I saw at the Bethesda Blog that Jeff Green from Games for Windows made an entry in his blog about Fallout 3:
I had no idea going into it how Bethesda was going to pull off the SPECIAL system, the PiPBoy “PDA” device, and, most importantly, the turn-based combat that was at the heart of the original games, but dang if Bethesda isn’t making a smart, thoughtful, and faithful go of it. It actually looks like, if you wanted to, you could play through parts of the game in a more real-time “shooter” way, but clearly players are going to get huge advantages by going into the “V.A.T.S” system (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System), in which you pause the action, and, as in the original games, target specific enemy body parts, the success of which operates on percentages, and the damage of which can be extraordinary.
Most important, right now, is what others have said about this work-in-progress: that Bethesda has captured the essence of what made the originals so unique: the odd juxtaposition of apocalpytic future nightmare with retro-50s kitsch, folksy humor mixed with mutant monsters, –a creative challenge that in the wrong hands could be utterly cheeseball, but that Bethesda is so far recreating beautifully.
This lead to a discussion on the comments section with Gunslinger, someone I’ve known for some years now:
So despite the fact mutants shouldn’t exist (the F.E.V. chemical vats that created super mutants were destroyed at the end of the first game), the humor comes off as immature, and the story seems heavily scripted. Leads me to believe they’er literely doing what they do best oblivion with gun, not fallout 3.
Not sure how scripted the story is yet so I can’t comment on that, Gunslinger. We haven’t even seen much of the story yet, other than the setup for how it opens. Same thing goes for the humor being “immature”. First, we’ve seen only the tiniest snippets of dialog so far, maybe, what, .0001 percent of what will be in the final game? So why judge already? Second, there were plenty of dialog choices in the first two games that were silly, goofball answers.
Reading the Fallout fansites, it seems like a lot of the hardcore fans are practically willing this thing to fail. And, hey, if it ends up sucking, I’ll say so as loudly as anyone. But given how seriously Bethesda is taking the project, I’m personally hopeful, and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now, and am certainly not going to make pronouncements about what kind of game this is going to be yet given how little we all actually know so far.
I’ll hold off final judgement until its release but with comments like this “Todd Howard: Hey, violence is funny – lets all just own up to it! Violence done well is f—ing hilarious. Its like Itchy and Scratchy or Jackass now thats funny!”. I don’t know, fallout seemed smarter then that to me.
Todd Howard was just making silly off-the-cuff remarks for the purpose of keeping tired and hot E3 attendees, crammed into a stuffy room, entertained. That wasn’t some official gospel speech he was making. So there’s really no need to treat is as such. He was just goofin’. The kind of random comments he makes don’t need to be confused with the seriousness with which he takes the responsibility of making this game.
This last post is very true, many people don’t realize how these media events occur, how the devs need to keep everyone happy and joke around in order to get a positive reaction from the reporters. Still why is he saying that people shouldn’t criticize the game because there’s not enough info, when he praises the game in those terms? There’s enough info for that? This coin has two sides Jeff.
He later moved to No Mutants Allowed, where he made some new remarks:
You guys crack me up.
You’re not gonna like our new podcast (if you care to listen, which I doubt.) We directly talk about the reaction to the new game by (certain unnamed) Fallout fansites. What’s “funny” is that we recorded it before I even saw this thread. Had I seen it, I probably would have quoted it directly, especially the line about me with “Beth$ cum”. That is podcast gold.
I wasn’t comparing anything to anything. I was simply making an analogy in terms of ART DIRECTION from one franchise to another. It was a form of shorthand–albeit an admittedly slightly awkward one. But, see, that’s the beautiful thing about some (not all!) of you guys. Every single sentence anyone writes is just used as further proof to you that 1) the new game is gonna suck 2) Bethesda sucks and 3) anyone in the gaming press who writes anything about it (especially if expressed in a positive light) is an idiot.
Which is fine with me. I saw the game running for 1 hour, in person, and l Iiked what I saw. I don’t need my opinion validated by others. I’m happy that someone is trying to make a third game, and I am not going to froth at the mouth about every perceived difference to the original games, especially given that there’s so much we haven’t even seen yet. (And, yeah, I played both original games, multiple times, when they first came out.)
But if it sucks when it comes out, it will get a shitty review, which , as those who read our mag know, we’re not afraid to do.
Anyway, I know my presence here is just like hitting a beehive with a bat, but I couldn’t help myself. I actually like this site a lot, and have lurked for forever. (I stayed quiet when you were all bashing us for our impressions of the trailer.) But now you may flame away, of course.
About attacking Fallout fans on the podcast:
It’s not a “smear campaign,” and, to lamely invoke the old “you started it” school of argument, I am only responding in kind to some pretty negative comments made towards my website, my staff, and me personally. But hey, as I said in my previous post, I actually like this site and have lurked here for years. I’m not that thin-skinned really about the personal stuff. I think what gets me more is the incredibly cynical/negative to this game already. It’s just a really interesting phenomenon. I don’t see how any developer could possibly live up to the expectations some folks have in their heads about what they think this game should be.
I agree that there is no real reason to trust the frothy gaming press articles if you haven’t yet seen in-game footage. It has definitely been very hype-y, and I know that blog posts like mine don’t really do anything except add to that. But that was just my off-the-cuff blog post– my gut reaction, not a considered analysis. And, you know, there are *plenty* of big question marks that we all have about what they are doing/not doing. A healthy amount of wariness and skepticism is probably a smart thing (especially since, despite the fact that Oblvion, at least IMHO, was pretty great, Bethesda has not always batted 1.000), as is being skeptical of an easily fooled/wowed gaming press. On the other hand, taking off my editor hat and putting on my fanboy hat, I *did* see them play it for an hour and it *did* feel right and it did, in fact, make me pull out Fallout 1 and start all over again. So right now, I’m remaining hopeful. Maybe I’m just dumb.
Well I can’t speak for anyone else’s article. My blog post, like I said, was just random–that’s not how I write in the magazine. Previews are the bane of most “game writers”, to be honest. You don’t want to just parrot what the devs say, because of course all they have to say is positive. On the other hand, it’s hard and also a bit unfair to criticize a game that’s so early on in its development. Can you imagine a movie magazine previewing, say, Spider-Man 3 when it’s still a year or two out? You want to give the devs a chance.
Desslock and Dan handled it smartly—it’s a conversation between two guys asking questions amongst themselves. That is a very clever way of expressing doubt without actually expressing it to the devs or even directly to the readers.
I think as more details of the game start coming out and we can write real articles based on actual information, then we will be able to have more intelligent conversations and debates on the state of the game. Instead, it’s a whole bunch of us not knowing a whole lot arguing over about not much at all. That’s why we love the Internet!