After what has seemed like an age, I have finally completed Fallout 3. If it weren't for the constant crashing, it would have been a great game. As it is, I feel I have to downgrade it to Mostly Great. I think a lot of it was down to it just not running that well under Win 10, but it meant having to restart the game every few minutes, which got old really, really fast. It's a testament to how good the game is that I continued to slog through it. That's not to say it's perfect, though, by any means. Let's backtrack a bit. Fallout 3 is the first of Bethesda's FPS takes on the Fallout universe. Mostly, it succeeds, the post-apocalyptic '50s feel is still there, and there's still a blend of humour thrown into the dour-faced struggle for survival in the wasteland (though perhaps not as much as the earlier games). There isn't as much world-building and atmosphere as the old games, though, and a lot of this is down to the people that you meet and the conversations that you have - I also felt there wasn't such a good sense of place here, everywhere felt a bit samey (not helped by the constantly oppressive grey graphics). There are a lot of people to meet, and some of them are memorable, but to be honest, most of the people that you meet and quests that you perform are forgettable. Also, an awful lot of it is missable. For example, I never encountered Dogmeat, Fallout's most iconic companion, at all on my playthrough. I had to look up where he was in a walkthrough and go and find him after I'd already completed the game. In fact, I didn't have a companion at all until the very end of the game, whereas other people get companions as quickly as possible and play through the entire game with them. I think this is partly down to the fact that I avoided doing the main quest until the last minute. I wanted to explore the wasteland first, so I spent the vast majority of my time wandering around picking up quests and murdering savages, and not bothering with my poor old missing dad at all. It was only after I'd hit the level cap and couldn't earn any more experience that I decided maybe I should take a look at this main quest thing. I'm quite glad that I did do it that way, as the main quest was disappointingly short and rail-roaded. I couldn't really believe how quickly it was over. If you'd decided to just follow the main quest after picking this game up, you'd have a terrible time. As it is, I spent a very enjoyable time travelling around righting wrongs and lugging loot. It did get a little boring towards the end (and the crashing...I know I've already mentioned it, but God, the crashing!), but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game, and one that I'm very glad I've finally played through. Next up in the series is New Vegas - based upon the same engine (I think), but written by the RPG specialists at Oblivion. By all accounts, it has much improved story and dialogue, so I'm looking forward to that. I might just have a break for Always Sometimes Monsters before I make a start on it, though.
In PS3 news, I also played Crash Commando at the weekend. I didn't realise, but it's primarily a multiplayer game, so there wasn't really much to get my teeth into. The premise is kind of taking Team Fortress and putting it on a 2D plane and zooming out until your avatar is tiny and you can see most of the level. Oh, and giving you a jetpack. You then have to run and jump around various levels, shooting bots (or Real(TM) bad people) or mostly getting shot yourself if you're me. It controls like a twin-stick shooter, with one stick for movement and the other for aiming your gun - of which there are many to choose from. It took a little while to get into the swing of it, but it was quite good fun after that. It did make me realise how slow and rubbish I am at those things, though. Without the multiplayer element, it's just a slightly boring bot deathmatch...so, nah.