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July 17th, 2008, 00:58
I'm not sticking to the E3 days very well, am I? Oh, well, here's another collection of Fallout 3 links.
Let's start with a GameSpot video of Todd Howard (linked via the Bethblog) doing a demo. It's starts off with familiar footage but over the 21 minutes, also includes questions from GameSpot readers.
Next is Games Radar's 11 Ways Fallout 3 will Kick Oblivion's Ass. Examples include better gore, twice as much going on (yeah, sounds like they mean events but they mean twice the on-screen graphic detail), actual dialogue and so on:
7. Moral decisions actually carry weight and relevance
In Oblivion, your moral "choices" largely amounted to "do this task and get a reward" or "ignore this task and get nothing." While you could wander off and follow completely different plotlines for as long as you wanted, ultimately you didn't have any real effect on the game's plot - you just chose how you wanted to follow it.
Fallout 3, meanwhile, will enable you to approach major events in different ways, and the choices you make will determine how they play out. In the early parts of the game, for example, a creepy guy named Burke will ask you to destroy the struggling little town of Megaton by detonating a dormant atomic bomb at its heart. You can do as he asks, report him to the authorities or try to kill him yourself. For that matter, you can kill just about anybody, depending on how much of a bastard you want to be. (Child-killing won't be a possibility, however, which probably comes as sad news for any longtime Fallout fans out there.) Just be prepared to deal with the consequences of your actions - life in the wasteland is harsh, and retribution is harsher.
Shack has Mixed Impressions from a Fallout Fanboy:
After reloading the game, I had a long chat with my murderer. The dialogue engine is indeed reminiscent of Oblivion, but after noticing this, I never gave it a second thought. Instead, I was focused on learning about the town, looking for quests, and more typical Fallout goals.
Overall I would say that the demo area dialogue clearly eclipsed Oblivion's writing, but did not quite match the effectiveness of Fallout. There was certainly an edge to it all, as evidenced by the wanton use of vulgar language and themes—see the opening quote from the Sheriff. A few mildly humorous moments were produced by said vulgarity. But none of the characters caught me off guard or engaged me in the same way that Fallout did, and the voice acting was sometimes rather wooden.
It was a short demo, and an early area, and the game is not finished, so I can not judge it based on this first taste. Suffice it to say, the tone of dialogue was close, but not right on. I was entertained, but not surprised.
…and then on to standard previews:
More information.

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July 17th, 2008, 00:58
More critical preview from gamekult:

"If it's too soon to give a final judgement about this game, one has to admit that our first hour with the game at the E3 made us rather think of a somewhat clever Fallout mod for Oblivion than a real sequel of the Black Isle series. Whether it is at a design level, gameplay or the general feeling of the game, we are having a hard time making the link with the previous episodes of the post apocalyptic franchise. It does not mean that we did not enjoy Fallout 3, which should probably find an audience among Oblivion fans, probably growing tired of perpetual heroic fantasy universes…However, among fanatics of the "good era", it seems rather unlikely that Fallout 3 could manage to make them forget what could have been if Black Isle did not fall at the end of 2003."
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July 17th, 2008, 02:33
There's an absolutely massive wave of hands-on previews, most of them negative, some of them from a telling FPS perspective (GamePro and Team Xbox) and one shockingly negative, really slamming Fallout 3 Wired.

Also, a nicely detail HD video showing the hacking + VATS method and the blind FPS shooting method for crossing the bridge in the public gameplay demo.

Dhruin: feel free to rip off NMA a bit. The E3 tides are always a pain.
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July 17th, 2008, 03:39
Thanks - I left FO3 to last and ended up rushing, so I didn't really take a good look at NMA.

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July 17th, 2008, 08:52
Most of them negative? I read all of them and found most to be positive. Only the wired one was actually negative, and even he only felt the game would be poor to the die hard fallout fans.
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July 17th, 2008, 13:53
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Most of them negative? I read all of them and found most to be positive. Only the wired one was actually negative, and even he only felt the game would be poor to the die hard fallout fans.
People often work under the assumption that most of the world agrees with them.
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July 17th, 2008, 17:11
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Most of them negative?
Sorry, no idea why I typed that. Always juggling multiple threads, me, and sometimes words cross-slip. Obviously, I meant to say "most of them positive", since that's what they are.
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July 17th, 2008, 17:57
I found this part of that Wired article quite funny:

The key problem with the game though is in the writing. It really feels like someone wrote a fanfic based on the Fallout universe and somehow got the funding to create a game based on it. Though the story and characters are suitably gritty and conflicted, none of them are terribly likeable and the entire thing simply feels like it's trying too hard to adhere to the tenets of its predecessors.
Of course the "true Fallout fans" could make a Fallout 3 that didn't come off like this. Give me a break.
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July 17th, 2008, 18:02
I also wish that some of these journalists would quit speaking for fans of the "good era" of Fallout, as it's awfully presumptuous. Fallout and Fallout 2 are among my favourite games of all-time, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy Fallout 3 without being distracted by "what could have been" if Black Isle were still around.
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July 17th, 2008, 18:47
Originally Posted by Keldryn View Post
Of course the "true Fallout fans" could make a Fallout 3 that didn't come off like this. Give me a break.
Eh?

