Tom’s Games Watches Fallout 3

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Top ten games to watch for 2008 at Tom’s Games, Fallout 3 is the number seven:

Bethesda Softworks years ago decided to take on the daunting task of developing the long-awaited third installment of Fallout, the popular futuristic RPG series created and produced by legendary (and now defunct) game maker Interplay. Bethesda picked up the rights to the Fallout franchise after Interplay canceled its Fallout 3 project, codenamed Van Buren, in 2003 before falling into financial disarray. The good news is that Bethesda, makers of the Elder Scrolls series and the acclaimed Oblivion, appears sincere in its desire to stay true to the Fallout franchise, blending the game’s post-apocalyptic setting with dark humor, a strong narrative and compelling characters.

In fact, some familiar names return for Fallout 3, including original Fallout narrator Ron “Hellboy” Perlman and the Mr. Handy robot companion. An early build of the game was shown at E3 2007, and it looks quite impressive. However, Fallout 3 will look and play decidedly different from its predecessors. For one thing, the graphics have gotten a nice next-generation polish and the game will feature a first-person view as well as a third-person overhead perspective. Also, Fallout 3’s turn-based combat system gets a slight makeover with V.A.T.S., or Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, which allows players to hone in on specific body parts of their enemies and aim for the sections that present the highest probability of success.

Still, Fallout purists may be put off by some changes, including the shift from California to Washington, D.C. Fallout 3 will also bring back the Pip-Boy interface, but only 14 skills will reportedly make the cut rather than the 18 skills of the first two Fallout titles. Despite the changes, RPG fans should be pleased that Fallout 3 is no longer vaporware.
Upside: A strong RPG developer has picked up the Fallout torch.
Downside: The potential console-ization of Fallout is a concern.

A few mistakes here and there, you can read the other picks here.

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