The open world assures this replayability because you need to explore the whole map to visit places and find more or less useful items.
|The first mailbox tha player will find in Fallout 3 with the sceal of the Post Office Department (created by an anonymous tumblr user).|
Where can you store the surplus of junk until you discover a permanent home? Especially where safely store when the Fallout universe tool place in an alternative-history post-apocalyptic future, two hundred years after nuclear strikes destroyed Washington?
In a mailbox!
Among the small tips on how to start the game, a player created this tumblr picture: he explained that the first blue rusted mailbox you encounter in the first minutes of the story can store anything as long as you want. Contrary to many containers it won't empty itself.
What can surprise our United States readers and other U.S. specialised philatelists is that these boxes wears the United States Post Office Department's sceal in 2077 when the Nuclear War happened... when the U.S. Post Office became a public firm, the U.S. Postal Service in 1971.
A century more: thank to alternate history.
The Fallout divergent history (or uchronie in French) seems to start after World War Two ended with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the fifties, the Cold War scientists went into the miniaturisation of nuclear technology in all industrial products: cars, planes, and the research into robotics, both for military and domestic use.
The 2077 Nuclear War started after decades of worldwide tensions when oil reserves get scarce. In Fallout 3, a virtual reality mission makes you live the campaign to free Alaska from the invading army of the People's Republic of China, looking to the Arctic oil reserve ; the alternate U.S. annexed Canada to secure their oil stronghold just before nuclear hell breaks loose in the form of smaller H-bombs than in our world.
A second main divergence is the survival of the fifities modes and cultures until 2077: comics, survived music styles, design of cars. Even the anticommunist insults by combat robots programmed two centuries before in a maccarathyst universe.
If you are curious enough of this universe, without the wish to buy a high graphic capable computer or a home videogame console (Xbox or PS3), now some players are becoming youTubers and propose to watch them play and a wiki website accumulated details on these games and their alternate history: Fallout Wikia in English.
To help you get the first minutes of Fallout 3: after some memories of your life in a closed-for-200-year vault, you have to fly away to find your father, a scientist, who fled some days before... because he may knew a way to make the region of Washington livable again. There, in a suit and (perhaps) a gun or a baseball bat, you met with postapocalyptic surroundings of small divided communities of humans, racist deliberately mutated mutants and irradiated ghouls... They are fighting for the remaining ressources including the radioactive meat of a charming mutated bestiary.