NZ GamePlanet Fallout 3 Feature

From New Zealand comes the Gameplanet Fallout 3 preview, with nothing really new, but a with an effort into detailing more thoroughly what they saw, so it’s worth a look:

Initially, this preview event had been organised to bring a large number of Australian and New Zealand media representatives in on the game, and to show some footage that had previously been provided to games distributors a few months back. Imagine our surprise when we discovered there would be an additional half an hour or so of previously unseen gameplay included! As there was no filming or picture taking permitted behind closed doors, I’ll do my best to describe what we were shown.[…]

Just an aside – your father at one point shows you a bible passage set in a picture frame that your mother claimed as her favourite. It’s from revelations, and it’s worth repeating here: “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is a thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Prophetic indeed, and a glimpse at Bethesda’s attempt to link casual first-time gamers with the lore of the Fallout series.

Once you’ve completed “Baby Steps”, you are again pushed forward in time to your tenth birthday party – an event significant not only for the first shown interaction with other NPC’s within the vault, but also the acquisition of your “Pip Boy 3000”, which is provided to you by the vault overseer. You also meet the vault bully, who is discussing with other children the possibility of forming a gang called the Tunnel Snakes, and you need to make a decision as to whether you should allow him to take some confectionery provided to you by Old Lady Palmer as a birthday present.[…]

A point about the statistics here – although you may be able to choose a certain dialogue option or end result, thus shaping your character, the outcome is also driven by your attributes and skill level. For example, conversing with someone may prompt three possible dialogue options. Next to these may appear a percentage chance to succeed, so perhaps you’d like to convince someone to give you an object – your level of persuasion might only grant you a 25% chance of success, so you may find it better to choose a different option with a higher percentage. This allows your progression to be shaped on the fly through chance as well as choice.[…]

We’ve seen terminal hacking as a mini game in BioShock, and just like that title, hacking in Fallout 3 seemed a little basic. Essentially if you’ve played the old classic Mastermind you’ll understand – you are presented with a table of words interspersed with random characters, and you need to type in whichever word on the list you think the password is. You have five attempts, and each failed attempt will tell you how many of the letters are in the right place. After the fifth failed attempt, you are locked out of the console and can only bypass it with a key, which must be found somewhere within the vault. This forms the basis of another mission, but it is necessary as without the ability to leave Vault 101 it’d be a short game.[…]

The next saved game consists of a battle waged in the central Washington D.C. area between the Mutants and the Brotherhood of Steel. It’s here we were introduced to the perception ability – on your HUD compass you will see a flashing red icon whenever enemies are around you. The higher your perception, the sooner this will occur. During an action scene we managed to kill several mutants, and due to this we were permitted to tag along with the Brotherhood faction to clean out some more. We picked up a weapon to replace our ageing Chinese Military Rifle from a fallen comrade – the Laser Gun – and spent some time blowing limbs from hapless zombies that strayed too close to our position.

There’s also an interview with Pete Hines in there. Thanks anonymous through Meebo.


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