Soleil Noir Goes Into Fallout 3

Image Gryonline

Image Gryonline

Patrycja “Soleil Noir” Rodzińska played Fallout 3 at GC and published her impressions at Polish gaming site Gry-Online:

No recent game caused as much controversy and emotions as Fallout 3. For 4 years the fans of the series wondered whether the makers of Oblivion will manage to make a game as good as previous parts of the famous series.

Will Todd Howard’s team manage to compete with Timothy Cain’s? The Fallout brand is an enormous force. On one hand, it’s a self-driving locomotive, but on the other hand it might end up being a trap. Fallout, thanks to its post-nuclear atmosphere and immersive plot, ended up being a cult title. And every cult leads to fear of “desecration”. Therefore Bethesda should be admired at least for their courage.

* She likes the voice acting of Silver and sheriff Simms
* Silver is an ex-prostitute and a junkie, who’s trying to forget her past with the help of chemicals. She can tell you about the town and her history. However, all dialogue options, even the ones mean to Silver, seemed to lead to only one solution – helping her in her issues with Moriarty, the saloon owner.
* She thought that if she helped Silver settle the score with Moriarty, eating the squirrel-on-a-stick from her fridge won’t be anything bad. But it was – she lost Karma.
* She likes the art style, but is not very impressed by the graphics – in low details they’re too blurred, in high details they’re too sharp, with no middle ground.
* She doesn’t like the Lady Killer perk because it’s chauvinistic. Pete says that it’s not, because there’s also Black Widow.
* They do not plan to release the editor for now.
* They will make Fallout 4 and 5, and don’t count out making a new title aside from Fallout and TES.
* Pete says that all they did in Fallout 3 was initially based on Oblivion.

Her final word is that even if Fallout 3 does not live up to the expectations of the fans of the series, it might simply end up being a good game, whose biggest flaw will be it having the “Fallout” brand.
Furthermore, Fallout 3 and its promotional activities might remind players and non-players about Fallout 1 and Fallout 2.

Advertisements Interviews Pete Hines

Pete Hines and Denise from

Pete Hines and Denise from

And it’s an interesting one, here’s what they sent me:

On this years Games Convention we have spoken to Pete Hines, vice president of Bethesda Softworks. And we have managed to elicit some quite interesting information about Fallout 3. For instance he is speaking about invisible walls, multiplayer-modes or the synchronization of Fallout 3.
The text-version of the interview can be found here, in addition to that we are hosting a video of the interview.
We would like to see a news with our special on your site. The URL of your fanpage is already listet as best fansite in our article.
Thank you for that team, here’s a snippet of what you can find in the text and video interview: How do you plan to limit the gameworld? Will you use invisible walls?

Pete Hines: For the most part we usually find that people go to the edge of the world just to see what happens when they get there. So we could come up with fake terrain that would keep you from leaving, but most of the time folks get to the edge of the world and then they get a little message that says “You reached the edge of the world. Turn back”. And then they’ll move on. So we try not to overthink stuff like that. My next question is about the graphics. I saw some screenshots where exactly the same car-model was placed three times side by side. Were these bugs you’ve fixed by now?

Pete Hines: Even when travelling around here we sometimes find buildings where they built a set of apartments and they’re all built in a similar style and are part of a group of buildings. In Fallout it’s obviously a destroyed world. We try to vary the destruction in terms of “What would actually be here? How would this city have been built up first before it got destroyed?” We do spent a lot of time thinking about the variation of the architecture and what would it all look like once it was destroyed.[…] I played “Fallout 3” yesterday and I saw you have some violent scenes in it, heads blowing off for example. Will you have to cut the german version of the game?

Pete Hines: That’s still to be determined. We actually don’t believe in talking publicly about the differences between English, German or Australian versions. We will make sure that the game is out and available in Germany, but we don’t want to get into discussing what changes we might have to make.

Thanks Denise.

