Massive E3 Fallout 3 post (updated!)

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A lot is coming from E3, let’s start with the Todd Howard video interview at G4, here’s a small bit, courtesy of NMA:

How faithful is it going to be to the other games?

In terms of the world, and the texture of it, the tone and the lore, it’s very very faithful. In as far as how the game is presented, it’s very very different. Those other games are ten years old, so now, with the presentation we can do now, and because it’s role-playing, we want you to feel that you are this person in the world.

—X—

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Golem from NeoGAF posted his summary of a conversation with Emil Pagliarulo and Todd Howard, seems INT has nothing to do with dialog and the Enclave is back (what for?…), but there’s hope for different UIs (thanks NMA):

Thanks to Emil, Todd and Pete for the demo and answering all these questions and thanks to fellow gaffers for your input!

Demoed on 360.

Warning: Possible spoilers within.

ANSWERS:

Separate PC / Console UI?

Yes, they learned their lesson from Oblivion and are making sure that the PC GUI will be suitable for keyboard+mouse users

PC/360/PS3 simultaneous release?

Yes.

Mod support on PC or Console?

Hasn’t been decided yet.

More celebrity voice overs?

Besides Ron Perlman, they aren’t ready to make any further announcements at this stage. No Jean-Luc :(

Any returning characters?

Not saying at this moment.

How dialogue works?

Branching dialogue tree, different choices/chances of success based on charisma and speaking skill.
Poor INT will NOT affect your dialogue choices.

Weather system?

Yes.

Fanbois?

They understand they’re passionate about the brand and want to live up to their expectations but they are definitely making a game that they themselves want to play

How far can camera zoom out?

Pretty much full control over camera and can get into an iso/top-down view.

VATS?

Pauses game and lets you queue up actions, according to how many Action Points you have.
Action Points regenerate in real time based on Agility.
AP cost is dependent on weapon, skill.
Can queue up actions on multiple enemies.
My impression.. the combat looks like a lot of fun!

Game areas?

Game areas are not scaled such as in Oblivion although there will be some minor scaling of creatures withing a predefined range of levels to maintain a fair bit of challenge.
Because XP and Levels are used, they are able to determine PC level/power better and be able to tailor quests/direct players to zones appropriate for their levels.

Random encounters/easter eggs such as Alien ship?

Maybe.
FYI, on the Energy Weapons skill info pane, it affects these types of weapons:
Alien, Cyro[Edit:It's Cryo], Laser, Plasma and one other I think I missed.

Children?

In the game, killable (directly)? Not yet decided.

Groin/Eye shots?

They figure that a crit on the eye will gib the head anwyays so probably leaving that out. Groin shot is a maybe.

NPCs? Dogmeat?

Animal companions.. maybe. NPC followers are recruitable based on karma (good/evil/neutral) and controlled through dialogue.

Bloody mess perk?

Yes

Does the game end? Is there a level cap?

Yes to both questions.

How much it ties into the previous games?

You’ll find out!

OTHER TIDBITS:

Weapons have decay. They are repaired using the repair skill which requires weapons of the same type to get parts from. Weapons decay has many effects such as Rate of Fire, Cone, Damage

Water is an important theme in Fallout, it’s one way you can heal.

The Super Mutant Behemoth… looked like something out of GeOW, but in GeOW you don’t actually get to fight the big monsters.

The Fat Man nuke effect is really cool.

Hacking minigame… hack into the BIOS for passwords to terminals. There will be a lot of terminals
.

XP mostly comes from quests.

Towns and Buildings are zoned like in Oblivion (load times between each, etc).

Other factions: one of the radio stations mentioned by in game dialogue is apparently run by The Enclave.

The faces are much better, especially the female ones.

Your in-game father (Liam Neeson) will physically reflect the choices you make on your own character’s appearance.

Overall… I want to play this game!

My preview will probably go up on http://gamedeveloper.digitalmedianet.com/
but it will be way more general than this post, probably mostly a description of the demo level/missions that have been covered on other sites.

—X—

Action Trip also has a E3 Fallout 3 coverage going (thanks Lithal):

While the third person view is functional and often useful (over the shoulder look mostly), the main way to play the game would definitely be in the first person. Beth’s executive producer, Todd Howard, calls this the most immersive way to experience an RPG title.Now, personally, I may object somewhat to this statement, but the fact of the matter is this is how the game’s gameplay is executed and this is what Fallout fans should expect. Is this a good thing? A matter of personal preference really.[...]

