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September 6th, 2007, 15:05
I was completely unable to enjoy Freelancer because I kept comparing it to StarLancer and the Wing Commander games (it was a Roberts production after all). All I saw was missed opportunities and "could-have-beens".

Had I just seen the game for it was instead of what it could have been I might have it enjoyed it.

Since then I have tried my best NOT to expect too much or to expect the wrong things from a game and that made me able to fully enjoy Oblivion for what it WAS instead of what I may have felt that it SHOULD have been. The same goes for Bioshock. By NOT expecting a System Shock 3 and by listening when Ken Levine repeatedly said: "Bioshock is a SHOOTER first and foremost" I have had one of the best gaming experiences in a LONG time playing Bioshock.

Now, let's look at the facts shall we:

1) By the time Fallout 3 will be available to the public a decade will have passed since Fallout 2. This fact alone should indicate that with the advancements in hardware, software and the gaming market/awareness there is no way in heck that Fallout 3 will be like the first two games. Even if it would be made by the same company and the same people, the game would still be significantly different.

2) As we all know it is NOT the same company or the same people that will make the Fallout 3 game. I'm sure that if you had R. A. Salvatore write a sequel to Tolkien's LoTR it would be an interesting and entertaining read, but it wouldn't be a Tolkien book and thus wouldn't "feel" like proper sequel to LoTR. The same applies to Fallout 3. I have no doubt the Bethesda's vision of the Fallout franchise will result in a great game, but I seriously doubt that the game will take the shape or form that *I* would have expected from a third installment of the Fallout games.

3) The focus on particular gameplay elements/mechanics in the former Black Isle Studios and Bethesda is very different. The BIS approach was about dialog and story in an existing engine where the Bethesda approach is more about what you can see and the sandbox feeling in their own engine. Either approach can produce great results or not so great results, but the main thing is that they are different results.

What we have seen so far of the game and what we can gather by the many interviews, there is no doubt in my mind that Fallout 3 will be nothing like what I would have expected from a sequel to Fallout 2. I can now either choose to bitch and moan and hope that the end result will be something that it should be obvious for all to see by now that it will NOT be … or I can choose to make the best of it, not expect what is clearly not going to happen, and just try to enjoy the game for what it is and not for what it should have been.

Words of wisdom or words of folly? You decide, but in the words of the librarian in Dawn of War: "Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment" or in this case "Expectations is the first step on the road to disappointment".

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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