With the impending release of Fallout 3, I think I will finally give in to Steam and buy the game there. I would much rather have a boxed game, even better the collector’s edition. But the local distributors in Switzerland seem to believe that the only language that exists is German, and so the version of Fallout 3 they sell is German-only. So is the collector’s edition.
Most games, especially Bethesda games, are very badly translated to German and so playing a German translation removes much of the fun and atmosphere. Bethesda also has a history of completely forgetting to translate a lot of text strings, so you end up with a part-English, part-German hybrid that sometimes switches languages (and voices) in mid-dialog. Not fun.
Fortunately, Steam isn’t as stupid as our local distributors and has all the language versions intact. Whee, Steam. I haven’t checked prices for importing the English-language boxed version from the UK or the US, but I’m sure that can’t beat Steam’s price. Importing involves not only shipping cost, but a customs fee as well (10 francs) and sometimes completely intransparent handling fees, so it can’t really be very interesting.
Update: An old pal informed me that World of Games have now started stocking Fallout 3 in English as well. They didn’t have that listed when I checked! So for anyone who is equally pissed off about the censored/badly translated German versions, head to WoG. Thanks, Urs!