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Old 15-01-2009, 07:17 AM   #11
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For me Fallout 3 is a solid 8.5/10.

People need to remember how Fallout 1&2 had more than its fair share of flaws as well. The combat was pretty lame at times with random criticals being far too high in damage. You could die with a single shot no matter how well armored you were just because your opponent got a lucky shot. When a normal shot does 10 damage, it's a bit too much to see a critical do 200+ damage.

Fallout 3 definitely has more balanced combat. The trick lies in combining free aiming for aiming from a large distance and using VATS for aiming up close. You'll do more damage with VATS up close - especially when using laser weapons and headshots.

Fallout 3 is also about exploring - I was smart enough not to go for the main story until I explored nearly every part of the map. Fallout 3 has a LOT more interesting locations than Fallout 2 (I completed that a mere month before completing Fallout 3) - take Tenpenny tower as a good example of the kind of locations you could find.

Yeah, it's not perfect but I think people have rose tinted glasses on when looking at Fallout 1&2. Fallout 3 was a lot better than I expected to be honest.
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Old 21-01-2009, 12:40 AM   #12
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Even if the cities had the same poulation as Shady Sands that'd be good. And Shady Sands only has like, 20 people!

Wait can someone with Fallout take a census please?

What I'd love to see is a Junktown in Fallout 3. Iunno, im getting it this week, so... i don't care what reviews say, i gotta check the game out myself
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Old 21-01-2009, 11:03 PM   #13
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Nice read @ original post! I'd like to add my critics about the game here. <Minor spoiler included.>

- The engine would need some major upgrade for the upcoming games. Moving around is a bit awkward, I'm still missing fat people (or hell, some crippled ones!). Weather was missed badly! Some acid rains or wind-storms to make life harder and force you to hide for a while. Yeah, too bad that with this engine it would still rain on you if you are under shelter.

- I reached level 20 too fast, too easy. There are some totally useless perks, and some utterly broken (Finesse, Better Criticals, Sniper combo -> I got bored after a while aiming at heads and watching them pop like an acne). Don't bother with picking skills, you really end up topped at almost all of them (the ones that count). And while fast travelling: why, oh why did they take Outdoors out?! The guy shouldn't avoid every ambushes. Bottomline of this: More Skills, Please! Not all of them might be uber-kickass but they might give some spice to the otherwise tasteless character.

- The repair system is lame. The devs could have really found some use for all that junk out there... Imagine how great it would be to set up own missions like going out scavenging for rare parts to fix your sniper scope. Anyway, weapons shouldn't degrade fast as they do and you definately shoudn't be able to take apart and add parts to your AK while three ghouls are charging at you. Also it would be more realistic if a visual inventory would appear to backup the weight allowance to avoid packing up five armors and nine guns and still jump around with ease.

- Music could have been better, I can recall one track that got a cool industrial tone and a sinister impression, yet I was disgusted to hear some Oblivionish tunes. Apart from these and the main menu score is there any other? Even if there are they didn't leave much impression on me. Same with NPC voices. There is some improvement from Oblivion, but encountering that gay "imperial" voiceover again trying to act tough in Fallout 3 is a bit embarassing. Cut all the audio-dialogs if needed and employ more actors for important NPCs, but not this dull **** please! How cool Sulik was for an instance! :thumbs: (I have to mention Harold here, the ghoul with a branch growing on his head from F2, who is the funniest character in this episode.) Has been mentioned, will double it: more people in settlements. That includes more junkies, more *****s, more thugs, etc.

