Fallout 3 is the third game in the Fallout series and the first to feature a first person perspective. Developed and published by Bethesda Softworks, it was released on October 28, 2008 on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; the game takes place approximately thirty years after the events in Fallout 2. Although set in the same universe, Fallout 3 takes place in the Capital Wasteland in and around the Washington D.C. area, rather than California. The game blends design elements and approaches from both the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises, resulting in fan debate about Fallout 3's legitimacy as a "real" Fallout game.
Like Oblivion, enemies and items spawn relative to the player's current level. This keeps the difficulty of the game consistent, along with opening the majority of the game up to the player from the beginning. This is a change from the previous Fallout games, which featured zones that posed a huge risk to a low-level character if visited too early by the player. However, the system is markedly different from that of Oblivion in that, once an area is discovered, the environment is locked down to the level at which the player found it, preventing unrealistic jumps in enemy levels over the course of the game.
Bethesda supported the game post-release with a number of downloadable content packs. Most of the pieces took place outside of the Wasteland. The downloadable content was initially exclusive to the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game, but was later released on the PlayStation 3.
Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.)
In addition to the real-time first person action, Fallout 3 introduced a feature called V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) which pauses the game and allows the character to queue attacks on specific enemy body parts while calculating the odds of each shot hitting the target. The percentage chance of a hit and the damage done by each queued attack depend on several factors including player level, distance from target, perks obtained and skills, and weapon used. Each shot queued in V.A.T.S. requires a certain number of action points (AP) depending on weapon power; expending slightly less than a quarter with a single shot with some pistols, while expending them all with weapons such as the Fat Man. After use, the AP must then regenerate in real-time. However, continued combat in real-time while they are regenerating will cause them to fill up slower. Players can also take Jet, a Chem that briefly increases the amount of AP available to their character.
Health & Item Degradation
When taking damage, the player's general health or limb health may be affected. General health meaning, of course, the life bar that shrinks as they take damage. However, Fallout 3 also has a specific limb system in place that can affect several things. Each limb has its own health bar, and when a player takes damage to that limb, it may become crippled. A crippled limb will affect certain things depending on which limb it is. For example, if the player has a crippled leg, they will walk much slower. If one of their arms is crippled, their accuracy will suffer. If the head gets crippled, the perception (ability to see enemies on the compass/radar) will decrease. The crippled system means that shooting for the head in V.A.T.S. may not always be the best idea. An example of this would be for Deathclaws. Deathclaws are extremely fast and strong opponents, so shooting and crippling their legs will prevent them from getting close. Stimpaks can be applied to individual limbs (rather than used to heal general health) to fix them.
Radiation is also common in Fallout 3. Food and untreated water will give the player small amounts of radiation when they are consumed. There are also areas throughout the game that may be contaminated, such as nasty radiation pools, that will affect the player. The effects of radiation exposure are cumulative, and after being exposed beyond certain thresholds of tolerance, the player will get different levels of radiation sickness. The sicknesses will affect the players stats, or can kill the player if it's untreated and builds to extreme levels, although certain perks mitigate the penalties or even provide benefits through mutation such as repairing broken limbs when suffering from advanced radiation poisoning. Radiation levels can be reduced or brought back to zero by using certain medicines or getting treated by a doctor or home medical station.
Another very important aspect of the game is item degradation. Equipped armor and weapons will become damaged over time. The condition is represented by a bar. As an item becomes more and more damaged, it becomes less effective. Weapons lose damage and jam, and armor loses damage resistance. Items can be repaired by using parts of another item that is the same (for example, an assault rifle can be repaired by using parts of another assault rifle) or by paying certain people to do it. The repair skill dictates how much the player can repair their equipment (up to a certain percentage of full condition).
Throughout their travels, players will encounter Chems (also known as drugs in the real world) that can be used to affect their performance. There are several different kinds, and if used too much, the player may become addicted. This leads to negative withdrawal symptoms if they don't take some of the drugs they are addicted to at regular intervals. The player can also become addicted to alcohol, and addictions can be cured by a doctor.
The main character will begin by finding a standard array of basic weapons, like pistols, knives, and assault rifles. As the game progresses, however, players will find many unique weapons like the Alien Blaster, Lincoln's Repeater, and Mesmetron. These exotic weapons keep in tone with the 1950's sci-fi theme present in the Fallout universe.
- Big Guns: Encompasses heavy weapons like miniguns, missile launchers, and the Fat Man mini nuke launcher. Big Guns are the heaviest weapons in the game and the most expensive to keep stocked with ammunition.
- Small Guns: Everything from pistols to assault rifles. Small Guns are the most prevalent weapons in the world and are very easy to keep stocked with ammunition.
- Energy Weapons: Includes both Plasma and Laser weapon types. These weapons are powerful and more accurate than Small Guns, but rarer too. Energy Weapons will often reduce corpses to dust or goo, though loot is not damaged.
- Melee: Melee weapons are common but require the wielder to close the distance to their target. Heavy investment in damage resistance skills is often necessary to successfully use melee weapons.
- Unarmed: Includes fists and Spiked Knuckles. Like melee weapons, Unarmed attacks are dangerous to use but deadly if the appropriate skills have been invested in.
- Throwables: Everything that can be thrown, namely grenades and mines. V.A.T.S. can be used with throwables.
