My brother picked up a copy of Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360, and last night I got to spend 3 hours or so playing it.
Character customization – You’ll find most of the old favorites here from the first two games. The difference (and I could be wrong, it’s been awhile) is that you don’t start out with any perks. You allot your five points among your basic stats, focus on your three top skills, and off you go.
Controls – Not bad, overall, though I’m unhappy with some of the information that’s missing from your HUD. Like rads, for instance. You get a notification if you’ve been exposed to any, but it doesn’t show your total anywhere but in your Pipboy.
The targeting system is pretty neat, and your AP regenerates in real-time, so combat flows pretty well. I’m a bit disappointed that blowing off your opponent’s head can only look one way (that I’ve seen so far) but the fact that it’s possible to decapitate someone with a bullet at all is a plus. :KD
The character models haven’t improved since Oblivion, but the voice acting is pretty good. So far. The first time I run into someone that uses the same voice that a previous NPC did, my satisfaction will nosedive, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Random encounters are random. Sort of? I died twice assaulting a group of raiders on a shattered highway overpass, and died once when a band of bounty hunters emerged from a barn and declared me their paycheck. After reloading and approaching the barn more stealthily though, it contained only a Wasteland merchant, who babbled that life was returning to the wasteland…before crumpling to the floor, dead.
Ammo hasn’t been as big a problem as it was at the start of the previous Fallouts. I have four different guns at least, and the two worst ones always have some shots left. The assault rifle and shotgun, not so much. Health items are around, but stimpacks are kind of scant, so I sleep whenever I find a filthy cot. There are drugs *everywhere.*
A word on atmosphere. Okay, there’s old-timey music playing when you’re in range of a radio transmitter. There’s glassy rock, burned out shells of houses, scrubby vegetation, and the ruined hulks of vehicles everywhere. The wind whistles across the land. Animals howl now and then. It’s lonely. Good work!