- Quests and static AI: The game could use some factor that would urge the player to set up missions for himself and while the wastes are "neat" and catchy some friendly interaction would've been fun there. To pinpoint out the soulles mechanism of the AI reaction and conversation options, I can mention my character's companion, Fawkes. When the two rushed in to the Citadel no one really gave a **** about him, not even at the final decision. Fawkes got the GECK out of the radiation-polluted room, you know. And maybe might be too much to code, but I checked on Three Dog after Doc James died to see if there's any note from him on the occasion. Guess what. :notrust:

--------------------------

These all might sound too harsh, but generally I enjoyed the game. The great features are the incredible map, especially DC, the great graphics, some really good quests (Reilly's Rangers, Project Imputity and the march before, and any other that dragged you to some authentic/funny places like Nuka-Cola factory). VATS and its animations are basically great, monsters could scare the crap out of me. The Fallout atmosphere is genuine. But I didn't see the dirty towns coming alive like they did in the previous sequels. Remember the remarks from the *****s and thugs popping up when you walked by them? The authentic music for every major settlement, with occasional gunshots in the background? THAT is the way to make a town come alive! Then the options the player had to chose from when creating a character: diplomat or grunt. It made a difference there. Good game, but if have to pick 2 or 3, I'd say Fallout 2 was and is better.

7 / 10 here.
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Old 23-01-2009, 09:31 PM   #14
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It's weird they still stuck with GameBryo. That engine is a bugged mess.

Though a saving grace of not-so-good Bethesda games: Mod community.
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Old 28-01-2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
- The engine would need some major upgrade for the upcoming games. Moving around is a bit awkward, I'm still missing fat people (or hell, some crippled ones!). Weather was missed badly! Some acid rains or wind-storms to make life harder and force you to hide for a while. Yeah, too bad that with this engine it would still rain on you if you are under shelter.
Yeah I figure there will be mods taking care of weather but indeed: you might see odd results due toe the limits of the engine.

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- I reached level 20 too fast, too easy. There are some totally useless perks, and some utterly broken (Finesse, Better Criticals, Sniper combo -> I got bored after a while aiming at heads and watching them pop like an acne). Don't bother with picking skills, you really end up topped at almost all of them (the ones that count). And while fast travelling: why, oh why did they take Outdoors out?! The guy shouldn't avoid every ambushes. Bottomline of this: More Skills, Please! Not all of them might be uber-kickass but they might give some spice to the otherwise tasteless character.
A few comments: I used command line codes to set me back to level 19 every time I levelled. This way I could keep levelling up to 20 and improve my skills and perks. Without this, I saw little reason to continue exploring. I'm sure a proper mod will let you reach level 40 and will let enemies scale accordingly.

The outdoor was taken out for several reasons: it wouldn't have worked in first person, it was annoying and sucky in Fallout 1&2 you ended up quicksaving/loading anyway, it was bland and boring - nearly always empty flat terrain, etc. I myself avoided fast travel and walked everywhere except when dumping stuff in my shack.

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Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
- The repair system is lame. The devs could have really found some use for all that junk out there... Imagine how great it would be to set up own missions like going out scavenging for rare parts to fix your sniper scope. Anyway, weapons shouldn't degrade fast as they do and you definately shoudn't be able to take apart and add parts to your AK while three ghouls are charging at you. Also it would be more realistic if a visual inventory would appear to backup the weight allowance to avoid packing up five armors and nine guns and still jump around with ease.
Expect mods to make a system like this. I personally would have loved being able to repair my guns with spare parts as well but I like the current system regardless of this.

The only cheat I used in Fallout 3, was to boost the amount I could carry. Mostly because I hated running back and forward - it's dull and pointless. It may not be realistic but it takes away an annoyance.

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Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
- Music could have been better, I can recall one track that got a cool industrial tone and a sinister impression, yet I was disgusted to hear some Oblivionish tunes. Apart from these and the main menu score is there any other? Even if there are they didn't leave much impression on me.
After half an hour of playing, I had already downloaded the Fallout 2 soundtrack (free to download) and replaced FO3's with FO2's music. Trust me, it really makes the game feel a lot more familiar and better. FO2's music kicked ass in so many ways.

