I’d Like to Thank All Those DC Subway Workers Who Keep 5.56mm Rounds in Their Filing Cabinets

And now, the screenshot you never thought you’d see me post:

That’s me, playing a first-person shooter, Fallout 3 (thank you again Curtis!). That’s me playing a first-person shooter and loving it. Seriously, I played the hell out of this game this weekend, even staying up until nearly 2AM one night, something this creaky old body doesn’t do much of anymore. I’m having a ball.

In that shot you can see that I just killed a T-Rex with my trusty hunting rifle, a gun I have come to love for its range, if not its reload time. My other favorite weapon, the Chinese Assault Rifle, is nice and fast, but doesn’t snipe nearly as well as the hunting rifle. And no, I didn’t kill that T-Rex, I’m in a Museum of Natural History.

I have no idea how far along in the game I am (I suspect not very) but I don’t care. I’m in no rush. I’m enjoying just exploring and finding stuff. I have some side quests I need to get back to and some places I discovered but haven’t checked out yet. Just wandering around is a treat, though. The creators’ look and feel of post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. is spellbinding. Here I am visiting the Washington Monument.

(I don’t know how to do a screenshot so that you can see my character’s face.)

I haven’t played many FPSes (I spent a little queasy time with Wolf 3D, Doom, and Dark Forces back in the day) but I imagine Fallout 3 is somewhat atypical. The main thing about it is, although I’m sure this changes later on, ammo is not something you want to waste. Running at an enemy with barrels blazing might take him down, but it’ll use up bullets you’ll desperately want later on. Better to lie low and pick enemies off carefully, using the VATS targeting system. There are also times when I said, “screw it, I’m not spending bullets on this guy” and went in with a tire iron or sledgehammer (took me a while to figure out that fire-breathing ants hate being whacked upside the head with a baseball bat.)

The little items littering the landscape are also a lot of fun. I was picking up and keeping Metro tickets just for the hell of it, but then I found out they have an in-game purpose, so they didn’t really count as a pointless vanity item. This sort of does, though:

I’m gonna crack that bottle open to celebrate rebuilding civilization when all is said and done! Also, one guy has a chessboard in his house that I want to steal if I can’t find one of my own.

Now that I’m enjoying this game, I’ve made some additions to my Steam wishlist: Bioshock, Mass Effect, and Half-Life 2 (I was told one can skip the first one with no problems.) These games appeal to me thematically more than just plain shootery stuff like Halo or Gears of War or whatever. I’m open to suggestions as well.

So yeah, get me, playing an FPS! Who knew?

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