Fallout Fries

French CanardPlus Emil Zoulou is asking for questions from fans about what he saw in the Fallout 3 demo, here’s something from NMA:

Here’s some chances to scratch out some more info from the meager offerings of this E3. First, Canardplus (who you may remember from this preview) contacted us to extend the offer to try and clarify any questions we have based on what they’ve seen:

This morning, we had the opportunity to try the 360 version of Fallout 3. The cheats weren’t enabled. So ask your vicious questions and we will try to offer some honest answers.

If you know French you can ask them here, if not place them at NMA or in this blogpost and we’ll try to translate them for you.

Meanwhile he already started answering the first batch of questions, and NMA got a (very good) translation from Vaultaire with the help of Mr.Bumble and posted them in English:

Is the gore associated with violent death logical or over-the-top?
That is the problem with E3. During the Fallout 3 Demo, Bethesda wanted to emphasize the games “adult” content and pushed the gore through the roof. During the initial demo, Peter Hines did the same: using the “Bloody Mess” trait, which makes every death really bloody, really pushed the gore over the top. Shoot someone in the foot and the entire body explodes in a fountain of blood. When actually playing it is a lot less impressive, the enemies die without too much fuss. On the other hand, the inconsistencies are apparent, like when a mini-nuke just cuts off an enemies foot.

Is playing Fallout 3 with a controller a good experience? How will the interface be adapted to mouse/keyboard combination?
We are not big FPS aficionados, I had a lot of trouble controlling my character and aiming was really hard. VATS helped with this a lot, something I was not expecting. When confronted by a group of enemies, it seems like the most sensible solution. On the other hand, I was much better on the PC. The mouse/keyboard interface allowed for more accurate aiming. One can imagine that the RT aspect will resemble Quake 3 where the player strafes around his enemies; avoiding their shots while simultaneously emptying clips into them – totally negating the need for VATS. Like Oblivion, character skill along with line of sight plays a factor in determining to-hit success but the translation to FPS must be tempered with the next question:

If the PC version is exactly the same as the one tested for the Xbox 360) ; it is very likely that this is the case, will the interface be marred by this (interface, save/load, …)
Oh yes, I think that on the PC the interface will prove unwieldy. Bethesda has chosen to put all the menus inside the Pipboy affixed to your arm. If it is a question of immersion, the intention is commendable, ergonomically it’s an absolute disgrace: A stick to switch between 3 large menus (stats-item-data) the other to navigate within the window and all the sub menus. On top of that, the inventory is reduced to simple lists of names, a miniature picture of the item appears to the right for each item. Also, forget about the two quick items found at the bottom of your inventory (in the originals) as Turn-based is completely dispensed with. In this system, one is faced with equipping a single thing or weapon at a time.

With real time combat, Is the concept or use of Action Points ala “Turn Based” useful or even captivating?
Like I said on the 360, the VATS system is indispensable for survival. Often, melee enemies get within range very quickly and VATS allows the player to get out of tight situations. I did not feel it was over-powerful and I was often forced to close the gap to improve my chances of hitting the target. In addition, aiming for specific body parts will appeal to the jokers amongst us: Fire at a super-mutants weapon and it will fall from his grasp. Such accurate shots are difficult to reproduce in real-time mode. In practice, we find ourselves using all our APs to fire at an enemies chest not even trying for the head. APs recharge in real-time mode but don’t affect ones ability to access the inventory. It seems to me that AP could be used for so much more than aimed shots. It is a terrible blow for the tactics of combat that existed in the franchise previously.

Adaptive difficulty Yes or No (Level Scaling)
Big question. The Bethesda lot have assured us for months that level scaling; railed against by Elder Scrolls Fan; was out. Permit me to cast strong doubt on this. See: towards the end of my half hour, whilst wandering through Washington DC, I fell upon a group of three super mutants. One was equipped with a Gatling. I was level 3 and I was only equipped with light Raider armor. For weapons, I had a baseball bat and a basic 10mm pistol and an ammo-less laser piston. I switch to VATS and aim for the Gatling mutant in the hopes of making him drop his weapon. I miss and the other two mutants head straight for me. I grab my baseball bat and alternate between VATS and real-time whilst waiting for my AP to recharge. The first mutant is downed, I loot a bat with a nail in it and kill the second mutant in much the same fashion. During this some sort of mutant spider joins the fray and attacks me. I kill it with my bat. The third super mutant fell to a combination of grenade and 10mm pistol. I’m a half hour into the game, level 3 and I manage to take down three super mutants and some unidentified thing without much trouble and find myself in possession of a Gatling fun. All is good.[…]

Once again, it is not easy to get a fair idea of what Fallout 3 will be like on release. All in all, the development team has a pile a bugs of all types to fix. It is in all cases certain that this will not shine on technical merits, with empty interiors, outdated and badly used character models, “Rigor Mortis” animations..
Disassociated from the gameplay of the preceding Fallouts, Bethesda try to impose their view of an action RPG, in the same vein as Oblivion. It is impossible for me to guarantee that this will be a good fallout game, or even a good game at all…

A must read, there’s a lot more there.


8 thoughts on “Fallout Fries

  1. I’m not sure why bethesda would lie about the changes they have made to level scaling. Seems to me canardplus is making some pretty gross assumptions based on an extremely limited amount of time. maybe next time nma should ask questions from a site that has played the game for a few hours like the previews from before e3.

    I’m a bit worried now, because of that example too, I wasn’t expecting something like that.

    Still it’s a good idea, I can find the contact of both guys that made 5 hours hand on previews, maybe Brother None is interested?

  2. It is a bold assumption to say Bethesda lied about changes made to level scaling, but it’s also a bold assumption to claim CanardPlus is lying about their playtime. At level 3, he took on three super mutants and a crawly thing and won. Draw your own conclusions.

    I would have no problem reaching Porter and Stapleton myself, Briosa.

    I might, sure, NMA should be well-known for allowing dissenting voices to speak out (like Desslock), but I’m not sure what you or anonymous Meebo guy are thinking. NMA didn’t instigate this article, NMA was contacted by CanardPlus on this article and then quickly agreed to offer an English translation. This is not something we sniffed out, this was something thrown in our lap. Meeboguy seems to think we watched the previewers pass before our eyes and then hand-picked one to work with. That’s not what happened.

  3. but I’m not sure what you or anonymous Meebo guy are thinking.

    What I’m thinking is pretty clear, just read what I wrote one more time:
    -I share the concerns raised by Zoulou on that particular issue;
    -I think trying to dig deeper with an Interview to both or one of those guys is a good idea, if you are to it.

    Don’t know where those doubts are coming, just read what I wrote.

  4. You want me to…interview journos? That’d be pretty irregular, we’ve certainly not done anything like it before. Also consider that both Porter and Stapleton wrote huge previews, in which they cover everything they want to cover (I think).

    And I mean, hell, level scaling doesn’t really need any additional clarifying, not after Emil clarified it fully, no?

  5. no, meeboguy read that canardplus was looking for questions to be asked and posted at NMA, and the first batch of those questions have already been answered. meeboguy assumed that first batch of answers was for nma supplied questions.

    Ah that’s where the confusion came up. No questions came from NMA or any other source except the Canardplus forum.

    And these answers are from there, I need to edit my blogpost, missed this link.

  6. “Fallout Fries”


    “Freedom Fries”


    “French Fries”

    Brios’ am I following the right trail of baguette crumbs?

    If not, viva la difference!

    Puns of fun, any way it’s sliced.


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