Games for 2008: Fallout 3

By Kieron Gillen on January 8th, 2008 at 9:27 pm.

BOOM!

You don’t envy Bethesda.

I’ve said this before, but the nagging question is why they’d take up this particular poisoned chalice of post-apocalypse role-playing anyway. “A new game by the makers of Oblivion” is a much bigger story to the gaming mainstream than “Sequel to old PC game you haven’t played”. Hell, the “3″ even risks alienating people who’ve never played (or heard of) the original, dismissing it out of hand – there’s eighteen year old PC Gamers who’d have been six when the thing comes out. Even putting aside that, the friends it buys you will brook no compromise. The Fallout fanbase epitomised by the cheery souls of No Mutants Allowed, having had a decade to stew over disappointment after disappointment, are openly fanatical. As much as they’d protest it, no-one can see them accepting anything Bethesda would produce.

A Fallout licence gives you… what? A post-apocalyptic world. Make your own up and save yourself the hassle of dealing with friends who hate you and strangers who look just at you strangely.

So why do it?

Well, three reasons come to mind.

Firstly, I could just be wrong and Fallout is a much bigger deal than I thought and that little Pip-Boy is a key to a world of infinite money. I don’t think so.

Secondly, Bethesda may be as dirty fanboys as the NMA guys. It may just be as simple as plain lust for Fallout, the plain desire to write a sequel to a game they think is brilliant. This sort of things strikes even the brightest creative minds – look over at Comics, where there’s a strata of some of the medium’s brightest minds whose most heartfelt desire is to have a shot at Superman. They’re insane, and if they had any sense they’d be doing their own thing… but that they don’t have that sense means that it’s done as an act of devotion. This is actually a good reason to give a damn about Fallout 3. People working on something that’s genuinely invested in, on average, leads to better work.

BOOM!

Thirdly… well, one of the major worries about Fallout 3 from even less fanatical fans is that they don’t believe Bethesda are capable of wrestling with the actions-and-consequences aspects that have traditionally been involved in a Fallout Game – they’re fine with multiple mechanisms (Assuming they get the experience system right), but the payoffs are limited. Just as key is their limitations as creators of fiction – while they’re good at verisimilitude and a sense of place, the fiction – dialogue, plot, whatever – of the Elder Scrolls have been merely acceptable at best throughout. This has lead some people to think that Bethesda, by definition, can’t do it. Thing is, by buying Fallout 3, they cover their weaknesses. They don’t need to create a world from whole-cloth – they have an inspiring world. They don’t need to work out how people act and talk – they have a game which shows the interactions between individuals and whatever. Buying Fallout actually acts as a crutch for Bethesda’s traditional faults.

Or maybe there’s something else. I’m still thinking. It’s already clear that Fallout is going to be one of those games that is talked to death by everyone. At the moment, we’re just looking at screenshots, listening to interviews and guessing.

For example, the closer-to-action first-and-third perspective has been slammed by purists (“Slammed by purists” is a phrase I’m going to have to excise from coverage of Fallout 3, just to save space. Presume until otherwise mentioned that any feature of Fallout 3 has been slammed by Purists, because it almost certainly has been)… but it’s going to lead to a far more tactile relationship with the world, the idea of it actually as a place. STALKER managed an interesting take on a post-apocalypse world this year, but in terms of the amount of space and the back and forth key to a more true-RPG structure, you’re going to get more of a world. Hell, by cutting down the cast size from Oblivion’s sprawl, it should be a more convincing world than the Fantasy – few people doing more interesting things have been promised, and is what’s needed for any kind of post-apocalypse game.

BOOM!

Then there’s the combat system, where we see Bethesda seemingly trying to compromise between the turn-based tactical pace and the demands of a first-person game. The game pauses, you call your special shots until you run out of the rechargable action-points, then set things going, with you playing until you earn enough timer. This is one we’re going to have to get hands on with to get a sense of. As Hellgate showed, what works in a third-person can feel completely artificial when first-person. It certainly has the potential to marry the worst of both real-time and turn-based worlds. Conversely, if you were of the more optimistic bent, you could note it recalls Space Hulk - which worked well, albeit in a more distant, tactical-wargame than the immersiveness which Fallout 3 promises.