As you exit the Vault, you are faced with a world of moral ambiguity and a rather uncompromising style of humor; again trademarks of the Fallout series. In that sense, the designers are staying true to the core concept of characterization and storytelling, something that a lot of fans will regard as music to their ears. Expect a lot of “fucks” as well as crass humor, but wrapped in an intelligent and ironic take on life.[...]

Another important thing to note about the game is the combat system. While looking rather like your classic shooter combat, with a crosshair and all, Fallout 3 is actually very different in that sense. As you know, the old Fallout series was turn-based, and Fallout 3 sort of continues that spirit. Though you can execute combat in real-time, there is an option to stop time and use action points to perform powerful shots in the head, torso, or extremities. This will, in turn, allow you to deal with multiple enemies more effectively. The gore of the game seemed quite excessive, but this all fits into the unapologetic nature of this surely M-rated title. At any rate, this is what people expect from Fallout.

Near the end of the presentation, Beth treated us to a level of post-apocalyptic Washington DC, which was very impressive in the amount of damage done to the city.

Final scenes included combat with multiple soldiers and mutants with you right smack in the middle of it all. Granted, this is something that has been the big wow factor of Oblivion, but the gameplay was sort of diluted as you progressed through the campaign.

I am very much hoping Fallout 3 won’t have that detached feeling to it. It didn’t in the presentation, but then neither did Oblivion under similar circumstances.

—X—

Here we have the Bethesda E3 party gallery at Joystick,just a few examples of the pics:

awwwww.jpgf2pic.jpgf1-pic.jpg

—X—

But wait, more previews (spotted at the Bethesda Blog), first from RPGFan (who?…):

Risk versus Reward seems to be the theme in Fallout 3, not only inside the game, but Bethesda Softworks’ view of the game. While they remain true to Black Isle’s vision of a post-apocalyptic world, they are making their own, brand new game. It may not be the hex-based combat that the ultra-hardcore are looking for, but Fallout 3 is on track to be one of the most fantastic games of 2008. Good Work, Bethesda. Good Work.

And now from GamersInfo, this one is very juicy:

So, we walked around. For the demo, we tried to lie to our father, but with only a 29 percent chance of succeeding, it was a failure, and he ordered us to go take the G.O.A.T. As we walked to the classroom, people would say hello or go about their business – we got to see some Vault greasers (stereotypical 1950s gang members) harassing a young woman, and we could’ve gotten involved with that if we wanted, interacting with the Radiant artificial intelligence. Instead, acting like we were 19 – when you leave the Vault – we headed out of the Vault.

Before leaving the Vault, we ran into a handyman-type robot who complimented the look of the overalls we wore – then insulted us after we left. It was quite funny.[...]

Remember those greasers I mentioned? If you’re not familiar with Fallout, let me get you up to speed. Fallout 3 takes place approximately 200 years after a worldwide thermonuclear war wiped out civilization in 2077. The United States of 2077 bears more of a resemblance to a futuristic version of 1950s society than today’s. World War 2-esque recruiting posters and 1950s-esque advertising still dominate the landscape. The cars are all large and nuclear-powered.

Even looking at your Pip-Boy – the computer on your wrist that tells you your attributes, health, radiation count, equipment, basically all of the “game” information – has a ’50s feel to it. And speaking of the Pip-Boy – the developers like to point out that there are more pixel shaders on the Pip-Boy than they used in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. They wanted it to look perfect.

So, you wander the landscape. At a Red Rocket – a refueling station for those nuclear-powered cars – a few shots set an old car (a Chryslus Highwayman, if I remember the name correctly – each car will be identified to you when you look at it) on fire and blew it up in a mushroom cloud. Developers showed us how the system used to show all the destruction also allows the change in the scenery if you, for instance, shoot the scenery.

Then there were a few skirmishes with giant spiders.

Combat is something that a lot of people had questions about. In the original Fallout, it was turn-based using a system called “VATS.”[Briosafreak:What????] Now, you have a choice.

For instance, you have a targeting reticule. With your trusty .22 rifle in hand, you can take potshots at the spiders, with a chance of hitting a body part (such as a leg, to slow it down, or an antenna to try to make it go berserk and attack his friends). But if you’re not good at shooting like that, you can still use VATS.

Using VATS will cause time to pause, and you select what actions you want to take based on how many AP you have – action points, which regenerate at a rate determined by your agility – as well as the chance to hit certain parts of the creature. You can even set up multiple targets in VATS to switch back and forth.

