Up until I played Fallout 3, I had never played a Bethesda title before. When Fallout 3 released I had never even considered playing it. Sometime in 2009, Braden has borrowed the game from a friend in the Air Force and really enjoyed it. While talking on the phone with me about the games he had been playing lately, he highly recommended it. At the time, Ken and I were using Gamefly to rent new titles, and I mentioned wanting to add it to the list. Ken told me he had downloaded a pirated PC version, and that he didn’t really think it was the kind of game I would like. Furthermore, he really didn’t think too much of it himself. By this point, Ken and my game tastes had fallen so far out of sync that I decided to try it anyways, and I am very glad that I did.
The game was hardly love at first play for me. There is a learning curve for Bethesda games, and I was pretty slow on the uptake. I spent the first few hours of the game confused, wandering around lost, and dying a lot. After that, I put the game down for almost a week. I was getting pressure from Ken to play it or mail it back so we could get the next title on the list, so I forced myself to play some more. After some more playtime, something just sort of clicked and I started to get the basics of how to efficiently play a Bethesda title. Once I had figured that out, I started to fall in love with the game. I found the barren post-apocalyptic landscapes to be pretty exciting, and exploring old ruins was exactly my idea of fun. The 50’s feel in all the buildings and art was also very awesome. Then, about 15 hours into the game all the trouble started.
I had been progressing through both the main story and side-quest along the way, when while on one of the main quest lines my Xbox refused to load a new area. Each time I would try, the game would freeze. I thought perhaps the disk was scratched. I was enjoying the game enough at this point that I decided to purchase a new copy online, and in the mean time I installed the rented copy I had to the Xbox harddrive to try and limit the issues. Installing the game helped some of the loading issue, but the next area continually refused to load. Having no ability to progress with the main story line, I started doing every side-quest, and exploring every area I could still access.
By the end of that week, my new copy of the game had arrived. I popped in my fresh clean disk, and was overjoyed when the new area loaded correctly. I began to progress on the main storyline. However my happiness as short lived. Loading issues continued to plague me, and the game kept freezing up at least every half hour. I learned to save VERY often. A few days of playing the game later, I went to turn on my Xbox and was greeted with the Red Ring of Death instead. I got in the car, drove to Wal-mart, and purchased a new Xbox that night. From that point on, the game functioned pretty well. I did have to order a special cable and disk directly from Microsoft to correctly transfer all my game and profile information from the old harddrive to the new one, but once it was all done, things were pretty smooth.
I continued on through the game completing absolutely everything I could get my hands on. Once the main storyline was completed, I finished every sidequest in the game. Once those were done, I started downloading the five downloadable content add-ons that had been released for the game. When I would finish one of them, I would download the next. The great thing about Bethesda DLC is that unlike Bioware, when I pay $20 for content, I get 5-15 hours worth of content. I’m lucky to get 1 hour from a Bioware DLC. When all 5 expansions were downloaded and completed, I had 1500/1500 achievements unlocked, and almost 200 hours on the game. It was time very much enjoyed.
After I had finished the game, I found that the Morrowind series was also made by Bethesda, and both series had very similar playstyles. In fact, it looked as though Oblivion and Fallout 3 were made using the same engine. I found a copy of Oblivion online, and bought it. While I never found Oblivion to be as fun as Fallout, I still found the title to be very fun. Much like I had in Fallout, I played through every quest in the game I could find, then through the DLC as well.
A year after when Fallout: New Vegas came out, I had the title on launch day. The game was licensed out to Obsidian by Bethesda, and made with the Fallout 3 engine. It played just like an expansion, and I didn’t mind at all. I never like New Vegas as much as I had liked 3, but I almost take them as one massively large game now. New Vegas was just a $60 100+ hour DLC.
After I completed New Vegas and all the DLC, there was no news of Fallout games on the horizon. While shopping at Fry’s, I found a disk that came with Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics for $15. I bought it the moment I saw it, and played through the first two games. They were very different types of games, but I found them to be quite spectacular in their own ways. Andrew and I are often at odds with which style is better. We both enjoy the whole series, but he feels 1 and 2 are the pinnacle of the series, while I think he’s fucking crazy. To this day however, no new titles for the series have been official announced. There have been a few rumors, but nothing has materialized yet.
Last year the latest Morrowind title, Skyrim launched. I’m not going to go into a lot of the game as it really deserves it’s own post, but I will say that it has been very fun. The Morrowind series is still second fiddle to my love for the Fallout series, but they are exceedingly enjoyable games. The Morrowind series is much more popular among gamers that Fallout, and maybe if I had played those first I would agree, but I find much more enjoyment in plasma rifles and Deathclaws than I do in swords and ogres. Maybe we can thank Lord of the Rings for that. For now all I can do is hope and wait fora new Fallout title to be announced.