It’s hard to call. But when they talk about looking at something as sublime as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for inspiration, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Ultimately, this pre-match discussion is a little pointless. We’re all going to play this. Fallout 3 looks set to be this year’s most controversial game. We’re going to play it, if only to have an opinion to shout on forums, at friends, at enemies.

You don’t envy Bethesda. But you certainly hope they pull it off.

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78 Comments »

  1. dhex says:

    the nagging question is why they’d take up this particular poisoned chalice of post-apocalypse role-playing anyway.

    hate mail fetish.

    i am curious to see what happens. but that’s about it.

    the tgq forums had a brief run-in with some nma-ish folk last year; a thread that went from weird to mean, then to philosophical and straight from there to comedy followed by tragedy. (and now capped by fallout 3 news.)

  2. DigitalSignalX says:

    Discussing Fallout 3 reminds me of the speculation prior to the release of Doom 3. The first two Fallout titles were, to me, as ground breaking as Doom was in terms of exploring a new type of video game. If they retain all the superb elements of the first two, I’m sure it will live up to it’s pedigree. The fact that Bethesda is tackling it is a comfort. Love or hate the Oblivion saga, they are not lazy. I don’t see them cutting corners that will not make it enjoyable. Now if only Sierra could do the same with Homeworld…

  3. Dr Snofeld says:

    I feel that an important fact to remember about No Mutants Allowed is that when the first attempt at Fallout 3, Van Buren was in production, they were just as critical of it as they are of Bethesda’s version. Slammed for having a 3D engine, for example. However they seem to have done a complete 180 and now regard it as the, aha, “true” Fallout 3.

    So they have absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

    Then there’s the story of the forum member who made a post saying that, y’know, it might be alright, and was immediately banned for trolling.

  4. Briosafreak says:

    Kieron can I put this as an article on my Fallout 3 blog in a week or so? You make some good questions, even if we are bound to disagree on some of the substance, and more people should reflect upon what you’ve written.

  5. dartt says:

    I only discovered the Fallout games in the last couple of years and I love them. It’s a great setting that I’ve really enjoyed exploring and the top down turn based style has been great when I want to relax and play something at my own pace.

    I wonder if I’ll still enjoy playing it as a turn based game with the lower tactical awareness afforded by the first person view or if I’ll play through the whole thing in real time. I do know I’ll enjoy being closer to the environment and being able to explore in first person, I think that’s something they couldn’t achieve technically in the first 2 games that may bring around a few of the doubters.

  6. MisterBritish says:

    It’ll be good. It may not be ‘Fallout’ as defined by the purists, but’s it’ll be a good game.

  7. Lightbulb says:

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    Are you the hero of vault 56?

    You have my ear vault dweller!

    —-

    Its gonna be brilliant!

  8. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Agree with everything said in this article. Oblivion was great for the world it created, it was just that the people in that world were all pooh-heads, and shared 7 voices between them. Fallout would have been “just another” turn based rpg, but what made it was the dialogue and the genuine way your decisions affected the characters’ reactions to you.

    The best bits of Oblivion and Fallout combined into a whole sounds too good to be true, and as you say you have to be cautious and a bit wary when waiting for this game and hyping it up inside your head. But if it turns out to be even half as good as an Oblivion/Fallout combo sounds, I reckon it will please most people. Apart from the NMA guys obviously.

    If they got it totally right this could be one of the best games in recent years. OH GOD I CAN’T WAIT – /slaps self.

