Amazon.co.uk Missteps

From Planet Fallout:

Amazon.co.uk has been sending e-mails for the people that pre-ordered the Fallout 3 Special Edition with some bad news:

Dear Customer,

We wanted to give you an update on the status of your order #XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX. We are sorry to report that the release of the following item has been cancelled:

“Fallout 3 UK Collectors Edition (PC)”

This item has now been cancelled from your order and we can confirm that you have not been charged for it. Please accept our apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience caused.

If you took advantage of a promotional offer when placing this order, this cancellation may affect your order’s eligibility for that offer. If you discover this to be the case, please contact customer service so that we may investigate. You can send an e-mail to customer service from the following URL:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/502564/ref=cs_hd_cus_1

You can still pre order the game in all the stores in the UK that have the Collectors Edition. Bad Amazon.

Fallout 3 Gold! It’s Official Now

Fallout 3 Special Edition, coming in October

Almost here

From the Official Site:

October 9, 2008 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company,  announced today that its highly anticipated title, Fallout® 3, has gone gold and will be available on store shelves and online in North America on October 28, in Europe and Australia on October 30, and in the UK on October 31. Developed at Bethesda Game Studios – creators of the 2006 Game of the Year,  The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®Fallout 3 is slated for release on the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows.

Fallout 3 has been the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken,” said Todd Howard, game director for Fallout 3. “It’s been a long journey and we’re really happy with how it turned out. We can’t wait for everyone to get a chance to play it.”

Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Set more than 200 years following a nuclear war, you can create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of Washington, D.C however you choose. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

Fallout 3’s first review is featured as this month’s cover story in Official Xbox Magazine, hitting subscribers now and on newsstands October 21. Hailed as one of the most anticipated games for 2008, Fallout 3 has already won numerous awards including Best of Show from the official Game Critics Awards at E3 2008, a selection voted on by an independent group of journalists from 36 leading North American media outlets that cover the videogame industry.

Fallout® 3 has been rated Mature by the ESRB.

XBox Focus Does a Silly Article

Worst article on Fallout 3 I’ve ever seen, in XBox Focus:

Fallout 3 has introduced a newer, more realistic system: rather than having one, almighty health bar for the entire body, there are different, specially designed bars for your head, torso and legs. While the words “health bars” may be synonymous with “1998” these days, the mixture that Fallout 3 is expecting to put into use can be something more realistic than anything you will ever see in, Call of Duty 4, Crysis or Bioshock (I don’t care what excuses Bioshock used to guise it’s recovery system, it was still the worst part about the game.)

The rest is equally funny, involuntarilly. Spotted at NMA.

GameStar.de Previews Fallout 3

From GameStar comes a a large article on Fallout 3, in German, here are some bits from a translation by Blintzler:

Our first step into the world of the 23rd century is on a hill. It’s warm and friendly; the wind rustles silently, mosquitos fly around our ears. All around us are the ruins of a civilization. The flat land stretches ahead and is littered with the black cubes of ruined apartment blocks and office buildings. Ripped farm houses overlook parched fields, bunches of tough yellow gras is the only visible vegation around, growing between the cracks in the road asphalt and around the burned remains of trees.[…]

Skelletal remains of power line poles run along the railroads lines. Highway bridges, once running high above the ground on pillars, now suddenly end in sheer drops. Their remains now serve as camps with burned out trucks as homes; from here, high above, they shoot down at the wild dogs and the hordes of double-headed brahmin, the mutated descendents of bovine ancestry who drinks from the radiative pools.Towards the horizon the mass of ruins starts to clump together, towards what was once a town and known as Washington, DC.[…]

In Megaton and other settlements we meet survivors, among them the disfigured ghouls. Everything we see – we can reach.That’s the beauty of the impressive view. But it has an ugly side, too, and it’s name is: Xbox 360 technology. Now console graphics doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad thing, far from the truth – some games are more beautiful on the Xbox then they are on the PC. But the Microsoft Box has the disadvantage that most games forego AA to make the game run more smoothly – as does FO3.  Because the PC Version builds up 1:1 on the console version, this means: visible stair effects especially on distant objects and mesh-structures (such as high voltage power poles). In addition – textures, especially close-up, are foggy and unsharp.

