Pete: It’s really designed to work however you want to use it. You can play the game entirely with VATS, use it in combination with real-time combat, or fight in real-time only. It’s balanced so that when you use it in combination with real-time fighting, it doesn’t become overly powerful.
In my recent preview for the game, I talked about the balance between action and RPG in Fallout 3, and said it seems like both have been amped up over Bethesda’s past games – the RPG feels more like a hardcore RPG, while the action feels more like a shooter. Was this the intent? Oblivion was one of the most accessible RPGs ever made; do you think you’ll capture the same audience with Fallout 3?
I think it’s fair to say both of those things were a focal point. To allow the hardcore folks to tinker a lot with the numbers and focus on that, but also make it accessible to folks who just want to pick up and play, and have both of those things work well together. I would imagine the audience for Fallout 3 will skew wider than Oblivion‘s simply because of its setting and the nature of the combat. Give folks a more familiar setting with guns (vs. fantasy with orcs/elves) and a lot more folks are interested in playing it, whatever the style of game.
It seems a lot like quests and dialog are having much more thought put into them this time. We know that the world doesn’t have nearly the number of dialog-enabled NPCs in it as the Elder Scrolls games did so you could do much more dialog per character, but is the number of quests lower as well? If so, are the quests deeper than we’ve seen in past Bethesda games?
I would say they’re both deeper and wider, in terms of the number of choices and options you have in approaching a given quest and how you want to handle it, as well as what’s there to get to in a quest. How we handle all of those choices you make and have them be meaningful. Handling lots of special situations where you get special dialog options based on certain characteristics your character may or may not have. All of that stems from having a world that is smaller in scope from Oblivion and being able to spend a lot more time on fewer quests.
Spotted at NMA.