Leonard Boyarsky, one of the creators of the original Fallout, when asked about Interplay's sale of the rights to Bethesda, said that he felt as though "our ex-wife had sold our children that she had legal custody of," admitting that he feels very possessive of the series, but also admitted that his concerns have nothing to do with Bethesda. Considerable concern was also raised by some members of the series' fan community, largely concerning major changes in game play style compared to the original games and Fallout 3's similarity to Oblivion. The reaction from the press, however, was largely positive, with many considering the shift to first person view and real time combat an update, and with most considering the similarities to Oblivion to be a good thing.
In a review from 1UP.com, Fallout 3 was praised for its open-ended gameplay and flexible character-leveling system. Its memorable setting prompted a favorable comparison to the 2007 game, BioShock. While the V.A.T.S. system was called "fun," enemy encounters were said to suffer from a lack of precision in real-time combat and little variety in enemy types. The review concluded that despite the game's shortcomings, Fallout 3 is a "hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often," and one would "be a fool not to play it and enjoy the hell out of it."
Sales for Fallout 3 have thus far been very high, and figures suggest that the game has outsold all previous Fallout games (including all other spin-offs) in its first week.
Fallout 3 won several awards following its showcasing at E3 2007. IGN gave it the Game of E3 2007 award, and GameSpot gave it the Best Role-Playing Game of E3 2007 award. Following the game's demonstration at E3 2008, IGN also gave it Best Overall RPG, Best Overall Console Game, and Overall Game of the Show for E3 2008. Game Critics Awards gave the game Best Role-Playing Game and Best of Show for E3 2008.
Controversies and censorshipEdit
On July 4, 2008, Fallout 3 was refused classification by the OFLC in Australia, thus making the game illegal for sale in the country. In order for the game to be reclassified, the offending content in the Australian version of the game would have to be removed by Bethesda Softworks and the game resubmitted to the OFLC. According the OFLC board report, the game was refused classification due to the "realistic visual representations of drugs and their delivery method (bringing) the 'science-fiction' drugs in line with 'real-world' drugs." Despite this, Australia's Fallout 3 was expected to be released on October 30, on par with the European version, and was delivered on time with the drug-name changes.
On September 9, 2008 Bethesda vice president of PR and marketing, Peter Hines, has described the idea of a censored Australian version of Fallout 3 as a misconception. All versions of Fallout 3 no longer include real world drug references, then morphine was renamed to Med-X.
Game content was edited in the German release to include less violence."
Bethesda Softworks changed the side quest "The Power of the Atom" in the Japanese version of Fallout 3 to relieve concerns about depictions of atomic detonation in inhabited areas. In non-Japanese versions, players are given the option of either defusing, ignoring, or detonating the dormant atomic bomb in the town of Megaton. In the Japanese version, the character Mr. Burke has been taken out of this side quest, making it impossible to detonate the bomb.
Also in the Japanese release, the "Fat Man" nuclear catapult weapon was renamed "Nuka Launcher," as the original name was a reference to the bomb used on Nagasaki, Japan.
Microsoft India decided not to release the game in that country, citing "cultural sensivities". It has been speculated that this is either because the cattle in the game are called brahmin, which is the name of the highest Hindu caste, or possibly due to the fact that the player can kill and eat the cattle, which, as it is a sacred animal, is against the principles of most Hindu sects.