Thanks Incognito and Blinzler.

And I hope you had a happy Birthday Incognito.

XBox360 Fallout 3 Preview

It’s not a long one:

Survival in the wastes is a gruesome business. It’s a lonely one too. Under the game’s grim atomic sky you can walk for ages with only broken sections of motorway, brown desert, decaying houses and the occasional weather-beaten skeleton for company.

Sure, there are wild dogs, bloat-flies and propaganda-bleating eye-bots sent out by the power-grabbing false presidency of John Henry Eden (the leader of a faction known as the Enclave, brilliantly voiced by Malcolm McDowell), but ultimately a stroll through the wilderness is a solitary, haunting experience.

Then again, should a dash of the old ultra-violence be desired, indicators appear on your compass to inform you in which direction to head – but not how far away it is, or what it could be.

The first top-side settlement you’ll probably explore, however, is Megaton – the town that you are given the choice to either nuke or save through the medium of its central atom bomb. Us? We defused it, obtaining the deeds to a local shack and the free hair-cutting services of one Wadsworth the Robo-butler from a grateful populace.

A populace that would probably have been a lot less happy if they’d known we’d also spent the evening hacking their personal files, stealing from locked safes, buying hard drugs from the local dealer and (seriously) putting a live grenade in the pocket of a sleeping old woman and watching her frantically pat herself down searching for it, before exploding.

When Emil Speaks An Angel Gets Some Wings and a Beard

Emil Pagliarulo

Emil Pagliarulo

And Emil Pagliarulo decided to reply to an impromptu interview on the Bethesda Games Fallout 3 forum:

Can you target cars in VATS to explode?

Emil: No, you can’t. We actually experimented with that for a while, but found that the “battlefield” got so littered with “explodable” objects that you ended up having too many targets to cycle through, or the the camera would autozoom onto a car instead of the target you wanted, etc. So, like a lot of things, we started off that way, played the game and realized it didn’t work, and changed it.

Does stealing cost less -karma then murder?

Emil: Yes, definitely. I find that’s how I maintain my “Neutral” karma level with my current character (crazy Raider-looking girl named Fahrenheit) — I’ll generally be nice to people (which earns good karma), and then rip them off blind (which earns bad karma). If I were to go around murdering people, I’d jump pretty quickly down to “Evil.”

Can an evil character make a redeeming decision and become good and vice versa? (and it makes sense)

Emil:Yes! That became one of our big goals, actually — redemption. There are ways a completely good character can turn evil, but that’s easy — just go on a killing spree. But there are also ways for a completely evil character to turn good. You can complete quests in an obviously “good” way, donate money to a church, give purified water to a better, etc. etc. So yeah, we definitely support that.

I had one character who was totally evil. I blew up Megaton, went on a killing spree… and then Dogmeat taught me how to love. Role-playing FTW!

Every time Emil speaks on the forum there is much rejoicing in the Elves community and the Brotherhood groupies. Ausir isn’t very pleased with the last answer though. Thanks Incognito for the heads up.

Joystiq Fallout 3 Special

Fallout 3 booth at PAX/Picture Joystiq

Fallout 3 booth at PAX/Picture Joystiq

Joystiq also played Fallout 3 at PAX, and has an interesting piece to prove it. Here’s a snippet from some quick notes at the end:

  • On the topic of sex. “We haven’t pushed the limits with sex,” said Pagliarulo. “We found that the whole adult content thing, we knew we’d have crazy over-the-top violence and have kids in the game, and dealing with attacking them.” Pagliarulo cited Mass Effect as a game where it was important to the story. In Fallout 3, he said, he didn’t want to make sex “a joke and cheesy,” much like excessive profanity (a lot was cut out, apparently). “The closest you come to any of that is renting a room and [a woman] sleeps next to you. It’s implication.” That happens for either gender.
  • There are characters you can infer are gay. “We don’t make a big deal out of it,” he said. “To us, they’re people.”
  • Here’s an SAT analogy. Computers : Fallout 3 :: Books : Oblivion.
  • For more, check out our interview with Executive Producer Todd Howard.

