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#1 Lyndon

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 09:31 PM

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[hide]Before you read any further, there’s one thing you should know about Fallout 3: Just because it’s being created by Bethesda — the same studio that brought you The Elder Scrolls — doesn’t mean it’s “Oblivion with guns.”

Well, okay, maybe it is. But not really.

Confused? The real answer depends on why you’re making the analogy in the first place. “When we started this, we would go to great lengths to explain the differences from Oblivion,” explains Fallout 3’s executive producer, Todd Howard. “If you’re talking to an enthusiast, there are so many differences, and we feel it’s under-selling the game to say it’s Oblivion with guns. But when we started talking to more consumer-oriented magazines, we’d have, like, two seconds…and we’d say, ‘It’s like post-apocalyptic Oblivion with guns.’ And they’re like, ‘Awesome!’ To Joe Public, it’s a mainly first-person, wide-open game and you get to do what you want. The game it’s closest to is Oblivion. So now when someone asks, ‘Is it Oblivion with guns?’ my answer is, ‘In all the best ways.’”

The truth is, the list of comparable titles is pretty short. As Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo puts it, “How many massively single-player role-playing games are there?” We counted them on one hand, which makes Fallout 3’s post-apocalyptic landscape all the more inviting. And when the game appears this fall, Oblivion may be a strong, fond memory — once you’ve seen the end of the world, there’s no going back.



Sheltered Childhood
The game actually starts with the beginning of the world, of sorts: your own birth, in a private hospital deep within the radiation-free fallout shelter known as Vault 101. The screen goes from dark to light, and you can press the A button to cry. When the doctor asks if it’s a boy or a girl, respond by choosing your gender. The doctor also turns out to be Dad, and he mentions the Gene Projector — a futuristic device that will let him see what the child will look like when it’s older. It’s a clever way to let you choose your in-game appearance, but there’s an interesting reverse twist to it: the choices you make for your character’s look will be reflected in that of your father. Your dad’s face is hidden behind a surgical mask and won’t be fully generated until the next scene. “If you give yourself a big honking nose, Dad will have a much larger nose — a percentage of what you did,” says Howard. “He’s not a duplicate, but he’ll look like he’s your father.”

Leap ahead to a year later — your speech skills are now upgraded to saying “Dada” with the A button, plus you can walk, open the playpen gates, jump on the bed, and a few other basic functions that cleverly mask a controller tutorial. You’re also old enough to interact with a book titled You’re SPECIAL! — an acronym for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Choose your character’s core aptitudes carefully: upgrade opportunities will be rare.



You’ll soon flash forward to your 10th birthday party, where you’ll learn social interaction with the party guests. Your gifts include your very own Pip-Boy 3000 wrist computer, which will serve as your health and inventory interface throughout the game, and a BB gun, complete with combat training at the shooting range. Things get even more specific by age 16, when you take your Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test, or GOAT. It’s a personality test with situational dilemmas that will, like all classic aptitude tests, Determine Your Future. For instance, if you’re hypothetically called on to eliminate rad roaches from the cellar, would you smash them with a pipe or shoot them with a gun? Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of public relations and marketing, says your answers determine “the three [skills] you’re going to focus on that get a big boost at the start. Every time you level up, you get points to spend on improving any of your skills, so that’s what is increasing as the game goes along.”

By the time you’ve grown to age 19, you’ll finally kickstart the game’s tale in real time. Nobody’s ever left Vault 101 — until your father suddenly escapes, without so much as a hearty handshake goodbye. Still, the Vault’s Overseer thinks you’re involved, and as the pressure mounts, you decide the only way to learn the truth is to follow in Dad’s footsteps — even if that means wandering the contaminated wastelands of what’s left of Washington, D.C., circa 2277.

