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A nuclear holocaust has turned Washington, DC, into a radioactive wasteland. Mutant creatures freely roam the land while a select few survivors live safely within underground shelters engineered by the Vault-Tec Corporation. Your uneventful life inside the vault takes a dramatic turn when your father mysteriously disappears. Looking for answers, you begin a journey into the great unknown -- a test of survival in an inhospitable environment. Based on the acclaimed post-apocalyptic role-playing series from former publisher Interplay, Fallout 3 features a wide-open world viewed from a choice of first- or third-person perspectives. Developed by the team behind the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and featuring the same graphics engine, Fallout 3 has you embarking on an assortment of quests while exploring, scavenging, and battling for your continued existence. Scrap-metal cities and rusted shantytowns are sources of human contact, but in between them lurk a number of hostile threats.
The real-time combat is modeled after shooting games, albeit with the option to pause time for more precise shots using V.A.T.S. (the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). V.A.T.S. lets you pinpoint vulnerability areas with the help of percentage markers displayed on each body part. The higher the percentage, the likelier you are to hit the highlighted area. Aiming at a particular body part can cripple it, affecting the enemy's ability to use an arm or leg in combat, while critical hits result in graphic displays of dismemberment. Defeating enemies earns you experience points to enhance your character's stats and acquire abilities called "perks," or specific talents in a chosen area of expertise. Fallout 3 also features some camaraderie in the form of a loyal canine named Dogmeat and a non-player character of your choosing. A licensed soundtrack with songs from the '40s and '50s helps set the mood, offering such hits as "Way Back Home," "Anything Goes," "Butcher Pete," and "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
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