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Default Fallout 3 - Hands On @ Eurogamer

August 12th, 2008, 15:18
Eurogamer concerned that the dialogue system isn't as progressive as Mass Effect's.
Bad news first: when it comes to dialogue, Fallout 3 remains something of a stubborn throwback, unwilling to step away from traditional one-on-one interrogation mechanics and explore the new possibilities of a post-Mass Effect world. With no hint of radial selection or keyword attitude choices which seemed likely to become the RPG's version on Halo's rechargeable shield - a genre standard by virtue of near-unanimous theft - instead, a quick introductory conversation with the mayor of Megaton reveals that Fallout 3 is sticking with a system largely unchanged from the days of Monkey Island.
In other words, there's a selection of detailed conversation starters giving way to a deep tangle of dialogue trees. While these trees are impressively large, and the dialogue itself is fairly snappy and pretty good at providing a sense of individual character when the voice acting stumbles, the system remains oddly basic given the pleasant surprises Mass Effect was constantly delivering in the way your quick choices actually played out. There's nothing broken about Fallout 3's system, it's just no longer the best one available.
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August 12th, 2008, 15:18
Interesting. Everything the reviewer didn't like sounded promising to me… and, perhaps, vice versa.
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August 12th, 2008, 15:31
How is the mass effect thing so great compared to say baldurs gate? Choices are the same good, neutral and bad. Two different dialogue skills that provide extra paths? Fallout3 has only one iirc.

With no hint of radial selection or keyword attitude choices
Its all about the radial and keywords?

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August 12th, 2008, 15:37
The "normal system" simply has a muted main character, selecting sentences, and then hearing the reply from the NPC. This works as well, but it never quite feels like a dialogue. I actually like to hear my main character participate in the conversation, so I prefer systems that allows this.
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August 12th, 2008, 15:37
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Its all about the radial and keywords?
I had a similar impression; keep in mind that the dialogue in Mass Effect is now considered the latest technology in dialogues.

I had the impression as if the reviewer wanted the latest technology of no matter what - but in this case the form of dialogue.

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August 12th, 2008, 15:43
The handling of the dialog in Mass Effect was great but the conversations were fairly shallow. Having a deep conversation tree sounds good too. Not every game has to be the same that way.
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August 12th, 2008, 15:44
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The "normal system" simply has a muted main character, selecting sentences, and then hearing the reply from the NPC. This works as well, but it never quite feels like a dialogue. I actually like to hear my main character participate in the conversation, so I prefer systems that allows this.
RPGs have had talking main characters for years i.e gothic series iirc.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I had a similar impression; keep in mind that the dialogue in Mass Effect is now considered the latest technology in dialogues.
He had one quick chat with one character and hes sure the game has no keywords at all? Keywords are nothing new in rpgs.

a quick introductory conversation with the mayor of Megaton

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August 12th, 2008, 15:53
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
RPGs have had talking main characters for years i.e gothic series iirc.
I don't think Maylander was trying to suggest otherwise, but I agree that the majority of RPG's use a silent protagonist.
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August 12th, 2008, 16:06
Talking main char makes it more personal true. Atleast in mass effect. But that game has facial expressions too (and detailed faces) and lots of good animation.

Gothic didnt and its speech never quite catched me like ME. I hardly even remembered that gothic had talking main char.

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August 12th, 2008, 17:23
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The "normal system" simply has a muted main character, selecting sentences, and then hearing the reply from the NPC. This works as well, but it never quite feels like a dialogue. I actually like to hear my main character participate in the conversation, so I prefer systems that allows this.

Agree. I like the keyword system more than the usual "What you see is what you get" dialog system.
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August 12th, 2008, 17:42
The problem with the ME version of dialogue, which I experienced a few times, is that your chr ends up saying something completely different than what you thought he would say. Either because it was a mistake in the game or that I simply weren't able to understand my keyword the right way.
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August 12th, 2008, 18:06
I think the dialogue system in ME was very good, but I think it takes away from the immersion of playing a role. It feels more like an interactive movie with me directing a character instead of becoming the character, a concept of which I'm not a huge fan.