Destroyed Beauty
Once you get out there, you’ll find a gorgeously dilapidated world, filled with pixel-shader texture tricks that make everything look utterly devastated (but saving polygon counts in the process). Far in the distance you may spot some landmarks, such as the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. As is the Bethesda standard, if you can see it, you can visit it. You’ll need to navigate shattered roads of crumbling pavement, and your travels will frequently take you through the hollow husks of schools and office buildings — chilling reminders of what used to be

One such remnant is Dot’s Diner, which must have looked gee-golly keen when it was all decked out in chrome and neon. Now it’s rusted and ruined — and from the look of the fresh corpses and traps inside, the brutal wasteland wanderers known as Raiders recently used it as a base. No one was home when we arrived there, so we poked around for ammo and supplies…until some shouting and swearing out back let us know that scavengers don’t take kindly to trespassers. The resulting shootout gave us a chance to see how weapons can be upgraded, reassembled, and repaired.

Guns like the Chinese Assault Rifle or Fallout’s signature 10mm sub-machinegun wear out over time; as a weapon degenerates, its rate of fire slows and it loses accuracy. But two crappy guns can be combined to make one really reliable one…at least, until it, too, wears out and needs to be ditched or combined. We enjoyed conventional weapons like the flamethrower (are they ever not fun?), but we got the biggest blast from the Fat Man, a shoulder-mounted launcher of miniature nuclear bombs, which detonate with a small but horrific mushroom cloud. Other weapons are purely DIY affairs — as you rummage through wreckage, you’ll find schematics for weapons such as rocket launchers or the clever shrapnel bomb, made out of a Vault-Tec lunchbox and bottlecaps.


VATS Entertainment
Any weapon you wield can benefit from VATS — the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. Whether you’re fighting hulking Super Mutants in the trenches outside of what used to be the capitol steps, blasting irradiated zombie-like Ghouls in the hollowed-out offices of the Durwich Building, or squaring off against Talon Corporation mercenaries in the wastelands, you can pause the battle using the Right Bumper and aim for specific body parts — head, arms, legs, or torso — or try to shoot a weapon out of your opponent’s hand. Crippling of any “zone,” or body part, will reduce your enemy’s effectiveness in a different key area. Blast their arms to hamper their aiming, shoot their legs to slow movement, put a few slugs in their chest to slow overall reaction time, or blind them with a headshot. They’ll be trying to do the same to you, so you’ll have to manage both your overall fitness and the health of each personal zone. Each VATS shot spends Action Points, which replenish when you’re not shooting.
Bethesda’s using the turn-based pause to deliver a powerful payoff: When the shots are fired, you’ll see them land in the flesh of your enemy from one of several cinematic angles. And it’s from those dramatic fly-bys and follow-cams that you’ll realize the Vault’s quaint 1950s vibe is merely a distraction for the fountains of blood and gleeful amounts of gore that highlight Fallout 3. “I think it’s more in the Tarantino fashion, which is to have some fun with it,” says Howard. “It keeps it almost surreal. All these posters and the music are winking, but when guys die, it’s over-the-top. It’s rendered really nicely, so on some level, it’s believable — but it’s ridiculous. That’s the point.”
“It would be a lot less fun without that level of gore,” adds Pagliarulo. “It’s part of the visceral experience. You laugh your ass off when you see a mutant’s leg get blown off. It never gets old — it hasn’t yet.”



…And I Feel Fine
And that’s the final piece of gear you’ll need to pack before your vacation at the end of the world: a wicked sense of humor. “It’s so depressing that you have to see the humor in it,” says Pagliarulo. “If not, you’ll lose your mind or slit your wrists. Part of your brain refuses to admit it will ever happen, so you have to look at it and laugh. The dark humor of talking to an old lady who’s really nice to you, and then you blow her head off, put her head on a counter, and pretend to talk to her…there’s a certain charm to that.”

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This looks pretty cool. Obviously its not the isometric style from the predesessors that everyone hoped for, but it could be still a great a game.

I'm sure a lot of you won't be happy with this though. 'Oblivion with guns' is probably not what the die hard fallout fans wanted...

#2 Marcus

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 11:41 PM

I think I'm the only Fallout fan in the universe that's actually anticipating this game.  I can understand the animosity the game is getting because Bethesda did a really terrible job marketing the game last year and the first paragraph practically summed up everyone's fears; the game was being marketed as OBLIVION WITH GUNS but that's not Fallout.  Over the months the slow stream of information has quickly levied my skepticism about the title and I can honestly say that I'm pretty psyched about the following things:

1: No more buggy ass battle system (I hope).  As much as I loved Fallout's skill system, battles either revolved around having a high small arms (as big guns and energy weapons were so rare and useless) or having a high melee and abusing the Super Sledge.  There's practically no inbetween.  Fallout 2 made this worse with a mandatory final boss that had 999 hitpoints.  Even with party members, a pacifist character stood no chance.

