I downloaded Fallout 3 from Steam, and I have never been able to get it to run. It loads the startup screens right up until the “goat” screen and then crashed to the desktop.
I have searched through the internet, and there are several “fixes” depending on your problem. If you have FFDShow installed, you can confiure the audio codec not to work on Fallout3. Bethesda also as a SecurROM patch, but this isn’t the case for me, because I downloaded via Steam (so there is no physical disc… one of the great reasons to buy games over Steam).
After many moons of searching, I finally found the problem. The problem is DirectSound 3d emulation on the Asus audio card. You can update your drivers and see if that helps, but what worked for me was to disable GX on the Xonar D2X Audio Center. Here’s a screenshot with the highlighted button.
Turn this option off and Fallout 3 works perfectly! I did plan to be productive for the next few months, but now that Fallout 3 is working, I guess that plan is out the window.