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The Garden Of Eden, Baby: Fallout 3 Mod Tools

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.

It'll be entirely free, and it's only for the PC release, so we needn't worry about it being some watered-down mini-tweaker. This is the official description:

"Users can create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons, creatures, and more. "

Which, I hope, will quickly lead to a version of Fallout 3 devoid of poxy crabmen, with crappy characters like Mr Burke either removed or rewritten, and more talky quests. If someone can get rid of that mandatory slo-mo violence sequence after a successful VATS kill I'll be an especially happy man.

Seems as though Bethesda intend to fix another of F3's failings too - specifically, that its main quest's abrupt and lousy ending also curtailed your general adventuring in that big old wasteland. Downloadable content is due in addition to the GECK, and while it'll carry a pricetage, it's really not another case of horse armour. There are three chunks of bonusy stuff scheduled:

Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.

The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.

Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.

It's the first and the last that sound most promising. Fallout 3 has some splendid setpiece moments, so Operation: Anchorage's flashback war is certainly worth getting excited about. The Broken Steel pack's the really interesting one, though. Does it mean self-contained questing as brand new character, or will it somehow let you continue doing whatever, wherever with your old character? Clearly there's much to discuss about the latter possibility, but let's keep those ending spoilers in comments to a minimum please, folks...

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