2: All the humor and 50s scare is still there.  They already confirmed the new soundtrack and it's an actual SOUNDTRACK rather than Fallout's single licensed song that plays in the beginning.  They said there's no ingame music but you can hear the soundtrack on discarded tv's and radios.  Hopefully there's a radio built in your pipboy.

3: Even though it's using the Oblivion engine, the face skeleton system has been completely changed which is great because Oblivion had butt ugly faces models.

4: No more Oblivion TOPIC discussion system. I don't think they discussed how conversations in game will happen but Oblivion's topic system wouldn't work for Fallout.

5: I love the new art.  I love the washed out greys and ash covered look of the north east.

6: The dark humor seems to be intact which is always a good thing for me. 

Yep, definitely anticipating this game.  Hopefully it comes out by september or october.
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#3 xanque

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 12:03 AM

Honestly, I wanted guns in Oblivion really badly.  And this is taking my dream to an even better level by adding shit loads of gore.  This game sounds amazing, and I can't wait until it comes out.
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#4 Dead Phoenix

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:06 AM

*insert fallout fanboy, anti-fallout 3 rant here*
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#5 thejackyl

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:50 AM

I loved Fallout, but couldn't get into Fallout 2 so much.  I don't really know why, but I do look forward to this.  Though I doubt my computer would be able to run it really high.

I don't like weapon degradation at all.  Give me one game where it was actually a good idea, and it would make the game less enjoyable without it?

I was never one to shy away from over the top fantasy violence though :naughty:

#6 Marcus

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:59 AM

I don't like weapon degradation at all.  Give me one game where it was actually a good idea, and it would make the game less enjoyable without it?


Diablo?
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#7 maladroithim

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:12 AM

I think I'm the only Fallout fan in the universe that's actually anticipating this game.  I can understand the animosity the game is getting because Bethesda did a really terrible job marketing the game last year and the first paragraph practically summed up everyone's fears; the game was being marketed as OBLIVION WITH GUNS but that's not Fallout.  Over the months the slow stream of information has quickly levied my skepticism about the title and I can honestly say that I'm pretty psyched about the following things:

1: No more buggy ass battle system (I hope).  As much as I loved Fallout's skill system, battles either revolved around having a high small arms (as big guns and energy weapons were so rare and useless) or having a high melee and abusing the Super Sledge.  There's practically no inbetween.  Fallout 2 made this worse with a mandatory final boss that had 999 hitpoints.  Even with party members, a pacifist character stood no chance.

2: All the humor and 50s scare is still there.  They already confirmed the new soundtrack and it's an actual SOUNDTRACK rather than Fallout's single licensed song that plays in the beginning.  They said there's no ingame music but you can hear the soundtrack on discarded tv's and radios.  Hopefully there's a radio built in your pipboy.

3: Even though it's using the Oblivion engine, the face skeleton system has been completely changed which is great because Oblivion had butt ugly faces models.

4: No more Oblivion TOPIC discussion system. I don't think they discussed how conversations in game will happen but Oblivion's topic system wouldn't work for Fallout.

5: I love the new art.  I love the washed out greys and ash covered look of the north east.

6: The dark humor seems to be intact which is always a good thing for me. 

Yep, definitely anticipating this game.  Hopefully it comes out by september or october.


I was about to type up the exact same thing but I'll just quote you.  As awesome as Fallout 1 and 2 were (my favorite PC games ever dude), making Fallout play more like Oblivion will do nothing but great things for it.  I don't think anyone actually remembers how bad the controls were and how much of a pain in the ass it generally was to play the original Fallout games.

#8 cowardknower

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:27 AM

for me the biggest worry isnt that they will change the interface, but that they will fuckass ruin the universe.  that will be dissapointing.

i have hesitant high hopes though.

