Bartoneus from Critical-Hits made an interesting article with his experiences on the Fallout 3 media gathering, so Brother None at NMA interviewd him, since he had first hand contact with the game demo. Here are some excerpts:
VATS. Ok, so I can pause to aim. Does that mean where I aim in RT doesn’t matter, i.e. if I click on the head I’d still hit the torso, in RT? Also, when in VATS, can any actions be taken, or is it just cuing actions to happen?
Correct that VATS is a pause to aim idea, but from what I saw and heard at the event the Realtime play is like any other realtime game with shooting, if you aim and actually hit the head the same effects would apply as a called shot. Again, I’m not certain, and anything about that is conjecture based on the gameplay that was shown. From what I can tell, VATS is purely a system for queuing actions and that is all, we did not get to see if your inventory can be accessed/used while paused or if that would use action points also.
Shooting in RT slows down AP recharging. What about moving or other actions?
Not sure about this one, honestly in the demo Todd was pausing every time he really wanted to fight and only a few times did he have to run’n’gun in realtime and that seemed like just when a Mutant got the jump on him. He had modified the system a bit to help the demo along faster so I don’t know how much of this was final mechanics and how much was for demonstration purposes.
Dialogue. Matt Miller caused a stir on this with his remark that “the tree is closer to Oblivion.” So how does it look (visually, like Oblivion)? The PC has full lines or keywords? Any sign of long NPC replies? Any hint (probably too short a demo) of expansive branching dialogue?
This really tests my memory on the specifics of the demo shown, but I’ll try my best to remember exactly. Looking back at Oblivion your choices in dialogue were things like “rumors, cathedral, Glarthir, etc.” The visual look of dialogue is similar to Oblivion in how it zooms in on the NPC’s face and where the text is displayed, but from the short bits we viewed it looks like PC respones will be phrases much like from Fallout 1, and typically it looked as if there were serious answers, angry answers, and funny answers all mixed in. The dialogue trees definitely looked like they had longer NPC replies also, and there was definitely a HINT of expansive / branching dialogue but really with the demo not enough was shown to say. From how Emil and Todd talked about it, I imagine the level of depth and detail shown throughout the demo expands to every part of the game.
I got a very good sense of “Fallout” from the dialogue shown, and strongly feel that this is one thing the people at Bethsoft are putting a lot of effort towards getting right.
Well I never thought of seeing a Fallout game with Real Time first person combat with a Matrix/Predator/Max Payne thing that allows called shots, but on the other hand the dialog stuff is definitely good news.
Speaking of Critical-Hits they have an editorial on the “ridiculous critiques” made by fallout fans to Fallout 3, that raises some interesting issues, leading me to comment a bit:
“In the meantime, seriously, insulting BethSoft employees, or wishing them to die?”
Yes things go too far some times, I got a kid that made threats to Steve Meister to apologize to him, and the most serious stuff is moved from the topics at NMA to the closed forum, and still silliness happens many times.
Still the reverse happens a lot too, not only insults but wishes that Fallout fans should be terminated, annihilated and similar terms. It’s on Gamespy, Quarter to Three, Something Awfull, even a couple of times at Gamespot. Hell I don’t have a serious harsh exchange of words with anyone from Bethesda since 2004 and try not to stir much drama, and I still get hate comments on the blog and Meebo, got my kids dragged into insults against me on the Codex.
And you probably don’t know, but NMA got obscene pics being posted all over the place and serious DoSS attacks that made the site unavailable, all work of Oblivion fans from Penny Arcade and Something Awfull, so being unreasonable isn’t a monopoly of a few Fallout fans.
There’s another factor that makes things worse, while, and against the perception of most fans on the Fansites, Bethesda devs do care about the input and worries of Fallout fans, at least many of them do, I know this for a fact, the Bethesda PR machine works with a strategy of disregarding and ignoring the Fansites. While I loved the idea of Critical Hits going to the media gathering (and your coverage was the most revealing and interesting, followed by IGN’s and Gamespy)still it’s strange that you were invited, while having less than a quarter daily unique hits than NMA (or even less), and NMA or DAC were barred from going there, when they had people ready to go, that live minutes away from Bethsoft.
This strategy is only making things worse, if they had showed the dialog to a few community members, for instance, then they wouldn’t have so many PR headaches and so many screams in their backyard door.
Hope this commentary brings something to the discussion, keep up the good work.