Dogmeat will be your faithful companion during your quest
Dogmeat will be your faithful companion during your quest

Dogmeat will be your faithful companion during your quest

It'll take something pretty special to follow The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda Softworks' must-own next-gen RPG ushered in the new generation of consoles spectacularly well, offering hundreds of hours of gameplay in a world impossible to imagine only a few years ago. Its success, though, must have put some pressure on the developer. With a legion of new fans and a hardcore army of long-time followers, only something of truly epic proportions could follow Oblivion. It's a good job Bethesda had Fallout 3 up its sleeve then.

For Fallout 3 to have the success of Oblivion it's going to have to be more than a game for hardcore fans. Vault 101 and Pip boy mean nothing to most people, and they didn't to me either. This didn't stop the game, demoed by Bethesda's Peter Hines, looking extremely promising and very different to the fantasy setting of Oblivion.

The game starts, strangely enough, at your birth, inside Vault 101 - an underground facility sealed off from the post-apocalyptic world. Your birth is actually a clever way for the game to handle character creation. It's all completely in-game (you can press A to cry) and you're asked to choose whether you wish to play as a boy or a girl and what your name is. As your father picks you up (played by Liam Neeson, the only confirmed voice talent in the game) you can't quite make out his face, but again, this is a trick employed to get you to create your character. His face will resemble your own, so as soon as you're done sculpting your appearance his face comes into view. There are complications with the birth, resulting in the death of your mother, leaving you in the care of your father.

Time skips forward one year. You're now a toddler, walking around in a play area. Again, this is all in-game, and a disguised tutorial. Your father calls you over, so you slowly stumble over to him, pressing A to shout out "Dadda". It's incredibly immersive, and serves to familiarise new players with the controls in a non-threatening situation. Dad soon leaves, giving you time to wander about freely in the room, before finding a book called 'You're Special'. Reading it with your father allows you to choose your 'Specials', your base character attributes.

'Your father has left the vault, and you go after him, putting you face to face with the monsters that now roam the earth.'

You're then whisked forward in time once more, this time to your tenth birthday party. In the vault ten-year-olds gain responsibility and that means you're given a Pip boy 3000 - the gadget that acts as your in-game menu. Again, although completely in-game and under your control, the party acts as an intro to the game's conversation system. Peter chooses to lie when asked a question, but our character's conversation stats are low, meaning the NPC can see straight through him. As you progress through the game you'll increase your stats in key abilities, allowing you to tackle situations in different ways. At the age of 10 lying isn't something you're particularly good at.

This marked the end of our time in the vault, with Peter skipping on to life outside in the desolated Washington D.C.. Your father has left the vault, and you go after him, putting you face to face with the monsters that now roam the earth. You won't be alone though, with friendly dog Dogmeat being your faithful companion - if you treat him well. Dogmeat can be sent off to find items for you, but he isn't immune to the dangers of the wasteland. If you send him into an area and he gets into trouble, he could die - gone from the game forever. It certainly seems like a brave move on Bethesda's part, putting the dog's life in your hands, but we're yet to see how awkward it'll be to constantly keep him out of harm's way.

On to the dangers you'll face then. During our demo these came in the form of mutants and Ghouls. Super mutants are your biggest foe in the game, with super mutant strongholds being set up across the wasteland. You'll also face Ghouls (humans exposed to extreme amounts of radiation), with one particular variant being so full of radiation that it glows. How easily you spot these enemies depends on your perception stat, with high level characters seeing enemies on their radar much sooner than beginners.

Those super mutants often face an unpleasant end

Those super mutants often face an unpleasant end

You of course need to take these enemies down. All combat in the game is stat based, but you can choose to play using a real-time system if you wish. Menu-driven combat is activated through the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S.. From here you can see what chance you have of hitting a certain part of an enemy and how many action points you have. Each attack move costs action points, so you can only string together a certain amount of attacks. Over time these points will be regenerated, but you may need to switch to the action-point-free real-time mode if your targeted attacks aren't sufficient.

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.

Despite the lengthy demo, it still seems as if we've only seen a fraction of what the final game will have to offer. Bethesda is currently targeting an autumn 2008 release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, although it seems as though it won't ship until everyone is completely happy with it. There's no denying its potential to be a grittier, more action heavy RPG than Oblivion, but until we get some extensive hands-on time, it's hard to say if it'll be just as epic.

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User Comments

Scouttrooper's Avatar

Scouttrooper

I've noticed in Oblivion, on the xbox 360, that 'draw distance' can be a problem. You'll see a character move off down a road and suddenly vanish at a distance. This isn't really a big problem, as Oblivion is mainly 'close quarters' even when throwing spells around. It could however really affect the game play in Fallout 3. Why? Because I love to play a sniper character in FPS games. I hope this is something the programmers have thought about.

