A small preview of Fallout 3 at The Age Blogs:
Unlike most role playing games which feature your character as the star of the screen, Fallout 3 is played from a first-person perspective like a shooter.
Bethesda’s Pete Hines says the first-person viewpoint was chosen because “we felt this was the best way to really immerse the player in this world. You can get up close to all these iconic elements from the original game.”
You can play in third-person as well, but it will be very difficult. “We have this new over-the-should third-person camera,” enthuses Hines, “and it is kinda cool seeing yourself walking around in the vault jumpsuit.”[…]
Hines believes VATS really adds to the game’s dramatic tension.
“I’ve got enough ammo and health packs to keep myself alive, but in the game all that stuff is fairly hard to come by, so we really want to play up that idea like you’re down to your last clip of ammo, you’re low on health, you queue up some moves in VATS, and you’re like: ‘Please, God, let this guy die with this shot…'”
During focus testing sessions, most Fallout 3 players have used a combination of both real-time and VATS combat, keeping VATS for encounters with more difficult enemies.