Wednesday, November 12, 2008
You mean... it's OK to be an asshole?
I've been completely ob-fucking-sessed with Fallout 3 the last week. I have to quickly admit that this is my first experience with the sandbox/RPG like Oblivion and shit, so pardon the n00bile over enthusiasm, but the game is a fucking gem and I can't recommend it enough.
The biggest compliment I can pay to the game is the sheer freedom it allows one to be a complete and utter asshole to the virtual world as you progress through the game. I started the game with the goal of being an evil motherfucker, because I figure if they'll allow it, why not push the envelope and see how far you can go? Well, you can go far. Far enough that I actually occasionally feel real world guilt at some of the actions I am responsible for in fake video game land, and this is the kind of experience that truly makes games art: When they can reach out of the screen and really cause one to emote.
In the last week there have been a number of poignantly, excessively awesome experiences that need to be dished right goddamn now. Here are a few.
ahem... spoilers n' shit...
My first foray into the town of Megaton was a chaotic stroll along the salty brine of the devil's colon. Long story short, you show up to town, the sheriff tries to intimidate you into following their rules, you meet a guy who wants to pay you to arm the benign nuclear bomb in the middle of town, and are then left to explore. I got about as far as the place where you sleep with the hooker when I decided I needed to start flexing my evil bone and see what kind of shit you could get away with. I found myself alone with a friendly AI in a motorcycle helmet in a secluded room of the commons. Entering the crouch, slash, sneak position, I attempted a feeble level 2 pickpocket and of course failed. The "man" freaked out and began to run away, at which point I beat him to death with a baseball bat and looted the items I had sought to procure in the first place. Much to my shagrin, the local security was on my ass and chased me out of town. With bullets. So I followed through on the "blow up the town quest" and about 30 minutes later I was safely on the balcony of Ten Penny Tower watching the town that had dealt me so sourly go up in a mushroom cloud. Catch me pickpocketing? I kill you dead. Chase me out of town? I vaporize all you fuckers!
Later on, I'm doing this weird side quest that involves mutated fire ants that spit flame thrower style flames at you and are a huge pain in the ass. So there's a doctor who has genetically altered these ants and accidentally turned them into giant, flame spitting bitches that need to be effing annihilated. The doctor implores you to only kill the soldiers and let the queen live so he can continue his research, promising you riches AND a shot that will boost one of your stats (that's a big deal if you haven't played RPGs before). So I agree, complete the quest to the T and return to the good doctor with his nasty soldier ants bubbling piles of guts and the bloated queen still rummaging around her ant hole. The doctor thanks me, rewards me, gives me my stat boost, and then goes on his way to continue his research. Right as he turns around BOOM I blow his head off with a pistol, loot the corpse, and head back into the ant cave to kill the queen and suck up the experience points like nectar, reaping all the benefits of completing the "good quest", but still getting the material rewards of stealing his belongings and raking up the ant queen experience.
All I can say is: Thank you, Bethesda. Thank you for not only allowing us to explore the darker side of sand box gaming, but actually facilitating the fun with a unique experience that only dick-ish players are privvy to. For me this is an easy "Game of the Year".
Posted by Jon at 9:20 PM