High Tech Bunker 2010 (Fallout 3 mod) review…

High Tech Bunker 2010 (Fallout 3 mod) review after the break…

High Tech Bunker 2010 (Fallout 3 mod) review…

“House mods” are, by their very nature, difficult to review.

For game play purposes, a “house mod” merely needs to be a place that alleviates the realities of the game play mechanics. Grabbing stuff weighs your character down so a house mod needs to be a place where you can store the stuff that you don’t want to sell (or can’t sell yet). Getting injured requires your player to either sleep or heal themselves through a stimpak so a house mod needs a place where the player can sleep for free.

“Fallout 3” recognized just how incredibly dull a “house mod” was and so they added a robotic butler to it that gave you free “purified” water (it means that the water isn’t irradiated) on occasion and also spat out a few jokes in an attempt to lighten the otherwise dreary post-apocalyptic setting.

With so little to actually work with, it’s no wonder that house mod designers in Fallout 3 are forced to overcompensate by adding mounds of useless objects in order to make their “house” (be it a vault, shelter, hotel or other setting) visually and functionally appealing.

For instance, stoves have no functional use in Fallout 3. None. Can you cook food on a stove? Not in Fallout 3. As far as Fallout 3 is concerned, stoves are the exact same as a foot locker (the object, not the store) – A container.

That refrigerator in the corner? Another container. Your food never perishes regardless of which container it is stored in so there’s no need to worry about meats spoiling or beer becoming stale. Only a very particular object allows one to convert a soft drink into a better soft drink.

Some objects are pretty but utterly worthless. Pool tables, in the world of Fallout 3, do nothing but clutter up the landscape. Televisions are hopelessly absent of content. Sitting is nothing more then a pretty trigger that is used sparingly to activate quest stages but has no common, tangible value.

Like so many other house mods, “High Tech Bunker 2010” overcompensates for the paltry “in-game” practical uses by allowing the player to effectively cheat. Located in the town of Megaton (You either know where that is or you soon will), the “bunker” is entered through an otherwise normal-looking shack door.

Upon arrival, you notice two armed guards standing at a doorway. Why anyone would need armed guards in a house mod is beyond my expertise. Is the mod designer thinking that an enemy will run into town, survive the gauntlet of citizens who will attempt to defend me, and pursue me into the bunker?

The mod itself gets fairly choppy at times which definitely does not add to it’s value. As usual, mod designers fail to grasp that with each displayed object, more computing process is needed to display the entire scene. There is, after all, a method to the “madness” to put items in boxes and detailed towns behind “load zone” walls. While the visual display of making the player “feel right at home” is commendable, that luxury comes at the price of computing speed.

Also, few house mod designers actually attempt to make a logically-constructed dwelling. Is the bathroom near the bedroom? Is the kitchen logically assembled (the infamous “stove-refrigerator-sink” triangle of Interior Designing 101)? How far do I have to walk into my mod before I have the “nightstand” – A place to put stuff that I want to put down so I can sit down and relax?

With “High Tech Bunker 2010,” you are going to have some very fit legs because the designer enjoyed putting a lot of stairs needlessly into the vault. Stairs to go here… Stairs to go there… That’s a lot of stairs to climb if you want to utilize the full potential of the dwelling.

For every nice touch that I saw (A fire extinguisher near a stove – Good job!), I saw an equally disturbing visual (A mutant’s gore bag in the “infirmary”? Complete with blood trail? Here?!).

As typical, there was no README file that came with the mod… Really? People can design a house mod but zipping the mod up with a TXT file is a bit beyond everyone’s technical grasp? Is this a cultural shift in the Morrowind  /Oblivion / Fallout 3 mod scene?

House mod designers can not be completely to blame for their inability to make a competent house mod. Fallout 3’s game play treats a house mod as nothing more but some teenager’s bedroom – A place to put stuff and sleep. It would be refreshing if house mod designers invented some novel perks rather then simply copying and pasting the usual infirmary, workbench and other goodies into their mod. Why not a robot that attempts to repair your armor? Why not a quest to get that robot? Why not a device that makes you “friendly” to all robotic devices just like the ghoul mask makes you friendly to feral ghouls? Why not involve the house mod with that?

I just can’t recommend this mod – It slows down too much in too many places. There’s no back story as to why this mod even exists. The vault setting doesn’t match the outside, either physically or thematically.

I’d love to see the author try to make an one-level vault mod and try to wean themselves off of the desire to use staircases.

Like so many house / vault mods, the author attempts to add more features then can be seamlessly implemented. Ambition should never be discouraged but ambition must always be tempered with reality.

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