A funny thing happened as I started playing Tale of Two Wastelands for the first time: I couldn't wait to get out of The Capital Wasteland and into New Vegas.
I remembered how everything in New Vegas ties into itself somehow; very few quests are unrelated to the main narrative and/or its many factions (large & small). It was that pull - everything affects something else - that kept me excited throughout my run back in 2010.
Fallout 3, by contrast, is more episodic. On one hand, this form of questing can lead to more variety. On the other, it can make each quest seem unnecessary - as they are unrelated to anything else. A great example of this is The Superhuman Gambit ('Antagonizer versus Mechanist') quest. Its enjoyable enough, but - to my knowledge - doesn't tie into anything later. Ulimately the only barring this quest had on my game at all was in increasing my level (XP points).
Fallout: New Vegas does questing differently. In New Vegas, many quests - even side quests - send you to a destination to complete an objective...where a character in turn gives you a new quest. Take "Sunshine Boogie," for instance. The Boomers sent me to Helios One to get solar arrays - and that dovetailed with the quest there. Or take "My Kind of Town," which tasks the player with picking a new sheriff for Primm. To complete the quest, I could simply give a robot new protocals...or see the game world, meet new people, and come back later. In each of these two quests, the game world and its narrative are one.
The disjointed nature of questing in Fallout 3 annoyed me back in 2008 because the only sense of progression was in leveling up my character...and searching for dear old dad. Moreover, the companions in Fallout 3 don't have a lot going for them, either; they're just...there...to carry stuff and shoot. They may as well have been impersonal robots.
All this is to say I'm trying to find ways to tie Fallout 3 together with itself; to stop feeling so random and disconnected in its adventuring. To this end, I'm bringing F:NV's character "Boone" and modded character "Russell" with me back to DC. I hope having companions with me that I actually *like* will help make the experience more enjoyable, if still not cohesive.
Are there any other ways to make Fallout 3 feel like a more unified experience? Perhaps there are more role-playing aspects to Fallout 3 that I've missed?
Would love any tips, etc. Thanks!