Your donations keep RPGWatch running!

Fallout 3 - All News

Show news in a year(yyyy), month(yyyy/mm) or day:
Show news of type:
Sunday - July 20, 2014
Wednesday - July 02, 2014
Friday - March 21, 2014
Tuesday - February 18, 2014
Tuesday - January 21, 2014
Monday - January 06, 2014
Monday - December 30, 2013
Friday - October 25, 2013
Friday - September 13, 2013
Thursday - August 22, 2013
Wednesday - May 08, 2013
Monday - October 01, 2012
Sunday - September 16, 2012
Monday - February 06, 2012
Thursday - January 27, 2011
Tuesday - January 25, 2011
Tuesday - January 04, 2011
Thursday - December 09, 2010
Wednesday - October 13, 2010
Thursday - August 26, 2010
Sunday - July 18, 2010
Monday - June 21, 2010
Wednesday - May 05, 2010
Saturday - April 24, 2010
Tuesday - March 23, 2010
Monday - March 22, 2010
Thursday - February 25, 2010
Thursday - February 11, 2010
Saturday - November 28, 2009
Sunday - November 01, 2009
Monday - October 26, 2009
Tuesday - October 13, 2009
Thursday - September 17, 2009
Saturday - August 29, 2009
Sunday - August 16, 2009
Thursday - August 13, 2009
Tuesday - August 11, 2009
Sunday - August 09, 2009
Thursday - August 06, 2009
Tuesday - August 04, 2009
Monday - August 03, 2009
Saturday - August 01, 2009
Thursday - July 30, 2009
Wednesday - July 29, 2009
Wednesday - July 22, 2009
Tuesday - July 21, 2009
Monday - July 20, 2009
Saturday - July 18, 2009
Tuesday - July 14, 2009
Monday - July 13, 2009
Friday - July 10, 2009
Thursday - July 09, 2009
Monday - July 06, 2009
Thursday - July 02, 2009
Friday - June 26, 2009
Thursday - June 25, 2009
Wednesday - June 24, 2009
Tuesday - June 23, 2009
Monday - June 22, 2009
Friday - June 19, 2009
Thursday - June 18, 2009
Wednesday - June 17, 2009
Monday - June 15, 2009
Friday - June 12, 2009
Tuesday - June 09, 2009
Monday - June 08, 2009
Thursday - June 04, 2009
Wednesday - June 03, 2009
Tuesday - June 02, 2009
Thursday - May 28, 2009
Thursday - May 21, 2009
Wednesday - May 20, 2009
Thursday - May 14, 2009
Wednesday - May 13, 2009
Monday - May 11, 2009
Saturday - May 09, 2009
Thursday - May 07, 2009
Wednesday - May 06, 2009
Monday - May 04, 2009
Saturday - May 02, 2009
Thursday - April 30, 2009
Wednesday - April 29, 2009
Monday - April 27, 2009
Saturday - April 25, 2009
Friday - April 24, 2009
Thursday - April 23, 2009
Wednesday - April 22, 2009
Wednesday - April 08, 2009
Friday - April 03, 2009
Thursday - April 02, 2009
Wednesday - April 01, 2009
Tuesday - March 31, 2009
Monday - March 30, 2009
Friday - March 27, 2009
Thursday - March 26, 2009
Wednesday - March 25, 2009
Tuesday - March 24, 2009
Wednesday - March 18, 2009
Saturday - March 14, 2009
Thursday - March 12, 2009
Wednesday - March 11, 2009
Tuesday - March 10, 2009
Thursday - March 05, 2009
Wednesday - March 04, 2009
Monday - March 02, 2009
Saturday - February 28, 2009
Tuesday - February 24, 2009
Sunday - February 22, 2009
Friday - February 20, 2009
Wednesday - February 18, 2009
Friday - February 13, 2009
Monday - February 09, 2009
Saturday - February 07, 2009
Wednesday - February 04, 2009
Tuesday - February 03, 2009
Thursday - January 29, 2009
Wednesday - January 28, 2009
Tuesday - January 27, 2009
Monday - January 26, 2009
Thursday - January 22, 2009
Tuesday - January 20, 2009
Friday - January 16, 2009
Thursday - January 15, 2009
Wednesday - January 14, 2009
Tuesday - January 13, 2009
Thursday - January 08, 2009
Wednesday - December 31, 2008
Sunday - December 21, 2008
Thursday - December 18, 2008
Wednesday - December 17, 2008
Tuesday - December 16, 2008
Monday - December 15, 2008
Friday - December 12, 2008
Thursday - December 11, 2008
Monday - December 08, 2008
Thursday - December 04, 2008
Tuesday - December 02, 2008
Friday - November 28, 2008
Wednesday - November 26, 2008
Tuesday - November 25, 2008
Saturday - November 22, 2008
Thursday - November 20, 2008
Wednesday - November 19, 2008
Tuesday - November 18, 2008
Monday - November 17, 2008
Friday - November 14, 2008
Thursday - November 13, 2008
Tuesday - November 11, 2008
Friday - November 07, 2008
Thursday - November 06, 2008
Wednesday - November 05, 2008
Tuesday - November 04, 2008
Monday - November 03, 2008
Saturday - November 01, 2008
Thursday - October 30, 2008
Wednesday - October 29, 2008
Tuesday - October 28, 2008
Monday - October 27, 2008
Sunday - October 26, 2008
Friday - October 24, 2008
Thursday - October 23, 2008
Wednesday - October 22, 2008
Monday - October 20, 2008
Thursday - October 16, 2008
Tuesday - October 14, 2008
Monday - October 13, 2008
Thursday - October 09, 2008
Wednesday - October 08, 2008
Tuesday - October 07, 2008
Friday - October 03, 2008
Thursday - October 02, 2008
Sunday - September 28, 2008
Saturday - September 27, 2008
Thursday - September 25, 2008
Wednesday - September 24, 2008
Tuesday - September 23, 2008
Friday - September 19, 2008
Thursday - September 18, 2008
Wednesday - September 17, 2008
Monday - September 15, 2008
Wednesday - September 10, 2008
Sunday - September 07, 2008
Thursday - September 04, 2008
Monday - September 01, 2008
Sunday - August 31, 2008
Saturday - August 30, 2008
Friday - August 29, 2008
Wednesday - August 27, 2008
Monday - August 25, 2008
Friday - August 22, 2008
Wednesday - August 20, 2008
Tuesday - August 19, 2008
Monday - August 18, 2008
Sunday - August 17, 2008
Wednesday - August 13, 2008
Tuesday - August 12, 2008
Monday - August 11, 2008
Thursday - August 07, 2008
Wednesday - August 06, 2008
Tuesday - August 05, 2008
Monday - August 04, 2008
Saturday - August 02, 2008
Friday - August 01, 2008
Wednesday - July 30, 2008
Monday - July 28, 2008
Sunday - July 27, 2008
Friday - July 25, 2008
Thursday - July 24, 2008
Wednesday - July 23, 2008
Tuesday - July 22, 2008
Monday - July 21, 2008
Sunday - July 20, 2008
Thursday - July 17, 2008
Wednesday - July 16, 2008
Monday - July 14, 2008
Saturday - July 12, 2008
Friday - July 11, 2008
Thursday - July 10, 2008
Wednesday - July 09, 2008
Tuesday - July 08, 2008
Monday - July 07, 2008
Saturday - July 05, 2008
Wednesday - July 02, 2008
Monday - June 30, 2008
Wednesday - June 25, 2008
Tuesday - June 24, 2008
Thursday - June 19, 2008
Wednesday - June 18, 2008
Monday - June 16, 2008
Thursday - June 12, 2008
Saturday - June 07, 2008
Monday - June 02, 2008
Sunday - June 01, 2008
Friday - May 30, 2008
Thursday - May 29, 2008
Wednesday - May 28, 2008
Wednesday - May 21, 2008
Tuesday - May 20, 2008
Monday - May 19, 2008
Friday - May 16, 2008
Thursday - May 15, 2008
Friday - May 09, 2008
Thursday - May 08, 2008
Wednesday - May 07, 2008
Monday - May 05, 2008
Friday - May 02, 2008
Thursday - May 01, 2008
Tuesday - April 29, 2008
Sunday - April 27, 2008
Friday - April 25, 2008
Wednesday - April 23, 2008
Monday - April 21, 2008
Friday - April 18, 2008
Thursday - April 17, 2008
Wednesday - April 16, 2008
Sunday - April 13, 2008
Saturday - April 12, 2008
Thursday - April 10, 2008
Monday - April 07, 2008
Thursday - April 03, 2008
Wednesday - April 02, 2008
Monday - March 24, 2008
Saturday - March 22, 2008
Tuesday - March 11, 2008
Monday - March 10, 2008
Sunday - March 09, 2008
Tuesday - March 04, 2008
Monday - March 03, 2008
Wednesday - February 27, 2008
Monday - February 18, 2008
Friday - February 15, 2008
Monday - February 11, 2008
Saturday - February 02, 2008
Tuesday - January 29, 2008
Monday - January 28, 2008
Tuesday - January 22, 2008
Monday - January 21, 2008
Wednesday - January 16, 2008
Wednesday - January 09, 2008
Tuesday - January 08, 2008
Sunday - January 06, 2008
Tuesday - December 18, 2007
Tuesday - December 11, 2007
Tuesday - November 20, 2007
Monday - November 19, 2007
Saturday - November 17, 2007
Wednesday - November 14, 2007
Tuesday - November 13, 2007
Friday - November 09, 2007
Tuesday - November 06, 2007
Tuesday - October 30, 2007
Saturday - October 27, 2007
Thursday - October 25, 2007
Wednesday - October 24, 2007
Friday - October 19, 2007
Sunday - October 14, 2007
Thursday - October 11, 2007
Monday - October 01, 2007
Saturday - September 29, 2007
Wednesday - September 26, 2007
Saturday - September 15, 2007
Sunday - September 09, 2007
Wednesday - September 05, 2007
Saturday - September 01, 2007
Friday - August 31, 2007
Thursday - August 30, 2007
Wednesday - August 29, 2007
Tuesday - August 28, 2007
Monday - August 27, 2007
Saturday - August 25, 2007
Friday - August 24, 2007
Friday - August 17, 2007
Wednesday - August 15, 2007
Friday - August 10, 2007
Saturday - August 04, 2007
Thursday - August 02, 2007
Tuesday - July 31, 2007
Sunday - July 29, 2007
Thursday - July 26, 2007
Sunday - July 22, 2007
Saturday - July 21, 2007
Friday - July 20, 2007
Thursday - July 19, 2007
Wednesday - July 18, 2007
Monday - July 16, 2007
Sunday - July 15, 2007
Friday - July 13, 2007
Thursday - July 12, 2007
Wednesday - July 11, 2007
Monday - July 09, 2007
Saturday - July 07, 2007
Thursday - July 05, 2007
Tuesday - July 03, 2007
Monday - July 02, 2007
Sunday - July 01, 2007
Thursday - June 21, 2007
Wednesday - June 20, 2007
Monday - June 18, 2007
Sunday - June 17, 2007
Friday - June 15, 2007
Sunday - June 10, 2007
Wednesday - June 06, 2007
Tuesday - June 05, 2007
Wednesday - May 30, 2007
Saturday - May 26, 2007
Friday - May 25, 2007
Thursday - May 24, 2007
Tuesday - May 22, 2007
Wednesday - May 16, 2007
Tuesday - May 08, 2007
Sunday - May 06, 2007
Wednesday - May 02, 2007
Sunday - April 22, 2007
Thursday - April 19, 2007
Wednesday - April 18, 2007
Wednesday - March 28, 2007
Sunday - March 04, 2007
Wednesday - February 14, 2007
Tuesday - January 23, 2007
Saturday - January 20, 2007
Wednesday - November 22, 2006
Tuesday - November 21, 2006
Sunday - October 29, 2006
Tuesday - October 17, 2006
Box Art

Sunday - July 20, 2014

Fallout 3 - Game Developers & Bugs

by Couchpotato, 14:12

Pixelated Shawn Bird shares his opinion about how game developers should fix their games. He uses Fallout 3 as an example, and I agree with him.

Last year during one of the big Steam sales I finally got my hands on Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition for around $5 and I thought I was stealing it. That was until I sat down to play it and found that the game would constantly freeze and I would have to bring up my task manager to shut it down. At first I thought it might be a silly glitch, but then I learned that it was a deep rabbit hole of which there was no return.

I am not a PC gamer because I know my way around installing games and screwing with game files and folders. I only became a PC gamer about five years ago now and it is because of how easy Steam makes it to play games. Sure I had Diablo II and a few others back in the day, but for the most part PC gaming was out of my element and so I stayed away and stuck to consoles. Consoles, you know like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, hardware that could still play Fallout 3 on if I had it for those systems. I actually did own it for both of those systems at different times, but of course traded them in for that lustrous gaming credit to purchase other games.

I have put hundreds of hours into Fallout 3 and even all the DLC for it. I have completed 99% of all the game’s missions. I even collected all the bobbleheads on more than one occasion. So you might be asking “Why rebuy it?” Well I miss it, a lot and now on PC I can livestream it and/or make YouTube videos of me playing it and all the whacky things that happen. Fallout 3 is an amazing game, one of the most popular from last generation. It is the reason we all are clamoring for a Fallout 4, that and surely partially because of this whole debacle. That is what upsets me the most about this whole situation. If it was a game I didn’t care so much for I would just cut my loses and go on my way, but I love Fallout 3! It is even on my top ten list of games from last generation. I really want to play it again and unfortunately, I can’t under these circumstances.

Wednesday - July 02, 2014

Fallout 3 - Beaten In Under 24 Minutes

by Couchpotato, 04:29

Kotaku has news about a new speedrunner who beat Fallout 3 in under 24 minutes. Now I really don't care, but some of you might find this interesting.

Watch as speedrunner BubblesDelFuego jets across the capital wasteland, all in the name of speed. Bubbles manages to beat the game in an astounding 23:55, beating the previous record of 24:20.

The previous record for an "any percentage" run was also held by BubblesDelFuego, by the way. He beat his personal best, though you can look at the Fallout 3 leaderboard in this Google Doc here.

Bubbles makes use of many well-known Fallout 3 speedrunning strategies here, such as 'load clipping' (which allows you to move through objects as the game is loading), and 'dialogue skips' (quick-saving and quick-loading allows you to skip dialogue). These are glitches that are available to anyone who plays the game.

I'm amazed not just at the number of ways one can simply walk through geometry, but how many highly dangerous situations a player can simply...run through. Bubbles finds himself sailing through locations bursting with either super mutants or people equipped with power-armor, but nobody manages to stop him. Of course, knowing that he could simply run past everything didn't help, as I still found myself watching with panic.

Friday - March 21, 2014

Fallout 3 - Retro Review @ Press Start to Begin

by Couchpotato, 04:34

If your interested in reading a late review, and taking a poll for Fallout 3 then head on over to Press Start to Begin were they have both. Here is a small sample.

Fallout 3 came out in October 2008, roughly five and a half years ago. It won a large number of Game of the Year awards, deservedly so. It was one of the most revolutionary games of its time. It’s an open world FPS done right.  If you haven’t had the chance to play this game, get it. Be sure to get the Game of the Year edition, it comes with all the DLCs.

Much like leifofrohan3891 in her review of Fallout 3, I didn’t play this game when it was new. I was starting to get back into gaming at that time, playing games like Ultimate Alliance 1 and 2 as well as Dead Rising. I played Fallout 3 for the first time less than a month ago, only recently beating it. And I can tell you, I was impressed. The game held up well, offering better gameplay and graphics than a lot of modern games.

Tuesday - February 18, 2014

Fallout 3 - Retrospective @ Nouse

by Couchpotato, 05:46

Nouse takes a look back at Fallout 3 in this new retrospective.

This game revolutionised the way I looked at games. Yes it may have stolen many hours from my life but if you haven’t experienced any of the Fallout series this would be the perfect modern starting point; and if you just want to start a new game, the awesome nature of this game will be the greatest value for money I could ever think of.

Tuesday - January 21, 2014

Fallout 3 - Multiplayer Mod

by Couchpotato, 01:13

If you ever wanted to play Co-Op in Fallout 3 you can now thanks to a bunch of talented modders who finally released a mod called the Vault-Tec Multiplayer Mod.

This is an intermediate release with a lot of new features and fixes. It still lacks server-side damage calculation / hit detection, which is planned for gary 3. See this video using this release: http://fuch.si/dh

  • A lot of fixes and improvements
  • Huge extensions to server-side scripting interface
  • Inventory now completely server-sided, resolving several issues
  • Foundational / default scripts for getting started

Please update your version. Previous releases will no longer be able to use the master server.

Note: the Windows version of the server comes with pre-compiled foundational scripts. On Linux, you have to compile them yourself. Ask in the forums or checkout the makefile in the repository for help on this.

Monday - January 06, 2014

Fallout 3 - Windows Live Removed

by Couchpotato, 04:24

The Escapist Magazine has news that Bethesda will be removing Windows Live from Fallout 3. This shouldn't be a surprise as the service will be shutting down.

Fallout 3, Bethesda's open-world post-apocolyptic RPG, has recently had several strings pertaining to its Games for Windows Live functionality removed, according to the folks over at Neogaf.

Games for Windows Live has been dying a slow and agonizing death. The service, which was never really very popular from the start, saw several games abandon it last year before Microsoft finally threw up its hands and said "I give up".

With Fallout 3 set to have its GFWL functionality removed, it doesn't leave too many more games that rely on the service. Games that relied on the service as their sole point-of-sale, such as Gears of War and Halo 2, dissapeared for sale forever when the service shut down.

Monday - December 30, 2013

Fallout 3 - Ties that Bind Mod

by Couchpotato, 03:16

Ties that Bind is a new mod for Fallout 3 that adds a new family member to your journey through the game. I just started playing and so far it's enjoyable.

Ties that Bind - A Narrative Companion Mod

The mod was inspired by Liam Neeson's emotionally evocative portrayal of the player's father, and aims to build on this experience through a character who voices many of the natural responses the player has to the game's events. The tie between the player and Amanda will eventually grow even stronger than that with the father, as she is always with him/her through thick and thin, until the bitter end where her survival will rest in the player's hands.

Features

Ties that Bind features over 700 lines of dialogue, written by the same talent behind The Institute, and professionally voiced by actress Amanda Jane Herries. It promises a compelling story that adds to and enhances the original Fallout 3 narrative; including cutscenes, dynamic experience, and choices with genuine consequence.

You can download the mod off the nexus.

Friday - October 25, 2013

Fallout 3 - Retrospective @ Eurogamer

by Couchpotato, 01:04

Eurogamer has new article looking back at games that defined this generation, and Fallout 3 was one of them.

For many years the Fallout community was a strange place to lurk. An airtight vault, where denizens in musty blue uniforms would desperately bang on the inside of its thick metal door for attention. Day in. Day out.

They dreamt of a shared isometric past and the brown tint of forgotten wastelands. In truth, however, the prospect of the Van Buren project - a true Black Isle Fallout 3 - had died with the studio that created it.

Hope faded, and the water chip malfunctioned: the countdown to oblivion was well underway.

Their salvation was unexpected. Bethesda descended from upon high, and vowed to recreate Fallout in its own image. Underdog-rooters everywhere high-fived, Vault Boy gave a cheeky thumbs-up and there was much rejoicing.

The old guard Fallout faithful, however, feared 'Oblivion with Guns'. As it would turn out, perhaps, rightly so. The Bethesda takeover was like watching wads of foreign cash being injected into your favoured ailing football team - suddenly expected to play in front of bigger crowds, display fancier footwork and dispense with a long-maintained little-league mentality.

Fallout 3 however (alongside the likes of X-Com) came from the right place - a design team energised and invigorated by the approval of their teenage selves. It used the past as an intelligent stepping stone towards modern mass-appeal roleplay and, arguably, eased the passage of kickstarted re-apocalypses like Wasteland 2.

Today, even a half-thought dedicated to a post-Skyrim Fallout 4, running on the next generation consoles and modern PCs, can lead to a permanent and debilitating state of arousal.

Ron Perlman makes a habit of stating "War, war never changes" - it's his opening gambit at dinner parties. He must know, however, that it isn't true. War had to change, and Fallout had to change with it if it were ever going to survive outside the vault. The fans it left behind, the hardcore who thought it tainted by exposure to the outside world and cast it out, were saddened. That can't be denied. The way Fallout 3 strode out, blinked beneath an unfamiliar sun and went on to thrive, however, genuinely made it one of the greatest experiences of this generation.

Friday - September 13, 2013

Fallout 3 - Retrospective @ Will Ooi

by Couchpotato, 00:37

Will Ooi has a new retrospective on his blog about Fallout 3 were he writes that the game broke the fanbase in two.

The production of Fallout 3 had suffered through a long and sordid affair, with the rights to the franchise undergoing a protracted saga after the closing down of the series’ original development house, Black Isle Studios, and the cancellation of their vision of the third installment, codenamed Van Buren, before eventually leaving the grasp of a post-Brian Fargo Interplay (a memorable figure behind many revered 90′s RPGs who’s now back on the scene after Wasteland 2′s Kickstarter success) and landing in the hands of the Elder Scrolls developer, Bethesda Game Studios.

When this reimagined Fallout game did arrive in late 2008, a full decade after Fallout 2 (and not counting the best-forgotten console-market-focused Brotherhood of Steel, which incidentally existed at the expense of Black Isle’s version of Fallout 3 under disastrous new stewardship at Interplay) and with Morrowind and Oblivion lead Todd Howard at the helm, it did so with a Megaton bang. Despite the almost-unanimous critical acclaim and Game of the Year awards that left other big-hitting titles like GTA IV, Mass Effect, Bioshock and Metal Gear Solid 4 in the dust, another apocalypse was taking place over at the Fallout forums – chief among them No Mutants Allowed and the Fallout Wiki – with the existence of the latter an indication of both the richness of the series’ lore and commitment of its fanbase.

The ripple of complaints tore through quickly and in great intensity, with old school fans making known their feelings that Fallout 3 resembled and respected little of what had come before, more FPS than RPG and essentially a standalone title that sought to appeal to newcomers who had never played, or even heard of, the originals. Gone too was that West Coast of America setting, with Washington DC’s Capital Wasteland being undoubtably vast and detailed, but also severely lacking in internal consistency and logic – in 200 years since the war, how could these communities still live in squalor without any viable trade or agriculture? What, exactly, do they eat?

Thursday - August 22, 2013

RPGWatch Feature: Fallout 3 Retrospective

by Couchpotato, 01:19

Mogwins has provided us with an article were he takes a look back at Fallout 3.

Every music fan has a story of a much-loved artist who fell from grace upon hitting the big time. They're often deemed to have "sold out", or had their creativity compromised by the restrictions of a major label. Of course, many of these tales are simply I-knew-them-first elitism, while others are just the result of an artist's new direction no longer gelling with a fan's personal taste. Some of these stories, however, ring true: Mass-market appeal is often achieved at the expense of the very quirks and rough edges which were central to the original appeal. Assessing the quality of both music and games is intrinsically subjective, but any personal history makes merit-based judgement even more difficult...

Wednesday - May 08, 2013

Fallout 3 - Nukapedia Speaks to Erik Dellums

by Couchpotato, 04:49

Nukapedia talked with Erik Dellums who is best known for his role as "Three Dog". They talk about "That dog gone tweet", Fallout 3, and much more.

 

 

Monday - October 01, 2012

Fallout 4 - More Speculation @ Calitreview

by Dhruin, 22:45

You might recall a piece from a week or so back from the California Literary Review that speculated on Fallout 4 being set in Boston - they're back, speculating on other settings:

New York City?

Yes, yes, I know. I just spent a whole article saying western states are the heart of Fallout. But aside from the plot considerations I alluded to, there’s a major reason why the Boston rumor has as much credibility as it does.

Not only is the Northeast mostly untapped in the Fallout world, but considering the popularity of the game (and the supposed “lackluster” success of New Vegas) a direct, linear progression from Fallout 3 makes so much sense from a sales perspective that Bethesda would have to be pretty dumb to not follow up with Fallout: New Fan Service. Say what you will about their abilities as game designers – lord knows I have – they’re damn smart businessmen.

It seems that’s what happens when you dump all your points into Barter and Luck!

My argument for New York as opposed to Boston is simple: why settle for the opening act, when you’re really waiting for the headlining band? Like John Lennon said, New York City IS the Rome of the modern world, and there’s little reason this status would’ve changed by the time the bombs fell, so it seems inevitable that a Fallout game will get here eventually. If there’s going to be (ideally) alternating locations for the Fallout series, some in the East and some in the West, let’s just get to the Manhattan Project everyone’s expecting!

Source: No Mutants Allowed

Sunday - September 16, 2012

Fallout 3 - Boston doesn't belong in Fallout 4 @ California Literary Review

by Aries100, 23:21

The California Literary Review has an editorial about how Boston doesn't belong in Fallout 4. This is the first part of the post on the video game blog, the second part will deal with five places better than Boston for Fallout 4.  They see Fallout as a frontier tale set in the western states of the USA. An excerpt about this:

The two genres most dominant in Fallout – Post-Apocalypse and Western – are rather the same thing in a lot of ways. The frontier life is almost indistinguishable from living in a shattered civilization, apart from the technology available. Fallout is simply a Western epic but with lasers, and a well made one at that (unlike certain Favreau helmed projects). But while the Frontier Westerns are about the freedom of new lands and the promise of a new life found within wild borders, post-apocalyptic tales most often dwell in the anarchy of old lands and the slow death of the last among them. Fallout, in attempting to be the post-apocalypse with a sense of humor, had to find a way to coexist between these two extremes. It’s through the Southwestern setting, and all that came with it, that I feel Fallout found its true identity, it’s true balance. The heart of the desert, a place centered on the nothingness of empty space and the total freedom the player has to choose in this void. There is no major history to decay, for the place is timeless; there is no culture to lose, for the people are ongoing.

Source: RPG Codex

Monday - February 06, 2012

Fallout 3 - The Fundamental problem of Sympathetic Characters

by Myrthos, 12:57

Although not specifically on Fallout 3 (it uses it as a basis though ) an article is available on 'The problem With Story' about the problems the writer has with the character creation part of RPGs.

I could have chosen any RPG here. Demon’s Souls, Dragon Age, Skyrim, anything that uses a face and character creator. But clearly, Fallout 3 creates a specific attempt to connect you to your character more than any other game of its type by actually having you experience your birth, childhood and adolescence.

By all accounts you should connect to this character the most, after having experienced literally everything they have as well. But you don’t. Walking through Fallout 3’s wasteland, I’m more struck by the sense of loneliness and despair than I am any type of grief when I’m killed by a fellow raider.

Why? What is it that whenever my character is killed or damaged, I have absolutely no concern for his wellbeing?

Thanks BlackCanopus.

Thursday - January 27, 2011

Fallout 3 - A Vault Dweller's Journey

by Dhruin, 21:27

This seems a bit lae to the party but Resolution Magazine has an in-character journal on Fallout 3 called A Vault Dweller's Journey (Part 1 and Part 2).  The intro:

ONLY A few days ago I was safe and comfortable inside vault 101. Funny how quickly things change, how fate can lead you into such danger so quickly. On leaving the vault I almost immediately found myself having to kill in order to survive. A Bloatfly, the size of a human head, attacked me just a few short steps from the vault door.  My father left the vault only a matter of hours ago but I found little trace of him. I came by a town called Megaton close to the vault, seemed like a good place to ask some questions but I’ve never been good at socialising and those I met must of known it, they decided I was a prick after taking one look. Perceptive bunch.  The only person that seemed to like me was the sheriff of Megaton, Simms, but that soon changed when I opened my mouth. Still, he did help point me in the right direction for information about my father, a local bar owner, Moriarty, so that’s where I am now, in a bar waiting for this guy to show.

Tuesday - January 25, 2011

Fallout 3 - New Concept Art @ NMA

Tuesday - January 04, 2011

Fallout 3 - "Demake" for Japanese Market

by Dhruin, 23:18

"Demakes" are new to me but Bethsoft has put one together to market Fallout 3 for the Japanese market.  For those interested, you can download a "game" that looks like an 8-bit RPG with Fallout 3 references - you'll need to understand Japanese or just be interesting in futzing around.  Full story at the Bethblog (thanks to Omega for a similar story).

Thursday - December 09, 2010

Fallout 3 - Unreleased Concept Art

by Dhruin, 22:58

The Bethblog has posted a couple of apparently previously unreleased concept arts from Craig Mullins, showing views of the capital.

Wednesday - October 13, 2010

Fallout 3 - Free DLC for Playstation Plus Subs

by Dhruin, 20:45

For the small handful of people who have Fallout 3 on the PS3 and are Playstation Plus subscribers, the EU Playstation Blog has news you'll be able to grab all the DLC for free over the next two weeks.

Thursday - August 26, 2010

Fallout 3 - Critical Distance

by Dhruin, 21:38

Alrik sent us a link to an interesting piece on Fallout 3 from a site called Critical Distance.  It's an impressive examination of the critical response to Fallout 3, with dozens of links to articles and some of the issues they examine or praise they have.  Here's a quote as an example:

The NPC writing didn’t just foul up the immersion, it also fiddled unpleasantly with the game’s approach to morality. In “Fun and loathing in Las Vegas Washington D.C.”, Ben Abraham identifies a tension between the portrayal of certain characters and the feel of the game. In his opinion, Mr. Burke comes across as a very cartoonish, moustache-twirling villain that is inappropriate in the context of the gritty, realistic game world. The game seems to make judgments about characters, sometimes without asking the real questions.

I express a similar complaint in “There’s nothing in it for you”, arguing that the game doesn’t provide the NPCs or the player with reasons to be evil beyond sheer insanity. In particular, the relative abundance of supplies in the Wasteland seems to defeat the feeling of desperation that might make an attractive core for such a personal narrative. Shamus Young had similar problems with Mr. Burke’s quest, as he describes in “The Power of the Atom”, where he critiques the flimsy writing behind what may be Fallout 3’s most affecting visual sequence. David Wildgoose, in contrast, found that the information he dug up on Megaton’s citizens from Moriarty’s computer, painting them as “sleazy losers”, helped him see Burke’s side of it. For me, the chief reason for evil comes not from any of the writing, but rather from the V.A.T.S. system. In “Power’s joy and sorrow” I opine that the system presents killing as an empowering pleasure, and in that way makes a case for war.

Sunday - July 18, 2010

Fallout 3 - All DLC now Available @ Steam

by Aries100, 13:34

Steam now offers each of the five Fallout 3 DLCs for a price at 9.99 US dollars each. A but steep, since the GOTY edition retails for about 50 US dollars. However, if you only miss one or two of them, it may well be worth it.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - June 21, 2010

Fallout 3 - VATS Editorial @ Duck and Cover

by Dhruin, 21:07

VATS: How Bethesda Set Their Sights On The Lowest Demoninator and Hit a Bullseye is the title of editorial at Duck and Cover on the "dumbing down" of Fallout 3.  You can probably guess at the content from the title but it's not without some pertinent points.  An early snip:

When one saw the increasing “streamlining” under the helm of Todd Howard, coupled with an approach that showed little fidelity to RPG roots, into a more console friendly shooter style game. The message was becoming clear, the appeal would be to the gut, not the mind. Rather than appealing to the RPG crowd with a fundamentally sound RPG, they would go for a more corporate, trendy, “McRPG” style of game that would put training wheels on it’s RPGs so as not to alienate the lowest common denominator. A profitable approach I’m sure, but not the most conducive to RPG fundamentals or fidelity to Fallout and it’s RPG system, which was Fallout’s entire rasion d’etre.

As the veil slowly lifted on Fallout 3, we began to see this more Oblivion-like approach (same design team, same engine) with some familiar Oblivion concepts new to Fallout (FP perspective, mini-games, scaled down threats, large but shallow world, same reliance on marketing, gimmicks and superficial graphics or big name Hollywood voice actors, r) added in as well, mostly at the expense of Fallout’s defining and integral RPG foundation.

Wednesday - May 05, 2010

Fallout 3 - Now Playing @ Twenty Sided

by Dhruin, 21:18

Shamus Young from Twenty Sided has turned his attention to Fallout 3, with one of his "Now Playing" videocasts.  Basically, this is a 43 minute video with Shamus and a couple of friends commenting on Fallout 3 as they play.  To quote, they "kick the crap out of it".

Saturday - April 24, 2010

Fallout 3 - Retrospective @ Resolution Magazine

by Dhruin, 23:26

UK site Resolution Magazine has a retrospective piece on Fallout 3.  The author explains why it didn't work for him, despite loving Oblivion.  Here's the intro:

Let’s go back in time a couple of weeks. It’s the end of the month. Saturday. My bank account lies in ruins. A trip into town to trade some games beckons. I rummage through the pile, trying to sort out anything that might fetch me a fair rate of exchange. Fallout 3 stares back at me, dusty and neglected. I pick it up, hesitate, put it back. I’ve been meaning to return to it for months now, and I promise myself yet again that I will, and soon. Then I wonder: “why?”

I pick it up again, my resolve clear.

I feel as if it’s somehow my fault that I don’t enjoy Fallout 3. I feel as if I haven’t made enough effort. Everyone else seems to like it. Forum threads are heaving with praise, critics gush over its never-diminishing returns. I feel like the lone voice of dissent, the guy standing there saying, “Look! The Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.”

Tuesday - March 23, 2010

Fallout 3 - DLC 50% Off

by Korplem, 22:33

Xbox Live is offering an exclusive sale for Gold members, giving all 5 DLC add-ons for Fallout 3 at 50% off (400 Microsoft Points). The sale started yesterday, March 22nd and will continue through Sunday, March 28th. 

Monday - March 22, 2010

Fallout 3 - Messiah Complex

by Dhruin, 20:19

Rampant Coyote catches up with this century, having finally finished Fallout 3.  Like a lot of people, he found the ending unsatisfactory and writes about the difficulties of using this sort of ending.  Spoilers, if you haven't finished FO3:

I finally finished Fallout 3 last week, as my new computer could finally run the game and only crash once every hour or so instead of every three minutes. I took plenty of time, and even took the “explorer” perk so I could check out much of the additional content beyond the main storyline. I played it without any of the expansions, like Broken Steel, which I understand “corrects” the ending of Fallout 3.

But I still wanna rant. If you have played the game, too, you may already know what I want to rant about (though the title of this post probably gives it away).  IMO, it’s not a trivial thing to write a good martyrdom story.  There’s a lot more to the story of Jesus than “oh, and then this guy chose to die to save others, the end.” I didn’t like it in the Matrix movies – where the whole martyrdom thing was at least handled better than in Fallout 3, but the later movies sucked the joy out of the first movie anyway – and it really  has to be handled very carefully in a game  where you are playing the would-be sacrificial victim.

Thursday - February 25, 2010

Fallout 3 - Editorial @ Destructoid

by Aries100, 17:15

In an editorial entitled 'Videogame fans need to shup about everything', Jim Sterling from Destructoid looks both at how Diablo fans want to maintain Diablo's tone as darker - as well as some of the upheaveal that was going on between Bethesda and the fans of Fallout. Here's one of his rather spicy comments:

So, these people were complaining about a new game for their favorite franchise that was pretty good by all accounts and made a lot of money, ensuring future Fallout games for quite some time. Yet, had these guys had their way, I doubt we'd even be talking about Fallout DLC, or New Vegas, or anything Fallout-related right now. Had these guys had their way, we'd have a game that looked, sounded, and played like something from 1997, and it would have sold to a small group who would then have likely complained that it hadn't changed enough.

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - February 11, 2010

Fallout 3 - Mod Interview

by Dhruin, 20:07

We don't normally cover the various Fallout 3 mod interviews found on the Bethblog but I thought the recent Fallout: New Vegas news might have some dusting off the box for a re-play and Dustin Jackson's work sounds particularly interesting:

Your series of Fallout 3 quest mods contains very little combat. Are you generally a fan of nonviolent games — or at least games that allow for a less-violent approach?

I think that giving players different ways to tackle situations makes for more engaging, realistic situations. There’s just not that many games that routinely offer the player the ability to resolve situations through speech options. The fact that Fallout takes place in a shattered wasteland also contributed to my desire to craft adventures that focus on the remnants of lives before the war instead of combat. I like the thought of wandering ravaged cities, picking my way through rubble, and then intently reading a note about which flavor of frosting a grandma was trying to decide to use on a birthday cake on two hundred years ago. A study in contrasts.

Saturday - November 28, 2009

Fallout 3 - Best and Worst Glitches

by Woges, 21:53

A little schadenfreude at the expense of Bethesda in this article at Bitmob.

Ages upon ages ago, I asked you to participate in a quick survey on Fallout 3's best and worst glitches. You've no doubt noticed my inability to do any of my own writing on time at this point, but I do churn out quality work on a daily basis because I love you all.

Anyway, the results are in. Since Tiger Survey doesn't have an option for your name, and I forgot to ask like the moron I sometimes am, none of the results are identified. Feel free to claim your responses in the comments.

Now, on to the funny. (Lucky, lucky, Jason Wilson never experienced a glitch with this game. Aren't you a fancy man?)

Sunday - November 01, 2009

Fallout 3 - Ultimate GOTY

by Woges, 19:23

Nominated with Call of Duty World at War, Left 4 Dead, Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots; Fallout 3 takes Ultimate GOTY award from the Golden Joystick awards in London.

This is the award every publisher wants to win, the Ultimate Game The Year award. If you pick this one up, you've made a really good game. In the nominations were giants such as Fallout 3, Call of Duty World at War, Left 4 Dead, Grand Theft Auto, IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. See - them's some big guns.But there can be only one. And the golden gong went to... Fallout 3 and Bethesda.

Monday - October 26, 2009

Fallout 3 - DLC Reviews @ GameFocus

by Dhruin, 19:51

A brief break from the Dragon Age show, with a review of the entire group of Fallout 3 DLCs on the PS3 at a site called GameFocus.  Here's their conclusion and scores:

Broken Steel Final Score is 8/10
Mothership Zeta Final Score is 9/10
Operation Anchorage Final Score is 7/10
The Pitt Final Score 9/10
Point Lookout Final Score 8/10


Pros

+ More content for our favorite post-apocalyptic RPG
+ Adds a lot of great quests and gear to use
+ Expansion of game to level 30 with Broken Steel is fantastic
+ Breathes new life into the game for those who ran through it the first time


Cons

- Some of the content might seem pricey for just a few hours of gaming
- Not the best place to see the expansions at their finest

Tuesday - October 13, 2009

Fallout 3 - GotY Edition Now Available

by Dhruin, 23:23

If you've been holding out on Fallout 3 DLC to get the whole package, Bethsoft announces the Game of the Year Edition is now out:

Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition Now Available

Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America, and will be available in Europe on Friday, October 16th. The game includes Fallout 3, winner of over 80 Game of the Year awards, plus all five game add-ons -- Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta.

Thursday - September 17, 2009

Fallout 3 - PS3 DLC, GotY Details

by Dhruin, 23:19

Some details on Fallout 3 DLC for the PS3 and a planned Game of the Year Edition from the official site:

The first DLC for PlayStation 3, Broken Steel, will be available next Thursday, September 24th in English territories. That will be followed by the release of “Operation: Anchorage” and “The Pitt” on October 1st, and “Point Lookout” and “Mothership Zeta” on October 8. Check here for details on a new game update for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.

Additionally, we are also pleased to announce that Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC) will be available at retail on Tuesday, October 13th. The Game of the Year edition includes Fallout 3 and all five DLCs. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will retail for $59.99 and the Games for Windows version will be available for $49.99.

Saturday - August 29, 2009

Fallout 3 - Addon Pack #2 Now Available

by Dhruin, 00:55

A couple of days ago, Bethsoft announced the Fallout 3 Addon Pack #2 is available, offering  Broken Steel and Point Lookout at retail.

Sunday - August 16, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta DLC Feature @ Gamebanshee

by Magerette, 20:39

Gamebanshee has posted a comprehensive look at the Mothership Zeta DLC for Fallout 3. You can find links to everything described below here along with this description:

As expected, we've put together a full review, a comprehensive walkthrough, a profile of the new perk, equipment database additions, a batch of new screenshots, and a set of achievements for Bethesda's fifth and final Fallout 3 DLC installment. A bit of what to expect from the review:

"Then there are the enemies -- all three of them. Despite the DLC being combat-oriented, with almost nothing in the way of meaningful dialogue, quests or decisions, you keep fighting the same enemies -- aliens, robotic drones, and odd creatures called abominations -- over and over again. Worse, the enemies all drop the same limited number of alien items, including a grand total of four new types of weapons, and so looting your kills and the numerous containers in the mothership isn’t a lot of fun, either."

Thursday - August 13, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Review Roundup

by Dhruin, 00:26

Here's a rip of a list of Mothership Zeta reviews from the official site:

New reviews for Mothership Zeta are available at G4TV, GameFocus, Game Trailers, Kotaku, UGO, The Hachiko, 360 Junkies, Cheat Code Central, GameDaily, EndSights, GamerLimit, AtomicGamer, Koku Gamer, Feed Your Console, Gamervision and Game Revolution.

Tuesday - August 11, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Review @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 23:07

Linear, repetitive and some tedium still gets you a 7/10, apparently.  From GameZone's review of Mothership Zeta:

On the whole, it seems Mothership Zeta is a simple bit of entertainment that doesn’t last very long. Even if you don’t mind that it plays like a big shooting gallery, things tend to get rather tedious early on. There’s nothing that will keep die-hard fans from going nuts over it, but even they will be forced to admit that this is far from the highlight of Fallout 3. There are trinkets that can be collected, and much scenery to be admired, but not really enough to keep players coming back for more. When push comes to shove, the penny-pinchers will find the earlier downloads to be more worth the price of admission. 

