Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is the sequel to Fallout 2, which was the sequel to Fallout 1, which was a bit of an homage or remake of the earlier game Wasteland, which was a science-fiction version of the then-popular Ultima series which was being made by Origin Systems, which.. okay, I’ll stop now.



Fallout is an unusual beast;  it actually has two different load screens.  When you initially load a saved game, or use the “fast-travel” functionality to travel an extremely long distance, you get the first load screen, pictured above. This load screen is quite pleasant. It’s an animated backdrop of slides, showing advertisements and other information in Fallout’s characteristic retro style. The stop-and-go animated load screen gives us a base score of three on the standardised five-point base scoring meter.

The load screen also shows a useful piece of information in the bottom left corner (static for the duration of the load), a meter showing your progress toward your next level, and interesting statistics along the right side of the screen. These extra bits of textual information give Fallout 3 an additional bonus point. However, see that crosshair-looking thing in the bottom center?  That’s a radar-like device;  it spins for the whole time the load is going on, so it incurs the standard “spinning badge” penalty point.  So that’s a score of 3, in total, which is an extremely respectable score.  Note that later in the game, this tip does once include the word “Loading”.  However, as this appears to be an isolated occurance, I’m not assigning a penalty point.

But Fallout 3 has a different loading screen as well, which is used whenever you travel through a door.  I call this loading screen “Loading Screen 2”, and it paints a very different picture.


Oh dear.  That’s a flat black load screen, which scores the minimum number of base points; just one point out of five.  And as if that wasn’t enough, they’ve inserted that spinning radar device onto the screen, which earns them the “spinning badge” penalty on this screen as well, yielding a total score of zero points.

So with two different loading screens, I’m forced to average their scores together.


Loading Screen One

  • Stop-and-go animation:  3 base points
  • Interesting text:  1  bonus point
  • Spinning loading badge:  1 penalty point
  • Rating: ★★★☆☆

Loading Screen Two

  • Flat black screen: 1 base point
  • Spinning loading badge:  1 penalty point
  • Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★½☆☆☆