Monthly Archives: December 2010

Dreamland Online: Weapon Combination Workshop First Look

Dreamland Online: Weapon Combination Workshop First Look


Take the weapon combination system in Dreamland Online, for instance, which gives players the ability to enhance their weapons. In a few easy steps, any player can master this feature and become even more deadly in battle.

 

Weapon after Combination 2

 

To combine weapons, click the Workshop button at the right side of the game screen or visit the Master Compounder NPC located in the workshop at Paddy Village. After combining weapons, the subsidiary weapon will vanish and the major weapon will likely receive a bonus attribute.

 

Required Items

Combination requires a major weapon plus a subsidiary weapon and a reagent. The result is the major weapon plus a combination bonus. The required reagent is mushrooms, which can be found anywhere around the starting zone.

 

Dreamland Online Combination Two

 

Subsidiary Weapon Limitations

Only a weapon that is the same grade as the major weapon can serve as the subsidiary during combination. The combination process destroys the subsidiary weapon.

 

Combination Limits

Players can combine using the same major weapon as often as they like, but each new bonus replaces the previous one, so a weapon can only have one combination bonus. Once a weapon has a good combination bonus, it’s a good idea to give careful consideration to whether it’s worth gambling on the chance of receiving a better combination bonus.

 

Dreamland Online Combination One

 

Combination Bonus Rules

The better the weapons combined, the bigger the combination bonus. The smaller the level difference between the two weapons, the better the potential combination bonus. The quality of the subsidiary weapon determines the maximum combination bonus. The quality of the major weapon determines the minimum combination bonus. Players can preview the minimum and maximum combination bonus values when placing the required items in the combination interface.

 

Weapon after Combination

 

That’s all you need to know to get started. Soon you’ll be a pro at combining weapons, and your enemies will feel the effects of your handiwork as you send them scattering for the hills. Visit the official website for more information.

How Long Will WoW Continue To Wow Us??

How Long Will WoW Continue To Wow Us?
By Kei Beneza, OnRPG Journalist

 

When talking about MMORPGs, you are definitely not an MMO gamer if you are not familiar with World of Warcraft. Throughout its years of excellent service, the game has provided its subscribers with massive content and a line up of expansions that keep the world of Azeroth new and rich with adventures. With 3 successful installments some people say that the game is merely extending its currently depleting lifespan, nothing seems to stop subscribers from burning their credit cards for more Azerothian goodness. Up till today, World of Warcraft is still considered as a giant in the MMO industry, but is it really just extending its time on this world?

 

WoW Killers UNITE!

For four years, people have been speculating about the would-be WoW killers of the MMO scene, the same way they did with EverQuest a few years ago. Everytime a new MMO trailer comes out, people would just rave about it being the next big thing. Since technology is evolving extremely fast, one of the most arguable matters in this aspect is the game’s graphics. While the game tries to provide us with more textures and “flashier” gears, nothing can change the fact that the game looks old for the nextgen spectrum; however, the developers did say that WoW was made to resemble the original Warcraft 3 graphics. In a way, WoW has proven itself to be an MMO benchmark, as it brought us an array of unique features that most new titles tend to replicate. Sometimes, a non-WoW feature from MMOs in development alone can spark a WoW-killer speculation, but so far, none were successful. So what separates WoW from its competitors?

 

Azerothian Goodness: What Makes It Different

Azeroth, in my experience is more than just a 3D virtual plane that allows players to kill monsters and buy items. While some MMOs dump players into a virtual wasteland full of monsters to kill and potions to buy, WoW concentrates on providing players with the ability to embed themselves into the famous Warcraft storyline. The best part about this game is that you are not only travelling to discover different enemies, but to unravel the rich lore that adds up to your individual storyline. Yes, almost every area in the game has a story to tell, and the inhabitants also have their tales to tell. If I were to sum up my character’s life in Azeroth, it would be the same as telling my own unique story (provided that I don’t bore my friends to death). Sometimes, players would just explore the huge world rather than fight to know more about the lore, which is rather rare for an MMO to possess. The world changes drastically depending on how much the story has progressed. A good example would probably be the upcoming charring of Azeroth, which will end up burning and changing the virtual world of Warcraft as we know it. The story continues….

