Review – Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition (Playstation 3)

Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition
Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition
(Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)

Fallout 3 is the game that got me back into gaming after a lull from 2004 until 2009. A friend suggested that I really needed to play this game. He insisted to the point he let me borrow his copy for the XBox 360 and demanded I at least give it a chance. I sat down one evening to play the game and nine hours later I had no idea why the sun was up already. I went out later that day and picked up my own copy. 60 hours and many days later I’d done pretty much everything there was to do within the game. I also found myself eagerly awaiting the release of each new DLC adventure.

Over the past year, I’ve been playing through a lot of games on the Playstation 3 as I’ve been able to pick them up cheap; either on disc or by way of sales at the Playstation store. Usually around the end of summer I get in the mood to play a Fallout game and this time around I decided to pick up both Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition (GotY) and Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition for the PS3.

It had been a while since I last visited the Capital Wasteland, but I could not wait to give this game another play.

So, the main thing I noticed is how buggy the PS3 version of this game is. Major points off for that. I’m playing the GotY edition, and the game downloaded the newest patches when I fired it up the first time. I still suffered through multiple, we’re talking dozens and dozens, of instances of the game freezing without warning. I get that the Fallout games are buggy on any system, but I see why a lot of people on forums were calling this game unplayable. Compared to the many other titles I’ve played on the PS3, this one, hands down has had the most problems. Bear in mind that I haven’t yet fired up the New Vegas Ultimate edition, so it’s possible that game is even worse in this department.

I once again remembered I needed to get into the habit of saving often, much like I got in the habit of doing on my XBox 360 playthroughs of the game.

Taking away the massive technical problems, the game is still as great as it was when I first played it on the 360 years ago. I love the post-apocalyptic look and feel of the game. The story is compelling enough to keep my interest; but the real fun in a Fallout game are the side quests and seemingly endless random encounters awaiting you in the Wasteland.

It is nice having all of the DLC on disc here and available all at once. My favorite DLC is Point Lookout, as I like the eerie, swamp setting with the abandoned boardwalk amusement park. My least favorite is probably the Mothership Zeta DLC since, of them all, it took me out of the Fallout universe a bit. Running a self-contained story within the confines of alien spacecraft is a bit of a leap from the other more Earthly locales in the other Fallout DLC. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a lot of fun; but it almost seems like a one-off story outside of the canon of the series; like, say, the Zombie bonus levels in the Call of Duty games.

Gameplay is top-notch. I’m not a huge fan of RPGs in general, but appreciate the RPG elements that Fallout 3 makes use of. Likewise, I’m pretty terrible at first person shooters, but thankfully Fallout 3 has V.A.T.S. to make up for my terrible aim.

All said and done, I’ve probably invested around 300 hours of my life playing this game. As someone who played the original Fallout on my computer back in college, it is nice to see this franchise getting some love again with this game, New Vegas, and the forthcoming Fallout 4.