Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fallout 3: A tale of good and evil

For those who've never played it Fallout 3 features a Karma system - do good things and get good karma do bad things and get bad karma; it's even possible to try and stay neutral. Each path produces different results within the game world and if you've only experienced one you're missing out.

I've taken my good character to level 20; but my evil character (named Twonk) is now level 30. The trophies had been added to the game during my first run, so I went back and ran another good character up to near the end of the game; then started an evil character. Then the DLC was released which pushed the cap to 30 hence the disparity.

So what was different? It was disconcerting not to have someone running up to me in Megaton saying how wonderful I was and handing me a present; possibly because I'd turned it into a radioactive crater. I noted that I didn't get the same thanks in Tenpenny Tower (those who'd bribed me to blow up Megaton), but was pleasantly surprised when I visited the Slaver compound of Paradise Falls and had someone run up to me to tell me what a badass I was and to please take this. Also amusing to note when I bumped into someone it was all "I'm really, really sorry" instead of "Watch where you're going" Oh yeah me badass.

It also freed up my choice of companions I ignored Dogmeat (the dog) and picked up the former mercenary from Megaton; I also debated over taking the ghoul. Nothing really to stop me hiring them as a good character; just not in character to do so.

It also freed up some conversation choices, not only giving me specific "Evil Karma" choices; but allowing me to use some such as "[Strength] Tell me before I kick the shit out of you" which would have impacted negatively on a good character.

Also a joy just to see what happens when you kill every good character you see. I could have made the game much harder by killing doctors and traders, but they're useful to me so I left them alone I just killed their friends and family instead hah :-P

Being evil also gave me a free rein in my choice of perks - how can you take Cannibal as a good character? Or Sandman which allows you to kill sleeping NPCs instantly? I also found myself taking a more gung-ho approach - possibly due to my companion who would happily charge in whenever an enemy presented itself and that shaped the perks I took.

On a final note listening to Three Dog slag me off was interesting, made me want to revisit him and 'reward' him for his comments, but I decided I liked the free publicity of don't mess with me.

Unlike so many games that feature a good/bad dichotomy I can truthfully state that playing Fallout 3 as an evil character was totally different experience than playing as a good one. I await to see how I play as a neutral, but three games in one - that's not bad.