Fallout 3: Ultra-violence, Comedy

A new video feature with the Bethesda guys shows off a range of the weapons available to the player in the jolly-but-grim future of Fallout 3. The bolt action rifle looks like my kind of shooter, and the rail spike launcher looks… completely ludicrous? Can ludicrous be a kind of superlative? I think so.

I’m getting kind of anxious to play this, in the way I do when games are still an unknown quantity to me. Having not had any hands-on opportunity with it, well, I really want to know.


  1. whizzedoutwoz says:

    Blowing heads off never gets old.

  2. Jonas says:

    Actually I’m already kinda tired of it, and that’s just from watching all those videos. I still hold on to a vague hope that all this time, every preview video has had the Bloody Mess perk enabled.

  3. aldo says:

    In a sense, I’m hoping this is utter crap, because I have about 8 games still to get through and not enough time….

  4. Pemptus says:

    Limb popping in slow motion = awesome. But not every single time. I REALLY hope that was the Bloody Mess perk. Also I really hope the game will be at least half as modable as Oblivion was.

  5. soulja says:

    Ain’t no point to tha game but running round shooting shit’s heads off.

  6. Esha says:


    I hear you, I was actually thinking the same thing when I was watching that. Actually, the exact thought that popped into my head was: “What’s the point of targeting, it only controls which part explodes horribly first, anyway.”

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. From what I know, the PC version is going to be as moddable as Oblivion, that means that I’ll be getting the PC version. It won’t take long for modders to tone it down (and it needs to be toned down, because Fallout was always a game of tasteful violence, unless one had the Bloody Mess perk, of course) and provide more precision to the game as a whole.

    At the moment, Fallout feels entirely ham-fisted, but I have faith that the modders can fix that. Having been a modder myself, I can have total faith in this. Providing Bethesda leave all the doors open that they did in Oblivion, of course.

    All it takes is a little graphical work and some changes to the scripts. Then I can be happy with everything that isn’t quest related. The quest stuff can never really be fixed but that’s the problem with every Bethesda game, but the good thing about every Bethesda game is that the community can, and very probably will, fix everything else. Everything they can.

    And this means that I still hold onto some hope that precision will matter, and even that the targeting system will allow for crotch targeting. Yes, I obsess over this, and pneumatic-glove groping. I know. EVERYONE TAKE TWO STEPS BACK. Still though, the fact that Fallout had that was one of the defining factors.

    I remember chasing a biker gang leader around a pit in Fallout with him screaming “I will not let you steal my manhood!”, those times will never come again in Fallout 3, unless the modders say otherwise, of course.

    Plus, it’s going to be nice if they do up the precision overall, using a pistol could be fun, then. “Hm, I don’t want to kill you. I’ll just shoot you in the feet so you can’t follow me. And your right hand so you can’t handle a gun, this is my mercy to you.”

  7. Mark Stephenson says:

    I want to see video of VATS used without compulsory slomo afterwards. They better allow you to disable it otherwise combat will be as annoying as a Final Fantasy game. And that will be the deal breaker for me.

    The interiors are just rubbish. Why does everything have to have a hint of green to it?

  8. Draycen says:

    Gore for the sake of gore appears to be their main selling point.

    I for one am not sold on that.

  9. Esha says:


    They do this because the Everyman sees radiation as being a green thing, as radiation is subconsciously linked as a toxic element, and toxic elements are usually green, therefore to those who aren’t actually sure of what radiation is, green would be a comfortable colour. It is, hwoever, very embarrassing to anyone who is not the Everyman. But I can see why they did it.

    Hopefully, modders will be able to fix that, too. Along with the slowmo and the complete lack of precision. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I probably won’t buy the game until two or three months after its release, giving the modding scene time to pick up.