The RPS Commentator

Alec Meer from Rock,Paper, Shotgun goes back to Fallout 3, giving some thoughts on what he saw at the new gameplay videos:

So, five lengthy videos straight outta PAX beneath the cut, showing Fallout being RPGy, and not simply FPSy, as was the case with the underwhelming E3 footage. I’ve posted my as-I-watched notes below each. Apologies for their brevity and wobbly grammar, but I figured my off-the-cuff reactions could work as well as ponderous analysis. We’ll have plenty of ponderous analysis once the game’s out, I don’t doubt.

Here’s a couple of examples:

Very brown and grey
The faces are so much better than Oblivion’s glowing pie-men
draw distance is great
Does look a lot like post-apoc Oblivion, perhaps inevitably
Level up HUD doesn’t feature stupidly giant text. Thank Christ – Oblivion’s interface outright sucked at times
Much more emphasis on perks? Or am I not remembering the first two Fallouts correctly?

Yes you are remembering correctly.

Radio sounds great – really sets the atmosphere, and seems like it’ll be there throughout rather than just appearing from occasional jukeboxes.
Slo-mo gore still seems excessive. I’m no prude, but it just seems a bit too outlandish and comic – I wouldn’t mind an option to turn it down a bit.
Looks like some really fun gear pick-ups – caps, sunglasses, crazy beards… Looking forward to the character customisation.
Ooh – you need to drink to survive, but water is radioactive. Out-Stalkering Stalker?
Too many monsters/mutants?

There’s more but you’ll have to go and check them for yourselves.

Fallout Three in a Row

Image Kotaku

Image Kotaku

Let’s start with Gamersglobal interviewing Pete Hines:

GamersGlobal: Pete, at E3, Fallout 3 seemed to be rather easy to play by due to the V.A.T.S. mode. By queuing up all those headshots or shots into the legs, I could win nearly all fights very easily. I was playing in normal difficulty, by the way. Is this something you’re going to tweak? Or do you want to have it so easy in the beginning?

Pete Hines: For the most part the stuff that you find in the beginning should be fairly easy for you to deal with. We certainly don’t want it to be like you come out of the vault and start fighting and keep dying. So the enemies you face in that part of the world, will not be that difficult to deal with for someone who just turned level 2. As you go out in the world, you definitely find tougher enemies, folks that are bigger and a tougher challenge.

GamersGlobal: Was the E3 version “simplified”, e.g. by making the hero’s character more powerful than he would be in the finished game at that early stage? Or was every V.A.T.S. hit in the E3 version a critical hit?

Pete Hines: It was simplified in terms of giving you the highest stats for the weapons you start off with. Every V.A.T.S. hit in the E3 version was not a critical hit. Far from it. It’s random, so some folks may see more or less of it when they play for any period of time.

GamersGlobal: Will V.A.T.S. head shots be always fatal, if they hit?

Pete Hines: No. There is an amount of damage it will do to the limb, and an amount it does to the enemy’s overall health. In the easier creatures you would have faced early on, they don’t have much health so they die easier. As you explore out and fight tougher creatures, you find that you can cripple one or more body parts before you can kill the enemy.

Now for the IGN impressions:

The raider encounter was interesting because it showed how it’s possible to stumble into an area of the game that you are simply not quite ready to tackle yet. That’s a departure from Bethesda’s fantasy RPGs; those games scaled the difficulty to your experience level, so the game always feels “just right” and you can never get into too much trouble. These raiders were armed with sniper rifles and worse, and while I managed to kill three or four, they still managed to cut me down.

This is my second or third time to play around with the turn-based VATS combat system, and I’m now really feeling comfortable with it. It also helps that they’ve done a lot to polish the system. You have an action point meter that’s usually full when you enter combat; hitting the right bumper pauses the game and kicks you into the turn-based targeting system. Since this was a demo and I was never going to see this character ever again, I dumped all my points into small guns skills, which made me especially lethal with pistols, hunting rifles, and assault rifles. This let me target the heads of my opponents with a decent chance of hitting. If you have a full meter, you can queue about four pistol shots or three rifle shots up. Then hit the execute button and watch how the combat unfolds.

