OK, I'll "benchmark" a topic from somewhere else, for the original article, <a href="http://www.videogamer.com/features/article/09-10-2008-528.html" target="_blank">go here</a>. While this is a must read for anyone hesitant to buy this one, I warn you, it contains some small spoilers on some of the side quests (not the main story). With their nuclear-powered RPG now mere weeks away from release, Bethesda kindly invited us (videogamer.com) over to their Soho office to soak ourselves in the game for a good seven hours or so. While there's clearly still tons of stuff we have yet to experience, here's our Top 10: Kick ass moments from a day with Fallout 3. Be warned: while we're forbidden from discussing the main plot, reading this list will blow a few surprises relating to side quests, and the like. <b>10. I Heart Megaton</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout31.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> Okay, so by now you may be getting a little sick of hearing about Megaton, the shanty settlement built around an unexploded nuke. The vast majority of Fallout 3 coverage has focused on the option to diffuse or detonate the bomb - but during our recent hands-on time we were actually more impressed by the way we grew attached to the place itself. We like the way the town's layout is a bit scattered and messy, with everything connected by flimsy-looking walkways, and the way the huts light up at night. There's something a bit pathetic about Megaton, but the people there are trying to get on with life; it feels a bit like a stray dog with three legs. When you return from the wastes, bloodied and in need of supplies, you'll be glad it's there. Unless you simply blew it off the map, of course. <b>9. Becoming a Home owner</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout32.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> If you decide to defuse the Megaton bomb, you'll be handed the keys to a "luxury apartment". Your dwelling may not look like the Hilton, but it's still surprisingly pleasing to have your own little cotching hole. The primary advantage of owning a house is that you have a free bed to sleep in: getting a decent night's kip restores your health and makes you "well rested" - a temporary status which increases the amount of experience points you earn. Your pad also comes with a posh robot butler who can restyle your hair and serve you purified water - a healing item that also fetches a fairly decent price with Wasteland's traders. Once you've got the cash, you'll be able to upgrade your crib with items like workbenches and medical computers. We also spotted a jukebox for sale that plays "pre-war" music. Snazzy! <b>8. Hitchhiker's Guide To The Wasteland</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout33.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> A Megaton shopkeeper named Moira is compiling a sort of Lonely Planet book for the nuclear wasteland... and guess who gets to do all the field research? Moira herself is totally scatty, but we warmed to her quite quickly - despite the fact that her field experiments tend to be extremely dangerous. Her expanding set of quests are a neat way of introducing players to basic game concepts and locations: one early request sends you off to explore a minefield, while another demands that you retrieve old food from a long-abandoned Supermarket - a location that happens to be teeming with raiders. Helping Moira is an easy way to stock up on XP and supplies, and it also leads to some rather amusing situations... <b>7. Unexpected Gifts</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout34.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> Here's the story: Moira wanted us to research radiation poisoning by getting thoroughly crisped up. She set us a choice of two exposure levels - one dangerous, the other borderline lethal - and sent us on our merry way. We had previously noted that Megaton's water supply was less than crystal-clear, so we headed to the public toilets and started drinking from the sink. Each time we hit the A (we tested the Xbox 360 version) button, our vault-dweller took a sip and increased his level by one rad. Unfortunately we needed a minimum score of 200 to complete the quest, so it looked like this method was going to take ages. Then we had a brainwave: we started drinking from the toilet, which gave us a hefty dose of 18 rads per go. In no time at all we were critically irradiated, and trundled back to Moira to collect our reward. The chatty author was happy to heal us up - but then she informed us that we'd suffered "a teeny weeny mutation". As a result, we suddenly gained a perk that meant our crippled limbs would grow back if we exposed ourselves to a certain level of radiation. A mixed blessing, perhaps - but one that certainly made us laugh. <b>6. Arefu Detour</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout35.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> A Megaton resident named Lucy West asked us to check in on her family in a little settlement named Arefu. We weren't expecting much, but what we found made Megaton look like Las Vegas: Arefu is little more than a series of huts stacked on top of a ruined motorway flyover. Not only that, but someone had slaughtered the local Brahmin herd - the old man guarding the town almost blew our head off, he was so spooked. Oh, and one of the local residents had gone a bit loopy but her husband was too depressed to care. There's not much in the way of sightseeing, but the design and execution of Arefu is impressively bleak. It's these kinds of details that make you feel like you're really exploring a post-apocalyptic world. Thumbs up! <b>5. We Are Family</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout36.