107 hours sounds like a really long time. Think of all the other things I could have been doing in the real world! When you consider that I started playing back in late February, though, it actually comes out to a couple hours a week. I was also playing Fallout 3
without the benefit of any walk-through or guide, so my path through the wasteland was pretty meandering.
I picked some really great skills to start the game with, but mostly for the wrong reasons. For example, I tagged a high Repair skill because the description talked about making your own weapons and I figured anything I could cobble together would be better than the junk I'd find in the ashes of a nuclear holocaust. Who knew scavenging parts out of one rifle to maintain another was so critical to survival? I also bumped my starting Intelligence up to 9 figuring it would make me more helpful to the people I met, and didn't really consider all the extra skill points it would grant me every level.
On the other hand, I picked Small Guns because I correctly assumed they'd be both common and useful, and Medicine because I didn't know if I could rely on anyone else to patch me up. Pretty good choices in all!
My planned personality was also different than in most RPGs. Altruism is nice when you're a jedi or a paladin and have the luxury being a Symbol to the People, but in the radioactive wastes, baby needs a new magazine of .556 ammunition. I didn't turn down a single proffered reward until long after I was swimming in bottle caps and spare parts, and anytime it didn't involve reneging on a deal, I tried to wheedle even more out of people. I wanted to help people and do as many quests as possible, but by God, I was going to get paid for the effort and exact revenge on anyone who tried to double-cross me whether the game called it "Evil" or not. This actually came up pretty early in the game, too: during one of the very first quests when I was searching for
Took the karmic hit too. I wonder what kind of discussions they were having at Bethesda when they decided that paying that extortion fee was morally superior to non-violently taking information about my own family.
Though I didn't have a guide, I did remember a couple things that people had said in the months since Fallout 3
's release. Complaints about hitting the level cap too early convinced me to avoid the experience booting perks. I also heard an interesting podcast where they said the "Wasteland Survival Guide" series of quests was really a cleverly disguised tutorial on how to deal with stuff like radiation poisoning and crippled limbs, so I focused on doing those first. For that second one, I jumped off a roof in Megaton a couple times until my ankles snapped like pencils and then dragged myself up the filthy ramp to Craterside Supply to find it was closed for the evening. Bitch.
Actually, Moira was one of my favorite characters in the whole game. I got the sense early on that her ditsy demeanor was a defense mechanism, and near the end of the quest line, her quiet speech about
is one of my favorite bits of videogame writing ever.
I think my favorite all-around quest was "Reilly's Rangers." I was in the middle of doing something completely different when I stumbled across it, and whether it really has a time limit or not, I dropped everything and hauled ass to get it done! The rewards were damn worth the effort, too. I liked "Oasis" too, mostly because the situation really made me stop and think about the best thing to do. In the end, I
As far as I know, I've completed every major quest in Fallout 3
except for "Strictly Business" which appears on the Achievement list but, through some fluke of fate, I've never encountered. Everything else I found on my own. It's amazing how anything that seems potentially interesting in this game somehow rewards your curiosity.
I picked up the DVD releases of the first four expansion packs after I hit the original Level 20 cap about 75% of the way through the main game. Man, all that stuff is really well integrated! Now I've completed everything I can find in Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt,
and Broken Steel
, and while the first two wouldn't have held up so well as late-comers to the original game, they're *fantastic* add-ins to explore as organic parts of the journey. Broken Steel
was great follow-up to the core game too, especially since I've heard that in the original game, you couldn't continue playing after you finished the story. Speaking of the original story, by the way, what the hell was up with (end spoiler)
This means that Point Lookout
remains untouched and I don't even own Mothership Zeta
yet...but after eight months of regular play, I'm thinking it's time for a rest. Fallout 3 is the most enjoyable and rewarding RPG I've played since Baldur's Gate 2
, and frankly, I want to see how Dragon Age: Origins