  9. neoanderthal says:

    I liked Fallout, absolutely loved Fallout 2 (moreso than Planescape:Torment (a shocker to myself to even admit that)), and I’d really like to see another go at the Fallout world. Given that, I’m not sure I understand what benefit one gains from having a 3D version of Fallout. Combat was a mostly-fun, sometimes-tedious task in Fallout, but the real kicker was the amazing flexibility in the choices the player was allowed to make. It was like playing one of Infocom’s best (and if that doesn’t date me, I don’t know what would), with graphics. How are 3D models going to make my dialog choices more, um, better? Is this going to be like the KOTOR franchise, with decent RP choices, but in the end the player is still railroaded into one of two predetermined paths? I felt that Fallout 2 allowed one to escape that fate, and that is what made it so memorable and great. Work as a fluffer? no problem. Fancy a bit of bare knuckle fisticuffs? Have at it. Save the world? Absolutely. Sit on your arse and drive your car around the West Coast, looking for trouble? You bet. There was far more to Fallout 2 than graphics, and I don’t see how slapping a new coat of paint on the old girl is going to ‘improve’ it.

    This reminds me somewhat of HG:L. I purchased a copy this past weekend, and I like the game. I was absolutely struck, however, at how much it is like D2. Given that, I don’t really see any benefit from having a full 3D environment there. In the end, I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. D2 was a great game, and HG is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t deliver on anything particularly exciting or novel. The graphics models for my little character are sub-par compared to MMOs like DDO:Stormreach., particularly with the movement animations and such. It feels like I’m playing something from the late ’90s.

    I hope that Fallout 3 doesn’t turn out this way, but I must admit to a sneaking suspicion it’s just going to be a re-engineer of Fallout 2, but with 3D graphics1!!1!!one. I can only hope it won’t be a poor re-imagining.

  10. Nick says:

    They sort of do have a huge world ready to pull from in the Elder Scrolls series too, what with it being their old D&D setting and having many, many previous games with lots of lore to draw from (which they liked to ignore on occasion in Oblivion – much to my annoyance and makes me wonder if they don’t even respect the lore of their own creation then what hope is there for Fallout?)

    But I’m in the wait and see (and hope) division, as long as it’s not as underwhelming as Oblivion is once the “ooh, shiney” wears off.

  11. Briosafreak says:

    I feel that an important fact to remember about No Mutants Allowed is that when the first attempt at Fallout 3, Van Buren was in production, they were just as critical of it as they are of Bethesda’s version. Slammed for having a 3D engine, for example.

    Strange, I was an administrator on the forum there and did most of the news regarding the game and remember an entirely different set of events.

    Also strange that after I left the “hate” was so big that NMA was the place that showed and stored all the design documents, art and the techdemo that was made.

    I also remember NMA serving as mediator for other publishers that tried to pick the aborted game from Interplay, that was because of the “hate” too?

    Oh well. Anyway this is going to be an interesting game to follow, not only to see how will turn out, but also to see how Bethsoft will change a classical (yet unorthodox) CRPG series to a more console based development and marketing strategy.

    It’s one of those signs of times that can carry repercussions for the industry and where it’s heading.

    Interesting times indeed.

  12. Briosafreak says:

    Work as a fluffer? no problem. Fancy a bit of bare knuckle fisticuffs? Have at it. Save the world? Absolutely. Sit on your arse and drive your car around the West Coast, looking for trouble? You bet. There was far more to Fallout 2 than graphics, and I don’t see how slapping a new coat of paint on the old girl is going to ‘improve’ it.

    Oh I agree, still we’re not talking about two railroad endings, but this time it will have twelve, so hope is not lost.

    I still love the slides endings though. I’m playing Fallout 2 with the new restoration patch, with over 300 fixes and new locations and NPCs, and can’t wait for the slides :)

  13. Dr Snofeld says:

    Strange, I was an administrator on the forum there and did most of the news regarding the game and remember an entirely different set of events.

    Also strange that after I left the “hate” was so big that NMA was the place that showed and stored all the design documents, art and the techdemo that was made.

    I also remember NMA serving as mediator for other publishers that tried to pick the aborted game from Interplay, that was because of the “hate” too?