#9 Rowain

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 11:22 AM

Having never been a "diehard" Fallout fan to begin with, this sounds like nothing but cool to me. I like the clever character creation and tutorials especially. And hey, Oblivion was hours of fun, so I have no problems with them starting there.
WHY SO SERIOUS HAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAA

#10 jamie

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 12:46 PM

i never got into fallout anyway so even if this is just oblivion with guns i don't care cos then it's one of my favourite games put into a post-apocalypse thumbs up.

#11 Tau

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:11 PM

I'm pretty excited about this title, although I haven't played the original Fallout games, a post apocalyptic, action, wide open oblivion-ish game sounds like something I can get into haha, I just hope it doesn't get boring after a while like oblivion did for me in the end, or maybe it was because I played it for like a week straight haha..  :huh:

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#12 #1 Vodka fan

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 01:14 PM

Fallout 2 made this worse with a mandatory final boss that had 999 hitpoints.  Even with party members, a pacifist character stood no chance.


that's not true. You can talk to Frank Horrigan's soldiers to change sides, also you can activate the turrets against him. You can win basically by standing in the corner.

#13 XxSylverxX

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:06 PM

are you sure about that? i mean i know you can get that crew of enclave soldiers to switch sides, but im not so sure about horrigan himself.

#14 #1 Vodka fan

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:22 PM

I am. In fact I did the same with my charisma character.



You don't need to watch the whole thing, only the part from 06:00 matters. Anyways I'm looking forward to fallout 3 as well, I hope it's not going to be a short consoletard game

#15 Guest_Sarevok_*

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:32 PM

I was about to say that Kassey, yeah. You can beat the game without wielding a single weapon if you so choose. You can't do that in fallout 1 though, because iirc you have to kill the master to 'end' the game.

On a side note, none of this info is new.

#16 thejackyl

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 02:40 PM

I was about to say that Kassey, yeah. You can beat the game without wielding a single weapon if you so choose. You can't do that in fallout 1 though, because iirc you have to kill the master to 'end' the game.

On a side note, none of this info is new.


Actually in Fallout 1, if you get the discs from the Brotherhood of Steel Lab, and some other data things, you can show The Master that the mutants are infertile, and he will kill himself IIRC.

#17 Lyndon

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:33 PM

I was about to say that Kassey, yeah. You can beat the game without wielding a single weapon if you so choose. You can't do that in fallout 1 though, because iirc you have to kill the master to 'end' the game.

On a side note, none of this info is new.


well I only posted this becuase I hadn't seen any updates on here on the game. Also the article is from march 31st

#18 maladroithim

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:45 PM

I never beat Fallout 2 because the final boss always glitched out in my copy.  I got to him several times on different playthroughs but the game would always freeze up.  I think I might prefer it that way though, because not having finished it, it maintains a certain mysteriousness and mystique.  Did anyone else encounter this?

Also did anyone play Fallout Tactics?  It didn't seem like a very good game until you got into a bit.  The game system is pretty cool once you figure out how to manage your characters' parameters and it's definitely fun to spec up an entire party of Fallout characters.  Also the later missions are much more densely designed than the first ones and the game starts to get more of an RPG vibe than it does when it starts out.  The writing in the game is pretty embarassing though ("Target (pronounced Tar-jay) only has one eye, but it sure is a good'un!").

#19 #1 Vodka fan

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 03:52 PM

I remember playing fallout tactics in multiplayer, I played as a robot and I always repaired myself with a snap-on kit. That was awesome.

Also there was a drunken master perk for hand to hand combat.

#20 Marcus

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 05:06 PM

that's not true. You can talk to Frank Horrigan's soldiers to change sides, also you can activate the turrets against him. You can win basically by standing in the corner.


The turrets didn't auto-target him until he turned into an aggressive character which happened either

A: You get close enough to talk to him

or

B: You shoot him first.

Regardless, the guy could do 50-100 points of damage EVEN WHILE WEARING ENCLAVE POWER ARMOR and he could attack 2 or 3 times in a single turn.  Luckily I was playing as a character with the sniper perk and a ridiculously high critical and managed to hit him for something like 300 points of damage in one turn but the guy destroyed every turret and murdered those enclave soldiers well before I got the chance to kill him.

And my god, he has the best death animation out of any villain in any videogame ever created in the history of the universe.
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