The lights are on
Fallout 3's Wasteland is a dangerous place, but that only makes it more exciting. For me, the Our Lady Of Hope Hospital was a crucible that brought out some of the best the game had to offer.
Life is cheap in the Wasteland, and none more so than your character’s. I was warned by those playing the game in the office not to head into the city too early. I took this to heart when I first stepped out of the Vault, but even then I wasn't fully prepared for the game’s beginning difficulty.
After trying a few quests, hanging around Megaton, and getting my ass kicked in the Super-Duper Mart, my curiosity got the better of me and I headed to the big, bad city. I went into the hospital first because I was lost in the city and sick of slumming around the underground. But what started as respite quickly became quite the test.
I was fairly low level at the time without a significant stock of weapons, ammo, or supplies, but I used the hallways and rooms of the hospital to my advantage. In particular, I remember one sequence where I took out a handful of Super Mutants by picking them off one-by-one as we played cat-and-mouse through a series of rooms.
I can vividly remember the terror of seeing a hulking mutant walk through a doorway. As I lined up a shot, I started to panic. What if I miss? A head shot is fun, but shouldn't I take the best-percentage shot? Even though the mutant was frozen in place by the VATS combat system, I couldn't but help envision the hell that would be unleashed by the beast even after I got my shot off. Even though the VATS stops time and ostensibly makes combat easier, I credit it for still not draining any of the tension and brutality out of battles.
I managed to survive this sequence thanks to finding a few first aid kits at appropriate moments, and previously I came across a few copies of the D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine, which gave me permanent boosts to my Medicine skill. When I entered the hospital, I was a 99-pound weakling, but by the time I walked out I was a hardened, ass-kicking machine.
I would experience a similar character catharsis when taking on the mutants in their trenches in the Mall, but by that time I was a better character and player. It never would have been a possibly without Our Lady of Hope.
Here's a YouTube walkthrough video from Culveyhouse showing the hospital:
Thanks also to Blain Newport for the screenshot at the top from his gaming blog.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I love that hospital.
loved fallout 3 it was the first game i played on my xbox and i remember reading all the articals i could find out about it and every new screen shot and when i got the game i didnt turn it off for at least 2 days it was just bliss and loved every second of it so many good memories on such a brilliant game that just made my christmas!!!
Top 5 of all time. This game really was insanely awesome, I must've logged over 300 hours into it.
I must have been in there. Freaking SMs. And just think, there are enemies that make them look like sissies!
I need to try playing this again, start a new character and hope I don't have a freaking glitch.
Fallout 3 and New Vegas are in my top 10 games of all time.
I used to love the challenge of making a character purely intellectual based with high charisma and endurance, with skills such as science, medicine, energy weapons and speech being where I put my level up points, among other variations.
Fallout 3 is da bomb.
Now that I think of it, Fallout 3 really did get my blood-pounding (in the good way) far more than any other game this generation. Simply taking on bunch of baddies, each of whom could easily kill in a straight up one on one fight, and then patiently eliminating them one by one is just supremely satisfying.
Things like this that make fallout 3 such an amazing experience.
One of my moments was finding my dad roughly 15 hours into it...completely on accident and skipping a chunk of the main quest...good stuff