The Armory (Fallout 3 Mod) Review…

The Armory (Fallout 3 Mod) review after the break…

The Armory (Fallout 3 mod) review…

Our player must uncover the location of a “hidden” Enclave (For those not in the know, the “Enclave” are the bad guys of Fallout 3) base so they can successfully raid and destroy it, taking from it some rather over-powered weaponry.

So is the premise of “The Armory,” a new Fallout 3 mod from “Ian Longiaru.”

Unfortunately, I was not able to complete this mod as it produced two crashes when I attempted to run it. Although I managed to get as far as entering the base, the end result was such that I had to delete it before completing it. Therefore, I will be reviewing only the parts that I was able to accomplish.

My first crash was when I tried to play Fallout 3 with the mod installed. I couldn’t even get the game to load. Going through the load order of all of my mods (not many; Just all of the DLCs and a few other miscellaneous gameplay changing mods), I moved the mod as far up as the next mod after all of the DLCs. This change at least allowed me to start the game and play the mod.

There is no README file included in this mod although, to be fair, there appears to be some text that you can read if you install this mod through the unofficial FallOut Mod Manager (FOMM for short) program. It would be prudent for mod makers to utilize both avenues; Include a TXT file as well as the FOMM text. After all, not everyone uses FOMM even though there is no reason not to if you are serious in your Fallout 3 playing experience.

Reading the description at Fallout3Nexus, the author nudges you to start your investigation of this “hidden” Enclave base near the “city” (more like “aircraft carrier”) of Rivet City. I noticed on the world map that there was a new location just south of Rivet City at the very edge of the map. Heading there, you see a crashed Vertibird (think “VTOL aircraft”) and a dead Enclave officer. A note (and, more importantly, a key) on the officer gives you your next hint – To look north beyond the town of Andale for the hidden base.

The instructions given to the officer are a bit misleading – The base is to the NORTHWEST of Andale, not directly north. I wandered almost to Fairfax Ruins (which is directly north of Andale) before I realized that I had to look elsewhere.

A questionable design decision immediately becomes apparent upon spying the “hidden” base – Quite frankly, it’s not very well hidden at all. The base sits immediately northwest of Andale, so close that Andale residents (as demented as they are) could probably feel the wind of a Vertibird landing on the base’s rocky plateau.

The “hidden” base is also bristling with defense – Turrets outline the rocky plateau like a “connect-the-dots” drawing book activity. A few Enclave soldiers both on and around the base of the plateau augment the seemingly impenetrable security and a mind-controlled Deathclaw guards the landing area. Hidden? Hardly.

After dispatching the outer defenses, one has the opportunity of entering the base. However, this was where my next crash out of the game occurred. Re-entering the game, I was able to enter the base but the frame rate was so low as to make any realistic attempt at playing the remainder of the game impossible. After killing a few Enclave inside the base I had to call it quits.

When inside the base, though, I noticed a few design quirks that weren’t consistent with a “hidden” base – First, the interior was that of a building and not even an utility or vault setting. Also, despite the decayed interior, there were still “modern” Enclave signs and cameras within the facility. New coat of paint? Not in the budget. Electronic signage? Yeah, we can add that.

Perhaps my biggest concern with the mod, aside from the technical issues, was just the concept of “hidden.” This base is not hidden – It sticks out like a sore thumb. It sits at the edge of Andale; You can see both Andale residents and the base from one view. Also, the Enclave are not shy about protecting this base with turrets aplenty; There is almost an embarrassment of defense surrounding this “hidden” base. I’m just imagining the conversation right now…

Enclave #1: “So, what do we tell the Andale residents?”

Enclave #2: “Same thing we told the people up in the Northwest corner of the map – Vacuum cleaner repairmen.”

Enclave #1: “Yup. Traveling vacuum cleaner repairmen.”

Enclave #2: “Do you think they’ll buy it?”

Enclave #1: “Who cares if they do? If they don’t like us, we can just wipe them out. Not much they can do about it.”

Enclave #2: “I guess. What do you have there in your hand?”

Enclave #1: “A burger.”

Enclave #2: “I didn’t know they were serving burgers in the mess hall.”

Enclave #1: “They aren’t. I got in from those Andale residents when I told them we were vacuum cleaner repairmen.”

Enclave #2: “What’s it taste like?”

Enclave #1: “I don’t know. Tastes strange. Not bad, though. You want a bite?”

Enclave #2: “I think I’ll pass. Say, what’s with all the turrets?”

Anyway, I liked the start of this mod with finding the officer and the crashed Vertibird. Not a lot of mods try to tell a story; Since I couldn’t wade through the bunker, I’m not sure if there were more notes or if it becomes a straight shooting gallery once you get to the base.

However, there was no “hidden” in the “hidden base” that this place claimed to be. Maybe a more effective “hidden” would’ve been the Enclave disguising the front as a sort of Raiders base or even a mind-controlled Deathclaw cave (sort of like the Deathclaw Sanctuary). The base’s interior didn’t match with the underground location that it was meaning to represent – Perhaps a better alternative if the author wanted to keep the theme was to treat it as the intact basement of a destroyed building and have destroyed building remnants nearby and have the rocky plateau just be a landing platform instead.

Because of the crashes, I had to dump the mod. However, I’d love to see more work from this author although fixing this mod so that it doesn’t chew through framerates would be nice as well. I didn’t get a chance to go through the bunker extensively but I’d like to see some backstory explanation as to why the Enclave chose the spot that they did and their definition of “hidden.”

One Response to “The Armory (Fallout 3 Mod) Review…”

  1. Ian Says:

    Haha, harsh. Thanks for the input though. Yeah, I guess you raise quite a few good points and maybe I need to go over a few revisions of it, mainly getting rid of that remard about a “hidden” fortification in the note.

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