 

Azeroth Goodness

 

For The Past 6 Years: Scripts

Since its grand debut on November 23, 2004, World of Warcraft has given players a continuous barrage of MMO goodness. One of the first notable features of the game is the instanced dungeons. Although the dungeon concept was not founded by WoW, the game managed to deliver dungeon scripts that are unmatched even up to this date. Unlike some MMOs that mostly focuses on random instanced butchery (hack n’ slash-type), World of Warcraft provides puzzles and maze-like labyrinths that keeps the instance from being repetitive and linear. The boss scripts are also superb, in my opinion, seeing that it is far from the typical ‘tank and spank” method. Each boss fights differently, and requires a gratuitous amount of teamwork in order to beat.

 

To be honest, I myself didn’t think highly of WoW until after I’d played it. At first, it was like any other game out there, until the instanced dungeons made me fall in love with its MMO goodness. One moment we were tanking and spanking Kael’thas like any other MMO pitboss, and the next thing I knew, we were floating in the air helpless as he feeds on the weak ones. Like I said, I have never seen any other game that exercises this amount of teamwork in PVE (Player versus Environment).

 

Ragnaros

The most epic part during the early days was the 40-man-raid, which (as you can see) has now been reduced to a mere 25-man-party. If you think gathering 40 players to join your party was easy, then you guessed wrong. Still, it would be nice to raid with that many players once more.

 

Another awesome factor is the game’s number of quests, which I would say is impossible to finish with just one character. It’s rather tiring if everyone’s doing the same thing, which is why WoW has provied us with a huge load of quests to choose from. This makes it easier for players to level, creating a non-linear path for characters and preventing them from leveling the same way or from the same spot. It does get pretty hard when players of your level are hunting for the same monster, right?

 

“Oh look! a gobli—— *SWASH*— aw man… too late… now I’ll have to wait for it to respawn!”

 

Patches And Expansions: Not Your Typical Add-on

Much like other MMOs, World of Warcraft managed to give players epic expansions that continue to change and enrich both its gameplay and storyline. I’m not just talking about new classes and character rebalancing, but more adventures and diversity than ever before. The patch trailers are also unique and epic in way, as it prepares and hypes players for the upcoming dungeons and events. WoW also features ingame prologues that sort of acts like the patch trailers, but with you in it. A good example would have to be the ingame event that took place before the release of Wrath of the Lich King back in November 2008. During this event, monsters started appearing inside towns, signifying the presence of the powerful King of the Undead. There, heroes like Sylvanas and Warchief Thrall decided to aid the players in an attempt to save their main town from the Scourge. I personally have never experienced this much player-game interaction from most of the MMOs out there (and I assure you that I HAVE played a lot of them). The experience was just so enthralling, I couldn’t wait to see what will happen next.

World of Warcraft Patches

 

You Just Got To Love Those Rebalances

Another feature that separates WoW from its competitors is its continuous character rebalancing, which gives players a new PVE and PVP tier list after each patch. Unlike other games, the rebalances are quite superb in this game, meaning that Paladin won’t be stalking you for long. After playing a lot of different titles, I have concluded that most of them only give patches for 2 reasons: bug fixes, and new content. The changes are indeed game-changing and provides a semi-new experience for players who love character customization and continuous change of playstyles. After the implementation of each patch, new combos and hybrids are made, allowing players to experiment further and try out different parts of the skill trees that they once rendered useless.

 

Surprising Content

WoW can still manage to sneak up some pretty good surprises throughout the years. With the steady growth of flash games these past two years, who would think that WoW would acknowledge this gaming trend and incorporate it within their own game? Now if you find that questing and grinding is turning linear and boring for the mean time, you’d probably unwind and kill a few undeads in Plants vs Zombies. But why would WoW want you out of their game, why not just play their own WoW version of it and get EXP in the end?

 

Wanton Murder (PVP)

If you think that dungeons and questing are the only factors that make WoW what it is, wait until you try the game’s PVP system. Aside from the open world PVP system, the game also features instanced PVP arenas known as BATTLEGROUNDS. Each Battleground has its own system, meaning it’s not just a simple game of capture the flag. Alterac Valley, for example lets players duke it out to see which faction takes control of the whole map, while Isle of Conquest sports the attack and defense system. Riding a tank has never been this good.

 

Wanton Murder

 

There’s also an all-out Alliance versus Horde PVP that takes place every 2 hours and 30 minutes. The Battle for Wintergrasp, as they call it, lets players fight for one of the most famous raid dungeons in the game. Once a faction gains control of the dungeon, the other faction will be unable to access it unless they want a barrage of axes from the guards.

