So, as i said in my musings on FarCry 2 , I also bought Fallout 3 at the same time.
I generally dont go in for role playing games, as I find the repetitive tediousness of having to level up and stuff quite, quite boring, but, as my friend Kaz raved about it, I thought Id give it a go..it being cheapo also had a lot to do with it :)
Having never played any of the Fallout games before, I wasnt familiar with the game universes fluff, but as I began playing, I found the post apocalyptic alternate universe storyline fascinating, as well as the fact that the games open environment and half decent third/first person combat system wasn't clunky unlike some of the games I've played in the past. I also quite enjoyed the puzzle solving elements that cropped up from time to time, such as the lock picking and word game based computer hacking mini games that cropped up depending on the situation.
The nice open environment of the "Capital wasteland" is beautifully rendered, and contains everything you'd expect to see in a post nuclear wasteland, and is inhabited by a lot of interesting characters, many of whom help or hinder you along the way by giving you side missions to complete and such, in addition to you following the "main" storyline.
For those who don't know the plot, the game starts with your birth in the year 2258, at which time you get to create what your characters appearance will be in game. as you are born, with your father delivering you, your mother dies.
One year passes and your infant self is living with your father in "Vault 101", a nuclear fallout shelter built some time before the great war of 2077 (this bit comprises the basic control training)
Nine more years pass and at your 10th birthday party other people living in the vault are introduced, and conversations with them help you to understand that everyone there was born in the vault and have always lived there.
Six more years pass and you take the G.O.A.T ( Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test), which provides you with the first opportunity to assign yourself skills points which determine how good your character will be at doing certain tasks.
Three more years pass and and the main storyline begins proper, when your father, acting against the vault overseers orders, breaks the seals on the vaults door and exits the vault. You, by associtation, end up becoming a fugitive from the vaults security forces, and have no choice but to follow your father to get answers.
From that point on, what you do is up to you, there are many ways to go about completing the game and many possible ways to interpret your character while doing so, you can be saintly good, you can be a right bastard, or you can be somewhere in between, the choices you make determine how others see you and what side quests you get offered.
All in all, there are 31 "official" quests and 36 "unofficial" quests, many of which can be repeated to gain extra money, XP, Karma and loot.
Now, all in all, it took me about 3 weeks to completely work through the game, I hadn't completed all of the side quests but was looking forward to going back and doing them after I'd finished the main quest, but then suddenly my interest vanished when I completed the main storyline only to find that without having any of the DLC "add-on" packs installed (and paid for) the story ends abruptly there, and lets just say the ending, no matter what you do, ends up being depressing as fuck.
I'm sorry but that's bullshit, and i can now understand why Mass Effect 3 players got so pissed off when that game came out and they were greeted after hours of play with a depressing ending. It then came to my attention that the "Game of the year" edition comes with all the add-on packs on a second disc, but, to be honest, by that time I had completely lost interest in paying for another copy of the game just for the privilege of turning a big let down into another possible let down.
I'm still pissed off about it now (you cant tell can you?), and my plans to get the next game in the Fallout series, Fallout- New Vegas, have been shelved for the foreseeable future, unless I can get hold of a copy of the "ultimate" edition of that for under £20, which I've been informed is unlikely for some time, so, I doubt that ill be doing much Fallout related tomfoolery again.
What otherwise would have been a good game is let down by the ending, and the fact that additional DLC is required to properly get some sort of closure to the otherwise enjoyable and fascinating storyline.