Fallout 3 - side tracked and loving it

I have begun tracking my Fallout 3 (and other gaming experiences) over at "Gaming Ramblings" After buying this game back in late October, and then saving my pennies and purchasing Dad's personal laptop in late November, i have been able to clock in a whopping ten hours of game time (+/- an hour or so). This is fine by me as i can take my time and enjoy just playing when i get the chance. Racing to complete the game is not a particular goal of mine. There are plenty of reviews, etc. of the game around the web so i am not going to go into detail of how the game starts, etc. Any commentary i have here will be solely based on what i have done, and/or what i will be doing. My time in Vault 101 (where you begin the game) was spent being as thorough as possible. I tried to explore every conversation tree, look in every corner, open every door/desk/locker/whatever. I know i still missed a lot of things, and that is what makes this game so interesting to me (and many of the fans out there). As far as the character i am playing i am focusing on repair, science, and small guns. I also took a hit on the character's strength to add a point to 'luck' because that one stat affects everything else - even if it's just a little bit. I am 'smugly' happy with myself in that i didn't resort to fighting once inside the vault. With a gift of a birthday present to a bully, and then talking to said bully's friends i managed to avoid any direct confrontation. That is up until my friend Amata woke me up to tell me that the Overseer (her father) was looking for me because my father split for reasons as yet unknown (i have seen some inklings as to why, but the character has no idea yet). I had to fight my way out of that one (although i've heard that it's possible to play the whole game without killing anything except one bug). On my way out i managed to hack into the Overseer's terminal and found that he was keeping files on several of my fellow Vault Dwellers. This definitely had the feeling of the McCarthy era. Apropos for the feeling of the over all game. He also had some files on my father! It was not very specific, but apparenly good old Dad was not always a resident of Vault 101. Once i was done in there i made my way to the Wastelands. This is where i had to do the most fighting. For me i had to face no less than three Vault security guys. Unfortunately Amata wanted to stay and deal with her father's heavy handed ways. Once i made it outside it was already past sundown. This is where i really got into the atmosphere of the game. As i exit the Vault i can see the gray outlines of the both the Capitol building and the Washington Monument. Very cool. I need to be up front here that i am still not very good with the interface of the game. I am still learning how to bring up my Pipboy (the game menus) and i still haven't figured out how to set up "hot keys" (if anyone can help me out here it would be greatly appreciated). I know i am supposed to immediately set out to find dear old dad, but here i took a quick detour to check out Springvale. Although, i didn't hang around long. I just breezed through town and just looked around. I wasn't really sure what to do anyway, and then moved on the Megaton. The first stop in my search. Somehow i approached the town from the side and ended up following the wall all the way around until i literally stumbled across the entrance. I learned a valuable lesson... that little 10mm pistol and baseball bat are NOT very good out in the Capitol Wastelands! Them Mole Rats and wild dogs are vicious! To make matters worse, the dogs run in packs! Once inside Megaton i was immediately met by the local sheriff who let me know who was boss. He was still a likable fellow. Like in the vault i took my time and explored as many conversation trees as possible. I did this with everyone in Megaton so i'm not going to go into it all. The short version is i found a place to live and a possible lead on Dad, but since i was not going to pay the informant for the information (i didn't have the caps to pay anyway) i found a couple of side jobs while i searched around for more information. Three of them to be exact. The first one was helping a local guy fix leaking water pipes all over town, the second was to help a 'ditsy' woman who runs the local store with some kind of research project, and lastly another woman wanted some help delivering a letter to her family out in the Wasteland. I had barely gotten started and i was having trouble keeping track of all the quests. I am very grateful for that Pipboy as it helps keep it all sorted out. Once i got comfy in my new home, and some much needed supplies from my new butler, i headed back out into the wastes. With two of my quests out here i opted to focus on the research project first - with a side detour to look around the immediate vicinity of Megaton, Vault 101, and the small town of Springvale. There is a whole lot of this and that i could go into here, but to save time (and space) i will only give the highlights. I accidently stumbled across Fairfax Ruins and promptly got my butt handed to me. While running from Raiders i stumbled across access to some kind of underground location. By now i was running for my "life" so i chose to run away for now and come back when i was more of a tough guy. I was so beat up i had to head back to Megaton to rest up. After that i headed back to Springvale to look around. Here, i found an old school building and decided to check it out. Here i found yet more Raiders, but these guys were trying to find a way to break into Vault 101! I dealt their aspirations a serious blow and moved on. from there i just did a once around the hill above my old home. Atop the hill there was an old farm where i ran into my first ghouls (aside from the bartender in Megaton). They had apparently just killed someone over some purified water and when i opened the wrong container they decided i was hostile. After all of the excitement i moved on towards my objective of checking out an old Super Store. Before i got there though i meet up with a kid wandering around by himself. He's all frantic to find his own father, which i agree to help him find. Yet another side quest to keep me busy! \o/ I had a really tough time dealing with the Raiders in this place, but i found out just how useful sneaking and the frag grenades could be! :-) I even had the chance to hack another terminal and active an old store robot. :-) My geeky side REALLY enjoyed that. That's about as far as i've gotten so far, and with some additional downloadable content coming to expand this pretty cool game even further, i feel like a kid in a candy store! If you are into computer games that are played solitaire and has a good story line, and you don't mind a little graphic combat, this is a fun game to play.

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