Actually, before I start, I’ll better show my cards. Every piece about Fallout 3 is picked over by obsessive people from either side – because, it seems, you have to have a side with Fallout 3 – looking for weaknesses in moral character. Rather than people worrying whether I’m a casual apologist or whatever, here’s the way I’m wired. While having played both the original Fallouts, I didn’t obsessively – they came out in a non-PC-owning year, and went back too late. That said, RPGs remain my definitive genre, though I’d put the boundaries further than most purists. And, probably most damningly, I don’t care about game lineages whatsoever. If Fallout 3 was a Rainbow-Islands-inspired upwards-scrolling platformer, I would only object if it was a pale imitation of those tiny-lesbians (NO REALLY!) Bub and Bob’s finest hour. And that applies just as strongly to games I adore as games I merely respect too, before anyone goes in that direction.
And, with all that said, Fallout 3 was mostly highly entertaining.
The writing? Even with an hour – and half of that actually doing the social chat thing – it’s too early to really make a call. If there’s a problem, it’s less with the words or the voice-acting, but the relatively stiff characters as they deliver them. I remember the sheer wonder when I first played Vampire: Bloodlines, with characters who’d actually act like… well, actors. That we’re years on, and only Mass Effect in the RPG has really raised the stakes at all is somewhat depressing.
Oh – and there seems to be more conversation options than Oblivion too. There’s a lot of the classic three (Nice Guy/Mercenary Guy/Cunt), but alternates turned up too. Perhaps predictably with my like of slutting my way through RPGs, I picked the Lady’s Man perk which was soon put to work on a working girl. To get extra information. A little extra information I like to call “Sex”.
Actually, just extra information.
Perhaps oddly, my biggest reservation was what Mat liked a lot. That is, the VATS system. I’m not sure what may have changed – certainly in some demonstrations people have noted it seems to cause fatalities more often than would be reasonable (And lots more gore too). That certainly wasn’t true when I played, making my experience – the gore was extreme, but not comic extreme, and the killing power wasn’t absolute. Talking to another Journalist there, he couldn’t see why anyone would use it when just shooting does the job well enough. I’m not sure I agree – when it works, it’s agreeably cinematic, and it has its own flavour.
You can read the rest here, thanks Killzig.