Bethesda's sure-hit blockbuster Fallout 3 is coming October 28th, and reviews have been starting to trickle in.
So far the few reviews released have been from print magazines. A few days ago French mag PC Jeux gave the game a 93%. Now it seems that PC Gamer Sweden gave the game a less-impressive, but still good, 81%.
One of the opening lines of his review reads: "Fallout 3 IS "Oblivion with guns" -- which is what many were expecting. It seems that the Swede reviewer, Joakim Bennet, was a huge fan of the earlier Fallout games, and judged many of the game's elements against its successors. The bottom line seems to be if you were looking for a RPG like the original Fallout games, then you'll be disappointed. But if you are a fan of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, then you will probably like Fallout 3. This is not much of a big surprise, I suppose.
The reviewer praised the game's VATS combat system -- which he said was much superior to the real time combat -- and the game's SPECIAL skill system (one of the few mechanics taken from the original games.) On the down side, much like Oblivion, the reviewer stated that many of the backdrops and NPCs seem lifeless.
“Fallout 3 is an uneven game if I´ve ever seen one," the reviewer states.
Then later on: "Because in Fallout 3 I get almost everything served directly. Bethesda have tried to squeeze in as much as possible on area as small as possible. Substance enough for a lifetime in short-movie format, if you want to. And the result is an anticlimax, too much of the good in too short time. One minute I'm running into a nest of rad-scorpions, while there is a peaceful camp of settlers 30 meters away. Some slavers are walking around with their slaves just around the corner and some raiders just settled down a bit farther away. A quick jog and I'm a nest of deathclaws. It's compressed, maximized and anonymized at the same time. It feels like a enormous orgy where nobody wants to fire away. There's tight and crowded, but no friction nor excitement. Many parts, but no entirety. And this feeling of getting the world pushed in my the face is the single largest weakness with Fallout 3, and every one that loved the original two games will scratch their head, wondering."
The review does end on a high note, however: "But first and foremost, the game doesn’t let go of you, despite flaws. the story always makes you want to take a few steps more, and after every disappointment there will be a moment of awe."
For this gamer, it was mods that made Oblivion go from a so-so game to an excellent game -- maybe Fallout 3 will be the same way? I hope Bethesda does release a SDK eventually, as they have said they would.
So far a 81% and 93% -- it'll be interesting to see what other reviewers will say. Especially those who haven't played the first two games, which seems to have really skewed this Swedish reviewer's review.
(Follow the blog link below if you'd like to read more excerpts.)