Europe Has A Tougher Crowd Indeed

Fallout 3 preview at Eurogamer:

Perhaps it’s just bad timing. Perhaps it’s unfortunate juxtaposition. Fallout 3 made its E3 debut in a demonstration at Microsoft’s Xbox 360 briefing in close proximity to Gears of War 2 and Resident Evil 5. All of a sudden, in that context, this very special follow-up to some of the most revered properties in role-playing gaming – venerable Interplay classic Fallout, and developer Bethesda’s recent smash hit Oblivion – didn’t look so special any more.

The barren, broken landscape, the deformed mutant enemies, the muted brown colour scheme, the developers enthusiastically detailing the myriad options for amusing dismemberment, gore, explosions and carnage. It all became a bit of a blur. Then EA showed Dead Space and Left 4 Dead and Rage, and Sony showed Resistance 2, and Take-Two showed Borderlands, and on and on for the rest of the week until – despite the quality of several of these games – the blur became a huge, ugly, indistinguishable smear across the whole of E3. A smear that Fallout 3, of all games, really shouldn’t be getting lost in.

So, yes – it was bad luck. After all, you can hardly expect a Fallout game to be about anything other than a post-apocalyptic world beset with mutants, and it isn’t Bethesda’s fault that the current commercial and political landscape has given the games industry an unhealthier-than-usual obsession with that subject matter. You can, however, expect Bethesda to approach it with polish, sophistication and a unique sense of humour – and this is exactly where we found our half-hour hands-on demo lacking.

Lots of controversy surrounding this piece, worth a good read.

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