Source: Blues News

Sunday - August 09, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Review @ Destructoid

by Dhruin, 00:18

Another disappointed reviewer hands out a 6/10 for Mothership Zeta, this at Destructoid:

By this point, I began to see a somewhat alarming trend. "Mothership Zeta" consists of you walking through corridors, fighting a few aliens, walking through more corridors, coming into a room, pressing buttons, more fighting, and finally tampering with cooling systems to open doors. This would be absolutely fine if Fallout 3 had a decent first-person shooter mechanic, but that simply isn’t the case.

Thursday - August 06, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Review @ IncGamers

by Dhruin, 22:02

6/10 is the score for Fallout 3's Mothership Zeta at IncGamers, with their review criticising the linear shooting:

The greatest element of Fallout 3 is the exploration and the freedom to come and go as you please when and where you want to. Mothership Zeta, however, plays out like Operation Anchorage and is all very linear. At one point in the game you can choose in which order to play a handful of the missions, but there really is no feeling of true exploration as you're herded down one corridor after another blasting aliens. Sure there are a number of areas in the ship to visit from the cargo room (amusingly decked out with mementos from Earth which the aliens have been collecting) to the machinery-heavy engine room, but it all starts to get too familiar too quickly. Whilst, as ever, the visuals are impressive, once you get past the initial awe and excitement of being beamed aboard an alien ship it all starts to wear a little thin.  There are a couple of standout moments, the finale being one and another about half way through when you get to don a space suit and carry out a space walk (Dead Space anyone?), but they are frustratingly few and far between.  Operation Anchorage was combat heavy and Mothership Zeta is no different. Bethesda has attempted to give you the option of taking a stealthy approach, as at the start of the game you team up with a child abductee, who scouts ahead (having climbed into the ships walls, Newt from Aliens anyone?), advising you of the locations of the aliens. However, this does not really work, as inevitably you will have to blast some of them at some point in order to progress. At this point, the others in the vicinity always come running.

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - August 04, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta, Point Lookout Reviews

by Dhruin, 23:30

AtomicGamer serves up a review of the latest Fallout 3 DLC, Mothership Zeta.  Apparently the action is zany but linear, though the overall score is 81%.  Here's an early snip:

Zeta beams you up for a little bit of the ol' alien probing, and from there you'll have to get free and fight your way through the ship to escape with your life. If you're wondering where aliens came from, well, clearly you haven't played enough Fallout - and yes, there was a dead alien for you to find in the third game, as well, complete with unique weapon. Well, you'll get a lot more than that with this $10 package, as it delivers a mostly linear dungeon-like experience with plenty of action and lots of angry green aliens (and their droids) to fight.

Unlike the last DLC pack, Point Lookout, this one gives you little in the way of choice on how to do things. You won't find much exploring of the alien's ship to do, but what you will get is a good few hours of action and a solid ending full of fireworks to enjoy. It's nice to see a complete change of scenery for once. When it comes to completely pulling you out of the Capital Wasteland element, no DLC has gone quite this far, not even Operation Anchorage - you haven't seen something quite as tripped out in this game since your trip down Tranquility Lane.

The Edge Online isn't as generous, scoring 6/10 for linearity, design issues and bugs:

Whoever designed such beauty should be pretty peeved at the game around it. The strictly linear story and onslaught of enemies, many of who like to hang back and soak up ammo with their energy shields, leave little tolerance for errors and flaws. On this particular spin of the Fallout bugs roulette wheel, we encountered a script bug so catastrophic that we couldn’t finish the game - we actually had to clip through a doorway and use console commands to bring everything back on track. Early community feedback suggests this is as bad as it gets, but it’s a far from isolated case.

Design flaws include a bizarre decision to cordon off most of the ship after completion, locking away any unique items you previously overlooked. Much of the game commendably favours stealth players but the rest can feel shambolic. The much-vaunted spacewalk in the souvenir Gemini Spacesuit gets plenty of build-up, and could have been extraordinary had it not been 30 seconds long. And there are a fair few nagging Bethesda-isms in there, too, such as you losing karma for shooting often indistinguishable alien workers.

Meanwhile, Barry's Review Blog looks at Point Lookout with another review-cum-in-character-story, with a score of 8/10:

Fallout 3: Point Lookout has enough few brilliant and memorable moments that makes it a worthwhile addition to your library of Fallout 3 content. Though much of the main quest and most of the side quests are top notch, the ending of the main quest falls short of the drama and excitement of The Pitt and Broken Steel. No doubt some will find "the lesser of two evils" choice you are forced to make at the conclusion of Point Lookout a refreshing change. Others may feel that Bethesda ran out of creative steam for not bringing Point Lookout to a stronger ending with a greater reward (or penalty) for the player having to make a strictly good or evil choice. But with Mothership Zeta, the fifth and final Fallout 3 DLC add-on now available for download, Bethesda may very well be saving their best, for last.

Source: Blues News

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Review @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 15:35

Eurogamer seem rather disappointed with Beth's latest DLC for Fallout 3.

Where Mothership Zeta really falls down is the complete lack of inspiration in the mission design. Generally you can rely on Bethesda to intelligently weave complex scenarios around practically anything, with the key characters each having their own specific agenda. Once you've taken in the situation, it's entirely down to your own moral leanings as to which direction you decide to take any given mission. Never quite knowing who is really the good guy, or the least bad guy has made for some thrilling missions in past Bethesda games (and past DLC), but none of that applies here. At best, you can rope in some characters to help kick arse, but for the most part you're reduced to the most soulless of gameplay tasks - breaking machines by pressing buttons.

With repetitive, largely uninspired corridor combat, and boring, linear and samey mission design, the least you'd hope is that there would be some supplementary side quests to extend the lifespan - but not so. Having delivered five main quests, five side-quests and three unmarked quests in the vast Point Lookout expansion, to follow that up with such a limited DLC pack is curious. Throughout its programme of downloadable releases, it felt like Bethesda was learning and improving its output. But having started poorly with Operation: Anchorage, it concludes Fallout 3 in equally disappointing fashion.

Monday - August 03, 2009

Fallout 3 - Looking Back on the DLC

by Dhruin, 22:44

Geek.com has a roundup of all five Fallout 3 DLCs, although they haven't actually played Mothership Zeta.  Here's a snip on Point Lookout:

Point Lookout takes to you a swampy, forested land that seems to have never left the Civil War era. The land is also post-apocalytic, but it still has some trees and rather than fighting mutant beasts, you battle deformed hillbillies and tribe members. The missions in Point Lookout don’t seem particularly important (save a girl, find a religilous text, defeat the big bad guy in his underground lair) but they are enough to get you to run through the map. The real value of the DLC comes with the side missions, including one involving a spy, which turns out to be on of the longest and most involved missions in Fallout 3.

Source: GameBanshee

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta DLC Available

by Dhruin, 22:20

Mothership Zeta has landed, according to the very short blurb at the official site.  Note they specify "final DLC":

Fallout 3's final DLC, Mothership Zeta, is now available for download on Games for Windows LIVE and Xbox LIVE for 800 points.

Saturday - August 01, 2009

Fallout 3 - Interview, Trailer, Diary

by Dhruin, 00:08

With Mothership Zeta due Monday, three new things have hit at once.  First, Ausir writes in to point out an interview at Polish site Polygmia that comes replete with an English version:

Aliens in previous Fallout games, as well as in vanilla Fallout 3, were mostly small easter eggs, with hard to find alien spaceships or weapons. What made you decide to make a full-fledged add-on focusing on them and how does it fit with the rest of the Fallout setting?

In the base Fallout 3 game, we have the crashed alien spaceship, Recon Craft Theta, so we had already lain the groundwork. And that's an actual location, not really an Easter Egg, so it does imply some kind of extraterrestrial presence in the game world.

Beyond that, using the Alien theme just felt really natural for us. UFOs and aliens are a big part of 1950s pulp fiction (who can forget the UFO crashing into the Capitol Building in "Earth versus the Flying Saucers"?), so featuring that in a DLC seemed like a great way for us to explore that element of the fiction.

Next, Bethsoft's Pete Hines sends word of a new dev diary from world arist Istvan Pely:

I've always wanted to know the story behind Recon Craft Theta. Finding a crashed UFO in the middle of the Wasteland would peak any explorer's curiosity. The pilot's corpse you find is clearly alien, and his technology is clearly quite advanced, given the deadly effectiveness of a certain gadget you find here. Yet the fact remains that this spacecraft, advanced or not, is lying smashed in a ditch just northeast of nowhere. And the story might have ended here, if not for the faint garbled radio transmission your Pip-Boy picks up from the UFO's distress beacon. If your primitive bit of technology can detect the beacon, there's little doubt that "others" are listening as well.

And with that begins the Vault Dweller's final and most fantastical adventure in the Capital Wasteland, or rather several hundred miles far above it. The concept of the UFO visit emerged early in the idea-toss sessions we had for DLC, in fact it was the very first thing to pop into my mind; it just seemed a natural fit. But we saved it for last, as a fitting conclusion to the Vault Dweller's story. The whole "where no man has gone…" business and all that. It's a fresh new venue with completely original environments to explore, hopefully instilling a sense of discovery of the unknown. It starts with an abduction, and your ultimate goal is to regain your freedom. But, if you play your cards right, you'll have a pretty massive item of loot to call your own (with an infinitely massive place to keep it).

Finally, a new trailer has been released (thanks also Kostaz).

Thursday - July 30, 2009

Fallout 3 - v1.7 Update

by Dhruin, 00:10

Bethsoft has updated the PC version of Fallout 3, adding the Achievements in anticipation of the Mothership Zeta DLC.  The update is automatic through Live, or the file will be available at the official site soon.

Wednesday - July 29, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Interviews

by Dhruin, 00:45

Bethsoft is pointing out Fallout 3: Mothership Zeta DLC interviews at Go! Gaming Giant and Talking About Games.  Neither breaks new territory so head over if you are following Mothership Zeta and want to read all the material.

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Review @ AtomicGamer

by Dhruin, 00:30

Another day, another review of Point Lookout for Fallout 3.  AtomicGamer obviously really liked it, awarding 85 out of 10:

You'll get a lot of the same choices you're used to from the original game: side with the bad guys or... the other bad guys? Take on combinations of enemies with up-close or distance weaponry? Grab the perks (maybe from leveling past, say, 25 after the Broken Steel pack) to increase your combat efficiency or make non-combat roles a little more convenient? What I like about Point Lookout is that it serves as a follow-up for Broken Steel's increased level cap and conclusion of the Enclave storyline nicely, and with this DLC pack's landmass being much larger than you might expect, there's plenty to explore. Of course, if you only do the main quest and then run back to the Capital Wasteland, then you might be disappointed in the overall length of Point Lookout - it just doesn't last as long unless you're willing to poke around the new acreage to find the additional side quests and out-of-the-way areas to explore. One nice thing for those who haven't finished the original game is that unlike the previous DLC pack, Point Lookout works for characters of all levels, although I recommend you stock up on ammo and make sure you can field repair your weapons easily - not being able to quickly pop back to your Megaton shack is a bit of a drag.

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - July 21, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Screens

by Myrthos, 22:18

We've added three new Mothership Zeta screens to our galery, enjoy!

Mothership Zeta Mothership Zeta

Mothership Zeta

Monday - July 20, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Preview

by Dhruin, 22:45

MTV has a brief preview/interview on Mothership Zeta with input from Jeff Gardiner.  Here's a bit on weapons:

Mothership Zeta is full of the most high tech weaponry in the game. It includes a Shock Baton for melee fighters, multiple new firearms including an Alien Atomizer, a pistol, and the Alien Disintegrator, a new rifle. There's also a new grenade type, a Cryo Grenade, which freezes enemies for a short period of time. On top of that there are new unique weapons, and a new heavy weapon

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Reviews

by Dhruin, 22:43

The official Fallout 3 site has a list of new Point Lookout reviews, so here's a rip:

...and a sample from the last:

Other new opponents include a distinct new Mirelurk variant, Smugglers who don't take kindly to competition and an insane religious cult, The Tribals, who play a large part in the main quest. With a little exploration you stumble across a huge mansion under attack by these spiritual maniacs and are soon roped into investigating them. Whilst the story is relatively short, there are some nice interesting missions and you are forced to make decisions which have a few unexpected outcomes. With only a handful of individual tasks it is very easy to rush through to the end and I imagine some might feel short changed.

However, the missions feel part of the environment. Instead of being a virtual reality simulation or set of quests, this feels like a new location. Searching through the undergrowth to stumble across a group of Swampfolk standing in a filthy and dishevelled children's play area is incredibly sinister, especially when there are dolls thrust on spikes and skeletons hanging from trees. Similarly, finding a half sunken research ship with a sinister back-story is also a little chilling.

Saturday - July 18, 2009

Fallout 3 - No Further Level Cap Increase

by Dhruin, 01:14

MTV asked Bethsoft if Fallout 3's level cap could possibly be increased beyond the current lvl 30 and received this (somewhat humerous in my opinion) response from Jeff Gardiner:

I know from the outside this seems like a fairly simple proposition, but doing this could unbalance the game in a variety of ways.

Tuesday - July 14, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Interview @ GamePro

by Dhruin, 23:59

Another generic Mothership Zeta interview is available, this time at GamePro:

Travis: Tell more about the aliens themselves. What are they like, what are they called, why are they "pissed"?

Jeff Gardiner: The aliens are the same type that people claim are currently abducting people around the globe, small grayish-green with long appendages and big heads with huge eyes. They are studying humanity to see if we're a threat, they have no proper name.

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Screens and Info

by Myrthos, 18:19

We have four new screens from the latest Fallout 3 DLC Mothership Zeta for you.

Mothership Zeta Mothership Zeta

Mothership Zeta Mothership Zeta

Mothership Zeta is scheduled to be released on the 3rd of August and has the following features:

Description: Defy hostile alien abductors and fight your way off of the massive Mothership Zeta, orbiting Earth miles above the Capital Wasteland. Mothership Zeta takes Fallout 3 in an entirely new direction - outer space. Meet new characters and join with them in a desperate bid to escape the Aliens' clutches. To do so, you'll wield powerful new weapons, like the Alien Atomizer, Alien Disintegrator, and Drone Cannon, and deck yourself out in brand new outfits, like the Gemini-Era Spacesuit and even Samurai Armor.

Story: A strange Alien signal is being broadcast throughout the Capital Wasteland, originating from a crashed UFO. Is it a distress call, or something far more sinister? That question is answered when you find yourself beamed aboard an enormous Alien spacecraft, with only one alternative - to fight your way to the bridge of the ship and secure your escape.

Key Features:

  • Find and exploit new and destructive alien technology, like the Alien Atomizer and Drone Cannon.
  • Explore the vast Mothership and learn the secrets of the Aliens' master plan.
  • Thwart the Aliens' attempt to stop your escape, and take over the Alien ship before it wreaks havoc on the unsuspecting Earth below.
  • Fight against the Alien Invaders, their robot drones, and turn their own horrible experiments against them.
  • Ally yourself with an unexpected array of characters, both from the Capital Wasteland and from Earth's past.

Monday - July 13, 2009

Fallout 3 - PS3 DLC Coming in September

by Dhruin, 22:10

Worthplaying has the news that the full range of Fallout 3 DLC will be rolled out on the PS3, starting in September.

Friday - July 10, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Interview

by Dhruin, 23:33

A pretty general interview on Mothership Zeta at OXM:

So when and where does Zeta fit into the events of Fallout 3? How will players discover the Mothership?
As with the previous DLC, there will be a radio broadcast... this one is unintelligible, however, and will lead the player to the alien crash site they may have already found in Fallout 3. The player will then find themselves aboard Mothership Zeta, in Earth's orbit. Let's just say it won't be the friendliest of greetings. From there, they'll meet other abductees, and plot their escape. They'll have to explore and exploit the alien ship- and even spacewalk to escape!

We've already seen the Alien Blaster in Fallout 3 - will there be new technology for gamers to play with?
Most definitely. The player will have a handful of tasty alien technologies to play with. There are new fire arms and melee weapons, which will comprise the most powerful weaponry in the game.

Thursday - July 09, 2009

Fallout 3 - A Rehash of Old Stories

by Dhruin, 00:25

Sol Invictus takes Fallout 3 to task at Hellforge for rehashing old story lines:

War, war never changes. Apparently, neither does Fallout's plot.

Fallout 3 was heralded by numerous video game publications for its supposedly remarkable storytelling, a rarity in video game entertainment. Picking up awards from the Academy of Internactive Arts and Sciences for Best Role Playing Game and Outstanding Achievement in Story (Original), the more ignorant among us would expect for a title of such distinction to offer a storyline as outstanding as any Booker Prize winning book.

Those of us with less naivete might expect for the story to be, at the very least, on par with the stories crafted by Bioware and the now defunct Black Isle Studios.

With few willing to indicate the scarcity of original plot in Fallout 3, save for a few probably rabid fans of the original games who despise Fallout 3 just for the sake of doing it, it rests upon my shoulders to set things straight. Of course, I say this in jest. Anyone who's played any of the previous games will understand where I'm coming from with this bold claim against Fallout 3's superiority in storytelling.

Source: No Mutants Allowed

Monday - July 06, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Explored @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 22:38

GameBanshee dropped us a line to point out Point Lookout Explored - a batch of features including walkthrough, database and a review.  Here's a snip from the latter, with author Steven Carter explaining why the quests didn't impress:

As an example, at one point a guy asks you to find a book. Well, to claim the book you only have to kill about five enemies in one small basement, which takes about five minutes. If you then return the book to the guy, that’s it, quest over. But in one of exactly two places in the DLC where you actually get to make a decision, you can also choose to destroy the book. For that case you have to visit the Dunwich Building in the capital wasteland, and, in amazingly great contrast, the Dunwich Building is about five times larger and five times more interesting than anything in the DLC, and it puts all of the new content to shame. If I’m working for Bethesda, I don’t make that sort of contrast so easy to notice.

Thursday - July 02, 2009

Fallout 3 - Steam Sale

by Dhruin, 22:51

This weekend's Steam sale includes Fallout 3, which you can grab for 50% off at USD$24.99.  Fallout 3 is one of those titles with localised prices, so different territories may differ/

Friday - June 26, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Reviews

by Dhruin, 23:46

A small collection of Point Lookout reviews, today.  From MTV:

The Look
Point Lookout definitely has a unique vibe, compared to the rest of the game. The fact that the ocean is always in sight (since it’s a peninsula) gives the map a very open feel, but bring in rustic backwoods mutants and you have something ripped from “Deliverance.”

The Lows

The New Weapons
Simply: There aren’t enough of them, and the ones that are there aren’t terribly different from weapons we’ve already seen. The lever-action rifle, for example, uses the same model as Lincoln’s Repeater, a unique rifle already found in the game. The double-barreled shotgun looks neat and fits the setting, but is outclassed by the combat shotguns of the mainland. There is a new energy weapon and a new grenade type, but overall it seems a little lacking on this front.

IGN, who scored it at 8.5/10:

Those that explore it all will find five cool side quests and a handful more unmarked quests that can easily eat up hours of your time. The same care and attention to detail was put into this area that you find in the Capital Wasteland which makes this densely packed area one of the most rewarding places to check out in all of Fallout 3. There's a lot to see here, as well. I spent an entire day wandering the swamps and still haven't seen it all. The quests will take you about five hours to work through but you can easily spend a few more just seeing the sights and working through the unmarked quests. Bringing the lighthouse back to life was my favorite little extra.

...and NMA, who cite "clunky combat" but otherwise seem to have enjoyed it:

The gameplay itself is pretty solid. The quests available to the player are varied and interesting, each having a solid backstory connected to places and events within Point Lookout, not to mention that there are a number of plot twists that are bound to take the player by surprise (not an exaggeration) and quite enjoyable scripted sequences, with perhaps the best being the bad trip you go on at one point. The structure of the quests has room for improvement - for instance, the main plotline, featuring Desmond's great game, is linear and you have to progress through the stages in a predetermined order, with no opportunity to tackle an objective in an alternative way or skip it entirely. The other major quest, the Velvet Curtain has a far better structure and can be started in several ways and, while still being fairly linear, gives the player more freedom than the main quest. Other sidequests are for the most part uncomplicated FedEx quests.

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Review, PS3 DLC nearly ready

by Dhruin, 13:38

Peter Hines has told Eurogamer that Fallout 3 DLC is nearly ready for the PS3:

We are trying to put the finishing touches on it now, but as I said above it's a different task than DLC on another platform, and so there are things we have to finish doing and testing before it's done on PS3.

They also have a Point Lookout review from a day or two back, with a score of 8/10:

Once you start following the main story arc, Point Lookout reveals itself to be a strong contender for the best portion of DLC in the series to date. Dancing between the typically contrasting demands of two sets of squabbling factions, your first task is to visit a potty-mouthed ghoul called Desmond, a former secret agent who finds himself going to slightly absurd lengths to defend his mansion from a tribal cult. Under attack by mercs, you go in, kick some butt and pick up the trail.

Thursday - June 25, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Review @ Computers N Stuff

by Dhruin, 22:10

A site called Computers N Stuff has the latest Broken Steel review.  It's generally positive but here's a snip on the downside as they head to a score of 7/10:

It’s all not completely plain sailing however, as the new foes are rock-hard to take down for no other reason than ‘they’re high level foes’, the new Ghoul Reaver creature frequently glitches out (rendering them invulnerable unless you target their legs in VATS) and, yet again, the entire main portion of the add-on is just combat, combat & more combat – Oblivion with Guns this is! If the side-quests can offer up placid & non-violent solutions to dangerous situations, why do I have to mow down an entire Enclave battalion single-handed (with the promised ‘support’ coming from scripted sequences and fighting going on ancillary to the mission area)?

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - June 24, 2009

Fallout 3 - Kotaku Bureau of Weights & Measures

by Dhruin, 23:29

From the someone-has-too-much-time department comes the Kotaku Bureau of Weights & Measures Studies Fallout, Physics, Also Beer.  Kotaku looks at some of the silly weight comparisons in Fallout and decides beer should be the universal reference standard:

What bothered me about Fallout was not so much that the heavy weapons, like a Flamer, weighed only "15." Maybe they're made from futuristic lightweight metal. No, it's more that a pair of freaking TWEEZERS was equivalent in weight to a motorcycle helmet. It's not even that the WG figure represents a total encumbrance factor – that either the item's size or fragility makes it difficult to carry - because a pool cue has the same WG figure: 1.

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Review @ Edge Online

by Dhruin, 23:22

Edge Online has the first review of Point Lookout we've linked.  Describing it as "the best and the worst" of Fallout 3, the overall outlook is pretty positive:

There’s much to see and do in Point Lookout, but the guiding principle of the Wasteland still applies: one man’s treasure is another man’s trash. Go into it expecting a killer souvenir like Chinese Stealth Armour (Operation Anchorage), the Auto Axe (The Pitt), or a shoulder-mounted lightning launcher (Tesla Cannon from Broken Steel, reviewed here) and you’ll come out disappointed. Memories of great battles are in equally short supply. But if you want a microcosm of Fallout 3, equal parts adventuring, grinding, questing and scavenging, you might just think it the best expansion so far.

Tuesday - June 23, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout, v1.6 Released

by Dhruin, 22:15

Bethsoft has released the Point Lookout DLC and the required v1.6 maintenance patch to match.  Here's the post at the Bethblog, complete with appropriate links:

Point Lookout is now available to download for Xbox 360 and Games for Windows. You can buy both versions online through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Games for Windows LIVE Marketplace (be sure to download the GFWL Client if you haven’t already) . Also be sure to check out the latest screenshots, the Point Lookout trailer, and the team diary on the creation of Point Lookout.

For the Games for Windows version of Point Lookout, make sure you have the latest game update (v 1.6). Get it here.

Monday - June 22, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta Interview

by Dhruin, 23:00

Via the Bethblog comes another Fallout 3 DLC interview at a site called the Hachiko.  Joel Burgess and Jeff Gardiner answer the questions about both Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta:

How does the current UFO relate to the Mothership Zeta DLC? Does the radio signal the craft's broadcasting play a part in the DLC's story? Will we find out how/why the ship crashed in the first place?

Jeff Gardiner: The crashed ship is a scout ship which is broadcasting a beacon for rescue. The Mothership Zeta quest doesn't go into details as to why it went down.

I've heard players will be abducted in the Mothership Zeta DLC? Is there any word on how this will play on the screen? Will players just poof onto the ship? Will the old fashioned anal probes be applied? What's the spectacle basically like of seeing the ship for the first time and getting inside to play?

Jeff Gardiner: Yes, the player will be abducted, and you'll have to download the DLC to see how it plays out.

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Review @ Barry's Review Blog

by Dhruin, 12:22

Barry's Review Blog - which used to be Barry's Rigs 'n Reviews - has a lengthy look at Broken Steel, including an in-character story segment.  Ultimately, the score is 9/10 and here's a snip:

Speaking of perks, Broken Steel adds 14 new ones to the mix to compliment the expanded Level 30 cap. The No Weaknesses perk obtainable at Level 24, for example, sets any S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats to 5 if they are lower than that number. At Level 30, Almost Perfect, maxes out all of your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats to 9. If you're bored with your character's current Karma status and want to navigate through life in the Capital Wasteland with a different "moral compass," Escalator to Heaven, Karmic Rebalance, and Devil's Highway will instantly reset your Karma to good, neutral or evil, respectively. Nerves of Steel allows your Action Points for V.A.T.S. to regenerate faster. And the Warmonger perk gives you the ability to create all of Fallout 3's custom weapons without the prerequisite schematics.

Friday - June 19, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Diary and Screens

by Dhruin, 23:55

Joel Burgess and Nathan Purkeypile - lead designer and lead artist respectively for Fallout 3: Point Lookout - have penned a diary on the creation of this DLC:

It all started with a piece of scratch paper.  We had just been told that Fallout 3 would receive a fourth installment of additional content.  That is pretty much all we were told, in fact.  The two of us were asked to think it over and come back with ideas.  The brainstorm sessions that followed were summarized on a messy piece of scratch paper containing a series of seemingly unrelated words: “Swamp, Boardwalk.  Mansion Siege.  Organ Thieves.  Steamboat.  Cultists.”  The next few months would see those scattered concepts come together as what we feel is a fun and fresh new chapter in Fallout 3.

With Point Lookout, one of our primary goals was not to create just a quest, but a whole new region for players to explore. Straight away we knew that we wanted to focus on what we felt was one of the great strengths of Fallout 3 –a world too full of stories and surprises, ripe for exploration and adventure.  For us, the world is a main character, and choosing our location was intrinsically tied to the tone of the content.

There are also six new screens here.

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Street Date Broken

by Dhruin, 13:03

Kotaku reports Gamestop has broken the next Tuesday launch date for Point Lookout, selling a retail pack with download codes that apparently work now.

Thursday - June 18, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mothership Zeta Snippets

by Dhruin, 23:06

MTV has the shortest of snippets from Bethsoft's Jeff Gardiner, saying that Mothership Zeta will be more linear and action-oriented, like Operation Anchorage:

Jeff Gardiner, Bethesda’s lead producer on “Fallout 3″ DLC, wouldn’t confirm what sort of weapons we’d be seeing, but he did say that you’ll definitely be getting more ammo for your Alien Blaster, and there will be new galactic doodads to tool around with, as well. As for the style of play in “Mothership Zeta” he said it’ll be “more action-oriented.” Like “Operation Anchorage”? “Just a bit more focused [than "Point Lookout"], with less of an emphasis on exploration.”

Wednesday - June 17, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Interview @ Go Gaming Giant

by Dhruin, 00:50

A new Point Lookout interview is up at a site called Go Gaming Giant, covering familiar territory:

Can you tell us a bit about the quests in Point Lookout? What will the quests have us doing?

The main quest will lead you to investigating a mysterious cult of locals who have taken over the area by infiltrating them. There are also approximately half a dozen side quests, which include delving into a mystery of Consance Blackhall and her occult obsession, helping a local whose sick and needs a special tonic, and helping a local kid who hasn’t been mutated from years of living off swamp water.

Monday - June 15, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Review @ NMA

by Dhruin, 22:29

NMA takes a look at Broken Steel for Fallout 3, concluding the DLC paves the way for more addons but falls short on its own.  On the level cap raise:

While the new level cap might sound like an improvement it only further unbalances gameplay that was already terribly unbalanced to begin with.
If the player had detailed knowledge of the perk system and the locations of stat boosting elements such as books, it was already possible to max out all of the player's skills during the main game. However, most players would not have a maxed-out character at level 20, and now the player can fill up the last stats he or she may have had to ignore during Fallout 3's main quest.

The result is basically a character that is good at everything, if it would be a real person he or she would be a rocket scientist, brain surgeon, athlete, assassin and commando in one. Even on top of all the maxed out skills, the perk “Almost Perfect” ups all the characteristics to 9. 

Friday - June 12, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Preview Roundup

by Dhruin, 00:33

Courtesy of the Bethblog, here's a list of Point Lookout previews:

Tuesday - June 09, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Preview @ Planet Fallout

by Dhruin, 22:35

Planet Fallout has a short preview of Point Lookout from E3:

The locale was also visually stunning. I would relate it to a darker version of Coney Island after lapsing into disuse for about eighty years. As you pull up, you get an overlook of the dock area of the main landing for Point Lookout and can easily see the mansion in the distance. The rustic look permeates everything about it and though I didn’t get a chance to see it, the swamp areas are supposedly to be incredibly creepy. Not only that, but the boardwalk area was deserted and filled with old papers floating around and grimy and dirty… Exactly as it should be in Fallout 3.

Monday - June 08, 2009

Fallout 3 - Hits Guiness Records

by Dhruin, 23:12

There's a Guiness record for everything, isn't there?  Todd Howard and Fallout 3 have claimed the prize for Fastest Selling Multi-Platform RPG, according to VoodooExtreme:

Guinness World Record recipients included Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Wii Sports, who received the record for the Best Selling Video Game with sales of 45.7 million to date.

Major Nelson and Mark Whitten from XBOX LIVE received the award for the Most Popular Online Console Gaming Service during Monday night’s Microsoft party. Xbox Live serves 20 million active subscribers to date, representing 67% of the total install base as of May 2009.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Mike Morhaime and Paul Sams accepted the records for World of Warcraft for the Most Popular MMORPG with a total of 11.6 million subscribers and Starcraft for being the Best Selling Strategy Game for a PC, selling 9.5 million copies worldwide.

Bethesda Softworks’ Lead Designer Todd Howard was awarded with the record for the Fastest-selling Multi Platform RPG after Fallout 3 sold over 4.7 million copies in its first week on sale from October 28th to November 4th 2008.

The entire Infinity Ward team were officially presented with the record for the Most Played Online Video Game as Call of Duty 4 has an excess of 15 million minutes played daily and the up and coming US band The Dares performed the First concert to Take Place Simultaneously in the Real and Virtual Worlds in SOE’s new massively multiplayer game Free Realms.

In addition Charles and Kai Huang of Red Octane received the accolade for the Best-selling Rhythm Game Series for Guitar Hero’s sales of in excess of 25 million copies.

An honorable mention goes out to Steve Wiebe who unsuccessfully tried to win back his Donkey Kong crown from Billy Mitchell. Guinness World Records and Twin Galaxies were on hand to witness the potential new record. Wiebe’s final score of 989, 400 points fell short of the 1,050,200 score achieved by Mitchell in 2007.

Thursday - June 04, 2009

Fallout 3 - Due June 23rd

by Dhruin, 00:11

Big Download reports the next Fallout 3 DLC Point Lookout is due June 23rd:

Like the three previous DLC expansions, this fourth entry is designed to be played for between three to five hours. It takes place in a vast swampland area that is actually based on the real marshlands of southern Maryland. You won't have too long to wait for this next DLC. It's due for release on June 23 for the Games For Windows Live client.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - June 03, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Hands-on @ IGN

by Dhruin, 07:30

Some hands-on impressions of Point Lookout at IGN:

In fact, that's something that Bethesda is specifically going for, attempting to create an H.P. Lovecraft vibe with the entire pack. Point Lookout is stepped in thick fog, with a number of new effects for the environment, including new water, sky and tree textures to make Point Lookout look a bit more off kilter. Even stranger, however, are the "monsters" that you'll face. The newest ones are the Hillfolk, mutated people that seem completely ripped from "The Hills Have Eyes." There were a number of these creatures that silently attacked us with different implements, such as shovels, axes and even double barreled shotguns. As rustic and simplistic as these weapons might seem, you shouldn't discount them on looks alone. These items are extremely powerful, particularly if you repair these items into better condition.

Tuesday - June 02, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:15

Bethsoft has a trailer for the upcoming Point Lookout DLC.  Here's the accompanying blurb:

DESCRIPTION: Point Lookout opens up a massive new area of the Wasteland – a, dark, murky swampland along the coast of Maryland. So hop on the ferry to the seaside town of Point Lookout, for the most mysterious and open-ended Fallout 3 DLC adventure yet.

STORY: Buy a ticket and hop onboard the Duchess Gambit, as Tobar the Ferryman takes you to the strange seaside town of Point Lookout. What secrets does the dilapidated boardwalk hold? Who lives in the sprawling mansion? Why is the Punga Fruit so important? And what horrors lie in the depths of the murky swamp?

Point Lookout is the most open-ended DLC yet, and allows you to explore a huge, swampy wasteland any way you’d like. A completely new quest line allows you uncover the town’s hidden secrets and wield powerful new weapons like the Double-Barrel Shotgun against the swamp’s dangerous, and deformed, denizens.

KEY FEATURES:

• Discover and explore an entire new area – the beachfront town of Point Lookout, with its decrepit boardwalk and surrounding swamplands loaded with adventure.
• Explore the chilling mystery that pervades this once sleepy town, with a new quest line and open-ended gameplay.
• Encounter unique new swamp denizens and weaponry that will test even the toughest characters.
• Exclusive new perks and achievements!

Thursday - May 28, 2009

Fallout 3 - Add-on Pack #1 In Stores

by Dhruin, 01:06

The Bethblog brings news the first Fallout 3 retail Add-on Pack (Operation Anchorage + The Pitt) is now in stores (presumably NA, anyway).  They also have a shot of an included Vault Boy poster.

In related news, you can read a new diary by the Prima author working on Guides for the DLCs.

Thursday - May 21, 2009

Fallout 3 - The Pitt, Broken Steel Reviews

by Dhruin, 21:45

Here are a couple of new Fallout 3 DLC reviews.  First, NMA has a critique of The Pitt:

There is a distinct shortened feeling to the Pitt, as every experience - be it a location or quest - promises some depth, only to let you skim across the surface, ramming you into the end before you well into the DLC.

A "return to the grey areas of morality" of Fallout 3 was one of the Pitt's promises, but like Fallout 3 itself the concept of "grey area" seems to have been missed pretty widely here. There's a certain half-heartedness to how the obvious bad guys (slavers) are supposed to be deep, and the other side is more annoying than it is good. Confused morality, surely, but deep? Not really.

...and Worthplaying takes a look at Broken Steel, awarding a score of 9/10:

As mentioned above, most of Broken Steel's campaign, which is about five hours long, is centered on flushing out the Enclave and wiping out their final remaining stronghold at the new Adams Air Force Base. The difficulty level of the game has been jacked up for this task, forcing you to work through military bases chock-full of the Enclave's new Hellfire Troopers (heavily armored soldiers who carry a "heavy incinerator," which shoots extremely deadly fireballs), subway systems teeming with Ghouls and sentry robots, and even a harrowing run through Old Olney, a.k.a. Deathclaw Country. Helping you through all this are a few new toys, including the Tesla Cannon that you get access to late in the mission. This bad boy can wipe out just about anything that stands in your way with one shot, and thanks to the fact that it uses a fairly common source of ammo, you'll be able to enjoy its destruction long after the Enclave has been thoroughly decimated. While the first half of Broken Steel may not feel like a fair fight, once you turn the tables and become a one-man wrecking crew, all will likely be forgiven.

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

Fallout 3 - New DLC Interview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 01:14

IGN is the first site with an interview on Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta.  Todd Howard provides the answers:

IGN: Operation Anchorage focused on combat. The Pitt offered morally grey questing. Broken Steel extended the main story and lifted the level cap. What will be the main selling points of Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta?

Todd Howard:
We just try to do different things, do some stuff visually and gameplay-wise the main game didn't do. So the vibe of Point Lookout is really different, and the same with Mothership Zeta. With Point Lookout, we wanted a larger landscape, a new place to explore; really explore, as opposed to Anchorage and The Pitt that are more linear. With Mothership Zeta, that started as something we always kind of joked about, doing an alien-abduction game. It's crazy visually, since we couldn't really reuse any art from the main game. Fallout 3's lead artist Istvan Pely is heading that DLC up, and it's some great stuff. It looks like a new game.

Fallout 3 - New DLCs, PS3 Support, Retail Packs

by Dhruin, 00:29

Bethsoft has announced two new DLCs as well as DLC support for the PS3.  The previously rumoured Point Lookout is a new swamp area, while Mothership Zeta is an alien abduction (no, I'm not kidding).  Finally, retail packages are confirmed for the end of the year - here's the full PR:

We are pleased to announce that Fallout® 3 downloadable content (DLC) is coming to PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. We have been working on implementing it for a while and look forward to bringing it to PS3 gamers via the PlayStation Network.  Operation: Anchorage will be released for PS3 in late June, followed by the release of The Pitt and Broken Steel 4-6 weeks apart. Release dates will be forthcoming. 

In addition, a new update will be released for PS3 that will allow users to download and play the new DLC. The release date for that update will be announced at a later date.

There are also two new DLCs planned for all three platforms:

·         Point Lookout – Explore a massive new swampland area filled with new quests and content.

·         Mothership Zeta – The aliens have returned, and they’re pissed. Experience an alien abduction first hand and find out if you’re tough enough to survive.

 

Point Lookout will be available in late June for Xbox 360 and PC. Cost will be 800 points or $9.99. It will be available through Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live and through token cards available at retail. Point Lookout will be available on PS3 after the first three DLCs have been released.

Mothership Zeta is scheduled for release in late July for Xbox 360 and PC. Cost will be 800 points or $9.99. It will be available through Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live and through token cards available at retail. Mothership Zeta will be available on PS3 after Point Lookout.

Finally, new Fallout 3 products will be available at retail this year.

Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #1 includes The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC on May 26.

The Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #2 includes Broken Steel and Point Lookout on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC in August.

Retail versions of the game add-on packs for PS3 are not possible and the DLC will only be available for download online via PlayStation Network.

A Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition will be available in October. It will include the original game plus all five add-ons for $59.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and $49.99 for PC.

Thursday - May 14, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Review Roundup

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

Fallout 3 - Pete Hines Interview @ OXM

by Dhruin, 23:35

Pete Hines has popped up at OXM in an interview that covers Fallout: New Vegas to the DLC but without any real answers:

You can't talk about Fallout New: Vegas, but in general terms, is this the first step in Bethesda expanding the Fallout IP and world?
First step would presume that there are other steps. We felt that this was a good opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of because these are guys that know Fallout, including a group of folks who worked on the original Fallout. We felt this was a good way to do something in the universe that was appropriate and cool but not affect anything that Todd Howard and his group wanted to work on going forward.

Source: No Mutants Allowed

Monday - May 11, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Review Roundup

by Dhruin, 23:14

The Bethblog has a list of Broken Steel reviews from around the web - some of which we've covered, and some we haven't.  Here's a direct rip:

Saturday - May 09, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Reviews @ Kotaku & IGN

by Dhruin, 09:36

More good reivews for Broken Steel with positive press at Kotaku and IGN.  Kotaku strangely seems to think the original ending is spoiled by the re-write:

Broken Steel adds about five hours of new quests to what used to be the end of Fallout 3. It raises Fallout 3's level cap from 20 to 30, introduces some new weapons, perks and enemies. The expansion is set two weeks after the base game and spans the full game map plus new regions. Broken Steel puts the player in the service of the heroic, armored Brotherhood of Steel on a series of group and solo missions to defeat the enemy Enclave's most powerful weapon of war.

The question for most DLC expansions is whether they are worth the price. But, for this one, the other question is how a player will feel about DLC that undoes the ending of a game they may have already completed.

...while IGN rated the pack at 8.5/10 but felt players shouldn't have to pay to fix the level cap:

The lift in the level cap isn't a superficial change either. Three new achievements exist for reaching the new level cap -- one each for good, evil and neutral karma. New perks have been included as well. Though they aren't as imaginative as some of originals, they will help players who feel they've made a mistake in the past. One allows you to get Dogmeat back anytime your dog companion dies. Another will turn every 10 bottles of Nuka Cola you collect into a Quantum. You can even snag some at the higher levels that will reset your karma to whatever extreme you'd like.

Of course, I'm of the opinion that players shouldn't be required to pay in order to gain this level cap lift. Together with the new quests, it makes for quite the attractive package, but a level cap adjustment is the sort of thing that should be made available to everybody at no cost. Let's not forget about the PlayStation 3 players who are stuck at level 20 and have no option to buy Broken Steel.

