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It's a rare occurrence for a game to make such a nostalgic impact on me. But popping Fallout 3 into the 360 resulted in the unearthing of long forgotten and much cherished memories of times gone by. Fallout 3 being a game I could lose myself in, and yet at the same time, be surprised by what I found.
At age 17 I watched The silence of the lambs. The film finished and I realised that I must have missed half the film. I ran downstairs to check the time and found out that no, I'd been watching for its two hour running time. I hadn't missed a single frame. The film had completely enveloped me. I'd become so engrossed that to me it felt like I'd only been watching it for a matter of minutes.
This is a rare occurrence but one that Fallout 3 brought rushing back. All the way through the game I'd become engrossed in the residents of this desolate world. I jumped on every side quest that they dared to offer my hungry gaming appetite. I explored, dealt, stole and negotiated, my way through the vast landscape and every time (not once or twice, but every time!) when the time came to stop for the day I realised that twenty minutes had in fact been four hours! By the time I completed it I'd wracked up over 48 hours of gameplay and could not believe or understand how that much time had passed.
Another memory was jogged while playing. When I was seven I once stole a penny sweet from my local newsagents. My stomach churned and I became wracked with guilt- I eventually owned up. This made me feel better and even slightly good.
I'd become engrossed in the residents of this desolate world.
Fallout 3 also gave me this sense of good and bad feelings with its Karma system. Simply put the more good decisions you make (helping people out) the better your karma becomes. The more bad decisions you made (killing, stealing, marauding - the usual) the worse it became, and with these changing levels of Karma came the age old Spiderman quote 'with great power comes great responsibility'. If you run around killing everyone then whole towns will turn against you. If your karma level drops only the nasty characters will want anything to do with you.
Every time I heard the chilling sound of a dropping Karma level I became a little bit guilty. I was intrigued to discover that the opposite was true for a friend of mine playing the game as well. He revelled in being the murderous bad guy - needless to say we no longer hang out.
Fallout 3 has definitely earned it's place amongst my favourite Role Play Games, right alongside the marvelous Mass Effect.
One final memory sprang to mind as I played. When I was nine I became addicted to my NES. I played it every hour that I wasn't sleeping, eating or at school. Unfortunately for me this had a negative affect on me as when it became time to go to sleep the world seemed to slow down. I would wave my hands in front of my face and it would seem to me like it was going in slow motion. This was a hard thing to explain but the doctor said that too much time on my console had caused my reactions to speed up and that when I turned the system off my heightened reaction time took it's time to go back to normal.
Fallout 3's VATS system that dispatches enemies by freezing time, brought back those memories of being totally aware when all around are slowly plodding around. It was a simple idea but one that had me enraptured.
All this adds up to some maybe sentimental reasons that I love this game. But they are my sentimental reasons, so they mean alot to me. Fallout 3 has definitely earned it's place amongst my favourite Role Play Games, right alongside the marvellous Mass Effect.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: