PAX 08: Fallout 3 Does More Than Guns

Like the Rat Pack, but with more weeping facial sores

The Penny Arcade Expo is, of course, a silly little fan-festival attended only by four people who like reading internet cartoon strips about swearing. It’s definitely not a major gaming event at which a ton of important games are on show, and potentially a serious rival to the likes of E3 and Leipzig. There’s no way stuff like Fallout 3 will reveal exciting new footage there. That would be ridiculous.

So, five lengthy videos straight outta PAX beneath the cut, showing Fallout being RPGy, and not simply FPSy, as was the case with the underwhelming E3 footage. I’ve posted my as-I-watched notes below each. Apologies for their brevity and wobbly grammar, but I figured my off-the-cuff reactions could work as well as ponderous analysis. We’ll have plenty of ponderous analysis once the game’s out, I don’t doubt.

Escape:

Very brown and grey
The faces are so much better than Oblivion’s glowing pie-men
draw distance is great
Does look a lot like post-apoc Oblivion, perhaps inevitably
Level up HUD doesn’t feature stupidly giant text. Thank Christ – Oblivion’s interface outright sucked at times
Much more emphasis on perks? Or am I not remembering the first two Fallouts correctly?

Megaton:

Naughty swears! We’re not in Cyrodiil any more, Toto.
Voice acting seems less grating than Oblivion. I have a suspicion the second speaking character in this bit is the guy who did Brother bloody Jauffre, but I’m not sure. Doesn’t sound as moronic, anyway.
The Inkspots are awesome.
“I represent certain… interests” is not a subtle thing to say, Mr. Burke. Neither is “all it needs is a little… motivation.” STOP IT WITH THE STUPID CARTOON VILLAIN PAUSES/DOUBLE-ENTENDRES. This character’s acting is… rubbish, and some of the writing is a little… worrying. Too early to… judge, of course.
Some potentially fun moralising though – a certain Vampire Bloodlines vibe.

Wasteland:

Radio sounds great – really sets the atmosphere, and seems like it’ll be there throughout rather than just appearing from occasional jukeboxes.
Slo-mo gore still seems excessive. I’m no prude, but it just seems a bit too outlandish and comic – I wouldn’t mind an option to turn it down a bit.
Looks like some really fun gear pick-ups – caps, sunglasses, crazy beards… Looking forward to the character customisation.
Ooh – you need to drink to survive, but water is radioactive. Out-Stalkering Stalker?
Too many monsters/mutants?

Mega-Mart:

Oh god, please have some colour. It’s a supermarket, there should be brightly-hued packing all over the place, not just brown and grey and grey and brown. Bethesda’s poor, hamstrung artists must cry themselves to sleep.
Power-fist! Thwack-splat, thwack-splat, thwack-splat…
Terminal hacking is based on Mastermind, it seems. At least it’s not cocking Simon Says for once.
A pet Robby the Robot. This is awesome. But he should be cherry-red, dammit.
Kinda like Bioshock, but not stupidly restrictive

Tenpenny Tower:

More emphasis on notable characters rather than just random mercs’n’mutants.
The stealth/pickpocketing is clearly employing Oblivion systems, and seems a bit of an awkward fit. A functioning invisibility generator seems a whole other level for tech from steam’n’piston guns and cola machines.
I intend to place a lot of live hand grenades in a lot of people’s pockets. I hope there’s other ideas along similar lines – for instance, planting meat in their pockets so they’re attacked by beasts?
That annoying chat-zoom thing remains. Wish they’d ditch it – there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to turn around or wander about as someone’s speaking to you.
Burke really is rubbish. I’d better be able to kill him. And his actor had better not be handling 30 other NPCs.
ULTRA- SPLODE!

Thanks to sbs and Erlend M

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