Thursday - May 07, 2009

Fallout 3 - Post Mortem Interview @ NowGamer

by Dhruin, 23:27

NowGamer has a Fallout 3 Retrospective inteview with input from Emil Pagliarulo and Todd Howard:

A particularly lazy criticism of Fallout 3 is that it’s just ‘Oblivion with guns’. But beyond the jarring way the camera fixes every speaking character lifelessly in the centre of the screen, genuine similarities are difficult to spot. The fact is, Oblivion may be great, but it’s inferior to Fallout 3 in all matters but for those of personal taste. The progress is obvious in the dialogue, the voice-acting, the characters, the environmental design and – most importantly – the quests. The absence of guilds released the design team from having to honour restrictive categories, and allowed the shift in emphasis towards more choice, rather than more missions. This is the root of Fallout 3’s side quests being as compelling and considered as its main story. They provide all the incentive a player could need to stray from the path and remake the future, and Bethesda sweated and strained to make it work.

Source: GameBanshee

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Review @ IGN

by Dhruin, 23:19

More positive press for Broken Steel with IGN's review saying "this is the add-on you've been waiting for".  The score is 8.5/10 and here's a snip:

Playing through the new content took me roughly seven hours which is a bit longer than the past Fallout 3 add-ons. Along the way, you'll find a few new enemies and a few new weapons to deal with them. The new Tesla Canon must be the most powerful weapon in the game yet, capable of taking down Vertibirds and most any enemy in a single shot. There's also the Heavy Incinerator that spits long range balls of fire. Fire that baby up in VATS for a great looking kill. These new toys and the hours of gameplay would be enough to satisfy many and that isn't even getting into the feature that has Fallout 3's hardcore fans so excited.

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel now Working

by Dhruin, 23:16

The Bethblog brings news that Broken Steel now works and is available from GfWL:

Many of you have already noticed that Microsoft has re-hosted Broken Steel on Games for Windows LIVE. For more details on downloading and using Games for Windows LIVE, head here.

To access the DLC (Games for Windows and Xbox 360), make sure you have the Fallout 3’s latest title update, version 1.5. When connecting to LIVE, you’ll be prompted for the update. Alternatively, PC players can download it from our site.

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Reviews @ VideoGamer, Ars Technica

by Dhruin, 00:49

While we wait for Bethsoft and Microsoft to fix the PC version of Broken Steel, here are two very positive reviews.  The first is from VideoGamer, who score 9/10:

The environments aren't fundamentally different to what you've seen before (although the Air Force base has trees!), but working your way through the new quest line feels like a cross between traditional Fallout 3 questing and combat-heavy scenarios reminiscent of Operation Anchorage. Now before you reach for your pitchfork, don't worry, the combat isn't shackled as it was in Operation Anchorage. Much of it takes place in buildings and environments within the map. Some areas are new, some are reused, and there's a dash of off-map travelling, but the point to make is that the combat is, unmistakeably, much better. Because the level cap has been raised and because you're up against tougher enemies, it feels more like the game did when you took your first tentative steps into a Metro tunnel, or explored an abandoned building for the first time.

...and Ars Technica says it's "worth your money":

Ultimately, though, Broken Steel is the extra content that fans of Fallout 3 have been waiting for. It provides an epic conclusion to an epic story and lets players continue adventuring afterwards, should they desire to keep on exploring and wrap up some loose ends. Not only that, but it makes the game challenging again, something that seemed to be missing for those of us who had maxed-out our characters and were traveling around with heavy-duty equipment.

Since this DLC affects the ending, expect spoilers.  Still no obvious word on the status of Broken Steel for the PC.

Source: GameBanshee

Wednesday - May 06, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Released but Broken on PC

by Dhruin, 01:09

The Broken Steel DLC for Fallout 3 has been released and, according to reports, is broken on the PC and has achievement/gamerscore issues on the X360.  Issues first started popping up in this thread on the official forums and sites like Eurogamer and Edge Online followed with reports.  From Eurogamer:

It looks as though there's a problem with the PC version of Fallout 3's latest downloadable content add-on, Broken Steel.

According to early posts on the Bethesda Softworks forum and our own experiences here, the DLC downloads and then throws up an error.  [...]

Bethesda has been in touch to update us on the PC version: "We're seeing the same error, which is a Games for Windows Live DRM Install error. Microsoft is working on fixing it, and we'll let everyone know once we've verified it."

Apparently the X360 gamerscore problem is a "synch" issue with the servers that will correct automatically, with no loss of Achievements.

Broken Steel was withdrawn for the PC but I can't log in to GfWL at the moment to check the current status.

In related news, Planet Fallout has the "ultimate Broken Steel inteview":

So what new things will be introduced with Broken Steel?

Broken Steel presents the player with several new things. First and foremost, we’ve removed the ending of the game as seen in Fallout 3 and created a smooth transition to a set of brand new quests that picks up right where “Take It Back!” left off. In addition to that, the game no longer ends after the Main Quest… you’ll be able to adventure through the Wasteland as long as you wish. Second, we’ve raised the level cap from 20 to 30 to help accommodate the fact that the game no longer has a finite ending. Third, we’ve provided a large amount of new content to the game to keep the challenge level high for upper-level players: multiple new creatures and NPC types, new weapons, new armor, and new perks. Last but not least, we altered parts of the Wasteland to reflect all the changes that occurred due to the player’s actions in the Main Quest with new encounters, additional “Water Quests” and new locations.

Monday - May 04, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:20

Bethsoft has kicked up an official trailer for Broken Steel.  Their site has the video in four formats, ranging from 31Mb to 80Mb.

Saturday - May 02, 2009

Fallout 3 - Point Look DLC?

by Dhruin, 01:49

NMA has noticed an unexpected Fallout 3 entry on two online shopping sites.  MSN Shopping and eStarland both have a pack listed with Broken Steel and something called "Point Look" for $19.99 and a September release.

It's a complete guess but given that Bethsoft will soon be bundling Operation Anchorage and The Pitt for retail, "Point Look" might be a 4th DLC and this is the future retail bundle.

Eurogamer sought clarification from Bethsoft and got a "no announced plans" non-denial:

A spokesperson for Bethesda has told Eurogamer "there are no announced plans for additional DLC beyond Broken Steel" for Fallout 3.

Thursday - April 30, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Interview @ TalkingAboutGames

by Dhruin, 22:52

A short interview with Bethsoft's Jeff Gardiner on the Broken Steel DLC is up at TalkingAboutGames:

How will old quests and random encounters stand up to level 30 characters? We're looking forward to streaking through the Deathclaw Sanctuary with impunity.

JG: The power ramp from 20 to 30 is steep.  It will take a while to get there but the player will be able to really specialize and ‘max out’ a lot of skills and attributes should they choose.  Despite this tougher creatures will appear in areas of the wasteland (including dungeons) that are not directly affected by the main quest.

Wednesday - April 29, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Dev Diary

by Dhruin, 23:01

Forging the Steel is the title of a Broken Steel DLC dev diary written by Jeff Browne, Lead Level Designer, and Alan Nanes, Lead Designer:

Once an author puts the last piece of punctuation on the final sentence of his creation, the story is traditionally over. However, with our latest downloadable content project, we were determined to break with this tradition by taking the ending of Fallout 3 beyond that epic moment in the purifier and beginning a new chapter in the saga of the Dweller from Vault 101. We had to revisit old locations and characters, change plot elements and yet still keep the tone and consistency accurate while at the same time provide an entertaining and rewarding experience for the player. It was a challenge we were determined to meet head-on, and the result is “Broken Steel.”

Beyond the mere fact that we were continuing Fallout 3’s story, we were given the task to raise the level cap from 20 to 30. Many issues stood in our way: balancing past level 20, providing new creatures and new NPC’s to challenge the post-level 20 players, creating new weapons and armor, handling the experience points, and generating new freeform quests to name a few. We knew going into this project that many questions had to be answered and that a lot of work had to be done.

Fallout 3 - v1.5 Patch

by Dhruin, 22:58

Bethsoft has released a v1.5 patch for Fallout 3 (50Mb) as the Broken Steel DLC approaches.  Here are the notes:

New Features

New achievements for Broken Steel

Bug Fixes

Fixed issue with VATS calculations not appearing properly for perks (PC)

Fixed crash related to altered references between master files

LOD objects render properly when loaded from DLC worldspaces

Fixed issue with companion NPCs not loading into cells immediately after player.

Monday - April 27, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Preview @ GameSpy

by Dhruin, 22:50

GameSpy has a preview of the upcoming Broken Steel DLC for Fallout 3:

One of the first things I noticed about Broken Steel is the fact that it will feature a bunch of new enemies, provided your character is above level 18. The Feral Ghoul Reavers are similar to their creepy cousins, but they pack quite a bit more punch, tossing grenades with reckless abandon, safe in the knowledge that they're covered with heavy body armor. Speaking of armor, the new Enclave Hellfire Troopers that you'll encounter in the military base are wearing some stylish new gear, as well as sporting a badass new weapon that we'll talk about later. Finally there are the new Supermutant Overlords, which I unfortunately didn't get to see. I only pray they're tougher than the Supermutant Behemoths that I was taking out with ease by the end of the main game. Those guys were wusses.

Fallout 3 - DLC Retail Package?

by Dhruin, 11:42

1Up has picked up an newsbit from a UK site called Electronic Theatre who say the first two DLCs for Fallout 3 will be released in a retail package.  Apparently, Operation Anchorage and The Pitt will be released together for X360 and PC in Europe on May 29, and Amazon.com shows a US release for May 26thBroken Steel isn't included, which seems an odd decision.

Saturday - April 25, 2009

Fallout 3 - Exploring A Devasted World @ Gamasutra

by Dhruin, 01:25

Exploring A Devastated World at Gamasutra is an interview with Emil Pagliarulo on the creative prcoess of writing for Fallout 3:

A number of facets of Bethesda games are not particularly in vogue in a broad design sense -- lots of text, a relatively low proportion of scripted sequences, and so on. How do you know that stuff will work?

EP: That is true. I think about that a lot, actually. For a lot of console games in particular, it's all about level of polish. We know sometimes that our games don't have the production values of Metal Gear Solid or something.

We don't have those kinds of production values. That's just a fact. But what we do have with our games, partly because we're an older company and we've been working together for a long time, are very strong PC roots at Bethesda.

If you look at Daggerfall and Arena, those were both PC games. We're all sort of old-school PC gamers that added consoles. I think a lot of our sensibilities are based in old PC games. And I think that Fallout 3 shows that.

There are a lot of PC game sensibilities in that game. I think what that means for gamers is that there's a lot of inherent depth there. It's not just systems, it's not just graphics. It's like there's a little bit something extra.

Our goal, anyway, is to capture a little bit of that magic of PC games. I think a lot of our audience is in that same category. They see what we do and appreciate it. I think there's definitely some of that going on. There's not a lot of that on the console, so it's almost like we have that novelty quality, too. We have those niches -- the giant open game niche, and also this PC game novelty niche, too.

Friday - April 24, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel Gameplay Video

by Dhruin, 00:14

The Bethblog is pointing out footage from Broken Steel on G4TV:

Tonight on G4TV, the X-Play crew premiered the first footage of Fallout 3’s third DLC, Broken Steel. On their site (or above), see the extended edition of Adam Sessler’s interview with Todd and Emil. Keep in mind there’s some minor spoilers, especially if you haven’t completed the main quest.

Broken Steel hits Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVE May 5th.

Thursday - April 23, 2009

RPGWatch Feature - Fallout 3: The Pitt DLC Review

by Dhruin, 13:23

In our latest review, we take a look at Bethesda's second DLC addon for Fallout 3, The Pitt.  Here's a sample:

The flow of the overall game works much better than in Operation Anchorage - I have highlighted some annoyingly nonsensical moments, but most people won't get hung up on those.  You get your quest, you move from task to task until you get to a fork in the road, make your choice, then proceed to the conclusion.  Everything wraps around your central mission, and the pacing is set nicely to keep you on the edge of action at all times.  The game design seems centered around providing enjoyable combat throughout at the expense of well thought out level design, so you get areas that are great in terms of pinch-points and vantage-points but fall apart badly when you turn around and look at how it is all laid out.

Read it all here.

Wednesday - April 22, 2009

Fallout 3 - Broken Steel DLC Roundup

by Dhruin, 00:48

Looks like everything is about Fallout this week...the recent Bethsoft press event that saw New Vegas announced also revealed more details about the Broken Steel DLC.  First, the official release date has been delayed a little to May 5th and new screenshots are available.

If you haven't played the ending of Fallout 3, you may want to skip any quotes from here on because Broken Sky changes the ending and spoilers are inevitable.

Here's a list of new previews out there, primarily ripped from the Bethblog:

 

 

Here come those spoilers.  From Giant Bomb:

The new conclusion of the main quest still has you dealing with the activation of the water purifier that is the centerpiece of Project Purity. The twist is that you'll survive the radiation if you go in yourself, and other options--such as sending in the radiation-resistant mutant, Fawkes--are also now available. This effectively takes care of the most ridiculous thing that happened in that entire game. Previously, Fawkes had some lame excuse that prevented you from "outsmarting" the game's ending. Man, even mentioning it now still gets me all hot and bothered. Other sidekicks can also venture in.

...and GameSpot:

As well as wandering around the Capital Wasteland doing new side quests and mopping up what may have been left of the original game's multiple quests, many of which will still be available, the main quest will take you across the wasteland too. This will take the form of attacking Enclave bases and attempting to give the Brotherhood of Steel an even greater tactical advantage to wipe out the Enclave problem once and for all. One such mission that was briefly showcased was a quest to find a tesla coil in an effort to construct a new weapon--the tesla cannon.

Wednesday - April 08, 2009

Fallout 3 - Mod Pack 3.0 @ FilePlanet

by Dhruin, 00:12

We haven't really tracked any Fallout 3 mods but I noticed this comprehensive mod pack mentioned at Planet Fallout and thought it might interest some.  The 5.3Gb package covers everything (and I mean everything) from adding dancing animations (?) to Pipboy skins and mods to added quests.

Friday - April 03, 2009

Fallout 3 - New Version...Again

by Dhruin, 22:15

A new version of The Pitt is available for X360 owners experiencing freezing and other problems.  From the Bethblog:

A new version of The Pitt is up on Xbox LIVE. If you’re experiencing crashes when trying to access content on The Pitt, delete the content off your hard drive and re-download. If you haven’t experienced any issues with freezing, there’s no need to re-download.

To delete the previous content for The Pitt, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to Xbox LIVE then press the guide button
  • Go to Settings->System Settings->Memory.
  • From here, scroll down to Fallout 3 and press A.
  • Select Fallout 3: The Pitt (Marketplace Content) press A then choose Delete, then Yes to Delete.

Now, you can go and re-download the new version for no charge and begin your adventure.

Thursday - April 02, 2009

Fallout 3 - The Pitt Review Roundup

by Dhruin, 22:24

Bethsoft has a roundup of Fallout 3: The Pitt reviews, some of which we've missed, so I'm going to rip their list for you here:

  Reviews for The Pitt have made their way online. Videogamer.com says, "“I had a great time with The Pitt, and it single-handedly reinvigorated my interest in Bethesda's masterpiece.” Additional reviews can be read at Gamespy, Eurogamer , GameFocus, Feed Your Console, Gaming Nexus, Koku Gamer, Atomic Gamer, Game and Player, and What If Gaming

GameSpy is the big one in that list, so here's a sample from them (4/5):

Disappointingly, The Pitt was released as a corrupted file to countless Xbox Live users. How much goodwill can you lose by releasing a broken, buggy product? $10 is not an insignificant amount of money for what amounts to a couple hours of content. Since the re-release of the download, users are still reporting rampant freezing issues and assorted other bugs, some reporting a complete inability to access the new content. Xbox Live offers no refunds, so they're left with little recourse. In my own experience with the current version of The Pitt, I got stuck in a wall without being able to get out, forcing me to reload and wasting considerable time.

I enjoyed The Pitt far more than I did Operation Anchorage, despite its problematic release. It feels like an extension of the core game, embracing the soul and the RPG fineries of the original game while still taking a step in a new direction. If your level 20 character, like mine, is a min-maxed weapon of destruction, you may want to crank up the difficulty. But even if you do cruise through any battle, you'll still find that The Pitt's locations are a pleasure to explore, and completionists will find a great collection challenge here that will keep them busy for quite some time.

Wednesday - April 01, 2009

Fallout 3 - The Pitt - Reviews @ GameBanshee, Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 21:30

GameBanshee gives Fallout 3: The Pitt the full treatment with a review, walkthrough and equipment database.  The review score is 7.6/10, with author Steven Carter finding it mediocre:

The Pitt is the second DLC pack released by Bethesda Softworks for Fallout 3. It follows in the footsteps of Operation: Anchorage, which was released in January. Operation: Anchorage offered a completely different look and feel than the main Fallout 3 campaign, but it also stripped away almost all of the game’s role-playing elements, and so it wasn’t warmly received. The Pitt takes the opposite approach. It delivers quests and situations that fit right in with the main campaign -- but to the point where you might feel like you’ve played them before. I think The Pitt is a step in the right direction for what people would like to see from a DLC, and it’s certainly an upgrade over Operation: Anchorage, but Bethesda isn’t exactly wowing anybody with their crafting skills.

Worthplaying also has a review and are even less impressed, scoring 5.8/10 after having trouble with Games For Windows Live and finding the content feeling "unfinished":

Wastelanders disappointed with the shoot-'em-all backdrop of Operation: Anchorage will find the Pitt's story line to be refreshing. Players will get to pick through a few interesting dialogue choices and experience an unexpected twist toward the end that nearly feels as if it had taken a page of gray morality from The Witcher, but without that, it would otherwise have had a hard time competing against some of the other side-quests from the main game. Much of that feeling is due to how unfinished the rest of the DLC feels, if the glitches weren't enough of an indication that something was wrong.

Tuesday - March 31, 2009

Fallout 3 - The Pitt - More Issues

by Dhruin, 23:56

The Pitt seems to be having a hard time, with the Bethblog saying they are working on freezing issues some players have encountered:

Since The Pitt went back up on Xbox LIVE last Wednesday, we’ve received feedback that some folks were experiencing freezing issues while trying to access The Pitt. We’re working with Microsoft to get a version of The Pitt up that corrects the aforementioned freezing issue. Once the content is up and available, we’ll let you know.

We’d like to thank all our fans who generously and methodically reported what they were seeing on our official forums, via email and on this blog. This data was immensely helpful in tracking down these issues.

Thanks again to everyone for their support, patience and feedback.

Monday - March 30, 2009

Fallout 3 - The Pitt Review @ AtomicGamers

by Dhruin, 22:12

Another review for Bethsoft's The Pitt DLC, with AtomicGamer awarding 81%:

While can be blazed through in less than two hours, speed runs aren't really the best way to play - I thoroughly enjoyed myself over the course of four to five hours in exploring, finding the secrets, finishing the main thing, and then going back through it to catch anything I missed. Then I took the loot I got out with back into the Capital Wasteland to serve up even more hot death to the Super Mutants in the DC ruins. Unfortunately, though, the loot to be had from isn't quite as good as the couple of key pieces you'd get from completing . They look and sound good and are a lot of fun to use, but don't expect any game-changers. For me that's where a lot of the depth of DLC should come from - not only in adding a new adventure, but letting the gear and perks that you get from completing it change the way you play the original game as well as future DLC and even user-made mods, and in that sense, is a bit of a disappointment. Overall, though, if you found to be worth your ten bucks, you will likely find this one to be an even better buy.

Source: Blues News

Fallout 3 - The Pitt Review @ IncGamers

by Dhruin, 12:01

7/10 is the score for The Pitt at IncGamers:

The Pitt is a step back and in the right direction to the more traditional quest lines of Fallout 3 with several morally ambiguous choices, but it is a frustratingly short campaign, albeit short and sweet, I completed and explored it all in five hours. There maybe some longevity in replay: as mentioned there are a few different moral routes to explore, I just hope that the next installment does allow leveling up and is more of a challenge to those of us that have fully explored and stated up in the Capitol Wasteland.

Source: Blues News

Friday - March 27, 2009

Fallout 3 - Opening the Design Vault @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 23:33

This sounds like an insight into the design development process for Fallout 3 but is really more of a dev profile for Emil Pagliarulo:

However, after a few years at Ion Storm, which  Eidos Interactive shut down in 2005, Pagliarulo realized he missed the East Coast. In 2002, he again called Hines and asked if they had any positions open. He was immediately hired and put to work on The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon expansion pack. He would eventually become of one the lead quest designers on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, penning the fan-favorite Dark Brotherhood storyline. Some of the violent imagery in its quests was a factor in the game's being re-rated M for Mature  post-release.

Fallout 3 - The Pitt - Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 06:57

Our first review of The Pitt comes from Eurogamer, who staunchly criticise the buggy launch before going on to say this second DLC is much better than Operation: Anchorage.  The score is 8/10 and here's a late snip:

For new features, then, it comes up a little short, but it makes up for it in other ways. The quest is lot more interesting than Operation: Anchorage, offering greater variation, scope for non-linear exploration and degrees of NPC interaction. While still linear in terms of the order you do the tasks, the hub-like environment is more atmospheric and immersive, and graphic tourists will be delighted that Bethesda has once again provided a set of magnificent locations to explore, rich in detail and intrigue. The further you progress, the more enjoyable it gets.

That said, it's an uneven experience. After an interesting introduction, the decision to force you to basically dungeon-crawl against identical (unchallenging) enemies until you get bored is a questionable one. Of particular concern is how easy it makes things for players, and given how long most of Fallout 3's audience will have been playing the game by this stage, you might have expected a sterner test from Bethesda. Make sure you crank up the difficulty if you're visiting with a maxed-out character.

Thursday - March 26, 2009

Fallout 3 - Wins GDC Developers Choice Award

by Dhruin, 22:08

Fallout 3 has won the 9th annual GDC Developers Choice Awards for Game of the Year.  You can head over to the official site for more or Blue's has a handy roundup.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - March 25, 2009

Fallout 3 - The Pitt - Back Online

by Dhruin, 21:03

From the Bethblog:

The English version of The Pitt is now available for download on Xbox Live. If you downloaded the (corrupted) file that was originally available, you will need to delete it before downloading the new version. If you haven’t deleted DLC content before, here’s the steps you’ll want to take:

  • Sign in to Xbox LIVE then press the guide button
  • Go to Settings->System Settings->Memory.
  • From here, scroll down to Fallout 3 and press A.
  • Select Fallout 3: The Pitt (Marketplace Content) press A then choose Delete, then Yes to Delete (make sure not to delete any of your game saves)

Once the original version is deleted, you can re-download The Pitt again free of charge.

Fallout 3 - The Pitt Fixed for Tomorrow

by Dhruin, 08:32

Shacknews says Pete Hines has updated them on The Pitt, saying a fixed version should be back tomorrow:

It looks like the corrected version of the Fallout 3 "Pitt" downloadable add-on will arrive on Xbox 360 tomorrow, developer Bethesda has informed Shacknews.

"Finishing some tests but if all checks out we should have The Pitt back up and available by tomorrow afternoon," Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines told us.

Tuesday - March 24, 2009

Fallout 3 - Issues with The Pitt for X360

by Dhruin, 22:09

The Bethblog explains the X360 version of The Pitt DLC has been buggered up:

We are continuing to look into the issues people are experiencing with The Pitt for Xbox 360. As of now it looks like the file for the English version on Xbox Live was somehow corrupted. We are currently working with Microsoft to remove the existing file off of Live to prevent any further downloads. Our plan is to replace it with a new file as soon as possible. We hope to have another update for you shortly.

Fallout 3 - The Pitt DLC Released

by Dhruin, 11:30

Bethsoft and Microsoft have released The Pitt for Fallout 3.  You can read about about it on Microsoft's Live site or use the Live client to purchase it (800 point thingies).  Here's the description, again:

The Pitt opens with a desperate radio message, and a meeting with its sender, an escaped slave named Wernher. Wernher claims that the leader of The Pitt has created a cure for mutations… and he needs you to go in and retrieve it. From there, the player can proceed in a number of ways, in true Fallout 3 style. Do you fight your way in, or disguise yourself as a slave? Ally with the slaves, or join their Raider overlords? The Pitt is very morally ambiguous - there's no real right or wrong, just choices to be made, sides to be chosen, and a mystery that could send shockwaves throughout the entire Wasteland.

Key Features

  • Explore an entire new area - the post-apocalyptic ruins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, known as The Pitt!
  • Find and use new weaponry, such as the AutoAxe, a new melee weapon with a powerful, serrated rotary blade hungry for flesh.
  • Discover new side quests and subtle plot elements and determine your path in this place where nothing is "right" or "wrong."
  • Exclusive new perks and achievements!
  • Wednesday - March 18, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt Interviews

    by Dhruin, 21:03

    The Bethblog is pointing out new interviews for The Pitt DLC, at VG247 and Totally360.  The first is too short to bother quoting but here's a snip from Totally360:

    The effect of entering Oasis or Operation: Anchorage was quite powerful given what a radical change it was from the Capital Wasteland, can we expect something similar here?

    The Pitt itself is the vision of several developers who grew up in Pittsburgh.  It’s full of unique architecture that has a different color pallet and feel from downtown D.C.  The buildings are decrepit, but still intact.  The Raider area is filled with their usual displays of disemboweled corpses and spray paint.  Perhaps the most striking part of the Pitt is the bridge that leads into it and the ominous black smog that erupts from the still working Steel Mill.

    Saturday - March 14, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt Trailer

    by Dhruin, 23:57

    Head over to Gametrailers for the first official gameplay trailer for FO3: The Pitt (standard def, high def).

    Thanks, Vistaer!

    Thursday - March 12, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt Screens, Dev Diary

    by Dhruin, 21:02

    Bethsoft has released their usual trio of new screens for The Pitt, which you can view at the official site, and Senior Producer Jeff Gardiner writes a dev diary about "the process of Game Creation in relation to our Downloadable Content":

    Towards the end of the development of a game, there are three pretty well known, but very loosely defined phases, known as Alpha, Beta and finally Gold. Prior to that there are two major phases, Pre-Production and then of course Production itself which is where the bulk of the game goes from documents on paper (or in someone's gray matter) to the screen where we can all enjoy them. It was right before we went Beta that the decision was made to start thinking about our DLC. Now, before you think we just cut existing content from the game in order to milk our fans, let me explain in more detail how we view these various stages.

    Pre-Production is a smaller team of core leads, working out the high-level theory from game rendering to character modeling to systems design. It's here where the story is born and concepts are drawn out. On Fallout 3, this phase began while we were still working on Oblivion. For Operation: Anchorage and the other DLC this phase was relatively short as most of the game systems, and obviously our core technology, wouldn't be changing.

    Fallout 3 - DLC Interview @ Planet Fallout

    by Dhruin, 12:37

    Bethsoft Senior Producer Jeff Gardiner has been interviewed at Planet Fallout about their DLC program including, of course, The Pitt:

    How many people work on the DLC content? Tell us more about the development of The Pitt.

    We have approximately 25 people, plus QA dedicated to each DLC. The bulk of that is the art staff. The development cycle is very short – thankfully we’re not trying to establish our technology so it’s pretty much all content creation. Since the teams are tight and focused we get to have fantastic brainstorm meetings and cross-departmental work – such as Artists pitching design ideas.

    Tell us about the art direction of The Pitt, will it be a unique and recognizable area?

    It’s very unique. Pittsburgh isn’t bombed out, so it’s collapsing under years of decay and neglect. The Raiders that have take over have propped up the area with sheet metal catwalks and their typical displays of flayed corpses and spray paint. The smog from the still working steal factory looms overhead, its blue black smoke contrasting the red and orange hues of the building below.

    Wednesday - March 11, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt Preview @ OXM UK

    by Dhruin, 22:47

    The Bethblog pointed out a preview of The Pitt DLC for Fallout 3 at OXM UK a couple of days back.  Here's a snip:

    It's at this point that The Pitt shows that it retains Fallout 3's ability to deftly and subtly allow your decisions to influence the action, that makes you want to revisit. As you approach the slave camps, you notice a couple of slaves dashing for freedom, who get blown up by the mines. Will you take their slave outfit and get into the camp that way? Will you try to join the slavers as a recruit? It's up to you.

    Once you join The Pitt, you then have to figure out how to achieve your goals while maintaining the facade of being a weak-willed slave worker. The Pitt works as a central hub almost in the same way Megaton did, the difference being that The Pitt is much bigger and the suffocating sense of oppression gives it an entirely different feel. Slaves are covered with cuts, bruises and skin peeling off their faces. The sound of clanking metal and whirring grinders create a noisy din. Guards tell you to "**** off" if you try talk to them. The Pitt isn't a nice place to be.

    Tuesday - March 10, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Podcast @ AVault

    by Dhruin, 20:42

    Pete Hines and Emil Pagliarulo are guests at the Adrenaline Vault's latest podcast:

    Episode #22 - This week Pete Hines and Emil Pagliarulo from Bethesda Studios return to the show and they sure have a lot to say. They chat about the success of Fallout 3 and the soon to be released DLC. They give their opinions on the value of video game reviews and they fill us in on some of their favorite video game stories. They also talk about the iPhone and how excited they are about it. With the release of Halo Wars and its expansion on the Halo story the podcast crew chats about some of their favorite stories in video games and the importance that they have on the overall experience of a game.  

    RPGWatch Feature - Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage Review

    by Dhruin, 12:27

    Mike 'txa1265' Anderson takes a look at Bethesda's first DLC addon for Fallout 3, Operation Anchorage:

    Horse armor.  Those two words are enough to get even the most staunch supporters of 'DLC' (downloadable content) riled up.  That is because what it offers - Colorforms for your horse for $2 in real money - felt like a rather blatant money grab.  It seemed that Bethesda and Microsoft teamed up and said 'let's test this system by holding out including something trivial from the game, then offering it for a small sum and see how many suckers ... errm, customers are interested'.  While the DLC for Oblivion and many other games has greatly improved (though in many other cases it has not), the fundamental question of the 'value proposition' dogs every DLC release - and with good reason.

    Read it all here.

    Thursday - March 05, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Prepare for the Future

    by Dhruin, 20:46

    Whatever your opinion of Fallout 3, their PrepareForTheFuture.com promo website was nicely done.  The Bethblog looks at the process of putting it together with Gasket Studios and AKQA.

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt: Screens, Date, Preview

    by Dhruin, 20:40

    Bethsoft sent us a note saying they have released three new screens for The Pitt.

    Meanwhile, Eurogamer says the release date has been set for March 24th:

    Bethesda Softworks has announced that The Pitt, the second downloadable expansion for the PC and Xbox 360 versions of Fallout 3, will be released on 24th March.

    ...alongside their own preview:

    If Operation: Anchorage was the equivalent of a war film - a wasteland rendition of The Guns of Navarone - The Pitt is a prison movie. You enter its bleak red-brick confines in as a slave, bereft of your weapons and equipment, and mingle with an imprisoned workforce which has revolution on its mind.

    Wherever you go there are reminders of films like Fortress and an atmosphere borrowed from that most brilliant of prison-set games, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. Sure, during the filming of The Shawshank Redemption Tim Robbins never had to crawl around a ruined factory grinding the limbs off scuttling Nosferatu-style mutants while searching for ten quest items - but that spirit of jailhouse revolution is certainly what Bethesda is after.

    Wednesday - March 04, 2009

    Fallout 3 - v1.4 Manual Update

    by Dhruin, 21:07

    If you don't like using the Live thingy to update Fallout 3, Bethsoft has released manual patches (~45Mb).

    Monday - March 02, 2009

    Fallout 3 - v1.4.0.6 Patch

    by Dhruin, 21:18

    Matt Grandstaff announced a new Fallout 3 patch on the official forums, although it doesn't fix anything.  Rather, it adds the Achievements for The Pitt in readiness for the second DLC release:

    Today a new update (v1.4.0.6) is available on Xbox LIVE and Games for Windows LIVEUpdate 1.4 Notes (PC and Xbox 360).

    It's a small update in preparation for the game's second DLC, The Pitt, which is slated for release this month.

    New Features

    • New achievements for The Pitt
  • Support for multiple downloadable content
  • Saturday - February 28, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Review @ PC Format

    by Dhruin, 22:44

    62% is the score for Fallout 3's Operation Anchorage DLC at PC Format:

    This is Bethesda’s attempt at turning Fallout 3 into a linear run and gun shooter – in the simulation, the looting and talking are removed almost entirely, and health and ammo are replenished from glowing red pods placed in certain areas of the environment. Unfortunately, much like the ‘climactic’ battle in the game proper, the Gamebryo engine simply isn’t capable of the kind of bombast required to represent large scale conflict. What’s more, while Fallout 3’s combat is enjoyable in small doses, it’s not up to the standard of a modern FPS. Its three hours of solid combat with identical soldiers gets wearing extremely quickly with nothing else to distract you.

    Source: Blues News

    Tuesday - February 24, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt - DICE Interviews

    by Dhruin, 22:30

    Bethsoft's Todd Howard discusses The Pitt at D.I.C.E. in these two pieces.  The first is a video interview at GameSpot and the second is a community interview at MTV with the questions supplied by readers via Twitter:

    graemepass @multiplayers Is it as combat focused as Anchorage? Because that’s not what I want.

    Hines: No. It is much more in line with some of the other stuff in “Fallout.” There are these two factions. There’s a story: the slavers vs. the slaves. And you have to figure out who you want to believe and who you want to help. Clearly, there’s combat involved, but there are multiple ways to go about doing things. You have to decide ultimately what you think is right, because there is no real right or wrong.

    Sunday - February 22, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Howard on Tackling Fallout

    by Dhruin, 09:15

    GameSpot is reporting a Todd Howard segment from D.I.C.E. on the daunting task of tackling a Fallout game:

    "Great ideas never, never die," Howard said. "We were in love with the first game and felt it needed to be done again."

    That confidence in a game is essential, Howard said, adding, "You have to really have faith in your idea because there is no data that will prove it valid." Charts and graphs and details such as install base shouldn't play into the decision to make a game, he said. If install base mattered that much, he noted, then everyone would just keep making board games because there are a whole lot of tables out there.

    Friday - February 20, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt - Previews @ GameSpy, IGN

    by Dhruin, 12:22

    Two major sites have previews of the second DLC for Fallout 3, The Pitt after some play time at the D.I.C.E. Summit. From GameSpy:

    The action actually kicked off at some point after the start of the mission, as I was already on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. A new character named Wernher was helping me to sneak into a slave outpost in order to find a cure for radiation mutation, and he told me that the only way in was to either pretend to be an escaped slave or a slaver that was looking for employment. Either way, I'd be stripped of my weapons and everything in my possession, except for a single pistol or knife that I'd be able to smuggle in (I don't even want to know the specifics of where or how). After crossing a bridge that was peppered with mines, I reached the gate and tried to talk my way in as a fellow slaver. When the sarcastic bastard manning the gate told me that all I needed to do was head inside to fill out an application, I knew I was in trouble.

    ...and IGN:

    If you weren't thrilled with Operation: Anchorage's heavy focus on combat, you'll likely enjoy The Pitt a lot more. There's lots of dialogue, several side quests, and a bigger emphasis on exploration for this second game add-on. There are several different ways you can approach the process of getting into the slave camp. I decided to just walk up and say hi. That didn't go over so well with the slavers. And if you're worried that all of this "saving the day" business is going to turn your evil character good, don't. I found at least one place to be nasty inside of the steel mill. While the slaves sweated with steel production, one slave had carved out a niche for himself. He sells information to his captors as a snitch. Give him some juicy gossip and he'll trade you some stimpaks for the info.

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt - Screens

    by Myrthos, 11:02

    Three new screens from the upcoming Fallout 3 DLC named The Pitt can be found in our gallery, or by clicking on the links below.

    The Pitt  The Pitt

    The Pitt

    Wednesday - February 18, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Roleplaying in the Wastes

    by Dhruin, 21:18

    A site called Experience Points has an interesting piece on roleplaying in Fallout 3, when illuminated against a Pen&Paper experience.  The author created motivations for his character and set out to see how well the game supported his choice:

    Despite these barriers, I had fleshed out my character to my liking and came out of the vault comfortable with my decisions. My evil actions would be driven by mistrust, paranoia and a desire to find my father. Yet the game design did not facilitate this interpretation. I stole to survive, yet for every Stimpak I would steal, I would lose Karma points. At one point, my negative karma allowed one "shady" gentleman to view my character as a potential compatriot, despite the fact he had never seen me steal or kill. The personality I gave my character was not the personality Fallout seemed to be shepherding me towards.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Fallout 3 - Review @ Popmatters

    by Dhruin, 21:02

    Popmatters has a thoughtful review of Fallout 3 written by Michael Abbott from The Brainy Gamer, whom we've linked before.  The score is 9/10 and here's a sample:

    Despite Bethesda’s notable progress rendering believable human characters voiced by convincing actors (Fallout 3 is a huge improvement in this regard from Oblivion), the game serves as a reminder of just how far we have left to go. All too often, the characters in Fallout 3 function as stiff, mummified information kiosks. They behave like automatons, ambling from one place to the next with the illusion of purpose. As I’ve written previously, engaging an NPC is like hitting his PLAY button. He stops and looks at you, the “camera” centers him in the frame, and his animatronic mask-face emotes. The voice acting is much improved and significantly more varied than in Oblivion, but the facial animations remain primitive and unconvincing. The person I’m looking at and the voice I’m hearing rarely seem properly matched. 

    Friday - February 13, 2009

    Fallout 3 - The Pitt - Preview in UK OXBM

    by Dhruin, 22:55

    VoodooExtreme says the first full preview of The Pitt for Fallout 3 is in the UK Official Xbox Magazine.  You'll have to read it for the full thing but here's a snip via VE3D:

    The Pitt consists of a large 'dungeon' area, an abandoned steel yard, as well as a settlement divided into two halves; Downtown, occupied by slaves, and Haven occupied by their masters.

    For the first time players will be able to interact with Raiders other than by fighting them, says the mag, and one major quest has you taking on the role of a slave, investigating rumours that the Raider boss has found a cure for mutation.

    Side quests and unique items are promised, naturally, including the fearsome-looking Auto Axe, which a bit like a chainsaw crossed with a Black & Decker hedge trimmer.

    Source: Voodoo Extreme

    Monday - February 09, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Review @ Game Topius

    by Dhruin, 21:22

    Another review of Operation Anchorage with thoughts running in the "not worth it unless you love Fallout 3" direction:

    I ran into a few different problems in my time with Operation Anchorage such as getting stuck in the level and having my squad just stop following me. As someone who didn’t encounter any bugs in the base fallout 3 game, this surprised me and not in a good way.

    Operation Anchorage seems to take the great varied gameplay of all of the other Fallout 3 quests, but strips out all of the other options other than “kill the Chinese guy in front of you”. If you specialized in the non-combat skills, there are very few opportunities to actually use them. Verbal/Social and Hacking/lock picking skills have a couple situations where they come in handy, but any other non-combat skill ends up being worthless.

    Source: Blues News

    Saturday - February 07, 2009

    Fallout 3 - DLC Delays, Interview

    by Dhruin, 22:25

    Bethsoft has told GameSpot the two upcoming Fallout 3 DLCs have both been delayed a month:

    "The next DLC for Fallout 3, The Pitt, will be out in March," Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines said. "Broken Steel will be out the following month, in April."

    ...and GameZone has a general DLC interview with Jeff Gardiner:

    Q: For gamers that are specifically looking to increase their clocked time within the Fallout 3 world, how many more hours will Operation Anchorage, The Pitt and Broken Steel offer to them?

    Jeff: Operation: Anchorage and The Pitt both offer about four to five hours of gameplay within the quest lines they introduce.  They both offer new weapons, armor and perks that the player can then use as they see fit within the game as a whole.  The quest line in Broken Steel is about the same length, but we’re also increasing the level cap to 30, as well as amending the main Fallout quest line so the game doesn’t end….  This will allow the player to keep exploring the wasteland for as many hours as they’d like.

    Source: Blues News

    Wednesday - February 04, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Review @ NMA

    by Dhruin, 22:50

    It's NMA's turn for a Operation: Anchorage review.  There's no score but the result is clear:

    What further degrades the gameplay is how sparsely populated the battlefield is. One would expect the final confrontation between American and Chinese forces in Anchorage to include massive amounts of soldiers and ordnance with, but no, the operation feels more like a small skirmish on the sideline of the actual battle. Tense trench warfare in Anchorage is a yawn-inducing walk through narrow corridors, blasting the occassional mandarin-speaking grunt to pieces in overpowered VATS. A large vehicle depot supporting many tanks is a small yard with ten grunts to kill. The final "push" adds injury to insult, as it consists of six T-51b Power Armour soldiers running through an ice field to blow up a door.

    Tuesday - February 03, 2009

    Fallout 3 - More Operation: Anchorage Reviews #2

    by Dhruin, 11:15

    A batch of three Operation: Anchorage reviews, today.

    Here's a sample from GameBanshee with a sentiment shared across all these articles:

    Operation: Anchorage adds four new quests that will take you about five hours to complete. There are also some new items that you can find, such as the gauss rifle, which is the energy weapon equivalent of the sniper rifle, and some of these items can even be taken with you after completing the simulation (thanks to the armory that the Outcasts are guarding). But otherwise there’s little to recommend about the DLC. It’s linear and it’s easy and it adds almost nothing to the Fallout 3 universe. To me it sort of felt like a quarter of an expansion pack at half the cost, which isn’t a good thing.