I prefer to imagine my own personality and voice, and I also prefer to know PRECISELY what I'm going to say when I click something.

However, for the kind of game ME was, it worked very well - which is to say that I don't think much of the roleplaying aspect of that game.
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August 12th, 2008, 18:08
I would assume that making a version of dialogue as in ME takes a fair bit of money and time, possibly hurting money and time available for other sections of the game. So the developers must really consider how important the dialogue system is when compared to other modules.

Plus I can't say I loved ME's system to that extent. The voices gave the game life, but at the same time the dialogue chocies where always nice/neutral/aggressive and it really makes the gave feel like its on rails.
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August 12th, 2008, 18:39
So long as it avoids the bland generic sameness of the dialogue in Oblivion, I don't really care. Voiceless dialogue was fine for fallout 1 & 2. Not saying we should go backwards and make the npcs voiceless as well, but this is not really a big deal so long as the writing is solid.
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August 12th, 2008, 19:25
I think the dialogue system in Mass Effect sucked in terms of presentation; the whole dial was calculable and the answers were always arranged according to Paragon-Neutral-Renegade scheme. I prefer dialogue trees, but woe the lack of voice from the protagonist.

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August 12th, 2008, 21:25
Grrrr, the guy didn't even say if he was looking at the PC or console version. Radial menus are nice for consoles but I didn't like it on my PC. I would much rather just hit a number.

I don't know what the guy is talking about wrt dialog trees. Mass Effect had them, too.

As for speaking protagonists, that all depends. Gothic and Witcher had speaking parts but neither of them let you customize your character gender, either. Mass Effect let you pick between male and female but each only had one voice. Also, Mass Effect was a relatively short game with a lot of action in it, so I suspect it had fewer lines of dialog for the main character to say. Fallout 3 is looking at 100 hours of play compared to Mass Effect coming it at, oh, 30 hours or so.

I wonder if voice alteration will start getting into games like this? They've got it in Soul Calibur 4. Instead of just picking from a list of voices like in Neverwinter Nights, you pick from a speech style then you also pick a pitch/timbre and the computer alters the actor's voice accordingly. So you could pick that gal with the southern drawl then tune the pitch down a bit to fit your character a little better.
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August 12th, 2008, 22:01
I prefer to hear my character. Its just more immersive that way. I sometimes feel myself like a lonely spectator when my character is completly mute while others keep talking. Nameless hero's voice was a big part of his charm. He sounded just perfect. Like an ordinary guy. Geralt's and Jc's voices also fitted perfectly to their characters. Then again sometimes it just doesn't work at all. As much as i loved Arx fatalis, I so prayed that Am shegar would lose his voice once and for all. Can there be worse voiceacting than his perfomance?! Hmm maybe all the npcs in two worlds..

On the other hand I can live finely without voiced main character. Baldur's gates and other rpg classics have proved that. Maybe the bottom line is that if you decide to give a voice to your main character, make sure its a good one!
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August 12th, 2008, 22:29
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
As much as i loved Arx fatalis, I so prayed that Am shegar would lose his voice once and for all. Can there be worse voiceacting than his perfomance?!

I can't believe it's been so long since I played Arx that I can't even remember what the player-character sounded like. I couldn't even remember if he was voiced or not.

Great game though…..
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August 12th, 2008, 23:04
Zakhal: There have been several mentions that other attributes, skills, and perks will give extra dialog choices then just your speech skill and personality.

I hated the dialog system of Mass Effect for several reasons. For one it was hard to use on my computer. I also hated not having control over what my character says.
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August 12th, 2008, 23:19
I think the Eurogamer reviewer needs to remind himself that Mass Effect's dialogue system were supposed to be be 'cinematic' as in you're the star in B-movie in which your choices effect the plot and the story; Fallout 3's goal re: dialogue is another one: To give you access to what your character really says, not making a movie-like experience.

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