 

Why Wish It Dead?

What people seem to forget is that EverQuest has been around for more than 11 years, and is still going strong with a steady subscription rate. When it comes to graphics and visuals, it is clear that WoW has the upper hand. And since THE ORIGINAL EverQuest is still launching boxed expansions up to this point, and since World of Warcraft is still running smoothly up to point, I’m sure that it will top that.

Speculations On The Game’s Scope: Why It Will End Soon

To shed some light on these WoW-killer speculations, I went online to ask fellow players about their thoughts on WoW. According to them, the game is still steady, but it is clear that they will have to yank elements from out of the lore to keep it going.

 

 

WoW Speculation

 

“They already released DeathWing, so I guess that instantly extends the game’s lifespan for another two years. The only problem here is that once they run out of main villains, the game may enter a standstill.”

 

I  personally think that this claim is correct, seeing as WoW is currently lore-dependent and will need epic villains to keep the story running. DeathWing, in my opinion, is already a farfetched character to begin with. Maybe they do need to expand the lore soon.

 

Again, new MMOs have surfaced, bringing us new content and various methods of gameplay. World of Warcraft may have been the innovator of some features, but note that competition is tight, as new MMOs try to overthrow this MMO giant.

What Is In Store For Us?

For years, World of Warcraft has given us nothing but quality content, and although the thought of free-to-play games lurking the Internet sounds tempting, WoW still managed to keep their subscription rate while its competitors drop it for item malls and free-to-play gameplay. In my opinion, the players are aware that they are indeed paying for quality content. The mere fact that they were given massive updates and a healthy community ranging up to 12 million people make the subscription fees seem cheap in  a way. So what IS in store for us? Other than the next two races made available by the next expansion, and the epic reforging of Azeroth, I’m guessing that we’ll be getting MORE of the same things we have come to know and love about WoW. Character rebalancing, instances, quests, and more STORYLINES, all adding up to the epic lore of Warcraft :).

 

Final Remarks

So will WoW be dying anytime soon? Are you scared of buying an account just because speculations have led you into thinking that World of Warcraft is about to hit the dirt? Allow me to tell you that the story is indeed far from over, and that you will still be playing with tons of players. To be honest, the game system is not the only reason why World of Warcraft is good—it’s the adventure, and the diversity of what players can experience everytime they log in or create a character. As a longtime player, I cannot wait to see what they will do next. What are you waiting for? Jump in!

Sodium

Sodium is a massively multiplayer online game based in and exclusive to the PS3’s online community-based social gaming network PlayStation ® Home. 

 

With the discovery of The Singularity and the ability to travel between innumerable different reality shifts, with untraceable nanotechnology rendering classic athletics competition impossible, new and more extreme sports have been developed.

 

Currently Sodium is in the Sodium One (S1) shift and comprises a combination of a full tank shooting game, called “Sodium One Salt Shooter”, and other associated mini-games such as Tank Training, Desert Quench and Scorpion Stomp. The first five levels of Sodium One Salt Shooter are free, with the full game obtained by purchasing the Sodium Pilot Outfit from the Commerce Point, which is a shop with associated Sodium One products and other content from Outso and Lockwood Publishing.

 

With the completion of different challenges and objectives users are able to unlock or purchase a variety of items, trophies and rewards.

 

Due to the nature of Home, the game will continue to grow and expand as Home does. New games, virtual items, and community events will continually be added, including the eagerly awaited Sodium Two.

Superheroines Always Get Superboobs

While this might not be so much in the shape of news, it is the holiday season and things can get a little slow while we wait for the next year to begin. However, Iris Ophelia from Jezebel wrote an interesting article on DC Universe’s character creation and has some eye opening points and raises good questions why devlopers continue down this path.

 

“Although DC Universe Online is still in beta, there’s plenty to be said about its avatar fashions. And while DCUO has many strengths in that area, it also has a glaring weakness: the exaggeratedly buxom shapes forced on female avatars.

 

What’s worse, DCUO’s tagline is “The next legend is you.” That perfectly crystallizes why my standards are so high for character creation in superhero games: You’re not just creating a random mercenary or a rogue or a warrior, you’re supposed to be creating a modern mythological figure. DCUO tries to fulfill this need, while also forcing female heroes into a very restrictive form. Here’s how:

DC Universe Super Boobs


See the full article here.