Fallout 3 features an extensive dialogue system in which players can interact with almost every NPC in the game. Players are presented with multiple lines of speech to choose from, and the person they are talking to will react accordingly to the one they choose. Most dialogue options will have a "good" line and a "bad" line. Through interactions, players can pick up quests and gain information. They also have the potential to talk themselves out of certain situations. Occasionally, players are presented with a Speech challenge, represented by a dialog option marked "Speech" with a percentage next to it. The percentage represents the player's chance of success, based on their current Speech level. If they succeed, the player can often gain information about whatever they are talking about. If they fail, they will get nothing from it. Passing a Speech challenge also awards the player with experience points.
While exploring the Wasteland, the player may experience a random event/encounter. Below is an incomplete list of the possible random occurrences in the game.
- A Wastelander being attacked by a creature (such as a mole rat).
- A Wastelander running up pleading for help after Raiders strapped explosives to their chest.
- The player may encounter Uncle Leo, who is one of two friendly Super Mutants in the game.
- A Wastelander in possession of the Wasteland Survival Guide may provide the player with criticism based on how they completed the objectives.
- Based on their Karma level, the player may be attacked by a squad of Regulators (Evil Karma) or Talon Company Mercs (Good Karma) from time to time.
- A UFO may suddenly explode overhead, dropping the very powerful Firelance (unique Alien Blaster) and some ammo for it.
- The player may encounter Donovan, a member of Reiley's Rangers, battling Super Mutants near Girdershade.
Lockpicking and Hacking
Lockpicking and hacking are two ways of accessing areas, containers, information, or functions that would otherwise be inaccessible. Each is associated with a skill (Lockpicking and Science), dictating whether the player can attempt each of the 5 difficulty levels of locks and terminals (Very Easy, Easy, Average, Hard, and Very Hard). The player can also attempt to force the lock.
The player can try to pick locks on many objects throughout the Wasteland, including doors, ammunition boxes, and safes. Having at least one bobby pin is required to pick a lock.
The game will pause and an image of the lock will appear along with a bobby pin and a screwdriver. Using the left stick, the player can move the bobby pin around the keyhole. With the right stick, the player applies torque to the bobby pin to try and open it. If in the right spot, the lock will completely turn. If in the wrong spot, the lock will stop and the controller will vibrate. If one continues moving the bobby pin down in the same direction and the lock stops sooner, one is going the wrong way.
Hacking is less frequent than lockpicking and is a bit more difficult. Computers that must be hacked can contain backstory or important quest-related info, or allow environment-related functions like unlocking doors or deactivating turrets.
When the player chooses an incorrect password, they'll see a fraction on the screen like 2/9 correct. This does not just mean that two of the letters are correct; rather, two of the letters are in the correct position. For example, suppose that the real password is FALLOUT. The player chooses ROLLOUT, and is 5/7 correct, because LLOUT is in the same position in both words. Conversely, if EFFECTS was chosen, it would be 0/7 correct, because while it shares letters with FALLOUT, none of the positions are the same. Some groups of characters are inside square brackets or parentheses. If the player clicks on these groups of characters, the terminal will either remove one incorrect password from the screen or it will replenish the amount of attempts. By doing this, the player can sometimes narrow down the amount of choices to just one word, allowing them to unlock the computer within a minute.
The Karma system implemented in Fallout 3 rates the player's actions throughout the game and portrays them as either a Good, Neutral, or Evil character depending on their choices. For instance, stealing, killing innocents and generally being horrible will earn bad Karma resulting in an Evil character.
Whereas good deeds, such as helping hobos and treating people well will result in positive Karma and a Good character. A balance of these actions means the character will stay neutral. Many quests have different outcomes, and the player can usually choose which of these to pursue. The easiest way to do something often ends up with a lot of dead people and bad Karma, but the more skill based, reasonable or long winded methods usually have a reward of positive Karma. Being a Good character leads to helpful items and such from Neutral or Good NPCs, and vice versa for evil characters. The flip side to this is that evil or good characters will also run into heavily-armed hit groups with a contract for their head. Also, the karma status of the player can determine what kind of followers they can acquire. For example, Evil characters get Jericho and Clover, Good characters get Fawkes and Star Paladin Cross, and Neutral characters get Butch and Sergeant RL-3. The player's Karma is points based and starts at zero. As the player performs Good and Evil actions they are evaluated and given the appropriate status:
Actions that alter Karma
- Killing an Evil character or creature: No gain or loss in Karma
- Killing a very Evil character or creature: 100 Karma gain
- Killing a good creature: -50 Karma
- Killing a good person: -100 Karma
- Stealing: -5/item
- Good act during a quest: 50
- Evil act during a quest: -50
- Consuming a dead body: -1 (Perk needed)
Based on the number of points, the Karma system classifies the player as:
- Below -750 : Very Evil
- -750 to -250: Evil
- -250 to 250: Neutral
- 250 to 750: Good
- Above 750: Very Good
Furthermore, the Vault Dweller will be given a title based on their karma and current level, with Neutral, Evil and Good Karma titles unique for each level. There are 30 different Karma levels in Fallout 3.
The SPECIAL system used in Fallout 3 is similar to that found in previous Fallout games. It is a set of seven attributes that govern each of the game's skills, as well as certain character stats. They are first encountered during early childhood, when the player finds a picture book called "You're SPECIAL" and assigns points to the SPECIAL attributes. Each one starts at a level of 5, and at this moment the player is asked to split up a further 5 total points between the skills. There is little use in leveling one attribute up to 10, because then it cannot be improved later in the game. SPECIAL can't exceed 10 or drop lower than 1, so if they reach these caps even if an item is equipped or a chem or foodstuff consumed that could add a point to one of them, there will be no change.
