Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Fallout 3 is shit and this is why

I enjoyed the free-roaming of Oblivion. I enjoyed luring Umbra to the big Imperial City, whatever it was called, and hiding in a fountain watching her kill ten guys before they took her down.

I knew that free roaming was going to be great in Fallout 3.

I hated, in Oblivion, how you could be the most evil motherfucker in the world, head of the assassin’s guild, a vampire, saviour of the entire kingdom, head of the mages guild and the Gray Fox, leader of the thieves guild, even though they had a policy of no killing.

In fact I had just saved the entire world, was a vampire, when this group of fruits comes up to me telling me how much they hate vampires and would I be interested in culling some disgusting vampires with them because they’re so vile and offensively unnatural?

Yeah well Fallout 3 was going to change all that. Your actions would have real consequences and shape the world which, by the way, was going to feel incredibly real and authentic.

Are you fucking crying yet? Are you weeping tears of joy at seeing a real, lived in world torn apart by nuclear war and insane mutant raider scorpion fucks? At seeing Liam Neeson, your dad(!), LIAM NEESON lecture you about being in a desert and stuff?

And this translated into the real world, our world, the real world we live in where Liam Neeson is nobody's dad, as you being able to blow up Megaton (in Fallout 3, it’s not a real place) and never being able to go there again. Uh…was there anything else? Not really, no.

Nothing I did had any impact at all. I chose not to kill a giant tree man, he was upset for a second but got over it. I sold some people into slavery, no one gave a shit. I killed every trader I came across, it was never mentioned.

In fact, near the start of the game, I met the sheriff in Megaton and somehow told him that Mr Burke, bad guy character, was planning to blow up the town. We go and confront Mr Burke and he agrees to follow Sheriffman to the prison, then shoots him in the back. Oh my, I thought, and by way of consoling myself beat Mr Burke to death with a baseball bat I happened to have and stole all his clothes.

And no one mentioned this. In fact they never cleared the naked bodies out of the bar where the murder had happened. No one seemed to notice their sheriff was dead. If you spoke to his son he was like just like my dad’s dead, see ya never!

Then later, by way of thematic symmetry or whatever, I found myself outside Tenpenny Tower, owned by Mr Tenpenny who had hired Mr Burke to do all his errands and destroy Megaton. I talk my way in and the main guard is like “You better not make any trouble here,” and I immediately kill him and every other fucker in the courtyard. Inside the lobby everyone is calm, somehow blissfully unaware I’ve murdered any and all of their friends and loved ones unlucky enough to be outside when I decided, on a whim, to murder them all. One of the patrons in the lobby even comes on to me.

I kill her and everyone else there, then head up to Tenpenny.

The guard on his door makes like you better not make any trouble with Tenpenny and I go talk to Mr Tenpenny who makes mention of Mr Burke, but seemingly doesn’t know I killed him fucking weeks ago and I’m wearing his hat even, because he never mentions it or lets on he cares about it in any way. I shoot him in the head, which comes flying off. He falls from the tower and it’s fucking great.

Inside the guard is like you better not make any trouble with Mr Tenpenny even though I shot him in the face on the otherside of the door he’s stood in front of.

And Fawkes. You meet him, he’s great, you’re like “want to hang out with me, it’ll be great?” and he, wisely says no, it would cause too much trouble for you in the towns of this land or some shit like that and fair enough, if I turned up with a super mutant in tow, literally the only one in the world who doesn’t want to tear out your still screaming internal organs and rape them to fuck, who just happens to be armed with one of the most powerful guns in the game I’d expect it to raise a few eyebrows.

But I was a fool to think this.

No one gave a shit! No one ran screaming or immediately opened fire or cursed my very name, which was Lovely Oats by the by. Even when I took him to the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Steel, whose sole purpose in life is to wipe out all super mutants, the soldiers all just stood there, with this super mutant in their base, not giving a fuck.

I couldn’t even kill half the characters in the fucking game. The amount of kids that took ten mini nukes to the face and a minute later were like “I’m a really annoying sack of SHIT” included: ALL THE KIDS IN THE GAME. I’m not saying I only bought the game to kill kids, but FUCKING HELL those kids were irritating. And I had a nuclear missile launcher. What are you going to do?

I tried playing a bad character, with real attitude (sass). Telling everyone to go fuck themselves, just doing practical shit. I found that shitty town that lives on a bridge and the guy says he has trouble with gangs. I had to kill a bunch of innocent people just to get my karma low enough for this ex raider, Jericho, to follow me. I don’t want to be like “sure I’ll help you out old man. What’s that? You can’t pay me? Why then I’ll do it all for free!”

But no, you tell him to fuck himself – no quest. It’s only good to be good in the world of Fallout 3. A game that boasts about freedom needs to offer equal rewards to both Nice and Mean playing styles.

What happened to consequences? What happened to a world that felt real?

I guess it doesn’t matter; there was a giant robot after all.

All the good stuff in the game; the weapon deterioration and creation, the landscape and level layout, the handful of interesting quests, they don’t have any real impact if you don’t give a shit about the world.

In terms of immersion the game starts in a novel, fairly strong way. But it just does too much to keep putting me off, again and again, and then I have to die at the end anyway.

Thanks Fallout 3.

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