Fragoria Interview With Sergey Sholom

Fragoria Interview With Sergey Sholom
Questions by Bryan King (Bryan), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Sergey Sholom, head of business development

OnRPG: Hello, Bryan King here, I am a Journalist at OnRPG.com. Please introduce yourself to readers.

Hi there! Sergey Sholom, head of business development glad to talk with You!

OnRPG: For our readers, who are hearing about Fragoria for the first time, please give them a brief summary of the game.

Fragoria – is a really unique game on the market for now. It is standing on the top of performance browser based games and require no installation. Client is based on Flash and all You need to play is just any browser and connection to the internet. The game is still under development and we improve it year by year to satisfy our players. Fragoria really deserves at least to have a look. Just imagine game Diablo and Ultima Online style with better graphics and very deep world with tons of features inside. It’s like WOW in your browser actually…


OnRPG: Can you tell us a little about the backstory or storyline which is introduced to the players in the game?

Though we have now servers started for english, german, spanish, french, polish languages besides russian anyway we have an Ancient Russian style with many stories behind. We have tried to move away from common heroes like dwarves and elves and our users are happy about it. Our main goal was to surprise our players and surprise them from all the sides and not only with performance in browser.

OnRPG: You’ve given the gist of the storyline content Fragoria has, can you give us an idea on how the story will be presented in the game? How will players find out the details behind the characters in the lore of the story? Do NPCs present it? Is there PvE content that allows players to experience the lore for themselves?

We are trying to make this game acceptable for all the players at once without any advantages to some side of the gameplay. We have a very strong PVE content but at the same time we have a very strong PVP base. Our player is free to choose the way he’d like to play. He will enjoy the game whatever he choose: solve quests and follow the storyline, fight with other players, join guilds to solve more serious tasks, become a crafter and fight for resources on cross server lands, participate in many different PVP games with short lifetime but fun in action and many others… We let our player make the choice and we think this is the right way.

 

Fragoria Dungeon

OnRPG: With the seeming graphic and feature limitations of the game compared to client-based MMOs, how does your team expect to gain players who primarily play client-based MMOs?

It’s a very good question Bryan. Actually Fragoria is standing somewhere between classic browser based games and hardcore client based games. We have lot’s of casual players but we have tons of hardcore players as well and lot’s of them have played such a games like WOW or Lineage before. We do not have any limitations in features. In opposite we even have more that some client based games . Also we can hold thousands of users online with more then a hundred on one screen. Our PVP battles on cross server lands deserves to see it. Right now all our international servers are linked together and german players for example can fight against others and protect their honor in a fair battle.

Also i’d like to add that not many client based games can demonstrate such a beauty on your screen.  2D graphics gives You not only limitation but in opposite much better picture at the end. Just have a look on the screens or simply try the game on http://www.fragoria.com

OnRPG: There are plenty of other browser-based MMOs available. How do you plan to compete with them?

We have a much better visualization and a very deep world with many many choices for player what to do. We are just different.

OnRPG: How hard was it to integrate a Russian-developed MMO to suit North American audiences?

Localization is always take the time especially for a such huge game. All the rest i will be able to say after the massive promotion we will start to make soon.

Fragoria Quest

OnRPG: Speaking of audiences, there has been complaints on your forums about a language barrier between Russian and English speaking players. Do you guys plan to address this? If so, how?

It was a long time ago. As i said now You can simply enter http://www.fragoria.com and play with any of 5 different languages except russian. That time where it was a problem has gone away. We have our own servers located in one of the best Data centers in EU with a fastest connection to the internet and we are operating all of these international servers.

OnRPG: What age audience do you think will appreciate Fragoria the most?

We have a very wide range of players for now. Seems like all ages like Fragoria. It’s interesting. It’s free to play. It’s fast to enter and try with no downloads. We are happy to see any user in our game.

OnRPG: What type of player? Hardcore, casual? A mixture of both?

Mixture of both. And it’s so interesting to see how the players who get used to play a simple browser games growing in their game skills after entering Fragoria and at the same time it’s interesting to see how very experienced hardcore players find new staff for them there.

OnRPG: Cash shops are a controversial issue in many F2P games. You guys have a cash shop that sells gear, how do you guys keep an even balance between users who do pay and those who do not?