SPECIAL stands for:
Affects: Melee Weapons, Carry Weight, Melee damage bonus
Affects: Explosives, Lock-pick, Energy Weapons, minimum distance for red compass markers
Affects: Hit Points, Poison Resistance, Radiation Resistance, Big Guns, Unarmed, oxygen counter when diving
Affects: NPC disposition towards player, Barter, Speech
Affects: Number of new skill points per level, Medicine, Repair, Science
Affects: Action Points available for V.A.T.S., Small Guns, Sneak
Affects: All skills, Critical chance, Accuracy, random encounters
Skills dictate the player character's effectiveness in specific elements of gameplay. They are affected by the player's SPECIAL stats, as well as certain equipment, perks, and temporary effects. The player is asked to "tag" three skills at the beginning of the game, which grants a bonus of fifteen points to each.
While Fallout 1 and 2 both had 18 skills in total, Fallout 3 reduces the number to 13, partly by merging similar skills - Doctor and First Aid are replaced by a general Medicine skill, for instance, and disarming traps is governed by Explosives or Repair, rather than a dedicated Traps skill. The Gambling and Outdoorsman skills are not carried forward in any form.
A Vault Boy bobblehead for each skill can be found hidden somewhere in the game world, adding 10 points to that skill when used.
Fallout 3's perks are gained every level rather than every three like the old games (hence the original Fallout's level cap of 21 the nearest multiple of three to 20). Since the Traits system has been removed which gave both positive and negative effects to the player, some of them were incorporated in to the available perks.
There are about 58 perks total in the original release of Fallout 3. Most of the perks range from simple skill increases like Gun Nut (which increases small guns and repair by 5), but there are other unique perks that range from things like Lead Belly (50% less radiation from radiated water sources), to Lawbringer (Enemies' ears are lootable and can be turned in for karma). Also, each perk has it's own set of requirements of either skill, SPECIAL stats, or both.
There are also exclusive, and missable, quest perks that can only be obtained by completing quests. An example would be the Power Armor Training perk that has be to obtained to allow the use of Power Armor.
Complete List of Perks
Fourteen more perks were added with the release of the Broken Steel DLC pack. These perks can only be obtained by leveling past the old level cap (or over 20).
- Deep Sleep - Sleeping in any bed gives the player the well rested effect for 8 hours.
- Puppies! - If Dogmeat dies, a puppy will spawn outside of Vault 101.
- Quantum Chemist - 10 acquired Nuka Cola's in the inventory are automatically turned into a Nuka Cola Quantum.
- Devil's Highway - Karma instantly set to very evil.
- Escalator to Heaven - Karma instantly set to very good.
- Karmic Rebalance - Karma instantly set to neutral.
- No Weaknesses - All SPECIAL stats below 5 are instantly set to 5.
- Rad Tolerance - No effects from minor rad poisoning.
- Warmonger - All schematics are added and set to V3.
- Nerves of Steel - AP regenerates 1 every ten seconds.
- Party Boy/Party Girl - Addiction to alcohol no longer occurs.
- Rad Absorption - Minus 1 Rad every 10 seconds.
- Nuclear Anomaly - When health is reduced to 20% or less, the player erupts into a nuclear explosion.
- Almost Perfect - All SPECIAL stats are instantly raised to 9.
Fallout 3 begins with the birth of the player character, where character gender, name, and appearance can all be customized. Followed shortly after by the death of the character's mother, who dies in childbirth due to cardiac arrest, the story then jumps ahead to when the character begins walking. This is the first introduction to the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, allowing for further character customization. Shortly after, the player enters their 10th birthday party, where they receive their Pip-Boy. Following a few altercations, the player reaches age 16 and takes the G.O.A.T. exam, determining their skills. Another advance occurs, and the player is awoken by Amata, who informs the character that their father, James, has left the vault without warning and under mysterious circumstances. This desertion attracts the ire of The Overseer, who attempts to apprehend the player character for questioning through his security force. The player fights their way to the father's lab, where they find the body of Jonas. In that lab, the player receives a message from their father, explaining that he had to leave and they should not follow. After persevering further through the vault, the player encounters Amata being questioned (or tortured) by her father. After securing her escape, the player learns of a secret exit through the Overseer's office, and fights their way to the exit. After leaving the vault, they venture out into an utterly destroyed Washington DC, though the wasteland is far from lifeless.
The first town the Lone Wanderer runs across is the town of Megaton, a gated community built in a crater around an unexploded atomic bomb. It is here that the player is given the choice to either disarm the undetonated bomb for their father's whereabouts from Lucas Simms, or pay off Colin Moriarty. Eventually, they learn that James ventured into the ruins of Washington DC, searching for a radio station, called Galaxy News Radio, located within. Following a perilous journey into the city, the player has their first encounter with a large contingent of the Brotherhood of Steel along with one of the leaders of the Brotherhood of Steel, Sarah Lyons. A large push occurs to reach the radio station, fighting through waves of Super Mutants, eventually resulting in an encounter with a Behemoth. Following their entry to the radio station, the player is introduced to the man that runs Galaxy News Radio, Three Dog. In return for information Three Dog has about James, the player must travel to the Museum of Technology within the DC ruins, in search of a new relay dish capable of broadcasting Galaxy News Radio across the Capital Wasteland. After mounting this new dish on the Washington Monument, the player returns to Three Dog, who recalls that James had come to ask about Rivet City, a settlement built in an old aircraft carrier. The Lone Wanderer sets off again, follows in James' footsteps.