     

    Source: Blues News

    Thursday - January 29, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Roundup

    by Dhruin, 20:22

    I'm told by Briosafreak from Planet Fallout (check out their Operation: Anchorage FAQ if you need anything) that the issue that locked out many regions (such as Australia, NZ and Portugal) from accessing this DLC have been fixed.  My interest has passed, so I haven't checked personally.

    On to a review roundup.

    ...and an interview at [OC]Modshop.

    Source: GameBanshee

    Wednesday - January 28, 2009

    Fallout 3 - More Operation: Anchorage Reviews

    by Dhruin, 22:34

    Two more new Operation: Anchorage reviews, with neither being won over.  Let's start with VideoGamer.com, who call it "Falllout 3 vs Call of Duty: Winter Edition". The score is 6/10 and here's a taste:

    What this essentially means is that you get to play through roughly four hours of Fallout 3 vs Call of Duty: Winter Edition. All role-playing elements of the game are completely scaled back, resulting in a simple first-person shooter with added VATS. There's very little in the way of pick-ups: ammo and health are now dispensed via little machines dotted around the maps, and because your enemies disappear when they die, it's impossible to loot corpses. As a result of these changes, and the fact that you are now fighting Chinese soldiers, it's quite remarkable how different it all feels from the Fallout 3 we know and love.

    Unfortunately, in this case being different isn't a particularly good thing. Aside from the fun and games of VATS, combat was never Fallout 3's strong suit. Your enemies are as brain-dead as ever, and the chances are that you'll cut through them like a hot knife through butter. While you don't have access to any of your old equipment, your in-simulation character retains the same stats as your "real-world" adventurer - and indeed it's possible to level-up while you're playing. If you happen to be at a reasonably experienced stage when you join Operation Anchorage (we used a save at level 15) then you'll barely bat an eyelid, never mind break a sweat.

    ...and a site called The Reticule says "just don't buy it":

    Escape this dull world of horrendous blue and grey, you’ll find yourself in… another horrendous world of blue and grey. Where Fallout 3 is pretty well stylised in this respect - it looks like a stereotypical barren wasteland - O:A is simply just horrific. The “squad choices” amount to little more than talking to that dull US soldier friend from the start of the simulation to choose what weapons they have. If you want squad control, go download the Enclave Commander mod. Hell, Bethesda even advertised it themselves weeks ago, clearly in anticipation of their failure. You then proceed to have the wonderful world of choice dangled in front of your eyes, only to realise you’re basically choosing little more than the order in which you follow a small number of linear paths. There’s a few nice touches along the way. It’s nice seeing the T-51b’s given their proper place once more especially. But nothing truly justifies either the financial cost. It’s not particularly long either - there’s a lot of people understandably annoyed at how short it is on the Bethesda forums. The rest are obviously having fun getting the darn thing running.

    The Reticule also has this invaluable tip:

    One useful little nugget of information for you all is the location of the actual game files. Following this procedure will allow you to play without GFWL running. Bliss:

    Go to C:\Documents and Settings\Owner\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Xlive\DLC

    From here, copy the .bsm files into C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Fallout 3\Data

    And there you have it! You’ll be able to do everything normally as per the good old ways.

    Meanwhile - though not a review - MTV Multiplayer is impressed so far.  On bodies disappearing so there is no looting:

    I knew Bethesda’s downloadable content would be a different experience, but I hardly expected them to toy with gamers expectations for how they should play “Fallout 3.” If that’s the approach they’re taking with each of these downloadable expansions, I need to buy some more Microsoft Points.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Review @ Destructoid

    by Dhruin, 09:45

    Contrary to the first review at Eurogamer, Destructoid scores Operation: Anchorage at a hefty 8/10:

    Operation: Anchorage is focused almost entirely on combat. So, right off the bat, if you are not a fan of Fallout 3's combat system, you will almost certainly loathe this expansion. If you found the combat to be entertaining but wanted a little more challenge because you've reached level twenty and are swatting Super Mutants like flies, on the other hand, you're in for a treat.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Tuesday - January 27, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Review and More

    by Dhruin, 22:50

    Looks like Fallout 3 is on everyones' mind today.  Let's start with the Eurogamer review, where Will Porter awards a score of 5/10 after criticising the nothing-but-a-shooter design and the pricing for 2.5 medicore hours:

    Sad to say, but remove the role-play dynamics from Fallout 3 and you're left with a slightly duff shooter (hey, even Todd Howard agrees). Operation Anchorage could have got away with it if it had been clever and more knowing, like the Tranquillity Lane simulation in the full game, but as it is it just feels shallow. For example, expositional holotapes are found in dull, obvious closets directly on your path and behind the easiest of locks; hacking into computers never really goes beyond redirecting the attention of a gun turret; hardly anything can be picked up or ferreted around in. Just so much of what makes the Fallout 3 experience such a complete and all-encompassing one is stripped away, and if you've already spent a fair proportion of the past four months in the DC wasteland you'll feel like you're only playing half the game you love.

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun finds buying Operation Anchorage from GfWL is so long and traumatic, there's no time to talk about the content:

    Restarted. Run GFWL. Log in. And there it is. The evidence that Operation Anchorage exists. My MS points balance is empty, which means it needs to launch IE (dust flying everywhere) and asks me to log in again 30 seconds after logging in. You can’t buy 800 points, obviously. You have to buy 500 or 1000. I don’t want 500 or 1000, I want 800. £8.50 for 1000. Of course it requires a credit card, there’s no option for Paypal or Google Checkout. Nor even a Switch card. It’s gotta be about those credit cards! Fortunately mine’s already registered from 360 excursions, so that will save time.

    The official site has a new trailer if you'd like to see it in action.  In related stuff, MTV Multiplayer just reached the end of the standard game and writes about their confusion with the abrupt design.

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage DLC Released

    by Dhruin, 12:18

    You can now break out your credit cards, fire up Games for Windows Live and grab Operation Anchorage for Fallout 3:

    The Brotherhood Outcasts are trying to acquire advanced military technology, and the only way to open the vault containing these relics is by completing a tactical simulation only you can enter. In Operation: Anchorage you will re-live the epic Battle of Anchorage from Fallout lore. Find your way into the simulation, stripped of resources, and survive within the rules set up by the simulation’s creators. The Chinese red army is everywhere, so secure the surrounding mountain side and fight your way into the Chinese base.

    RPGWatch Feature - Fallout 3 Review: Corwin's View

    by Dhruin, 11:48

    Now it's Corwin's turn to examine Fallout 3 in our second review of Bethesda's entry to this revered series.  From the intro:

    What’s in a name? If we listen to the hype, or the controversy surrounding the title of this game, we’d have to assume a name means a great deal. Let’s deal with this issue immediately so we can address the far more important aspects of this game.

    No-one argues that the game contains many of the same elements we find in the earlier iterations: Pip Boy; Super Mutants; Vaults; BoS; etc, but many are complaining that the differences are too great. Rubbish!

    Read it all here.

    Monday - January 26, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Criticisms and Answers @ MTV

    by Dhruin, 20:40

    MTV Multiplayer sent Todd Howard three critcisms of Fallout 3 - the performance as an FPS, the ending and VATS - with Howard responding briefly but frankly:

    Criticism #2: The ending isn’t very satisfying and much shorter than other “Fallout” endings

    Howard: Based on the feedback I’ve seen, most people are pissed off that it ends, not the ‘ending’ itself. Maybe that’s one and the same, I don’t know. That’s another thing we’re changing in DLC3 [downloadable content #3, "Broken Steel"]. We really underestimated how many people would want to keep playing, so that’s probably the last time we’ll do something like that.

    Fallout 3 - GECK Tips @ Gamefocus

    by Dhruin, 20:36

    The Bethblog is pointing out an article at Gamefocus providing tips on the Fallout 3 G.E.C.K. kit.

    RPGWatch Feature - Fallout 3 Review: txa1265's View

    by Dhruin, 11:58

    It's been a long time coming but we finally have not one - but two - reviews of Fallout 3.  Today, Michael 'txa1265' Anderson takes a detailed look at FO3 in a massive 5-page article almost as epic as the game.  A quick taste from the intro:

    First and foremost: anyone who denies that Fallout 3 is 'Oblivion with guns' is either lying to you or themselves. At the same time, anyone who claims that 'Oblivion with guns' is all that Fallout 3 has to offer is being similarly dishonest.

    Read it all here.

    ...and watch out for Corwin's opinion tomorrow.

     

    Thursday - January 22, 2009

    Fallout 3 - G.E.C.K. Tips #2

    by Dhruin, 20:57

    If you're interested in playing with the Fallout 3 editor, the Bethblog has their second Quick Tips video titled Bunker Kit & Snap to Reference.

    Tuesday - January 20, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Community Q&A

    by Dhruin, 22:46

    The community Q&A for Operation Anchorage we noted the other day at GameSpy is now complete so you can head over and see what the readers asked Bethsoft's Jeff Gardiner:

    GSpy Reader: Will the Operation: Anchorage content be open-ended like in Shivering Isles, or will it be a wholly linear experience akin to not-so-notable downloadable content we've seen from other games?

    Jeff Gardiner: Operation: Anchorage is a more linear experience. However, there are decisions to be made within the scope of the content itself. The player has the choice on how to outfit their strike team. They also get to decide how to approach and subdue the Chinese Stronghold, as well as how and if they'll help the Brotherhood Outcasts. Subsequent DLC, The Pitt and Broken Steel, will contain more open-world gameplay.

    Friday - January 16, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage - Questions Wanted

    by Dhruin, 00:00

    The Bethblog is pointing out an upcoming community interview on the Operation Anchorage DLC at GameSpy of all places.  Head over if you have a burning question you'd like to submit:

    Rather than simply ask the developers our own questions, we thought it would be more fun to let you, our readers, do our work for us. So, if you've got some hard-hitting questions for the team at Bethesda, either pose them in the comment section below or head into this forum post to post them. We'll be choosing your ten best questions and running Bethesda's replies on Friday afternoon. Please limit your questions to the Operation: Anchorage DLC, as the team isn't quite ready to discuss the other content that will be available in the coming months. Ask away

    Thursday - January 15, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Screens

    by Myrthos, 22:48

    Three new screens of the Fallout 3 DLC Operation:Anchorage can be found in our gallery.

    Operation: Anchorage Operation: Anchorage Operation: Anchorage

     

    Wednesday - January 14, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Gets Writers Guild Award Nomination

    by Dhruin, 22:08

    The nominations for the Writers Guild videogame awards are out with Fallout 3 getting a nod.  Here's the list via Variety:

    Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (EA). Writer: Haris Orkin. Story Producer: Mical Pedriana.

    Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble! (Mousechief). Writing: Keith Nemitz. Additional Writing: Adrianne Ambrose.

    Fallout 3 (Bethesda). Lead Writer: Emil Pagliarulo. Quest Writing: Erik J. Caponi, Brian Chapin, Jon Paul Duvall, Kurt Kuhlmann, Alan Nanes, Bruce Nesmith, and Fred Zeleny. Additional Quest Writing: Nate Ellis, William Killeen, Mark Nelson, and Justin McSweeney.

    Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (LucasArts). Writers: Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford and Cameron Suey.

    Tomb Raider: Underworld (Eidos). Story: Eric Lindstrom and Toby Guard. Screenplay: Eric Lindstrom.

    Nominations need to have a specific credit for "writer", "story scripting" or similar and be a member of the WGA.  In other words, it's an award by the WGA only for the WGA.

    Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    Tuesday - January 13, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Multiplatform v1.1 Patch, DLC Dated

    by Dhruin, 20:40

    Pete Hines sends word that the long anticipated patch for Fallout 3 is now available.  This patch is required for the upcoming DLC, with Operation Anchorage launching on January 27th.  The patch notes:

    Bug Fixes

    Friends notification no longer causes the game to pause. (Playstation 3)

    Fixed occasional crashes during loading and waiting.

    Friendly or neutral NPC health bars, when taking damage, no longer flicker repeatedly.

    Fixed issue where certain NPCs would occasionally disappear from the game.

    Fixed issue where dead NPCs would occasionally come back to life.

    Fixed rendering issue with the Gatling Laser gun's tracers.

    Fixed issue where the haircut menu would occasionally not appear properly.

    Added ability to remap your VATS and pip boy buttons.

    Fixed rare load/save issues that would cause NPCs to behave incorrectly.

    Fixed issue where quest objectives would occasionally not update properly due to talking activators,

    intercoms and conversations.

    Using Radaway from the Pip-Boy's Status Menu repeatedly no longer crashes the game.

    Player no longer gets stuck in level up menu if their skills are maxed out.

    Fixed issue where multiple followers would occasionally not load into an interior.

    Fixed rare issue with getting stuck in VATS mode.

    Fixed rare crash with fighting NPCs with corrupted data.

    In game radios will now play properly if player was listening to the radio in the Pip-Boy first. (Playstation 3)

    Fixed rare crashes while loading and saving games.

    Fixed rare issue where player would fall through the floor while in VATS.

    Fixed occasional crash after scoring a critical hit in the head with a Railway Rifle.

    Prevent NPCs from inadvertently dying from falling.

    Fixed occasional issue where the controller would stop working properly.

    Fixed crashes related to repeatedly equipping and dropping clothing and armor into the world.

     

    Quest Fixes

    Fixed several instances where quest item stayed in inventory permanently after completing quests.

    Fixed an issue where the distress message would occasionally not play in Trouble on the Homefront.

    In The Waters of Life quest, the Citadel gate will open properly if the player fast travels away after exiting the Taft Tunnels but before reaching the Citadel gate with Doctor Li.

    For the Home Sweet Home quest, the broken protectrons in Big Town become active at the proper time.

    In The American Dream quest, fixed specific issue which prevented the player from accessing their belongings in the locker by the door if they left the room first.

    Fixed infinite caps exploit in Strictly Business quest.

    Fixed rare instance where Dad would have no valid dialogue during The Waters of Life quest.

    Prevent issue during the Finding the Garden of Eden quest where player would fade to black, instead of traveling to Raven Rock, while in combat with a follower.

    Fixed several XP speech exploits with certain NPCs.

    Fixed XP exploit with a robot in Fort Bannister.

    Fixed issue where player's controls can become locked permanently during The American Dream.

    Thursday - January 08, 2009

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Screens

    by Dhruin, 22:09

    Bethsoft dropped us a line to point out three new Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage DLC screens.

    Fallout 3 - Operation: Anchorage Interview

    by Woges, 14:53

    Lead Producer of Fallout 3's DLC Jeff Gardiner interviewed at Eurogamer.

    Eurogamer: The 800 Microsoft Points price point is often challenged by gamers - look at the Gears 2 Combustible Map Pack, for instance - and you have some experience with pricing issues. How's the reaction been so far? Are you still comfortable with it?

    Jeff Gardiner: We're offering several hours of unique gameplay - along with a bevy of armor and weaponry the player can use throughout the entire main game of Fallout 3. Reaction has been very positive.

    Eurogamer: With G.E.C.K. (good name, by the way!) now out and about, will PC gamers be able to take advantage of the Op Anchorage and other DLC assets when they come out?

    Jeff Gardiner: Yes, you can use content in the DLC to create new plugins and mods, but anyone who wants to use those plugins/mods will have to have bought the DLC and have it installed.

    Wednesday - December 31, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Afterthoughts Interview @ 1Up

    by Dhruin, 23:40

    Titled Afterthoughts, 1Up has a retrospective interview with Emil Pagliarulo on Fallout 3.  There are a couple of interesting spoilerific answers, such as this one here about the design of the ending (don't read on if you haven't finished the story line):

    1UP: Somewhat related to that: Why are companions not an option for inputting the Project Purity code? You already have the option to have Sentinel Lyons input the code in your place. There are three viable options for an alternate to input the code: Fawkes, Sergeant RL-3N, and Charon. The player has already experienced a situation where Fawkes can enter an irradiated room and perform a task, RL-3N should follow his programming to obey you, and Charon would not only become healthier due to the radiation, but he's established as essentially a slave who will do whatever his contract-holder orders him to do. To the player, the inability for either to input the code seems really contradictory.

    EP: That's a great question, and one that's obviously come up quite a bit in different forums. Let me try to shed some light on why the game is like that -- it's a pretty interesting look inside the development process.

    All of the followers were implemented into the game fairly late in development, after the main story had already been nailed down. So, you know, we had the scene at the end of the game, with deadly radiation, and never really compensated for the fact that you could have a Supermutant, or Ghoul, or robot, who could possibly turn the purifier on for you. We'd only ever planned for you sending Sarah Lyons into the purifier, because we knew, from a story standpoint, that she'd definitely be in there with you.

    What we could do -- and what we did ultimately do -- is cover that stuff in dialogue. You can ask those followers to go into the purifier, and they'll tell you why they won't. We felt that fit with their personalities, but really, they didn't "sell" that to the player in a single line of dialogue. So, in the end, the player's left with a, "Huh, why the hell can't they do it?!" sort of feeling.

    So the story does kind of break down. But you know what? We knew that, and were OK with it, because the trade-off is, well, you get these cool followers to join you. You meet up with Fawkes near the end of the game, and it's true you can go right with him to the purifier. So we could've not had him there as a follower, and that would've solved the problem of him not going into the purifier -- because, at that point in development, that was the only fix we had time for. But we kept it, and players got him as a follower, and they seem to love adventuring him with. Gameplay trumped story, in that example -- as I believe it should have.

    So if we'd planned better, we could've addressed that more satisfactorily. But considering how it all went down, I feel good about the decision we made there.

    Sunday - December 21, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Review @ RPG Codex

    by Myrthos, 22:06

    A less than positive review of Fallout 3 can be found at the Codex.

    More than anything else, Fallout 3 suffers from a lack of cohesion, consistency and craftsmanship. Across the board, the quality of content runs the whole gamut (though moments of brilliance are particularly rare.) The game's highest "achievement" is the quantity of content and to this end, I feel like Bethesda have achieved absolutely very little. There's nothing in Fallout 3 that couldn't have been accomplished in four years by a hundred enthusiastic kids with rich parents.

    There's really no critical justification for something that prides quantity over all else. Nobody lauds a movie that runs for 8 hours just for the sake of it. Nobody takes a ruler to a library and judges books by the width of their spine. Nobody pretends a gallon of waffle-house coffee has any worth beyond the caffeine it contains. Same goes for a four litre box of cheap wine. Fallout 3 shares the same metaphorical space as fast-food, bulk buys, movie marathons. If the only thing you care about is having a metric fuckton of something, then it's probably worth getting. But even then, there are far superior products in the form of MMORPGs and games with "unlimited" procedural content.

    Thursday - December 18, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Mod Roundup @ NMA

    by Dhruin, 21:16

    NMA let us know they have a Fallout 3 mod roundup that lists new mods hosted at NMA and Fallout 3 Nexus recently.  They plan to update every Thursday, which should keep us on top of the latest mods.

    Fallout 3 - Tenpenny Tower @ Twenty Sided

    by Dhruin, 21:03

    Shamus Young's examination of Fallout 3 turns to the Tenpenny Towers sequence - spoiler apply.  Let's set the scene:

    Tenpenny Tower is a high-rise building in the middle of the wasteland, and is the nicest place in the game. Everyone else in the game resents the residents of Tenpenny because they’re all “rich”.

    But what does that mean? Nobody in this game produces anything. Unlike in previous Fallout games, there are no farmers who eke out a miserable existence from the scorched earth. You can travel the entire wasteland in the game and not see a single farm, or garden, or anything else. (They have some cows, but it’s not clear what the cows eat.) Everyone just meanders about all day. People go to the bar at the end of the day and spend their money on booze, but the game never explains where they get their money, where their food comes from, or what they do for a living. (Or where the booze comes from, given the shortage of stills and raw materials.)

    What makes the people of Tennpenny Towers “rich”? Their nice clothes? Their clean building? In that case, it’s pretty hard to feel angry at them. The rich people aren’t benefiting from ill-gotten gains from raiding, or slaves, or from cheating others. They’re just doing well. They do just as much work as everyone else in the world. (Zero.)

    Wednesday - December 17, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Mod Roundups @ UGO, MTV

    by Dhruin, 23:54

    From the Bethblog comes news of two short Fallout 3 mod articles on the 'net.  UGO has three Fallout 3 Mods 4 All, such as Repair Rethought and Improved Dogmeat.  MTV Myltiplayer also selects three recommendations, including MrLabTechnician and Slower Leveling.

    Fallout 3 - DLC Interview @ UGO

    by Dhruin, 11:36

    Yes, Fallout 3 again.  UGO has a short interview with Jeff Gardiner, Bethsoft's lead producer for FO3 DLC:

    UGO: Will players be allowed to play as their existing characters in the DLC? Since “Broken Steel” takes place after the main story, how will this be addressed? Will it work similarly to Shivering Isles, where the new quests simply get added to your Pipboy, or will you have to load up a brand new game?

    Jeff Gardiner: Yes, all of our DLC drops right into an existing game.  Which is a double edged sword, or course, it requires a lot of testing and fine balance tuning on our part!  In our third DLC, “Broken Steel,” we’ve come up with a way of allowing the player to continue on past the game ending… by changing it!  You will not have to load in a new game to play any of the DLC material – though you will have to finish the main quest to experience most of what “Broken Steel” has to offer.  That being said, we are raising the level cap, so even if you don’t complete the main quest you can experience the expanded content by leveling up past 20.

    Source: Blues News

    Fallout 3 - Power of the Atom @ Twenty Sided

    by Dhruin, 11:27

    After getting the good stuff out of the way, the first part of Twenty Sided's Fallout 3 criticism is a look at The Power of the Atom quest (very early game spoilers apply):

    This is not the worst quest in the game. But from a writing standpoint the dialog suffers from an almost criminal lack of ambition, and as someone who would love to write this sort of stuff I found the missed opportunity to be endlessly frustrating. And since Pete Hines won’t return my phone calls, I’m afraid you must bear the brunt of my ravings.

    As you enter the town of Megaton - a town built around an undetonated atomic bomb - you’re approached by two NPCs. The first is the mayor, who will pay you to disarm the bomb. The second is a shady character named Burke, who will pay you to set off the bomb and destroy the entire town. If you do as the mayor asks, you’ll be given a house in town. If you do as Burke asks…

    Fallout 3 - Patch Update

    by Dhruin, 00:30

    The Bethblog has news that a patch for the PS3 version of Fallout 3 has been released, as well as news that other platforms are in testing:

    Today in both the UK and the US, an update (v1.10) for the PlayStation 3 version of Fallout 3 went live. The patch adds Trophy Support, fixes Friend Notification issues, and also fixes a number of other issues reported within the community. When you boot up the game, you should see a notification to download the 24MB update.

    Again, the update is presently available only for the English PS3 version of the game in the US and UK. Updates for other PS3 territories, as well as Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game, are on their way — right now those are in the final stages of being approved. When we have more news, we’ll let you know.

    Tuesday - December 16, 2008

    Fallout 3 - PC GotY @ Gamasutra

    by Woges, 23:32

    Another PC GotY award goes to Fallout 3.

    Bethesda's Fallout 3 not only outshone the studio's previous game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, in just about every way, it accomplished the impressive task of satisfying most non-extremist-level fans of Black Isle's venerable Fallout series. Creating a vast world that is a convincing representation of a dismal, post-nuclear wasteland while also being consistently compelling is no mean feat, but here it is.

    The sheer amount of content in Fallout 3 is extremely impressive, considering what a consistent level of quality it maintains -- and how much of it a player is likely to completely miss, based on the choices made, the NPCs killed, the routes traveled, and any number of other variables. The main storyline pales in comparison to the larger breadth of experiences to be had throughout, and the vast wasteland begs to be lived in.

    To sweeten the deal for PC gamers, Bethesda has also released the G.E.C.K., an end user editing tool that can author any type of single-player content featured in Fallout 3 -- which will surely extend the title's already-considerable shelf life.

    Fallout 3 - PC GotY @ Gamespy

    by Woges, 20:44

    Fallout 3 takes Gamespy's PC GotY with Warhammer Online 2nd, WotLK 4th and Mass Effect 8th. The full list can be seen here.

    When it was announced that Bethesda Softworks would be developing Fallout 3, longtime fans of the post-apocalyptic franchise let out a groan that could seemingly be heard across the Internet. Questions abounded: Would the game be isometric? Could players beat Fallout 3 solely through the use of dialogue? Would it just be Oblivion with guns? Fallout forums were full of doom and gloom posts that suggested Bethesda would invariably ruin the franchise. Thankfully, that couldn't have been further from the truth, as Fallout 3 ended up not only being the best game of the year, but one of the finest titles of this generation.

    Monday - December 15, 2008

    Fallout 3 - The Good Parts @ Twenty Sided

    by Dhruin, 21:27

    Twenty Sided's Shamus Young is about to embark on one of his typical series of post-mortem reviews, this time for Fallout 3.  This first post covers The Good Parts:

    Fallout 3 is a fusion of two wildly popular game franchises, in much the same way that Taco Ice Cream would be a fusion of two wildly popular foods. It takes the gameplay of Oblivion, and splices it with the setting of Fallout. There are other gameplay elements they’ve introduced to act as adhesive between the two disparate systems, which both add and detract from the whole in equal measure. In order to help confuse both players and (more importantly) reviewers, Fallout 3 has better gameplay than Oblivion, but a worse story than Fallout. So figuring out if the game is good or bad depends a lot on which axis you’re traveling on - which of its progenitors you’re using as a standard.

    Friday - December 12, 2008

    Fallout 3 - G.E.C.K. Released

    by Dhruin, 01:35

    Bethsoft has announced the Garden of Eden Creation Kit toolset for Fallout 3 has been released (8.47Mb).  In addition to grabbing the file from the link above,  there is a Wiki to provide help and the Bethblog has some tutorial videos.

    Thursday - December 11, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Operation Anchorage Interview @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 22:37

    Fallout 3 DLC Producer Jeff Gardiner speaks to IGN about the freshly revealed Operation Anchorage, which will be released in January:

    IGN: The liberation of Alaska was hinted at a lot during Fallout 3. What can we expect out of that simulated battle?

    Jeff Gardiner
    : In Operation: Anchorage the player will find themselves able to re-live the famous liberation of Anchorage from Fallout lore -- inside a simulation similar to one found along the main quest of Fallout 3. Once the player finds their way into the simulation, they'll be stripped of their resources and have to survive within the rules set up by the simulation's creators.

    The Chinese red army is everywhere, and the player will first have to secure the surrounding mountain side and then fight their way into the Chinese base. The player will have to use a lot of their standard combat skills, along with several new tools that will only be available in the downloadable content. These include interactive Strike Teams under the player's command and unique armor, weapons, and other exotic gadgets.

    Fallout 3 - DLC Info

    by Woges, 14:23

    IncGamers have some info on Fallout 3's DLC.

    We recently reported that Operation: Anchorage was imminent, but now we know just that little bit more. Basically it's a trip into the history of Fallout 3 and is a counter-offensive training simulation used by the government to stop the Chinese army rising to power again. 

    The focus of the DLC pack will be on stealth and combat, and having lost all resources, adventurers will have to survive within the simulator’s parameters.

    As well as new armour, weapons and tools, there will be a Covert Ops perk as well as new achievements.  No trophies as there are still no plans for a PS3 DLC package, so this will only apply to PC and 360 users.

    Monday - December 08, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Link Roundup

    by Dhruin, 21:21

    Here's a short Fallout 3 roundup.

    • GameBanshee writes their Fallout equipment database has been relaunched to "include all items from Fallout 3, new advanced search functions, and a more robust layout to allow for more item locations".
    • Italian RPG site La Maschera Riposta sends word they have a "lengthy" review of Fallout 3 for any Italian readers, with a score of 5/5.
    • MTV Multiplayer has a piece called Fallout 3 Loses Some Luster After Level 20, with the author starting to lose interest after hitting the level cap.
    • Fallout 3 vs Reality at Games Radar compares photos of real-world DC locations with the in-game version.

    Thursday - December 04, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Bethsoft Location a Missed Opportunity

    by Dhruin, 23:02

    MTV Multiplayer has a short piece about the missed opportunity with players able to discover Bethsoft's own ruined offices:

    Many of the “dungeons” in “Fallout 3″ look exactly the same. They may have different layouts, but the art keeps a consistent, if eventually tiring, look.

    How Bethesda Softworks counters this is by hiding creative stories about the world of “Fallout 3″ inside through computers, audio books and more.

    Because of “Fallout 3″’s setting, they were even able to include themselves. Mostly. The “Bethesda Ruins,” found just southwest of “Germantown HQ” in the wasteland, is technically where Bethesda’s apocalyptic offices are.

    Unfortunately, Bethesda didn’t do much with it.

    Just to balance things, here's a link to their older (spoilerific) Don't Miss Vault 106.

    Tuesday - December 02, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Review @ Gamers Creed

    by Myrthos, 23:27

    Gamers' Creed found themselves in cowbell heaven while playing Fallout 3. Their review can be found here.

    Dude... where's my story?

    We had some internal debate over the story in Fallout 3. I've given it some thought, and I can see where it was weak. The dialogue is dicey at times, and there are moments that defy logic. So much, in fact, that the game was in danger of sliding to a 4 score, instead of 5. Ultimately, this is a highly subjective area in a review. Part of my perspective is that the diaglogue/story never pulled me out of the immersive nature of the game. In the end, that is what matters the most. Even if I was asked to do something that seems totally ridiculous now, I was perfectly fine with it while I was in the game. Plus, some of the side missions were really well designed.

    And...thank God the voice acting is a lot better than in Oblivion. They actually have more than 3 actors this time around.

    Creepy, creepy, creepy.

    The graphics and textures for the monsters in the game are top quality. We're getting to the point where computer graphics are becoming very realistic. When faced with an enemy, the minute details are astonishing. In fact, in some cases, you can spot a grenade hanging off the belt of an enemy and actually target it. Needless to say, it's just an explosion of fun when it's hit.  

    Whether it's giant radiated scorpions, or mindless ghouls (hapless humans who've mutated due to massive amounts of radiation), this is not your father's Washington DC. It's Mad Max on steroids. If the critters aren't trying to kill you, the environment is. Radiation, hidden land mines, swinging dead cow traps (I'm not kidding), there's no telling what you might blunder into if you're not careful. And you know what? That's exactly how I imagine it would be.

    Fallout 3 - Interview with Wes Johnson @ Planet Fallout

    by Myrthos, 23:11

    Briosafreak of Planet Fallout interviewed Fallout 3 voice actor Wes Johnson who's sense of humor shows in the interview.

    PF: Ron Perlman complained a bit about the degree of perfectionism asked in the Fallout 3 voiceovers, he had to repeat a single sentence almost one hundred times. Did you have to endure the same?

    WJ: I have a theory. I think because the folks at Bethesda are fans of Fallout, they basically heard him say “War... war never changes,” and went, “Again! Do it again!!” I know I would have...

    Sometimes, you’ll repeat the same phrase a number of different ways, mostly because you don’t know what context it will be spoken in during the course of the game. There need to be several options. Plus, when saying “Hello,” there are about 400 different ways it can be said. Are you happy to see them? Unhappy? Sarcastic? I have no problem giving as many takes as needed in a game like this, because you want there to be a special layer of immersion. More takes means more flexibility as far as I’m concerned.

    That being said, using a bullwhip on the voice actors to make them repeat their lines is simply uncalled for.

    PF: Do you have space for ad libing or is everything very strictly scripted?

    WJ: Sometimes. But for the most part, it’s all there in the scripting. Emil Pagliarulo is one of the best writers in games today. He has such a wonderfully dark sense of humor, and he writes games that he HIMSELF would want to play. Now, in regard to how you PLAY those lines, that’s another story. Bethesda has suggestions on how I should approach these characters, but they’re great at letting me experiment, and bring something new to the table. In Oblivion, I was asked to bring a Robin Williams manic quality to Sheogorath. But after thinking about the character, I felt a more Billy Connolly approach might work better. And since he was a schizophrenic character, and a Daedric Mad God to boot, I mixed the accents.

    I had him sway from Scottish brogue to lyrical Irish, depending upon his moods and his sways from manic to dementia. Lucien Lachance on the other hand was meant to be a straight “race” character, just like all the other Imperials, but Mark and I decided to play with him a bit. I went a little off the rails... really got into it. It worked out far better than we expected it would. To interpret Emil’s work in the Dark Brotherhood quest, and then in FO3... great privilege.

    Friday - November 28, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Review @ The Edge

    by Woges, 15:31

    The Edge staff give a more critical review of Fallout 3 than most though I disagree that it's really impossible to find your way around the map with the Pipboy & compass. I don't think the breadcrumbs idea from Fable 2 would really be fitting a Fallout game. The score is 7/10.

    As wastelands go, Washington’s is a surprisingly busy place, and the game contrives to distract you with meaty side-quests at every opportunity. The broad strokes are well considered, and the best recall the ingenious freedom that marked earlier Fallout games: an encounter with some slavers can find its resolution through complicity, violence, stealth or a fluid combination of all three; a group of cannibals prove to be much more open to reason than their grisly pursuits would suggest; mediating a land dispute between some over-privileged humans and their ghoulish neighbours gives the player several delightful avenues of self-expression.

    The writing isn’t quite as consistent as the ideas that underpin it, however, and though dialogue trees rarely collapse into total logical failure, they do sometimes assume knowledge the player has yet to gain, and often have an unreal quality to them – as if human emotions had been explained to the writer secondhand.

    Wednesday - November 26, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Review @ The Crypt

    by Woges, 11:19

    5 Llamas is the score.

    Bugs aside, there is no doubt in my mind that Bethesda has crafted a spectacular instalment of the Fallout universe and their best game to date. While the main story can be finished in a rushed 20 or so hour stint, you’re doing yourself an immense disfavour by not exploring the rest of the wasteland, an exercise that can probably take close to 150 hours! The four years of development Todd Howard and his team have lavished upon this magnum opus have given birth to a game true to the world’s canon and abundant with all the original elements that have made this franchise the cult classic that is. The Fallout universe has always exhibited a combination of dark humour, ridiculous pop culture references and disturbed individuals co-existing within a blighted land rife with bloodshed, death and utter devastation. This is a world where you will experience emotional extremes from minute to minute, where the horror of walking through a raider’s torture chamber is counterpointed by the last few computer log entries of survivors, stricken with radiation sickness over two hundred years ago. Walk through Arlington National Cemetery amongst the headstones of the fallen, as the dust billows around you and faint trumpet wails echo off the shattered surroundings. Scour the countryside and ruined townships north of D.C. as you listen to various radio stations broadcasting the latest news or popular tunes from our 1950’s. Rest assured that over every hill and around every corner there will be something fresh and unexpected waiting to absorb another hour or two of your life. And at the end of it all, when you’ve seen and done all that you can, climb to the top of Tenpenny tower at dawn and savour the view one last time as the Washington Monument pierces the horizon in the distance.

    This is the world of Fallout at its immaculate best.

    Source: Blues News

    Tuesday - November 25, 2008

    Fallout 3 - More Reviews

    by Myrthos, 22:00

    More reviews on Fallout 3 can be found at the following locations.

    JustPressPlay gave it an A+:

    The game itself is amazing. This is a game that can get you into the Bethesda genre and play Oblivion as well. Fallout 3 gives you the reins to fix or further destroy the Capitol Wasteland. You can be a good guy, bad guy or just neutral. You can create your own weapons like the roadway rail gun which uses rail spikes as ammo, and which has large amounts of ammo throughout the map.The guns range from a .38 special to a combat shotty to the Fat Man (A mini-nuke launcher). You have full freedom and lots of missions to complete. Great game and my personal Game Of The Year.

    Fragland awarded it with 93%:

    The first hour of Fallout 3 is already enough to realise that you're playing a deep and richly filled game. The voice-acting is great and from the first seconds on the world is set up up to the smallest details just as it should: with a deep background story and lots of characters, each with their own personality and motivation. Not only do the surroundings enchant you with their vividness and reality, it gets truly impressive thanks to the freedom and choices you can make. Each decision you take has little or a lot of effect on your character, the world around him or whether your grandma gets angry on you or not. You can let's say wipe out an entire city and all NPCs, quest and objects included, or decide to let it remain and bear its fruits.

    And Hardcore Gamer gave it a 4.5/5:

    Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion. It’s incredible how fun and deep this game is. Everything in the game, from the graphics to the sound, is very well done. With a ton a quests and a huge world to explore, Fallout 3 will keep you busy until the next Bethesda release.

    Source: GameBanshee

    Fallout 3 - Creation Kit and DLC

    by Myrthos, 14:09

    Bethesda announce today the release of a creation kit and three pices of downloadable content:

    Bethesda Softworks Announces Creation Kit and First Downloadable Content for Fallout 3


    Editor to be Available in December; Downloadable Content coming for January, February, and March

    November 25, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced plans to make both its editor and downloadable content available for its award-winning game, Fallout® 3 in the coming weeks. The official editor for Fallout 3, called the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit), will be available for free download in December and will allow Games for Windows® users to create and add their own content to the game. In addition, the first official downloadable content, Operation: Anchorage, will be available exclusively for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Games for Windows® in January, and more downloadable content coming in February and March.

    “We’ve always seen the original world of Fallout 3 as a foundation for even more content. Some created by us, and a lot more created by users,” said Todd Howard, game director for Fallout 3. “It’s fun to create your own character, but it can be equally fun to create your own adventures. We can’t wait to see what the community does with the G.E.C.K.”

    The release of the G.E.C.K. provides the community with tools that will allow players to expand the game any way they wish. Users can create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons, creatures, and more.

    Three downloadable content packs will be coming to Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live starting in January that will add new quests, items, and content to Fallout 3.
    • Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.
    • The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.
    • Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.

    Saturday - November 22, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Reviews @ GameBanshee

    by Dhruin, 23:36

    GameBanshee writes in to say they have their Fallout 3 review online (as well as the start of their database).  The score is 8.4/10 and here's a snip on the character system:

    Bethesda also dumbed down the character system a bit, which I found to be kind of sad but not entirely surprisingly, since games seem to keep going in that direction. For example, the traps and throwing skills of the original Fallout games were combined into a single explosives skill, and even with a low rating in the skill I never failed to disarm a trap. I’m not even sure if it’s possible to fail. Then there’s the minimum strength requirement for weapons, which doesn’t exist any more, and so characters can use any weapon they want, even if it’s bigger than they are. And finally, the prerequisites for perks were reduced. Fallout 2 had some perks that required an attribute rating of 10, but in Fallout 3 the highest attribute requirement is 7. That might not sound like a bad thing, but it means that most characters can learn all (or nearly all) of the perks, and you’re not forced to make any choices. A good character development system should always require you to make choices.

    Thursday - November 20, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Podcasts @ AVault and GwJ

    by Dhruin, 21:30

    If you're into podcasts, two sites have conversations on offer with Bethsoft on Fallout 3.  The Adrenaline Vault welcomes back Pete Hines and Emil Pagliarulo - both former editors at the site - and Gamers with Jobs catches up with Pete Hines.

    Wednesday - November 19, 2008

    Fallout 3 - First Impresions @ Blog of War

    by Dhruin, 22:07

    Scars of War indie developer Gareth 'Naked Ninja' Fouche kicked up some Fallout 3 impressions on his blog yesterday.  We've seen a zillion reviews already but I thought it might be worth linking to one of our own community.  Gareth finds the wasteland exploration compelling but the story department underwhelming:

    Bethesda have surpassed themselves in the environmental design department, truly, not since Morrowind have I enjoyed just getting lost and wandering around so much. Not only is the setting beautiful, the map is packed with locations to explore and discover, and thankfully they have avoided Oblivion’s problem of only having 3 types of dungeon to explore. I’m surprised by how often I run into a sight I haven’t seen before.

    Fallout 3 - Review @ NMA

    by Dhruin, 06:55

    Several sources wrote in to point out NMA's Fallout 3 review written by the famous (infamous?) Vince D. Weller.  Vince isn't impressed with the cohesion of the setting but finds the quests quite well designed:

    The East Coast “wasteland” is anything but dead and empty – one of many inevitable changes brought by switching the format from a “classic”, isometric RPG focused on exploring through dialogue to a first person, sandbox RPG heavy on the action side. Running into enemies at every step is a traditional sandbox feature. Sticking with Fallout's "dead wasteland" atmosphere would have made traveling in first person unbearably boring. As a result, the "wasteland" seems overcrowded: hungry monsters, trigger-happy raiders, super mutants, and stray, hostile robots of all shapes and sizes are everywhere. Evil-doer hunting Regulators and do-gooder killing Talon mercenaries complete the picture.

    The setting’s casual approach to nuclear explosion is especially jarring. You get out of the vault, look at this brave, new world, and someone promptly asks you to detonate a nuclear bomb inside one of the towns. Why? Because it's cool, apparently. Later on you will unavoidably run into a super duper mutant who can only be taken down by a several direct nuclear blasts that, oddly enough, have only a few meters radius and are harmless to people outside this radius. Shooting old rusty cars results in even more nuclear explosions, which makes you wonder if there really was a big War or if a simple car accident caused a chain reaction of exploding nuclear cars across the States.

    In other news, Shamus Young's Twenty Sided blog revisits some cynical questions asked a while back and finds Fallout 3 doesn't measure up so badly and Gamasutra has a piece called Escape from Vault 101 that finds the changes made by Bethsoft work well in the end.

    Tuesday - November 18, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Another Review Roundup

    by Woges, 18:18

    As Moriendor points out we have missed some of the more positive reviews for Bethesda's Fallout 3 so here's a few:

    Hooked Gamers 10/10.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Fallout 3 will end up a classic that will be remembered by many for decades to come. The game does its predecessors justice by successfully offering a modern take on one of the most revered franchises of the past. It has been a long time since I awarded a game a perfect score but Fallout 3 deserves nothing less.

