There are oft-times disagreements as to the merits and downfalls of each particular game. I usually try to shy away from such disagreements since I enjoyed both games for different reasons. But I thought I would write about what I think are the ups and downs of the games because a) I wanted to write a blog post and couldn't think of anything else to write about at this time and b) I wanted to defend both games in the face of opposition.
NB MAY CONTAIN EXPANSION SPOILERS DEPENDING ON YOUR DEFINITION OF A SPOILER, I WILL BE REFERENCING SPECIFIC THINGS WITHIN EXPASIONS
Fallout 3 was Bethesda's "here we are, rejuvenating a series in a different format" effort. Previous games had worked, which is obvious from the staunch support they receive on this Wiki and the passion with which they are spoken about. However, Bethesda wanted to take a different approach and turn the series from a turn-based plan-view game into an immersive 3D world of RPGing. So Bethesda took a chance and it worked, receiving awards aplenty after its showing at E3.
However, there has been a lot of hate for FO3 but players have to remember that, like Assassins Creed (the first of the series I didn't find as meaty as the following 2 games), this game was their first, they were still finding their feet so of course it wasn't going to be absolutely perfect. No matter how you look at it, FO3 introduced a lot of people to the FO franchise, people who would never have bought into it in the first place (I will be honest, I am not a PC player and when my boyfriend bought FO3 and played it I was initially sceptical, until I took a hold of the controller and played it myself after which I couldn't put it down). And, due to the ensuing influx of people into the franchise, no doubt the original games fared better too, with many people having the urge to see what started this whole crazy post-apocolyptic world.
So I get onto the good points of FO3. What I like about FO3 is the fact that it is made difficult by the amount of opposition you encounter. You can't walk far without coming across a supermutant or those damn Enclave Hellfire Troopers. Compared to the major factions of New Vegas, the Enclave were tough. I've never really had trouble with the NCR etc but the Enclave? As soon as I see them I want to turn tail. Nevermind the fact that the Supermutants seemed so much harder in FO:3. They became tamer in New Vegas in my opinion.
The main bad point, as many will agree I am sure, is the bugginess of the game. There has been many a time I have become frustrated by getting stuck in a place that should be easily escapable. And these glitches aren't even amusing as some in New Vegas are. A shame really. Also, unlike New Vegas, I didn't find FO3 to have as extensive a weapon range. The weaponry was ok, but not great. But, as said previously, they were finding their feet and obviously they learnt from the mistakes in FO3 to better FONV (except maybe the glitches, there are still a fair few in NV).
The final thing I will discuss will be the DLCs. Now, I got the GotY edition so I didn't have to purchase and download the expansions so I can't comment on that. However, I can comment on the quality. I couldn't play Mothership Zeta due to it freezing everytime I began on the first alien probe cut scene. Uncool. But I did enjoy the other expansions I was able to play, Operation: Anchorage giving me the Gauss which was an amazing gun in FO3 in my eyes (not so much in NV, in fact it SUCKED in NV) and the Shocksword which was endless amusement right there, The Pitt introducing the Auto-Axe which was also in my eyes a great weapon and then Point Lookout not only presenting us with the moody British ghoul but also those creepy hicks and the really trippy but immensely fun mind-screw bit with the giant Punga-Punga fruit. Finally, the inclusion of Broken Steel made the game feel more open and the fact that you got to see your efforts (or Sentinal Lyons/Fawkes depending on your decision) put to work. As well as kick some more ass which is always fun.
More people give the vote of confidence to NV and there is no wonder why. With a better map layout (unlike FO:3 there is less restricted access ie like there was in DC) and a wider range of opposition it is a superior game. The weapon variety was better, the whole game felt more immersive and brighter (although this can be attributed to the fact that it takes place in the Mojave as discussed on the making of DVD). I enjoyed discovering locations and collecting weapons. BUT, and this is a big but, there were times I would get so bored, travelling great distances without encountering anything other than sand. Yes, when do encounter opposition it is good, but it seems to be grouped too heavily together rather than being an even spread. You come across a dense area of "baddies" such as Black Mountain and then continue on without seeing a soul for a while.
Guess the good points are pretty self-explanatory, the weapon range being greater thus giving the player more choice, the game play feeling smoother, the missions feeling more consequential and extensive, the storyline opening up to more interpretation. The positives are endless and it is a really good game, but we mustn't forget that without FO3 we wouldn't have arrived at this.
Now for the bad. The opposition's strength seemed too skewed. I fought the Legendary Deathclaw and killed it with more ease than the Mother while also finding that the Legendary Bloatfly was more difficult (even though Deathclaws still reign supreme when it comes to difficulty). Also, unlike in FO:3, the Supermutants don't seem to be as difficult. This could be down to the fact that there are a lot of difficult "baddies" in the game and they thought it would be a good idea to lower the difficulty to make game-play somewhat easier for new players but I am not sure. And, although they could have learnt from FO3, as pointed out earlier, NV is still very glitchy. I have lost count of the times I have had to reload the game because of it going in super-slow-mo or crashing. Not a good thing sadly.
Finally, the NV expansions. The thing that I liked the most about these particular add-ons was the fact that they linked to the main storyline much more than the FO3 ones did. This made them flow a lot better and actually made the storyline lock together. Honest Hearts was my least favorite, making me rue the fact I paid £8 for an expansion that lasted less time than it does to cook a chicken. I'm sorry to all of you that defend HH but come on, it may have had some interesting characters (Ghost of She - although I never did that mission so I never got to fight it) there were also some boring ones (most notably Joshua Graham, I do apologise but I was really looking forward to meeting this badass that had been referenced in the main game only for him to be a slow and uninteresting character in my eyes). There were some good weapons though, but still not worth £8, sorry guys! Now, I didn't really play Dead Money, but it seemed a little repetitive and the lack of weaponry seemed to make for a bit of shoddy game play. The only expansion I have found really worthwhile thus far (I can't comment properly until the release and subsequent play-through of Lonesome Road) is Old World Blues. There is comedy (penised feet, anyone?) and some interesting opposition (Stripe and Gabe being my highlights). The only thing that I didn't like in this expansion was that annoying suit who just WOULDN'T SHUT UP! Too much. I am looking forward to Lonesome Road though and hoping that it will bring the standard of expansions up, because for me, OWB is the only one flying the flag right now.
Right, there you have it. My opinions laid out for you in a wonderfully drawn-out blog. Ta-ta!