The notion of open game worlds has always appealed to me, ever since Elite. When there’s even the faintest whiff on a free roaming environment, or virtuality that I can go off an explore, I’m interested. It’s an impulse that leads me to spend endless hours in Stalker, or to expend an entire day driving around Fuel. But whatever game I play, I end up feeling somewhat dissatisfied. It’s kind of dissatisfaction that does not seem to be so common with linear or arena games. I think it’s to do with a specific tension that open world games create: between what the game is about, and what the environment – and its openness – implies.
Posts Tagged ‘Fallout 3’
News just in from Gamasutra. Bethesda’s Pete Hines, speaking in London, revealed that KOTOR2/NWN2 veterans Obsidian are working on a new Fallout game going under the name “Fallout: New Vegas”. The only facts we have are that it’s not Fallout Tactics, Brotherhood of Steel and doesn’t impact what the actual main Bethesda Fallout team are doing. Which does make the puzzle be exactly what it could be. My gut response guess would be something using the Fallout 3 engine, in a locale well away from where Bethesda are operating – perhaps, I dare say, in Vegas – and probably set in a different period. But that’s just nonsense I’ve just made up, obv. It could be a Fallout Slot Machine Game for all I know. The comments thread is your place for speculation.
I’d have enjoyed Fallout 3 a whole lot more if it had more than three colours in it. Fortunately, an enterprising modder felt the same way, and has taken it upon himself to restore the chlorophyll to the wasteland’s washed-out world. On paper, making the trees and grass clinging to life in a post-nuclear landscape a healthy shade of green sounds absolutely ridiculous, but in practice it makes an incredible amount of difference to a game that often coasts on limited artistic imagination. It doesn’t end up looking like Oblivion 1.5 – rather, it still looks very much like the devastated wasteland it’s supposed to. It’s just that, now, plantlife’s doing okay for itself even if humankind isn’t. And it makes me want to explore so much more.
Grab this green and pleasant mod-ette from here.
Fallout 3 has released its first batch of downloadable newness. The DLC, called Operation Anchorage, is
apparently available now. You’re trying to gain access to a shelter, which requires you complete a military simulation of the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska, set between 2076 and 2077. Once it’s installed, it’s announced on the radio, and you can hot-leap to its location. There’s a smattering of new content, including a new perk: Covert Ops. What follows is my attempt to get it.
Hip-hip-hooray. Fallout 3’s official mod tool is out, and I’m celebrating by badly quoting Tina Turner songs. I’m far too stupid to use the construction kit myself, but I’m dead excited to see what Fallout 3’s community (both those who love and those who want to see Bethesda strung up by the nipples for it) comes up with. Oblivion was massively enhanced by its mods, but Fallout 3’s wilder, weirder world means there’s room for all manner of madness.
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My affection for Fallout 3 just increased tenfold:
If you are super-sensitive to such things, there’s a possibility this includes a couple of really minor location spoilers. I honestly don’t think there’s anything in this that’ll truly impact your F3 experience (bar wishing its NPCs really were this funktastic), but Angry Spoiler Men should consider themselves warned.
Thanks to Homunculus for pointing this out.
They said it
would never might happen. And now it has. Fallout 3, controversially released without official modding tools, will be blessed with the GECK come December. That’s the Garden of Eden Creation Kit in the Fallout universe, but in our rather less post-apocalyptic universe it’s the F3 equivalent of The Elder Scrolls games’ powerful Construction kit. Oblivion’s a game that quickly became mpre than the sum of its officially-made parts thanks to the unending glut of enthusiastic and often enormous mods. So, toys to bend’n’shape Fallout 3’s delightfully ravaged world can only be good news.
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There sure is a lot of stuff in Fallout 3. Granted, most of it involves messily shooting things in the face or enduring woeful characterisation, but not all of it. There’s a ton of fun quests and epic scenery awaiting the casual adventurer. If, however, you’re finding it tough to stray off the beaten path or have fallen into aimless mutant-bothering, the goodly readers of Planet Fallout are busy constructing an interactive, ever-swelling Google map of Washington DC’s ravaged environs. Should help you fillet through the game’s oodles of quests’n’secrets to find the more interesting bits. Good work, those fanboys.
So, most of the season’s biggest games have landed on our hard drives by now, which means two things will follow in their wake:
1) A torrent of finely-detailed complaints about this, that and the other feature. With maybe the occasional compliment thrown in for good measure.