    Games32 9.1/10.

    Without any doubt I can say that this is Bethesda's greatest game yet, and that can't be contested by anyone (*I think* - fingers crossed). They've done a remarkable job with the graphics and environment, and the moment you get out of that Vault 101 and look at all the world around you, your jaw will drop because of the size alone if not for something else.

    Lastly, Boomtown's 8/10.

    Overall Fallout 3 is a great game hampered by a few problems. Many people will be drawn to the RPG elements while hardcore FPS gamers might sit this one out. The main campaign lasts 20 hours which is easily doubled if you take on the numerous side quests available. The game concludes nicely, but ends after that so any side quests you want to take on need to be done before the last mission. Bethesda has done the Fallout series justice and should be proud of the game they made, unfortunately, the scope of the project was too much for them and the PC game felt unfinished in places, but simply outstanding in other areas.

    Monday - November 17, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Reviews @ 2404, 3 News

    by Dhruin, 19:46

    It's time to pick the Fallout 3 reviews back up and this contrasting pair is a good place to start.  2404 is a fairly critical piece with a laundry list of complaints and a score of 7/10:

    Bethesda has greatly improved on the anemic fetch quests and insipid characters of Oblivion, and this time around people are a bit more fleshed out and quests are more interesting.  The amount of distinct quests outside of the main storyline is very small, but each is broken up into several sub-quests that are often lengthy in themselves.  Most of the time, these sub-quests are ‘go to location x’ and ‘talk to y’ or ‘bring me a amount of b’ or something equally generic.  Not that the original Fallouts didn’t have dumb quests, but Fallout 3 suffers from a severe lack of real set-pieces like Junktown.  There are a couple of quests that come close, like those involving Tenpenny Tower or Megaton, but very few times did I complete a quest and think “wow, I’m glad I spent time doing this.”

    3 News doesn't know much from firsthand experience but they're pretty sure it's awesome:

    Fallout 3 is a completely different kettle of fish to the others. From what I’ve seen (and there’s HEAPS to see, believe me) it is far superior. Big thumbs up to Bethesda Studios. The main thing that blows your mind with this game is the massive scale. I’ll be honest and admit I’ve never played Oblivion, but I understand the hype, and can assure you Fallout 3 blows it out of the water. Exploring the outside wastelands is an absolute joy. You can walk for hours, everything is new, and everything looks amazing. See that point on the horizon? You can go there. While certain ‘themes’ pop up (the office, the shop) they’re all slightly unique and make you feel like this is a real (once breathing) world. What’s more, there’s reason to go there: You never know where that med pack is going to be, or where you might find some more ammo, or a bed to rest (and heal) in.  To be honest, the magic they’ve created here is pretty much the reason for the rating I’ve given this game: There’s nothing else like it. You can lose yourself for days.

    Friday - November 14, 2008

    Fallout 3 - DLC Through Games for Windows LIVE

    by Dhruin, 21:19

    Several sites are pointing to a short bit at VideoGamer.com with Microsoft and Pete Hines confirming Fallout 3 will be the first title provide DLC through the new Games for Windows LIVE Marketplace (catchy name, or what?):

    Microsoft has confirmed that Fallout 3 will be the first title to offer DLC through the newly announced Games for Windows LIVE Marketplace.

    Pete Hines, vice president of public relations and marketing for Bethesda Softworks commented: "Games for Windows LIVE helps us expand the Fallout 3 universe and bring the full experience directly to gamers. Through the Marketplace we now have a no-nonsense way to deliver updates and great downloadable content. It's really a complete package, and a great fit for Fallout 3."

    CVG goes a little bit further, with Microsoft apparently saying new "quests, foes and weapons" are on the way:

    Microsoft says the DLC will be the only way users can receive "the complete Fallout story, including new quests, foes and weapons."

    Thursday - November 13, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Mod Roundup @ NMA

    by Dhruin, 21:05

    NMA has added an interactive map and recruitable NPC page to their Fallout 3 info, as well as a brief roundup of new mods.  Head here for their newsbit.

    Tuesday - November 11, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Review @ ComputerGames.ro

    by Myrthos, 17:41

    ComputerGames.ro have a lengthy review of Fallout 3 available ranking it with a 7.2. Their final thoughts are these:

    To me, Fallout 3 is Bethesda's best game yet, but it's got more holes than a sinking ship. It's a perfect symbol for contemporary games: oversimplified, too accessible and way too commercial. The clever, edgy dialogues are gone, along with the complex relationships and the depth of the game world, replaced by a flawed visual feast, generic conversations and a gameplay fit for the masses.

    An interesting side effect of Fallout 3’s release was that many players who were unfamiliar with the series decided to give the first two titles a try in order to “get it”. Which lead to a worrying amount of people registering on forums and writing things like “I can’t get out of that cave at the start of Fallout. This game is too damn hardcore / difficult.”

    The Fallout games aren’t really difficult. Least of all hardcore. However, they do demand a minimum amount of logic and thought from the player. Compared to Mass Effect or Oblivion, they don’t push you towards the end. You need the determination and a minimum degree of inventive thought to make your way up in the world, and towards your own objectives.

    This is perhaps Fallout 3’s biggest failure: it’s not nearly complex or cerebral enough for the role in role-playing game to really shine.

    So despite the claims of Pete Hines, I stand my ground. Fallout 3 hasn’t been released yet. And since Obsidian’s website doesn’t have an announcement about it...

    Bethesda-created-Fallout-spin-off, you may have set the world on fire, but you didn’t manage to start a flame in my heart.

    Fallout 3 - Review @ RPG Codex

    by Dhruin, 09:00

    We haven't really kept track of the deluge of Fallout 3 reviews since the initial burst but the Codex writes in to say they've kicked up an opinion:

    As we all know, voice acting is nothing without the right dialog. In this regard Bethesda delivers… something. There’s good dialog, there’s some bad dialog, and then there’s some “so bad it’s good” dialog. Most of the bad dialog really isn’t that bad if you stop to think that the person you’re talking to just might be crazy, and there sure are a whole lot of them 200 years after the world was obliterated. Maybe it’s the radiation. As the player, you are given a wide range of options to choose from. Thankfully, and unexpectedly coming from Bethesda, choices are not “ghost” choices. That is, two choices don’t end up giving you the same response. Choices are also filled with skill checks. The whole game is filled with numerous skill checks for practically everything you do, along with dice rolls to accompany them, but dialog is where it is most apparent and most thoroughly used. Still in this general area, it is well worth noting that “wrong” choices don’t usually lead to an attack. You suffer consequences and can live with them.

    Friday - November 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - v.1.0.0.15 Patch Released

    by Dhruin, 09:56

    The first patch for Fallout 3 has been released and as indicated by Matt Grandstaff the other day, it only addresses some limited crash bugs (6.5Mb):

    Bug Fixes

    Fixed occasional crashes when exiting the game or using Alt F4 to exit.

    Fixed crashes when using Alt-Tab while binks or credits were playing.

    The game now restarts properly after title updates finish installing.

    Thanks, narpet!

    Thursday - November 06, 2008

    Fallout 3 - 4.5M Units Shipped

    by Dhruin, 20:56

    Bethsoft sends over this PR, announcing a successful launch and 4.5M units shipped to retail:

    Bethesda Softworks Announces Successful Launch of Fallout 3

    $300 Million Worldwide Launch Across Three Platforms

    November 6, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, announced that its hit title, Fallout® 3  has enjoyed record sales at launch, reflecting the huge consumer demand for the game. Approximately 4.7 million units of Fallout 3 were shipped worldwide last week for the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows® representing retail sales in excess of $300 million.

    Released on October 28 in North America at midnight store openings in over 2,000 retail outlets nationwide jammed with fans eager to get the game, Fallout 3 quickly became one of the industry’s top sellers around the world. For example, in the United Kingdom where it was not released until Friday, October 31 the rapid sales of Fallout 3 have led the game to be ranked number one among all video games, as well as being the number one game on each of its three platforms.

    Hailed as one of the most anticipated games of 2008, Fallout 3 received a 10 out of 10 review score from Official Xbox Magazine, a result then repeated around the world with perfect scores by some of the industry’s most influential and respected critics including: Gamespy, GamePro, UGO, the Associated Press, MSN, The Washington Post, Guardian, FHM, Scripps Howard, G4-TV, The Toronto Star, MSN, and Eurogamer.  MSNBC’s review offered the observation that it viewed “Fallout as a no-brainer for game of the year.” The Daily Star in the UK echoed that conclusion, saying “You can hold all bets on game of the year – I think we have a winner.”

    The successful launch of Fallout 3 by Bethesda Softworks follows the success of The Elder Scrolls® IV: Oblivion®, which remains one of the highest scoring games ever published and earned “Game of the Year” honors in 2006. Fallout 3 has been featured on over 100 magazine covers across the globe and is available in eight languages. The initial retail shipments of Fallout 3 included both the Regular version of the game as well as a limited “Collector’s Edition.”  A Fallout 3 Official Game Guide in both the regular and collector’s edition versions has also been a strong seller. Fallout 3 is slated for release in Japan on December 4th.

    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 has been rated Mature by the ESRB.  For more information on Fallout 3, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com and www.prepareforthefuture.com

    In other Fallout 3 news, IGN Music has an interview with composer Inon Zur.

    Wednesday - November 05, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #11

    by Dhruin, 23:06

    Planet Fallout adds a comment from Matt Grandstaff on the official forums about the patch revealed yesterday.  If I understand correctly, it seems this first patch (now coming some time this week) will only address that old crash-on-exit bug and a full patch is still being examined:

    Hey all, I wanted to give you an update on this…

    It looks like this patch might not being going up today, but you should expect it sometime this week. You should know the patch only fixes some crashing on exiting the game, as requested by Microsoft.

    We’re also moving along with pulling together a more extensive update. We’re still in the process of going through and looking at any issues/fixes, and once that is done there is lots of additional testing/fixing that has to be done before it can be released. Similarly, we're looking into matters on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

    When I’ve got more information, I’ll pass it along.

    Hmm.  IGN has a platform head-to-head.  You know which won, right?

    There's no question that the PC wins this Head-to-Head with the most fully featured, best looking, and best running version of Fallout 3. If you have both a 360 and PS3 I would recommend going with a copy of the game on Xbox but the differences aren't drastic enough to warrant the purchase of new hardware. The PS3 version is still a great buy.

    Overall
    1. PC
    2. 360
    3. PS3

    ...and a site called Neoseeker has a piece titled 11 Ways Fallout 2 was better than Fallout 3.  Some good points, although I don't agree with all of them.  This one I definitely do:

    7.Immersion free NPC's

    Most of the dialogue in the game is not memorable, consequently, most characters are forgettable. Many times half way through conversations I just clicked right through to the end bit, where they dispense the quest or what-not.

    People like the wasteland super-hero Antangonizer just would not exist, even after a nuclear war. Give me a break.

    So many characters are just so unbelievable -- even by RPG standards. The NPC's don't exist as non-playing characters. Most exist solely as pieces of game mechanic furniture -- like the Nuka Cola machines everywhere that somehow, amazingly, all still have Nuka in them. They are function. Not personalities.

    I don't want to battle through a legion of Super Mutants, climb through a tunnel, then run into this strangely dressed guy deep in the wreckage of the Wasteland that greets me by saying, "What would you like to purchase?"

    In the real world, I've never met anyone anywhere who introduced himself, and then thirty seconds later offered me some money to nuke a city. I wish there were more NPC's in the game that didn't give quests or heal you or trade with you -- they are just like, you know, NPC's that are doing there own thing. 

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Tuesday - November 04, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #10

    by Dhruin, 21:20

    The most important thing in this short Fallout 3 roundup is news of an imminent PC patch from Eurogamer.  Here's a snip from a transcript of a recent chat with Pete Hines:

    Will there be a patch to add southpaw controls for the left-handed people out there? And what about a fix for the various PC niggles?

    Pete Hines: Well on the 360 the console itself actually handles that. You change it in your control options, so we don't bother doing it in the game. I'll have to check on how PS3 works.

    As far as fixes, there's a PC update coming out later today that will address a few PC-specific things that have come up. Can't give you any details yet beyond that as far as what else might be in the works for any of the three platforms.

    Edge Online says Fallout 3 is topping all three charts in the UK.  It's interesting to see the format breakdown:

    It was the 360 version that sold the biggest share of Fallout 3 discs, representing 55 percent of the title’s total purchases, with PS3 and PC versions attributing to 28 percent and 17 percent respectively. Yet despite the 360 version taking twice as many sales as the PS3’s, and three-times as many as the PC’s, today the game sits atop all three platform charts. 

    ...and NMA has converted a Vince D. Weller Let's Play from the Iron Tower forums into article format.  It chronicles Vince's first five days playing with lots of screens.

    Monday - November 03, 2008

    Fallout 3 - GfW Live and Save Games

    by Dhruin, 22:44

    The Bethblog has a post that explains if you decide to log into Games for Windows Live after you've started playing Fallout 3, your save games will end up somewhere else:

    PC users now get achievements and friends lists similar to how Xbox Live works. Here some cool things you can do with Games for Windows Live.

    1. Earn achievements. You can create a free Games for Windows Live profile or link your Games for Windows Live profile to your existing Xbox Live profile. That’s right — you can earn Fallout 3 achievements twice, for both PC and Xbox 360. To link your Xbox Live profile, create a Games for Windows Live profile using your Live ID (ie, the email and login you used to link your Xbox Live profile to Live ID — that is, how you log onto xbox.com)

    2. Once you link your Xbox Live profile, you’ll be able to see both your Games for Windows Live and Xbox Live friends together via the Games for Windows Live dash.

    3. Question: Hey I was playing the game for a while, then logged onto my profile and my saves are gone? What happened?

    Answer: Your saves are kept in specific directories tied to your profile. But don’t worry - you can go into your My Games folder and copy those saves over to your Profile’s save game directory.

    For example, on my computer running Windows XP, under the Saves directory, I have two folders - Player1 and acheng. I can simply copy all the saves from Player1 to acheng, and I’m able to access them while logged on with my gamertag. On Windows XP, look in your My Documents\My Games\Fallout 3\Save folder. On Windows Vista, the path is C:\Users\{Username}\Documents\My Games\Fallout3\Saves.

    For more troubleshooting tips, visit the Games for Windows Live technical support pages.

    Saturday - November 01, 2008

    Fallout 3 - I Kill Children Editorial @ Gamasutra

    by Dhruin, 22:32

    Gamasutra examines the unkillable children in Fallout 3, finding the decision hollow for various reasons:

    Pagliarulo states that killing children using Fallout 3's impressive engine is not something that would have passed ESRB checks anyway. That some violent games have grisly features cut or dulled in order to secure a specific rating is news to no-one, so why the need to elaborate on and justify the decision in the public sphere? Because, says Pagliarulo, the decision to self-moderate was a moral and ethical one.

    Problematically, in singling out and self-censoring one particular type of 'crime' in his game, Pagliarulo by implication justifies all the others as being non-gratuitous and necessary. Last night I blew the head from a homeless scavenger girl, one who was barely into her twenties.

    The slow motion camera tracked her head's explosion before lingering on the crimson fountain spurting from her neck stump. Is this kind of interaction and feedback socially responsible? And so then what's the difference to killing a minor?

    Is the life of a make-believe child really worth more than that of a make-believe adult?

    Thursday - October 30, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #9

    by Dhruin, 21:01

    We'll take another Fallout 3 review roundup soon but we've already posted a bunch, so for the moment, we'll go with other tidbits.

    • Gamasutra takes a look at Fallout 3's critical reception, although they miss the opportunity to take a deep look at the press coverage and simply grab a handful of review quotes.
    • At the Bethblog, Bethesda is explaining their use of Securom after previously claiming the DRM scheme would be minimal.  It still is, they say:
      • For Fallout 3’s copy protection on PC, we use the same security model as we did for Oblivion - a simple disc check. We only use SecuRom’s disc check functionality for copy protection. We do NOT limit the number of installs. We do NOT use online authentication or any other SecuROM functionality except for a disc check when you install the game and when you launch the game. We do not install any other programs and we don’t have anything that runs in the background while you’re playing the game.
      • If you experience issues installing the game, try running setup.exe directly off the disc. That will resolve most compatibility issues.
      • Get the latest information from our tech support forums, including this specific thread related to SecuROM.
    • MTV compares the real Washington DC metrorail map to the layout in Fallout 3.  Turns out they're rather different...but then, we knew that.

    Wednesday - October 29, 2008

    Fallout 3 - German Version Overview @ GameStar

    by Gorath, 18:29

    German print mag GameStar posted an overview over a couple of mostly technical points. Basis is the German Fallout 3 retail version for PC.

    Summary:

    • No blood at all. The German version is cut. According to the article the Austrian and Swiss versions are not.
    • CP: SecuROM, but without online activation and install limits. The DVD needs to be in the drive.
    • GfW Live: optional, but limited to one account.
    • Loca clearly improved on to Oblivion. [Oblivion had a terrible localisation. ; ed.] Not much to complain about it.
    • F3 is not ALT-Tab friendly.
    • The options menu is buggy. Especially widescreen resolutions are often not saved.
    • The author mentions in surprisingly mild language that some menus seem to have been adjusted for consoles, which means a lot of scrolling for mouse users.

    So Bethesda censored the game, although it was quite clear that even the edited version would be rated kJ (aka "18").

    Fallout 3 - Review Roundup #2

    by Dhruin, 04:48

    Round Two.

    Here's a snip from Tom Chick's review at CrispyGamer:

    The combat might be a sore point for some players, but I loved it. Bethesda's objective seems to be letting you play it as a turn-based slow-motion decapitation sim, or as a slightly clunky shooter. Take your pick or just alternate as the mood strikes you. For folks who prefer to play it as a shooter, Fallout 3 offers weightless ammo, and plenty of it. Those of us who mostly use the nifty turn-based "V.A.T.S." system will never want for a bullet. V.A.T.S. lets you target body parts, shoot the weapon out of someone's hand, or cripple him so he can't chase you. At least, that seems to be the idea: In practice, there never seemed to be a reason to do anything other than simply close the distance and queue up a series of sure-fire headshots. Hand-to-hand combat (use the biggest blade you can find!) and explosives are overkill, as they should be. But well into my second playthrough, the ridiculously gory deaths still haven't gotten old.

    Tuesday - October 28, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Now Shipping in NA, Contest

    by Dhruin, 12:57

    Just in case you haven't heard, Bethsoft sends word that Fallout 3 is now available in NA:

    Bethesda Softworks Announces More Than 2,000

    Fallout 3 Midnight Store Openings Across the Country


    Fans Nationwide to Help Usher in One of Year’s Biggest Videogame Launches

    October 27, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, has announced that in response to huge demand for it’s award-winning game, Fallout® 3, more than 2,000 stores across the country will open tonight. Starting at midnight, customers can pickup pre-orders and buy the game at retailers nationwide. The retail chain, Best Buy, plans to have special midnight events at stores in the Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas and Chicago metropolitan areas.

    “Fallout 3 has been a labor of love for the team at Bethesda and we can’t wait to get the game into the hands of consumers,” said Todd Howard, Game Director at Bethesda Game Studios for Fallout 3.  “We’re looking forward to celebrating the launch of Fallout 3 with the fans.” 

    Members of the development team at Bethesda Game Studios will appear at the Best Buy store in Rockville, Md., near the studio’s offices, to meet with fans. Special festivities will include game kiosks, giveaways, contests, and a live radio broadcast from the event with DC 101 FM.  Game director Todd Howard will be on-hand along with other key members of the development team to sign copies of the game and chat with fellow gamers.

    In other news, Ausir sends word of an Across the Wastes contest at The Vault Wiki.  Sponsored by Bethsoft, 5 copies of the game plus other goodies are on offer.  Here's an outline and head over to the contest page for the full details:

    The goal of the contest is to make it from Vault 13 (the starting location in Fallout) to Vault 101 (the starting location in Fallout 3) in seven clicks or less. Simply navigate from the Vault 13 article to the Vault 101 one by clicking on article links within the wiki's articles about the Fallout world and games.

    On your way to Vault 101, you also need to visit at least one location from each Fallout game (Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3), not counting Vault 13 and Vault 101. Other articles on your route do not have to be locations, but you can only use each article once. Every location that appears in more than one game counts for only one of them.

    Fallout 3 - Review Roundup

    by Dhruin, 09:19

    Well, here we go - the first batch of major web reviews.  Let's start with IGN, who have a lengthy 5-page article and a score of 9.6/10.  A snip on the writing and dialogue, which they really liked:

    The conversations you'll have with the various people you meet in Fallout 3 range from disturbing to hilarious, but they all have one thing in common: fantastic writing. You'll want to hear everything every person has to say, but to do that you'll have to play the game more than once and likely more than a few times. While the dialogue system doesn't take the cinematic leap that Mass Effect did, it brings so much depth that the simple listed responses become quite powerful. Some perks, stats and skills add new conversation options. If your strength is high, you might be able to intimidate someone. If you're playing as a female character, you might be able to flirt your way through a sticky situation with some men. Or, if your speech skill is high enough, you might be able to lie your way to key information. The way you talk to the people you meet can drastically change the story you're writing.

    GameSpy note a couple of minor issues - more so that IGN - but the score is still a hefty 5/5.  Their article is shorter but also less detailed.  Again, they really like the story:

    Examples of this presentation are everywhere, from the slides that pop up on the loading screens to the posters that line the walls of the subway. Maybe we're just suckers for retro-futuristic designs, but we couldn't help smiling every time we saw (and by saw, we mean destroyed) a mechanical man that looked strikingly similar to Robbie the Robot from "Lost in Space." We also really enjoyed the engaging and entertaining storyline, which is leaps and bounds better than the run-of-the-mill sword-and-sorcery plot featured in Oblivion.

    ...and then on to GameShark, who seem to take a balanced view, pointing out a number of deficits but still concluding this is an excellent game.  Hardcore Fallout fans will want to take a look at this one, because they do contrast Bethesda's work against  the originals.  Their rating is 'B+' and here's a critical bit on plot missteps, since the other two reviews have liked the writing so much:

    It’ll surely come as no great shock that your dogged pursuit of your father has you stumble onto a much larger story that affects the entirety of the game world. Nor should it be surprising that everything you’re intended to take for granted isn’t necessarily based on reality. The ideas of fighting the “Good Fight” and sacrificing for the sake of others are prominent. But, much like Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, this intricate and compelling story too frequently gets tripped up in its implementation.

    Take your aforementioned exit from the vault. Everyone in the vault was born in that vault. Everyone there has spent their lives together. Yet, we’re to believe the day dad leaves, the vault’s Overseer is so enraged that he orders everyone to be confined to quarters, has a man beaten to death, intends to have you killed and threatens to kill anyone else found in the vault’s corridors? Even if the Overseer were established as dangerously unstable, which he isn’t, we’re to believe nearly every vault security officer is willing to listen to these orders and ready to gun down the same vault civvies they’ve known their entire lives, with no questions asked? That doesn’t strain credibility—it holds it over its head and then snaps it over its knee.

    [Update] Adding a bunch more...

    Alec Meer admits at Rock, Paper, Shotgun that he struggled with his review at IGN UK.  He ultimately calls it a "must play" but laments a considerable lack of polish in a number of areas.  The score is 8.8/10 but the text reads much lower:

    The real trouble is there's this air of, almost, incompetency to the game at large. Yes, it's supremely competent on a certain level: it's this huge, atmospheric place filled with toys and fights and quests and choices. At the same time, the game's filled with cock-ups so glaring that you almost wonder if it ever got play-tested before release. To name but a few: friendly NPCs that run directly in front of your bullets (even in the slo-mo VATS mode); occasional spelling and grammatical errors that could have been fixed by spending a couple of hundred quid on another proof-read; an optional third-person view so badly animated you'll never want to use it; passers-by bumping into one another and grinding to a enmeshed halt; cutscenes triggering in the middle of firefights; people greeting you pleasantly in one second then threatening you in the next; and the mad cacophony of multiple characters all speaking at once. Many of the same problems as Oblivion, then.

    IGN AU sees it much like the main IGN review - all's good and a score of 9.5/10:

    A big part of what adds to Fallout 3's replay value rests within its sense of morality. Morality and consequences are two interconnected elements of the game design – and have been since the original games – and to a similar extent in Bethesda's RPGs too. The framework for your moral compass rests within the decisions you make in conversations, your approach to handling conflicts and quests, as well as whether you tend to help yourself to other peoples' belongings or plant live hand-grenades on them when they're not looking.

    Eurogamer's reviewer sounds a bit scared of the open world but still didn't find it difficult (score: 10/10):

    It isn't, however, all that difficult, and there's no option to crank up the challenge, other than making things difficult by heading off to areas that are too dangerous. If you even vaguely follow the main storyline, there's rarely anything that feels beyond you. This worked for me - it's more than big enough without the game bashing me over the head every five minutes - but it'll be understandable if others hanker for more brutality.

    Such scenes of breathtaking destruction soon become the norm, but the sheer craft never fails to impress.

    And when you get all the way up to level 20, you simply become a bit too good for the game. With your abilities capped, you're generally such a badass that the tension is reduced as you explode every head you aim for. With no more levelling possible (at least until the DLC, perhaps), there's no longer the same sense of reward, and it turns into a bit of a victory march. This is a problem specific only to truly committed players, but in a series that attracts an unusually large proportion of hardcore gamers, the endgame is relevant.

    An 8/10 from Jeff Gerstmann at Giant Bomb:

    Most of the quests in Fallout 3 can be completed in multiple ways, and the way you finish a quest can have substantial ramifications. Take, for example, the side quest called The Power of the Atom. This is one of the first side quests you might encounter in the town of Megaton. Megaton is so-named because there's a live nuclear bomb in the center of town. It leaks a bit of radiation and some local nutjobs worship it as some sort of great deity. The local law enforcement would be appreciative if you could quietly disarm the bomb. But a shadowy businessman in the local tavern offers you a hefty sum if you can rig the bomb to explode, instead. Since Megaton has other side quests and is also the place where you find your first lead on your father's whereabouts, blowing up the town can be a pretty dramatic act if you do it early on. It's a very cool moment.

    Unfortunately, most of the other quests don't quite have that level of impact. But that doesn't mean they aren't clever or interesting. You'll get sent on a lot of different missions, either purely as side endeavors or in order to satisfy a person and convince them to give you the next piece of the main quest line. And there are still others that you might be able to circumvent if your statistics are properly aligned. The speech skill seems especially useful for this, as talking your way out of violent situations is usually much faster and easier than blasting your way through the entire game. But some quests won't require you to have specific skills. It's more a function of whether you're going to play like a jerk, and choose the most negative thing on the dialogue tree, or try to be a bit more even-handed. The game does a good job of making you feel like your dialogue choices are meaningful, even if they're just different tones of voice that ultimately lead to the same conclusion.
    And more...

    Monday - October 27, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #8

    by Dhruin, 21:20

    Let's get straight to it.

    The Bethblog is pointing out a new blog entry from the Prima Guides author.  This sixth part has an overview of the Tour of the Capital Wasteland chapter.

    Bethsoft world artist Nate Purkeypile has a dev diary describing a playthrough with one of his characters named Edward the Cannibal.  A sample:

    Edward was always very talented with small guns and how to repair them, when he was growing up in the Vault he always dreamed of being a hero and making his father proud. Initially, he was just a good guy who was wandering the wastelands checking out all the wonderful things to see. Since he was mostly just roaming around and not doing specific quests for people, a couple of times, things went wrong. Sometimes, a grenade would be thrown, and someone who was not supposed to be there, died accidentally. Eventually he started to get a reputation as an “evil-doer”. This made him very sad, because he thought he was being a hero of the wastes. A clean-shaven one at that, beards were for evil people as far as he was concerned.

    One day, they started to send hit squads after him. At this point, he was very talented with small guns, and due to his skill at repairing weapons, he was able to build a massive stockpile of weapons. The result of this is that they had pissed off a badass with a lot of caps to burn. This is when things started to turn sour. He decided that if they thought he was evil, he was going to show them just how evil he could be. He joined the slavers, he grew a beard and he started stealing things. He was no longer a hero to the people.

    Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo writes for Edge Online about Fallout 3 and violence:

    I often struggle with whether or not we as game developers should have a heightened sense of social responsibility when creating entertainment.

    Fallout 3 is an M-rated game—made for adults. Its violence is over-the-top and has been a central focus of not only our game, but the entire franchise. This is a series that in previous installments allowed players to kill children, right? When Bethesda first started developing Fallout 3, we had early conversations about whether you’re going to be able to blow the kids’ heads off . (Let’s be clear, with the ESRB’s rating system, that’s not something that would fly anyway.)

    GameSpy looks at the sound design with an interview with Lead Sound Designer, Mark Lampert:

    GameSpy: Was it difficult coming up with musical inspiration for a game that takes place after the bomb?

    Mark Lampert, Lead Sound Designer: Inon Zur composed the game's musical score, and I think he really enjoyed approaching the music with "desolation" as the ultimate goal. The key was to let the music provide a thick fog of atmosphere but also not get in the way or steal the show, and I think he did a fantastic job of creating the sound of the ravaged Wasteland while still managing to retain a sense of curiosity for the player.

    It's certainly dark, but there are small pockets here and there in the music which make me feel more like I'm in a strange land worth exploring as opposed to everything being utterly hopeless. A lot of his instrument choices that you'll hear in the public areas such as towns were meant to evoke ideas of Middle Eastern bazaars or the American western frontier.

    ...and Worthplaying has a last-minute interview with Pete Hines:

    WP: Karma. There are a lot of numbers and a lot of stat values in Fallout 3, but with everything our player had, we didn't see any specific numbers for Karma, although we did see a lot of "Karma up," "Karma down" notices while playing through the game. What can you tell us about Karma?

    PH: Karma is intentionally meant to be a bit ambiguous in terms of, you get some feedback about whether you're good, neutral or evil and how good, neutral or evil. There are different ranks of Karma, but we didn't want to assign a number to it and say, "Your Karma is now 14," or "It is now -32." We'd prefer it to be a rough guide, a rough barometer of how you're playing the game, how good or evil or neutral you're being in the world based on your actions and the decisions that you've made. We want to allow the player to adjust that as they go along by the kinds of things that they do. If they find themselves being too much of a Goody Two-shoes and they want to go out and wreak some havoc and terrorize people, they can, and their Karma score will slide down appropriately. Or vice versa, they've done evil things and decide that they want to try and repent and do better, then they can spend a lot of time doing nice stuff and getting their Karma to go up. We wanted it to be ambiguous, and it's not the focal point of the game, it's just another aspect of how you're acting in this world, what kind of person you're being.

    Sunday - October 26, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Washington Post

    by Dhruin, 21:05

    The Washington Post talks to Todd Howard about the city of Washington in Fallout 3:

    Q: How close did you try and stick to the real-world map?

    Howard: Not that close.

    When it comes to really high-level geography, we did that, but the timeline in Fallout splits after World War 2. We did a lot of studying of D.C. and the history of D.C. and how it was built. We wanted to do the big things [like] the Mall and we did Dupont Circle and various other sections of the city in the flavor they are. Georgetown, the Key Bridge, the Pentagon -- but the Pentagon is now this big fortress that the Brotherhood of Steel lives in, they're kind of like the knights of this world.

    The problem is, when you get into a game, when you're actually playing and walking around, the scale doesn't work. It doesn't feel right. So we would go down [to Washington] and walk around and see how it felt and translate that to an appropriate scale in the game. So it has a similar feeling but it's dramatically compressed in some places, and some places are opened up a bit.

    Source: Blues News

    Fallout 3 - Midnight Launch Events

    by Dhruin, 00:02

    This will only benefit a small group of readers but if you're lucky enough (or crazy enough...you pick) to live near a handful of certain Best Buys stores in the US, they'll be opening at midnight on the 27th for early Fallout 3 sales.  From Blue's:

    Bethesda Softworks and Best Buy Bring Fallout 3 to Fans with Midnight Launch Events Across the Country

    Fans to Help Usher in One of Year’s Biggest Videogame Launches

    October 24, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, and Best Buy Co., Inc. have announced that in response to huge demand for Bethesda’s award-winning upcoming game, Fallout® 3, there will be midnight openings at Best Buy stores across the country the evening of October 27. Best Buy customers at select stores in the Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas and Chicago metropolitan areas will be among the first to play one of the most anticipated videogames of the year.

    “Fallout 3 has been a labor of love for the team at Bethesda and we can’t wait to get the game into the hands of consumers,” said Todd Howard, Game Director for Fallout 3. “We’re looking forward to celebrating the launch of Fallout 3 with the fans.”

    The Fallout 3 team’s hometown Best Buy in Rockville, MD will serve as the flagship location of the midnight events, with special festivities including game kiosks, giveaways, contests and a live broadcast from the event with DC 101 FM. Game director Todd Howard will be on-hand along with other key members of the development team to sign copies of the game and chat with fans. In addition to the Rockville event, 11 Best Buy stores across the country will be hosting special midnight sales events.

    Read on for the exact locations.  The PR calls for queues to start from 3PM!

    Friday - October 24, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preloads on Steam and Direct2Drive

    by Dhruin, 23:57

    Fallout 3 is now available for preload on both Steam and Direct2Drive.  The D2D version is currently restricted to NA and a handful of other countries, while the Steam version appears generally available.  FO3 unlocks 28th for NA, 31st for Europe and Asia Pacific.

    Steam also has the manual online if you'd like to look through all the details.

    Fallout 3 - Emil Pagliarulo Interview @ Gamespy

    by Woges, 18:11

    FO3's Lead Designer interviewed over at Gamespy.

    GameSpy: The Fallout series is well-known for providing plenty of freedom to the player in terms of allowing free-roaming exploration and a non-linear approach to tackling its storyline, with plenty of side-stories. Does Fallout 3 take a similar approach, allowing for multiple ways to approach the story?

    Emil Pagliarulo, Lead Designer: Well, the main quest is fairly straightforward in the sense that it has a set narrative -- you leave Vault 101 in search of your father, and you're trying to find out why he left, where he went, what he's up to, etc. That said, by the end of the main quest, you've made some really significant decisions that ultimately change the destiny of the entire Capital Wasteland.

    But I think the really cool thing about Fallout 3 -- and this is pretty much true of the previous games as well -- is that at any time you're free to just abandon the main quest, head off into the Wastes, and see where life takes you. It's a wide-open world; we don't restrict your movement at all. So in that sense, yeah, it's very much classic Fallout. It's all about exploration and discovery. What's out there? Who can I meet? How can I affect those around me, for either good or ill?

    Thursday - October 23, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #7 [Updated]

    by Dhruin, 23:50

    Not too many Fallout 3 things today, either.

    3D Zone.bg  has an interview with unspecified members of the Bethesda "team".  A wide range of questions but nothing really new:

    3dz: OK, let’s talk about the balance between role-playing and action elements in Fallout 3. It seems that RPG elements are a bit hardcore, while the action feels more like a FPS. Is this intended?

    BT:
    Well, we want people to feel like they can play the game however they like. If you’d rather play it like a story-driven FPS and not get into the stats and role-playing, feel free. If you really want to power game and get into the stats and numbers and how best to buff out your character, or spend all your time in dialog, or however you want to roleplay, you can do that too. We don’t think it’s up to us to tell you how you should play the game. We want to give you that freedom and let you go, and do, whatever you want, however you want.

    Well-known RPG press specialist Desslock has been interviewed at Planet Fallout by Briosafreak about his thoughts on FO3:

    PF:You went there and came up with a column in PC Gamer, the famous “Memo to Bethesda”. In it you gave five tips for Bethsoft not to screw up Fallout 3. Now that you’ve played the game let’s get back to those tips. Did they got the combat right?

    Desslock: Yes, the combat is great, in my opinion – it’s repetitive, and over-the-top violent (necks are apparently very brittle after the apocalypse), but it’s consistently rewarding. I’m very pleased with VATS.

    PF:But no kicking rats in the groin now, though…

    Desslock: One of the bigger disappointments is that there’s no targeting of body parts in melee combat at all, apparently for balance reasons. Melee combat definitely gets short shrift in general, and there’s far too much ammo lying around compared to the other Fallouts, although the change in locale somewhat justifies that.

    The Prima Guide blog has an entry on the Bestiary

    Yahoo has an article on sequels, with Todd Howard suggesting Fallout 4 should around three years away

    [Update]...and adding an interview with Emil Pagliarulo at Gaming Nexus.  Again, nothing new, so here's a random snip:

    How will the missions work out in Fallout 3? Any chance you could describe some of the new mission types we'll be seeing in the game?
    For us it’s never been about trying to squeeze in a certain number of quest types, or filling a quota. For Fallout 3, we really just wanted to tell some interesting stories, and give the player a chance to make real choices and determine the outcomes of those quests. So there are fewer quests than there were in Oblivion, but they’re much richer, much deeper. Most have multiple paths and solutions. And, because it’s Fallout, even the simplest task might seem like a clear-cut fetch quest on the surface, and then reveal itself to be something much deeper. So we had a lot of fun with that.

    Wednesday - October 22, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #6

    by Dhruin, 23:50

    The quiet before the storm, I think.  A handful of new Fallout 3 items to report but you can feel the weight of upcoming reviews pressing down.

    The Bethblog is pointing out another blog entry from the Prima Guide author.

    PSM3 Magazine comments on the performance across the three platforms, after a leak of their PS3 review criticised the game on that platform:

    The PC version of Fallout 3 is gorgeous. The colours are vivid, the draw distance is endless, the textures are high-res and the lighting effects are beautifully subtle, especially when you're gazing over the Capital Wasteland at sunset. It's the best-looking of the three.

    The Xbox 360 version's textures are noticeably rougher than on PC, and objects in the distance aren't quite as clear. It does, however, boast an impressively solid frame rate. The game is, otherwise, identical.

    NOW, the PS3 version looks the same as on Xbox, but things in the distance are slightly jaggier/rougher, the textures seem 'muddier' up-close and the frame rate is choppier, especially during the last few story missions (which may be the same on Xbox, but we've not seen the equivalent scenes to comment). We won't spoil anything, but the set-pieces here are MASSIVE, and the engine quivers under the weight of what's happening.

    ...and The Brainy Gamer sent his video game students out to play Fallout / FO2 before Fallout 3 was released.  The results are interesting - a couple of snippets:

    So when I handed them Fallout (half played the original, half the sequel) with no instructions or special preparation, they struggled. A lot. They had the original manuals, but almost nobody read them. After exiting the vault, they had no idea where to go or what to do. Their movements were limited for no apparent reason; "action points" made no sense; and they died within minutes nearly everywhere they went. [...]

    Suddenly, they got Fallout. They grokked the mechanics and embraced the non-linear gameplay. They made peace with uncertainty. But more importantly, they built a relationship with the character and the offbeat but perilous world.

    After coming to terms with Fallout, some students report back that they don't think FO3 will capture the real essence of Fallout.  Head over to read it all - time will tell if they are right or not.

    Thanks to NMA for the last two items.

    Finally, GameBanshee has a new interview with Gavin Carter:

    GB: We haven't heard a lot about Radiant AI in Fallout 3. What has changed with the implementation of Radiant AI in comparison to how it was handled in Oblivion?

    Gavin: The biggest change is that we now have years of experience in how to best use it. The Radiant AI system is not just a simple system that instructs NPCs where to stand at what time. It's the entire framework that we use to create quest content in the game. Any action an NPC ever does runs through Radiant AI at some point. So what we've learned through Oblivion and Fallout's development is how to extract the best behavior from the system and get it onscreen where the player will see it. We now more activities that NPCs can engage in, and things like sandbox packages, where we can instruct an NPC to interact with anything they find in a particular area instead of standing around dumbly. It adds up to better NPC behavior and a more lively atmosphere in the game.

    GB: Detail your approach to player karma and reputation a bit for us. Does Fallout 3 utilize a karma system without a separate reputation system? If so, what exactly does karma represent in the game - reputation, a mystical sense of good or evil, or a combination of the two?

    Gavin: Karma could be considered to be reputation in some senses. At a basic level, it is a value that we use to track the sum total of your good and evil actions in the game. It’s a way to communicate to the player which side of the line they fall on and to what extent. Certain characters will have different reactions to the player based on his or her karma. For instance, some followers will refuse to join you unless your karma matches their own personalities.

    Monday - October 20, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Music Interview @ RPG Vault

    by Dhruin, 21:41

    Jonric at RPG Vault has an interview with Fallout 3 composer, Inon Zur:

    Jonric: What were the major considerations that factored into your being selected to create the score for Fallout 3?

    Inon Zur:
    I think it was the combination of music styles that I have created, especially the ambient music, which is almost like sound design, but is also mixed with orchestral elements. They thought it would really capture the attention of the fans because they were looking to give the score a different angle from the music that was in the previous Fallout games. And this is why they went for my style - because I could give them the ambience and the weird decadence plus an almost low-fi sound, but also bring up some more dramatic, orchestral elements with it when needed.

    Thursday - October 16, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Level Design Diary

    by Dhruin, 22:05

    Notes on Pulling Down the Sky is the title of a diary at the official Fallout 3 site on level design:

    Fallout 3 has been the first Bethesda Game Studios project with a dedicated level design team from the outset. With this resource, we were able to set our sights higher than ever before. We knew early on that one of our big concepts for the game was to challenge the traditional RPG divisions between towns, wilderness, and dungeon. With that mission in mind, we actively sought to blur the lines and create a world that was at once believable, unpredictable, and above all; entertaining.