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Same with NPC voices. There is some improvement from Oblivion, but encountering that gay "imperial" voiceover again trying to act tough in Fallout 3 is a bit embarassing. Cut all the audio-dialogs if needed and employ more actors for important NPCs, but not this dull **** please! How cool Sulik was for an instance! :thumbs: (I have to mention Harold here, the ghoul with a branch growing on his head from F2, who is the funniest character in this episode.) Has been mentioned, will double it: more people in settlements. That includes more junkies, more *****s, more thugs, etc.
The problem is that most people in FO1&2 had no voices. In FO3 EVERYONE had a voice and this means that you have limits. Voice actors are very expensive.

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- Quests and static AI: The game could use some factor that would urge the player to set up missions for himself and while the wastes are "neat" and catchy some friendly interaction would've been fun there. To pinpoint out the soulles mechanism of the AI reaction and conversation options, I can mention my character's companion, Fawkes. When the two rushed in to the Citadel no one really gave a **** about him, not even at the final decision. Fawkes got the GECK out of the radiation-polluted room, you know. And maybe might be too much to code, but I checked on Three Dog after Doc James died to see if there's any note from him on the occasion. Guess what. :notrust:
If you had asked him, he'd told you it was your moment, not his - that's why he didn't want to go in.

I'll add more later
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Old 28-01-2009, 06:09 PM   #16
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The problem is that most people in FO1&2 had no voices. In FO3 EVERYONE had a voice and this means that you have limits. Voice actors are very expensive.
Mass Effect had an absolute trove of dialog, large text dumps for nearly every named NPC. This goes for minor characters, to major characters.
The writing was well done, the voice acting was superb (and unique voice actors used for almost all roles), but most importantly, there was detailed exposition (in the form of dialog and Codex entries) and a large variety of character development for all minor and major characters.

This also illuminates some other unprofessional design quirks in Fallout 3, for example, killing the Ghouls attempting to get into Tenpenny Tower is considered an evil deed, merely killing them no matter what your intent delivers evil karma. Since Fallout 3 does not utilize the Karma system of Fallout 1 or 2 (where Karma was a measure of your character's public reception rather than a good/bad meter) this means that no matter what your - or your character's - intentions, killing the psychopathic Roy Phillips who obviously despises the normals within Tenpenny Tower is somehow evil.

Compare this to Mass Effect which doles out Renegade or Paragon points after the quest has been completed. Your dialog choices impact this heavily. Say you encounter the man who wishes for his wife's body to be returned to him for burial after she died defending Eden Prime. Speaking to the Alliance member that oversees this relations subject, you learn that her body possesses invaluable knowledge as to the effects of Geth weaponry, her wounds can be studied to save lives.

You can either choose to Intimidate the officer into returning the body, Charm him into returning it, telling the man who wishes for his wife's burial that it is needed for research cruelly, or attempt to convince him of the importance regarding the study of his wife's body.

Each choice and approach is changed by your intent, what you say in dialog completely changes what you meant by doing a deed.

If Bethesda had the intelligence to approach their "choice and consequence" with this deliberation, their game wouldn't be as big an unprofessional piece of **** as it currently is. You could return to Tenpenny Tower and say that the "Ghoul scum deserved to die." and receive negative karma, or say that "They wouldn't listen to reason, and they were putting the lives of other in danger, I had to remove them." and receive positive karma, on the other hand the neutral approach response could be "They wouldn't move on, they got dangerous, I killed them." which is simply a reactionary result.

Instead Bethesda sees fit to merely provide different avenues of action. This isn't too bad, as Fallout 1 and 2 employed the same system, but of all this talk of evolution, and the fact that the new Karma system is nothing like the original, they could've at least try to actually evolve what was worth evolving instead of slapping a new perspective and a shoddy buggy unoptimized engine on top of a mediocre shooter with watered down meaningless RPG elements and no replay value whatsoever (ahem).

Mass Effect was produced earlier than Fallout 3, it had a similar budget and they didn't even have to pay for some expensive license in order to procure the rights for the game, yet Bioware made a far more polished product that was balanced, well written, and although not a real RPG, it was truly much more of one than Fallout 3 was.

