Bunker Vault-Alpha Stage (Fallout 3 mod)…

Bunker Vault-Alpha Stage (Fallout 3 mod) after the break…

Bunker Vault-Alpha Stage (Fallout 3 mod)…

I hate reviewing any mod that has the usual “Alpha,” “Beta,” “WIP (Work in Progress),” “Evaluation,” buzzwords that denotes that, in all probability, it will never be completed. Unfortunately, Fallout 3 mods are awash in these terms. To paraphrase a famous quote, though, “When in Fallout3Nexus, review what the users upload.”

“Bunker Vault – Alpha Stage” was created by “Bash & Zach Maps.” It claims to be “v0.1” & after playing the mod, it means it.

Now, to be fair, there was a “pre-beta” version of this mod that I apparently missed out on before it was removed because “the roombounds are still going nuts” (not my words, theirs) or something like that. So I’m stuck with the appropriately named “Alpha Stage.”

Amateur hour arrives quickly for this mod, even before you begin to play it. The readme file that is included with this mod is woefully minimalist & doesn’t include where you actually find this mod within the worldspace.

Note to authors: Please include a description of how you get to your mod inside your readme file. I really don’t like going back to Fallout3Nexus to find out what should have already been in your readme file. Thank you.

“Bunker Vault – Alpha Stage” is just what it says, a vault (“Fallout” terminology for a nuclear bomb shelter) – This particular one built for housing military personnel rather then civilians like most “vaults.”

The vault is located at the intersection of west of the city of Megaton & southwest of Vault 101. If you don’t know where either of those two locations are… Well, then you just haven’t played the game. What are you doing reading this review? Go out & at least play the first hour or so of the game.

Now, I’ll admit that my PC is by no means at the top of it’s game. It’s an aging machine that has seen it’s better days but it can still load scenery fairly well in advance so that I never see buildings or other structures simply “appear” before me.

The first concern I have for this mod is that a lot of objects suddenly “pop up” in front of you. The large, rocky mound that has the entrance to the bunker vault burrowed within it suddenly “popped up” in the distance, breaking the 4th wall of believability.

The vault is currently split between two “levels,” of which you enter into the upper level. The upper level is infested with corridors that appear & disappear right in front of you, leaving you very disconcerted. Imagine, if you will, if you suddenly walked towards a hallway that doesn’t exist, only for it to suddenly appear. Or, imagine peering through a doorway into vacant nothingness & having to walk a few steps into that nothingness until the room that was supposed to be there suddenly materialized all around you. If this is “the roombounds are still going nuts,” then consider yourselves duly warned – They meant it.

Although most of the rooms are vacant or are only sparsely decorated, the mod includes a brief computer terminal story that mostly quells any criticism of such a desolate environment. Apparently, “Zach” was the only occupant of a vault slated to be occupied when the bombs fell. Buckling under the psychological strain of being isolated & “hearing voices”, he eventually flees the vault, leaving behind his teddy bear (Billy-Bob) & custom 10mm pistol (Ardor) that’s slightly more powerful then a standard one.

I was actually a bit impressed with the story because you do, in fact, “hear voices” – The voices of Sentry bots that are locked behind inaccessible doors. Considering that Zach wouldn’t have the keys to these doors, the strain of being isolated & these voices might have been enough to imagine that these voices were from imaginary objects or a symptom of losing sanity.

If the story was surprisingly, if only mildly, impressive, then the architecture of the bunker was vastly underwhelming. Again, hiding behind the excuse of the mod being an “Alpha Stage,” I suppose that a lot of the architectural shortcomings of the vault may be excused.

Amongst the vast shortcomings of the architecture were, in no particular order:

  • No bathrooms (Zach apparently didn’t need to defecate).
  • No kitchen (He also didn’t need to eat, either).
  • No shower or tub (Billy-Bob, even being only a stuffed bear, probably said a word of thanks when Zach took his unwashed self out of the vault).
  • A lot of stairs & no way to move in heavy equipment.
  • Three generators in a confined space (How are you going to work on those generators if they break down?)

To be fair, you do see a shrunken refrigerator with some food in it but it is so small as to be unrealistic, especially for what it initially holds. I really don’t like it when modders shrink or expand models to unrealistic sizes (Oblivion modders, I’m looking squarely at you) as it breaks the immersion of reality that is needed to really play a game.

Also, it appears that the military had their priorities “straight” – There are dozens of weapons, plenty of ammunition & even a surgery room already equipped with a robot. However, the inclusion of the robot raises the question – Why did Zach talk to his teddy bear when he could have been talking to an actual robot that could actually talk back? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Again, it’s an “Alpha Stage” but why couldn’t the robot mistake me for Zach coming back into the vault or comment that someone used to be there but was now missing him?

Overall, this mod was nice to walk through but it is by no means a mod that I am keeping. The mod itself is very incomplete & the architecture (especially the upper level) is buggy. While the back story was surprisingly effective (if a bit minimalist – It was just five entries in a single terminal), there just isn’t enough here for this to be kept. It’s not a serious mod & I can’t recommend downloading it for anything other then for a brief distraction from playing the game.

2 Responses to “Bunker Vault-Alpha Stage (Fallout 3 mod)…”

  1. Matsuda_sempai Says:

    Would you review my mods Please!

  2. Lutonaut Says:

    Thank you for reading my blog.

    I have taken a look at the descriptions of the mods that you currently have on your blog. You have 4 mods, 3 of which are accessible. They are a loading screen mod, armor mod, and a creature mod. These are types of mods that I tend not to review. I do not review those types of mods because I feel that I wouldn’t be able to bring an impartial and informed opinion on those types of mods.

    This doesn’t mean that those types of mods aren’t appreciated by players or otherwise do not enhance the “vanilla” Fallout 3 game which anyone may purchase. However, I tend to review mods such as “house” mods, quest mods and new lands where my ability to impartially dissect a modder’s intent with what they actually deliver upon might have value to other readers.

    What I appreciate about your blog is that you appear eager to form an alternative to “TheNexus” website conglomerate. More websites featuring more mods for players of the Fallout / Elder Scrolls games are always appreciated by the community at large and I will always encourage that kind of development.

    Again, thank you for reading my blog.

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