After a thorough security check to gain entry to Rivet City, the Wanderer is referred to an old acquaintance of James, one Dr. Li, who reveals exactly what their father's goals were. The player learns that their father left the Vault in order to complete a project from before the Lone Wanderer was born, a water purifier that would supply clean water for all living things, called Project Purity. She tells the Lone Wanderer of the former lab that housed Project Purity and that their father might have gone there. The Lone Wanderer visits the Jefferson Memorial and finds out through a series of audio notes that their father went to Vault 112 in search of a G.E.C.K., which was the last component needed to cause Project Purity to complete it's function. The Wanderer themselves then travels to Vault 112, where they are greeted by a Robobrain ushering them into a stasis chamber, only to discover that the residents, along with James, are all trapped within these chambers. All of the residents existed within a simulation, with Stanislaus Braun, disguised as a young girl, pulling the strings. The player is forced to either end the simulation, killing everyone inside, or comply with Braun's twisted desires and go on a murder spree. Following this, when the player is allowed to leave the simulation, they learn that James was trapped inside the simulation as well, disguised as a dog, watching all of the player's actions. Regardless of choice, the Wanderer and James escape Vault 112 and make their way back to Rivet City. James convinces Dr. Li to accompany the Wanderer and him, along with her team back to the Jefferson Memorial to restart Project Purity. Once inside, the entire team beings work to restore Project Purity to it's former glory, and the Wanderer and James enjoy their short reunion. Unfortunately, shortly after the team begins their repair, the Enclave comes to the Jefferson Memorial and tries to take over the project for their own purposes. During the confrontation, James and Colonel Autumn are locked inside the main chamber in a standoff for control. Eventually, James sacrifices himself and kills several Enclave soldiers (including, apparently, Col. Autumn) by flooding the testing chamber with lethal amounts of radiation.
After the sacrifice, the Lone Wanderer escapes the lab with Dr. Li and some of hear team through some underground tunnels and eventually ends up in the Citadel, the East Coast headquarters of the Brotherhood of Steel. After recovering and a short respite, Dr. Li pleads Elder Lyons to aid the Wanderer to finish Project Purity by finding a G.E.C.K. and take Project Purity back from the Enclave. Following a discussion with Scribe Rothchild, the player learns that they must travel through the Little Lamplight Caverns to reach Vault 87, which is believed to contain a G.E.C.K. The Lone Wanderer eventually reaches Little Lamplight, but is stopped by Mayor MacCready, who will only allow entry to the player, (barring excellent speech skill or the Child at Heart Perk) if they can rescue some children who were captured by slavers. Following the breakout from Paradise Falls, the Wanderer gains entry to Little Lamplight and eventually enters Vault 87. It is here that they learn that Vault 87 was used to create and test the F.E.V. (Forced Evolutionary Virus) and is the breeding source of the Super Mutants in Washington DC. Following the discovery and aid in extradition of Fawkes, the Lone Wanderer acquires the G.E.C.K. After parting ways with Fawkes while leaving the vault, the Lone Wanderer is ambushed by the Enclave, who knock him out and bring them to their headquarters in Raven Rock, commandeering the G.E.C.K. for themselves.
Awakening in their cell in Raven Rock, the Lone Wanderer is briefly interrogated by the revived Colonel Autumn, before being interrupted by President John Henry Eden, who allows the Lone Wanderer access to his control room. As the Lone Wanderer makes their way to the control room, Colonel Autumn goes against President Eden's orders and commands the Enclave soldiers to intercept the player. The Wanderer fights their way to the control room, and discovers that the President is actually a supercomputer who was given control of the United States. In the event of an end of the world scenario, President Eden was enacted to continue running the government sectors.The President and the Wanderer have a lengthy conversation, with Eden eventually imploring the player to feed a modified F.E.V. into Project Purity. This strain would kill anything with mutations that drinks from the purified water, allowing the Enclave to begin a new, mutation free society. Unfortunately, this would also kill most of the allies the Wanderer has encountered, weighing the decision heavily. If the Wanderer had the skill, (or the override code stolen from Col. Autumn) they can in fact destroy Raven Rock, crippling the Enclave forces immensely.
After the Lone Wanderer escapes Raven Rock, they are reunited with Fawkes, who aid in their return to the Citadel. The Brotherhood of Steel is preparing an all out assault on the Jefferson Memorial, planning to strike while the Enclave is off balance. Fortuitously, along to help the assault is Liberty Prime, who had regained function through the use of Dr. Li's research. Sarah Lyons invites the player to join Lyons' Pride, and the assault begins. With the aid of Liberty Prime in removing barriers, and the assault force of the Brotherhood, eventually the alliance is able to decimate the Enclave defenders which allows the Lone Wanderer to enter the control room. It is there the Wanderer and Lyons' Pride confront Colonel Autumn, who could be forced to stand down either through violence or persuasion. Following the confrontation, the player is then informed by Dr. Li through the intercom that Project Purity has been damaged in the attack will overload if someone doesn't activate it. Unfortunately, the chamber must be sealed with the start-up sequence begins, and the one who activates it will be bathed in lethal doses of radiation. Before entering the chamber, the player is faced with the choice of injecting the modified F.E.V. into Project Purity effectively killing everyone, or allowing mutants and wastelanders to continue to exist. The Lone Wanderer will then have the choice to activate Project Purity, tell Sarah Lyons she must activate it, or do nothing and allow it to be destroyed. The regular game ends on that decision and continues with a epilogue that varies based on the Lone Wanderer's karma throughout the game, along with the decisions they made throughout the main and side missions. The game would continue if the Broken Steel DLC pack was downloaded.
