8.5

Pushing replay value?

Fallout 3... Bethesda's newest Behemoth. This one's definitely near the top of my list of fave games this year! After beating the game and now currently giving it a second run through for the neutral and evil achievements I have to ask myself...(Its been asked before and I'm gonna ask it again). Was this as good as Oblivion? In my humble opinion... not quite. Don't get me wrong... its not because the game wasn't as well made as Oblivion or because the battle system was a bit different than what we're all used to (lets face it... we fear change... especially when something is tried, tested and true).

I just didn't feel as... oh what's the word... immersed in the game as i did in Oblivion. I felt like iI didn't care as much. I also felt like this time around Bethesda wanted me to play the game through multiple times rather than play through once and achieve everything with one character... Why didn't I care as much about my character in Fallout 3 as I did in Oblivion? Why did i feel like Bethesda wanted me to play through more than once?

First - the level cap.

Why oh why would they level cap us at 20???
The one thing I loved about Oblivion, one of the main reasons why I CARE about my character more... is because whenever I sit down to play it, I get a sense of accomplishment each and every time. There was always some way to improve upon my character, whether it be more experience, better equipment or that new spell i was waiting to get when my magic skill was high enough. I was fun! It drew me in.
After reaching level 20 in Fallout 3 I lost A LOT of desire to try as hard. Even though there were more sights to see and side quests to do, it didn't feel the game was as satisfying. I found myself rushing through buildings and side quests to get the achievements without taking the time to explore each room to see if there was another baddy that would add to my growing experience points.

Second - The fact that some areas in Fallout 3 are only accessible once and then you can never return there again.

That's pretty lame by itself, but when you add the fact that there was an important, hard to find item (aka bobble-head) within the one-time-only area, it can be frustrating to say the least if you missed it like I did - D'oh! Guess I'll put bobble-heads on my to-do list for the second play through!

Third - The achievements for reaching different levels with different karma.I think this one's a no-brainer.

I just feel like Bethesda wanted me to play this game through multiple times instead of one continuous game where I can continue to improve my character (a-la Oblivion). I felt like I couldn't achieve everything in one play through with my character (that I spent a lot of time scouring the wasteland to beef up and get the best most bad-ass armor!)

All in all I thought this was an awesome game. The guys at Bethesda are geniuses. Graphics, music, story... all incredible. Even though I wish I could've done everything in the game in one continuos play through with no level 20 cap, I will be gladly playing through this a second and probably a third time.

I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed that Bethesda has tired a little harder this time to create more of a replay value. I just hope they realize that Oblivion didn't have replay value... it has CONTINUOS play value. In my opinion more satisfying!

Cheers!


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