Bit-tech net has a new Fallout 3 preview:
How much of this that Bethesda has really taken on board was something we didn’t really get to see and, because the game is still in alpha and filled with placeholder dialogue, Pete was understandably wary of showing us much of the game’s dialogues.
What we can say though is that it has a definite impact on other areas of the game, such as combat and puzzle solving. While we will discuss combat in a little while, it’s the puzzle solving side of things that really seemed interesting and Bethesda has made the controversial choice of using a mini-game to represent players hacking computers – something that was arguably a weak spot of last year’s darling, BioShock. Here though, hacking is more sensibly handled. It’s also just a tad more realistic and theme-fitting.
With a high enough Science skill, players can attempt to hack computers they find on the way, which is done by uncovering the password from within a BIOS dump file. Opening up these files reveals a screen filled with garbled information, including possible candidates for the password. It’s up to the player to choose the right one from the list, with higher skills giving more guesses and the player’s PipBoy companion provides feedback to help narrow down the search – telling you what letter the password ends in for example.
Ok, so it sounds a little rudimentary and will no doubt get dull after a while, but like in BioShock hacking is never mandatory and players always have another option. Unlike Oblivion it’s also possible to crash a system permanently, making the stakes much higher.[…]
Of course, if the changes in perspective weren’t enough, there’s also been controversy coming from the other side and after Bethesda’s Oblivion, many fans are worried that the enemy themselves will be spoiled. On that note we have both some good and some bad news.
The good news first then – enemies don’t level with the player. From the start of the game all the enemies are fixed, unlike in Oblivion. You won’t run across lowly raiders in Super Power Armour, and nor will rats get harder and harder to beat as you play more and more of the game. There’s none of all that.
On the downside, it does seem like Bethesda has polarised the enemies a little if you ask me. One of the things that made Fallout stand out was that there never was a true sense of right and wrong as such things as chivalry had long died in the wasteland.
On the one front, Bethesda has mirrored this once more by using Karma to track the player’s actions and popularity, but on the other you won’t be finding any friendly mutants like in past games. Pete confirmed with us that all the Super Mutants are dead – “Once a creature, always a creature.”
While that definitely makes the game a lot simpler and more accessible to players who want to boil Fallout 3 down to little more than a shooter, it does kind of feel like some of the greyness has been lost as a result. A world of black and white and clearly defined sides isn’t bad, but it is a little less involving.
They did loved what they saw, but raised some doubts about a few design choices. Not your standard Fallout 3 preview, for sure, that’s interesting.