It’s all in the details

Oct. 28 saw the release of what is surely to be one of the best games of 2008. That game is Fallout 3, developed by Bethesda Game Studios. Set in a post-nuclear apocalyptic Washington D.C., the game thrusts you into one of the most realistic worlds ever seen in gaming.

You play as a fully customizable character. After choosing your name, looks and skills (skills range from endurance to charisma), you set out into the story. You are living in Vault 101, a safe haven that nobody leaves. Your father is a well respected doctor, until one day he leaves the vault unexpectedly. Vault 101’s overseer accuses you of the problem, and with that you have to escape.

Leaving the vault thrusts you into a highly-detailed Wasteland. Plenty of cities have been represented in previous video games, but nothing has ever been done so well like this. You start off in a barren space, but going into the streets of D.C. should make your jaw drop. The detail is amazing, from the cracks in the wall to the veins on a character.

One of the best elements of the game is the PIP-Boy 3000. It is a device attached to your arm that helps you keep track of your stats and equip weapons. The PIP also lets you use the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (VATS). There are some really great things you can do with this. Once entered into the system, you can target specific limbs of your target and queue up attacks. While not always super accurate, the system works well.

Fallout 3’s graphics are great. As mentioned, the detailing is intense. The character models all look good and some of the effects are top-notch. You may recognize some famous voices within the game, such as Liam Neeson and Ron Perlman, who provide some great voice work.

There isn’t too much that Fallout 3 does wrong. And that’s a good thing, considering you will be putting a lot of hours into the game. After about 15-20 hours of gameplay, you still won’t have 100 percent of the game done. You may not even have 50 percent. But this gives you plenty of reason to keep coming back to the game for more. The environment alone should keep you busy with wandering for hours on end, if only to find more locations.

So if you’re looking for something really great to play this holiday season, we can recommend Fallout 3. It’s a great start and sure to be the standout among all the big titles this season. Fallout 3 is available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.