Fallout 3: Expanded, Anticipation

I’ll not be talking about Champions Online for awhile.  It remains foremost on my mind, as my press compilation piece indicates, but I’ve said all I can about it until it gets much closer to release, some 59 days from now.

I’m actually planning on returning to school soon (insofar as 3 credits of classes is returning to school).  Funny to think that the game will be released before then.  It’s not healthy to dwell on these things, you know?

How to burn the time between what little I’ll see of the precious game until then?  How about by returning to the game that’s been on the top ten list of of GameFaqs ever since it was released October of last year?

I refer, of course, to Fallout 3.

I warned the developers (if you call venting on my out-of-the-way soapbox a warning) that they should probably amend the ending of Fallout 3 before it falls off the players’ radars.  It turned out to be a self applicable prophecy: the amended ending came out last week and I completely missed it.

I’m excited.  I enjoyed the game all the way up to the ending, but during those last two hours it went from awesome to sucking.  I was so upset, I figured the best thing to do was just to leave Dad in his little pod and let the game sit there.

The game became purposeless: dead.  It’s a similar thing that happened to Elder Scrolls VI: Oblivion when I reached the ending.  The plot stopped moving forward.  The NPC actors still went through the motions, pretending to have their own stories, but with main story halted, all the subplots became moot.

There’s an important design lesson there: the essential role playing game experience is very much about progressing an overreaching story.  If there’s no story to progress, the spell is broken.  The game stops being an RPG and starts being a soulless simulator at that point.

Now that the ending has been changed, there’s hope.

In order to savor this, I’m going to be starting over from scratch: my hard drive broke not too long ago.  While I’m at it, I’m going to purchase all 3 of the expansions, which should come to about $30.

6-10 hours of additional play for $30 isn’t great.  However, added to the 20 or so hours it will take me to complete the main campaign while wandering to the parts of the map I haven’t been at, that shouldn’t’ be bad at all.

The main point of contention?  In order to get the most authentic experience, I’m running this in straight vanilla unmodified form, but I’ve been spoiled by good plugins.

I gave Fallout 3 another spin not too long ago, installing Martigen’s Mutant Mod, and the combat in that mod was far more exciting than the original game because there were 3-5 times more foes coming at you.  I also developed my own plugin which provided a plethora of nice creature comforts.

If I just run on Hard, will that be enough to compensate for the high-difficulty experience I’m used to?  We’ll see.  In any case, it’ll probably run a little more balanced, considering the MMM’s ammo balance wasn’t quite up to snuff with higher difficulty foes when I tried it.

Maybe to make things even more interesting, I’ll see if I can get Fallout 3 to run on my PCGamerBike mini and Gamepad.  Now that would be a good use of my $30 on the expansions, getting healthier even as I enjoy Fallout 3 for the second time.

One Response

  1. […] May 16th-18th, I decided to give Fallout 3 another spin. […]

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