    The Washington, D.C. area was a natural choice of setting for the game. Despite her architectural beauty and social significance, the Capital is surprisingly neglected as a setting in videogames. We believed, as locals, that we had a great opportunity to do her justice. This setting has been a blessing in many ways. The U.S. Capital is thick with imagery and symbolism which is only amplified against an apocalyptic backdrop. This is a city of beautifully distinct architecture and a variety of local charms from neighborhood to neighborhood. Those of us who don’t live within D.C. herself are a very short metro trip away from the heart of downtown, so research and inspiration were never far away.

    Tuesday - October 14, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #5

    by Dhruin, 23:44

    Quiet on the Fallout 3 front - only two minor newsbits.

    The Bethblog is pointing out a G4 X-Play special:

    Be sure to tune into G4’s X-Play tonight for a special one-hour edition. The first half of the show will be business as usual, as they’ll be covering last week’s Tokyo Game Show. After that, they’ll be airing their Fallout 3 Special that you won’t want to miss.

    The action starts at 8 p.m. eastern time. Check your local listings for more details.

    ...and the official site has three new desktop wallpapers.

    Monday - October 13, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #4

    by Dhruin, 22:35

    An episode of GameTrailers TV from yesterday is now available online with apparently new footage - or you can watch the gameplay footage without commentary across these four videos.

    Gamasutra interviews Todd Howard, as much about their processes than the game itself.  A bit on the concept:

    One of the defining gameplay aspects of Fallout 3 is that you've got the VATS system, but you've also got standard real-time "shoot a guy" going on. I suspect that there was some impetus to try to bridge the two worlds. Fallout was rigid --

    TH: Stat-heavy, turn-based.

    And here's what people expect from a modern video game. I mean, is that how you went about thinking about it?

    TH: I think that would be pretty accurate, actually. We just felt like we didn't want to make it appear [like a] "shooter." We wanted the ability for you to see your character doing really cool things that you couldn't necessarily do. We tried that line with the Elder Scrolls, too, but it's mêlée, so it's kind of, you know... You don't have to aim that well; it's just sort of "swing the sword and hit the guy."

    And we're always conscientious where we don't want whatever we're doing to only be for people who can handle fast-twitch stuff. Where is that line for, "Well, I don't have the dexterity to pull this off. I want to play my character, and get into him, and have my character on the screen have the dexterity."

    So again, we're kind of on the edge of that with the stuff we do. And we like that. I like being on the edge, because we play a lot of first person shooters. We play everything, and believe that there's not a specific rulebook for, "This is your genre, and this is what you can do."

    You know what? I actually don't know many people who are like, if you ask them what they play, "I only play flight simulators! Nothing else! No! Ever! Nothing!" Not, "I only play first person shooters, without any menus."

    But we're conscientious that some people aren't going to be really good at the heavy action stuff, so we try to walk that line. We felt that we knew we wanted to have you stop the game in some way. In the beginning we didn't know how. "Do we slow it down?" But we knew that once you said what you wanted to do, your character was going to do it, and make it kind of cinematic.

    Finally, MTV says Bethsoft is frustrated supporting pirates along with genuine consumers:

    “It is probably the most…[long pause]…probably the most difficult issue specifically facing PC gaming right now,” said somberly-toned “Fallout 3″product manager Pete Hines to me after playing four hours of his new game a few weeks ago. “How are we gonna walk that line?”

    Before a flame war erupts, let's remember that FO3 will apparently have a minimal protection scheme.

    Thursday - October 09, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Top 10 Kick Ass Moments

    by Dhruin, 23:08

    Who feels like they've already played the first half of Fallout 3, just based on media walkthroughs?  Oh well, on to VideoGamer who reveal their "top 10 kick kick ass moments from a day with Fallout 3".  Let's start at the bottom and you can decide how much you want to read:

    Okay, so by now you may be getting a little sick of hearing about Megaton, the shanty settlement built around an unexploded nuke. The vast majority of Fallout 3 coverage has focused on the option to diffuse or detonate the bomb - but during our recent hands-on time we were actually more impressed by the way we grew attached to the place itself. We like the way the town's layout is a bit scattered and messy, with everything connected by flimsy-looking walkways, and the way the huts light up at night. There's something a bit pathetic about Megaton, but the people there are trying to get on with life; it feels a bit like a stray dog with three legs. When you return from the wastes, bloodied and in need of supplies, you'll be glad it's there. Unless you simply blew it off the map, of course.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Fallout 3 - Gone Gold

    by Myrthos, 22:37

    This time it is official; Fallout 3 is gold. Here is the official press release:

    Available in Stores on Oct. 28 in N. America, Oct. 30 in Europe/Australia, Oct. 31 in UK

     

    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.

    And here are the minimuim and recommended requirements:

     Minimum System Requirements:

    • Windows XP/Vista
    • 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
    • 2.4 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor
    • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)

        Recommended System Requirements:

    • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
    • 2 GB System RAM
    • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA 8800 series, ATI 3800 series)
    • Supported Video Card Chipsets:

      • NVIDIA GeForce 200 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 9800 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 9600 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 8800 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 8600 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 8500 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 8400 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 7900 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 7800 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 7600 series
      • NVIDIA Geforce 7300 series
      • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series
      • ATI HD 4800 series
      • ATI HD 4600 series
      • ATI HD 3800 series
      • ATI HD 3600 series
      • ATI HD 3400 series
      • ATI HD 2900 series
      • ATI HD 2600 series
      • ATI HD 2400 series
      • ATI X1900 series
      • ATI X1800 series
      • ATI X1600 series
      • ATI X1300 series
      • ATI X850 series

    Wednesday - October 08, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Gone Gold?

    by Dhruin, 21:34

    We haven't heard directly from Bethsoft but Fallout 3 European distie sent Worthplaying a Gold press release, although apparently Bethsoft were unwilling to provide direct confirmation:

    Fallout 3 places a player in the role of a Vault-dweller, who ventures from his secluded, underground survival Vault into a post-apocalyptic world of mutants, radiation, gangs and violence. European distributor Ubisoft revealed Fallout 3 has gone gold, and is on track for its late Oct. release date. While we tried to confirm this with Bethesda PR, all we received was a "we'll get back to you when we know more" comment, not exactly a denial either.

    Given the well-publicised release date at the end of this month, it wouldn't exactly be a surprise.

    In other news, Edge Online grabbed Tim Cain for a comment on FO3:

    He said in an interview with Edge on Tuesday, "I do like what I've seen about Fallout 3. I've talked to those guys at Bethesda about it. It's their IP now and they've gone in a certain direction and it's very intriguing.

    "It's not necessarily the direction I would've gone, but I can tell you I have my Fallout 3 pre-ordered. I want my life-sized Pip-Boy. I'm going to be playing that at the end of the month."

    He goes on to say he does think the expanded size may reduce the feeling of being a survivor.

    Tuesday - October 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #3

    by Dhruin, 22:26

    A smaller batch of Fallout 3 stuff today but there's still a steady stream of articles coming through.

    MTV is apparently scared by open world games but Fallout 3 might change their mind:

    Open-world games scare the crap out of me. I have no problem admitting that.

    I passed on “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion” and never finished a “Grand Theft Auto” game until the most recent one. Maybe that’s why I enjoy games like “Mega Man 9″ so much; too much choice scares me away.

    It’s with this attitude I spent four hours with Bethesda Softworks‘ latest, “Fallout 3,” last week at a morning preview event in San Francisco. We were told to avoid the main quest; that’s a secret. The mandate made me panic — the next four hours would be nothing but choice.

    Honestly, it's sad to read. 

    ...and Xbox Evolved has a general interview with Pete Hines:

    XE: There are a lot of fans of the previous series that will be getting the game, but even more will be buying the game that never heard of Fallout before Fallout 3. How do you find the balance between pleasing the fans and easing in the newcomers?

    Pete Hines: If we can make the best Fallout 3 game we can, we’ll be ok. People who played the originals will find plenty in there to make it feel like a true Fallout game, and people who don’t have a clue, just see a cool game they want to play. In our experience, millions of people got their first taste of The Elder Scrolls with Morrowind - they had never played Arena and Daggerfall years before. Millions more started with Oblivion. So people who know the series get more out of it, appreciate references and lore more, but the base game can still appeal to a wide group and not exclude one for the sake of another.

    Friday - October 03, 2008

    Fallout 3 - New Screens

    by Dhruin, 12:20

    A batch of 12 new Fallout 3 screens have been released, which you can nab at Blue's

    Fallout 3 - Roundup #2

    by Dhruin, 00:58

    Yep, more Fallout 3 previews from Bethsoft's four hour play slot offered to the press.  First, CrispyGamer's I Survived Four Hours of Fallout 3:

    My Pip-Boy 3000, a personal computer strapped to my arm like the Nintendo Power Glove, tells me that news of my father awaits in a town called Megaton. A green blip flickers on a map; a dotted line lights the way. I feel ambivalent towards the man who brought me into this world. Why should I chase after this deadbeat? What's my motivation?

    Of course, I'm missing part of the picture. I haven't played the Vault portion of the game. I haven't actually met my old man (played by actor Liam Neeson). But I get the idea that plot in Fallout 3 doesn't have quite the urgency as in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, where a man as formidable as the actor Patrick Stewart tasked me in the game's first minutes with saving the world. Here, my old man's trail of breadcrumbs doesn't feel quite as alluring in this strange, deadly new world.

    This is a 3-page, first-part, so expect a lengthy blow-by-blow of the entire four hours by the time they are done.

    Giant Bomb goes Traipsing Through Fallout 3's Wasteland:

    Leveling up is a more straightforward affair than it was in Oblivion, since this game uses the traditional Fallout SPECIAL system to let you allocate points into basic attribute categories immediately when you level up. None of that having to find a place to sleep to actually increase your stats, or having the skills you use the most naturally increasing over the other ones. (So don't go bunny-hopping everywhere just to raise your agility--it makes you look like a doofus.) You can also pick out a specific perk at every level, some of which are pretty funny and have some strange effects. One of them was called Lady Killer and gave you an extra 10 percent damage against female opponents, not to mention some extra dialogue options when talking to women in normal dialogue. Weird.

    The game is generous with low-level loot like Oblivion was. I picked up an assault rifle, several melee weapons, and a variety of armor just by fighting the early raiders that were roaming the wastes. It seems like the best and most unique equipment you'll have to make yourself, though. I gained my first schematic right at the end of the demo, for an item called the shishkebab. That required me to find a motorcycle gas tank, a pilot light, a lawnmower blade, and a motorcycle hand brake. The schematic said the resulting item would both "slash" and "burn," which sounds like everything I'm looking for in a good melee weapon. You'll need the schematic, the right parts, and a high enough repair skill to actually assemble this kind of crazy makeshift weaponry.

    More to come, no doubt.

    Thursday - October 02, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Shacknews

    by Dhruin, 13:38

    Pete Hines pops up at Shacknews for a near-release interview on Fallout 3.  On the ratings controversy:

    Shack: After the Australia ratings board banned the game, you guys made some changes to the names of real-world drugs, which will now show up in all versions of the game. What did you think of the fan reaction to that?

    Pete Hines: It is seriously the biggest non-issue in the history of video games. It got way more attention than it merits.

    Shack: Do you think that anybody's going to even notice?

    Pete Hines: Have you noticed? Does it make a big difference that it's called something other than Morphine? I mean, who gives a--

    Shack: Still, does it frustrate you to have to make changes based on the ratings board?

    Pete Hines: No. As I said, Australia weren't the only folks that had brought this up. It had actually been brought up in a number places. Like, "Hey, referencing real prescribed drugs is kind of a little concerning."

    And we went back and looked at it and went, "It's not like it's in the original game, we just made it up. So why not just change it to another made-up name?" It's the same thing called something else. We couldn't possibly care less.

    Fallout 3 - News Roundup

    by Dhruin, 01:36

    Looks like there's a PR assault before the release of Fallout 3 at the end of the month, so I'll collect a few things here.

    GameSpot has a rather early "post-mortem" video with Pete Hines saying they are in the "last stages" with things like (console) certification and manufacturing under way.  He goes on to talk about the game being larger than first anticipated, post game support with hints at DLC "modules".

    GameSpot also has an early stages in-character preview titled Diary of a Wasteland Survivor:

    Dear Diary,

    Somewhere between being attacked by giant rats and making awkward small talk with a trio of passive-aggressive radiation zombies, I began to regret my decision to leave the vault the other day. After all, that cooped-up atomic-bomb shelter was the only home I'd ever known. But when my father mysteriously went missing, I knew I had to put my life of watching I Love Lucy reruns and eating canned beans on hold for a while.

    MTV Multiplayer discusses DLC and the lack of it for the PS3 with Pete, saying the 100 hours of gameplay out of the box won't leave players "short changed" if they don't get any DLC.  Apparently Oblivion DLC is still doing very well:

    “No, because of how many folks are still buying ‘Oblivion’ stuff today,” said Hines. “The number of people who bought ‘Oblivion’ content yesterday is just ludicrous. It’s [the] end of September 2008 — that game came out two and a half years ago and people are still buying it by the thousands, ten of thousands. It’s not just one day; it’s every single day for the last two and a half years.

    How Fallout 3 is Different Than Oblivion is a piece at Kotaku that states the obvious:

    I never played the first two Fallouts and have very little sentimental attachment to Pip-boy, Vault 101, or Dogmeat. When early impressions of Fallout 3 labeled the game as “Oblivion with guns,” I thought: sign me up. But many diehard fans and purists don’t want that. They want an experience that’s true to the spirit of the original Fallout, a game that builds on the innovations and atmosphere that evolved in Fallout 2.

    After being filled in by Manfriend, I was able to take a look at Fallout 3 and judge for myself if it has more in common with Oblivion than it does with Fallout. And after three hours with the game, I’ve decided… it’s 50-50.

    It's a quality piece with great quotes like "I’m glad they decided to make combat real time, because nothing screams “I’m afraid of evolving” like turn-based fights".

    On to Joystiq with Four Hours in the Wasteland:

    One of the combat highlights from our play session was using the V.A.T.S.' ability to pinpoint-target specific body parts to shoot the pistol out of a Raider's hand, then watching him try to run for cover as we capped him in the legs. (Ouch.)

    Four Hours in the Wasteland is also the title of GameSpy's piece, which has two editors giving their views.  On quests:

    Miguel: I'm hesitant to reduce them to the sorts of courier runs, fetch quests, and hunting forays that have come to pervade MMOs, but I'm afraid that they're going to sound similarly prosaic if I give you a blow-by-blow description. At their best, the quests I played directed you toward sites where interesting things were going on. One started out as a "fed ex" quest from Megaton to a remote settlement built on a ruined overpass overlooking the Potomac. When I got there, I found that the settlers were under siege by a group of vampire people. My arrival triggered a far more interesting task: to go find their lair and slaughter them. I had three choices of locale. Behind door number one, an abandoned drive-in theater, were a pair of super mutants. Too bad that our play time ended while I was en route to the derelict metro station where I suspect they were hiding.

    I may be wrong, but I'm inferring from what I've played that Fallout 3's world is designed around sites like these. In some cases, you'll be directed to them by quests. In others, you may just stumble on them in the middle of something else entirely. So long as players are not encouraged to bypass any potentially interesting scenarios simply because they're not on a quest to engage them -- a common problem in MMOs, once players learn that nearly every monster has a kill-quest associated with it -- then this could lend itself to some interesting meanderings in Fallout 3's world.

    Sunday - September 28, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Six Hours of Exploring @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 02:31

    IGN rounds out their Fallout 3 week with Six Hours of Exploring.  Although they avoid Megaton, they still cover territory we've seen before - spoilers obviously apply:

    Much has already been written about the first few hours outside of the vault, so I won't tread over old ground. You'll likely hit up Megaton, the closest town to where you begin, and then follow quests from there that lead you to various surrounding areas. It's all about exploration in Fallout 3. The game even gives you some experience points for each new landmark you discover. For me, this series of quests and wandering led to Tenpenny Tower, a luxurious apartment complex that houses a number of snobs and generally evil people.

    Saturday - September 27, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Bad to the Bone @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 01:51

    IGN gathered Good Karma the other day, so now it's time to be Bad to the Bone - spoilers apply as IGN takes us for an evil walkthrough:

    If you want to bottom out your karma, there are several roads to take. Killing innocent people is a good way. You can also start stealing any of the hundreds and hundreds of items strewn about each city. It's only a small loss of karma for stealing, so you can still do this from time to time if you're playing a hero. Steal everything and you'll be following in my footsteps. The big one is to destroy Megaton, the first city you come across that has an undetonated nuclear bomb at its heart. Blow it up and level the city and your karma will bottom out.

    Needless to say, I rigged the bomb to explode in my game. That may be all you need to do in the game to send your character to evil, but it's small potatoes in the grand scheme of evil. Before leaving for Tenpenny Tower to detonate the nuke, there was business to attend to. I took out my baseball bat and went into the nearest house to see what I could find. A few swings later and I had a new set of clothes and an entire hut to loot. I then went through the rest of the town, systematically murdering everyone and hawking their junk at the local general store. If they're going to die, I may as well make a profit first, right?

    Thursday - September 25, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview, Gathering Good Karma

    by Dhruin, 22:38

    A handful of new items for Fallout 3 around the web today.  First, character artist Dane Olds has been interviewed at NotesOnGameDev.net (thanks, Blue's):

    That sounds like a lot to look forward to though. What was the inspiration for character art in Fallout 3?

    A lot of the inspiration for the character art in Fallout 3 came from the original games.  We drew heavily from those Retro-Future roots and you’ll see that throughout the character art in the game.  With the weapons we always referenced the old art from Fallout.  Sometimes the weapons are very close to the originals, other times they’ve been overhauled to fit specifically to the game we’ve created. A good example of this would be the Flamer.  It’s functional, and is inspired by the real flame throwers used in World-War II.  We take the real military designs, and then see where we can make them more interesting, what we can embellish on, and what we might need to remove.  When the modeling and texturing is done we have to have something that is visually interesting and functional. Another great example is the ever-popular Power Fist.  The original Power Fist was kind of an electric gauntlet.  The new one has a pneumatic piston mounted on a thick steel framework that looks like an engine block.  This weapon visually feels like it packs a punch, and it certainly does in the game.

    IGN continues their Fallout 3 week with a piece called Gathering Good Karma:

    Immediately after exiting the vault, players are given the opportunity to take their character in either direction. The citizens of Washington DC are in such a sorry state of existence that playing as a decent human isn't a difficult choice to make. Upon entering the first run-down shack on the road toward Megaton I met up with a woman named Silver. She's a downtrodden ex-prostitute and her only request is that you don't broadcast her existence to the man she owes money to. I readily agreed, and subtly inquired if she still offered any of her old services. I didn't exactly help her, but I didn't extort or murder her either. I was well on my way to sainthood.

    Fallout 3 - Skills & Perks, Favourite Characters

    by Dhruin, 00:31

    Apparently this is Fallout 3 week at IGN and following up their weapons piece, they have an article on Skills and Perks.  Here are two samples from the list:

    Solar Powered
    Ranks Available: 1, Requirements: Level 20, Endurance 7
    With the Solar Powered perk, you gain an additional 2 points to Strength when in direct sunlight, and slowly regenerate lost Health.

    Lawbringer
    Ranks Available: 1, Requirements: Level 14
    Once you have the Lawbringer perk, any evil character you kill will have a finger on their corpse. This finger can then be sold to a certain person (whose identity is disclosed when you take the perk) for caps and positive Karma.

    In other FO3 news, UGO talks about their Favourite Fallout Characters (thanks, NMA):

    Every Yin needs a Yang in the same way that every Vault Dweller hero needs a Master. The being formerly known as Richard Grey was a post-Great War doctor who last lived as a human in the merchant town known as The Hub. After being plunged into a vat filled with Forced Evolutionary Virus and left there for a month, Grey emerged as an amorphous, blob-like entity capable of absorbing other organics into its form. Dubbing himself "Master," Grey eventually learned how to twist the F.E.V. to his own ends, using it to create a race of super mutants.

    While our memories of the Master aren't exactly fond, he is one of the most deliciously evil yet incomprehensible villains in video games. You see, all of those creatures he's absorbed have left him a bit touched in the head. The Vault Dweller can kill him directly or indirectly at the end of Fallout, but it's much more fun to match wits with the Master and show him the flaw in his own plans, after which he blows himself up with a nuclear bomb. Good times.

    Wednesday - September 24, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ RPS

    by Dhruin, 00:36

    Kieron Gillen chats with Todd Howard over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun about Fallout 3.  Topics include mods, the comedic violence and being controversial.  About an editor:

    RPS: There’s a Conspiracy Theory that would suggest that you’re removing the mod tools to make downloadable content more attractive. As in, if you get extra value for free, why buy the official stuff?

    Hines: That’s a good theory, by the way. And probably on some level it would work… but from our standpoint, whenever we do an Elder Scrolls game and release those mod tools, it takes a ton of work and effort. This is a bigger undertaking for us, and one we’ve not yet scheduled for. Is that to say it’ll never come out? No, I’ll never say that. If we have the time, we’d absolutely like to put them out. As we’ve seen with Oblivion and Morrowind those things definitely create a sense of community and there’s tonnes of people out there modding. We have our own little blog we run from Bethesda, and every week we’re out there interviewing people from our mod community – so it’s clearly something we support, something we take interest in and something we place value in and spend a lot of time highlighting good mods. It’s just the tools take time. They don’t magically appear. Someone’s got to write help files for what all the scripts do, and get it released as a consumer product. Because it’s not in that state otherwise. Developers will make do with anything.

    Tuesday - September 23, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Tools of Survival @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 12:27

    IGN has a 4 minute video on weapons in Fallout 3, mixing sample footage with comments from the likes of Todd Howard, Emil Pagliarulo and Istvan Pely.  The video accompanies a weapon-focused article titled Tools of Survival:

    Most games reward progression by giving you access to cooler weapons. At the beginning of the game, you'll be stuck with a few junky weapons, but by the end you'll be a walking death-bringer armed to the teeth. That is not the case in Fallout 3. It is possible to get awesome weapons very early in the game. The catch is that most of these will be half-broken, require some serious effort to obtain, and you won't have the skill level to get the most out of them yet. The trick to getting these weapons is usually making them yourself.

    Friday - September 19, 2008

    Fallout 3 - First 60 Minutes @ Edge Online

    by Dhruin, 23:47

    Edge Online walks readers through the first 60 minutes of Fallout 3.  We've done this many times before, although this piece has some criticisms, such as the "acting" not meeting the standard in Vampire: Bloodlines and some VATS oddities:

    In fact, it’s only when it begins shooting that the game comes awry a little. The VATS system – where you use a pause-time system to call shots at different areas of the body of your targets, spending a regenerating pool of action points – isn’t quite all we hoped for. When it works, its cinematic shots show the slightly camp ultraviolence off to its best, with heads dissolving into red mist. When it doesn’t work, it leads to unfortunately silly-looking shots. Sadly, this is mostly showcased by one of the most common of the early enemies. While a wolf’s attack sequence involves backing off before leaping, the hulking mole rats simply charge and leap at you insistently – in other words, at close range they’re very close, meaning that when you select VATS you’re shown the unfortunate sight of your character bending over and unloading round after round into a beast running against his legs. And even when it works there’s the nagging sense, at least with an unskilled and therefore inaccurate character, that you’d be better off just pointing the gun at your target and pulling the trigger yourself.

    Thursday - September 18, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Prepare for the Future

    by Dhruin, 23:22

    From the Bethblog:

    During E3 week, we launched a new Fallout site, prepareforthefuture.com. For the past two months, content of the site has only been teased. Starting today, you can go through and explore the nooks and crannies of the site, which are divided into different channels.

    Plenty of hard work went into the site, so we hope you have as much fun checking it out as we’ve had putting it together.

    But enough talk. Head over to the site and let us know which channels you like best.

    Wednesday - September 17, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interviews and Planet Fallout

    by Dhruin, 01:30

    Play.tm has an interview with Pete Hines from the Leipzig GC.  The questions are mostly about the development rather than gameplay, touching on the difficulty of fleshing out large worlds, working with Liam Neeson and the potential audience:

    Who are you expecting to play the game? Will it be mainly new players, or will it be players who've had experience of the series previously?

    I think it'll probably skew a lot towards newer players, just if you look at how many people bought or played Fallout before, versus what we're looking at sales-wise, the numbers don't add up, there's got to be a lot of new players. Either that or all the original Fallout players need to buy ten copies each!

    I think it'll be a mix. Even on 360, or PS3, there are a lot of people who used to be PC players in the 90s - maybe still are - but maybe they now play consoles and they're likely to play Fallout on these platforms. Rather than PC... that's their new platform of choice now.

    The official site is pointing out a video interview with Pete Hines at The Weekly Blend and Briosafreak and others have launched Planet Fallout.  Wish them luck!

    Monday - September 15, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Speed Run, Previews

    by Dhruin, 23:10

    The Bethblog has a light hearted article about a recent Fallout 3 speed run contest held at their offices - apparently a tradition as a development gets near the end.  You won't get any spoilers or specifics but you can read how Todd Howard didn't make the finals and QA tester Sam Berstein just squeaked home.

    In other news, Gamestar.de has a German preview and Xbox Focus says Prepare to be Blown Away:

    2. Slooooow-moooootion death animations.
    One can look at this much-heralded facet of the game and label it as the title's "Wow" factor, which will invariably wear off after a week of gameplay. While they are probably right (and when I use the pronoun "they", I mean refer to the "Union of Global Crybabies"), it still doesn't take away from the fact that the one week of enjoying it will be more satisfying than one thousand present-day chainsaws animations and Spartan teabags combined together (*facepalm* for another Halo 3 reference again).

    The slow-motion kill camera that Fallout 3 boasts is going to be an absolute treat for gamers, and for me to state it as anything else would be lying through my off-white teeth. Whether it be the hundreds of unique animations that play, the various amount of weapons at your disposal (why someone hasn't yet thought of "mini-nukes" in this industry is beyond me), and just to have something different than the standard chainsaw/pistol whip combination is a welcomed change of pace.

    Liam Neeson is the next reason you'll be blown away, if that helps understand the quality of this article.

    Wednesday - September 10, 2008

    Fallout 3 - PAX Impressions @ NMA

    by Dhruin, 23:16

    Two gamers have written impressions of Fallout 3 for NMA, based on their experience at PAX. Here's a sample of one:

    Attention to detail is greater than any Bethesda game and the sheer size and scope is underplayed in the videos which often time lapse. However, animation is still standard Bethesda fare; stiff movement, cartoony blood, and a general lack of weight. Particle effects like smoke and lighting are great but why is it that a character walking down a ramp looks like he’s gliding an inch above the ground?

    The sound is also a mixed bag with voice acting ranged from decent to downright laughable (the entire crowd chuckled when Burke went “Excellent… EXCELLENT!”). Some guns sound nice and powerful while others are barely noticeable. The laundry list of licensed music is fantastic and fits the setting but hearing a mole rat or radscorpion charge at you is underwhelming.

    This game isn’t Fallout (and that goes without saying). However, it’s NOT Oblivion with guns. Fallout 3 is best described as “An Action RPG Set in a Re-imagined Fallout Universe.” The game is entertaining and I say that proudly. Don’t let the ignorance of executives and press officials who’ve probably never touched Fallout negatively influence your enjoyment of an honestly decent game.

    Fallout 3 - Changes to Drug Use References Will Be World Wide

    by Corwin, 07:02

    Edge Online is reporting today that changes to drug references in Fallout 3 will be applied to all versions of the game, not just Australia. Here's the introduction:

    Speaking to Edge, Bethesda has explained what it calls a “misconception” regarding the classification of Fallout 3 in the Australian region. Edge has also learned that due to concerns and issues raised in the process of international classification, Fallout 3 will not contain real world drug references in any territory.

    There goes my need for an international order.

    Thanks Reywind

    Sunday - September 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - The Writing Of @ Gamasutra

    by Dhruin, 00:34

    Emil Pagliarulo has been interviewed at Gamasutra about the writing in Fallout 3, although many of the questions actually go to Emil's background or Bethsoft's creative structure rather than the writing itself:

    With your title "lead designer," what is your balance between writing and design? How does that work at Bethesda?

    EP: Bethesda's interesting because this is the first time we've actually had a "lead writer." The model for Fallout 3 was different than it was for Oblivion. With Fallout 3, I wrote the main quest and I laid out all the miscellaneous quests, and came up with most of the characters and stuff, but then everything was passed off to the designers. When the designers came onto the project, they were given a framework that was already in place.

    My duties as lead writer and lead designer have shifted over the course of the project. It's been interesting.

    Even as lead writer, since the designers are implementing the gameplay, they would write the dialogue for a lot of the characters. It was much more of an editorial role, giving them general creative direction after things had already been in place. It was interesting.

    But I would still write some stuff -- the radio stations, I wrote all that. Every time I get a chance getting my hands dirty writing stuff, I love to jump in. It's hard to get used to passing it off to somebody else. You know -- "Auuughh... Okay, you do it. It's okay."

    Thursday - September 04, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ TeamXbox

    by Dhruin, 23:30

    A pretty standard Fallout 3 conversation with Todd Howard at TeamXbox:

    Fallout 3 is getting pretty close to being done…

    Todd Howard: We hope. We’re told we need to be done.

    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.

    ...and the latest Inside the Vault looks at QA tester Same Bernstein.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ VideoGamer

    by Dhruin, 00:58

    The ubiquitous Pete Hines has been interviewed at VideoGamer after they recently viewed the game.  The usual topics are covered, although some readers will find these answers interesting:

    VideoGamer.com: Interesting moral choices have always been a big part of the Fallout series. The whole Megaton situation has been given lots of coverage, but are there a lot of similar decisions to be made in this game?

    PH: There are various parts of that spectrum. It can be as simple as the fact that the first time you show up outside of Megaton, there's a beggar asking for purified water - which is really hard to come by in the wasteland. If you want to, you can give him some and get good karma, and he'll be like, "Wow, I can really have this?". Or you can tell him to got to hell and screw himself. At another moment you'll meet a ghoul bartender. Ghouls are sort of outcasts in the Fallout universe, looked down upon by human NPCs. When you talk to him you can choose to be horrified by his appearance, or you act along the lines of, "Hey, it's alright man - you're cool," and you'll get karma for being a decent guy. It's really about how you're going to treat people in the world. The Megaton thing is sort of the ultimate example, but there are a lot of variations along the lines of moral choice, and how they are reflected in your karma.

    VideoGamer.com: So there aren't many moments on the scale of the Megaton choice?

    PH: We can't have the player going around deciding to blow up or not blow up every city on the map; that would get old very quickly. It's an interesting way to give the player a sense of the tone. Yeah, you can really blow this town up. If you come back later, there's going to be a big smoking crater - all people are dead and all the quests are gone. It's all gone! You'll know we weren't bluffing... So it's sort of like a stamp we can put on the game. There are going to be moral choices to make, and people will react to the way that you behave.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Monday - September 01, 2008

    Fallout 3 - News Roundup, Achievements

    by Dhruin, 22:14

    Here's a handful of new Fallout 3 items. First, German site GameRadio.de has a transcript of a recent audio interview with Pete Hines:

    GameRadio.de: Are you planning to use more voice actors than in Oblivion?

    Pete Hines: A lot more voice actors. And a lot more variations. You should find as you are walking around and talking to people, that you’ll be constantly hearing new and different voices and not the same person over and over. Apart of that is because of that we have a lot fewer people in the world. In “Oblivion” you’ve got several thousand. Its impossible to try and give all of them a voice, but in “Fallout” we’ve got this destroyed world and humanity is struggling to survive and there is far fewer people. So it’s much easier to give them a lot more variations. So yes, we have a lot more voice actors, a lot more variations and voices for sure.

    Updated impressions at VoodooExtreme from PAX:

    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.

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun has some top-of-the-head thoughts from watching the five videos released for PAX.  Alec Meer didn't like Mr Burke in Megaton:

    Naughty swears! We’re not in Cyrodiil any more, Toto.
    Voice acting seems less grating than Oblivion. I have a suspicion the second speaking character in this bit is the guy who did Brother bloody Jauffre, but I’m not sure. Doesn’t sound as moronic, anyway.
    The Inkspots are awesome.
    “I represent certain… interests” is not a subtle thing to say, Mr. Burke. Neither is “all it needs is a little… motivation.” STOP IT WITH THE STUPID CARTOON VILLAIN PAUSES/DOUBLE-ENTENDRES. This character’s acting is… rubbish, and some of the writing is a little… worrying. Too early to… judge, of course.
    Some potentially fun moralising though - a certain Vampire Bloodlines vibe.

    ...and Worthplaying has a list of the 50 Achievements on offer for X360 players.

    Sunday - August 31, 2008

    Fallout 3 - No out-of-box mod support. PAX Updates

    by Dhruin, 04:51

    A handful of Fallout 3 updates from PAX.  First, Joystiq has an .mp3 interview with Todd Howard that confirms no mod support at launch.  Here's the relevant bit on mods support transcribed:

    We don't [have MOD support at launch], we want to but we have our hands so full with getting the game out and getting tools out there that work well for people and with the game is a pretty big undertaking.

    Over at Shacknews there's an interview with Pete Hines (and, refreshingly, someone different) artist Istvan Pely.  They discuss DLC, getting the feel of the wasteland right and the Oblivion-with-guns comparisons:

    Shack: Sometimes it takes a long time before you find any enemies. I assume you guys have carefully balanced their placement so that it feels just right?

    Istvan Pely: Yeah, and we try to find the right balance, so that it feels like I'm not running into something every minute, but it doesn't take long before I come across something.

    And our encounters, there are some very creative encounters. You may come across a hit squad going after some guy, or a melee fight going on that has nothing to do with you--you can just watch them, let them kill eachother, help one side or the other. There's a lot of neat little things to discover there that are unpredictable. It's not always going to be, "Oh, Radscorpion coming at me." There's some of that, but there's a lot more to it.

    Pete Hines: I think the Super-Duper Mart is probably one of the best examples of that. In front of the Super-Duper Mart is just this complete, every time you come around the corner you have no idea what's gonna be going on. Sometimes there's a robot fighting some stuff, or a Radscorpion attacking some guy. It's so great every time you go see it--it's one of those watercooler things.

    Istvan Pely: Sometimes you get there and everybody's dead. [laughs]

    ...and GameSpy has a new preview in a walkthrough format:

    Spying what looked like a ghost town on the horizon, I made my way in its direction to see if there was anything worth salvaging. As I stepped into what would have been the city's limits if there had been any residents left, I noticed that I'd gotten a couple of experience points for discovering "Minefield." Certainly that was just the name of this ghost town, right?

    Beep. Beep. Beepbeepbeep.

    BOOM!

    Ouch... no, that's not just a name. Some damned fool had mined the town, and I soon met the damned fool himself. Or rather, fire from his sniper rifle met my delicate, Vault-fresh flesh. He was a very old man perched atop what was left of a three-story building, taking pot shots at me as I hit the healing stimpacks hard, juicing myself back into wellness.

    Source: Voodoo Extreme

    Saturday - August 30, 2008

    Fallout 3 - PAX Gameplay Videos

    by Dhruin, 01:09

    Gametrailers has five new walkthrough / gameplay videos of Fallout 3, released for PAX and narrated by Todd Howard.  Across the five, you'll spend around 20 minutes in-game and experience the early gameplay with leaving the vault, Megaton, wandering some wasteland, combat in Super-Duper Mart and the end sequence of one Megaton path.  Obviously, some spoilers apply.

    Thanks, r3dshift.

    In other FO3 news, GamersGlobal has an interview with Pete Hines:

    GamersGlobal: Pete, at E3, Fallout 3 seemed to be rather easy to play by due to the V.A.T.S. mode. By queuing up all those headshots or shots into the legs, I could win nearly all fights very easily. I was playing in normal difficulty, by the way. Is this something you’re going to tweak? Or do you want to have it so easy in the beginning?

    Pete Hines: For the most part the stuff that you find in the beginning should be fairly easy for you to deal with. We certainly want it to be you come out of the vault and start fighting and keep dying. So the enemies you face in that part of the world, will that not be that difficult to deal with for someone who just turned level 2. As you go out in the world, you definitely find tougher enemies, folks that are bigger and a tougher challenge.

    Friday - August 29, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Video Interview @ GameTrailers

    by Dhruin, 00:16

    A Fallout 3 video interview with Pete Hines is up at Gametrailers.  Pete is listed as the "Falllout 3 Brand Manager", a title I haven't noticed before, but otherwise you'll see familiar footage and discussion of the player freedom.

    Wednesday - August 27, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Open to the public at PAX

    by Dhruin, 23:39

    The Bethblog has news that those who travel to PAX at Seattle will have the opportunity to play Fallout 3:

    With Leipzig behind us we now get, like, a day to recoup before we had out to Seattle for PAX. We’re all very excited about it as none of us have been before and we have a lot going on this year.

    We will have a booth at the show, and we’re planning to allow the public their first opportunity to play Fallout 3. That’s right, hands-on. Now, there’s gonna be 50,000 people or more at this show so they don’t get to sit down and play it for an hour, but we’ll have six kiosks setup in our booth for folks to come by and have a chance to take it for a spin.

    We’ll also be handing out handy Vault Dweller Survival Guides to everyone that stops by the booth. These things are a must have, I love them. Really well done. Plus you have to come by and checkout the Airstream.

    We’ll also be giving a new Fallout 3 demo in the Main Theatre on Saturday at 2:30pm. This is right after the Main Theatre session where Gabe and Tycho draw a strip, so I’m sure lots of people will already be over that way. It’s a pretty lengthy demo and I’ll be there along with Todd, Emil, and Istvan. We may have a chance to do a short Q&A with folks, I don’t know. Between the demo and what we have planned after the demo, we may be pretty short on time. If you like schwag, I wouldn’t leave early…that’s all I’m sayin’.

    Fallout 3 - Teaser Promo Updated

    by Dhruin, 03:16

    Bethsoft's Fallout 3 teaser promo site PrepareForTheFuture.com has been updated with a new video.  As with the last one, it's a humorous back-to-the-50's piece rather than gameplay footage.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Monday - August 25, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Changes to German Version

    by Dhruin, 22:34

    After the ridiculous "banned in Australia" hysteria, a low-key reaction to Germany apparently requiring changes to Fallout 3A quote from PR agent Sam Brace from NMA:

    It still isn't clear how much will be cut out, but shooting heads and body parts off will definitely NOT be possible. The explanation for this was to make the age classification easier for the USK and to not risk indexing of the game (which would mean that it is not allowed to advertise the game in the media).

    Friday - August 22, 2008

    Fallout 3 - GC Previews @ IGN, GameSpy, UGO

    by Dhruin, 00:51

    A trio of Fallout 3 previews from Leipzig are available from IGN, GameSpy and UGO.  From IGN:

    Early in combat I toyed with gunplay outside of the VATS system. Fallout allows players to jump to a third-person perspective that makes melee combat much easier, but for aiming with a pistol or rifle the first-person view is key. There is also a left trigger zoom on the Xbox 360 version that allows for more specific aiming. Considering the depth of your character's skills, armor, and weapon set, Fallout 3 plays like an incredibly familiar first-person shooter if you choose that approach. However, the targeting system is what makes the game shine. It allows the user to freeze the action and queue specifically targeted attacks.

    Take my first encounter using VATS, for example. Having infiltrated the top floor of Springdale Elementary, I managed to obtain grenades and a good amount of ammo for my pistol. After entering one of the particularly dark halls I was confronted by a Raider with a growling dog at his side. Having hot-keyed my grenades to the D-pad I tapped the up button to equip them and then hit the right bumper to freeze the action. I targeted the dog and jumped back into the action. My accuracy was not perfect and the blast only injured the dog, but his owner was transformed into a sticky red vapor in a very stylish slow motion sequence.

    ...and GameSpy:

    There's far more to do in Fallout 3 than just shooting people to itsy-bitsy pieces. If you're playing a character with plenty of speech skill, you can sway the natives with the power of conversation, plying them for free stuff, favors, and access to stuff that you'd otherwise only achieve through combat or thievery. Then there are the hacking and lock-picking games that will get you into places where you weren't meant to be. The lock-picking mini-game is a test of finesse, as you work a screwdriver and bobby pin simultaneously in order to turn locks, hoping to apply the right amount of pressure before your pin snaps. The hacking mini-game is a word puzzle, where through the process of elimination and lucky guesswork you arrive at the necessary password to break into the system.

    Finally, UGO:

    Clearly Vault 106 did not have the same luck that Vault 101 had. Despite never allowing anyone to leave Vault 101, it is rather well stocked with goods and everyone seems to be relatively “with the program.” Vault 106 looked like a bomb went of. Inside of it. Everything was rusted, desks were tossed over, chairs broken, computers sparking and useless. It was nothing short of an abandoned ruin. And then I realized it wasn’t quite abandoned.