How does he even remotely begin to imply that? He's previewing a professionally made game with a big budget, y'know, not talking about the capabilities of fans.

Originally Posted by keldryn
Fallout and Fallout 2 are among my favourite games of all-time, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy Fallout 3 without being distracted by "what could have been" if Black Isle were still around.
So go ahead and enjoy it. Quite a few previewers mention being fans of the originals, recognize the changes and then say it doesn't bother them. So they agree with you. Why would it bother you when other people do not? "What could have been" does distract some people. It doesn't distract you. Well and good, so what's the problem when previewers that agree or don't agree with you speak their opinion?
Last edited by Brother None; July 17th, 2008 at 19:02.
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July 17th, 2008, 19:11
Im both fallout and elder scroll (fantasy doom with rpg elements) fan so I cant be disappointed allthough I have to say the last two ES games would be much less fun without the mods - I consider the editor an integral part of the series.

I hope they have editor in fallout3 too. The quest arrow is one of the first things I would remove if it works exactly like in oblivion.

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July 17th, 2008, 20:37
Originally Posted by Keldryn View Post
I found this part of that Wired article quite funny:



Of course the "true Fallout fans" could make a Fallout 3 that didn't come off like this. Give me a break.
I think it's more about the poor quality writing that is in all Bethesda games.
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July 17th, 2008, 20:41
Originally Posted by Cabezone View Post
I think it's more about the poor quality writing that is in all Bethesda games.
They did make redguard that had an excellent story & dialogues. ES series is more like an attempt to create a perfect sandbox rpg than a classic rpg with solid story and dialogues.

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July 17th, 2008, 23:06
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
They did make redguard that had an excellent story & dialogues. ES series is more like an attempt to create a perfect sandbox rpg than a classic rpg with solid story and dialogues.
Spot on IMHO.
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July 17th, 2008, 23:38
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
They did make redguard that had an excellent story & dialogues. ES series is more like an attempt to create a perfect sandbox rpg than a classic rpg with solid story and dialogues.
You can't just use the words "sandbox" and give them a pass for bad story and writing.
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July 17th, 2008, 23:50
Originally Posted by Cabezone View Post
You can't just use the words "sandbox" and give them a pass for bad story and writing.
In ES series story and dialogue has always been secondary. Apart from the huge sandbox world filled with thousands of NPCs the first game was barely more than a fantasy doom (the 1st doom) with light rpg elements. If you want excellent story & dialogue I would not recommend the ES series, because thats not what the series is about.

That doesnt however mean that they cant make games with good story and dialogue - redguard alone proves that. Its just a matter of priorities.

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Last edited by zakhal; July 18th, 2008 at 00:12.
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July 18th, 2008, 08:17
Elderscrolls games have always had extreme flaws.

What good is a sandbox if it's largely empty? You need a decent bucket and spoon at least.

The world in Oblivion is beautiful, i'll grant that. But it's hollow. 95% of the dungeons are completely cookie cutter, and there's no point in exploring the world - because there are no secrets that stand out. Once you've explored a few dungeons, you've pretty much seen what there is to explore. The Oblivion Gates were even more repetitive. Having a wide open and huge world is nice - indeed - but when all variation consists of different colored textures and trees, it's just not interesting enough. You MUST give an incentive to explore, and in Oblivion the incentive is an illusion. Some people fall for it - and I was among them for a while - but eventually you'll find that beyond the main quest lines (most of which were totally derivative - except for the Dark Brotherhood line) - there's really not much to see here.

If you want to make a sandbox, make it interesting. The Gothic games handled this aspect MUCH better, even if their worlds weren't quite so big. Heck, even Ultima IX did a lot better with a very varied world and great dungeons.

But that doesn't even begin to cover the flaws of the Elderscrolls series. I consider Oblivion the overall best of the bunch, but even that is riddled with totally mundane gameplay. The character system, which has always been poor, has devolved slightly with each iteration since Daggerfall (which was improved from Arena). What can you look forward to, developing your character? Oh great, now I have 37% in Blade - what a difference!

The sense of becoming stronger is almost invisible, and that's something most RPG fans would consider integral to such a game. They did attempt something with the powers you get every 25%, but unfortunately they're too slow in coming and too dull in practice.

The "design your own stuff" system for spells and magic items is nice in theory, but it makes for some pretty bland magic and gear. Take a hint from D&D or Diablo, and make interesting unique items instead of varying the percentages a bit.

I will give them credit where it's due, and say that the world is the most aesthetically pleasing fantasy world I've ever seen in a game - but that's about it. Oh, and the Dark Brotherhood quest line kept me entertained despite the awfully boring gameplay, so there is that as well.

The gameplay was always hollow, and Oblivion is no exception - though it IS somewhat improved from Morrowind. Sadly, the story and setting took a nose dive.
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