Truth be told, Fallout 3 is just a slightly upgraded Oblivion with all the same highs and lows. It’s also been discussed to death, so instead of a long rant, I’m going to bring up something that hasn’t really been mentioned:
The aesthetics of the famed V.A.T.S. are basically those of a digital camera.
As V.A.T.S. is activated, the action stops and the player hears the whirl of a small motor. The shutter opens, and the lens extends out. Auto-targeting the most obvious foe, the camera zooms in and focuses on him/her/it, blurring the rest of the background. A minimalist HUD pops up, resembling the bland interface of many digital camera LCD screens. Accompanied by simple confirmation sound effects, the player chooses his desired target. The lens retracts, and the attack begins.
It’s pretty clever, actually. After all, V.A.T.S represents a complete pause in the action, and what better way to bring that out than with some audio and visual effects we associate with still photos?