And now for a second look by Eurogamer, this time by Christian Donlan, with opinions that I disagree with:
In other words, there’s a selection of detailed conversation starters giving way to a deep tangle of dialogue trees. While these trees are impressively large, and the dialogue itself is fairly snappy and pretty good at providing a sense of individual character when the voice acting stumbles, the system remains oddly basic given the pleasant surprises Mass Effect was constantly delivering in the way your quick choices actually played out. There’s nothing broken about Fallout 3’s system, it’s just no longer the best one available.
Some others that I feel are indeed worrisome:
Dialogue is not the only sign that Fallout 3 is slightly old-fashioned. A trip to the local saloon in search of side quests reveals that the game’s world can be slow to react to your presence, or often even acknowledge it. The saloon door is locked, meaning we have to tease it open with picks (instigating a simple but entertaining mini-game). This is all a little strange, as, once inside, we find that the place is actually open for business after all, and the saloon owner, who boasts a lovely silver mullet and a voice like Terry Wogan, doesn’t seem to mind – or notice – that we’ve just forced our way in. More worrying is that, moments later, when we accidentally fire a round into the wall when trying to talk to the barman, nobody in the room so much as flinches.
And a feeling he is still making up his mind about the game:
It’s this clash of unpolished presentation and strong storytelling that may ultimately define what you make of Fallout 3. From what we’ve seen, however, it’s tempting to suggest that Bethesda has unwittingly taken the game’s theme of retro-futurism too much to heart. Confusing as it seems, Fallout 3 may represent the future of yesterday’s RPGs, going back to when they were cruel, stubborn, and yet filled with memorable stories, rather than an evolution of the flashy, friendly, and often anemic titles of today.
That’s a possibility rich with both delights and frustrations and suggests, if nothing else, Bethesda’s game will be a welcome oddity. With a release approaching, then, and very little revealed about the central plot or how any of these gameplay pieces will fit together, it’s still hard to judge how much time you’ll ultimately want to spend in such radioactive and unpredictable settings.
Also spotted at NMA.