GamingTrend Answers part II


You can see the first part of GameTrend’s Ron Burke answers clicking here, and now for some more juicy stuff:

Can you still shoot in Real Time when the AP meter depletes completely? Did you see any example of melee combat? If so, how does VATS works in it? Does the PC have to be near the enemy to use it, or you can use it anywhere and the PC goes to the opponent to deliver the selected hits automatically?

Yes, after the AP meter is depleted you move back to real time firing until you recharge. It is fairly quick so you’ll probably be looking at V.A.T.S. more than you think.

The only example of Melee combat was being hit in the braincase with a club. I didn’t get to see how we as players will get to use it so I can’t comment on how it’ll work in V.A.T.S..

How deep is your love/respect for FO1&2? Does FO3 “feel” right?

Well, on my secondary ‘trash’ box here at work I have Fallout 1 and 2 installed and I’ve completed both again before I went to this event, just to make sure that nostalgia didn’t blind me to the changes. I’m a huge fan, and coming away from this event I can say that the guys working on this project seem to be as well.

What’s the background music like, or is there any? In previous games, it was a bit eerie ambient, that really created the atmosphere. And furthermore: The sounds overall, what are they like?

I’ll quote my own article:


Entering a place called Moriarty’s Saloon, we get our first taste of the music of Fallout 3. A local station called Enclave Station played one of the 20+ licensed tracks from the 40s ranging from Bob Crosby’s “Happy Times” to the already known Ink Spots “World on Fire” track from the trailer. Your PiPBoy 3000 can pick up these radio stations at any time, as well as the Galaxy News Radio station which chronicles things that happen in the wasteland.

Put simply, the music is ironic and depressing as hell. It talks about how great the world is, but it does it in that 40s dreary style that makes you just want to put a gun to your head. You can turn it off at will though.

The sounds overall were solid. The V.A.T.S. sound is straight out of Fallout 1 or 2 for entering combat and may be culled directly from those products – if I can’t tell the difference, it has to be pretty damned close. The surround sound in the room rattled as Megaton went up in a mushroom cloud, so sound shouldn’t be an issue.

Did you get the impression that radiation was dangerous? Did it seem like just another curse debuff effect or a thing that could be life threatening?Also, did the Fatman give off a lot of rads when it was fired at close range?

Todd stated directly (and showed with the meter on the PiPBoy 3000) that radiation is dangerous, and in larger amounts, lethal.The Fatman wasn’t fired at close range, but I could hear the geiger counter ticking in the background when he fired it at a distance. This isn’t a shotgun folks. 🙂

Could you describe what the “wasteland” portion of Fallout 3 looks like, from what little you saw of it? Are we talking long expanses of dirt like the previous games, or more along the lines of a dump-site scattered endlessly into the horizon? Were their many standing/ruined buildings in the horizon? Are there large monuments on the horizon to assist with self-navigation (such as the Washington monument).

I suspect the guys are holding back those ruined monuments for a ‘wow’ moment for when players play the game. From what we saw when we exited the Vault there are large areas that are full of rolling sand and debris. Roads dot the landscape busted up by decay and lack of maintenance. In the distance we could see another city and the bulidings looked completely hollowed out and destroyed. Like Todd said, “Destruction is the new trees”. I’m sure there will be areas that look like an extended dumpsite, but we mostly saw populated areas as they are more exciting. (The press is easily bored – we need the shineys)

How would you rate the animations compared to, say, Oblivion’s? I hear they’re motion-captured now, but still being fine-tuned. Just curious what we can expect on this front, as I’ve heard some good things (like your character properly angling his feet on inclines). Anything that stood out?

Well, if I’m remembering correctly, the animation is a blend of procedural and motion capture. It looked very smooth overall. They heard our concerns with the Oblivion odd walking / head twisting animations. I did see one instance of an overly-excited Havok effect, but with the game being a year off it is a non-issue.

Did you get a chance to see the inventory screen? If so, any indication that armor might be separated into smaller parts like Oblivion, or is it still ‘Body Suit’ + ‘Weapon’?

It’s in the PiPBoy 3000, but I don’t recall seeing it. Fairly sure we didn’t in fact…

How involved is character/environment interaction? Do you get any descriptions from environment items like “This computer does not appear to be working.”

I didn’t see any visual queues like you mentioned for the computer. I think they expect you to go poke it for yourself. 🙂

We know that we can tune in to old songs with the PIPboy, but how was the soundtrack outside of that? Was it ambient electronic like the older games, or perhaps orchestral?

We only heard a few songs. If I recall correctly, there was an orchestral track when we went into town, but I’m not 100% sure. The combat music was upbeat but not electronic. I talked about the licensed tracks above.

Was any info given on as to why the Brotherhood of Steel or Super Mutants are on the East Coast?

Ain’t no way they are revealing that now. That’ll be a ‘you gotta play’ to find out kinda think I think.

Many people complained about the look of the Super Mutant in the screenshot (the one that shows off VATS targeting). How much did the Super Mutants differ from each other in terms of appearance?

The one in the screenshot seemed to be a ‘grunt’ unit. If I recall correctly I believe I saw some armor variety, but I was more focused on the mechanics of the combat.

How does repairing rifles and so on works. I assume it makes use of the Repair skill, do you just use it on the weapon or do you need extra parts/tools to repair something?

From my writeup –

Taking a look at a shoddy Chinese assault rifle that we picked up off a dead mutant, we noticed that it had a small status bar on it in our PiPBoy 3000. Spraying bullets at a nearby tram we noted that the gun was firing somewhat slowly, and the bullet pattern was all over the place. Thankfully we had a second gun of the same type to use for parts to repair our shoddier one. Using the repair skill we were able to create one superior weapon with a tight fire cone and high rate of fire.

While the combat isn’t determined by the quality of the weapon (as somebody pointed out in another thread), it is certainly affected. It only makes sense that a brand new weapon would be better than one that has been dropped plenty of times and sat in the mud and dust.

A lot of people feel that the voiceacting in Oblivion is wooden, and repetitive. How was the voiceacting in the demo? Also, can you remember if Liam Neeson spoke with an American accent, or perhaps a “neutral” one?

It seemed to be fairly neutral if I recall correctly. As for being repetitive, we’ll have to see more of the world to know that.


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