There are numerous factions present in the Capital Wasteland, both hostile and friendly.
Brotherhood of Steel- Situated in the ruins of the Pentagon (now called the Citadel), they are on the East
Coast to battle the Super Mutant threat in the DC area. The player sides with the Brotherhood of Steel in the game to battle the Enclave.
Enclave - The remnants of the United States government, the Enclave is more of a corrupt military force than
anything. They eventually become the primary antagonists of the game. They operate from within Raven Rock, located in the upper left hand portion of the map, and the force is lead by Colonel Autumn and President John Henry Eden.
Raiders - This faction consists of bandits that are not under the rule of a known leader. They are somewhat disorganized, as evident by the scattered groups that pillage, kidnap, murder, and steal their way through the Capital Wasteland at will. Super Mutants - The terrifying group of mutated humans that were transformed into hulking beasts through modification via FEV. All of them are immediately hostile towards the player except for two. One of the friendly Super Mutants, Uncle Leo, is encountered via a random event and the other is Fawkes, one of the most powerful companions in the game.
Pre-Order Bonus Soundtrack:
- "Way Back Home" - Bob Crosby
- "Butcher Pete (Part 1)" - Roy Brown
- "Fallout 3 Soundtrack - Main Title"
- "Fallout 3 Soundtrack - Megaton"
- "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" - Ella Fitzgerald with the Ink Spots
- "Anything Goes" - Cole Porter
- "Fox Boogie" - Gerhard Trede
- "I'm Tickled Pink" - Jack Shaindlin
- "Jazzy Interlude" - Billy Munn
Full in-game Soundtrack:
- "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" - The Ink Spots
- "Way Back Home" - Bob Crosby & the Bobcats
- "Butcher Pete (Part 1)"- Roy Brown
- "Happy Times" (from the Danny Kaye film The Inspector General) - Bob Crosby & the Bobcats
- "Civilization" - Danny Kaye with The Andrews Sisters
- "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall" - Ella Fitzgerald with The Ink Spots
- "Anything Goes" - Cole Porter
- "Fox Boogie" - Gerhard Trede
- "I'm Tickled Pink" - Jack Shaindlin
- "Jazzy Interlude" -Billy Munn
- "Jolly Days" - Gerhard Trede
- "Let's Go Sunning" - Jack Shaindlin
- "A Wonderful Guy" (from South Pacific) - Tex Beneke
- "Rhythm for You" - Eddy Christiani & Frans Poptie
- "Swing Doors" - Allan Gray
- "Maybe" (intro song from the original Fallout) - The Ink Spots
- "Mighty Mighty Man" - Roy Brown
- "Crazy He Calls Me" - Billie Holiday
- "Easy Living" -Billie Holiday
- "Boogie Man" - Sid Phillips
- Liam Neeson as James (Dad)
- Malcolm McDowell as President John Henry Eden
- Ron Perlman as Narrator
- Odette Yustman as Amata
- Wes Johnson as Mr Burke / Fawkes / Protectrons / Sentry Bots
- Erik Dellums as Three Dog
- Heather Marie Marsden as Sarah Lyons
- Shari Elliker as Beatrice / Reilly / Star Paladin Cross
- Craig Sechler as Butch / Harkness
- Stephen Russell as Andy / Mister Buckingham / The Great One / Sargent RL-3 / Cerberus / All Mr. Gutsy / Mr. Handy robots found throughout the game
- James Lewis as Mr. Brotch / Eulogy Jones / Jericho / Captain Ishmael Ashur
- Fallout 3 Game
- Metal Vault-Tec Lunchbox
- 5" Vault Boy Bobblehead Figurine
- The Art of Fallout 3 Hardcover Concept Art and Commentary Book
- The Making of Fallout 3 DVD
Another special edition SKU for Fallout 3 is the Survival Edition sold exclusively through Amazon. Contents of Fallout 3 Survival Edition:
- Fallout 3 Game
- Pip-Boy 3000 Replica Alarm Clock (picture on right)
- Metal Vault-Tec Lunchbox
- 5" Vault Boy Bobblehead Figurine
- The Making of Fallout 3 DVD
- The Art of Fallout 3 Hardcover Concept Art and Commentary Book
Game of the Year Edition
Bethesda released new retail version of the game titled Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition on Tuesday, October 13, 2009. On Xbox 360, this version includes the original game on Disc 1 and all five downloadable content packs on Disc 2. The contents of Disc 2 had to be installed to the Xbox 360 hard drive, but required no internet connection or code redemption. The GOTY edition was released simultaneously for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC at an initial retail price of $59.99 USD for the home consoles and $49.99 USD for the PC. The package contained no physical bonus items. The list of contents for this release are as follows:
- Fallout 3 Game
- Operation Anchorage
- The Pitt
- Broken Steel
- Point Lookout
- Mothership Zeta
Bethesda has currently announced 5 downloadable packs for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Each are said to be roughly the same size as the Knights of the Nine pack that was made available for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Originally these content packs were available exclusively for PC and Xbox 360 but on May 19, 2009, Bethesda announced that all of the downloadable content will be made available for the PlayStation 3 during the Summer of 2009. Bethesda has also announced that the DLC will be available at retail stores on disc for the Xbox 360 and PC, and also in a Game of the Year edition.
