I was stuck between giving this a 5 star and a 4 star rating, but in the end I opted for the lesser of the two simply because, although it has some awesome features, there are just to many disadvantages to ignore. First of all it is undoubtedly similar to Fallout 3, the graphics are more or less identical, the wasteland all to similar and the whole thing just ends up smacking of a huge expansion pack to the previous title in the series. There are also far too many bugs, and whilst I can only speak for those who have a copy for an Xbox (I am told it runs much smoother on PCs) the fact that it freezes every so often is unbelievably annoying. These minor glitches (amongst other things, including the occasional rotating head when the character is shot there) should really have been ironed out prior to release and one hopes that patches will soon sort the problem. Another big (and slightly bizarre due to feedback from Fallout 3) problem is the fact that you are unable to continue your quests after completing the main storyline. This is a problem that it shared with Fallout 3 and is one that I was certain we wouldn't see with the new release after all the feedback from the last game. Hopefully (like last time) this will be fixed. My final bugbear with the game is the main story itself, which I found to be just a tiny bit predictable and unsatisfactory, although this really is nitpicking as it is still very enjoyable and the side missions (roughly 100 hours plus worth of these) really are excellent.
Despite all the negatives this is still a brilliant game and although it is very similar to Fallout 3, seeing as that was one of my favourite ever games I find it hard to see how the similarity can be a bad thing. The new weapons mod system is great, the side missions are engaging and fun, the new ability to look down the iron sights of the weapons is fantastic and I can honestly say that hardcore mode is one of the most inspired additions to any game ever, so now all that's left is to wait for more. Role on the DLCs!