    I could be wrong, of course.

  14. Butler` says:

    This years BioShock eh, gives you something to whine about anyway Mr Gillen.

  15. grey_painter says:

    I never played either Fallout or Fallout 2, I’m a bit too young to have caught them first time round and can’t be bothered with the effort of tracking a copy down now. But the reverence with which the series is spoken about makes me excited about Fallout 3. That and I enjoyed oblivion and trust Bethesda to make a solid and enjoyable game, and because I don’t have any nostalgic memories of Fallout (perhaps luckily so) I wouldn’t notice if they weren’t that faithful to the series.

    Well I’d notice when the shouting on the net starts, but I usually ignore that sort of thing anyway.

  16. Leeks! says:

    “Ultimately, this pre-match discussion is a little pointless. We’re all going to play this.”

    Hits it right on the head.

    Good or bad–however it turns out, I can’t wait.

  17. Iain says:

    @Lightbulb:

    Oooh, you cynic. I’m inclined to agree with you, though… Let’s hope Bethesda employ more than three incidental voice-actors and don’t blow the entire voiceover budget on hiring Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean like last time, too.

  18. Lacero says:

    grey_painter:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Label-Fallout-Collection-PC/dp/B000FUD16A/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1199834671&sr=8-1

    Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 (and a free drinks coaster if they’ve put Fallout:Tactics on a different cd)

    It can be yours in just two days.

  19. Briosafreak says:

    @Dr Snofeld, there were voices that didn’t like the game, but overall it was caughting people’s imagination, and the cancellation was a big blow.

    I guess you are thinking of another site, that is normally quite loud too.

  20. Kieron Gillen says:

    I didn’t mention the other one. I thought accidentally angering both may be a bad idea.

    KG

  21. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    I didn’t play the original 2 Fallouts when they were out, since I fall into that demographic of 18-year-olds who were six. I tried to play it not too long ago, but I found the battle system to be too cumbersome to deal with. Maybe I’m just an idiot, or maybe the game’s only good when played through nostalgia-vision.

    Having said that, I really loved the character customization, stat system, etc., and I think the setting has tons of potential. I think that if Bethesda can keep these elements while making the battle into something more… accessible, this will turn out to be one hell of a game.

  22. Defender says:

    For most people (substitute “unwashed heathens,” if you wish), GTA 3 was the first game in the series. That didn’t seem to slow it down at all. And, like Fallout 3, it was a remarkably different playing experience than the first two.

  23. Kieron Gillen says:

    GTA sold shitloads. Not as shitloads as GTA3, obv, but shitloads.

    (“Shitloads” is another of RPS’ scientific measurements)

    KG

  24. Eschatos says:

    I’m not a hardcore Fallout player, so forgive me from having a differing opinion. That said, I would be overjoyed if Fallout 3 was a futuristic oblivion.

  25. Devin says:

    @Zeno

    What’s your experience level with classical CRPGs? There’s a whole skillset there, like what was talked about here with Dad finding doors in Doom, that’s instinctual for a lot of us but that might be a grind for you.

    Key to that is that you won’t get a lot of feedback if your tactics/equipment are shitty, everything will just take forever. If you’re patient and smart (and I imagine you are both) you can get quite far without much, but it won’t be much fun.

  26. mister slim says:

    Maybe Bethesda will contract with Obsidian for some writing and general advice. The writing is what worries me most about Fallout 3.

  27. Lunaran says:

    Buying Fallout actually acts as a crutch for Bethesda’s traditional faults.

    Er, how do you figure?

    It’s not like they just picked up the Ring of Fallout and adding it to their inventory gives them a +2 to story writing. They still have to write a whole new one, themselves. Being given the keys to a franchise that’s known for strong writing when they themselves, as you said, are not is perceived as a huge risk because, well, it is. It’s not common for a studio to make a move out of territory defined by their strengths and succeed. The trend is usually ‘keep pushing the button that works until we fade away.’