An add-on featuring a virtual simulation of the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from the Chinese Communist invaders which is known as the Anchorage Reclamation and took place from 2067 to 2077. In the simulation, the player experiences the beginning of this operation, in which the first power armor units were used and U.S. forces ultimately drove out the Chinese presence. In the virtual simulation the player will first have to secure a mountainside and then fight his/her way into a Chinese base.
The add-on mainly focuses on the combat/stealth paths and gives the player new tools to use. The new tools include interactive Strike Teams that are placed under the player's command. The mission takes about four to five hours for the player to complete. The add-on also contains new weapons, armor and achievements and a new perk called "Covert Ops." The new weapons and armor include top-secret technology used by both sides during the war, some of which the player can then use throughout the main game. The player is able to access the simulation via a new quest and map marker. It is accessible at any level, as soon as the player has left Vault 101.
Operation: Anchorage was released on January 26, 2009 at a cost of 800 Points ($9.99) on the Xbox Marketplace. It was released on the PSN on September 9, 2009.
The add-on allows the player to journey to the ruins of Pittsburgh, raider-infested city known as The Pitt. Unlike Washington D.C., Pittsburgh wasn't directly hit by bombs. Instead, the large river that runs through the city became heavily irradiated and the place was left to rot and decay. It does still harbor a working steel mill and a "fighting area". The add-on contains new quests (several repeatable), enemies, items, perks and achievements.
The player will gain access to the Pitt when he/she encounters an escaped slave. The player will first have to take on the role of a slave (and give up all items) to gain access, but once the quest is completed the player can return at any time.
New items in the Pitt include several new Raider Armors, a new stylized Power Armor, a new melee weapon called the AutoAxe, and a new silenced/scoped automatic rifle named "The Infiltrator".
New perks include one that adds to the killing efficiency of the AutoAxe, one that is related to all of the high-dose radiation the player will encounter in the Pitt, and one that will be rewarded after completing a "Pitt fight".
The pack includes four new achievements related to The Pitt. Three are awarded after completing different stages of the main quest and a fourth one is awarded after the player finds all of the ‘Steel Ingots’ found throughout the area.
The Pitt was released on March 24, 2009 for 800 MS Points ($9.99) on Xbox Marketplace. It was released on the PSN September 30, 2009.
Broken Steel starts off with the player replaying the ending and surviving the incident whichever way they chose to end it, and if they start a new game with Broken Steel, it will simply state that their level cap has been lifted to 30 once they initially leave Vault 101. The player then starts working for the Brotherhood of Steel in various missions to remove the Enclave's presence from the Capital Wasteland.
The add-on raised the level cap to 30, added new story related locations, added more weapons and armor, such as a Tesla Cannon, a Tri-Beam Laser Rifle, and Hellfire armor, and more challenging enemies, such as the Super Mutant Overlord, a super mutant that is supposed to be the gap between the Super Mutant Master, and Super Mutant Behemoth. These challenging enemies carry Gatling lasers and Tri-Beam Laser Rifles. Other encounters have been added such as random raider attacks on the newly formed water caravans.
Broken Steel was released on May 5, 2009, for 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99) on Xbox Marketplace. It was released on the PSN September 23, 2009.
Point Lookout is a large swampland area that features new terrain, enemies and weapons. The content begins with taking a ferry from the the Capital Wasteland, across the Chesapeake Bay, and over to Maryland where Point Lookout is located. Maryland was not hit directly by the nuclear attack like Washington DC, but was affected nonetheless. The most noticeable effect the attacks had on Point Lookout were on its citizens, who are best described as fairly disfigured hillbillies.... although it is heavily implied, if not openly stated, that instead of being mutated by radiation, these particular miscreants are just inbred. The majority of the combat in Point Lookout involves taking out its more than mildly warped citizens with a variety of shotguns. Bethesda has reported that the content is more difficult than the previous DLC packages and recommends that players be at least level 17 before entering Point Lookout.
Point Lookout was released on June 23, 2009 for 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99) on Xbox Marketplace. It was released on the PSN October 7, 2009.
The aliens have returned, and they're pissed. Experience an alien abduction first hand. The entire DLC will take place aboard the abducting alien ship, taking a major departure from the Capital Wasteland setting. Upon receiving a strange signal, the Wanderer investigates and come upon a crashed alien ship (which was originally an Easter egg in the Wasteland, but Bethesda fleshed this out to a full on expansion) and are abducted.
Mothership Zeta was released on August 3rd, 2009 for Xbox 360 and PC for $9.99. It was released on the PSN on October 7, 2009.
The Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK)
Named after a mythical device used to restore life to the wasteland that players are tasked with finding in Fallout 2, the GECK is actually the official editor kit for the PC. The program allows users to edit and create content for use within the game. It was released on December 11, 2008 as a free download from the Fallout 3 website. As each month the DLC has come out, there has been a version of the G.E.C.K. to update to. It is currently version 1.5 as of the release of Mothership Zeta DLC.
Fallout 3 was nominated for the Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2008. It was nominated in the Best Of Show, Best RPG and Best Console Game. It succeeded in taking home Best Of Show and Best RPG, beating the likes of Gears Of War 2, Mirrors Edge and Dragon Age. It lost Best Console Game to the PS3's LittleBigPlanet. At Spike TV VGA 2008 Fallout 3 was nominated for Game of the Year, Best RPG, Best Graphics, Best Xbox 360 Game and Best Original Score. It was awarded Best RPG fending off Fable II, Warhammer Online: The Age of Reckoning and The World Ends With You.
The Xbox 360 version of the game has a score of 93/100 on Metacritic, the PC version a 91/100, and the Playstation 3 version a 90/100. Critics praised the open-ended gameplay and depth while criticizing the amount of bugs found in the game and crashes.
Fallout 3 was originally being developed by Black Isle Studios and was codenamed Van Buren. However, Black Isle Studios was suddenly closed down when their owner, Interplay Entertainment, went bankrupt. Bethesda first announced it had acquired the rights to the Fallout series from Interplay in 2004, although no information about Fallout 3 was released until 2007, when a teaser video and concept art were released. Bethesda purchased the license from struggling Interplay for just over $1 million and considered an upfront payment on future royalties. Bethesda only got the rights to make single-player Fallout games, while Interplay retained the rights to develop a Fallout MMO. Reactions to the acquisition in the gaming community were generally positive. Bethesda, having achieved critical and financial success with Morrowind, and nearing the final stretch of development for the much hyped Oblivion, had become a well-respected developer in the RPG genre, establishing a considerable pedigree. Controversy among Fallout fans abounded, however, when it became apparent that Fallout 3 was going to move away from its traditional top-down, isometric view from the original games.
Van Buren was the codename for Black Isle’s version of Fallout 3. It was canceled in 2003 when Black Isle went out of business, although the game itself was nearing completion. It would have had a multiplayer mode and a combat system where the player could wield two weapons. A tech demo was created, but Bethesda will not be releasing it to the general public.
The story took place around the year 2250 and unfolded across Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada. The player was going to find him or herself in prison for crimes that they were either innocent or guilty of. One day they’d wake up in a different cell than they had gone to sleep in. Then an attack on the prison would rupture the walls and give the player (and many others) a chance to escape into the Wasteland. Once free, the player would be besieged by robots and questions.
The villain was a man called Presper. He was a mad scientist who planned on using remaining nuclear weapons to totally obliterate all the life on the planet, as he deemed it unworthy. The attack on the prison was one step in that plan. The prisoners were all marked as contaminated with a virus similar to FEV called Limit 115. When a large majority of prisoners were returned to the Quarantine Zone (otherwise known as the prison) a Super AI called Ulysses that controlled it would scan and purge the world's contaminated zones to prevent further contagion. The problem was that so much of the world was tainted it would result in a new and more devastating nuclear strike than what had come before. Presper was counting on this and those he deemed Pure would survive on in his Boulder Dome until a time he decided the Earth was safe for resettlement. At that point they’d ascend to the surface and start again. The player's mission was to uncover his plot and stop it. Ultimately, though, the player would at least partially fail. In the critical moments some nukes would launch and it was up to the player to decide exactly what got hit and what didn't.
In the Fallout continuity, all the events of Van Buren are considered non-canon.
On July 4, 2008, Fallout 3 was refused classification by the OFLC in Australia, thus making the game illegal for sale in the country. In order for the game to be reclassified, the offending content in the Australian version of the game would have to be removed by Bethesda Softworks and the game resubmitted to the OFLC. According the OFLC board report, the game was refused classification due to the "realistic visual representations of drugs and their delivery method (bringing) the 'science-fiction' drugs in line with 'real-world' drugs. However, just a month later, Australian retailer Gamechip started taking pre-orders for a drug-free version of the game. It now looks like the
game has been modified for release instead of outright banned though nothing is official. Australia is no stranger to banning games, in 2008 Dark Sector, Shellshock 2: Blood Trials and Fallout 3 were banned. In August of 2008, however, the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) granted a rating of MA15 after changes were made to in-game drug references, particularly the renaming of morphine to " Med-X." In their report on the revised edition of the game, the OFLC found that "The drug references within this revised version are justified by context and lend a strong playing impact to the game." The report also notes that drugs in the game are now "depicted as stylized icons on a menu with the drug use itself not depicted."
The original ruling by the OFLC's stated that "the game contains the option to take a variety of drugs known as "chems" using a device which is connected to the character's arm. These "chems" have positive and some negative effects (lowering of intelligence, or the character may become addicted to the chem). The positive effects include increase in strength, stamina, resistance to damage, agility, and hit points. Corresponding with the list of various "chems" are small visual representations of the drugs; these include syringes, tablets, pill bottles, a crack-type pipe, and blister packs. In the Board's view, these realistic visual representation of drugs and their delivery method bring the 'science-fiction' drugs in line with 'real-world' drugs. The player can also select and use Morphine (a prescribed drug) which has the positive effect of enabling the character to ignore limb pain when the character's extremities are targeted by the enemy."
