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.
I have to give credit where credit is due, and Bethesda are to be congratulated on making a worthy follow up to the first two classic Fallout games, with more content in the vanilla version than you could shake a Radscorpion tail at, and especially for making it immensely modifiable, increasing the time I've spent with it from the dozens of hours to the hundreds.
That being said, Fallout 3 is arguably much more than the sum of its parts. From the mediocre game engine with its endless bugs, some of which are glaringly obvious, others game breaking, to the characters who all look like they've been beaten with the stupid stick, to the overpriced DLC that replaces the game's pathetic ending with a proper one, it doesn't sound, on paper, like a fantastic game. It's only when all the constituent parts come together that the true brilliance of the game shines through.
Fallout 3's main strength is the how it manages to capture the player's imagination, and throughout the many hours you'll undoubtedly play Fallout 3, it never lets up on the hold it has on you. It's utterly believable and engrossing, and even the most horrific of bugs don't often manage to break the spell. It's astounding how easy it is to forgive games for their many glaring weaknesses and faults when they're this much fun, as - I certainly hope - fun is what gaming is all about, and that's exactly what Fallout 3 is.Hours upon hours of fun.
Everything in Fallout 3, from exploring the wasteland tackling one of the many quests to hitting Mole Rats with a stick that makes them explode, is a delight. You want to explore the Capitol Wasteland because you're genuinely interested in learning more about it, you care about its inhabitants. This is a true role playing game, in that you feel like a real wastelander, and everything you do in game reflects that.
This is, in short, what makes the game worth playing. Its endless charm and personality more than compensate for what it lacks. Kiss your free time goodbye.