But the problem is that V.A.T.S seemed to be too efficient in the build we have played, in which one could easily defeat entire groups of enemies by using these “aimed shots” while the first person view condemned the player to a certain death. This impression partly comes from the lack of precision and agility of the FPS gameplay, which looks rather dull when compared to recent games of the same genre which have invaded the console market during the end of the last year. One can imagine that raising certain skills might improve that feeling while you shoot, but the heaviness of the character will certainly make us choose the slow motion carnage, despite the fact that it soon becomes very repetitive. [...]
“The gigantic world promised by Bethesda Softworks looked actually quite narrow, with ceaseless and pretty long loadings once you get out of the vault, when you enter a town or when you enter a building. Even though the outside world we have had the opportunity to explore looked rather open at first sight, you get around the idea quickly without discovering anything really worth of interest. When you finally come across a derelict building that looks a bit interesting, you have to endure a long minute of loading before being able to eradicate its aggressive inhabitants. One might also want to notice that a pacific approach of the game was almost impossible during that fist hour of hands-on since we were a lot more the attacked than the aggressor.” [...]
“And if the developers of Bethesda usually manage to compensate their lack of artistic cohesion by a high-end engine, Fallout 3 was this time disappointing at all levels with its dull characters evolving amidst poor textures and low-poly models.” [...]
“If it’s too soon to give a final judgement about this game, one has to admit that our first hour with the game at the E3 made us rather think of a somewhat clever Fallout mod for Oblivion than a real sequel of the Black Isle series. Whether it is at a design level, gameplay or the general feeling of the game, we are having a hard time making the link with the previous episodes of the post apocalyptic franchise. It does not mean that we did not enjoy Fallout 3, which should probably find an audience among Oblivion fans, probably growing tired of perpetual heroic fantasy universes…However, among fanatics of the “good era”, it seems rather unlikely that Fallout 3 could manage to make them forget what could have been if Black Isle did not fall at the end of 2003.”
“I spent a bit more than half an hour with the newest Bethesda production. I walked through the Wasteland, I looked through the Pip-Boy and caused lots of trouble in the town of Megaton. What are my impressions? Hm. I was asked about it by Todd Howard. I lost my tongue for a moment, and, with a feeling of guilt, I mumbled that I expected something more.”
Some new bits and comments on the old ones:
* Our items are divided into 5 categories – weapons, clothes
(including armor), chems, misc and ammo. He found a baseball cap, in
which the PC looked a bit silly.
* The only radio station he was able to cath was Enclave Radio – the
patriotic music sounds atmospheric, but do not fit the convention too
* The Pip-Boy also has a list of achievements, such as “corpses
eaten”, “Mysterious Stranger visits” and “Bobbleheads found”
* He finds a road sign to Megaton and a moment later encounters the first NPCs
* The dialogue engine is 100% the same as in Oblivion. We walk up to
the character, press the action button and the game world freezes. We
see the stiff interlocutor in the middle of the screen and select our
sentences. The facial movements are lifeless, the voices are
“theatrical”, it all looks artificial and “turn-based”. It’s not about
mechanics, it’s about the presentation, especially compared to Mass
* The first character encountered is Micky – a beggar begging us for
water. The previewer refuses.
* The next one is a merchant named Crow. Aside from bartering goods
for bottlecaps, he can also repair items.
* The next NPC has nothing to say. When approached, he only has a
generic line. Just like in Oblivion.
* Next he finds a brahmin with some trunks, and a dead giant ant. He
can’t find a living one, but encounters a group of mole rats.
* Time to enter Megaton. The PC is greeted by shreriff Lucas Simms.
He’s not nice, so the previewer selects the most aggressive answers.
It eventualy leads to him being threatened and then to combat. He
kills the sheriff using VATS.
* He notes that if EVERY opponent killed in VATS will have a
five-times-too-long death scene then it’s not his thing. By the way,
he doesn’t think he’s seen a game at E3 that did not include Bullet
* After killing the sheriff, all the people of Megaton take out their
weapons and go after the PC. There are too many enemies, so he goes to
a nearby building. The locals go after him. He goes upstairs, taking
someone’s possessions from his closet on his way up. They get him and
he doesn’t have much of a chance in a 4 to 1 combat. He runs out of
VATS action points quickly and he doesn’t have enough space to
maneuver in RT. He dies.
* He repeats the above a few times. Turns out that the only way to
make peace with the locals is to leave the town for some time – the
more serious the crime, the longer it takes for the townsfolk to
* He finishes with trying real time combat with some mole rats. For
him it’s too much of an FPS, and depends on the player’s skills too
much. The most effective technique is to run backwards while shooting
at the rat. It will probably be more difficult with stronger
opponents, but there’s lots of opportunities to cheat the AI.
“It’s too early to give my final opinion on Fallout 3, but you know my
personal feelings. There’s lots of cool little things and solid RPG
craft, but… I lost all illusions I had. Fallout is no longer Fallout
- it’s a post-nuclear version of Oblivion. For good and bad, as
Oblivion is a great game and Bethesda is one of the best RPG
developers on the market.”