Some more previews, most of them spotted at NMA:
If you don’t have enough Action Points to attack using VATS you can still fight as if it were a standard first or third-person shooter. After a couple VATS fights with wild dogs we tried approaching it as a straight-forward shooter and found that it was faster and easier to take out the enemies that way.
So why use VATS when you can just run-and-gun your way through? As Executive Producer Todd Howard told us VATS ensures more critical hits and allows some strategic choices like deciding whether to destroy an enemy’s leg to hinder movement or their arm to make them drop their weapon. Frankly the low-level monsters we were fighting – wild dogs and fire ant warriors – didn’t pose a big enough threat or much opportunity to engage in strategy.
I loved Fallout 2 as much as the next PC gamer but some of the early fights, like when you’re beating rats to death with a stick, get a tad tedious using turn-based combat. Tedious? Actually I found them to be soul-destroyingly boring. Thankfully, this won’t be a problem with Fallout 3.
While we’d like to see the accuracy of real-time fire increased a bit, it’s clear that the reduced precision comes as a way of balancing use of V.A.T.S. Still, combat is full of visceral thrills. One particularly cool scene during our time with the game took place when blasting a raider at point blank range, first with a pistol and then with a baseball bat. The action slows down and shows you’re kill shot in all of its bloody glory. This is without a doubt an eye popping game and is certainly M rated. The combat looks wonderfully brutal.
Fallout 3 distinguishes itself with this inventive combat system and we’re pleasantly surprised at how well it works. Longtime adherents to the franchise shouldn’t worry that their beloved universe has been torn to shreds in some shooter, as Bethesda looks to succeed in revitalizing it with a sequel that retains the spirit of the series while introducing interesting new element. The game should be ready to roll this fall.
I was one of the purists who believed that a Fallout FPS would not be nearly as effective as the isometric games we are used to. Well, I am man enough to admit when I am wrong and I tell you now: I was wrong. During that half hour, not only did the first or third-person perspective increase immersion into the Fallout universe, it also gave the new combat system a much more approachable interface.
Fruit Brute and I got a few tightly-scheduled moments with Fallout 3 last week, and the experience managed to be all I’d hoped and familiar at the same time. What’s familiar is the lore and world of Fallout, which Bethesda has managed to reproduce and elaborate upon in a way that only a company that focuses on complete world building can do. Fallout purists may still resent Bethesda’s position, but as a die-hard Fallout fan myself, I was more than satisfied.
What’s also familiar is the control scheme and general gameplay environment – if you’ve played Oblivion, you’ll find a lot of familiar elements here. That’s no surprise, of course, as we’ve known this would be both a Fallout game and a Bethesda game, but the menu system, camera, and basic control layout are all more or less the same.
This will all be familiar to Fallout fans, but seeing this combat system integrated so well into a next-gen 3D game has us very excited. We came away from the game thinking that Bethesda was the perfect choice for the game. They know how to make incredible, living worlds on a huge scale and clearly know and understand the Fallout franchise inside out.
As you play Fallout 3 you’ll constantly be reminded of Oblivion, but you’ll also be experiencing something unique and new. For fans of the series, this will be set in a universe you know and love. We’re very interested in seeing more of this title — particularly the narrative and character development. The thirty minutes of hands-on we had went by far too quickly.