Fallout 3 Endings and More at CVG

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The first part of CVG’s interview with Pete Hines is up:

What are you working on at the moment with Fallout 3?

Hines: We’re working towards getting everything into the game. The world hasn’t finished being built yet so we’re still in the process of putting all of the content in the game, fleshing everything out and playing quests. That sort of thing.[…]

How ‘open’ is Fallout 3? Is it like Oblivion in that regard?

Hines: One of the things about Fallout 3 is you cannot do everything in this game. It’s not like Oblivion where it’s just – basically, anybody could do anything. Fallout isn’t like that. Fallout basically is fewer number of quests with lots of ways to complete them and things are opened up to you or locked off to you as you go through the game.
There will be somewhere between nine to 12 different endings to the game based on what you’ve done in the game. So it’s something that is inherently a diverging path. It may be some of the same things but doing them in very different ways, and ultimately that will define your gameplay experience.
Then you’ll have to go back and play again. So you may have to play through once and blow up Megaton [a major city in the game] and then play again and not blow up Megaton just to get to the bits that are all behind both of those paths.

This last part lead to a comment by Jim Sterling of Destructoid that will spark some discussion for sure:

While I and surely many others are looking forward to seeing what Bethesda does with Fallout 3, I have to admit that upwards of nine endings may be just a little too much. I’m all for replay value, but I’ve rarely ever found that extra endings, usually highly disappointing affairs, add anything to it. Seems a bit over the top to me, but Bethesda knows best.

My comment to Jim’s words was:

And yes the game will follow the path of Blade Runner, that had 12 different endings and was really replayable, although far from free form.
Since the original Fallout RPGs were more about how your character affected the game world and the game world affected your character, instead of being a story driven game, the idea of having only a few definite endings but tens of combinations on the game end slides that showed what would happen to the zones you’ve been and the NPCs you’ve met was very appropriate, and provided for a fresh ending every time.
I would prefer that to so many definite endings, but we’ll see, might work, might not work.

I wrote that because I have a feeling Pete is talking of alternate endings like Chrono Trigger and Blade Runner, but maybe he means something different, so I’ll keep an eye on this.

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5 thoughts on “Fallout 3 Endings and More at CVG

  1. I have to admit that upwards of nine endings may be just a little too much. I’m all for replay value, but I’ve rarely ever found that extra endings, usually highly disappointing affairs, add anything to it.

    You just got to love the logic. “I think they’re bad so they should go”.

    Trying to exclude valid role-playing conventions that also appeal to many gamers because it’s not up to one’s tastes or because past experiences with them were poor is just god awful reasoning. All that depends on the kind of extra endings. Surely, an ending where you get zapped by an UFO after wading through a realistic simulator of medieval combat simply because you killed your troops instead of the endgame boss is downright stupid, and doesn’t really reflect anything of your character’s actions in the gameworld, at least in a contextual manner.

    But anyone who actually played Fallout knows the scores of endings (not just 9 or 12) reflected the character’s actions in the gameworld, which is not only keeping in with tradition (even if incredibly narrowing it down to a small number), but also important for any role-playing game. Besides, we still don’t know if Bethesda is going to go for the Deus Ex and Vampire: Bloodlines route of allowing players to save before being given the branching choices. And if that’s the case, there’s hardly any reason to complaint.

  2. I personally think it’s pretty cool how, for the most part, Bethesda kept the story for Fallout 3 close to their vest. That many endings though is a tad over-doing it.

  3. I cannot understand why people complain about “too many endings”, as if you are going to be forced to watch all 12.

    It’s not that Bethesda expects ever player to play the game 12 times, it’s the hope that one of those 12 endings will *really* represent how you played the game.

    If you’ve reached the end of the game, and one of those endings nicely sums up the choices and consequences you’ve made during your game, then what do you care about 11 other endings that you don’t have to watch and obviously didn’t apply to how you played?

    You’d think people would be happy with multiple endings, but it sounds like people just want their one canned ending, their reward for reaching the end, not for how they got there.

  4. You’d think people would be happy with multiple endings, but it sounds like people just want their one canned ending, their reward for reaching the end, not for how they got there.

    That’s a good way of putting it, this is something that I feel Bethsoft needs to explain better, I’ll put more impressions from other places later on.

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