Fallout 3 Tweak Guide
Author: Koroush Ghazi
Last Modified: August 2013
In the beginning there was Fallout. The game that spawned a series looked like most any other late '90s RPG. On the surface it had a familiar RPG isometric viewpoint and the interface wasn't particularly revolutionary. What set the game apart was the innovative storyline, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the freedom to choose whether you wanted to be good or evil, and to face the consequences of your actions accordingly. Set in a post-apocalyptic alternate reality during the late 22nd century, and heavily infused with a 1950s 'atomic age' theme, Fallout quickly became a firm favorite among RPG gamers and went on to generate even more praise with the release of Fallout 2. It's safe to say that when Bethesda Softworks - makers of the famous Elder Scrolls series - took over the Fallout franchise, they had a very heavy burden of expectation weighing on their shoulders.
There is controversy among Fallout fans as to whether Fallout 3 remains faithful to the Fallout legacy. There can be no doubt that it takes the franchise in a bold new direction which some fans of the series will not like. In many ways it's a totally unique game that should be judged on its own merits. To start with, it uses the time-tested Gamebryo game engine that all Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion players should be completely familiar with. Add to that equal parts of the atmosphere from games like BioShock, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl and Half Life 2, and movies like 28 Days Later and The Omega Man. Finish off with a general feel that's not quite RPG, not quite FPS, but thoroughly addictive and has the refreshing freedom of an Elder Scrolls game, and you might have some idea of what Fallout 3 is like. To say that it's "Oblivion with guns" is nonsense - the game goes far beyond any simple summation and stands on its own as a unique and fascinating experience. If forced to categorize Fallout 3, I'd call it more of an Action-Adventure game than simply a Role Playing Game, First Person Shooter, or some hybrid of the two.
There are a couple of things about Fallout 3 that are almost exactly the same as Oblivion however, and they are the attention to detail inherent in the game world, and the almost total freedom to explore it at your leisure. In a truly sprawling, hand-crafted environment you will find so many new and interesting locations, items and people, that you may be forgiven for feeling that the game is actually a little too vague in what it is you must do. Some people will find this annoying, but the game is intended to simulate the way your character would be feeling: having lived his whole life underground in Vault 101, he has now reached the surface and is experiencing an entirely new world for the first time. He's confused and curious; it's only natural for him to want to explore and see all there is to see without restriction - and Fallout 3 lets you do that right from the get-go. There is no invisible hand steering you towards making the 'right' choices; you have to make decisions on the run and live with the consequences of your actions. Some people will hate this, while others will love it.
In the end Fallout 3 offers a unique experience that once again demonstrates Bethesda Softworks' skills in creating games which go above and beyond in terms of providing innovative and immersive gameplay.
This guide is designed to complement Fallout 3 by providing a full range of resources relevant to the game, including detailed troubleshooting, tweaking, modding and gameplay information. Even though Fallout 3 has a similar game engine to Oblivion, many of the tweaks have changed, and there are also various new in-game settings to consider. To make sure you get the most out of Fallout 3, I recommend you set aside some time to give the guide a good run-through.
Note: This guide refers to the latest version of Fallout 3 Version 1.7. Most of the guide also applies to Fallout: New Vegas, since it is based on the same engine.