Video Game Review: Fallout 3

The bleak and amazingly detailed post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 3 is possibly the biggest and most dynamic yet to appear on a next-generation video game console. An epic story that literally begins at the character's birth is poignant and massive. Tons of sidequests and subplots offer almost limitless adventures that will keep players engaged for weeks.

Adventuring in Fallout 3 can mean anything from fighting your way through teams of super-mutants to saving a rag-tag team of mercenaries, to helping reconnect a little boy with family after his parents are killed. Players are given many choices to aid good and villainous characters, helping to define their own personality in the process. Act the hero and you'll be hailed by villagers for your deeds. Choose the path of villainy and you'll be shunned and even attacked.

If Fallout 3 were limited to just the game's massive main story and many side-stories, it might be enough to make it a great game, but unique combat features in addition to traditional ones and the depth of character customization, allowing players to create an experience that suits them perfectly, add that little something extra that make it a video game masterpiece.

Say Goodbye to Your Loved Ones. You're Going to Be Busy

As a lifelong inhabitant of Vault-101, you've spent your entire life in a massive shelter, protected from the deadly radiation of the nuclear winter outside. You've been taught that you were one of the lucky ones who was fortunate to make it into a vault before the war and its horrific aftermath. But when your father is accused of murder and leaves Vault-101, you're left with a head swimming with questions and the only way to get answers is to go against your teachings and head outside.

Emerging from the vault, your first glimpse of the world as it is now is both beautiful and bleak. Total destruction lies in all directions and radiation has spawned some nasty new inhabitants to the rough and devastated wasteland. It isn't long before you bump into a makeshift city called Megaton and start to unravel the mystery of who you and your father really are, and start to make decisions about how you'll fit into the world.

Maybe it's the voice acting of Liam Neesen, Ron Perlman or Malcom McDowell. Maybe it's the vastness, variety and realism of the world the game plants you in. Whatever it is, Fallout 3 is a game that you want to play again, right after you get started. There are so many different ways to play the game and to handle every situation, that it's hard to recall a game in recent memory that creates the kind of replayability that Fallout 3 does.

Fight super-mutants, rabid creatures and good old fashioned tough guys. Use weapons of the future, or weapons of the past. Use your brain or use your brawn. Any way you play it, you'll have fun.

Fallout 3, come for the post-apocalyptic destruction, stay for the non-stop carnage!

Fallout 3 is rated "M" for "Mature" and is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 video game consoles and Windows Pcs.

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