    Not arguing that the game will rock or suck either way – in fact, there’s no better chance for them to grow in those areas than to be challenged to do something different – but it seemed like an odd argument.

  28. Thiefsie says:

    Good timing, as I just found this on Kotaku: http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40443
    Fallout 2 Restoration Project (Unofficial FO 2 Expansion) – which is a huge mod which fleshes out a lot of Fallout 2 and frankly sounds extremely fantastic… I don’t need much reason to play through fallout 2 again but this is definitely a good one! Check it out!

  29. The_B says:

    I’m waiting for the inevitable “console rape” shouts that are undoubtedly going to be thrown in it’s general direction. Just because it’s going to be on a console and the interface perhaps made simpler, is that always a bad thing?

  30. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    Don’t start that B! The Deus Ex:IW haters will be crawling out of the woodwork!

  31. Kieron Gillen says:

    Thiefsie: Was going to blog that tomorrow actually.

    KG

  32. Andrew says:

    I can’t wait for Fallout 3.

    And no, I didn’t play the originals (10 minutes with the Fallout demo in ’97 which culminated in getting killed by a dog doesn’t count).

  33. Lady Thief Of Pearls says:

    Same problem as Zeno: I just couldn’t get to grips with the combat system. I loved every other aspect of the game, but gave up because I just kept dying. Occaisionally I reinstall it, play for an hour or so, but ultimately get too frustrated to keep playing. Although I admit this is largely my own ineptitude, rather than bad game design.

    And as much as I love Elder Scrolls, I have to admit that their lore inconsistencies are a bit worrying. They seem to keep forgetting that their Elves have 1,000yr life spans and hate each other, for example.

  34. Pidesco says:

    I hate Bethesda. they took one of the most innovative and ambitious games ever, albeit one that had a bunch of huge flaws, and proceeded to eviscerate it. They did this by taking everything out that made it a unique and innovative experiment in the genre, but leaving in every flaw that brought the original game down.

    What’s truly mind boggling though, is that they were hailed as geniuses for their tour de force of bad game design. It was incredible.

    With this in mind, I think Fallout 3 will be a bad game. Not because it will upset the mystical and holy Fallout franchise, but rather because Todd Howard is, as far I can tell from the past 10 years, a complete fuck up.

    Bethesda are kind of like Genesis, I guess. They were going somewhere good and innovative with their work, until key people in the group left, and the remaining members decided to slice and dice everything that made their previous work good. Their sales numbers improved of course, but dozens of years later everyone hates Phil Collins and has actually forgotten that the bloke used to be a brilliant drummer and not just a stupid sellout.

  35. sigma83 says:

    “I’m waiting for the inevitable “console rape” shouts that are undoubtedly going to be thrown in it’s general direction. Just because it’s going to be on a console and the interface perhaps made simpler, is that always a bad thing?”

    zomg console rape!!!!!

    Believe it or not, I _liked_ Mechwarrior and the Janes games. You know, the ones that required a zillion different keys and had a tutorial level a mile long. I like that. I like having an extra dimension of player skill to tie into the game, I believe it adds layering.

    I do not however doubt that certain games do benefit from a more simplified control scheme i.e. unreal tournament, but I just got Gears of war running on my machine and it struck me that the spacebar does EVERYTHING.

    Take cover? Spacebar. Run? Spacebar. Roll? Spacebar. Change cover positions? Spacebar.

    Of course this is console rape. I want to take cover, but I vault the object instead. I die. I want to run but I roll instead. Immersion lost as I wrestle with the controls. Would Shift and Control have been so terrible?

  36. sigma83 says:

    Oh yes, I forgot to actually add my 2 cents about fallout 3, so great was my nerd rage.

    I have hope, because I’ve never actually played a Bethesda game. I’m just freaking glad that an RPG with honest to goodness .233 guns is actually making it to market.

