Great game with years of value thanks to diverse number of ways it can be played and its superb modding possibilities.
Imagine a retro-future, based on technology that looks like it was designed to look futuristic back in 1948. Televisions, radios, cars and furniture all with that 1950s flair, but with the functionality of technology from 2077. Now imagine that this retro-world was destroyed by nuclear war, what it might look like 200 years later. A giant scrapyard of these relics. This is the setting for Fallout 3, about 16 square kilometers of it, when you finally come out of the nuclear bunker known as Vault 101...
Your first venture the into wasteland will be spooky. accompanied by the eeire sound of the wind howling and playing on the ruined city, signs creaking and dust devels occasionally stirring up. Every step will be filled with suspense as you try to assess the unfamiliar environment for signs of danger from its unknown inhabitants and from radiation. Initially, you'll probably find yourself sneaking up on the fortress town of megaton, uncertain as to whether the one guarding the gate is a friend or enemy...
Dialogue between npcs and yourself is a rich and varied, with each turn of the conversation offering you a menu with a choice of repsonses. The types of repsonses fall into three categories - negative, neutral and positive.
As you progress further you'll expore buildings, picking locks and hacking computer terminals along thw way, and building up these skills along with a range of other skils. A new feature in this Oblivion style game engine is the concept of Karma, which is a stat that has either a positive or negative value depending on the choices you make in your actions and in your conversations.
Fallot 3 appears to be a first person shooter but the are several features that distinguish it from this, one example being the character and skills levelling systems, and another being the fact that the game pauses when you access a menu, such as your wrist mounted Pipboy, any terminal or the VATS system of combat. This means that combat does not necessarily have to take place in real time. Again, this is just another example of the game's diversity.
If you are buying this game now, which I recommend you do if you don't already have it, then you should go for the Game of the Year Edition which includes all five DLC packages -- The Pitt, Operation Anchorage, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta. As you explore the world you'll be surprised at how much bigger it is with this extra DLC, with new areas, new buildings and even a massive, orbiting spaceship to explore!
One of the greatest things about Fallout 3 is the modding possibilities it offers. It's producers Betheshda released an editor known as The GECK which pretty much allows you to mod anything you want in the game, without changing the game's original code. This has given rise to some wonderfully creative content produced by enthusiasts, such as the Fallout Who mods which build on all these previous DLCs and allow a new way to play this game by travelling around the locations as the pilot of Dr Who's Tardis!!
The Game of the year Edition is great value for money and it will be around for some time yet. I bought mine on the Steam platform at a good price.