Click! reviews Fallout 3

Polish gaming magazine Click! has published a review by Tymon Smektała of the PC version of Fallout 3. Here are some excerpts and a brief summary of the rest of the article:

This premiere was controversial from the very beginning – at least among those for whom Fallout is a legend. And there are lots of those, as the first two parts of the series are considered to be the absolute canon of RPGs. They set the standars when it comes to non-linear plot and freedom of gameplay. (…) A decade ago, when the graphics were relatively simple, it was enough to make up as many dialogue variants as possible to achieve impressive non-linearity. Now they also have to be recorded and shown with advanced 3D graphics. Which is why the fans of the original were afraid that the game would not meet their expectations, lose the atmosphere and destroy the franchise. Were they right?

  • The main quest is ca. 10 hour long, with additional 30-40 for the side quests
  • The most faithful fans of the series can be disappointed by the end of the story, less complex than in previous games – e.g. it doesn’t show the future fate of characters you meet throughout the game.
  • There are five difficulty levels
  • Most of the sidequests are interesting mini-adventures that succeed at avoiding typical RPG cliches, like e.g. having to kill 12 mutant moles. They are more atmospheric than the main quest.
  • Traveling between locations is boring, the random encounters are pretty rare and not very interesting. Fortunately, there’s fast travel.
  • Both main quest and side quest objectives can be achieved through a number of ways. However, they mostly depend on the player’s statistics, so mostly only one option has a chance of being successful for a given character and to know the other variants, you’d have to play the game again with a new character. Unfortunately, probably few players will.
  • The stat-based real time combat feels more natural in Fallout 3 than in Hellgate: London and Mass Effect. However, the reviewer prefers the active pause-based VATS, which is a way of pleasing both old fans of the series used to turn-based combat, and new players who expect dynamic action. Curiously, VATS seems to play better with PC controls, while on the console the real time combat seems more natural.
  • The graphics look dated. Some textures, looked from up close, are pixelized. There’s clipping and bad character animations.
  • The general technical quality is not that great. After a longer gaming session, the computer tends to freeze.
  • Access to many options requires the use of Pip-Boy 3000, which is not really handy.

To sum it up, Fallout 3 is not a perfect product and people will be as divided about it after the release as before it. The malcontents will harshly criticize Bethesda for simplifying the gameplay compared to previous iterations of the series, and the PC version will require a patch or two (one is reportedly to be released on day 1). (…) The most important thing is that the makers managed to keep the mature atmosphere of the series and its most important trait – the ability to shape the story yourself. The new game begins (and ends), just like its predecessors, with the legendary words: “War, war never changes.” The same can be said about Fallout.

Fallout 3 is a game different from its great predecessor, but it doesn’t mean it’s worse. It’s just a continuation of the series adjusted to an entirely new age of interactive entertainment – fortunately, it keeps the atmosphere of the originals. Despite minor flaws, it is a strong contender for being the RPG of the year!

Pros:

  • A good recreation of Fallout’s atmosphere
  • Freedom of play
  • The VATS system

Cons:

  • Somewhat simplified gameplay compared to previous games
  • Slight technical problems

The general score is 8.75/10, broken down into several parts:

  • Gameplay – 9.25 (Playability: 9.5, Longevity: 9.5, Variety: 9, AI: 9)
  • Graphics – 8.25 (Appearance: 8.5, Animations: 8 )
  • Sound – 9.5 (Music: 9.5, Effects: 9.5)
  • Technical quality – 7.38 (Fluency: 7, Loading times: 8.5)
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Polish dialogue details

Grzegorz Wons, the Polish Neeson

Grzegorz Wons, the Polish Neeson

Cenega, the Polish publisher of Fallout 3 confirmed that the release date will be the same as in Western Europe – October 31. They also announced that the actor to play Dad in the Polish version will be Grzegorz Wons. Funny thing is that like Neeson, he has a Star Wars connection – he was C3PO in the version dubbed in Polish.

Aside from Poland-specific stuff, the press release says that there are 1350 pages of dialogue in the game, and 2000 pages of text overall. Over 80 actors were used for the Polish dubbing, so it can be assumed that the number is similar for the original version. The Polish edition will let you choose between original English and Polish versions.

Fallout 3 Pirated

While we do not support nor condone piracy (do not expect us to post download links nor tolerate them in the comments), the story is too big and widespread now not to report it: Fallout 3 has found its way to torrent sites. Interestingly, despite claims of piracy killing PC gaming, it’s not the PC version that leaked, but the Xbox 360 one. A few Fallout 3 videos have found their way to Youtube, although they’ll probably be taken down soon.

This definitely sucks for Bethesda Softworks, since it’s almost 3 weeks before the game’s premiere. Since the game has gone gold some time ago and probably at least part of the game boxes are ready for shipment, will it cause them to release the game earlier?

Fallout 3 Interviews

Shrapnel, a resident of Rivet City

Shrapnel, a resident of Rivet City

Aside from the ShackNews interview with confirmation of no DRM in Fallout 3, there have been a few others in the recent batch of articles:

[Note from Killzig: Along with this recent avalanche of previews and interviews Bethsoft released 12 new screens that we’ve uploaded to the gallery. Enjoy.]

New Wave of Fallout 3 Previews

Two Enclave Eyebots

Two Enclave Eyebots

Looks like, after a period of silence, we’re in the middle of another (probably the final) big wave of Fallout 3 previews and interviews. To catch up with the news, I’ll just post a list of the previews that have appeared since Briosafreak’s last post instead of posting separately about each and every one of them:

Also, The Vault wiki now has a Fallout 3 Portal that serves as a hub for all information on the upcoming game.

Interplay Is Back

Project V13

Project V13 logo

This is not particularly fresh news, but since Briosa has been busy lately (let’s hope he’ll get better soon), I thought it’s good to at least help with catching up with the most important of the recent events.

Interplay is not only back with a new website, but the company has announced that Chris Taylor, another member of the original Fallout team, has joined Jason Anderson as a member of IPLY’s new development team:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, September 22, 2008 – Interplay Entertainment Corp. (OTC BB:IPLY) announced today the launch of an all-new web site at www.interplay.com.

The site, developed over the last several months, is designed to improve the company’s communication with customers, investors, and partners. The new site includes forums based on past and future Interplay games, a customer support section, detailed information on the company and its products, and much more.

The company also announced that Chris Taylor, a game designer who was a part of the original Fallout game development team at Interplay in 1994, has rejoined the company. Taylor will serve as Lead System Designer for “Project V13,” the working title of Interplay’s next generation Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMO) currently in development. Taylor joins other original Fallout team members on staff at Interplay’s internal game studio, which recently opened an office in Irvine, Calif. Additional development staff members continue to be hired as the project ramps-up.

Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Project V13 is, given that Interplay has licensed the rights to a Fallout MMORPG after selling the franchise to Bethesda.

For a summary of available information and some speculation about the project, see the Project V13 FAQ at The Vault.

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.