  10. monkeymonster says:

    I am, perhaps rather oddly given I prefer RTS’s + orange box games, really looking forward to this game in its vanilla form (patches non-withstanding). I find it slightly sad in a way that the majority of people who’ve said they will (on here) play it, will then only do so once its modded to their satisfaction… Is it really that necessary/deserved to mock the creative work of Bethesda so much and imply the game will only be worthy once its been (potentially quite heavily) altered from their vision – especially as you have seen so little of the game as a whole to base your derisive comments on and they’ve spent (3?) years creating it?

  11. Schadenfreude says:

    Is it really that necessary/deserved to mock the creative work of Bethesda so much and imply the game will only be worthy once its been (potentially quite heavily) altered from their vision

    I think it’s more than fair. To a lot of people both Morrowind and Oblivion only became bearable once the modders got their claws into them why expect anything different this time round?

    If anything it gives Bethesda something of a free pass. Sloppy textures? Modders will fix it. Dodgy combat? Modders will fix it. Awful creature leveling? Modders will fix it. Character faces that look like malformed potato-heads? Modders will fix it.


  12. van buren says:

    Esha, you sound like you’ve played the game, either that or you’re making some rather large assumptions.
    Hold off on the modding talk until the game is actually released, fer crissake!

  13. Esha says:


    I’m getting a TLDR vibe from that statement, man. I stressed quite plainly that these possibilities rested upon whether Bethesda’s new game is as openly moddable as their previous games.

    I didn’t make an assumption, I stated a possibility based on past evidence.

    Hm, just a moment…

    “At the moment, Fallout feels entirely ham-fisted, but I have faith that the modders can fix that. Having been a modder myself, I can have total faith in this. Providing Bethesda leave all the doors open that they did in Oblivion, of course.

    There, see? Important part stated in italics for your convenience.

  14. Daniel Purvis says:


    Oh, yeah.

  15. johsjohsjosh says:

    Play style and graphics look phenominal! Giving the user choice between different styles of attack is genius. This is the first I have seen of fallout 3 and this unique game play has me sold. I hope every fight the user can trade off the balance of FPS and real time slow mo stuff. Choosing my own pace :)

    Also that vast city landscape the design the look, mood and atmosphere they are trying to envelope the player into I can not wait for the immersion. Please be on steam!

  16. Dreamhacker says:

    Beth$oft better release the modding tools right quick…

  17. Jonathanstrange says:

    Ya know, I’m replaying Fallout 2 right now thanks to the high res mod that was linked here awhile back and I’ve yet to have killed a single ‘zombie’… I don’t think I ever have. They’re just too nice and friendly. Hell, the vast majority of my fighting has been against humans thugs and slavers. Those are the only humanoids I’ve fought and killed so far and I’m pretty damn far into the game.

    Then I see them here and in the other previews all rushing forward here classic monster style, and a little bit of my hope for Fallout 3 fades each time.


    Then again I haven’t had much hope since I saw the video where you walk into a bar and a complete stranger trusts you with his diabolical plans to blow up the entire town ‘just because you’re not from around here’. That’s just sloppy writting, not to mention an annoying black/white thing when the original Fallout was all about shades of grey (And excellent dialogue!). Shades of grey.

  18. kibibu says:

    Why are they talking about Fallout while playing Hellgate:London?

  19. Mark Stephenson says:

    Just clarify my comment on the fight styles.

    I expect as an internet angry man to be able to fight without VATS on and be able to turn off the slowmo so it’s like a generic FPS. I have no problem with a little box that allows people to add slowmo to this form of combat although I can’t imagine why they would. But I’m capricious with my anger so I’ll allow that.

    I also expect to be able to take part in combat with VATS enabled and also choose whether slowmo is on or not. I’m sure it’s splendid the 1st or 2nd time but I’m not interested.

    So four options!

    FPS minus SlowMo
    FPS plus SlowMo
    VATS minus SlowMo
    VATS plus SlowMo

    Jobs a good’un!

  20. ape says:

    With the constant stream of games I have been waiting for that turn out to be rubbish I must say I am cautious against any and all hype. My only hope is that Left 4 Dead will be good… it probably will be…?