Again thanks to Incognito.

Team XBox Interviews Howard

Not Todd Howard

Not Todd Howard

Team XBox interviews Todd Howard:

What are you doing right now, just tweaks and bug fixes?

Todd Howard: Yeah, bug fixes. And making sure because we have the three platforms – 360, PS3 and PC – that, you know, it’s going to be consistent quality across the board. Because we might tweak one thing on one of the platforms, and it has to trickle through the other ones. So that’s kind of the stage we’re in; late play bugs, things like that. Because the game is so big, and there are so many ways to play it – at the end of the day, no matter how much time we put into it, you get it out there to millions of people and if somebody is gonna find something they will, and we’ve just got to keep it to something that is not that embarrassing.

At this point you’re sort of content complete, but you guys are pretty creative. Do you find yourself still having ideas and saying, “oh man, we should do this, but it’s sort of too late.”

Todd Howard: Yeah, we put those right now in our downloadable content stack, because you have to stop at some point to be able to handle the bugs that come up from long term play. So now they go in the stack of “what do we want to do with downloadable content?” Because we’re definitely going to be doing a bunch. And we’d like to put them in meatier packages than just doing a one-off. Like, “here’s a weapon and here’s a new enemy”. We want to put them in themed packages that gives the player four or five hours of something that feels tight.

Fallout 3: The Whole Package

From the PAX booth - Picture GayGamer

From the PAX booth - Picture GayGamer

GayGamer takes a second look at Fallout 3 at PAX:

Entering the expo floor, it wasn’t hard to find the Fallout 3 booth with its neon sign and arrow pointing the way. Once I arrived I was thrilled to see that the Bethesda folks went all out in decorating their booth. A giant 50’s Airstream camper on a lawn of Astro-turf surrounded by a picket fence. One side was clean and shiny, featuring a nuclear family of 50’s mannequins sporting nifty vault suits while the other side had nuclear blasted mannequins covered with dirt and ash. It was quite effective and upon further inquiry, I discovered that the booth was put together by the special effects team that worked on The Hills Have Eyes remake. In my personal opinion, Bethesda won the prize for the best decorated both in all of PAX. Accompanying the booth were also some extremely well crafted promotional materials. Fallout 3, as they say, has the whole package.[…]

My second look at Fallout 3 was invigorating and definitely strengthened my resolve to clear out my gaming calendar before the game comes out. Much like my experience with Oblivion, I can tell I will be completely sucked into the world of Fallout 3 and hopefully you will too.

V3D and VATS at PAX

Image V3D

Image V3D

More PAX coverage, this time at VoodooExtreme:

Instead of going up the hill after entering the wastelands, I went down towards D.C. Instead. Todd and Emil were on-hand giving me tips as I went along. One of the major features that I didn’t use too much the first time I played was the VATS system. The concept of pausing combat, aiming at specific body parts, and queuing up attacks doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m glad I did though, as it was really cool.

Basically, when you get a bad guy in your sights, you press a button (on the PC you can put it to whatever you want, but if memory serves me correctly, it was the right trigger on the 360). Then you can scroll around and pick a region that you want to hit. The bigger the area, the better percentage to that specific part you have. Head shots (obviously) have more kill power than shooting someone in the leg, but you can literally blow different body parts off to cripple, disarm, or flat out gib your opponents.

Then, after selecting the region your shooting for, queue up the number of shots you want to take (it was “A” on the 360) then click the right bumper. How many shots can you take? That depends on how many action points you have saved up. They recharge over time, but typically you can spam like four or five at once if the demo was any indication. The VATS system works with both ranged and melee weapons, so that’s a bonus as well.

Moving on, I tried a few different quests this time around. I wasn’t able to play everything, as some were extremely spoiler-riffic, but I managed to meet a few new non-player characters and get my mass destructification on. The highlight (there wasn’t even a close second) was finding a fully functional flame-thrower.

Spotted at NMA.