Here we try to make our best to give the users who never pay the same achievements like others have. And for that we ask for them to play more. So, simply saying in our game players pay for the economy of time. All of our team who develop Fragoria are players and we love so much what we do and most of all we want to hear that people love what we do and it doesn’t meter will they pay or not after that.

OnRPG: Upon entering the game, I was personally very impressed with the music. Is there a special team of people you worked with to create the music?

Yes. We have created everything from zero for our game. Music and sound effects has been created with a special team and i am glad to hear another kind feedback about it.

 

Fragoria Town

OnRPG: Can you introduce readers to the PvP system(s) you guys have in Fragoria?

Well. It’s hard to describe it in two words. Many guilds from different servers fights with each other on special lands and on special boss events. At the same time we have many PVP games like “Capture the flag”, “King of the hill”, “Last man standing” where players can enjoy the game and get the reward with a short time.

OnRPG: What can we expect in the near future for Fragoria?

Next year we will present 3D client based on Unity technologies and much more fun for guilds (conquer lands and alliances). Also we are going to improve the achievement system soon and present PVP subscription with many new fun PVP games.


OnRPG: Can we expect anything new from SubaGames?

Subagames is one of our partner in NA. We expect and wish the game a great success with them and awaiting a promotion start with their help. There are many other partners on the way to join us and help move Fragoria forward.

OnRPG: Is there anything else you would like to tell readers?

I think that’s enough. Much better simply have a look on what we’ve done for all these years with our love.

OnRPG: Thanks for your time!

Thank You Bryan a lot and thank You all who read our discussion! Take care!

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Review – Qui-Gon Binn?

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Review – Qui-Gon Binn?
Neil Kewn (Murxidon) – OnRPG Journalist

 

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures is a free to play browser-based online game from Sony Online Entertainment, based on the popular television series of the same name. Released in September, the game has already hit over one million registered users and promises an action-packed online experience. With new updates going live after each episode has aired, there is sure to be a lot of content in the coming months, but what’s on offer for the Star Wars fanatics now?

The Limited Adventures of Jariah Mynockneedler

As the game is squarely aimed at the youth of today, registration is appropriately straightforward with the game generating a random Galaxy conquering name for you. You can, of course, choose your own name, but the game’s first suggestion sounded so remarkable I just had to take it. Other than that, character creation is limited, with only three races to choose from (humans, Twi’lek, and clones) and three premade heads. Once registration was complete and the game finished downloading, Jariah Mynockneedler found himself in a room with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu and other Star Wars mainstays. The opening scenes introduce the game in a typically cinematic fashion, but it isn’t long until you’re given your lightsaber.

 

Clone Wars Character

Me and Mace go way back


Clone Wars Adventures would struggle to define itself as an MMORPG. There is no huge world to explore, no professions to level, no monsters to slay and no items to loot. The game can be best described as an interactive chatroom, where players congregate in a very small playing area and chat, perform strange emotes and play arcade games.

 

If you’re not the social type, then playing arcade games is exactly what you will be doing, because that’s all Clone Wars Adventures has to offer. A multitude of Star Wars themed activities make up the bulk of the game, all available by clicking on an icon at the bottom right of the screen or by speaking to the appropriate Star Wars character in any of the themed rooms. Mini-games take many forms, but most take their inspiration from other well-known games you usually play instead of working, such as Tower Defence and Bejeweled. Fortunately, each game offers a pleasant twist that keeps things fresh, if only for a while.

 

Play Arcade Style Mini-Games, You Will

Each game is well made, with flashy presentation and a suitably dramatic voiceover detailing the situation before you begin. Most games are split into different levels which range in difficulty, but the basic gameplay premise of each doesn’t stray too much from level to level, so it’s not long before boredom begins to set in. Hopping from game to game can provide a few hours of Star Wars-themed entertainment, but the end result is frustratingly hollow, as the credits awarded aren’t put to a lot of use.

 

Playing arcade games earns you Republic Credits, which can be used to purchase new gear from the numerous stores available. There are new costumes to buy, pets to adopt, novelty weapons to wield and new emotes to annoy other players with. This is all well and good, but the gear you collect doesn’t amount to much, as very little of the equipment you buy carries over into the games you play. Each of the outfits stays true to the artistic style the Clone Wars series employs, and are pretty well detailed. Trivial in the long run, but at least you have the option of running around the place as Han Solo.

