Over the Memorial Day Weekend I got it in my head to replay Fallout 3. I guess I figured that my Xbox 360 needed a break from constant Borderlands playing to spend a little time with the second of The Only Game Franchises I Seem To Play. I first played Fallout 3 on the PC last year, but since then I bought the Game of the Year edition for the Xbox.
The first time I played I was still new to FPSes and learning the magic and wonder of a sneaky sniper type character. This time he’s a she and she’s a little different. I poured my points into Strength, Big Guns, Explosives, and Melee Weapons (with a dash of Unarmed) and made a beeline for a minigun and power armor.
Her first name is Jenny and her middle name is not Subtlety. Her favorite enemies are feral ghouls because they’re kind enough to run right up to her fists and save her the trouble of closing with them. (I also took the Bloody Mess perk so that when she punches a ghoul or slow Raider to death they explode in a cloud of guts. If more than one attack it’s often difficult to loot the corpses because the bits are too small to tell apart.)
Her favorite weapon is the Rock-It Launcher. I didn’t do much with the crafted weapons the first go round, but this one is a blast. It’s a gun made out of a leaf blower and a vacuum cleaner that shoots just about any junk you find. I tend to load it up with empty soda bottles because they’re easy to find afterwards and re-load, but there was a great moment where I blew some punk’s head off with an ashtray. I may grab a bunch of teddy bears and exclusively shoot those, though there’s some appeal in using only old books and imagining Jenny exhorts her victims to read more as she shoots them. (“WELCOME TO THE DIE-BRARY!”)
In addition to a different playing style, it didn’t take long before I was finding locations and quests that I hadn’t encountered the first time around. I also installed some add-ons such as Operation: Anchorage, Point Lookout, and Broken Steel so that there’s literally new material in the game.
I was going to also be a jerk this time around to see what it’s like having negative karma, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I tried stealing stuff but that alone didn’t bring me down enough and I guess I’m just fated to be a shining paragon of virtue, just as I am in real life.
Switching to this after playing a ton of Borderlands 2 hasn’t been too much of a problem, except for one big difference in the controls. In Borderlands 2, pressing the left joystick causes you to run. In Fallout 3 that causes you to crouch and sneak, the opposite of running. What should happen, since I am a 10 STR gal with power armor and the Bloody Mess perk is, I crouch, pursuing guy runs into the giant hunk of steel I am, and his legs explode. Unfortunately that is not the result.
The idea of Jenny sneaking is comical anyway. I’ve put almost nothing into that skill, so when she tries it I imagine seeing this walking tank with a rocket launcher strapped to her on her hands and knees behind a shopkeeper going CLANKY CLONK CLANK CLANK CLANKITY CLONK and wondering if she’s been spotted yet.
The skill that I have been getting a lot of use out of this time around is Repair. Big Guns are expensive to fix, so it’s nice to be able to do that on my own. I especially liked towards the beginning of the game when I was apparently using parts from one wooden baseball bat to fix up a second wooden baseball bat.
In summary, I am having a ball playing this game again even though I played the hell out of it the first go round. There’s so much to it that it’s almost like playing a new Fallout game.
And speaking of balls, I have plans for these guys: