I’ve explored a good portion of the map (except for the downtown area that I explored last time). I’m level 17, with a bunch of important skills maxed (Energy Weapons, Lockpicking, Science, Sneak).
I’ve got a bunch of sweet guns, including my new favorite – A3-21′s Plasma Rifle (obtained from Harkness in Rivet City). With the silent running perk, I can sneak up on most things and blast them in the head… killing them instantly with a Sneak Attack Critical.
I’ve got gobs of ammunition, dozens of chems, a couple hundred stim-paks, and thousands of caps. I wonder why I still loot stuff – I have nothing to spend the money on. I bought all the house upgrades, and I’ve bought most of the weapons schematics that you can.
So what happens when the game gets… easy?
Hitting the Tipping Point
Early on, the game is fairly challenging. I wouldn’t say it’s ever hard, but you need to take your time. If you’re reckless, you’ll quickly a) run out of ammo, b) run out of drugs/food, or c) just get killed. Sure, you can avoid c) by reloading, but you’re kind of SOL if you run out of ammo, chems, and money.
You also have to be careful about engaging enemies early on. Your weak weapons take a while to kill people. How many shots does it take the average 10mm Pistol to kill someone? Yeah.
In these early days, it pays to go painstakingly slow. Loot everything you can, repairing armor/weapons so that you can carry more. Every cap you can get will go towards repairs and ammo.
Pretty soon, this care is no longer necessary. At some point you hit a tipping point – where you have enough money, ammo, and chems to last just about forever. Your skills and weapons are advanced enough that you can run into most situations and obliterate the enemy.
The game just doesn’t seem to ramp up in difficulty with your level.
There are some tougher to kill mobs – i.e. Deathclaws, Mr. Gutsy, etc. But even these can be dispatched easily with the right skills/weapons.
I strolled into Old Olney and was a bit worried at first when I found all of the Deathclaws. Then I realized that I could wipe them out with one round of VATS shots to the head. My A3-21′s Plasma Rifle did a hefty amount of damage, and the added bonus of 1-2 crits was enough to kill him.
Despite having the difficulty on hard for this entire run through, I just don’t feel much challenge. The game got too easy, and I think it’s time to wrap it up. After a little more exploring, I’m going to finish up the main quest chain… and maybe be done with Fallout 3 for good.
Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe I’ll come back for a re-run in a year or two.
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