  21. Alex Cox says:

    Fallout 3 will definitely be more fun than Oblivion, at least for those of us who get tired of wildly swinging a sword towards rats.

    You can pine for the good ol’ days of Fallout 2 as much as you like; it’s irrelevant, apart from lending a setting and semblance of story.

  22. Jesse McLaughlin says:

    Looks pretty awesome to me. A gun that shoots rail spikes and make a train whistle sound? What more could there be than that?

    This video brought a smile to my face.

  23. Dood says:

    Why do I have the feeling that you’re gonna spend 90% of the fights killing Ghouls. What’s gone wrong with them. In Fallout 2 they were the nicest bunch of all. Sure, they glowed in the dark and looked a bit creepy, but I found them to be quite lovable. Maybe a bit tragic, but thats no reason to kill them.
    In the new Fallout they seem to have lost all intellect and chose to become generic FPS-monsters. And calling them “feral ghouls” seems just like a pretty weak excuse.

  24. Cooper says:


    Same comment as before.

    Gore in the original Fallouts was funny. Hilarious and laugh out loud in many cases. I have not yet properly laughed at any of the videos I’ve seen of VATS so far. It’s gorey. Sure. but it just comes across as gratuitous.

    Either it makes me yawn – we’ve seen flying limbs before. Or it just feels a bit uncomfortable, not because of the gore. but the gratuity – like seeing a sex scene in a film, where they’ve tried hard at making it good, but you end up just realising it’s a sex scene just for the sake of having a sex scene, breaking any suspension of belief.

  25. Vault 88 says:


    The originals had tasteful violence? Do you remember the puddles of goo people dissolved into, or the exploding heads? At higher levels (or simply, with some of the stronger weapons) the death animations had a large percentage of over-the-top deaths. Fallout has always had extremely caricatured violence.

    Regardless, these demos likely have Bloody Mess enabled (or just have the character at a high level, seeing as how they never seem to miss).

  26. MtotheThird says:

    A hideous video, targeted at mouth-breathing teenage boys with masculinity issues. If I were a member of the production staff interviewed for it, I’d be humiliated.

    (quick aside: I know for a fact that many of the staff on FO3 are women, yet the interviewees for these features are always men. Hm.)

    I’ll still play Fallout 3 though. I understand the need to market it to the Halo set, and won’t judge them for this sort of advertising. I’ll hope for at least one or two quests of the same caliber as the Dark Brotherhood, an option to turn off Bloody Mess, and look forward to the mods.

  27. Esha says:

    @Vault 88

    I find it funny that the point you went on to make was the one I was making. I’m left feeling that you only read a couple of lines of the stuff I’d been rambling about and then went from there. I, however, do not blame you for this. I know I tend to ramble and sometimes it’s easy to overlook stuff.

    I’m well aware that they likely have the Bloody Mess perk on, but the point of consideration is this: What if they don’t? If they don’t, then modders can fix the situation so that gore like that is a part of the Bloody Mess perk. I was actually raising the positives of the situation, even though it might’ve been taken otherwise.

    As for tasteful violence in the previous Fallout games, yes, yes there was. But the thing is, you even went on to cover this yourself. If you don’t have the Bloody Mess perk, and/or a humongous gun, then yes indeed there could be tasteful violence, one could pander to the intelligent pistol-wielding sort who only fought when he had to, and did so with style and Finesse. (Pun intended.) Either that or the violence that occurred could be amusing, and not just gore for the sake of gore (more on this later).

    So that’s what I was getting at, yes. But I’m sure you could’ve put these two and two’s together yourself.


    I hear you.

    That’s actually one reason why I wish Bethesda had some British people on their development team, gore can be black humour and it can be absolutely hilarious if done well. There can be really funny deaths. These can be tasteful in that they’re entertaining, as opposed to simply being gore-filled for the sake of the bloooooood obsessed sociopaths that gaming seems to target these days.

