Sitting comfortably in a darkened theatre room, Bethesda's man in London warns us that we're witness to a pre-alpha build of the game, and that all may not be the finished article - that said, as the game begins I'm immediately impressed by how polished and complete everything is looking, given that Fallout 3 won't be gracing our screens until autumn 2008.
Starting a new game, we're immediately greeted with the introductory sequence, featuring the instantly hummable "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" as the camera sweeps through a dilapidated bus, eventually taking in a post-nuclear city-scape. War does indeed never change. A bit like Vault 101, which has remained sealed since the nuclear holocaust of 2077, over two-hundred years of no one leaving, and no one entering. Into this closed world the player is thrust, the early portions of the game seeing our young charge being gently introduced to the world, via flashbacks to important occurences in earlier years.
Your father is your guide, and he'll be on hand as you select and tweak your initial skills, abilities and characteristics, choose your appearance, and eventually receive your Pip-Boy, an inventory device on the player's wrist which can be used in all manner of clever ways. Through this approach, Bethesda are cleverly integrating your introduction to the game world into the story, forging a seamless world in which everything that reminds you that this is a game is cleverly part of a believable world. You can choose to play in first or third-person, Bethesda inform us, though for the main part of our demonstration the game will take place from a first-person perspective which, it has to be said, give initial proceedings something of a BioShock feel - which is certainly no bad thing, though may concern puritanical fans of the original two Fallout titles.
View: Full Preview @ Play.tm