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Video Game Review: Fallout 3

By: Shawn K. ‘19

Back in 2004, Bethesda Softworks announced in a press conference that they had bought the rights to the critically acclaimed RPG series Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role-Playing Game, where the protagonist assumes the role of a human living in the future after the nuclear bombs were dropped, in an alternate reality of course. However, while the first two were made by Interplay Entertainment, Bethesda had bought all the rights to the franchise. What ended up happening was a critically acclaimed masterpiece at the time of its 2008 release, managing to bring home the 2008 Game of the Year award from the Game Awards, among other many acclaimed prizes and praise. However, in the modern day, where universally praised masterpieces like Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout: New Vegas, and the Dark Souls trilogy manage to revolutionize the Action-RPG genre, can Fallout 3 still manage to hold a candle?

Fallout 3 follows the story of the Lone Wanderer, the son/daughter (depending on what the character picks) of James, a doctor, who both live in the secluded Vault 101, not too far from the ruins of Washington D.C., many decades after the nuclear bombs fell. The Lone wanderer lives a peaceful, and a quiet nineteen years in the vault, before his father escapes and his mentor Jonas is killed. Now, it’s up the Lone Wanderer to leave the vault, find his father, and quite possibly change the landscape of the Wastelands as we know it.

Fallout 3‘s story is still remarkable in this day and age. Not only are the characters compelling and fascinating, but they grow alongside you and develop with you. This is stacked on top of outstanding voice acting from notable works such as Ron Pearlman, Liam Neeson, and Malcom McDowell voicing the Narrator, James, and John Henry Eden respectively. Fallout 3 also has a very gripping story around sacrifice, completing dreams, friendships, and hope. Without spoiling it, FO3 has an immaculate sense of storytelling and world building unmatched by modern games today in its genre, especially when taking into consideration that your dialogue choices as a player affect the overall outcome of your journey. Sequels such as New Vegas and 4 don’t come near 3‘s marvelous adventure in terms of scale and depth.