Fallout 3: It’s Raining Previews Halleluja

Let’s start with Gamespy:

Turns out that super mutants have taken hold of the nation’s capitol following the nuclear holocaust. Bethesda’s Pete Hines, our host during the demo, gave a guided tour of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (the park area between the Capitol building and the Lincoln Memorial, which has incidentally been stripped to its foundations in Fallout 3‘s world), which wasn’t much more than a series of tunnels and trenches surrounded by the ruined husks of former museums and ministries. Hines did battle with super-mutants armed with all sorts of weapons, including RPGs and powered sledgehammers called “supersledges.” He himself was decked out in power armor, and strapped with a mini-gun.

After making short work of the mutants occupying the trenches, a conflict-in-progress came into view as he approached the Capitol building. According to Hines, the humans going up against the mutant occupiers were mercenaries working for the Talon Corporation. Rather than join the battle in earnest, though, to mark the end the demo, he simply lobbed a few Fat Men (those mini-nukes that caused quite a stir when the game was first announced), and unceremoniously hurled himself in the wake of one. Thank you for watching. We’ll be seeing more of Fallout 3 come E3 in July.

Now for TeamXBox:

As an example, you might be taking on a ghoul in a dark room filled with debris, where you only have clear sight of the creature’s upper body. Activating V.A.T.S. shows that the head has a much better likelihood of damage, followed by the left arm with a slightly lesser percentage and the rest of the body having nearly no chance of getting a shot in. Indicating to V.A.T.S. to focus on the head, it then takes control of your gunfire and starts shooting rounds at your target. “Action points,” which are based on your character’s Agility attribute, determine how much V.A.T.S. will be able to do in a single “turn.” (Other stats, of course, come into play, such as a better Perception stat will enable you to aim at targets farther from you or will make you more aware of targets in your vicinity sooner.)

You can choose to try blasting the ghoul with a more shooter-style free-aim method, but getting the computer-assisted targeting will come in handy when you’re in a critical situation or if you’re the kind of player who isn’t as inclined toward being a shooter savant. It would seem that this should broaden the range of players who’ll want to play Fallout 3—it isn’t strictly a shooter and it isn’t strictly a roll-the-dice type of RPG, but rather enables you to tailor the action more toward the genre you prefer.

And Games Radar:

At first, all you can do is cry (hit the A button) and listen to the doctor speak, who happens to be your father. This is just the first of several quick stops through your childhood, which cleverly form the tutorial and character creation section of the game. When someone asks if you’re a boy or a girl, a selection box opens and your dad’s response is dictated by your decision. You choose your name, and then customize your face on a Growth Projection Machine. Fallout offers several preset character faces, or you can construct someone from scratch – don’t worry, there are dozens and dozens of facial hair options. After finishing that, the game skips ahead one year.

At age one, your father’s face is no longer masked by a surgical mask, and the A button triggers “Dada” instead of crying. His face is a reflection of the choices that you made for your own appearance. When he leaves, you can crawl around the room. The very first mission is to unlock your metal playpen and find the book You’re S.P.E.C.I.A.L., which is another character creation device.

They are a bit too alike for my taste, but go check them if you have the time.

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