    Passing through the halls I came upon a woman wearing a Vault 106 jumpsuit. Within seconds of trying to say howdy, she attacked me with a pipe. She was definitely crazy, mumbling about something or other. Something had happened down here, and I had to figure out what. More and more deranged Vault 106ers came at me, or were attacking each other. And that’s when the visions started.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Wednesday - August 20, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ GamersGlobal

    by Dhruin, 22:38

    Some interesting comments from GamersGlobal, who played Fallout 3 for an hour at Leipzig:

    Now, at GC in Leipzig, we spent about an hour with the PC version of Fallout 3 (which is supposed to have the same gameplay) and could verify most of what Pete told us. V.A.T.S. no longer felt too mighty, and in fact, we were able to cripple the limbs of a super mutant without killing him, as it should be. Still, a successful V.A.T.S. shot can instantly kill an opponent if the damage to the limb brings his overall hitpoints to zero. For example, we shot 2 times at the left arm of a raider; the first shot hit and made him lose his weapon, the second shot crippled his arm, at the same time killing him. We are STILL not quite convinced about V.A.T.S., because our standard tactic was to try to get very near the opponents, who didn't seem to hit us much better than over a greater distance, and than entering V.A.T.S.: With this tactic, the relative low range of our pistol or hunting rifle didn't count, and we could hit our target with a to-hit probability of 80 to 95 % percent. The opponents, on the other hand, do not have V.A.T.S. Also, the Action Points still filled up pretty quickly, so running away from a Super Mutant for half a minute would replenish them to the maximum, allowing us to fight him effectively again. But to make this clear: the fighting no longer felt far too easy or flawed. As in Oblivion, opponents will run or swim towards you in order to reach you, or fight from afar when they have appropiate weapons. Some will throw grenades at you, others will fight you with poles or clubs.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Fallout 3 - October 28!

    by Dhruin, 21:37

    Bethsoft has announced the official release date for Fallout 3 - October 28th for NA and October 31st for Europe:

    Fallout 3 Available October 28

    Major Launch Planned for the Winner of E3 2008’s “Best of Show”

    August 20, 2008 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company,  announced today that its highly anticipated title, Fallout® 3, will be available on store shelves and online in North America on October 28, 2008 and in Europe on October 31, 2008. 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.

    “We are very excited to let gamers get their hands on Fallout 3, the latest chapter in this beloved and highly acclaimed franchise,” said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. “To meet the huge demand for this title by our fans worldwide, we are planning one of the biggest launches of any game released this year.”

    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.

    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 not yet been rated by the ESRB.  For more information on Fallout 3, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com.

    The official site is also promoting three new screens - I'll toss the link up, even though it doesn't seem to work at the moment, just in case it's a temporary server glitch.

    Tuesday - August 19, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Inside the Vault

    by Dhruin, 22:16

    This latest Inside the Vault at the Bethblog profiles QA Project Lead, Brian Bloomfield:

    What is the best part about working as a testers? The worst part?
    I work with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. It is also an awesome sight to see your name in a game played by millions.  The worst part, I think, is the misconception that I get paid to “play video games”. I have a friend, who happens to be a firefighter in Frederick County, and he thinks my job is a step above Mime, and a step below Magician.

    Monday - August 18, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Pete Hines Interview @ Eurogamer

    by Woges, 16:29

    Christian Donlan interviews Pete Hines on the metamorphosis of Fallout and the differences to The Elder Scrolls.

    Eurogamer: How much of the design for Fallout 3 is a reaction to your work on Oblivion as much as your ambitions for the Fallout series?

    Pete Hines: The reaction to Oblivion is very much a case of, "How do we do this better when we do it in Fallout?" opposed to, "Oh we always wanted to do this in the Elder Scrolls, but now we're doing Fallout we'll just put it in Fallout." There's none of that. Fallout's already such a rich series, such a great playground to work in, with the vibe and the tone and the moral choices.

    What we really brought from Oblivion is just stuff like feedback on levelling. People didn't like the way the world levelled with the player, so we're going to do this differently. It's things like working out how to sculpt the experience for the player in terms of quests and giving you choices. We want to give you more choices in how to finish a quest rather than fewer choices and a lot more quests.

    Sunday - August 17, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Screen Overload @ NMA

    by Dhruin, 22:56

    NMA has a collection of 28 Fallout 3 screens and links to other sites for a total of 145 images, following a demo to Taiwanese game sites.  The shots are literally photos of the screen, so the quality is poor but you'll get to see lots of (spoilerish) dialogue and more.

    Wednesday - August 13, 2008

    Fallout 3 - AU Classification Report

    by Dhruin, 09:48

    If you're interested in Australia's OFLC re-classification of Fallout 3, IGN has a scan of the report:

    The drugs depicted are fictional; drugs are depicted as stylised icons on a menu with the drug use itself not depicted. Whilst navigating a post-apocalyptic futuristic landscape, players can invoke the use of a variety of "chems" listed by fictitious names which include "Buff", "Rad-X", "Psycho" and "Ultrajet". Within the context of the game's narrative, the player may choose to make use of these "chems" to alter the physiological characteristics of their character in the game.

    Fallout 3 - News Tidbits

    by Dhruin, 00:31

    Nothing earth-shattering but a handful of new Fallout 3 items for today. 

    • Gametrailers has new footage via a site called Bravo (thanks NMA)
    • Gamers Universe has an video interview with Pete Hines (you'll have to sit through a trailer spliced onto the beginning)
    • Inside the Vault talks to artist Rafael Vargas about his job and background

    Tuesday - August 12, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Hands On @ Eurogamer

    by Woges, 13:31

    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.

    Monday - August 11, 2008

    Fallout 3 - AU Classification and Bit-tech Interview

    by Dhruin, 22:22

    Internode confirms a revised version of Fallout 3 has been classified MA15+ for Australia by the OFLC.  Head over if you want to see a cut&paste of the OFLC database listing.

    In other news, Bit-tech has an interview with Pete Hines:

    BT: Is that why you’ve moved the game to a first person perspective? To make it more accessible to players?

    Pete: Uh, no, I think we moved it because we thought that would make the best game. Like, what we’re able to do from a first and third person point of view that we can’t do from an isometric view is put the player in the world so that you aren’t always looking down and detached from the world. You’re really experiencing all this destruction around you.

    First person just gives you a much bigger sense of space. When you leave the vault for the first time and you have that really cool effect where you come outside for the first time and you’re blinded by the light. The whole world is slowly revealed to you. It’s hard to give the player that same level of ‘this is all free for you to play in’ from the isometric point of view.

    It’s about immersion, so honestly it’s about keeping true to the franchise. Just look at the first Fallout – that was pushing the graphics for its day. It did full lip syncing and animated faces. It did everything! It didn’t just do one thing. If it was just great dialogue then it’d be Zork. It had violence, graphics, dialogue and everything else on top.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Thursday - August 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interviews @ IncGamers, AtomicGamer

    by Dhruin, 22:54

    Another pair of Fallout 3 interviews with the ubiquitous Pete Hines are up.  Here's a snip from IncGamers:

    So talk to us about the place it was set...Washington D.C., the capitol of the United States. How true is the area and maps to the real Washington D.C.? And how big, as a sandbox, is it in kilometers, miles?

    It is based on the real D.C., it is accurate to the actual topography of the area in and around D.C. We haven't actually measured how big it is, so I'm not sure how many kilometers it is. What we actually did was compress the scale and space between locations so that not only does it include a portion of Washington D.C., but you can go out and explore Maryland and Virginia and the suburbs and wasteland outside of D.C. Compressing that space allows us to get you between distances that would normally be far too far to walk or explore in a game. You can spend, literally, almost a hundred hours just exploring.

    ...and AtomicGamer:

    It seems a lot like quests and dialog are having much more thought put into them this time. We know that the world doesn't have nearly the number of dialog-enabled NPCs in it as the Elder Scrolls games did so you could do much more dialog per character, but is the number of quests lower as well? If so, are the quests deeper than we've seen in past Bethesda games?

    I would say they're both deeper and wider, in terms of the number of choices and options you have in approaching a given quest and how you want to handle it, as well as what's there to get to in a quest. How we handle all of those choices you make and have them be meaningful. Handling lots of special situations where you get special dialog options based on certain characteristics your character may or may not have. All of that stems from having a world that is smaller in scope from Oblivion and being able to spend a lot more time on fewer quests.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Fallout 3 - Preview & Interview @ Crispy Gamer

    by Dhruin, 00:57

    Headlined The Summer's Best and Worst Demo: Fallout 3, Crispy Gamer (a site with some of the best writers in the business but the one of the worst layouts) has a preview based on the standard half hour's play.  The piece is critical of the similarity between FO3 and Oblivion and also the demo itself, but doesn't have much room for actual gameplay commentary:

    I was also free to wander the countryside, tuning into a couple of available radio stations while (hopefully) evading a few roving bandits and getting into the occasional scrap with an animal, which would be a great opportunity to learn how the semi-turn-based VATS combat system works. Fallout 3 is all about freedom, and the demo certainly got that across.

    So why am I so unsatisfied?

    Maybe it's that this demo did little to show how Fallout 3 is truly different from Oblivion. Ok, the lock-picking mini-game is slightly different (and better) but the dialogue trees, skill breakdowns and overall feel seem so much like Oblivion, at least in this early stage of the game, that the untrained eye could mistake it for a mod.

    They also have an interview between a different writer and Pete Hines, with some interesting questions:

    Crispy Gamer: In a way, the game seems like it's going to be a first- or third-person shooter but with deep RPG elements. Am I wrong?

    Hines: It is a deep RPG with shooter elements. How to handle combat doesn't define the game. Just because you're holding a gun and shooting at things doesn't make it a shooter, although some people are going to see it that way, which is okay. If you decide to play the game because it looks like a fun shooter, we don't mind. Whatever reasons you have for giving it a try, we hope there is enough compelling gameplay to make you want to keep playing. You may not buy it because of the quests or dialogue, but if you play the game and end up really enjoying the game for those things, where's the harm in that?

    Ultimately, what makes Fallout 3 somewhat unique is that the game is all about what your character can do, which is decided by you. What you want to be good at, what kinds of things you want to do. Those choices will affect your overall experience and how you decide to play the game, but there's nothing wrong with getting in a big fight with some Super Mutants and having a great time running around blowing things up. Many really good RPGs have quite a bit of combat to them, so we might as well make that as fun as it can be.

    ...and some silly ones if you read to the end.

    Wednesday - August 06, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Previews @ RPS, Telegraph

    by Dhruin, 00:32

    Kieron Gillen has whipped up a piece on Fallout 3 for Rock, Paper, Shotgun after an hour's play.  It's a positive piece but I'm going to take this quote, because I'm really interested in how VATS will work out:

    Perhaps oddly, my biggest reservation was what Mat liked a lot. That is, the VATS system. I’m not sure what may have changed - certainly in some demonstrations people have noted it seems to cause fatalities more often than would be reasonable (and lots more gore too). That certainly wasn’t true when I played, making my experience - the gore was extreme, but not comic extreme, and the killing power wasn’t absolute. Talking to another Journalist there, he couldn’t see why anyone would use it when just shooting does the job well enough. I’m not sure I agree - when it works, it’s agreeably cinematic, and it has its own flavour.

    The problem is, when it doesn’t work, it just takes you out of the game entirely. Case in point is one of the most common enemies, the Mole Rats. These rodents charge at you and - rather than other creatures which do a back and forth sort of pattern - just repeatedly throw themselves against you at point blank range. You see one approaching and go to VATS. After getting off one shot, the bugger’s on you and you’re unloading at point blank range as it scurries against your legs. Which looks openly silly, as if you were trying to chastise an over-friendly house-pet.

    ...and a general preview from Telegraph.co.uk:

    'Destroyed beauty' is a term we hear a lot these days, the dark grit and grime a popular choice of art style for a nuclear generation. Fallout 3, however, offers a sense of poignancy to go with the hollowed out buildings, with the leftover remnants of a 1950s civilization preparing for a nuclear disaster in vain. "Part of what makes Fallout great is the juxtaposition of this very happy, optimistic 1950s-esque view of life, pre-war, and then seeing it after things went horribly wrong." says Bethesda's Vice President of PR and Marketing, Pete Hines, "It's seeing those two things against one another that adds a lot to it. That everything is blown up but you still see this happy optimism and idealistic view of the world beforehand"

    As I walked among the debris and the civilization that has risen from it in the 200 years since the disaster, it's easy to see what he means. Signs jovially inform the naïve population what to do in the event of a nuclear disaster and so-called bomb shelters house charred bones, becoming coffins. And while the world may change, humanity, it seems, doesn't. Among the people I encountered, familiar human traits of greed, violence, discrimination and religious fanaticism loomed large.

    Tuesday - August 05, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Strategy Informer

    by Dhruin, 12:49

    An interesting Fallout 3 interview is up at Strategy Informer, with questions about Bethsoft's reasons for taking on the IP and their approach.  Pete Hines' comparison between the dialogue in Fallout and Oblivion seems odd from where I'm sitting but maybe I'm missing the point:

    Strategy Informer: Would it be fair to label Fallout 3, “Oblivion with guns”? It seems as if the dialogue seems to be the same, the wide open spaces and there are a lot of similarities.

    Pete Hines: Well, from the standpoint of both Fallout and Oblivion are kind of “go wherever you want” kind of games, so certainly from an engine point of standpoint, we designed it to be something where we wanted to give you big vistas and really sort of impress upon you the level of destruction as well all the possibilities. All of these places you can see, you can walk to in real time and go explore.

    You know, the dialogue is exactly like the dialogue from Fallout so it may feel similar to Oblivion and I guess in terms of how it’s structured, but it’s sort of exactly the way Fallout presented its dialogue; You know what it is you want to say, how people respond back, trying to do a lot more with the dialogue in terms of choices of how you talk to people, the ability to unlock certain options in dialogue based on having a higher speech skill or having certain attributes that allow you to unlock a certain dialogue option that you usually wouldn’t be able to get, different perks, you know when you levelled up you may have noticed “The Ladykiller” or if you’re playing as a girl, it’s called “Black Widow” where you pick that perk, then talking to certain people you get a dialogue option that you wouldn’t normally have gotten. All of that is very different ad unique to Fallout in terms of giving the player options they wouldn’t normally have gotten because of the type of character they are playing with; you get to say this because of who you are.

    To answer your question, I don’t discount that folks are going to call it that, it’s based off the same engine, it’s still doing big epic vistas, but I think Oblivion was a really good game, my only hesitance with that phrase is that it doesn’t take in to account how much effort we put in to making this a very true Fallout experience with characters, dialogue and setting and all that stuff to make it very different and true to what the series is about. I think we’ll certainly get that and I don’t think that’s ever going to go away but I think it probably sells the game a bit short.

    Source: Blues News

    Monday - August 04, 2008

    Fallout 3 - News Roundup

    by Dhruin, 21:57

    A whole bunch of Fallout 3 stuff today - and not just standard E3 previews.  Let's start with three new screens, which we've tossed into our own gallery.  There's a sentry bot, a vertibird and one labeled "Springvale".

    Various sites have been discussing the situation in Australia with the OFLC and how retailers have been taking preorders fora modified version, but Internode Games is the first site I've seen that has actually confirmed a new version has been submitted for approval:

    While, as always, these rumours should be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, I've just gotten off the phone to the Classifications Board, and they've confirmed that a second edition of Fallout 3 has indeed been submitted for classification.

    Before you go dancing in the streets, keep in mind that this new submission may be knocked back as well, but Bethesda are pretty savvy, they've read the details on why the game was refused classification here, and they've obviously made what they consider to be the "appropriate" changes.

    Briosafreak's Fallout 3 Blog has a very interesting clip from Emil Pagliarulo on the official baords.  He confirms they've made FO3 more shoot-y but defends the result and the efficacy of a Charisma Boy character.  Long post, but worth a read:

    What was said recently, by both Todd and me, is that in real-time, skill affects chance to hit less than it used to. This change was made after extensive playtesting. Why? Most everyone found it annoying that you’d have your crosshair over an enemy, and your bullets would go completely wide. So we dialed the accuracy penalty back so it would feel good in real-time. Two things, however — 1.) it’s still not completely pinpoint accurate, unless your skill is really high. So accuracy is still affected, just less than it used to be. Again, it felt better this way, after loads of testing 2.) your damage output is affected with increased skill, so in run and gun, putting points into, say, Small Guns, will certainly improve your combat effectiveness when you use an assault rifle. Etc. etc.

    Another thing to consider is that in V.A.T.S., it’s different. It’s much more of a numbers game. It’s all character skill. Your percentage numbers to hit are going to increase as your skill increases. So yeah, putting points into weapons skills is pretty damn important to your survival, whether you prefer run-and-gun or V.A.T.S.

    Now, to answer the lingering misconception that you can just somehow blow everything in the game away with the Fatman. Look, the Fatman shows great in demos and movies because it packs a big punch and is visually impressive. And yeah, it’s very powerful when you use it in the game. That said, you’ve got to remember a few things: 1.) The Fatman is huge, so it weighs a lot. Carry it around, and it means you can carry less of other stuff. Your choice. 2.) The Fatman shells aren’t exactly littered around the Wasteland. They’re a valuable resource WHEN you find them (hell, the same is true of the Fatman itself). So you’ve got to use them wisely. 3.) Try using the Fatman indoors and you’re more likely to kill yourself than anyone else. In all of my playthroughs of the game, I’ve only used the Fatman a small handful of times… usually to kill a Behemoth or take out a concentrated group of opponents.

    And last but not least, the original topic of this thread. Are Charisma/Speech characters gimped? Not by a long shot. There are tons of speech options in the game. I can’t even count how many quests and situations can be bypassed/modified/overcome by using the Speech skill. It’s incredibly valuable. In fact, with my most recent character, I’m not concentrating on Speech, and boy there are times I wish I had. It’s a completely viable play style.

    So I hope this answers some of your questions. It’s always a pleasure to surf the forums and see such lively debate… and most of the time I just hang back and watch you guys discuss/ponder (as it should be). But in this case, I’m happy to clear up some misinformation.

    Lastly, GameSpot UK has a preview after an hour's play:

    Delving into the Pip Boy, we found some more cool options to play around with. There are two radio stations, Enclave and Galaxy News, which have opposing political stances and mixes of music. Enclave is very serious and patriotic, playing famous American anthems to encourage patriotism while assuring its listeners that they'll help to rebuild the country's schools. Galaxy is a more laid-back and personal station, with tales about survivors punctuated by soulful tunes. The radio-station idea may have been pioneered by other open-world games, but hearing Billie Holiday while exploring this decimated city is a chilling experience.

    As we entered the first town that we could find, we came across a small boy named Bryan Wilks who was trying to find his father. Fallout 3 uses a dialogue system that's based around morality, so you can choose to be sympathetic or dismissive when you come across individuals. We're not usually that friendly toward strangers, but in the interest of seeing some of the side missions, we decided to play nice with the kid and help him find the father. As he went and took refuge in a nearby diner, we pushed on through the town to have a look around.

    Saturday - August 02, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Polish Voiceover Contest

    by Magerette, 16:39

    Ausir writes in to give us the lowdown on a new Polish website for Fallout 3, along with some of the information they have posted and a contest they have in the works. Here is his information verbatum:

    The Polish publisher of Fallout 3, Cenega, has opened a new official Polish website for Fallout 3, where you can preorder both the regular and the collector's edition (for now only the PC version):

    http://www.fallout-trzy.pl/

    The premiere date they give for Fallout 3 is October 6, but they note that it might change.

    Cenega also runs a Fallout 3 contest. The winner of the contest will voice one of the characters in Fallout 3. To take part in the contest you have to preorder and pay for FO3 by August 20, upload an MP3 file with you playing the role of a selected character from the list of available ones, and convince your friends to vote for you, in order to get the most votes for your recording. 50 runners-up will get Fallout 3 t-shirts.

    The following characters are available:

    A Brotherhood of Steel knight stationed at the GNR tower. He speaks on the radio without his helmet that would distort his voice.

    Gary Staley - a trader, not much is known about him. He runs a cheap diner at the Rivet City marketplace. He believes that people like his cuisine, but the truth is that it's just the only thing the citizens of the poorer parts of the town can afford.

    Janice Kaplinski - a scientist, Doctor Li's co-worker, she helps with food conditioning experiments.

    Anna Holt - - a scientist, Doctor Li's co-worker, she helps with food conditioning experiments.

    Maggie from Megaton - a girl whose parents died during a raider attack. She was rescued by Billy Creel, who's been taking care of her ever since. She's a little, friendly girl running round around the town.

    Paul Hannon - an African American boy, member of the Tunnel Snakes gang. A nice boy that tries to fit in with his less nice colleagues and impress them somehow.

    Wally Mack - a member of the Tunnel Snakes gang, a few years older than the player character. He is arrogant and very self-confident.

     Thanks, Ausir.

    Fallout 3 - Previews @ The Guardian, UGO

    by Dhruin, 10:36

    Another day, another set of Fallout 3 previews.  Both articles are short and really add nothing new, although it's interesting to note how often the "post apocalyptic Oblivion" comparison comes up.  From Guardian.co.uk:

    The combat felt a little bit spongy, similar to the early stages of Mass Effect. But then the character I played was right at the start of the game so things are likely to improve. The VATS system will clearly come into its own when you have better weaponry and skill but even at low levels it seemed to work well. Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was how much the game felt like Oblivion. From the way armour is stripped from enemy corpses to the insane amount of junk that is quickly picked up Oblivion fans will feel at home. And yes, the voice acting seems better - not that it could be worse of course - with the four conversations I had each voiced by someone different. Yes, previews tend to be positive but from what I've seen so far Fallout 3 looks hugely promising.

     ...and UGO:

    After 28 minutes we walked away armed with no better understanding of Fallout 3 than we previously had, but with a newfound mad desire to see and explore as much of the broken world as possible.  The game feels and plays exactly the way it looks, like a post-apocalyptic remix of Elder Scrolls.  We’ve still got plenty of questions about the story, sidequests, NPC interactions and more, but the brief taste of Fallout 3’s freedom at the tail end of E3 turned out to be one of the most delicious morsels we sampled at the show. 

    Source: Blues News

    Friday - August 01, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interviews @ Ripten & The Escapist

    by Dhruin, 13:21

    A site called Ripten has an E3 Fallout 3 interview with Pete Hines, following on from their 30-minute demo.  Here's a sample:

    Zungre: Right, exactly. What about the moral choices you make in the game, I remember hearing that stressed a whole lot. There seems to be a lot of games that make you make moral choices and they punish or reward you accordingly, but what separates Fallout 3 from those other games? And did you want to make the player feel something when they make a choice?

    Pete Hines: Absolutely, yeah, we definitely wanted it to be about “in the moment.” Like you’re presented with dialogue options, you’re presented with choices on how your going to complete this quest, and, you know, what are you going to do? It’s like, “God, I’m really not sure if I feel comfortable doing X or Y”, or you know, maybe it’s really funny because it’s really evil. “I totally have to do that, just to see what happens.”

    It’s more about presenting the player with interesting choices that are obvious and seeing which way they want to go and having that be satisfying. It’s also fun to allow the player to see if they can figure out their own way of doing stuff and then account for that. So like, “oh, I don’t wanna do that, I’m going to try this. I’m gonna see what happens if I kill this guy.” And then the game has planned on that and reacted to it.

    ...and The Escapist (huh...we haven't linked them for a while) has a video interview with Todd Howard in among other stuff from E3.

    Source: Blues News

    Wednesday - July 30, 2008

    Fallout 3 - CanardPC Q&A Preview

    by Dhruin, 12:35

    French site CanardPC has once again teamed with NMA to bring a (translated) Fallout 3 preview via Q&Q, with questions from the community.  I'd say the general tone is negative but it is interesting:

    Do you have to kill rats?
    Yes. Lots. The only dungeon that I went into was infested and the security turrets seemed not to notice them, while it was very aggressive towards me every time I looked at the corner of the corridor. .

    Does the AI suck as much as it appears in the gameplay videos?
    Yes, unfortunately, it’s one of the main faults of the full version of Fallout 3. The mobs are totally stupid, with NPCs that flee in the direction of their aggressors, enemies that find themselves running on the spot, blocked by a too-low platform ( enabling me to re-arrange their faces during combat), rats that charge you so close as to bump into you then jumping up and down in a vain attempt to cause you harm. It is the one point that Bethesda should be taken to task over.

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ TGR

    by Dhruin, 00:12

    TheGameReviews has a reaosnable E3 preview of Fallout 3 up.  A quick bit on VATS:

    Of course, no game like this is any fun without a fight, so we first ventured off to see what kind of trouble we could get into. Thankfully, a mutated rat happened by (think Rodents Of Unusual Size), and we began happily blasting away. The game allows you to play it like a first-person shooter, simply aiming and firing, and those looking for that sort of experience will no doubt be pleased. For the more tactical crowd, the title features the Vault Assisted Targeting System (VATS for short), which will allow you to pause the action and aim at specific parts of your foe.

    For rats and other small creatures, we aimed at the head, but the developers promised that there would be certain situations where enemies would be carrying some pretty heavy firepower, or possibly helmeted, and it may behoove you to try and take out their arms or legs so they either drop the weapon or lose some mobility before you go for the noggin. The VAT System is an interesting mechanic, and by making it a choice, you effectively give the player the ability to play the game how they want, something too few games do now-a-days.

    Monday - July 28, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ MTV

    by Dhruin, 21:44

    News via the Bethblog of a new Fallout 3 interview - or mini-interview in with this little article from MTV, which complains about wanting to play generalist characters:

    Multiplayer: I played the first “Fallout” but never finished it because I got stuck. The character I created wasn’t charming enough to talk myself past some guards. I wasn’t strong enough to beat them. This happens a lot with games that allow you choice. These games want you to be an extremist. They don’t want you to be a mix. But I always try to be a mix. I want to be interesting…

    Todd Howard, executive producer, “Fallout 3″: We actually support you with [playable paths of] good, evil and even neutral — who are people who do good things and bad things.

    In other Fallout 3 news, VideoGaming247 has a series of infobits - if you remember last time we linked them, they had broken their coverage down into a dozen different newsbits.  Since Briosafreak's blog has collected them all together, I'm going to link there.  Here's one post on the level of violence:

    Speaking to VG247, Bethesda’s Peter Hines has said that people may have been surprised by the level of violence in the Fallout 3 E3 demo simply because little of the RPG has been shown so far.

    “I would chalk up the ‘mismatch’ to the fact that we hadn’t shown a ton on the game to folks up to this point, and that was intentional,” he said.

    “We prefer to hold cards close to the vest and continue to put out new info on the game right up until it’s out, rather than having tons of info out there 9 or 12 months before launch and not having anywhere else to go.

    “Once you show folks gameplay, and let them play the game, there’s a very different dynamic from that point forward when it comes to the press and public, and what they expect and want, and we’re very aware of that.”

    Sunday - July 27, 2008

    Fallout 3 - E3 Demo Video @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 13:07

    This goes back a couple of days now but IGN's Livewire feature has the full E3 video presentation of Fallout 3 (16 minutes).  You've probably seen most of this elsewhere because Bethsoft likes to show the same material but I don't think we've seen the entire thing.

    Friday - July 25, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ Eurogamer

    by Woges, 14:25

    Oli Welsh writes up on his 1/2 hour game time with Fallout 3 and it's not the most positive.

    The game's showing in the Microsoft press conference was something of a bum note as well, with its gleeful ultra-violence and portable nukes failing to evoke the more down-to-earth flavour of grit Fallout is known for. We accept that was probably a hard sell for a broad audience, though. We accept that the game's setting, however dreary within the context of gaming in general, is refreshing within the world of RPGs. Above all, we accept that it's impossible to properly judge a game as vast as this in such a short time span, and that it undoubtedly has many hidden riches.

    But beyond that, there are simple questions of quality that it's impossible to avoid: characterless art, cold visuals, wonky animation, weak real-time combat, off-kilter writing. As it stands, Fallout 3 just doesn't feel right, and it will leave many players shivering for warmth in its nuclear winter.

    Thursday - July 24, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Video Interviews, Screens

    by Dhruin, 22:49

    The Bethblog is pointing out a a couple of new video interviews and the like at GotGameTV and The Totally Rad Show:

    We’ll start with videos. The video above is from GotGameTV, who chatted for a few minutes with Pete Hines after going hands-on with Fallout 3 last week. You can also hear Pete talk about the game on the latest episode of The Totally Rad Show. The program is pretty long, so if you don’t want to hear the crew discuss movies, you’ll want to head to the 17-minute mark where the Fallout stuff starts.

    ...and the official site has 12 more screens - these were all released for E3, so you should have seen them all.

    Wednesday - July 23, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Post-Play Interview @ GamesRadar

    by Dhruin, 02:36

    Games Radar has a full interview between Emil Pagliarulo, Todd Howard and PC Gamer's Dan Stapleton.  If you haven't read Dan's preview, it's arguably the best of them (and should be, since he was given 5 hours with the game - much more than most) - and the interview also gives some great insights.  The Q&A starts with a conversation about the Family quest from the preview, so do it read to understand the context:

    PCG: Are there any ways to get through that quest besides shooting or talking like I did?

    Emil: When you go in talking, the main thing is how you get to [the son], and you did it with the Lady Killer perk, but there are a lot of ways to get through there.

    PCG: Do you have a rule for a bare-minimum number of ways to solve a quest?

    Todd: No, we just do whatever comes naturally. We made a list initially showing the paths, so that we weren’t doing an overabundance of stealth paths versus other skills so that there was a good matrix, but if something fit in one we did it, and if it didn’t fit…

    Emil: But as the game grew, just like we ended up making the game bigger, putting more stuff in, I think the quests themselves started to expand. We realized during playthroughs, you know what, there’s no talking path through this quest, or there’s no stealth path, so we went back and added that in. There are fewer quests and fewer NPCs, but probably just as much dialogue as Oblivion, just in all the variations.

    Todd: It’s like when you were doing the bomb quest, and you were asking “Can I do this this way?” And so through testing we asked the same things, like “What if I kill Lucas Sims?” And ok, you have to go to the son. That kind of stuff.

    Emil: We wanted to cover as many of those bases as we could.

    Tuesday - July 22, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ CVG

    by Woges, 23:45

    Long write-up of a 5 hour play session of Fallout 3 by Will Porter.

    Whereas Oblivion hid away many of its stats, or at least let you batter away in mindless ignorance, in Fallout Bethesda have pulled the link between player experience and player statistics closer to Black Isle's model.

    As in the original games, your skill specialisations not only give you options in conversation (my medical bent would later lead a doctor to confide a patient's medical history to me, for example), or show themselves concretely in percentage strike-probabilities during V.A.T.S. combat, but are integral to your performance - such as when I disarmed the century-old nuclear device threatening the town of Megaton, having guzzled Mentats to make me extra brainy.

    Having played the game for only five hours, and with many of the hang-ups people had with Oblivion only becoming apparent after 50, I can't be definitive about this - but in terms of building a modern game on the systems of one that's now 10 years old, it's hard to think of how Fallout 3 could have been tied closer to what has gone before.

    Monday - July 21, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Joystiq

    by Dhruin, 21:52

    Joystiq has an audio interview with Bethsoft's Todd Howard talking about, naturally, Fallout 3.  They've also provided a summary of the main points, which I appreciate.  Here's a sample:

    • Find out why some of the elements are very reminiscent of BioShock, which Todd Howard calls "Easily one of the best games of the last five years." The short answer is that "a lot of today's gamers weren't alive when Fallout first came out and contained in-game vending machines.
    • How quickly did Bethesda decide to use the Oblivion engine? "Instantly." To Bethesda, this is a great tool for building really huge games both now and in the future.
    • How big is the world of Fallout 3? They aren't even sure. Right now it's "almost as big as Oblivion... we haven't measured it."
    • However, as big as the game is, you won't using any sort of transports to get around. At least Oblivion gave you horses (with armor!) to help pass the time.
    • Will this game appease Oblivion fans? "If they're mainly into swords and elves, I don't think they'll like it."

    In other Fallout 3 news, NMA has been playing with some Google maps, figuring out different locations despicted.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Sunday - July 20, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Yet Another Roundup

    by Dhruin, 02:05

    I'm not even going to attempt to catch up on Fallout 3 but here's a small collection of some of the better or more interesting articles over the last couple of days (some courtesy of NMA - thanks).

    First, A blog at Wired caused a little controversy, declaring the look was right but the writing missed the mark:

    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.

    I predict a heavy backlash from long-time fans. At best Fallout 3 will be the blacksheep of the series: An oddity played only for completion's sake by those who absolutely adore the original games.

    Luckily for Bethesda, the game will sell tons of copies to those gamers less in love with the series' past if only for its gorgeous graphics, entertaining gameplay and ridiculous levels of gore.

    As a counterpoint, on the Qt3 forums, game writer Tom Chick questions if you can assess the writing after 30 minutes:

    Man, that's really disappointing to read that stuff on Wired. I had my thirty minutes with the game today and it was over like *that*. I barely had time to meet a few characters, dig the combat against a couple of molerats and dogs, and do a little perking up, all the while tuned into a crackly broadcast playing some Billie Holiday. Based on these preliminary bits of awesomeness, I couldn't even begin to comment on the quality of the writing. Because pretty much all I've seen are a few dialog choices.

    It's a mystery to me how Earnest Cav. can make pronouncements like he's made based on the thirty minutes of time we get at E3. That's a pretty sad smear job.

    Back to actual previews...Rock, Paper, Shotgun are really excited about the VATS system:

    That it feels like Oblivion is a pretty important thing to note, I think. Because as a result (and I have to note that I played this with an Xbox 360 pad, not a mouse and keyboard) I didn’t like the real time fighting any more than I did in Oblivion. In fact less, because there was a great and immediate satisfaction to using Oblivion’s bows that the guns of Fallout (or at least, the ones from the early game) don’t have.

    But that’s where the V.A.T.S system comes in. It is incredible. I refuse to believe anyone is going to play the game using real time combat when V.A.T.S is available. You see, V.A.T.S. turns every battle into an amazing cinematic event, and not in a lame way like a Final Fantasy game or something. The minute you spot an enemy, you choose your position to attack from, enter V.A.T.S mode, select the body part et cetera (classic Fallout stuff, you know the drill) and watch what happens. The cinematics are generated on the fly and delightfully satisfying. While shooting an enemy stalker (damn, er, just enemy) who is miles away with a pistol is a boring exercise in shooting at a dot, in V.A.T.S you’re able to watch as your bullets batter him with a pounding velocity, crippling his body parts or exploding his head [“or her head, obviously.” – Equal Opportunities Ed.]

    Worthplaying has a nicely detailed article:

    After a brief exploration of the school, I ventured back to the comparatively brighter wasteland, and after a short trip, I encountered the game's first town. It was a small town, as these things go, but it absolutely packed to the brim with sub-plots, sadly few of which I got to explore. The most interesting of these was the Children of the Atom, a cult-slash-church that worshipped an unexploded nuclear bomb located in the center of the town. I had a few options for what I could do with these fellows, including tinkering with the bomb itself. My explosive skill wasn't high enough, though, so I didn't get to see if it was possible to set it off or simply disarm it. Beyond the many sub-plots, there were simply a ton of areas to explore in the town. I was able to venture in any house I could see, and I discovered a lot of areas that I'd want to explore if I had greater stats, such as a mysterious locked house that required a Lockpick skill substantially higher than even a 10th-level character could hope to achieve.

    Gamernode says nothing revolutionary but it looks like there are some choices in the dialogue:

    I had to hurry up and get to town if I wanted to see any of the game's dialog within my allotted time, so I hightailed it to Megaton and visited with some NPCs. The system looks similar to the Elder Scrolls and old Fallout games, with many options in the tree and the ability to use your character's skills to your advantage. There is nothing terribly revolutionary here, but it definitely looks like players will be able to cultivate the character personality of their choice using the appropriate dialog selections.

    AtomicGamer saw some persuasion potential with Megaton:

    My next playthrough was more RPG-like, as I visited the little shanty-town of Megaton to meet its mayor/sheriff and a few of its denizens. I picked up quests to figure out how to disarm a bomb that had been sitting in town for a while, and was told to check out the saloon to see about starting on the game's main storyline. I decided to head off the beaten path here and just explore Megaton a bit, and found that it's a very interesting little place where people are barely holding on in this nuked-out world. The water's irradiated, the people are generally standoffish and you'll have to use your persuasive abilities - assuming you have them - pretty often to open up new experiences or improve the ones you'd get if you were just a pure gunslinger.

    That will do, I think. Check out NMA or Briosafreak's Fallout 3 Blog for an exhaustive list.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Thursday - July 17, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Next Roundup

    by Dhruin, 00:40

    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:

    Wednesday - July 16, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Day 2 Updates

    by Dhruin, 00:08

    I'll collect another batch of Fallout 3 stuff here.  For now, IGN has a progress report after briefly getting to play on the show floor, with some extra comments from Todd Howard:

    Since we were playing on an Xbox 360 we hit the right bumper to bring up targeting, which overlays percentages across each of the enemy's body parts. You then select which ones you want to damage which sometimes cripple an appendage, crit for bonus damage, or simply blow up their head. The camera shifts from your first or third person perspective to a more dynamic view of the targeted shots you take, showing hits, misses or special effects. Howard says the team has worked to ensure this section of battle isn't distracting or boring.

    "The playback part that's going to show you what you did, mainly we tried to make it as fast as possible," said Howard. "If something really great happens, you get more of a glory angle, different FOV, documentary-style cameras, the crazier the result is the cooler the camera you get is. Usually they're fast, one to three seconds, but we didn't have much trouble with the glory cameras…but we really had the most trouble when what happens when you go into V.A.T.S. and you miss, miss, miss. We want to show you that you've missed but it's boring, right? We want to make sure that was fast, so we have a lot of ability in the camera system to speed-scale how fast the enemies are moving, how fast the player is moving, how fast the world is moving, and then when you miss, we make the player animate really fast but the world doesn't."

    IGN also has a bunch of screens added from E3.

    Preview at 1Up, covering familiar territory:

    But the best, and also the most reassuring, part of playing Fallout 3 is the combat. From this first taste, it seems genuinely capable of marrying the tactical nature of the originals with the trigger-heavy controls of a shooter. At any time you can call on the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System (or V.A.T.S.) and stop time to take a planned action. When you do, action points can be spent on a number of different things, from basic called shots to firing more complex guns to using a skill to heal yourself. Your action points recharge once you use them up, but you are not completely helpless. You can always fire your weapons, just like you would in a shooter. The trade-off is that while firing, your action points come back much more slowly.

    A hands-on video preview at G4TV.

    Monday - July 14, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Day 1 Roundup [Updated]

    by Dhruin, 22:09

    No doubt we'll get plenty of links for Fallout 3 over the following days, so I'm going to collect a bunch of them together.

    First, G4 TV has the promised gameplay video demonstration - I haven't had the time to watch it, so no details to add yet.

     Next Bethsoft has kicked up a new promo site -  PrepareForTheFuture.com.  The flash-y site offers an atmospheric signup for updates and links to the teaser and pre-orders at GameStop.

    Blue's coverage of the Microsoft E3 conference offers some info on DLC for Fallout 3:

    The Microsoft E3 press conference is currently underway, and so far they've rolled out a look at Fallout 3, saying the post-apocalyptic sequel will be followed by "substantial" downloadable content for the game that will be exclusive to Xbox LIVE and Games For Windows. Todd Howard's demo of the game shows off the ability to choose a stealthier or more straightforward approach to combat, as well as a bit on the moral choices you'll be faced with.

    ...and you can also find coverage at Eurogamer, Engadget and GameSpot (thanks NMA).  Here's a quick sample from GameSpot:

    [10:42] The next obstacle is a sentry bot, which he takes out with the help of an EMP grenade. Howard emphasizes that the game reacts with the way the players goes through it: good, bad, or in between. Troops from the Enclave come down on him in a helicopter transport, so he switches to The Fatman and launches a bomb across the map at the soldiers. He wraps up the demo to applause and a smattering of cheers. He also mentions "substantial" downloadable content for Fallout 3 that will be exclusive to Xbox 360 and Games for Windows.

    [Update] The Good Life trailer, which contains a 50s-style B&W intro, the previously released teaser and some combat video.

    More previews, courtesy of Blue's:

    Fallout 3 - Todd Howard demo @ Gametrailers

    by Woges, 20:54

     Fallout 3 gameplay from E3. Strange choice of music...

    Fallout 3 - E3 Hands-On @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 13:19

    Xbox360.IGN has an early E3 hands-on of Fallout 3, having apparently spent an hour with the game.  Describing it as a hybrid of Fallout 2 and Oblivion, the article also calls it "one of the most impressive video games of the year".  Here's a bit on different options:

    In addition to repairing items to create better ones, Fallout 3 players can also interact with their environment to change the way they approach their mission. These interactions can include hacking computers (which presents a mini-game that challenges you to figure out a password from a screen full of gibberish) to control robotic gun turrets, to lock-picking (another mini-game that requires you to move the left thumbstick to adjust your Kirby Grip and the right thumbstick to adjust your screwdriver) so that you can access previously restricted areas.

    When coupled with other elements such as limited environmental damage (cars blow up, etc), the fact that monsters avoid combat if they think they can't win, and the player ability to "surrender" to another NPC during combat by holstering your weapon, the world of Fallout 3 becomes real pretty quickly.

    On a related note, head over to Briosafreak's blog for a summary of a preview in Xbox World 360 magazine.

    Saturday - July 12, 2008

    Fallout 3 - E3 Teaser Trailer @ Gametrailers

    by Dhruin, 11:25

    It's definitely E3 teaser season...hit Gametrailers to see a short Fallout 3 teaser cinematic, presumably produced in-engine.

    Friday - July 11, 2008

    Fallout 3 - 40,000 Lines of Dialogue

    by Woges, 19:49

     That's 20 times the ammount of lines in Fallout.

