Ive always been confused as to how fans of the original and new vegas could say thats its not a proper RPG by saying there is no choice, there is no freedom or roleplaying. Ive always assumed those were core mechanics between the game when it came to questing.
After seeing a lot of comments and essays on why it suck the biggest reason as to why people view Fallout 3 this way is the consequences behind your actions.
In fallout 1or 2 if you do something EXTREMELY horrid like killing a child or enslave someone most towns would hate you for it and cities beyond where you originally make a decision care about what you did. And in new vegas because of the reputation system if you mess up in one ncr camp every other camp will remember and recognize you for it.
However in fallout 3, whenever you make a certain decision or choice, only that town where you make the decision will the consequences of your actions start showing up, every other settlement will be completely oblivious to what you do in megaton or rivet city. But when results of you did do show up anywhere else other than that town, they will be so subtle most people will not notice them. Eg when you blow up megaton, that is the consequence itself, but subtle consequences outside of that is that megaton refugees attack you, moira turns into a ghoul and you can tell carol in the underworld that you blew up megaton with gob inside and she'll attack or runaway IIRC. If you dont teach big town how to defend themselves the whole town disappears, if you do teach them how to survive a merchant can be seen running over to big town to trade with whatever you taught them to use. Its these subtle special encounters where the game mostly reflects your actions unlike the first two games and new vegas which is mainly why people dislike this game.
However i like these special encounters, they add a lot to the gameworld by recognizing what you did and adding a special interaction and encounter to what you did. It adds to the experiance making every build/playthrough unique. Even though they are just small interactions they say a lot about what you did. For example if you use the pacifist option on the antagonizer convincing her the mechanist isnt worth her time, she'll leave but then a special encounter takes place showing her attacking other wastelanders showing because of what you did, you brought another danger to the wastelanders. Or if you purge the vaults water system everyone runs out and you can see amata getting interrogated and killed by enclave telling you most vault residents arent gonna survive outside in the wasteland and you killed your childhood friend.
Also i think the fact that no other town cares about what you do in another town is pretty accurate to fallout 3's theme. Fallout 3 is a scary isolationist wateland where there is little interactions between any town besides the trading caravans. People in a settlement dont care enough about other settlements. Its a wasteland about a crippled civilization. Those are just my 2 cents.
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