiful. Fallout 3 made a young audience to rediscover musical classics; and this is to create culture and consciousness of something we haven't seen, nor heard. Talking about bugs: it's true the game has many, most of them are annoying, but others are absolutely irreverent and memorable.

    So: what is Fallout 3? Fallout 3 is exactly the third chapter as it should be. Simply the best Fallout game since, because the change of game mechanics, corrects a lot of its predecessors and has set new standards for future RPGs. It was 2008, and we all needed Fallout 3; let's admit it. It isn't just a game, is a legacy of another time, something we needed. Bethesda gave us a timeless masterpiece.
    Expand
  4. MichaelH.
    Nov 10, 2008
    9
    Essentially Oblivion with some guns and post apocalyptic Washington DC. The mechanics of the gameplay are the same but seems to have a more Essentially Oblivion with some guns and post apocalyptic Washington DC. The mechanics of the gameplay are the same but seems to have a more evil/neutral/good decision making role than Oblivion. All in all you can play the main story in 10 hours or wander off and put in 100 hours doing side quests so the choice is yours. Expand
  5. Apr 10, 2012
    9
    Despite the technical issues, this is still my favorite game of this generation. An interesting story, an amazing atmosphere, great music,Despite the technical issues, this is still my favorite game of this generation. An interesting story, an amazing atmosphere, great music, great characters, great quests. This post-apocalyptic world will keep you hooked for hours. It has quite a few bugs, even after the many updates, and the visuals aren't anything special. You can certainly feel in every way this was made for the PC, but that shouldn't keep you from playing this. Expand
  6. Nov 9, 2011
    8
    Don't get me wrong this is a great game, and still really relevant considering its quality, at first it is hard to get into but stick with itDon't get me wrong this is a great game, and still really relevant considering its quality, at first it is hard to get into but stick with it and you will find it amazing. However don't get it on PS3, go PC. I'm usually pro console, but the modding community for Fallout 3 is extensive and the mods you can find online add so much more to the game. 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 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 203 User Reviews

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