PowerPlay and Fallout 3


Ozzie mag PCPowerplay has a piece on Fallout 3 with some questions addressed by Todd Howard:

It will be possible to zoom in on enemies and target specific body parts and make use of specific perks and special moves. But it all comes at a cost: action points.
“You only have a limited number of points and they don’t recharge right away. So the choice becomes, when you’re walking down a road and see, say, and ant, do you want to spend points on such a low level enemy? Or do you just want to pull out your gun and shoot it?”
Howard goes on. “Even in some situations you might encounter a moderately challenging enemy, but the decision is this: do I spend my points now to make this a really easy encounter, or so I save the points because I don’t know if there might be a bigger group of enemies around the corner?”
When you do use the VATS, you’re in for a treat. Once all the moves are cued up and you’re ready to atack, hit the button and the action plays back in a cinematic fashion. The camera will move around the combat area, concentrating on different elements of the fight.
“Blow a guy’s head off and it zooms in and shows you the gory details.: says Howard, invoking that old ultra-violence once again.
VATS sounds great, but here’s the question. If the engine is capable of real-time combat, why not just make Fallout 3 a shooter? Why implement VATS at all? Similarly, why not just stick to a turn-based combat system like the originals, if Bethesda is so careful to maintain the spirit of the first game? “Basically this is the most fun way to play,” Howard says simply. “It makes your character choices more meaningful and it strikes a balance between twitch gameplay and the slow pace of a turn-based system.”

Thanks to Ladonna for getting a partial transcript of the piece, you can talk about the article with the author on the PcPoweplay.com.au forum, here’s an interesting snip of one of his posts:

We originally sent the questions by email and we basically got grunts and “I don’t understand the question” in response, so I did a phone interview instead. I found Todd to be very slightly hostile, as if he too expected me to be totally gushing about Fallout 3, where instead I tried to challenge him a little bit and get him to respond to what I thought were reasonable fears about the move to 3D.


2 thoughts on “PowerPlay and Fallout 3

  1. oh my! that’s how they’re not rewarding twitch gaming? slowly recharging APs? what is that, mana or Force? things are getting worse and worse..

  2. 13pm you raise some good points. Why not VATS all the time? Sure have AP just like in the other games but simply let the enemies act ‘when it is their turn’. Why reward twitch play at all? It’s a RPG after all not a FPS.

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