    The same was true of Vampire: The Masquerade aswell, and just about any game that’s ever grasped black humour. There’s a difference between mindless gore, and gore that exists for entertainment. It’s hard to achieve black humour-based gore though, and I think that this is something we’re seeing here. It’s just so much easier to go with gore for the sake of it.

    As I’ve said countless times before though, modders can absolve a thousand sins, so it’ll be interesting to see what really funny deaths the modders can create via this system. To be honest, I’m not really that excited about Fallout, but I am excited to see what modders can do with it if the modding capability is there.

    And to be honest, this is why I can’t see the game selling that well on consoles, unless the console versions come mod-ready out of the box, somehow. But I can’t see that, I remember how Oblivion fans kept haunting the forums begging for mods for consoles. Poor buggers.

    I’m not against consoles at all, and all the time I’ve spent playing the Force Unleashed lately proves that (plus my drooling fanboyism of LittleBigPlanet), so it’s nothing to do with that at all. But there are simply some games whose popularity is purely based on the mods. And this is true of all Bethesda games, I’m sure it’ll be true of this one, and of any game they make in the future.

    That’s kind of sad really, but true.

    Bit of a tangent there, sorry about that.

    But anyway, I’ve said all I wanted to say about modding and tasteful violence. So yeah, tasteful violence can be mutually exclusive of gore and one can play an intelligent character, but even if one doesn’t, then violence and gore doesn’t have to be exclusive of a tasteful, or at least properly humourous, approach.

  28. Daniel Purvis says:

    @Vault 88

    Critical hits buddy. Yay!

  29. The Shed says:

    Word up Mark Stephenson. That thought crossed my mind during the vid, VATS looks cool, but chances are it’ll split the gameplay far too often, which ruins the tension with its stop-start nature. I can imagine getting really annoyed with it after a while and returning to typical FPSing.

  30. terry says:

    All this toxicity talk has me thinking that Fallout should take a leaf out of STALKERs book and have weather-system dispersible fallout levels – so you have to scurry for shelter or die a screaming bubonic wart-covered death. It always bugged me in Oblivion that you could stand under a tree and the raindrops would pass through the tree, or that your character never caught a cold.

    Yeah, I guess I really want a Robinson’s Requiem/Unreal World RPG, but hey I can dream :O

  31. lol says:

    lol some of ya’lls acting like ya’ll been reading Proust and not playing an average RPG. Fallout 1 and 2 were mediocre games, Fallout 3 already looks better. Deal with it

  32. Matt says:

    Aah, lovely… I was already worried that there aren’t any trolls ever on this site.

  33. Obdicut says:


    I have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about with “tasteful violence”. If you manage to play through Fallout without seeing numerous people riddled with bullet holes, collapsing into liquid puddles, shrieking “you took my eye, you bastard”, then you’re playing a very, very non-normal path.

    Not to mention the horrible sound that the pig rats made when you shot them.

  34. Testicular Torsion says:

    Dis Fallout all you want, but start talkin’ smack about Proust and there’ll need to be a beating, buddy.

  35. Fumarole says:

    Horrible sound? I rather enjoy it.

  36. plant42 says:

    Ah man. This is worth reposting:

    How to make a Proper Sequel

  37. Obdicut says:


    Enjoyably horrible. Like Critters, or Kafka.

    /Critters, Kafka, Fallout: Tailor-made graduate thesis right there.

  38. dhex says:

    or a capcom fighting game: proust v. kafka

  39. Stupoider says:

    I’m torn between getting this or Oblivion. >.<

  40. Tom says:

    This game is looking awesome. So long as it has all the lovely F1 and 2 story telling style it’s gonna be a winner for me.

    And Oblivion sucks dude, no matter how much you mod it (I modded the hind legs off it).
    Sorry Bethesda, only my opinion – it just feels so soulless. But that’s probably got a lot to do with the fact I can’t stand fantasy.

  41. yutt says:

    This game looks excellent. As usual here, the comments fall into their typical pretentious, nostalgic hyper-criticism.