    It seems that it tackles the hard issues which are usually eschewed by videogames, like slavery, homosexuality, drug addiction, child related violence. The player will not see any mature rated image in the game, but the oldest profession in the world is a theme in some of the quests. The developers are keen to point out that the maturity level of the game is in line with that of the first two Fallout releases.

    Thursday - July 10, 2008

    Fallout 3 - AU Classification Details

    by Dhruin, 22:52

    According to Kotaku AU, the realistic depiction on the use of (the proscribed drug) morphine is at the core of the Refused Classification status of Fallout 3 in Australia.  From the report:

    The game contains the option to take a variety of "chems" using a device which is connected to the character's arm. Upon selection of the device a menu selection screen is displayed. Upon this screen is a list of "chems" that the player can take, by means of selection. These "chems" have positive effects and some negitave effects (lowering of intelligence, or the character may become addicted to the "chem"). The positive effects include increase in strength, stamina, resistance to damage, agility and hit points.

    Corresponding with the list of various "chems" are small visual representation of the drugs, these include syringes, tablets, pill bottles, a crack-type pipe and blister packs. In the Board's view these realistic visual representations of drugs and their delivery method bring the "science-fiction" drugs in line with "real-world" drugs.

    The report says the violence and gore are compatible with an MA15+ rating, so a few tweaks (perhaps even as little as a name change?) should achieve classification.

    Source: Blues News

    Wednesday - July 09, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Banned in Australia

    by Woges, 14:08

     The rumour has been around for a while but it seems to be true according to this report from Gamespot.

    Rumours were swirling late last week that Australia's strict games classification regime had struck its highest-profile victim for 2008, with Fallout 3 apparently being refused a rating. It seems the rumours were true, with confirmation coming tonight that Bethesda's upcoming post-apocalyptic action-RPG has indeed been banned for sale in Australia.

    The most recent update for the Web site of Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) shows that Fallout 3 has been refused classification. Unlike films or DVDs, the highest rating allowable for a game in Australia is MA 15+, which means any title that has content deemed unsuitable for a 15-year-old is illegal to sell or promote in this country.

    Fallout 3 - Polish Preview Summaries

    by Dhruin, 01:50

    Ausir was kind enough to send along summaries of two Fallout 3 previews in Polish print mags:

    The July issue of the Polish PSX Extreme magazine has a Fallout 3 preview, based on the same London demo as all other recent previews in Polish press. Some bits:

    * At age 16 we select our perks - e.g. Bloody Mess or Good Speaker. Pete didn't want to say what the rest of the perks will be.
    * No romances.
    * We will often have problems with lack of clean water or food. The Geiger counter will sound pretty often. Hines says that when he plays the alpha at home, he is pretty much never fully healed - he's always either wounded or radiated.
    * Eating food is not mandatory, but food increases your HP. However, you should look out for radiated food. Sometimes you will have to wonder whether you should eat radiated food, even with low HP, since the consequences of radiation are even worse.
    * Radiation is a much bigger problem in FO3 than in previous games. It drastically decreases your combat abilities, and can even lower your skills permanently.
    * There will be around 50 different weapons.
    * While we'll be able to find e.g. Power Armors early on, they will be in pretty bad condition (low CND bar) and will require extensive repairs or will get broken quickly.
    * The role of Charisma is lower than in previous games, Fallout 3 relies on combat much more than FO1 and FO2. However, we'll be able to use stealth throughout most of the game.
    * Many weapons can be constructed based on schematics.
    * If you have your weapon on your shoulder, you can run and the NPCs are not aggressive. If you equip it, you can only walk.
    * Jumping has no influence on the combat system, it's just for avoiding some obstacles.
    * There is no gambling, you cannot participate in slaver raids nor guard caravans.
    * No locations are randomly generated. However, depending on which way you'll head, some scripted events will appear there, e.g. you will encounter Dogmeat early on regardless of where you go.

    The Polish CD-Action magazine was invited to Bethesda headquarters for a hands-on preview of Fallout 3. A summary:

    * They had a predefined character - a strong male.
    * The game can be saved at any moment, and saving is pretty quick.
    * We leave the Vault with a PipBoy, a pistol, some ammo and a holotape with a message from the father.
    * Ammo is scarce and it's best to fight weaker opponents hand to hand.
    * They go to Megaton by following a sign in Springvale showing the way to the town.
    * In Springvale, the Sputnik Eyebot was hovering over the street, broadcasting a speech of the Enclave president.
    * Megaton looks like a Wild West town. We have a good sheriff, and an evil saloon owner. The saloon has a prostitute, but she tells the player character that he's too young to use her services.
    * We are informed that our Karma has changed after the fact. We also don't see any numbers - we just see e.g. a Vault Boy with angel wings and a "Saint" description.
    * If we are caught trying to steal something, the person we tried to rob will first chase us, trying to recover his property. He won't be happy, but usually it won't end with a shootout, unless we already have a bad reputation. Well, it was enough to cause some trouble in Megaton for everyone to turn against us. What then? We can try putting our weapon down - if we didn't kill anyone, the situation will calm down.
    * If we, however, do have blood on our hands already, the best way out is to quickly evacuate. Fortunately, a return is possible. After a few days the emotions drop down, and entering the town does not end with bloodshed. But still, people will know about our deeds and if we cause trouble again, they won't give us the benefit of a doubt this time.
    * At first glance, it looked like they'd wander around aimlessly. But only at first glance, thanks to the compass. Directions where we can find something interesting are marked with little triangles. We'll learn what it is when we get there (it can be a school taken over by bandits, a cinema with car wrecks, a baseball pitch with dead bodies hanging from the fence, a small settlement at an overpass or a normal town). The compass can also show the place where we have a quest to do or a navigation point we put on the map ourselves.
    * You use stimpaks on specific parts of the body, as hit points are divided among them.
    * When throwing grenades and during hand-to-hand combat, while you can use V.A.T.S., you can't aim at specific parts of the body.
    * Choice of gender has been marginalized and its importance will be minimal.
    * Lots of blood and profanity.
    * Body parts can be disintegrated or vaporized, depending on the weapon.
    * The PC version has the same interface as the X360 one, but adjusted to the use of mouse and keyboard. It works much better than Oblivion's.
    * You can assign hotkeys to items - e.g. weapons or stimpaks.
    * Even with standard settings, the game looks better on the PC than on the 360 - better textures and longer line of sight.
    * The lockpicking minigame is similar to the one from the Thief games.
     
    A big thanks to Ausir for taking the time.

    Tuesday - July 08, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Upcoming E3 Trailer Sneak Peek

    by Dhruin, 23:55

    With E3 a week away, Bethsoft is pointing out a sneak peak that will be available to those who stay up late on Sunday, watching Spike TV:

    E3 kicks off next week, but if you want a first look at the new trailer for Fallout 3, be sure to throw back a few energy drinks so you can stay up until 1AM on Saturday morning to watch GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley: E3 Preview on Spike TV. During the broadcast, they’ll be showing a glimpse of a never-before-seen Fallout 3 trailer that’ll be shown during E3 next week.

    While we're talking Fallout 3, the latest Inside the Vault piece talks to world artist Tony Greco.

    Fallout 3 - Fan Interview #2

    by Dhruin, 12:17

    The second Fallout 3 fan interview on the official forums sees 25 questions answered and three new screens to boot.  Here are two nice responses:

    5). Will crimes committed in one place automatically be known everywhere and by everyone? Or is this limited to the zone the PC committed the deed in?

    It's limited to the faction you did the crime to, and we also put towns into their own faction. So a crime committed in one town will not affect another, but crimes committed to a group will be known to that group (say the Brotherhood of Steel) throughout the world.


    6) Would you take us through a hypothetical dialog tree that demonstrates the typical choices made available to the player?

    I don't have enough space to really do that. They are big. If you look at Fallout 1, it's deeper than that. To give you the scale, we have over 40,000 lines of dialogue, compared to a few thousand in Fallout 1.

    Usually we start a conversation with an NPC with some flavor from the player, kind of the "how do you want to act towards this person?" Are you going to be nice, direct, polite, an ass? We cover it all. Some of my favorite player responses are simply "<Say Nothing>", and playing the silent type. But probably my favorite opening is the first time you talk to a Ghoul, one of the choices is "Gah! What the f*#$ are you?"

    Depending on the character, there's usually a list of common questions about him or the town/area you are in. If it's quest related, it can get pretty deep with that character, as most have different paths to how you handle them. You can also use your Speech skill to persuade, and sometimes special dialogue options come up based on other stats, whether that is strength when talking to a tough guy, or options that come from perks you may have.

    Monday - July 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Previews @ GameArena, PSM3

    by Dhruin, 22:54

    The official Fallout 3 site is pointing out a new preview at GameArena, based on Pete Hines Australian press tour:

    The whole game is running on an upgraded version of the Oblivion engine – and the upgrades are definitely noticeable. The nuclear weapons in the game really showcase how pretty the game can look and how well it can run – a dozen nuclear weapons being fired didn’t impact the framerate at all. To make the Wasteland malleable they’re using Parallax Occlusion Mapping, giving the illusion of deformable terrain – and it’s definitely convincing.

    Meanwhile, PSM3 magazine has the first no-holds hands-on preview after getting a few hours alone to play unfettered.  NMA has a summary of the key points, for those interested.

     

    Fallout 3 - Full Skill List

    by Dhruin, 22:49

    Briosafreak's Fallout 3 blog has the complete list of Fallout 3 skills, based on comments from Emil Pagliarulo on the official forums:

        Speech

        Small guns
        Big guns
        Energy weapons
        Melee combat
        Unarmed
        Medicine
        Sneak
        Lockpick
        Explosives
        Science
        Repair
        Barter

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Saturday - July 05, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ IGN AU

    by Dhruin, 01:00

    The ubiquitous Peter Hines pops up at IGN AU for an interview, which asks some good questions for a mainstream site.  The general thrust is on trade-offs and finding the right gameplay balance.  Here's the opener:

    IGN AU: What did you learn from making Oblivion? What didn't work?

    Pete Hines:
    There's no giant 'we can't ever do that again' stuff. It's more how do we design quests, what kind of choices do we let the player make, how do we account for things we think the player might try and do and anticipate those? So that they're like 'Oh, I wonder what happens when I do this?' And then there's actually something in the game that acknowledges it and takes it into account. And they go 'that's really cool that I got to finish this quest in a really unique way and the game recognised that and gave me a satisfying response.'

    In Oblivion the most extreme example is the bandits, who's armour keeps going up and up as you're playing through the game. Suddenly they've got glass armour and amazing weapons. It was an obvious thing that didn't feel right. So we've spent a lot of time on making sure that the player has the ability to go where they want and do what they want, but to also provide them with situations where they're getting in over their head – so they've got to leave and come back. Or they're getting into situations where they're further through the game and their character is really tough and they get in there and they kick ass and feel like a bad ass for a while because they've spent a lot of time buffing up their character.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Wednesday - July 02, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Previews & Perks

    by Dhruin, 00:56

    The Bethblog is pointing out new Fallout 3 articles at Gameplayer and Gamespot AU.  The Gameplayer piece is titled (At least) 101 facts about Fallout 3 but turns out to be a pretty standard preview:

    Fallout veterans will have plenty to smile about inside The Vault, with a lot of props taking their queues from those in the original. Chatting with Pete Hines after the demo he informed us that Bethesda own Fallout completely: so not just the brand name but everything, which has surely facilitated their ability to get these elements just right.

    This includes the design of Pip-boy. Its hazy green colour scheme – reminiscent of those old NEC computers from classrooms of the eighties – is spot on perfect, although you can change its colour scheme if you’re an idiot. The Pip-boy is stacked with information, to the point of almost being overwhelming when you first turn it on, but that is what you get with a deep RPG and we’re sure fans of the genre will greedily feast on its innards.

    Gamespot AU's thing is a video blog called Crosshairs that "gets some face time with Bethesda and Fallout 3".

    Meanwhile, Kotaku has confirmed three Perks from Fallout 3 - two old and one new (thanks, GameBanshee):

    New perk (yes, just the one):
    Lead Belly: This perk, which can be taken multiple times, reduces the amount of damage you take from radiation when you drink water from a contaminated source (such as a toilet in an abandoned subway) by 5% per rank.

    I wish there had been more, but three is better than none!

    ...and we may as well slip in the latest Inside the Vault on artist Corey Edwards:

    What’s your job at Bethesda?
    I’m a world artist working on texturing and modeling for our environments. My primary focus is on making kits for the level designers to use and abuse. I’ve spent the last two years making a large number of the dungeons kits used in Fallout 3 and the kit pieces for Megaton.

    Monday - June 30, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Keeping Faith in Fallout

    by Dhruin, 23:06

    Official Xbox Magazine contributor David Wildgoose has an interesting blog called Unified Ammo and has written a piece on new developers taking over an old franchise - Fallout 3 being the particular game du jour - and looking at other examples in gaming history:

    What’s notable with Fallout 3 is the length of time between Black Isle signing off on Fallout 2 and Bethesda applying its own seal to the series. Ten years is a long time in gaming. It’s enough time for entire genres to rise and fall in popularity; for new technology to change our perception of what makes for a modern game; for development studios to have created a history of their own, with all the expectation and baggage that entails; for new platforms to arrive and shift the commercial landscape; and for older games to be deified on the altar of nostalgia.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Wednesday - June 25, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ Gameplanet

    by Dhruin, 22:56

    Another Fallout 3 preview from the antipodes with Gameplanet.co.nz kicking up a blow-by-blow account of the demo:

    A point about the statistics here - although you may be able to choose a certain dialogue option or end result, thus shaping your character, the outcome is also driven by your attributes and skill level. For example, conversing with someone may prompt three possible dialogue options. Next to these may appear a percentage chance to succeed, so perhaps you'd like to convince someone to give you an object - your level of persuasion might only grant you a 25% chance of success, so you may find it better to choose a different option with a higher percentage. This allows your progression to be shaped on the fly through chance as well as choice.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Fallout 3 - New Screens

    by Dhruin, 22:53

    Three new Fallout 3 screens have been officially released by Bethsoft at the official site.  There's the protagonist with Dogmeat, a mutant with a mini-gun and a stat page for Charisma.

    Tuesday - June 24, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ Gameplayer

    by Dhruin, 02:57

    Australian site Gameplayer.com.au kicks off a week-long Fallout 3 event with a preview of said title.  A significant amount of space is dedicated to discussing Fallout fans.  Those "rabid" fans will be reassured to know VATS was inspired by Burnout:

    The introduction of guns to Bethesda’s traditional first-person style was always going to be contentious, but it was sidestepped beautifully by this system, inspired by a most unlikely source. “I think at the time we had been playing a lot of Burnout 3,” Howard reveals, “so our motto became ‘Crash mode with body parts’, which seemed to always make us laugh. The targeting and decision-making went through several iterations and we’re still messing with it, but the basic idea is that it’s a special aimed shot you can pull off. It’s a nice system, because we can stop the game and really show you how your character stats are affecting things, whereas in real-time, it’s all behind the scenes.”

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Thursday - June 19, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interviews @ The Guardian, IGN

    by Dhruin, 23:01

    Todd Howard again takes the reins, representing Bethsoft in an interview at Guardian.co.uk on Fallout 3, with particular focus on the setting.  Here's a sample:

    In what ways do you feel you've captured the minutiae of survival in a post-apocalyptic landscape - will the player have to search for food/shelter in the game?
    I think it's the minutiae of the Fallout world. Say you are hurt in the game, and you come across a destroyed grocery store, and inside you find an old vending machine with some Nuka-Cola, you can drink the cola to heal yourself, but then the bottle cap also acts as the game's money. So you heal a bit and get a "cap" that you can use to trade. Just that tiny event is grounded in the reality of the world you're in.

    ...and there's sudden interest in Bethsoft dev profiles with Todd opening up at IGN:

    IGN: What are the last five songs you listened to?

    Todd Howard:
    "Maybe", "I Don't Want to Set the World of Fire", both from the Ink Spots, "Anything Goes" – Cole Porter, "Butcher Pete" – Roy Brown. All from Fallout 3. The 5th, I don't know the name of, it's from my 5-year-old's summer camp CD, but the refrain is "Wam! Bam! Jesus Loves me - Shazam!" I couldn't make that up if I tried.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Wednesday - June 18, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Video Interview @ G4TV

    by Dhruin, 23:31

    Bethsoft's Todd Howard has been interviewed by G4TV about Fallout 3.  View Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

    Monday - June 16, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interviews @ TGR, GameReactor

    by Dhruin, 22:08

    First up, The Game Reviews (one of those sites that dribbled out a stream of minor FO3 bits recently) has an interview with Pete Hines about Bethsoft as a company and his role:

    THE GAME REVIEWS: What was Bethesda up to back in 1999?

    PETE:
    We had just done the PBA Bowling game and were in the early stages of working on a little game called Morrowind, the third in the Elder Scrolls series. Bethesda had just been bought by ZeniMax, so we were sort of switching gears from being a traditional PC only “mom and pop” publisher developer, to branching out into doing more on consoles. We were looking at developing different sorts of titles, that were still unique, different and innovative. We wanted to do things in a bigger way, to get people’s attention, such as with Morrowind or Oblivion. It has been interesting to watch those grow over that period from where we came from, and where we are headed.

    ...and NMA is pointing to a GameReactor video interview from the Ubidays press event on YouTube.

    Thursday - June 12, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Faults in Oblivion that Bethsoft Must Rectify

    by Dhruin, 23:03

    This is a topic that has been visited before.  Gameplayer has a 6-page piece of Oblivion faults that Bethsoft needs to fix for Fallout 3:

    Open World: Oh yes, Oblivion had a friggin’ massive world alright – around 42 square kilometers in fact. Unfortunately, this sense of openness and exploration was a little bit of an illusion. After witnessing the surrounding forests, roaming animals and sequestered fortresses, it became quickly apparent that everything started to repeat itself, ad nauseum. Oh yay, yet another bloody cave system, and then another fort with exactly the same interior. And don’t even get us started on the Oblivion gates….actually, they’re next.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Saturday - June 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Survival Edition Announced

    by Dhruin, 00:46

    Bethsoft sent us a press release about the Survival Edition of Fallout 3 that comes complete with a Pip-Boy 3000 replica.  You'll have to pony up USD$129.99 to Amazon.com only, meaning those of us where Amazon won't ship can save our money.  Here's the official PR:

    June 6, 2008 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the Fallout® 3 Survival Edition for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows. The limited Survival Edition is now available for pre-order exclusively through www.Amazon.com.

    This ultimate Fallout 3 package includes a life-size replica of the Pip-Boy 3000, the wrist-mounted device worn by characters in-game. The Pip-Boy 3000 has been painstakingly recreated and modified for real world display as a digital clock. In addition to the Pip-Boy 3000, the Survival Edition will include all of the items included in the Fallout 3 Collector’s Edition:

    • The Fallout 3 game;

    • Customized, metal Vault-Tec lunch box;

    • 5” Vault Boy Bobblehead;

    • ‘The Art of Fallout 3’ hardcover book; and

    • ‘The Making of Fallout 3’ DVD

    “We’re thrilled to be working with Amazon.com on this exclusive edition,” said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. “The Survival Edition offers gamers the unique opportunity to own a piece of video game history along with a collection of limited edition items – it’s the definitive Fallout 3 package.”

    “This is an exciting day for Amazon customers and Fallout fans,” said Greg Hart vice president of video games and software at Amazon. “We’re delighted to be the exclusive destination for Fallout 3 Survival Edition; this is a great example of the continually expanding selection we offer to gamers.”

    Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

    Currently under development at Bethesda Game Studios – creators of award winning The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, the 2006 Game of the Year – Fallout 3 is one of the most anticipated games of 2008 and is slated for release this Fall on Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION®3 system and Games for Windows.

    Fallout® 3 has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

    ...and you can also check out the Bethblog for pictures or a Pete Hines blog entry that goes through each of the collectables.

    Monday - June 02, 2008

    Fallout 3 - New Screens @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 22:07

    Bethsoft has kicked up three new screens for Fallout 3, showing Megaton, the PipBoy3000 and someone getting gibbed.  Here's a sample:

    Sunday - June 01, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Video Interview @ GRY-Online

    by Dhruin, 00:22

    GRY_Online has a video interview with Pete Hines on Fallout 3.  Apparently the interview is in English with Polish subtitles and according to Briosafreak's blog, it's well worth a look.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Friday - May 30, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preferred by Jihadists Everywhere

    by Dhruin, 13:02

    Honestly, you can't make this stuff up.

    US-based monitoring group SITE says Al-Qaeda will post a new video in the next 24 hours urging the use of nuclear and other weapons to attack the West.  SITE also released a "computer generated image" showing the potential destruction, reportedly found on an Islamic forum...

     

     

    If you don't recognise the image, have a look at the concept art gallery for a certain game from Bethsoft...

    Thanks, Ausir! 

    Thursday - May 29, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Tidbits @ TGR

    by Dhruin, 00:57

    What is it with sites taking a Fallout 3 brief and breaking it into a bunch of minor tidbits?  The Game Reviews has newsbits on the following: Blood and Guts - Mature Audiences for Sure, we'll be seeing New Gameplay Footage and Playable Demos at E3, 360 and PS3 Versions to be Identical (What?  The PC?  Who cares) and No Mandatory Install for PS3.

    Source: Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog

    Wednesday - May 28, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Final Fan Interview Questions

    by Dhruin, 00:35

    Briosafreak's Fallout 3 blog has the final list of fan interview questions that have been submitted to Bethsoft.

    Wednesday - May 21, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ CVG

    by Dhruin, 02:21

    CVG has a second (or third?) preview of Fallout 3 from the recent UK press tour, this time from PC Zone, but still covering familiar ground:

    Sitting in Bethesda's temporary European HQ in the heart of London's trendy Soho, just near the excellent Red Lion pub and some brothels, Bethesda's resident do-everything man Pete Hines is extolling the virtues of the free-roamer RPG.

    "I could tell you what you'd be doing every single minute of Call of Duty 4,"
    he begins. [...]

    "With Fallout 3, you could be 10 hours in and I couldn't even guess 20-30 per cent of what you'll have done. We made our reputation by doing big and crazy - things people hadn't tried before. We feel that we've gotten good at it now."

    Tuesday - May 20, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Soundtrack & Poster from Gamestop Pre-orders

    by Woges, 22:27

    Just spotted this at RPS; the Bethblog is here.

    I’ve received several emails from fans inquiring whether or not GameStop is providing a Fallout 3 CD with pre-orders for the game. The answer? Yes, yes we are. With a pre-order of the game, fans are given a 5-track disc with “featured selections” from the soundtrack, along with a Brotherhood of Steel poster.

    GameStop should have started receiving their stock of this pre-order giveaway late last week, so if your local GameStop doesn’t have them yet, they’ll probably have them in a few days. I’d venture to guess that GameStop’s website will show the offer sometime soon.

    We included the front and back sleeve designs for the soundtrack — to get a better look, click on the images to enlarge them. Below is the back sleeve design for the disc. You can see it includes three songs licensed from the 1940’s, as well as two tracks from the game’s composer, Inon Zur.

    Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    Monday - May 19, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Fan Interview Question Poll

    by Dhruin, 22:56

    According to the Bethblog, the Fallout 3 fan interview submission period is up and Briosafreak and co have collated 40 questions - but that needs to be cut in half.  Head to this thread on the Bethsoft forums to vote for the final cut that will be submitted to the devs.

    Friday - May 16, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ Next Gen

    by Dhruin, 23:07

    Taken from Edge magazine, Next Gen joins the Fallout 3 preview crowd:

    "War never changes,” grumbles ubiquitous voiceover favorite Ron Perlman in Fallout 3’s opening cinematic. Of course, the one major bugbear among diehard fans of previous turn-based Fallout games is that war has actually changed rather substantially with the coming sequel. Thankfully, as we see more and more of the game, it seems like these detractors are misguided.

    A recent viewing had Bethesda’s VP of marketing Pete Hines on hand to take us through the dark satire of Fallout 3’s post-apocalyptic wastelands, demonstrating both the realtime and suspended-time combat modes at the expense of some hapless mutants. The arterial spray that resulted should satisfy both the desire for visceral action and tactical play, even if it fails to tickle those hampered by irrational levels of nostalgia.

    Thursday - May 15, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Concept Art Dev Diary

    by Dhruin, 23:06

    Adam Adamowicz has penned a lengthy dev diary for the Fallout 3 official site, describing the process of envisioning the concept art.  It probably feels late in the dev cycle to focus on concept art but it is an interesting piece that gives insight into the artist's thoughts:

    The Vault Suit

    Designing, or redesigning the vault suit meant adhering to canon, and updating the textures and tactile feel for the detail we can achieve now in games. I opted for a more durable denim like material, something quintessentially American and, suited to carrying out vault tasks involving heavy machinery and crawling through metal pipes.

    Overall, the vault suit seems to represent an Everyman/Everywoman uniform of conformity, and a blank canvas for accessorizing once the wearer had escaped into the harsh environment of the wasteland. Preserving the retro 50’s flavor seemed to support this, and I wanted the suit to feel at home in a classic 50’s sci-fi film like Forbidden Planet. The reinforced elbows and knees seemed to introduce a bit of that flair to the otherwise oppressively Orwellian environment.

    Friday - May 09, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Inon Zur Interview & Emil Profile

    by Dhruin, 00:36

    With the announcement that Inon Zur is the composer for Fallout 3, the Bethblog has kicked up an interview on his background and the process:

    One other question. How did the experience of writing and creating the music for Fallout 3 change from before you had a chance to see the game and after you had a chance to see the game?
    You know, in fact I had lots of reservations and actually I visited Bethesda and it was very close to what I thought. The document that I got was very well written by Todd and Mark Lampert and Gavin. They did a great job of tapping me into the realm of Fallout and what they were doing. Fallout, yes it’s a lot about the visuals, but the story itself is so powerful. So just basically getting inspired by the actual story created a lot of emotional triggers that helped me to compose the music, rather that actually seeing the game and playing the game. The actual story of this twisted reality, there is like a [whole other] reality that happened and it’s really, really powerful. It helped me a lot.

    ...and the Inside the Vault feature has a second profile interview with Emil Pagliarulo but they've changed the direction of the questions:

    Lately, you’ve been a bit more active on our forums, relatively speaking. How do you filter through the signal to noise?
    Right now, everyone is hungry for information. Whether it’s an Oblivion fan, or a fan of the old Fallout games, or just someone who’s new to the forums and wants to know what Fallout 3 is all about — everyone has a million questions, and wants a lot of detail.

    Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of detail I’m at liberty to give right now. So what I generally look for are discussions about issues we have addressed publicly in some capacity. I like to make sure that information - the information we’ve already released - is getting disseminated accurately. Because, you know, with all the previews and forum posts, and can be like a big game of “telephone” — information gets modified in its retelling, until you occasionally (and unfortunately) arrive at a bit of complete misinformation.

    That’s the kind of stuff I look for, and like to clear up. But I also like to generally check out all the cool conversations taking place, all the debates people are having. So even when I don’t respond, I’m always lurking. Always waaatttccchhiinngggg….

    Thursday - May 08, 2008

    Fallout 3 - The Console Masses @ Next Gen

    by Dhruin, 00:41

    Fallout 3 and the Console Masses is an article at Next Gen that follows on from a podcast and discusses storytelling in F3 and the idea that the game is "dumbed down" for the masses:

    Is there any truth to some peoples' opinion--and this is a lot of the hardcore Fallout fans that are saying this--that games like Oblivion and Fallout 3 that are targeted towards a very large console audience have been, put most cynically, "dumbed down," or more positively, "made more accessible"? Is there any truth to that? Have you made concessions for the mass market?

    It's funny. I look at Fallout when I play it every day, and I sometimes think that there's a lot of old-school hardcore PC stuff in there too, and part of me thinks, "God, is this too inaccessible for console players?" There's a lot of dialogue to read, a lot of just hacking computers and looking through things like "VAT." I don't know. Sometimes I think it's just the opposite. So I don't feel like we're dumbing down the franchise.

    ...I think we're starting to find that there is a market for [hardcore "PC RPGs" on consoles]. People like myself and some people that work here actually grew up as hardcore PC guys, and now we're older, we have kids, we don't have that much time, so we've transitioned. We're console players now.

    But we still have those PC game sensibilities. Those are the games we like. So I think BioShock has a little bit of that too. You can definitely feel the old System Shock roots in that game. So hopefully there's a trend there.

    Fallout 3 - Inon Zur the Composer

    by Dhruin, 00:29

    Bethsoft has announced Inon Zur (Icewind Dale and so many others) as the composer for Fallout 3.  You can check out some samples on the official site and apparently an interview will be forthcoming in the next few days.

    Wednesday - May 07, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Ubisoft to publish in Europe? [update]

    by Dhruin, 01:06

    NMA has details of a claim by German site 4Players.de that Ubisoft will bring Fallout 3 to "big parts of Europe", including DACH, despite Zenimax recently opening a London office. The original source quotes a press release but we haven't been able to find it. Bethsoft has partnered with Ubisoft in the past, so it's certainly feasible.

    The newsbit at 4Players leaves open whether Ubi is responsible for the (co-)publishing or only move the boxes.

    Update:
    Yiya has a bigger piece of the PR. Ubi and Bethesda  signed a  distribution agreement for  F, DACH,  Benelux and Scandinavia. Visit Yiya for a complete list of the included countries.

    (Updated by Gorath.)

    Monday - May 05, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Video Interview @ GameSpot

    by Dhruin, 23:02

    I'm going to quote NMA's short newsbit on this video interview with Pete Hines:

    GameSpot UK offers a video interview with Bethesda in their Start/Select feature, starting around 8:30, with Pete Hines. They discuss the start, plot, Dogmeat, good characters can't recruit evil NPCs, that kind of stuff. Including mentioning perception influences how well you see other people, but bulky armor/helmet lowers that perception.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Friday - May 02, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Gamasutra

    by Dhruin, 13:05

    Yep, yet another interview on Fallout 3, this time at Gamasutra with Pete Hines in a bit of a rambling mood.  Many of the questions go to the development itself rather than the gameplay but here's a snip on NPCs:

    So there's more per-character asset creation, in regards to dialogue, and voice acting, and that kind of thing. Does it end up balancing out, with the fewer number of NPCs, but greater effort per NPC?

    PH: I think it ends up being a polish thing. Like, it's the same amount of effort, but the amount of polish you're giving to that one asset is substantially more. It's not like we're only going to do twenty hours per character, and we're either doing it on 3,000 characters or 300.

    So it's going to be that many more or less hours - it's about, "This is the amount of time on this project, and so we're either going to get to polish each thing five times in Fallout 3, or only three times in Oblivion. I'm just making numbers up.

    But it's a scale thing; how many more times can you iterate, and tweak, and fine-tune that one character, to make it - you know, every time you could make it a little bit better, and a little bit better. And so that's what it ends up being. It's not "more or less time," it's really "more or less polish."

    Thursday - May 01, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ GamesIndustry.biz and More

    by Dhruin, 23:10

    GamesIndustry.biz joins the Fallout 3 fray with a new interview with Pete Hines.  Although there's nothing new, the questions are phrased a little differently:

    GamesIndustry.biz: What's your view on the importance of storytelling? And how does user-generated content or emergent play fit into that?

    Pete Hines: Honestly, we really want it to be about the player telling their own story - there are all these stories out there waiting for you, but how you move through the world, which ones you choose to partake in, and how you choose to change the story - that's really up to the player.

    In Fallout you can tell the story of a really evil character who's pissed at his dad, and doesn't want to go and find him, and who kills people and steals things, who is nefarious…or the story of a guy who is very much attached to his father, who wants to find him and help him.

    So it's up to the player to decide how that narrative is going to play out, we find that to be a very powerful experience when a lot of other games don't give you that. They may have good storytelling - I think BioShock is a great example of that, they have great storytelling, but it's not because of the player choice. They came up with a really compelling story, but everybody's story is pretty much the same.

    The difference here is that everybody's story can be very different depending on the choices you make, where you decide to go or not to go, and I think folks find that to be a nice change.

    There are nice games out there, like BioShock and Call of Duty, that tell great stories, but in a much more linear fashion, and then there's this way of doing it which is much more about how you want to do it, how you want to play the game, and having that be tailored to them is pretty unique and pretty compelling.

    ...to round this out, Bethsoft are now taking questions for the next Fan Interview via the official forums (with Briosafreak helping to collate).

    Finally, the Bethblog's Inside the Vault feature profiles programmer Jean-Sylvere Simonet.

    Tuesday - April 29, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Eurogamer

    by Woges, 11:08

    Kieron Gillen interview with Pete Hines at Eurogamer.

    Eurogamer: And any plans for the demo?

    Pete Hines: We build our game much like we did in Oblivion. That is one enormous seamless world. When you build it as one thing, there's no way to portion off a section and have it stand on its own, as a little level self without putting the whole game in the demo, which we're just not going to do. And it doesn't really capture the fun of a game like an Elder Scrolls or a Fallout, where you can go where you want and do what you want. It's all about player choice, but here's one little thing where you're a rat in a box. It doesn't really capture what's great about the game. The...what do I do now? So no demo, sorry.

    Sunday - April 27, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Interview @ Play.tm

    by Dhruin, 00:25

    Pete Hines' UK tour is still kicking out articles, with Play.tm publishing a short interview on Fallout 3.  There's nothing new but I found this an interesting comment, because RPGs have always had a bigger audience as fantasy:

    Is the timing right for a new Fallout game? Do you worry that the gaming world has moved on?

    I think the gaming world is into big, sandbox games where you can go where you want and do what you want. When done right, there's a big audience for that type of experience. We certainly saw that with Oblivion. I think the potential for a game like Fallout 3 might be even bigger because it appeals to an even wider audience in terms of the setting, and having guns and explosives instead of swords and magic, and so on. Based on the level of interest we've had in the game to date, it doesn't appear the gaming world has moved on.

    Friday - April 25, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ Eurogamer

    by Woges, 17:12

    Kieron Gillen Previews Fallout 3.

    Given that the developer is responsible for the most successful Western-style RPG of recent years, Oblivion, it was a little surprising, during Fallout 3's demonstration, to get the sense of a team with something to prove. While there's much about FO3 that recalls Oblivion, there are also regular elements that arise as if to signify, "You know - we're good enough to deal with a legend as big as Fallout. Watch this." In itself, this is a tad touching. A team like Bethesda would probably be justified in going, "Damn the lot of you - our way is the best way." The result is something that - on these impressions - seems to be the next logical step on from Oblivion, while infusing as much of what made Fallout Fallout as they reasonably can.

    Fallout 3 - Preview @ Kikizo

    by Dhruin, 01:10

    The Fallout 3 previews continue to trickle in with this latest coming from a site called Kikizo. As with the others, they've seen the same carefully scripted presentation, with Dogmeat as a central feature but this is generally an informative piece:

    A larger question is which is the best way to play Fallout 3, and it's here that the definite answers end. The short response is that this is a game that has been built with many kinds of players in mind. Hines elaborates: "Nobody said you had to do quests or nobody said you have to do the main quest. Just do what you feel like doing. And the idea is, because it's a game that involves shooting, it really needs to play like a shooter. The combat needs to be on par with a good shooter."

    There's more evidence as Hines takes us to the last, and most spectacular, area in the demo - the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It's here, among the crumbling remains of America's most famous buildings and museums, that we get a glimpse of the sheer scale of the project. Hines starts near the Lincoln Memorial, pointing out the battered Washington Monument on the side and the Capitol building in the distance. Covering the ground in between are trenches that snake between buildings, infested with two factions of enemies that are fighting each other. Many of the bigger buildings will be explorable, adding to the already impressive size of the game world.

    Source: No Mutants Allowed

    Wednesday - April 23, 2008

    Fallout 3 - More Coverage

    by Dhruin, 00:25

    Two new Fallout 3 items today.  First, VideoGamer.com has a preview, covering the same presentation we've all seen before.  A bit on weapons:

    There's far more to weapons combat than just targeting an enemy and pressing fire. For one, weapons can take damage and jam during use, meaning you need to keep them in tip-top condition if you're entering a dangerous area. You can also acquire schematics for special weapon variations of each gun in the game - although these will take some finding. One area, set in what looked like trenches, saw numerous grenade traps. Peter was able to avoid them, but the pursuing super mutants weren't so lucky. Fallout 3 isn't a game for kids, so expect plenty of gore too, with limbs flying off in all directions.

    ...and IGN has an interview with Pete Hines:

    IGN: Moral choices play a large part of the Fallout experience – how does this compare to games such as BioShock?

    Pete Hines:
    I thought BioShock was terrific. It obviously draws some amount from Fallout, which is part of the reason why I like it, in that they borrowed the holo-tapes and stuff like that. I think the thing about Fallout that's unique is that is very much open-ended and up to the player in that there's moral choices and they're not in linear fashion, so you feel you have a lot more choice in terms of where you're going to go and what you're going to do. BioShock is very much a linear experience, you can harvest the little ones or you can save them, but still at each point you're going point to point and making that decision. To that end, that's where the difference in ending comes about. If you harvest the first little sister but save the rest of them, you still get the bad guy ending, and there's no ending for the guy who started harvesting little sisters but then had a change of heart and decided to save them as the story went on – where's that ending? That's where the 500 endings of Fallout come into play, we want to take into account if you started playing the game really evil and then turn into a good guy, then the story that you told is very different. Those endings are all different flavours to how you played the game, as opposed to whether you were good or you were evil.

    Monday - April 21, 2008

    Fallout 3 - News Roundup

    by Dhruin, 23:13

    Fallout 3 is still generating lots of column inches from their recent press tour and here's a roundup, much of which is taken from the Bethblog.

    First, the official site has added three screens to the gallery.  Next, the Collector's Edition has been confirmed "worldwide":

    Fallout 3 Collector's Edition to be Available Worldwide
    (London, England) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, officially announced today that it will release a special Fallout® 3 collector’s edition worldwide for Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Games for Windows, and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. The limited collector’s edition is available for pre-order through participating retailers.

    This premium Fallout 3 package, presented in a customized, metal Vault-Tec lunch box, includes the highly-anticipated game, a collectible 5” Vault-Tec Vault Boy Bobblehead, ‘The Art of Fallout 3’ hardcover book, featuring never-before-seen concept art and commentary from Bethesda Game Studios artists, and ‘The Making of Fallout 3’ DVD that includes an inside look at Bethesda Game Studios and the team behind the game.
    Eurogamer's Kieron Gillen has asked Pete Hines about a demo and apparently it isn't possible:
    Bethesda's Pete Hines has confirmed that there will be no demo for Fallout 3.Speaking exclusively to Eurogamer in the shape of Kieron Gillen, Hines said there was "no way" to slice a portion of the world off and have it stand on its own."When you build it as one thing, there's no way to portion off a section and have it stand on its own without putting the whole game in the demo, which we're just not going to do," said Hines."And it doesn't really capture the fun of a game like an Elder Scrolls or a Fallout, where you can go where you want and do what you want. So no demo, sorry."

    On to the previews - from the official site:

    Strategy Informer has posted a preview of Fallout 3 saying, "... it is clear that Fallout 3 is going to be a great RPG and an even better return for the much-loved series. " videogaming247, Eurogamer and Gameswelt have also posted previews. 

    Friday - April 18, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Collector's Edition Announced

    by Dhruin, 23:18

    After a couple of online stores let the cat out of the bag, Bethsoft has formally announced the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition:

    Bethesda Softworks® Announces
    Fallout® 3 Collector's Edition

    Fallout 3 Collector's Edition to be Available Worldwide

    April 18, 2008 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, officially announced today that it will release a special Fallout® 3 collector's edition worldwide for Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Games for Windows, and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. The limited collector's edition is available for pre-order through participating retailers.

    This premium Fallout 3 package, presented in a customized, metal Vault-Tec lunch box, includes the highly-anticipated game, a collectible 5" Vault-Tec Vault Boy Bobblehead, 'The Art of Fallout 3' hardcover book, featuring never-before-seen concept art and commentary from Bethesda Game Studios artists, and 'The Making of Fallout 3' DVD that includes an inside look at Bethesda Game Studios and the team behind the game.

    "We're very excited about this collector's edition and believe it truly offers gamers an amazing mix of unique items from the Fallout universe, combined with a great behind-the-scenes look at what goes into developing such an immense title," said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks.

    Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of post-apocalyptic Washington, D.C. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

    Currently under development at Bethesda Game Studios – creators of award winning The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, the 2006 Game of the Year – Fallout 3 is one of the most anticipated games of 2008 and is slated for release this Fall on Xbox 360, Games for Windows, and PLAYSTATION®3 system.

    Fallout® 3 has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout 3, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com.

    Thursday - April 17, 2008

    Fallout 3 - Dogmeat, DLC, Lead Platform and More @ videogaming247

    by Dhruin, 23:24

    A site called videogaming247 has a series of comment snippets from Pete Hines on Fallout 3.  Rather than collecting the conversation into a full interview or preview, they've released a rapid-fire series of short articles on each issue, with some interesting things touched on.

    First, the X360 is apparently the lead platform (apparently the PC doesn't get counted in such conversations):

    “The 360 is our lead development platform, so we got it working on that one first,” he said. I mean, we develop them all simultaneously, but one of them’s got to be the lead, so it was 360.”

    The choice was made more by the timing of the console’s release than anything else, Hines added.

    “We had a year’s head start on the 360 because it came out a year earlier, so we had final dev hardware to work with earlier on than we did with PS3,” he said. “But as this point all three of them are pretty much on par. The goal is that, if I get three versions in here and hide the console or PC and just had them running on the screen, that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

    Can we extrapolate that the PC interface will als