It has had a negative affect, for me, when playing Mercenaries 2. What's the point in including sniper rifles in a game when you have to be so close to a target for them to be drawn in the game world, that you might as well just arm yourself with an assault rifle!

For me, this issue will make Fallout 3 the greatest game of the decade or the greatest disappointment of the decade!
Posted 15:00 on 12 October 2008
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wazzanut

I posted it to a guy named "Anxious Waiter" on page 1 lol I was reading past comments, without looking what page i was on, my mistake man.
Posted 22:16 on 30 September 2008
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Wido@ wazzanut

Quote:
Originally Posted by wazzanut
Nice One Anxious Waiter, some of the fans of the original fallout want turn based gameplay? So you see an enemy, he sees you.. your engaged in combat...what do you do?
well.. because of the turn based gameplay, not a lot..because your character is stuck in a grid format choosing wether or not to attack, when its not your turn, you cant defend or move behind cover because its turn based remember? if an enemy attacks in real time you have real time reactions and limited time to chose a course of action.. if you insist on playing turn based games you would seriously be better off playing final fantasy or someother turn based sh*te.
I understand that people dont want the previous two games to be stained by this one, should they have called it by a different name or what?
After me and my mate played fallout 1 and 2 i also thought it was a great game but i cant help but look at fallout 3 and think how much the game will kick ass.
Would you have a better opinion of the game if it wasnt called fallout, is that the only reason.. because it isnt the same as the previous 2 fallouts or do you not like the graphics, gameplay, story? im really interested to know!!

The more i hear people complain the funnier i think it gets, people pleading with game developers to stop and listen to theyre thoughts on what theyre doing wrong! hahahahahahaha
o man o man o man i do hope this gets some of you pissed off a bit more, because i love to watch you squirm! peace and love x


Hmmmm reailty check needs to be put in place here. ;)


If you informing it to me, you should read my post again and carefully as I was saying. That the previous fallouts were turn-based gameplay style, and fallout 3 being non turn-based.

Maybe this gameplay footage may get your head around it more:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YouTube Video
Posted 10:25 on 28 September 2008
Scouttrooper's Avatar

Scouttrooper

I thought Oblivion was a pretty cool game, and am really looking forward to Fallout 3 even though I didn't like Fallout 1 or 2. This might have something to do with my love of FPS games and the fact that Fallout 3 looks like fantastic RPG/FPS hybrid. It could end up as my favorite game of all time.

P.s. My friends keep on talking about 'Girls'!
What is 'Girls'!
Is it available on the Xbox 360?
Posted 21:18 on 27 September 2008
wazzanut's Avatar
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wazzanut

Nice One Anxious Waiter, some of the fans of the original fallout want turn based gameplay? So you see an enemy, he sees you.. your engaged in combat...what do you do?
well.. because of the turn based gameplay, not a lot..because your character is stuck in a grid format choosing wether or not to attack, when its not your turn, you cant defend or move behind cover because its turn based remember? if an enemy attacks in real time you have real time reactions and limited time to chose a course of action.. if you insist on playing turn based games you would seriously be better off playing final fantasy or someother turn based sh*te.
I understand that people dont want the previous two games to be stained by this one, should they have called it by a different name or what?
After me and my mate played fallout 1 and 2 i also thought it was a great game but i cant help but look at fallout 3 and think how much the game will kick ass.
Would you have a better opinion of the game if it wasnt called fallout, is that the only reason.. because it isnt the same as the previous 2 fallouts or do you not like the graphics, gameplay, story? im really interested to know!!

The more i hear people complain the funnier i think it gets, people pleading with game developers to stop and listen to theyre thoughts on what theyre doing wrong! hahahahahahaha
o man o man o man i do hope this gets some of you pissed off a bit more, because i love to watch you squirm! peace and love x
Posted 13:29 on 26 September 2008
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ wazzanut

Quote:
Originally Posted by wazzanut
ive read so many reviews of this game and alot of people who played fallout 1 and 2 keep saying this game is going to be sh*t, i just played fallout 1 and 2 and i have to say they were sh*t compared to what this game has to offer... making a comparison between the two is very hard to do.. except for the story and setting how can you compare tiny small men and mutants running around on screen with its crappy turn based gameplay to what fallout 3 can deliver..
I think oblivion was to open ended with no real drive to keep going with the main quest, but the more i read and see about this game the more choices, decisions and immersive gameplay i see, and let me tell you that aint no bad thing.. you think so?

