In the RPGs Fallout and Fallout 2 as in the tactic game Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, you had a certain amount of Action Points (AP) which you expended to move or fire a weapon. Spending more APs in a turn for aiming let you chose a body part to shoot at — which always decreased the to-hit-chance but dealt special damage to the opponent, with successful head-shots dealing massive damage and stunning the enemy, sometimes killing him instantly (exploding head). But in the current version of the Action-RPG Fallout 3 is, V.A.T.S. rather feels like a cheat mode. There are three reasons for this: First, you can queue up several shots, with big body parts costing less APs than, let’s say, the head. But we always could queue up at least two shots, and mostly three, thereby doubling or tripling our to-hit chance. Second, regardless of what body part you hit in V.A.T.S. mode, the opponent will die. We killed a Super Mutant by shooting his leg with a pistol. Third, the APs regenerate far too quickly, we never activated the V.A.T.S. mode in our half-hour of play without being able to use it. So instead of using this mode a couple of times each hour like you would a high-level spell in Oblivion, we were basically using it for every single fight, making things too easy for our liking (playing on “normal” mode). Apart from using basic shooter skills like dodging, taking cover and not running into a group of superior opponents, we couldn’t find any tactics involved. As long as you don’t consider picking the body part with the highest to-hit probability as tactics.[...]
So from this experience, from our talking to Pete Hines and from everything else we’ve learned so far about Fallout 3, we’d say that if you look for a return to the world of Fallout, or if you’d like to play an Action-RPG not closely resembling, but still similar to Oblivion (with another setting, of course), Fallout 3 is one of the games to watch for you this Fall. We think the wit, the cynicism, the fun will be there, again. But Bethesda will have to tweak the V.A.T.S. system to make it less powerful, or its “reload time” longer — otherwise, experienced gamers will feel like cheating most of the time.
If, on the other hand, you played Interplay’s predecessor RPGs mainly because you liked the turn-based, tactical fighting, you’ll definitely be disappointed. Because there’s a lot of fighting, but much less tactics than in various tactical shooters…
Fallout 3 preview at Eurogamer:
Perhaps it’s just bad timing. Perhaps it’s unfortunate juxtaposition. Fallout 3 made its E3 debut in a demonstration at Microsoft’s Xbox 360 briefing in close proximity to Gears of War 2 and Resident Evil 5. All of a sudden, in that context, this very special follow-up to some of the most revered properties in role-playing gaming – venerable Interplay classic Fallout, and developer Bethesda’s recent smash hit Oblivion – didn’t look so special any more.
The barren, broken landscape, the deformed mutant enemies, the muted brown colour scheme, the developers enthusiastically detailing the myriad options for amusing dismemberment, gore, explosions and carnage. It all became a bit of a blur. Then EA showed Dead Space and Left 4 Dead and Rage, and Sony showed Resistance 2, and Take-Two showed Borderlands, and on and on for the rest of the week until – despite the quality of several of these games – the blur became a huge, ugly, indistinguishable smear across the whole of E3. A smear that Fallout 3, of all games, really shouldn’t be getting lost in.
So, yes – it was bad luck. After all, you can hardly expect a Fallout game to be about anything other than a post-apocalyptic world beset with mutants, and it isn’t Bethesda’s fault that the current commercial and political landscape has given the games industry an unhealthier-than-usual obsession with that subject matter. You can, however, expect Bethesda to approach it with polish, sophistication and a unique sense of humour – and this is exactly where we found our half-hour hands-on demo lacking.
Lots of controversy surrounding this piece, worth a good read.
While I knew that Bethesda could deliver in terms of story and convincing world creation, the big unknown for me has always been the actual gameplay. Fortunately, I got to play through a good bit of the game at the show and I was really impressed with the overall feel of the game. I was particularly happy to see how well the turn-based VATS combat worked. I was worried that the pause and play nature of the system would interrupt the flow of the game, but it really only served to make the game feel more tactical and heighten its cinematic appeal.
– Steve Butts, Executive Editor, IGN PC Team
It’s either pause and play or TB, Steve. You can’t have it both ways. And it’s actually “a glorified aimed-shot mode”.
Fallout 3 continues to impress with an engrossing story, great visuals, and a compelling mix of gameplay styles. It is predominantly a Western role-playing game similar to Oblivion (with guns). But you could choose to play it like a run-and-gun first-person shooter, if that’s more your style. V.A.T.S., the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System, adds turn-based strategy elements. However you slice it, Fallout 3 looks like it will deliver one of the largest adventures in gaming this year. The post-apocalyptic world Bethesda has created is an intriguing dystopia we can’t wait to explore. There were several standout games at this year’s show. But none of them seem to offer the freedom and unique vision of Fallout 3.
– Daemon Hatfield, Associate Editor, IGN Nintendo Team
Nintendo? Anyway that Oblivion with Guns talk isn’t good news, but for Bethsoft the fact that they also won Best RPG, Best XBox Game and Best PS3 game and a few other runner up citations is good news.
Still at E3 the Bethblog brings us some other awards:
In other online coverage, Fallout 3 has pulled down a few more E3 awards. Here’s a rundown:
- GameSpy honored Fallout 3 as the Xbox 360 and PS3 Game of Show. The game was also was named the Game of Show Overall Runner-Up.
- GamePro has their awards up, where they awarded the game with a E3 2008 Silver Award.
- Planet Xbox 360 awarded the game their Best of Show honor.
- GameDaily listed the game among their Best of Xbox 360 here.
- At Gamezone, there’s a Top Ten Games of E3 list where Fallout 3 makes the list at the #2 spot.
- Scrawlfx declares Fallout 3 their Game of Show.
Also Fallout 3 is referred in this article about the problems of the event itself at Gamezone:
There was no enthusiasm, no energy that should be associated with the vibrant industry that brings imagination to life. This year’s show was dull to the point of boring. Yes, there were still good games to see, but altering the format, visiting their studios on media tours would have accomplished the same thing, only with deeper experiences with the games. The studio visits are more advantageous because instead of getting 25-30 minutes with a superb title like Fallout 3 in the Bethesda booth, a visit to the studios would likely mean more hands-on time, access to developers … in short, the kind of visit that means robust coverage, giving players and consumers not only a sense of the game itself, but also allowing for interview time with key developers.
All through E3 was happening I was at the beach relaxing. I’m still trying to catch up on things.
Filed under: Bethesda, Bethsoft, Consoles, E3, Entertainment, Fallout 3, Fallout3, Misc., News, Opinion, PC, PS3, RPG, VATS, XBox360 | Tagged: e3 best of show, ign, oblivion with guns, why e3 sort of sucked | Leave a Comment »