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> The Family are the gang behind the raids on Arefu's cattle, and they also have a connection to the fate of Lucy West's relatives. You'll find them holed up in the ruins of an old underground station, and you'll swiftly notice there's something a bit odd about them. They seem a bit long in the tooth, you know? They don't like garlic bread... in fact, they think it sucks. You wouldn't want to stick your neck out for them. Yup, they're vampires - or at least people who act like vampires. Now that we've ruined that surprise, we can ruin the surprise that you don't have to kill them. Indeed, if you get chatting to their leader you'll find that they're actually quite a reasonable bunch - and if your speech skill is high enough, you can work out a way of peacefully resolving the whole conflict with Arefu. This kind of negotiation was a common ingredient of quests in Fallout 1 and 2, so it's pleasing to see Bethesda taking a similar route here. <b>4. How Utterly Captivating!</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout37.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> It was not long after dealing with The Family that we started running into super mutants on a fairly regular basis. As you might expect, these guys take quite a pounding; crippling their vision and movement seemed to be the best way to slow them down. We'd heard reports on the radio that the muties actually favour taking people alive - and after a particularly fierce gunfight in and around a church graveyard, we found the evidence: a bound and blindfolded Wastelander, begging for release. After letting her go, we were offered a few possessions by way of thanks. If you're a goodie two-shoes you can turn down the reward for bonus karma; we opted to take everything, mainly because we needed healing, but also because our hostage didn't sound as grateful as we'd have liked. Will these abductions play into Fallout 3's key plotline? We'll have to wait and see. <b>3. Bridge Over Troubled Water</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout38.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> After raiding the Super-Duper Mart for Moira, we crossed over a bridge that took us into the built-up outskirts of the downtown Washington DC area. From this point on, the atmosphere became increasingly hostile and oppressive. From what we've seen, much of the south-west portion of Fallout 3's map is dominated by very large urban ruins. There's something quite unnerving about being surrounded by bombed-out skyscrapers - but the chances are you'll be kept distracted by the large numbers of raiders and supermutants milling about. By this stage we'd built up a fairly sizeable arsenal and were fairly proficient in the use of VATS - but that didn't stop us feeling quite lonely. At one point we came across a pair of supermuties involved in a gun battle; we rushed out to join whoever was attacking them - but alas, it was a gang of bandits. As we hid and watched our enemies rip each other to pieces, we felt like a very small fish in a huge and very dangerous pond. Make no mistake: the wasteland is clearly the star in this game. <b>2. With Friends Like These...</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout39.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> Names can be deceiving. Following the collapse of civilisation, Washington's Friendship Heights metro station has become a decidedly unfriendly place. There's more than a touch of 28 Days Later about this spot - as you patrol the empty tunnels, you'll have to deal with a small army of feral ghouls. To be honest, the whole concept of "feral" ghouls is something we're a bit unsure about, since the Fallout universe has traditionally portrayed these guys as being unfortunate victims, rather than vicious zombies. All the same, they make for great enemies to fight in the dark - especially since there's an eery fog billowing throughout the entire stage. We actually ended up fleeing this area as we wanted to keep pushing south - but on our way out we spotted an interesting piece of graffiti. If we're not mistaken, the Friendship Heights tunnels will lead you to the Brotherhood of Steel - the legendary collective of steampunk knights. <b>1. Rise of the Robots</b> <img src="http://static.videogamer.com/videogamer/images/pub/large/fallout310.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> The last location we got to explore - and by far our favourite place in Fallout 3 thus far - was the National Guard Depot. After battling our way past two robots guarding the entrance, we found ourselves standing inside a large building that had been totally gutted by some form of explosion. Huge swathes of wall and floor had been ripped away to create an assault course of debris, and glowing green particles were still floating in the air. The design for this level has clearly been inspired by The Glow in Fallout 1 - there's a really gripping sense of mystery to the stage. It's pretty tough too - the abundance of gun turrets and chattering bots will take its toll on your health and ammo supplies. We managed to progress quite deep into the complex and even dispatched a psychotic "Mr Gutsy" bot that ate up most of our stimpacks, but we ran out of time before we could find whatever it is that's hidden away here. Given the level of security, we reckon that it has to be something pretty special. One thing's for sure: on October 31, we're heading straight back - and this time we'll be ready. Fallout 3 is due out for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 31.