Then why dont you go back to playing fallout 1 and 2 in your vault before i drop a nuke on your ass ;)

You can't make a comparison between the previous Fallouts to Fallout 3, the only game to compare Fallout 3 with is Oblivion. As the previous Fallouts was turn based so Diablo would be a great game to compare with Fallout 1 & 2.

Really am looking forward to Fallout 3 as from playing the previous 2 on PC, I'm a big fan and looking forward to leave the vault 101. Not only that but the Megaton nuclear bomb quest seems a brillant one, I shall be making two files to see the differences when blowing it up and not blowing it up.
Posted 15:05 on 25 September 2008
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wazzanut

ive read so many reviews of this game and alot of people who played fallout 1 and 2 keep saying this game is going to be sh*t, i just played fallout 1 and 2 and i have to say they were sh*t compared to what this game has to offer... making a comparison between the two is very hard to do.. except for the story and setting how can you compare tiny small men and mutants running around on screen with its crappy turn based gameplay to what fallout 3 can deliver..
I think oblivion was to open ended with no real drive to keep going with the main quest, but the more i read and see about this game the more choices, decisions and immersive gameplay i see, and let me tell you that aint no bad thing.. you think so?

Then why dont you go back to playing fallout 1 and 2 in your vault before i drop a nuke on your ass ;)
Posted 14:34 on 25 September 2008
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Ezrik

Looks cool
Posted 08:45 on 11 July 2008
quit moaning's Avatar
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quit moaning

all of you quit moaning about fallout being like oblivion. oblivion was a great game. sure it has some major flaws, but wut game doesnt. just wait and play fallout before you start complaining "bethesda has ruined fallout 3".

as for combat, i prefer real-time, so it is good that you can do either. so all you fags who moan about fallout 1 and 2 being turn-based, JUST PLAY IT TURN-BASED
Posted 22:31 on 10 July 2008
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Woo Bottlecaps

The Fallout Games were a turn based stratagy game in wich you could do almost anything you wanted the first game was based in western mexico the second in california. The games had a very dark humor wich was one of its top qualities that and the "i dont like this town im going to kill all of the people in it". I am a super fallout fan i play both Fallout and Fallout 2 all the time even today. They were truly great games compared to Fallout Tacticts and Brotherhood of Steel(in wich all you seemed to do was kill scorpions. Stupid Scorpions). Many turn based games have not done well in the past years based on that i belive Bethseda is creating a game in wich people who have never heard of or played fallout they want all kinds of people to play this game not just Hard-core fallout fans like myself. You also have to remember that its not just a company thats making this game but people who have played and love fallout themselves. Also if you remember in fallout 1 and 2 if you were smart enough you could get through the game without killing masses of people sure at times you had to but at others you could level faster without doing so. That is pretty much the main feature i hope Bethseda maintained that and the ability to backstab people that was fun as well.
Posted 14:52 on 19 June 2008
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN

Il admit i have never played any fallout game. Can anyone describe the first 2 please? I would get it on PC, thats my first choice, but if you dont have the pc capable, then get it on your console. :)
Posted 00:10 on 02 June 2008
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Digitus

Well I loved F1, F2 & FOT (and why doesn't someone do more with Planescape: Torment!?).
I also played Morrowing & Oblivion - I love the open-ended non-linear stuff where you can just wander around a world & 'do stuff'
So, I am eagerly awaiting F3, I am sure there will be things I hate, and also things that make me go "Wow, cool!"
If you are so narrow as to totally pre-judge then it is your loss, not mine.
Posted 08:59 on 01 June 2008
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secondgate

"Vault 101 and Pip boy mean nothing to most people, and they didn't to me either."

Uh... you review video games. Do your job.
Posted 17:43 on 26 May 2008
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momtron

Critics don't "compare" Fallout 3 to TES Oblivion itself, but to the huge open-ended world and the many hours of gameplay. Everyone is wanting more of that, not necessarily more of the same story or game. Fans of Bethesda want another epic game that we can play for many long hours and so far, Bethesda has been the only company to give us anything like that. Most fall very short in terms of hours of play and openended environments. Also, turn-based play fans are a small percentage of the worlds gamers. I understand Fallout fans want the new game to have the same basic game play, but in reality, the game will sell much better if changes are made. Turn-based games are not usually very big sellers and we all know it all boils down to dollars and cents. It's ridiculous to judge a game that has not even been released yet. Can't you all just wait and when it comes out, try to enjoy the game based on it's own merits? When you chew it up before it's released, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment in the end.
Posted 23:34 on 24 May 2008
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erik

faloout 3
Posted 09:57 on 21 May 2008

Game Stats

Release Date: 31/10/2008
Developer: Bethesda Softworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 1,011 45
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