A couple of news from Poland, first the video interview with Pete Hines at Gram.pl. Pete replies in English, so it’s worth a look.
Summary of the preview for those who don’t speak Polish:
* The intro, narrated of course by Ron Perlman, consists of static images put in motion only by a dynamic color filter. A standard dose of ruined cities, apocalyptic landscapes, broken swings. And a nuclear blast rendered in 3D.
* Character creation – choose sex, face generation just like in Oblivion, mommy dies. How sad. A year later. “You’re SPECIAL”.
* Birthday. While you’re using full sentences for a change, the conversation mechanism is a lot like the one in Oblivion. Lots of possibilities – e.g. when Butch, the vault bully wants you tu give him your sweets, you can propose dividing it into two halves, spitting on it, or even insulting his mother. “We show the character’s childhood so that the player feels a connection to the Vault and its inhabitants” says Pete.
*A completely different savegame is loaded – a pseudo-random encounter with mercenaries attacking Dogmeat. If we kill them, he joins us. They show the CNPC interaction system that also works with the human CNPCs. To give the dog an order, you need to approach him and “talk to him”. No possibility of issuing commands from a distance nor assigning keyboard shortcuts. Some standard RPG commands (stay here, follow me), Fallout standards (e.g. healing with stimpaks), as well as telling him to go to Vault 101 entrance, which works as a default “HQ”, where we can retreive him later. We can also order him to search for valuable items. Whether a given character joins us, depends on our Karma.
* Another scene. A loading screen with a 50s-style billboard. A demolished fast food booth decorated with human intestines. They explain VATS (pretty accurately for a Fallout 3 preview). They’re worried whether the VATS slo-mo is practical with the multitude of fights in FO3. 10 seconds of non-interactive cutscene during every shot? Hmmm. Bloody Mess trait confirmed.
* Repair system explained, nothing new here.
* Another scene – radio tower. We can switch it on and then receive a call for help with our Pip-Boy. The only clue as to where the signal is coming from is its quality. We find a shelter and a few skeletons inside. Looks like we’re too late.
* The last part of the presentation are two combat scenes – in the Underworld taken over by feral ghouls and in the ruins of Washington, DC, overrun by super mutants. Fat Man. Rock-It Launcher. They like the appearance of the ghouls and super mutants and how they vary from one another. The TPP view sucks.
* The bottlecaps are the currency again.
* There’s no “police” as such in FO3 and breaking the “law” will have no arbitrary, universal consequences – the inhabitants of this world take justice into their own hands.
* The PC will be able to get addicted to chems, which will lead to stat penalties. Getting rid of an addiction will require visiting a specialist.
* The Pip-Boy has a radar on which the opponents are visible. Its range depends on the player’s perception. It also has a built-in flashlight.
* The main Capital Wasteland area will be one, seamless location. The loading screens will appear only while entering buildings or dungeons. There are no vehicles, but there will be fast travel between previously visited locations.
* Pete mentions Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” as one of the main inspirations.
* The developers hype combat all the time, but avoid discussing non-combat skills
“It all looks like it’s getting pretty commercial. While it’s nothing new, let’s say it again: there’s no point in counting on Bethesda fulfilling the expectations of hardcore fans and making a game as deep as previous Fallouts. On the other hand, it would be a bit unfair to dismiss their work at this stage. So far, we’ve seen lots of good and some worrying things. We’re waiting for new information – we’ll certainly see Pete and Todd at E3.”
Spotted at NMA.