  37. SchmattaKid says:

    I loved FALLOUT, this game was just 1997 gold. The art design was so spot-on, clearly better more imagined than the Heroes of Might and Magic, Tombraider X, and th ilk. It nailed the googie dystopia, nostalgic ruin, and the American wasteland like little had. And the gameplay? Spending 5 minutes on the minutia of hit-percentages — when you’re deciding between shooting a green mohawked chick in the eyes or in the groin is what FALLOUT is all about.

    If they nail these 2 things (art and groin shot strategy), I’m happy. The rest wasn’t genius, but it was loads better than it could have been. (Playing through FALLOUT 2 now, there are a lot of things about the interface that needed improving).

  38. Kevlmess says:

    SchmattaKid:
    There won’t be groin shots AFAIK, because Bethesda think they’re “silly”. As for the art, it’s too early to say anything other than that they’ve already screwed up with the super mutants. The instantly recognisable Hulk-esque giants have been turned into generic orcs.

  39. sigma83 says:

    I agree with SchmattaKid. There were really two ways to do fallout combat; be a min-maxing munchkin and eyeshot people from fifty hexes, or play it theatric.

    A good example is the early bit in Fallout 2 when you encounter a den of slavers. You’re somewhere in the single digit levels and twenty-odd men with guns is a frightening prospect.

    Having decided to eliminate them, I proceeded about it in the following two fashions:

    1) first playthrough, steal slave leader’s shotgun and proceed to gib them all in the eyes by having an insane small guns skill and 10 AP.

    2) Using a fast shot character 5 years later (who cannot make targeted shots), lock all the doors and eliminate them piecemeal by firing through the windows and moving out of the line of fire after every turn. I must have put 100 rounds of ammo into that building and never received a scratch.

    Rambling concised: Fallout is awesome.

  40. Foomanshoe says:

    As for VB being slammed originally, well it deserved its original criticisim. But do you recall how that critisim was handled by the developer? Josh Sawyer and alot of the other VB devs spent tons of time on the forums talking with pretty much anyone offering opinions, both good and bad. They took the time to get to know the Fallout fanbase and get a feel as to what it wanted and felt Fallout was. How often do you get that much Developer interaction now? Bethesda Did polls to see what the Fallout community wanted in the game, and when the results werent what they wanted to hear did they just disregarded them. At least BIS changed their design to respond to community feedback. And as VB grew the initial nay sayers became rather avid supporters. I don’t remember anyone on the old BIS forums or on NMA cheering when VB was cancelled.

  41. dhex says:

    Just because it’s going to be on a console and the interface perhaps made simpler, is that always a bad thing?

    in theory, no.

    in practice, however, cross development often means bad news – interface and otherwise – for the pc version. it doesn’t seem as bad as when they’re ported to consoles from a pc version, but i may be selective in my memory here.

  42. sigma83 says:

    Among the most irksome little nigglings that absolutely chews my mind is the ‘Press enter to continue’ that you get upon loading the game.

    Seriously.

    Wtf.

  43. Vagabond says:

    The thing that I have always loved about Fallout 2, is the options you had. You can complete it and you only have to kill two people.

    *spoilers for a game you really should have played by now*

    The president I planted dynamite with a timer on, and then came back to grab his key card after he had exploded. Then having hacked the security system and convinced the marine squad to help me, I sat on the sidelines and watched them kill the endboss. You can stealth, steal, and talk your way around pretty much every quest in the game.

    I think Oblivion was possibly the most overrated CRPG of all time, and I have no faith what-so-ever in Bethesda’s ability to do anything but screw up Fallout 3.

  44. SwiftRanger says:

    Just because it’s going to be on a console and the interface perhaps made simpler, is that always a bad thing?

    For most games, especially RPG’s, it is. It really showed in KotOR’s inventory system for example. You can say that in the case of Oblivion the fans could easily ‘fix’ that interface joke (because that’s what it was) in the PC version but that’s just the whole point, why should PC players do these basic fixes instead of Bethesda?

