The good: Immersive, unique quests and people. Scary battle situations.
The Story aspect of the game is rather interesting if you think about it, if you follow it and understand what something like water means to people in this kind of situation then you can sympathize with the outlanders in an odd sort of way. Thankfully if you are in it to take down some mutants gargling death at you from the other side of a gatling gun the story can be put aside but is always present since no matter where you are you see evidence of destruction from nuclear genocide. Players though may want to steer away from the main storyline until they take down some side quests and make sure they are up to the challenge. Some parts of the main story will kick you around like a soccer ball while others are an easy task of “Go here”, and even then you will still have to plow yourself through insane enemies wanting you for dinner.
This game differs from its cousin Oblivion in that you can’t simply raise a skill by using it over and over, which has its good and bad sides. You can increase one skill greatly and go from sucking at it to doing rather well easily but it’s a little difficult to decide where to allocate your skill points when you try to be balanced with all the skills. One recommendation would be to focus on only one kind of attack skill (i.e. melee, small guns) and spread the other points with the non-attack skills, but if you are smart with perks (bonus abilities you get whenever you lvl up) you can be proficient in many skills that you may need.
One of the best things about this game is that you can play is in many different ways, it caters to almost every kind of gamer. There’s big guns for those who feel they need to use massive overkill against things. There is also a stealth skill for people who want to creep next to someone and beat their skulls in, or shoot them out. Small guns for those who enjoy the simple rifle and shotgun, energy weapons for people who want to disintegrate people. And finally melee and unarmed for people who want to get in a super mutants grill and pound it to death.
Each form of combat has its ups and downs, big guns weigh you down and are costly to maintain. Small guns are rather abundant and you can find ammo everywhere, but aren’t the best when it comes to power. Energy weapons can insta-kill with critical hits and are arguably the most powerful, but ammo is scarce and cost the most to maintain. Melee weapons are almost always available through lead pipes or hammers but require you to walk up to your opponent, which may end badly if they have guns and no cover is available. Which ever style of murder you choose you better dumb some skill points into it or you’ll enjoy wasting ammo that won’t hit people. Even if you fail at aiming however you can still rely on the V.A.T.S. system that will show you which body part has a chance to hit, and it stops time so you can take your time choosing what to shoot and then shoot them in the head, since that is what works. Along with your weapons skill you also have to keep your weapons in top condition or else they will power down and jam when you try to reload, and having to fix your gun while a radioactive bear is chasing you down is a good way to hate your own incompetence when you die and have to go back a few hours. No matter what you will fall into some kind of routine after you have a constant supply of ammo and have enough skill to decapitate a raider ducking in a 2 story building 100 yards away.
Now the graphics in this game aren’t the greatest, but they are still rather good by today’s standards and you won’t be complaining much when you see mutant body parts scramble everywhere after you lobbed an expertly thrown grenade.
Here is a subject where I give this game a pat on the back because they give you a radio on your little wrist watch menu thing and it plays music from the 1950’s and it has a DJ and everything that may give you advice and locations of some good quests. And while walking through the ruins and listening to happy-go-lucky music you’re guaranteed to chuckle at least once realizing how funny it is. The music does rather go well with it and after playing it enough though you know all the songs by heart and may annoy your friends by singing them.
Npc’s: Very much unlike Oblivion you will notice some extremely unique characters around if you take the time to notice them. Oddly enough you may even become attached to someone in a town you have to protect and may even get mad when the super mutants manage to only kill THAT person and you want to go back to an old save but realize you have gone too far. (yes this happened to me in Big Town)
Custom weapons: Also in the game there are schematics for custom weapons that you will find on your journeys. And surprisingly these weapons can rather interesting and comical. You make them from random items around the game so you may want to grab the junk lying around, I found myself with 8 flaming swords just from picking up all the pieces whenever I found them..