Compared to the competition, Fallout 3 is one of the worst RPGs I've had the "pleasure" of playing in the last five years, it ranks up there with Gothic 3 as veritable ****.
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Old 29-01-2009, 02:05 PM   #17
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If you had asked him, he'd told you it was your moment, not his - that's why he didn't want to go in.
I didn't ask him. He should have told the charcter his opinion though, another thing that would have needed some refinement. Sure the script-writer can come up with blah-blah about the differences of lethal radiation A and lethal radiation B if the main character HAS to die if wants to go out in a glowing blaze of glory, but at the moment it seemed reasonable to employ the supah mutie's remarkable radiation resistance.

Besides radiation was rather like a decoration than a real factor. The only time the character got seriously radiated was when I did it on purpose. Otherwise I had a ****load of rad-aways, so when he had the itch I quickly applied one. In a blasted area, you should be bombed with radiation all the time.


Mods can adjust all this stuff mentioned, the sad thing is that it should have been the job of the devs. Morrowind was a great game, but since that I always have the impression that their hit releases were made with careless haste. Shiny at first sight, then you find out tons of its drawbacks.
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Old 29-01-2009, 05:58 PM   #18
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I didn't ask him. He should have told the charcter his opinion though, another thing that would have needed some refinement. Sure the script-writer can come up with blah-blah about the differences of lethal radiation A and lethal radiation B if the main character HAS to die if wants to go out in a glowing blaze of glory, but at the moment it seemed reasonable to employ the supah mutie's remarkable radiation resistance.
Ah but you COULD still talk to him and ask him and he gave his explanation. Your father had just died and it was obvious that your character wanted to die for your father's project as well rather than risk someone else. It's also mentioned that the radiation is extremely high - most likely higher than what Super Mutants can withstand (you speak of realism of radiation but heavy radiation incinerates particles so no living organism could withstand it).

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Besides radiation was rather like a decoration than a real factor. The only time the character got seriously radiated was when I did it on purpose. Otherwise I had a ****load of rad-aways, so when he had the itch I quickly applied one. In a blasted area, you should be bombed with radiation all the time.
I've heard this argument many times and while you do have a point, it's still a rather weak one. For starters, many craters DO have radiation. But let's take a look at more realistic radiation.

STALKER is probably the only other game that has radiation as invisible nemesis and while I loved the game, I do see that the brain scorcher zone was too much trial and error. Stepping two feet ahead would see you suddenly bathing in heavy radiation which is realistic but it means having to quickload unless you want to run out of anti-rad in no time.

Real radiation is quite different from what you may believe. While craters would most likely have a bigger amount of radiation, you need to take into account that metal absorbs radiation and holds it for a very long time. Basically, just about every metal item in Fallout 3 would be heavily radioactive. And guess what: there's TONS of the stuff. Imagine receiving a constant dose just by wearing armour and a weapon. It wouldn't make for a nice game. That's why, for example, you're not allowed to wear any jewellery when you visit Chernobyl and Pypriat (something which I plan to do this fall).

Fallout 3 is still a game after all and realism has its limited when you want to keep it fun. STALKER was a far more tense game - a gritty dark and realistic game in many ways - but Fallout 3 is a lot lighter. It wouldn't have fit the game. Don't forget FO1&2 didn't have high radiation sources either.

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Mods can adjust all this stuff mentioned, the sad thing is that it should have been the job of the devs. Morrowind was a great game, but since that I always have the impression that their hit releases were made with careless haste. Shiny at first sight, then you find out tons of its drawbacks.
Bethesda simply keeps it a streamlined game. The result is that the mod community has an incredible amount of room to play and I'm convinced that this is part of Bethesda's strategy. Oblivion was a LOT weaker than Fallout 3 in its vanilla form so it desperately needed mods. Fallout 3 has its flaws but at least it's interesting and fun to explore. There's tons of room for new locations including tons of new quests as well though and I see this as a positive thing. I know how annoying it is to mod for games which are already packed - like Deus Ex for example.
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Old 29-01-2009, 06:33 PM   #19
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For me Fallout 3 was the best attempt in recent times to blend FPS with RPG since Deus Ex, though Deus Ex is still a much better game.