Some changes were made to the Japanese version of Fallout 3. In terms of content, the biggest change was the elimination of the "Power of the Atom" side-quest, where players had the option to detonate the unexploded nuclear bomb, thereby destroying the town of Megaton. The quest-giver - Mr. Burke - was also removed from this version. Another major change renames the "Fat Man" mini-nuke launcher. Other small changes include the renaming of creatures, as well as a reduction in the amount of blood and corpses found in the game.
Another mini-controversy caused by the game appeared at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where the game's developer Emil Pagliarulo asked the audience what landmarks in Japan could be destroyed for the game.
Microsoft India canceled its plans to release Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360 in India, which was earlier set to release in the country on October 28 2008. A press statement issued by Microsoft states that the game included certain content that could potentially hurt Indian sensibilities. Due to distribution issues in the region, Microsoft had taken up the role of distributor for Fallout 3 in India, while the PlayStation 3 and PC versions of the game were never scheduled for release in the country.
Pop Culture References
- The quest titled "THOSE!" is reference to the 1950's Sci-Fi film THEM! about giant ants.
- The quest "Replicated Man" is very similar to film Blade Runner in which Harrison Ford's character may or may not be Android hunting down other Androids.
- The character Bryan Wilks during the quest "Those" utters the line "Now I know what a TV dinner feels like". This is a line from Die Hard uttered by Bruce Willis. They also share the same initials.
- In the Town Little Lamplight the mayor's name is R.J. MacReady which is Kurt Russel's character from John Carpenter's The Thing.
- The Children of the Atom in Megaton worship an unexploded nuclear bomb which is a reference to the cult in Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
- The Robot Butler named Wadsworth in Megaton shares the same name as Tim Curry's butler character from the film Clue!, and both speak in the same way.
- The mutant Fawkes is a reference to Guy Fawkes, one of the planners of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the House of Parliament in London, in 1605 . They also share the same cell number, 5 or V in Roman Numeral.
- Billy Creel's safe combination contains part of the mysterious number sequence from the show Lost.
- After fixing Three Dog's antenna he broadcasts saying "You can't stop the signal". This is a reference to the film Serenity which had the same line, which in turn was a veiled jab at the Fox network for canceling the show Firefly.
- Three Dog is also quoted saying that "Raiders can't be bargained or reasoned with". This is a line uttered by Kyle Reese about the Terminators in the film Terminator.
- The character Uncle Leo shares the same name as Jerry Seinfeld's uncle from his show.
- Mr. Gutsy robots say the line "There's nothing like the smell of plasma in the morning". This is a reference to Robert Duvall's line "There nothing like the smell of napalm in the morning." from the film Apocalypse Now.
- Sugar Bombs cereal is a reference to the cereal that Calvin eats in the Calvin and Hobbes comics called Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.
- The quest "Blood Ties" is started by Lucy West, a reference to a character from Bram Stoker's Dracula named Lucy Westenra. The town Arefu also shares the name with the town outside of Dracula's Castle.
- The Ninth Circle, a bar in the Ghoul city Underworld, is a reference to Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, where in the first cantica, Inferno, Hell contains nine circles. The Ninth Circle is reserved for the most wicked of sinners, traitors, and heretics, with Satan himself in the middle.
- Charon, who resides in The Ninth Circle, is also a reference to classical mythology. Charon is the ferryman who guides the dead across the River Styx in Hades, the underworld of Greek mythology. He is also the ferryman for Dante in The Divine Comedy.
- The unmarked quest "A Nice Day for a Right Wedding" is a reference to the lyrics of the Billy Idol song "White Wedding."
- The radio broadcasts of President Eden are a reference to the Fireside Chats of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during The Great Depression.
- Nuka Cola is a reference to Coca-Cola. The in game advertisements for Nuka Cola are clearly referencing the advertisements of Coca-Cola during the 1950s. Also Nuka Cola Clear is a reference to Crystal Pepsi.
- Adamantium Skeleton, a perk which reduces the damage taken by limbs, refers to the same fictional metal that makes up the skeleton of Wolverine.
- Abraham Washinton's name is composed of the first name of Abraham Lincoln and the last name of George Washington, two American presidents.
- The mini-nuke weapon, Fat Man, bears the same name as the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan at the end of World War II.
- The food item Cram is a reference to Spam.
- The TVs and radios called "Radiation Kings" are references to Homer's childhood TV set from The Simpsons.
- Rosie the Riveter's haircut is available to female characters under the name "Wendy the Welder".
- Hannibal Hamlin's dog's name, Four Score, refers to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
- All the NPCs at the Temple of the Union have names taken from members of Abraham Lincoln's cabinet.
Achievements are unlocked by accomplishing the listed task and will give the player the listed number of gamer points. If they have an X-Box 360 gamertag, they can log in using this same gamertag and the gamerpoints/achievements will count the same as if they were playing the 360 version / any other X-Box 360 game.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP/ Vista / Windows 7
- Memory: 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
- CPU: 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD 3000 (1.8 GHz) or equivalent processor
- Graphics Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo processor
- Memory: 2 GB System RAM
- Graphics Card: Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA 8800 series, ATI 3800 series)
Other Requirements: Online play requires log-in to Games for Windows - Live.
Xbox 360 Game Installation
Fallout 3 requires approximately 5.5GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD. Installing has been reported to slightly lower load times, as well as lead to a decrease in the overall amount of freezing.