Who are you, that do not know your history?”— Ulysses
Spoilers, regarding various parts of Fallout 3 if you have not finished the game.
Howdy folks, RangerOfTheEast here, for a first time ever blog post so bear with me as it will not be up to par in terms of quality as many other people have here on Nukapedia. Today is a big day for the Fallout franchise as Fallout 4 was announced. With the teaser trailer now being available to watch, we have tons of speculation exploding all over the internet about the new game. As a fan of the Fallout series; I am excited for release of Bethesda Game Studio's newest project. But I am not writing this blog to necessarily discuss Fallout 4, this blog is being written because there are many improvements I hope and expect to see from BGS (Bethesda Game Studio) when Fallout 4 is inevitably released.
Now as a Fallout community, we all have our different opinions regarding each installment in the series. Specifically, I want to discuss Fallout 3 and the different issues I personally had with the game. Now don't get me wrong, I love Fallout 3 it was the game that introduced me to the series and made me fall in love with the post-apocalyptic genre and the rest of the series. Fallout 3 was the game that influenced my love for the old-school crooners from the first half of the 20th century.
Now I am being redundant but the point of this blog is to discuss issues I had with Fallout 3 and I would like to hear from you folks what issues you had with the game. Now onto the list!
- The Writing: Many of the characters in Fallout 3 did not feel like characters. The characters felt like cardboard cutouts. The developers describe characters in very simplistic ways. In comparison to earlier games and FNV, where characters reacted to your choices, had in-depth backstories, and had quests associated with them.
- Lore: Now I am not going to go in-depth regarding lore as there are many areas where F3 had issues with pre-existing lore at the time. I will give one example I have learned recently. “Enclave Power Armor” in F3 is the Advanced Power Amor Mk. II in Fallout Lore. There is a terminal entry found in the Citadel after The Waters of Life main quest which gives a tactical estimate of the Enclave forces. According to F3 “Weapons -- Plasma-based, capable of molecular destabilization. Armor -- Advanced Power Armor Mark II. Transportation -- Vertibirds.Tactical Assessment -- the Enclave forces that have occupied Project Purity are nearly identical to those encountered on the West Coast in the year 2241.Threat Potential – Severe”.
From the above quote, we can understand the Enclave Power Armor is superior to Brotherhood equipment in F3. In F2, the Enclave Power Armor was superior to T-51b Power Armor, the best armor in F3. To make it simple, lore in F3 states the Enclave Power Armor is equivalent to armor the Enclave uses in Fallout 2; however, in Fallout 3 the best armor in-game is the T-51b Power Armor. Even though, lore in F3 states otherwise. This shows an inconsistency on part of the developers in creating continuity in-between the first two games and Fallout 3.
I understand the T-51b gives more DR than the Enclave Power Armor in F3. This is for in-game balancing of the defense mechanics. At the same time, the developers are making an in-game statement regarding lore and also disproving said statement within actual game mechanics. Example from F3, Enclave Power Armor DR= 40 and T-51b DR= 50 (excluding helmets).
- In-game mechanics: Some of the in-game mechanics I had issue with F3 was the condition system, the first-person aiming, and the DR system. Specifically, I had a problem with the condition system in relation to unique weapons and armor.
Take the Gauss Rifle and T-51b Power Armor found in the vanilla game. Since, the Gauss Rifle and T-51b are unique, there is no possible way to repair these items to 100% condition outside of console commands and Somah (who can repair items to 100% in the Mothership Zeta DLC). Note, Somah leaves the game permanently after the main-quest in the DLC is completed. Additionally, first-person aiming in F3 is stiff during combat situations and is awkward to control (hence, V.A.T.S. was created in order to make aiming easier).
Lastly, the damage-system in Fallout 3 is simpler, as the game relies on a more basic function to calculate damage. Lets say you have 50 DR, this means damage received is reduced by 50%. Example, an enemy hits you with 30 points of damage. The calculation in the game is 30 multiplied by .5 (your DR in this case) and the outcome of the calculation is 15 (thus meaning you receive 15 points of damage). This system works because of its simplicity, the condition of your armor constantly drops as it takes damage. This function varies between the games.
These are some of the issues I had with F3, that earlier games and FNV balanced out. Regarding lore, Fallout 3 was Bethesda Game Studio’s first attempt at making a more in-depth plot as well as having to write more complicated characters. It was a new series, that BGS had never worked on before. I guess they can be largely forgiven. Still, these are the issues I have with F3 and I hope Bethesda Game Studios has improved on them, not just for the sake of Fallout 4, but for their own sake as a game developer of the Fallout Franchise.
The criticisms I have for F3 are remedied by Obsidian's Fallout New Vegas. FNV smoothed out the first-person aiming, introduced DT as the new damage mechanic (having more complicated functions; look it up on Nukapedia if you want to see it), improved the condition system, introduced new ways to be able to repair armor and weapons to 100% condition (via merchant or through the Player Character’s own repair skill). Also, the plot, lore references, and writing in FNV is more complicated, consistent, and coherent as well.
I hope BGS learned from fan feedback and learned examples from the mechanics Obsidian improved in FNV. This is all constructive criticism, I hope to see improved and/or replaced in Fallout 4. Even if some of the old mechanics are not improved in Fallout 4 or are completely different I know it will be an amazing title regardless.
What are some of the issues you had with Fallout 3 that you hope to be improved on with the release of Fallout 4? Or perhaps you do not have any issues with Fallout 3? Please respond with constructive criticism folks. Anyway, thanks for reading this; I know it was long but it was something I really wanted to post in relation to the reveal of Fallout 4.