Well, i've completed Fallout 3 and am playing it through again as an evil bastard, so i've decided to write up what i think of it:
First things first, VATS; how awesome is it to see your guy just blast a Ghoul into meaty chunks of, er, meat? It's easy to use (mostly; i did have some trouble targeting the bit i wanted) and is incredibly rewarding, but what about when you're out of action points? Or out of range? Well, then you have to rely on the not-so-rewarding real time shooting part of combat, and it's just not fun; it feels clunky and out-dated and it feels like the developers sort of forgot about it (they were too busy seeing how many chunks they could fit into VATS sequence).
Fallout 3 is not just about meaty chunks, though; it's the story of you, the Vault Dweller of Vault 101, who leaves their home and enters the Capital Wasteland to find their father...etc. The main story's ok (and the last mission is pretty awesome), but i prefer roaming the wastes and saving towns from annoying super heroes (you'll have to play to find out), all of the side missions are unique and interesting and you can tackle them anyway you see fit; say someone wanted you to help write a book on wasteland survival you could either agree to help or (with a high speech skill) you can convince them to give up and still get the xp points. The leveling up system up is fine, but a bit short on levels (20), this doesn't mean you can reach level 20 in a couple of missions, but as you get higher, you'll notice the ammount of xp needed to level up increase dramatically. The karma system works pretty well, though and it's great hearing the guy on the radio talking about how you tackled various missions: "Allowed the friendly ghouls into Tenpenny Tower" or "Blasted them to hell" (not the D.J's exact words, but you get what i'm saying, right?)
Graphically, Fallout 3 looks pretty good, but it does have a real problem; the third person view, now normally i don't really care much about graphics, but you just can't play the game in third person; the character animations are atrocious (they're the same as Oblivion's), it looks the worst when you're swimming (like Oblivion). But, even after the Oblivion animations, there's still no denying that Fallout 3's setting, the Capital Wasteland, is one of the most incredible looking environments ever to be wandered, in a game, Bethesda did a great job of making a post-apocalyptic, 1950's era-looking, Washington D.C based hell-hole.
Overall, i'm gonna give this game an A-, but if it was a review on the stlye of the game alone, then you can safely bet i'd be putting vertical line through the middle of that minus...