Fallout 3 preview

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.

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So, because you read some bulls--- on a forum, from people who have no idea what's in store, what everything is going to be like, as well as 0 experience with the development, you think it'll be "Oblivion with guns"? And because of your apparent feelings about Oblivion, you think Fallout 3 = Oblivion based on... what? That they're made by the same company? I suppose by that logic that Diablo II and Starcraft are the same thing? :rolleyes:

I'm not trying to be rude here, but it bothers me to see someone so blindly throw out Fallout 3 just because it doesn't have the same 1998 graphics / look or isn't being made by Black Isle. Hell, Black Isle's Fallout 3 project was going to look pretty much the same altogether! While that may have been fine for many of us, considering the flop that was Fallout Tactics, I wouldn't have wanted a Fallout 3 from them.

Bethesda is well known for their Elder Scrolls series. The way I look at it, if they can take a great game like Morrowind and make a sequel that stomps it into the ground (but doesn't make it any less of a game), then I'm glad they're working on Fallout 3. In fact, I don't think any other company would probably work so hard to keep a well kept storyline. Half the companies out there would just pull the storyline altogether, give it a broad idea, and leave it at that.

Hell, even Bethesda doesn't want to hear this half-assed "theory":

This is not Oblivion, however, and Bethesda will stand no more comparisons. Likewise, those likening the game to a first-person shooter will be forcibly removed, I'm almost warned entering the theatre. Though it has to be said that, purely from an aesthetic stand-point, Fallout 3 isn't dissimilar to an FPS, even if no one will thank me for noting it. Similarities are thankfully little more than superficial, and even the combat - which can be tackled FPS style - is more intelligently approached using the pseudo turn-based VATS combat system - which allows you to pause the action and select parts of an enemy to hit, with your timing and shooting ability effecting how likely you are to succeed with that tricky head-shot, or the disabling leg-shot. Likewise, enemies will lose percentages from every part of their body - meaning that you can save ammo and take fewer risks by concentrating on a foe's weak spots via the combat system. FPS fans may of course prefer to engage in more 'traditional fire-fights', which can still be impacted by a player's strength, skill, and various environmental factors (radiation from exploded atom-powered cars and the like).

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.

Much as Bethesda has denied it, Fallout 3 is Oblivion With Guns. If anyone here read the Bethesda forums when the game was first announced, the very first replies to the announcement were: "Don't make it into Oblivion with guns!" And that was coming from Oblivion players!

So I guess we all know what can be expected from this game. Lots of predictable content, goofy-looking spastic monsters, generic NPCs, and a boring, clumsy combat system that isn't really an RPG and isn't really an action game.

I liked Bioshock, and Fallout is one of my favorite games of all time, but this ... this isn't Fallout! It isn't Sparta either. I think it's more along the lines of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Preview of Fallblivion 3:


Disclaimer: no offense to anyone from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. But if you live there, I suspect you probably don't think it's very exciting.