    Anyway, Fallout 3 looks brilliant and godawful at the same time on the screenshots available now.

  45. yns88 says:

    Since everyone else is doing the same, here’s my $0.02:

    I haven’t delved too deep into the Elder Scrolls series, but from what I’ve played of Daggerfall and Morrowind, Bethesda still has quite a ways to go in terms of interface design (This may have been fixed in Oblivion, but I haven’t played it). So for you folks expecting all of Fallout’s interface problems to be fixed, you can never be too cautious.

    I seem to be one of the few Fallout fans who really doesn’t mind if it’s made into an action-RPG (Perhaps the first half of Vampire:Bloodlines made me realize how much was really possible in an action-RPG), but yet the VATS combat still worries me. Why should my character need to make a 20% shot at a man’s head when I can just run up and make the shot myself? The original fallout-style combat existed solely because of the interface of the game, and now that the interface is radically different, the min-maxing of percentages does not make much sense anymore.

    Many people have blasted the setting, but I can give it credibility (Possible scenario: Militant remains of supermutant army led by the few remaining intelligent supermutants decide to travel east and see if their experiments can have more success there, and Vault 101 is under danger from these supermutants looking for “unradiated” subjects). There is certainly plenty to work with; however, from what I’ve heard of Oblivion’s plot compared to Morrowind and Daggerfall, in addition to Bethesda’s capitalizing of Oblivion’s success (you can be certain nothing will be reverted from oblivion-style to morrowind-style), there is certainly plenty to worry about.

    One thing is for certain, however: It will have excellent production values, and it will be nothing like Fallout 1 or 2. Perhaps in arguing over all these values, we overlook what may have been Bethesda’s biggest mistake: Calling the game Fallout 3 (direct sequel) instead of Fallout: Vault 101 (spinoff title). It’s understandable they didn’t want to call it a spinoff because of the failures of Tactics and BoS, but there is no less hatin’ now that Bethesda has claimed their creation of a “true sequel”.

    .
    tl;dr may be good may be horseshit

  46. sigma83 says:

    As an example, see WoW. The typical character needs tons of keybinds or precisely set control schema in order to achieve what is by the game’s standards, everyday tasks.

  47. IEArmand says:

    It is intersting to read about the fears people have releated to the choices you may have in the game. And most refer to KOTOR as a good example. However the best example of an RPG where your choices effect you through the game is The Witcher.
    Unlike KOTOR, The Witcher has you making choices all the time but not just good and evil. The order in which you talk to people effects dialogue, how you react effects the answers you recieve and their for the quests you complete. Nothing is Black or White and sitting in the middle can be as painfull as taking a side.
    If Fallout 3 takes this element from the Witcher (and not the actual dialogue..which aint great…but it is a polish game) and openness of Oblivion. It will be a great game ..purists be damned…

  48. cullnean says:

    you can get by just clicking in wow fine, but thats beside the point.

    my bet is that fallout3 will be more constricted than oblivion seeing as a fantasy world = loads of stuff you can just make up

    post apocalypse = survival

  49. Nick says:

    The thing is, Oblivions shortcomings that did deride from it’s consolification have no excuse for that either as the Xbox users were perfectly able to handle Morrowind without all the irritating attempts at oversimplification. It was just the devs being gimps.

  50. Lou says:

    “I’m waiting for the inevitable “console rape” shouts that are undoubtedly going to be thrown in it’s general direction. Just because it’s going to be on a console and the interface perhaps made simpler, is that always a bad thing?”

    Oblivion’s interface wasn’t “simple”, it was extremely tedious, on the PC. Compare that to – well, why not Fallout, as we’re talking about it anyway, where you can access pretty much all relevant information on a single page.

    Anyway, good article. Admittedly I am extremely sceptical, mainly because of Bethesda. I wouldn’t be half as worried if it was Irrational, Troika (if they still existed) or Obsidian who did the game. I liked Oblivion a lot, I am just not sure they’re the right team for the job.

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