In this gaming log, I am going to detail the system that makes Fallout what it is: the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S.  Inspired partly by the ability to shoot specific body parts in the turn-based combat system of the previous Fallout games, V.A.T.S pauses the otherwise real-time combat system to allow the gamer to specify where on their enemy they want to shoot.  When using V.A.T.S. against a humanoid enemy, you can target seven different areas: the head, torso, left arm, right arm, currently held weapon, left leg, and right leg (when facing a non-humanoid enemy, there are different target areas, such as antennas for insects, or combat inhibitors for robots).  When targeting a part, the screen displays a percentage of how likely the attack will hit the targeted area based on distance from the target, visibility of the targeted body part, and combat skill.  From these percentages, the gamer then chooses what they believe is the best option for attack.  V.A.T.S. also displays a health meter indicating the target’s overall health, as well as an indicator showing the amount of damage a V.A.T.S. attack round using the player’s current weapon will inflict.

V.A.T.S mode changes the strategy of Fallout completely.  Instead of just being a typical first-person shooter, V.A.T.S gives Fallout a bold new dimension.  There are many situations for temporarily pausing time is just necessary- at least on the higher difficulties-, and besides, there’s nothing more satisfying than shooting five opponents heads off before they even have a chance to fire a bullet.  I would say that V.A.T.S mode accounts for at least half the fun I have in Fallout.  Seeing a head fly off your opponent and a blood spout from their neck just never gets old.  Alright, this is starting to sound a bit psychopathic, but nevertheless, V.A.T.S is a keystone part of the Fallout Series and an excellent source of entertainment.