One thing that needs to be noted right away about Fallout 3 is that Bethesda is obviously taking a very similar approach to what they did in Elder Scrolls IV, in terms of how the game is being played. While the third person view is functional and often useful (over the shoulder look mostly), the main way to play the game would definitely be in the first person. Beth's executive producer, Todd Howard, calls this the most immersive way to experience an RPG title.
Now, personally, I may object somewhat to this statement, but the fact of the matter is this is how the game's gameplay is executed and this is what Fallout fans should expect. Is this a good thing? A matter of personal preference really.
We had the chance to revisit some of the content in the Vault and discover some of the new story elements there that we hadn't heard about the first time. To begin with, we learned a bit more about the Tunnel Snakes, the gang of bullies who inhabit the Vault, and the object of their attention, the young girl with whom you've had a lifelong friendship. We won't spoil the details of the story, but the connections definitely add some weight to the story.
There will be fewer "quests," but unlike Oblivion each one has their own set of good / evil morals. We say quests with reservation, because Hines was very adamant about not referring to them as such. These, er, "ventures" will not pop up on the screen this time, but Hines said that they will be logged somewhere for later viewing.
So, you wander the landscape. At a Red Rocket - a refueling station for those nuclear-powered cars - a few shots set an old car (a Chryslus Highwayman, if I remember the name correctly - each car will be identified to you when you look at it) on fire and blew it up in a mushroom cloud. Developers showed us how the system used to show all the destruction also allows the change in the scenery if you, for instance, shoot the scenery.
Then there were a few skirmishes with giant spiders.
Enemies are incredibly intelligent in Fallout 3. Very early on, we saw a super mutant attempt to flank Todd Howard’s character, though the super-statistics of his demo character allowed him to easily take down the underground foe. Players will be able to use a wide variety of weapons, from a .22 hunting rifle seen at the beginning of the game to a hand-held nuclear catapult called the Fat Man. Combat is very tactical and players must balance risk versus reward. Is it worth it to blow up that nuclear-powered car to take down a group of super mutants if you’re going to be bombarded with radiation because of it?