Wandering The Post-Apocalyptic Wastelands With April Shitface, Part 1

I’ve been wasting too much time playing Fallout 3 lately – and I don’t even think it’s that great a game, as I’ve continually become frustrated by many of its elements. The game is kind of a mix between the games Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth (the graphics and the underlying engine appear similar, with the same clunky console feel to the controls – and this game had the same developer, namely Bethesda), Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (sharing many minor standard roleplaying game elements, like having optional side quests which can be completed a few different ways, being given different dialogue options based on your character’s stats, and the actual character you’re playing feeling like a hollow shell with no personality), and Diablo (loot, loot, loot).

My main problem with the game is that it’s way too combat oriented. My impression of the game prior to playing it was a roleplaying game which allowed for a lot of different play styles. So I wanted to play a  female character who was good at talking, who’d be able to talk her way out of most any situation, perhaps talking others into doing her dirty work for her, and ideally never touching a gun at all. But I quickly discovered that that wasn’t a real possibility in this game; not only is killing stuff mandatory, but you have to kill a lot of stuff as the game throws quite a few lengthy (and repetitive) dungeon levels and random combat encounters your way. I’m not a big FPS fan, and I didn’t get this game because I wanted to kill stuff. I think I got my dose of repetitive killing through F.E.A.R. earlier this year.

Another problem is the often uninspired and unmemorable voice acting. Given the size of the world and the number of characters, it’s no wonder the developers opted to have many of the voice actors doing the voice of more than just one character. This results in many of the characters you meet sounding the same, the voice actors presumably not able to dedicate all that much time on getting into any one specific role, delivering their lines based on moods rather than characters.

On the plus side, the game is sort of fun. You get to shoot stuff, you get to pick up neat loot, you get to have some interesting encounters, the size of the world gives you good value for your money, and it has a beautiful (in that bleak and dreary post-apocalyptic sort of way) environment. It’s just not quite what I’d hoped for getting in to it, and the good parts are smeared too thin. I found the first thirty minutes (or so) of the game, in which you get to have a birthday party and converse with your class mates, far more appealing than most of what I’ve experienced since.

A very neat function that the game has is that it’s pausable, and when paused all the on-screen bars and graphs disappear. If you then press the print screen button, the game automatically creates an image file for you (in the BMP format). No need to tab out to open up Paint to save your screen capture, and no in-game information cluttering it up either.

So I figured I’d start a Fallout 3 screen capture series, posting some of my snap shots in a series of posts, as well as relaying some of my thoughts and experiences with the game. So strap yourself in and get comfy as share with you the whimsical adventures of my character, the naïve and charismatic science geek April Shitface.

(My character’s name is actually just April, but for a few immature minutes I was tempted to call her Shitface instead. But, I figured I’d try to take the game seriously and play it seriously, so I went with April. Though had I known what sort of game it was, and that I wouldn’t be able to play it as I’d originally imagined, I’d have gone with Shitface instead – but instead I’ll retroactively give her the surname Shitface, making her a proud member of the Shitface family.)


I was enjoying the view, looking over the water, when my radar picked up on some enemies which appeared to be in the water. “Huh, I guess there are hostile fish here,” I thought to myself. “Better not jump into the water.” I try to get a better view of the fish, looking at my radar, but eventually give up, when suddenly – yikes, there’s a fish monster behind me! Apparently they were not as waterbound as non post-apocalyptic fish.

This is the first screen shot I took, and probably the prettiest one I’ll ever take. Moderately annoyed that I didn’t take one with my weapon holstered as well, even if there were hostile entities about. Also moderately annoyed that the trees look oddly identical, but I don’t think that’s my fault.


The game has some neat weather effects (despite being devoid of rain and snow – at leas from what I’ve seen so far). It also appears to have a functioning moon cycle, as you can see the moon in varying degrees of fullness. That’s a pretty neat detail.


Venturing through one of the game’s many tedious underground tunnels, i.e. dungeons, killing stuff. I believe this was a feral ghoul. It was no match for April Shitface. Talk about losing your head!

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