I’m an old school fan of the Fallout series, and the one thing I will always remember is the over-the-top level of violence in those games. I’m glad to say that Fallout 3 made me chortle and laugh and gasp as I saw gunfire blow heads apart or even saw heads off of bodies. Blood doesn’t just squirt; it fountains out of severed arteries. It’s graphic, and gratuitous, and thoroughly awesome.

This one I saw at Kotaku, Bethesda is donating the Fallout 3 Airstream to Child’s Play:

Now you should be getting enthused about the Nuclear Airstream too. Turns out that Bethesda plans to donate the amazing piece of schwag to Child’s Play following the launch of the game. Can you imagine winning this bad boy and parking it in your front yard for late night gaming sessions. The whole thing, I’m told, even runs on electricity.

Spotted the rest at the excelent NMA PAX coverage.

The Fallout 3 Shack



Shacknews dwells into Fallout 3 at PAX:

The thing about the VATS system–the slow motion approximation of Fallout’s tactical limb targeting system–is that, while it at first seems to function more like a bullet time system, it fundamentally works on the same level of Fallout’s original system. There’s that same decision between a sure shot or a low-percentage attempt, and that same glorious anticipation before a 99%, skull-exploding, point-blank blast to the eye.

Case in point, the minigun-wielding giant I faced. With only a handgun to take him down, I switched over to grenades for saving throw. Using the VATS, I targeted him with three throws and let them go. I watched the lifespan of each grenade, heard the pin pop and saw the pineapple land right at the feet of the giant mutant, resting there for a moment before dutifully shredding the monster’s legs.

After dispatching the mutants, I noticed a tied-up human in the church they were guarding. I wasn’t given this quest–this was simply a building I found out in the middle of nowhere. After choosing to untie the poor sap, he thanked me, then offered me his supplies. I had the choice of taking them, or acknowledging that he needed them more. I took them. Screw being nice.

They also feature an interview with Pete Hines and Istvan Pely:

Shack: Sometimes it takes a long time before you find any enemies. I assume you guys have carefully balanced their placement so that it feels just right?

Istvan Pely: Yeah, and we try to find the right balance, so that it feels like I’m not running into something every minute, but it doesn’t take long before I come across something.

And our encounters, there are some very creative encounters. You may come across a hit squad going after some guy, or a melee fight going on that has nothing to do with you–you can just watch them, let them kill eachother, help one side or the other. There’s a lot of neat little things to discover there that are unpredictable. It’s not always going to be, “Oh, Radscorpion coming at me.” There’s some of that, but there’s a lot more to it.

Pete Hines: I think the Super-Duper Mart is probably one of the best examples of that. In front of the Super-Duper Mart is just this complete, every time you come around the corner you have no idea what’s gonna be going on. Sometimes there’s a robot fighting some stuff, or a Radscorpion attacking some guy. It’s so great every time you go see it–it’s one of those watercooler things.

Istvan Pely: Sometimes you get there and everybody’s dead. [laughs]

Shack: Are you guys getting sick of the comparisons to Oblivion? Like, “It’s Oblivion, but with guns”?

Istvan Pely: It’s two-sided, you know. It’s a compliment, and at the same time we set out to make a very different game. We did not start with the design of Oblivion and decide how we were going to change it to make Fallout. We started with, “How is this going to be Fallout?” But we built on experiences we learned with Oblivion. So obviously it’s a similar kind of open world–there’s experiences with how to make that work, how to keep it exciting, so we applied our lessons learned. It works both ways for us.

Pete Hines: I think the thing that makes it most annoying is that it’s said in a tone that’s sort of like, that’s the best that we could do. For guys like Istvan who have spent literally four years making this game, it really sells short how much time and effort they’ve put into making this a Fallout game that is true to Fallout. As opposed to just the bare minimum we could do, let’s just re-skin all of our creatures to look sort of post-nuclear and just be done with it.

So much more time and effort went into it by the designers and the artists. That’s really the only thing that gets me. We love Oblivion, we made it, of course we’re proud of it. But just to say that that’s all we did, the least amount of effort, really sells short the four years we’ve put into making this game.

Spotted at NMA and various other places.