Top 10 PC Games of the Year 2008

Written by Joe Martin

December 29, 2008 | 08:12

Tags: #2008 #best #best-games-2008 #bit-technet #games-awards #gaming-awards #reader-vote #top-10 #top-ten #top-ten-games

Companies: #bit-tech #christmas #games

Two – Fallout 3

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
UK Price: £24.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price: $49.99 (ex. Tax)
Full Review Here

If you need a testament to how good Fallout 3 is then all you need to do is swing by the bit-tech offices and listen for a few minutes to the flow of the office banter. Between the ribald jokes, whistling and cursing of dying hardware you’ll realise that Fallout 3 is usually the main topic of conversation.

What did you do to the fire ants? How did you find Oasis? Where did you get the Reservist’s Rifle? Is Power Armour worth the effort? These topics and a thousand others bounce around the room, endlessly distracting Jamie, Harry and Joe from ‘work’.

Set in the future, Fallout 3 tells the story of a young person who grows up in a Vault – a vast underground complex that exists to shield a clutch of people from the nuclear war that has raged above and devastated the world. Safely imprisoned underneath the ruins of Washington DC, all is good for you in your microcosm – until your father goes missing and Vault plunges into chaos. You flee to the surface in pursuit of your dad.

Top 10 PC Games of the Year 2008 Top 10 PC Games of the Year 2008 - Two

As soon as you get outside though, the entire game changes and the training wheels are taken off. You can go anywhere in the Capital Wasteland, revelling in this 50s view of a post apocalyptic future. There are funny-voiced and impossibly technical cyborgs at the corner of every ruined street, looming super mutants and giant scorpions warring against bandits and settlers.

Comparing Fallout 3 to Oblivion is a natural path to take as the two games seem fairly similar at the start. Both are free-roaming FPS/RPG hybrids, both are developed by Bethesda and both put a heavy focus on raiding dungeons and collecting increasingly powerful weapons.

In reality though Fallout 3 far surpasses Oblivion in exploratory depth, easily eclipsing the former king of the FPS/RPG genre and proving that Bethesda has listened to fans well enough and worked hard to improve the faults of Oblivion. Gone are the annoying persuasion mini-games and the bandits who scale in level as you play.

Top 10 PC Games of the Year 2008 Top 10 PC Games of the Year 2008 - Two

The game-world has been scaled down and refocused too, with Fallout 3 showcasing a lot more unique dungeons and destroyed office buildings than a lot less of the samey cave systems in Oblivion.

One of the best innovations that’s been bought forward into Fallout 3 though is Random Encounters – that old stalwart from the previous Fallout games which ensures that the game is always going to be slightly different no matter how often or similarly you replay the game. You can never be sure when you might stumble across Uncle Lou or a flock of deathclaws.

The slightly stale and safe world of Oblivion has been traded in for a more gory and splatter-riffic presentation too, with more mushroom clouds than Michael Bay after a strong Vindaloo. Heads explode, limbs fly and gore drips from every surface. It may be sick, but we love it.

In fact, you might go so far as to say it was the best game of the year. You might, but you didn’t...
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