However unlike Deus Ex, Fallout 3 (PC) is much more open to modification which can allow for some user changes that take some of the sting out of the imperfections and create experiences the developers themselves never thought of. This quality is one more developers should pay attention to instead of just pumping games out to X360 and PS3.

I think the best part about the game was the quirky general store owner in Megaton.
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Old 29-01-2009, 08:40 PM   #20
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Ah but you COULD still talk to him and ask him and he gave his explanation. Your father had just died and it was obvious that your character wanted to die for your father's project as well rather than risk someone else. It's also mentioned that the radiation is extremely high - most likely higher than what Super Mutants can withstand (you speak of realism of radiation but heavy radiation incinerates particles so no living organism could withstand it).
Supermutants are ENTIRELY immune to radiation, this is an effect of the FEV which neutralizes deadly contaminants within the body, repairs cells, and replenishes them upon death. A Supermutant wouldn't suffer any cancerous growths with high radiation dosage because the DNA that's altered by radiation in order to cause the spastic growth would immediately be repaired by the FEV which "fixes" damaged or irregular cells. This is why Supermutants are sterile, because the gametes of reproductive cells are only "half cells" which FEV "fixes".

If radiation kills the cell, then FEV simply rejuvenates it, however, this is probably not the case as the Supermutants are simply immune to radiation because of FEV.

This is all within the Fallout universe, where steady dosage of radiation transforms human beings into Ghouls and other creatures into massive or altered forms of their original selves, hence radscorpions, mantis, and giant ants.
This is also a good time to mention that Fallout 3 breaks canon with Moira when she becomes a Ghoul, normals become Ghouls after an extended period of time while exposed to low to mid-levels of radiation. Moira becomes a Ghoul when a nuclear bomb explodes while she's in the nearby vicinity, not only would this kill her (Fallout canon or not), but she would just get radiation sickness and die according to Fallout's traditional treatment of radiation, this is why your character in Fallout 1 dies from radiation poisoning in the Glow if he isn't properly prepared, or why in general radiation simply damages your stats and kills you, Ghouls are formed by very long extended periods of radiation exposure, not simply application of massive dosage.

What's even worse is that Colonel Autumn survives the radiation when your father activates the Project. Naturally, you can see him inject something into himself when it happens, probably Rad-X or Rad-Away, but how does this explain your death even when you're hopped up on a ridiculous amount of Rad-X? Bethesda attempts to form shortcuts in the plot then completely ignore any concessions they have made towards future plot devices, which creates plot holes.
I can't imagine that you'd consider Fawkes' excuse to be anything other than heinously stupid, "It's your destiny". What is that? Obviously it isn't since you can send Sarah Lyons into the chamber, or several of the other NPC companions (except for Charon of course, who is, once again, immune to radiation), yet Fawkes spouts some poorly written nonsense?

It's a cop out, a really bad one too, also your argument makes no sense. Bethesda shouldn't tell you your character's motivations, you should do so, if they want people to honestly believe that you are truly the character within the game, then his motivation and decisions should be left to himself, not what the game decides it should be. I don't care for RPGs that try to make you the character, I honestly prefer the detachment you carry in most RPGs, it simply serves the ruleset and ideals carried with RPGs better, but if Bethesda wishes to create a player defined RPG, then they should leave decisions and intentions to the player, which goes along with what I said regarding the shoddy Karma design in an earlier post.

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I've heard this argument many times and while you do have a point, it's still a rather weak one. For starters, many craters DO have radiation. But let's take a look at more realistic radiation.

STALKER is probably the only other game that has radiation as invisible nemesis and while I loved the game, I do see that the brain scorcher zone was too much trial and error. Stepping two feet ahead would see you suddenly bathing in heavy radiation which is realistic but it means having to quickload unless you want to run out of anti-rad in no time.

