You know the drill, new Fallout 3 hands on preview, this time at SPOnG:
The VATS method of attack is a throwback to the combat system in previous Fallout games. However, does the presentation of an FPS give a confusing message to the player expecting RPG action? Pete Hines thinks not, telling me, “We don’t believe in beating people over the head with the term ‘RPG’. It’s like you have something to prove, or you need to show your 20-sided dice to get in the door. The idea is that you pick up and play the game however you want to. And if you want to be a power gamer and a number cruncher you can, whether you play in VATS or in real-time those numbers are still meaningful.”
Just like a classic RPG, you can level up in Fallout 3, with a number of points being given to you to assign to different skills when you do. These skills are required for certain side-quests and dialogue options – a good ability in the ‘Speech’ department will allow you to wing your way through tricky situations, and even lets you barter for more cash for a quest if you want to get greedy.
“One of the things we really tried to avoid, and that we don’t like, is surprising the player with whether they’ve been good or bad. We wanted to make it clear that you’re making a conscious choice to be one or the other, as opposed to being confused about it. It may be a surprise in terms of exactly how the character reacts or what they say to you, but not the inherent good, evil or neutrality of it.
“Megaton is pretty much an extreme and most clear cut example of this – we don’t have to tell you that if you decide to blow up the nuke that the whole town and all those quests will go away, it’s kind of obvious. But it’s also pretty fun to see exactly how it happens. You can also live with the consequences because you knew what you were doing when you pressed the button.”
“No fucking way. Absolutely not. With our experience on RPGs like Elder Scrolls, things like Lore and Canon we hold very dear. We get anal about which buildings should be in Washington DC, with giant piles of books on architecture on DC and we ask what year buildings were made. 1955? It’s out – it wouldn’t have been in this universe. If we’re going to be anal about the landscape in this game, we’re certainly not going to make jokes about stuff that would not have been part of this world at all.”
Sounds like Bethesda could well be the studio that can make Fallout fans very proud, then. Fallout 3 is being released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this Autumn.