A to Z of Gaming Me – F

F for f-steak.

F is another letter I have a few options for. There are several games that feature on my favourites beginning with F. I’m choosing Fallout 3 for this one though.

from: https://humblebundle.imgix.net/misc/files/hashed/35f3c8fc541b65022251372db7f5498582958238.jpg?auto=compress,format&fit=crop&h=353&w=616&s=18fd1e5268ed523c43c78962b4bb1c20

First of all, why Fallout 3 and not the more widely loved Fallout New Vegas? To start with, Fallout 3 is where I fell in love with the Wasteland. It was bought with some trepidation after spending far too long in Tamriel. It sat for a long while without being played. And then the disc went in the drive, and all at once I was hooked, in love and in adoration.

From the very first steps as Baby Lone Wanderer to the last almighty crash of a dead Behemoth, Fallout is ingrained into my gaming bones. Never the gritty darkness and horror of the MEtro series, nor the zombie apocolypse of The Walking Dead, Fallout walked a fine line between seriousness and lighthearted fun. But why Fallout 3?

from: http://www.seandahlberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/fallout-4-please-stand-by-624×390.jpg

It wasn’t too open, unlike New Vegas and Fallout 4. Fallout 3 gave you a constructive and limited environment to get used to the game and the mechanics. Life in the Vault taught you control, speech and charisma, and how to fight, without ever being in true peril. If you take ages to fight that first Radroach, well that’s ok, we’ve got some more practice coming up. If you give in to the bullies, well that’s ok, just don’t help him later down the line.
I appreciate the smaller map size, despite the underground/metro system. Fallout 3 feels like a smaller map size, partially due to the D.C ruins limiting overworld travel. It forces you to explore ruins and the underground network, adding to the horror. Do I like the metro? No, I don’t like being underground in real life, and I don’t like knowing that ghouls are probably just around the corner. But I appreciate what it adds to the Fallout universe – people would move underground where possible to shelter, so it makes sense that there are ghouls down there.

from https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/fallout/images/e/ec/Anacostia_Crossing_station.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20150323161632

If I choose badly, it doesn’t matter too much. In Fallout 3, if you turn left out the Vault instead of heading to Megaton, no big deal. You can come back later and move the story along. I mean, I recommend going to Megaton for some easy quests that help you build some stats quickly, but if you don’t, it’s ok.
If you pick any route but one in New Vegas, expect to die quickly. Radscorpions and Deathclaws aren’t too far from the path and Cazadores are some of the worst enemies in a Fallout game.

“Try not to die!” from https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/fallout/images/6/69/Moira_Brown.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/242?cb=20101229221905

The atmosphere. Fallout 3 feels like a nuclear wasteland. Dirty, dark and falling apart. New Vegas, on the other hand, is full of space and sand and feels empty,even of derelict and broken things.

I could go on, but I feel these are the main reasons I feel happier in the DC Ruins than the Mojave.
Of course, Fallout 3 has its problems and New Vegas improved on them massively. But if you are starting off in your Bethesda Fallout journey (where have you been?), I recommend looking into Fallout 3.


Honorable Mentions
FFX – My first entry into the Final Fantasy. I watched my brother play this for hours and, when he wa struggling with Seymour on Mt. Gagazet I had a go and beat him first try, I knew I needed to play for myself.
Firebugs – A childhood favourite. Futuristic racing game with catchy electronic music and racing on the ceiling. My brother and I played hours of this game, always with the same characters. Find it on the PS store for a little piece of the 90s/early 00s.

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