There tends to be this weird two-sided coin for PC versions of big games – on the hand they often don’t receive quite as much spit’n’polish as the console versions, which is at least partly because there’s no Microsoft or Sony certification hoops to jump through. On the other, that lack of certification means fixing up minor holes can happen a lot more quickly. Case in point – in the last couple of days, two very recent biggies have already seen their first patches: Fallout 3 and Far Cry 2.
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As three-quarters of RPS quietly recover from the Thinkosium, this brought a smile to our collective faces as we tried to work out how to remove cheese from the floor our of my oven. In a move which I have to assume will be rejected as another half-baked notion by AIMs, Eidos Montreal send Bethesda a cake to congratulate them on shipping Fallout 3. Bless.
More on the Thinkosium in a bit. In short: THIS WAS A TRIUMPH, etc.
It’d be fair to say that Fallout 3 is my… *counts on fingers*… fifth most anticipated game of the year, and I’ve actually largely been avoiding the coverage so that I can hit it fresh. Anyway, I couldn’t help but to have a look at this most recent trailer. I didn’t want to be disappointed: I know it’s the world and the RPGishness that will make it for me, but I am rather disappointed by the gunplay shown here. It’s the way the enemies do an “oh I’ve run out of hit-points” and fall over dead, that kills it for me. They need to be getting visibly battered by a torrent of lead, I need physics! Anyway, the environments look suitably derelict, and that missile-launcher is spectacular. Hopefully there will be enough awesome for this game to still be pleasing when we could to do that obligatory “games of 2008” round-up in December.
I know this probably sounds like paranoia, but sometimes I wonder if there’s some people predisposed to dislike the forthcoming Fallout 3. Yes, I realise what you’re thinking: But this is from Bethesda, who make those incredibly popular Elder Scrolls games, and the Fallout series is excellent and deserves a new game from a stand-out development team. But despite all this, my gut just tells me that there’s a dissenting voice, quiet as it might be, out there. While I’m here, another prediction: I think DRM will soon become a hot-button issue amongst PC gamers. Time will prove this. I laugh to think what would happen if you combined the two topics, were my instincts to prove correct.
Wait, what’s this?
Well, on other stuff too, but that’s the most headline-worthy. After getting hands on with Fallout 3 last month I had ten minutes or so to chat with Bethesda‘s VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines which I’ve finally transcribed. In it, I ask why they’re not initially supporting mods and mention the conspiracy theory that they’re sidestepping them to increase demand for downloadable content. Plus stuff on violence, misapprehensions and 100-post+ comment threads.
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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.
Some of the Fallout chatter on here reminded me of the canceled “Van Buren” project, which would have been Fallout 3 had Interplay not closed down the Black Isle project in 2003. Most of you will have seen this last year, but I thought it worth mentioning that the tech demo was leaked in 2007 and is now freely available over on StrategyInformer. There’s not a great deal to it, but the very existence of an alternate Fallout 3 makes for an interesting compare and contrast.
Bethesda have said there isn’t going to be a demo for their Fallout 3, which should hit the PC on October 28th.
Fallout 3 has removed all references to real-world drugs, in order to appease the Australian classification boards, and in turn, the rest of the world’s. Edge Online reports that Bethesda, needing to get around the decision to refuse to even rate FO3 down under, has agreed to remove names of drugs like morphine from the game.
The Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (there’s a clue in the name) had announced that they would be refusing FO3 a rating due to its content, which in turn would have meant it wouldn’t be stocked and sold in Oz. The office explained, “material promoting or encouraging proscribed drug use” is refused classification. Not material in film and literature, obviously – that would be crazy! But in games it’s simply too much.
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.
I honestly can’t remember if we already knew a release date for Fallout 3. I had September in my head, but I think I might have been making presumptions. We definitely know now, anyway: it’s October 28th in America, and October 31st in Europe YOU BASTARDS. If an entire continent’s worth of people manages to pirate the game during those three days, it’s your own damn-fool fault, Bethesda.
Which in either case means that I strongly recommend we all stay off the internet for the first week of November. The Angries will be out in force and spraying Angry-Venom everywhere, I’ve no doubt. Oh, and if you’ve not been by the official Fallout 3 site lately, you won’t know there’s a multi-part Penny Arcade comic there and a whole slew of new interviews with the dev team. And now you do. HTH.
If you’re a regular reader of the finest PC gaming site on Earth, you’ll be aware that Old Man Murray hasn’t updated in years and you’re probably wondering why you keep on clicking there. But people who read us regularly will remember that the tenacious terrier of games journalism, Mat Kumar, had a quick go at Fallout 3 while at E3. Last Friday, I was left alone with the game for about an hour.
And this is what I made of it.
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