Sitting in Bethesda’s temporary European HQ in the heart of London’s trendy Soho, just near the excellent Red Lion pub and some brothels, Bethesda’s resident do-everything man Pete Hines is extolling the virtues of the free-roamer RPG.
“I could tell you what you’d be doing every single minute of Call of Duty 4,”
he begins. “Don’t get me wrong – that game is fucking amazing, but I could tell you what happens in every minute of every single mission within very small parameters. What weapon you were using… everything.
“With Fallout 3, you could be 10 hours in and I couldn’t even guess 20-30 per cent of what you’ll have done. We made our reputation by doing big and crazy – things people hadn’t tried before. We feel that we’ve gotten good at it now.”[…]
This ‘less is more’ ethic extends to NPCs as well, having a more limited number of wordier tykes milling around, rather than the hundreds of three-line conversation ‘tell me rumours!’ variety that inhabited Oblivion.
In the new scenes on show in Pete Hines’ presentation, the improvement was marked – when bickering with a childhood bully there are at least six or seven different retorts to your foe, for example.
We’re also promised that there are at least 60 voice actors and that the more recognisable ones from Oblivion (‘You have my ear, citizen!’) haven’t made the cut. Hines reckons they’ve nixed the old chestnut of conversation between NPCs being stilted and dull to boot.[…]
The last thing I was shown was an all-action piece set in a ruined Washington, starting at a battered Washington Monument (that you can climb to the top of) and ending with a Fatboy nuclear explosion battle in front of the Capitol building.
Between these, beautifully imagined, tourist spots was a network of trenches where the Brotherhood of Steel and Super Mutant factions have warred for decades – now riven by trenches, tripmines and bomb scars.
Bedecked in Power Armour (robbing you of perception and agility, but maxing out your bullet-soaking abilities) you’ll fight your way through the area, but it did get me worrying how Fallout 3 will work as a shooter.
Spotted at NMA.