 

Clone Wars StarWArs Starfighter

Starfighter – Shoot anything that moves


House Prices Rise In Space, Too

A Player Housing mechanic features predominantly in Clone Wars Adventures. Each player is given their own instanced home right off the bat, which you can customise to your heart’s content. Beds, desks, lamps and other furnishings are divided into themes, each giving your home a noticeably different style. Other players can visit your humble space abode and comment on the amount of cash you just spent, but very little more. The furniture you buy is purely for aesthetics, and can’t be interacted with. More impactful purchases take the form of Modules. These are specific upgrades to your home that can be added to store your ships and weapons. Other Modules provide some droids for you to destroy, and one even starts a party at your place, because who doesn’t want to party with Anakin Skywalker and seventeen Clone Troopers?

 

Free to play isn’t the most exciting term in gaming anymore, because it usually indicates stumping up cash somewhere down the line to experience the game properly. Clone Wars Adventures is no exception, and free players are extremely limited in what games they can play, what items they can buy and what beds can reside in their home. The Jedi Membership is a premium experience that unlocks most of what the game has to offer. Priced at $5.99 a month, becoming a Jedi, so to speak, grants you access to all of the arcade games (there are currently six pay to play games), and most of the furniture, costumes, weapons and other items found in the store. On top of this, certain items can only be purchased by spending more money on Station Cash. Yes, Sony Online Entertainment’s infamous in game currency makes its way into Clone Wars Adventures, and is required to have the most exclusive gear, even if you’re already paying a monthly fee.

 

Clone Wars Star WArs Han Solo

You too can have bragging rights, at a price


Attack of the Graphically Impressive Clones

Production values of Clone Wars Adventures are high, and the licence has been used to full effect here. Visually, the game is excellent. The central hub, whilst only consisting of small rooms, looks great and character models are top notch. The artistic style of the Clone Wars television series is present throughout, and fans of the show will notice their favourite characters dotted around each area. The typically excellent Star Wars musical score makes its way into the game. Ambient music compliments the social experience whilst famous John Williams compositions back up the action.

 

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures isn’t a game for everyone. Besides attractive, fun mini-games there isn’t a whole lot else to do. The social aspect is encouraged, but with only a few games enabling multiplayer and expensive premium items leaving most out in the cold, older players will find little to enjoy. Clone Wars Adventures is a game for Clone Wars fans, and with updates promised after each television episode, they should stick around and see what’s on offer. If you’re looking for something to tide you over until The Old Republic, this probably isn’t it.

 

Pros:
– Great artistic style
– Some fun, deep mini games
– Better than the Prequel trilogy

 

Cons:
– Not a whole lot of useful content
– Social aspect is underwhelming
– Overpriced

Fallout 3 Review – The Wasteland Revisited

Review: Fallout 3 – The Wasteland Revisited
Neil Kewn (Murxidon) – OnRPG Journalist

 

Two years have passed since Fallout 3 graced store shelves after six years in development. Hailed as Game of the Year by many media outlets, the high level of anticipation was thankfully met with a stunning interactive gameplay experience that dripped with atmosphere. After much initial scepticism and fans labelling the game as “Oblivion with guns”, Developers Bethesda had their work cut out to mould a modern video game that pushed the boundaries for interactive entertainment, whilst appealing to diehard fans of the lauded games that came before. Sales of over five million and critical acclaim across the board prove that they succeeded, whilst the game itself silenced those that protested a heavy similarity with Bethesda’s previous title. Oblivion with guns? Fallout 3 is anything but.

 

You start your adventure as one of the inhabitants of Vault 101, a post-apocalyptic bunker designed to keep survivors of the nuclear holocaust intact. Headed up by the Overseer, it’s his job to ensure that no one ever enters or leaves Vault 101. You spend a lot of your childhood living here, cared for by your father James (voiced by the superb Liam Neeson). One day in your late teens, you are awoken to find that your father has escaped Vault 101, and being the good (or bad) son that you are, you set out to find him.