    No game can ever be as good as the game I played when I was 12! Updating the graphics, improving the gameplay and interface, are referred to as “dumbing down” and “selling out to the mouth-breathing blablabla” here.

    So much negativity and baseless pretension, I don’t know why any of you even keep up on PC gaming news. You hate everything made in the last decade.

  42. Evangel says:

    yutt, “improving the gameplay”? Yeah, sure, if Fallout 1 and 2 were FPS’s. Cluebat, they weren’t. They were made to emulat the PNP experience in a CRPG. Fallout 3 is being made into an FPS because it’s the least work for Bethesda.

    Note the differences: Fallout 1&2, emulate PNP gameplay. Fallout 3, be an FPS with RPG elements.

  43. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    X-Com Interceptor was definitely improving previous chapters’ gameplay. Ultima IX was the best Ultima ever, of course. And Warhammer 40,000: FireWarrior was vastly superior to the likes of Chaos Gate.

    We should all be clamoring for a Fallout game like this. Pointing out none of its gameplay is hopelessly outdated, or that is sidesteps virtually every single technical and gameplay achievement of the last decade is just hyperbole and pretension, honestly.

    I, for one, welcome our new Bethesdian overlords.

  44. Esha says:

    Heh, that set off my sarcasmometer, but still… seeing “Ultima IX was the best Ultima ever” gives me shivers.

  45. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    I know, Esha. I’m feeling dirty now, and I fear it may never come off.

  46. LSTAR says:

    I don’t the VATS system breaking up gameplay will be much of an issue. Mostly because of how terrible the standard FPS gameplay looks.

    Or is it just me?

  47. Ralphomon says:

    OK, I’m gonna say this first: I don’t get first-person RPGs. I don’t really like the twitch gameplay of most first person games, unless I just want some relatively brainless fun (Team Fortress 2), it’s Marathon, or it’s not all about shooting people (like Portal). So seeing this automatically makes my heart sink – why can’t we have 3rd person, or something isometric or soemthing? Like an update of what the original Fallouts looked like. (an aside – Oblivion makes me feel like I’m playing Heretic. FPS with fantasy weaponry.)

    But. All of the videos I’ve seen of Fallout 3 are obvious action shots to go in trailers or vignettes like the one at the top of this page. I have seen no examples as yet of the proper ‘role-playing’ aspects of the game – the clever writing that made Fallout 1 & 2 so excellent. This may mean that there are none, but it could be that they haven’t been shown because, hey, it’s a Fallout game, that’s what everyone expects, right?

    However, if there actually is proof that Bethseda have ruined Fallout for everyone by turning it into another mindless zombie-blasting FPS, that I will gladly back down.

  48. TwistyMcNoggins says:

    The gameplay in this game I haven’t played sucks!

    Look children, criticise the game for being shit after you’ve played it. If you were a real Fallout fan then you’d know a 40 second snippet of 1 or 2 would look like the most boring game ever. They’re not because it’s the 20+ hours you sink into them that make the game, not what button you press to shoot someone.

  49. Weylund says:

    What are you arguing? That people can’t base expectations of a game on previous games made with roughly the same engine, by the same company?

    Or that old RPGs were boring on the whole?

    Or is it that games made in the model of previous games on the same engine by the same company would look boring in 40-second snippets, regardless of their actual entertainment value, so we should discount both what we see and our own experience and “see for ourselves” only when we have $50 in hand?

  50. look out! Ninjas! says:

    First off, let it be finally confirmed that in these movies the Bloody Mess perk IS on and the player IS cheating with high stats for the purpose of showing the gory animations. It was said as such in one of the IGN videos.
    Also, the best bits about the original Fallouts were the story, and the open, reactive world. Lets face it. The combat was clunky, the interface was bad, and it never felt finished. Fallout 2 obviously wasn’t finished. But it is impossible to show what made Fallout great in a short advertising video. You can’t show how your choices in game affect the story later on. If they tried it would look lame and forced, and you’d bash it for failing at that like the true fans that you are.