And the previews keep coming, seems you’ll have a lot to read this weekend. Let’s start with Gametap:
The world is a vast wasteland. Just as Oblivion had you open a sewer grate and emerge into the massive landscape of Cyrodiil, Fallout 3 gives you a similar revelation when you walk out into the Capital Wasteland. The Capital Wasteland is essentially the whole of Washington D.C., and parts of the north and west areas beyond (Rockville, MD, the very location of Bethesda itself, is a location in the game). Expect to see dilapidated versions of places like the Durwich building and the National Museum of American History, which tend to serve as dungeons. Because the land is mostly ash and desolation, there are very few towns; we’ve only seen Megaton (a town built around a giant undetonated bomb) so far. If you think that means there won’t be a lot of quests, well, don’t forget that your Pip-Boy 3000 has a radio that can pick up random signals from the wasteland.
The wasteland is a dangerous place. Watch out, for there are creatures like radscorpions and deathclaws about. Beyond those, there are quite a few supermutants–slobbering freaks that wander around and kill people for the heck of it. There’s also the supermutant behemoth, a gargantuan mutant that runs around swinging a lamp post as a club. Ghouls also make a return from previous games, but now there are three different types: ones that can still think and talk (like Harold from previous titles), feral ghouls that simply act on an instinct to kill or eat you, and “glowing ones.” The last type is heavily irradiated to the point that their presence can make you sick and heal any other ghoul nearby.
And now Crispy Gamer:
Another thing this stage displayed is how the world of post-apocalyptic D.C. will operate. On a couple of occasions, we got to see battles erupting between NPC factions of humans and mutants. As mentioned before, you can get involved in these battles, or choose to stay out of them entirely. Incidentally, you won’t be able to join any specific faction within the game. Bethesda was quick to point out that Fallout 3 won’t use the same sort of membership system that Oblivion did, so there’s nothing like the Thieves’ Guild to the top of which you can rise. You can make allegiances based on your karma, but beyond that, you’re just a man on a mission.
All told, we came away from our demo session with high hopes for Fallout 3. If we had to name a concern, it’s simply that the unique combat system might not completely pan out. It could strike a great balance between RPG conventions and traditional action, or it could end up being a case of, “You got your shooter in my RPG, dammit!” We think it looks like a cool system, but we’ll reserve judgment until we get real hands-on time with the game, something we’re hoping we get to do sooner rather than later. We can’t yet say with any certainty whether or not Fallout 3 will truly end up being the modern Fallout game for which fans have been desperately pining, but we can say that what we saw gave us a great deal of confidence and optimism.
Worthplaying is also worthy to mention:
On Apr. 9, Bethesda invited journalists to the Hotel Monaco in San Francisco to check out their progress on Fallout 3, and to tell us that we’d be allowed to go hands-on with it at this year’s E3, which people are finally talking about now, after spending the last six months acting as if it doesn’t exist.Essentially, I just spent 45 minutes being told why July is going to rule. Ah, to be a games writer in the summertime.
Fallout 3, at this point, is still an alpha build. It’s a well-polished alpha build, with some pretty hilarious placeholder dialogue (like one of the male developers doing a bad falsetto for the voice of your character’s mother), but an alpha build nonetheless. As such, everything you can say about it comes with the caveat that it could yet change.
Assuming that it’s possible that someone might not know about this game’s history, Fallout 3 is the fourth game in its series, coming years after the dissolution of its original developer. Bethesda won the bidding war back in 2004, nerd rage ensued, and now we have this: a first-person shooter with heavy RPG elements (or perhaps it’s the other way around), a huge open world set in and around the radioactive ruins of Washington, D.C., and a fan base that may actually be legally insane.
Don’t mind him, he also said the same thing about Shadowrun fans, and we know how that ended…
And finally there’s the UGO Gamesblog preview:
Skipping ahead farther, we picked up in a bombed out office building. Equipped with a submachine gun (but, sadly, no Dogmeat!), we ventured forth, activating the handy light on the PipBoy 3000 (the game’s menu system, attached to your wrist). It’s here that we encountered our first ghouls. Basically they look like zombies, but can act incredibly intelligent or incredibly deranged, depending on how much radiation they’ve soaked up. Generally, though, a few blasts with an SMG is enough to take them down. Their boss, however, is a glowing ghoul who, upon encountering him, caused us to get a brief glimpse at what his life was like before the attacks, as he looked normal and worked diligently in a laboratory. Now, though, he’s all about yelling and trying to kill us. Activating VATS, the game’s turn-based combat system [sic], we were able to take a few aimed shots at his head with a laser rifle, but, lacking a decent Energy Weapon stat, did little damage. So we did what anyone would do in this situation…we tossed a crapload of grenades at him until he exploded in a pile of limbs, oozing green, glowing radiation. Huzzah![…]
The final portion of the demo took place on The National Mall, which has become an all-out warzone between the Brotherhood of Steel (the closest thing to the military in the Fallout universe) and the Super Mutants, who had taken over the Capitol as their base of operations. We passed by the Washington Monument (which still contains an elevator if you’re interested in getting a nice overhead view of the surroundings) and made our way to the Capitol.[…]
We made our way into a series of trenches which lead to the Capitol and were instantly flanked by Super Mutants. The minigun made short work of them, though, cutting their feet off at the ankles with a constant spray of bullets. That didn’t seem to stop them, though, as more and more mutants poured onto our location. At one particularly heated moment in the battle, one of the mutants flipped us the bird, which even surprised Pete Hines of Bethesda, who had never seen them do that before. It really goes to show you how much effort the devs are putting in to make each battle unique and the AI feel believable.
There’s also a quote that doesn’t make sense to me:
Clearly this was not the place for any ol’ Vault Dweller. Thankfully, though, we were packing serious heat. Apart from the giant minigun we were toting, we also had Power Armor, the most protective armor in the game. Unlike Fallout 1 and 2, though, this is not always the “best” armor, as it does limit your perception and agility a good deal (apart from being a bitch to lug around).
Why is that?