Like many gamers, I enjoyed the classic Fallout and Fallout 2 computer games. When I heard Fallout 3 was in the works, I was both interested and worried. Interested, because I thought it would be cool to play a new Fallout game with all the graphic coolness that today’s computers can provide. Worried because I still remember the dismal and blah nature of Master of Orion 3. When it comes to games, the third time is often not a charm but a curse.
Based on all the awesome reviews, I bought the PC version of Fallout 3. I installed it and then tried to play it. At first, it simply loaded up a black screen with some music playing. The lock up was so complete that not even ctrl-alt-delete could set my PC free. I tried it a few more times (reboot…reboot…reboot) and finally got it to run. Once. But, the game didn’t recognize my keyboard. Since it is keyboard and mouse driven, that was bad.
Naturally, I tried installing all the latest drivers for everything and hitting all the game forums and googling like mad. The main thing I learned is that despite the glowing, gushing and gooey reviews of Fallout 3, many users were running into the same problems as I. Some fixes have been found to some problems, but none of them applied to me. One of them is if you have ffdshow installed. A fix is posted here. Gamespot has a forum on these problems as well. Bethesda’s own forums are also awash with posts about crashes, freezes and bugs. In my desire to play Fallout 3, I made a classic error: trusting the reviews, not Googling for problems, and not waiting for a month to see what patches would be out. Normally I do that. Shame on me for deviating from my usual approach to the “hot new” games.
Apparently the 360 version has some problems as well. A fix is posted here.
Based on the screen shots and reviews written by folks who apparently could get the game to run, the game looks good and is supposed to be fun to play. However, all I get now is a black screen and some repeating music. That is somewhat less than fun.
Based on my experience, I have to give the game a 0 out of 10. I’d post some screen shots, but I’m sure anyone reading this can picture a black screen in their mind. That has been my game experience so far.
Perhaps there will be patch for the game that will allow me to play it. If so, I’ll evaluate it again.
Obviously, some people can run the game fine, but there seem to be significant problems for many users. As such, I’d suggest not buying the game now (unless you feel lucky or know your system will work). If Oblivion is any indication, Bethesda will patch the game in the near future. Once the patches are out, then it might be less of a gamble to buy it.