A later battle against a super mutant showed us that. First, a couple of shots went into the leg of a mutant who was charging us with a super sledge. The next shots then went toward the head of a mutant with a Chinese assault rifle, blasting at us from a platform, and the last APs were used to reload.

Why use VATS if you’re good at shooting?

Well, for one, Bethesda doesn’t want this to be a shooter – they want it to be a role-playing game. They’re still ironing out the combat system, but your chances of doing something good – a critical hit, a hit to a body part – will be better using VATS. Also, even in “twitch” mode, your skill still affects your accuracy and damage with a weapon.

Plus, when using VATS, you get cinematic! Instead of being completely focused in the first person’s must shoot it out with mutant, you get a brief dramatic movie of your actions as you fight it out!

There’s much more where this came from, have a look.

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18 Responses

  1. i thought i nuked the enclave? :? what the fuck? go away you electrical floor maze dropping chimps. Not at all endeared by yet another implication by The Todd that first person is the only way to play.

  2. “Bloody mess perk”

    Someone should tell Toddler and his yes-men that it’s a Trait.

    “How dialogue works?

    Branching dialogue tree, different choices/chances of success based on charisma and speaking skill.
    Poor INT will NOT affect your dialogue choices.”

    Lewl. Isn’t just that Fallouty?

  3. I’ve updated the blogpost with more previews, really juicy stuff.

  4. You know, the more I look at the second picture, the more it looks like Emil (that is him, right?) is on trial, and Todd is his lawyer. Must have something to do with the straight face Emil made.

  5. Yep that’s him

  6. Bleugh…

    Yes, bleugh… Anyway, I thought of a decent hacking minigame:

    http://www.nma-fallout.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37624

  7. sad news about IN doesn’t affect dialogue choices =(

  8. Now that I look at it (cynically), it looks very expatable:
    - no groin shots
    - no dynamic main quest
    - no groin shots or eye shots
    - no bottom left box for descriptions
    - no traits
    - no world map (at least no realistically scaled world)
    - dungeon crawls
    - mini games
    - intrusive sound tracks (from what we’ve seen)
    - no retro muties
    - lore rape (in what concerns BOS’ aims, at least)
    - (and nuclear highwayman)
    - drinking water (from 200 years old toilets) and eating food regenerates hit points
    - wrongly mispelled stimpaks (at least in every single preview that mentioned them, although differently each time…)
    - forced “humor” and swearing
    - dumbed down descriptions for stats (and probably for traits and such)
    - twitch play
    - bobble heads that increase your stats and that are scattered throughout the world (remember the stat screen has 7 less stat points assigned than Fallout)
    - fully voiced dialogues (using the same actors oblivion did, plus some others)
    - joke weapons

    and int not affecting speech… -_-

  9. morbus,
    ‘no groin shots’ twice ;)
    and why do you say no traits?

  10. Why use VATS if you’re good at shooting?

    Well, for one, Bethesda doesn’t want this to be a shooter – they want it to be a role-playing game

    OK, I’ve heard this multiple times and I think I’ve got it. You can play it as a shooter, but Todd doesn’t want you to so it’s not. It’s like LARPing. You’re roleplaying that it’s not a shooter by only using VATs.

  11. 13pm: Because Morbus is a cynic, in everything that has something/anything to do with Fallout -franchise. He has proven in the past that there is no need to base ones arguments on solid facts.

  12. and why do you say no traits?

    Because “journalists” keep referring to bloody mess as a “perk” and there is not hint whatsoever as to the existence of of traits in FOE, neither in the screenshots nor in previews.

    13pm: Because Morbus is a cynic, in everything that has something/anything to do with Fallout -franchise. He has proven in the past that there is no need to base ones arguments on solid facts.

    I’m the best and you’re the worst. Just that.

  13. He has proven in the past that there is no need to base ones arguments on solid facts.

    I hate to call this up, but that’s probably the reason why I have an article right beside the others here at FO3:APNB.

  14. Morbus is my hero! I look at it this way. If I keep beleiving FO3 is going to be the game Morbus thinks it will be, I can only be pleased by what does finally get released. :)

  15. That is the only way one can perceive Fallout 3 after Morbus’s comments.

  16. Let’s move on and discuss the news, shall we?

  17. oh well… -_- I guess I missed something here, since I didn’t understand either gilfander’s and droveri’s post… What are we talking about? :?

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