Real radiation is quite different from what you may believe. While craters would most likely have a bigger amount of radiation, you need to take into account that metal absorbs radiation and holds it for a very long time. Basically, just about every metal item in Fallout 3 would be heavily radioactive. And guess what: there's TONS of the stuff. Imagine receiving a constant dose just by wearing armour and a weapon. It wouldn't make for a nice game. That's why, for example, you're not allowed to wear any jewellery when you visit Chernobyl and Pypriat (something which I plan to do this fall).

Fallout 3 is still a game after all and realism has its limited when you want to keep it fun. STALKER was a far more tense game - a gritty dark and realistic game in many ways - but Fallout 3 is a lot lighter. It wouldn't have fit the game. Don't forget FO1&2 didn't have high radiation sources either.
I've already said that the Fallout series has its own definition of radiation, it's not even to bar realism or to improve gameplay, radiation in Fallout is based on the general concept of radiation to the average uninformed human being in the 50's, an anomalous, mysterious, and dangerous thing. As such, the radiation in Fallout follows the typical 50's stereotypes, enlarged monstrosities, humans with their flesh melted off that now bask in radiation, a post-apocalyptic future brought on by the use of nuclear weaponry and so on.

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Bethesda simply keeps it a streamlined game. The result is that the mod community has an incredible amount of room to play and I'm convinced that this is part of Bethesda's strategy. Oblivion was a LOT weaker than Fallout 3 in its vanilla form so it desperately needed mods. Fallout 3 has its flaws but at least it's interesting and fun to explore. There's tons of room for new locations including tons of new quests as well though and I see this as a positive thing. I know how annoying it is to mod for games which are already packed - like Deus Ex for example.
Fallout 3 is only interesting and "fun to explore" to the casual gamer, quite honestly, with its boring level cells (repeating over and over), juvenile design and the fact that it's all too easy to outclass anything in the game at early levels (not to mention get the best equipment, reach level 20 and max out the only useful skills early on) all combine to make the game a tedious exercise in walking around, killing things, and looting.
I had more fun doing that in Ultima VI, which is more than a decade old now and features an unpolished combat system, not to mention less interesting loot.

Stream lining is entirely different from dumbing down which is entirely the case with Fallout 3. SPECIAL is neutered for God's sake, try to make a 1 Charisma character in Fallout 1 or 2 and speak to anyone expecting to get somewhere, try to make a 1 Endurance character and survive a single engagement without pumping yourself full of stims, try playing a 1 Strength character and play with the constant penalties to firing or swinging any weapon because you're such a massive pansy. Setting any stat lower than 3 in Fallout 1 or 2 meant you were in for a tough time in some form in another.

Fallout 3? I beat the damn thing with 1 Strength, 1 Endurance, and 1 Charisma without breaking a sweat, and somehow my Speech still ended up maxed out (thus not missing a single Speech option), hundreds, literally hundreds of excess stimpaks I never required at all, proficiency in Energy Weapons and Small Guns, despite the fact that my 1 Strength should make me a massive pussy that couldn't handle the recoil on the weakest weapon. This character would be crippled in Fallout 1 or 2.
But those penalties are a good thing, it means your characters are unique, one character can't excel at everything, in Fallout 3, that is not the case, as long as you max out a skill or get it to a very high level (which is so easy to do it doesn't even require much effort) you'll be perfectly fine at whatever you want to do.

This means that every character is eventually the same, instead of being able to do three different things that no other character could as in Fallout 1 or 2, your character in Fallout 3 is maybe limited to one at the most, you didn't max out his Science skill, boo hoo, now you can't use those "liberally applied" Very Hard computers scattered about, but enjoy having the ability to do practically anything else as long as it doesn't involve a rare and useless skill check.

Fallout 3 is an embarrassment of an RPG, the stats mean nothing, thus the mathematical probabilities that define a unique character do not exist. The choice and consequence is completely bizarre and illogical, littered with worthless NPCs, bad writing, and a lack of definition on the player's intention which all serves to offer lukewarm segments of mediocrity. The game is so unprofessionally made that I'm amazed that it was put out on shelves, much more amazed that anyone would consider the game to be something good.
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