Another preview, you know the drill by now:
Stepping out onto the decimated plains of Washington D.C for the first time, something strange happens. With the screen washed out with a harsh white light as our eyes adjust to the sun’s rays, and with the vista slowly eking into view, there’s a pronounced tingle down our spine and the hairs on the back of our neck on end.
We’re only about two minutes into a painfully brief hands-on with Bethesda’s Fallout 3, a session that is sadly brought short by a stuttering debug 360 — partly because of the fragility of the unfinished code, and largely because of the seasonal sweltering heat that’s winning out over the faltering air conditioning units of the lush London hotel we’ve been brought to. It’s our first chance to go hands-on with a game that is commendably managing to shrug off the huge weight of expectation brought about by the series’ dedicated fanbase and the anticipation of how Bethesda will follow up its awe-inspiring Oblivion, and we’re seriously impressed.[…]
It’s certainly proved temptingly easy to dismiss Fallout 3 as Oblivion with guns, and if you’re of a cynical mindset it’s certainly a summation that fits. There’s no denying that Bethesda’s heritage is evident throughout, and arguably more so than that of the Fallout series, but, given the quality of the Elder Scrolls games, can that ever be a bad thing? If anything, those put off by the fantasy excesses of Oblivion — and we’ll admit to being one of those heathens — are more likely to warm to the apocalyptic aesthetic here.