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Fallout 3 - The Chocolate Box-Pocalypse.

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Fallout 3 - The Chocolate Box-Pocalypse.
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Michael Danton
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
Posts: 3559
Location: Australia.

Post Fallout 3 - The Chocolate Box-Pocalypse. Reply with quote

You know, I can remember a time when chocolatiers would sell their sweets in these shallow tin boxes, more often than not there would be a picture painted on the front that was just as sickly sweet as the content within. Imagine a pastoral village with thatched roofs, a collection of fluffy sheep being herded through town, a mischievous dog trailing a butcher's cart, people generally being decent to each-other in a way that mocks reality rather than mimics it. Some people use the term "Chocolate box" to describe a scene that's unusually idyllic, insipid artwork that has been contrived to be 'nice'... Or Fallout 3.

Yes, despite the apocalyptic nature of the game, it seems everyone has a place, a purpose, somewhere to sleep at night and there's no shortage of food, in addition to a seemingly limitless quantity of guns, ammo and supplies that are available for a set rate based upon a standardized currency. Sure, there are monsters out there, but you have to go looking for them, and they meet you on your terms. It's all very idyllic as far as post-apocalyptic-nuclear-nightmares go especially considering the same can't be said for modern day Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, D R Congo or any of it's neighbours. The people there are refugees, no home, no purpose, no food and you have no way of defending yourself when the monsters come right into your lean-to, hold you down and hack your arms and legs off... Because they feel like it.

Or perhaps put a burning tyre around your neck?

Now, what if you had a long knife to protect yourself with? Perhaps a short piece of stout pipe? In that situation you'd guard it with your life as it guards yours. Actually possessing a pistol or gun of some kind is beyond the wildest dreams of these people, and similarly a survivor in a position of life and death circumstances would feel just the same way. How many bullets have you got? Maybe a dozen that aren't too corroded to fit in the breech. Maybe the gun doesn't work? maybe it's jammed? Maybe the powder had become wet once, maybe the pin has seized? Maybe I should fire a shot to see? No, then others will know I have it and kill me for it...

None of these concerns ever dawn on the Vault dweller who can't even get some breakfast before he's got a brand new pistol shoved into his hand and enough shells to make a rhinoceros rattle, each and every one guaranteed to fire first time, every time. Not that a standard pistol is a huge benefit anyway, the common wasteland raider can take a number of slugs to the eyeball before their heads comically launch from their necks and casually roll down the hill like a psychotic game of lawn bowls. Lets just get one thing straight, statistics clearly state that you have only a 5% chance of surviving a bullet (of any caliber) to the head and living to slur and drool the tale of it.

It looks like this.

Not this.

So you'll just have to push your brain back into your head and stagger about like a charming drunk for a little while until you can "Fast Travel" which basically means, 'take a few hours off the clock and beam me up Scotty' to wherever you want to go, right bang outside of the wasteland clinic if you want. At which point the surly doctor harangues you for coming in saying that your head is only caved in a little bit. A quick injection later and you're healed! This also applies to hacked off limbs, lethal levels of radiation, bits of burnt tyre embedded with your skin and solves that embarrassing problem of having your chin fused to your chest without any scars or ill effects at all! Idyllic ain't it?

And all this for the low, low price of 50 caps which are always excepted, not subject to inflation and never lose value in the market! If only Kenya was so lucky, at the moment the inflation rate there is over a million percent! People are going into shops with great stacks of million dollar notes and maybe walking out with some bread if there is any to buy in the first place. This is also considering that the million dollar note has already been readjusted to a single dollar so in reality people are walking around with wheelbarrows full of billion dollar notes.

And how do you get caps, you ask? There's no trick to it at all, raiders are practically lining up so you can shoot them in the face half a dozen times and nick their long johns. This game isn't hard, it's dead easy so it doesn't fulfill the difficulty criteria of an actual skill based game, especially since VATS does all the work for you which makes combat a very lazy experience. Sure you can turn up the difficulty, but it's only more difficult academically as the effects of weapons become unrealistic to the point of becoming laughable, couldn't they have just added more enemies instead? I'd rather play it on "normal" and feel like a tourist rather than putting up with the sight of a person taking 5 seconds of minigun fire to the head and he's still yelling that he's going to make you his bitch etc,. If he does actually get a few hundred bullets into your posterior and your health bar goes down a bit, you can call a time out while you eat three dozen Philly cheese-steaks to replenish lost health... As if a cheese-steak ever helped anyone...

And where the hell do you get a minigun or hand held nuclear device from anyway?
I hate to say it; but all subtlety is lost in this game, the guns feel oversized and underpowered, the big beautiful world they've made is for the most part irrelevant and the enemies are just a bunch of muppets.

No, calling Fallout 3 a chocolate box parody of war and survival under the most extreme conditions is an obscene understatement. It's beyond idyllic, as beautiful as it is it's just another sandbox made for little kids and armchair commandos that bears no semblance to reality. It's a great pity, it could have been so much more.


"I wouldn't say abrasive. I'd rather say you're a cool soothing groove with a hint of jazz..."

Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:32 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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