Very large Fallout 3 article at Kikizo, a few tidbits:
“The thought of doing anything with Van Buren was never even considered. We’re not going to pick up something someone else started and try to make something out of it. We got it because we wanted to make Fallout 3 and so we’re going to start from what we know and what we do,” says Hines.
“We were going to make the game we wanted to make,” he says. Our first few minutes with the game leave us in no doubt of that.[…]
“When you have these situations, you can decide how you’re going to work your way through in dialogue,” Hines says. “It’s almost like a little minigame. How do you want to respond, what are people going to do as a result of what you say?”[…]
You can play the entire game in first- or third-person, and Bethesda has put extra effort into making both play well. “Much more finely tuned and playable than what we did for Oblivion,” says Hines. It’s also here where we get a first real look at what playing this RPG as a shooter would be like. So far, we’re not convinced.
Let us preface these comments by saying that we didn’t actually play the game ourselves. But watching Hines play, we got the impression that the shooter system is still very loose. It doesn’t seem to flow as well as you would expect a dedicated shooter to and enemies don’t seem to show any outward signs of being damaged by repeated gunfire before they finally fall into a pile on the ground. In one scene Hines fires a chain gun at an enemy who fires back but is otherwise unperturbed until he drop dead.[…]
A larger question is which is the best way to play Fallout 3, and it’s here that the definite answers end. The short response is that this is a game that has been built with many kinds of players in mind. Hines elaborates: “Nobody said you had to do quests or nobody said you have to do the main quest. Just do what you feel like doing. And the idea is, because it’s a game that involves shooting, it really needs to play like a shooter. The combat needs to be on par with a good shooter.”