 

Fallout 3 Pipboy

Don’t forget your Pipboy – You’ll need it


I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire

Fallout 3 takes place in the year 2277, two centuries after a nuclear war decimates Earth. The majority of the game takes place in the Wasteland, a bleak, desert-like world still bearing the effects of nuclear fallout. As a lone wanderer, you’re free to roam the wastes and partake in any number of quests, tasks and activities that the few remnants of civilization provide for you, all the while searching for your  Dad. On your travels you will visit desolate supermarkets, irradiated swamps and a city created from an aircraft carrier. Makeshift settlements will become your home outside Vault 101; a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. isn’t all endless sand and wrecked cars.

 

At the start of the game you’re given the option to customise your character down to the smallest detail. Names, attributes and cheekbone height can all be adjusted to your heart’s content. Freedom is the name of the game here, from the outset you are given the freedom to create a gameplay experience unique to anyone else, and you will soon find that the constraints limiting your play are few and far between.

 

Fallout Sheriff

I shot the Sheriff


Fallout 3 is filled with many moral choices that impact the game world significantly. A Karma system is used to keep track of a player’s good nature, or lack of. Helping people in need, avoiding confrontations and being an honest citizen will award you with good karma. Murder, theft and antagonistic behaviour will in kind give you negative karma. How good or bad you are will influence how people around you react to your presence. If you decide to rob a store for valuable Med-X or Rad-Away supplies, people will be less likely to help you down the line. You probably won’t be able to see the impact of your choices until you have ploughed many hours into the game, but It’s entirely up to you which path you take, and both sides of the coin offer their own perks and bonuses.

 

 

Fallout Donate

The choice is yours (don’t do it)


War. War Never Changes

Combat in the Capitol Wasteland is pretty much mandatory if you are to survive. Deformed animals, mutated beasts and deranged raiders don’t  take kindly to your presence if you happen to stumble upon one of their camps during your travels. There are a variety of weapons at your disposal, with upgradable attributes related to them. Hand to hand combat, melee weapons, pistols, shotguns, assault and sniper rifles, grenades, mines, revolvers, lasers and even a mini nuclear warhead launcher all make an appearance. There is an impressive arsenal here, and an even more impressive way to put it all to use.

 

VATS, or the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, provides a more tactical, cinematic approach to combat than is traditionally found in first person shooters. Upon entering VATS, the game is paused and limbs of the nearest enemy are highlighted. Each limb has an accuracy rating, dependent on how proficient you are with the selected weapon and the distance between you and the unfortunate victim. From there you can queue up attacks (at the cost of recharging action points), hit a single key and sit back as your wanderer unleashes hell in a slow motion, Matrix-like attack. The sight of a .32 calibre round leaving your hunting rifle, gliding through the air and penetrating the cranium of some hapless Talon Company Mercenary never gets old. VATS is a delight to use every time, although it is optional.

 

Fallout VATS

Disarm enemies by shooting their weapon


The main story itself, whilst engrossing, is relatively short. Fortunately, there are a huge number of other side quests you can complete. One of the first towns you encounter upon your escape from Vault 101 is filled with oddball characters that are all too happy to offer you work. Quests are varied enough to remain interesting, and the NPCs you encounter ooze enough character that you actually begin to care about them. I found it difficult to agree to shady Mister Burke’s offer to wipe the small town of Megaton off the map when the charming Gob continued to serve me drinks from behind the bar. Clearly, Fallout 3 is a game that requires more than one play through.

 

Alpha and Omega

Fallout 3, at its core, is a roleplaying game. Levelling up is achieved via killing enemies and completing quests. At the beginning of each new level you have the option to spend skill points in  thirteen different attributes. Fancy becoming more powerful with that sledgehammer? Deposit points in Melee Weapons. Rather avoid combat altogether and charm your way past obstacles? The Speech skill is for you. There is usually more than one way of progressing through quests in the Wasteland, so you don’t always have to reach into your backpack and pull out the biggest gun you have to get things done.

 

If you have never indulged in Fallout 3’s unique gameplay or revelled in its trademark humour, there couldn’t be a better time to try. The modding community continues to release custom content two years on, whilst the release of sequel Fallout: New Vegas has spurred many back to the original post-apocalypse simulator. Fallout 3 offers hours upon hours of gameplay in a single trip through, and as you are almost guaranteed to play differently second time around, 2008’s Game of the Year is a title you will surely keep revisiting.

 

Pros
– Excellent story and atmosphere
– VATS keeps combat a pleasure to engage in
– Choices can have a profound effect on the game world

 

Cons
– Areas of the Wasteland are sparse
– Bugs are still present two years on
– Needs more Liam Neeson