Fallout 3 E3 Previews

Another batch of Fallout 3 previews comes from hands-on experiences at E3. Collider.

When outnumbered or outgunned, all you have to do is press the V.A.T.S. button, and BAM you’re character is swallowed up by RPG turn-based convention. It’s actually really cool. Time stops, your enemies around you freeze, and you are free to specifically target all of your enemies’ weak spots until your Action Points run out. It’s pretty intuitive and fantastic, when it comes down to it. You’ve a certain number of Action Points at any given time, and you can choose which areas of your enemies’ bodies to concentrate on, giving you the advantage in battle. Pretty rad. Right as the time was up on the demo period, V.A.T.S. helped me score a strategic shot that took a wild dog’s head clean off. At this moment, I felt that E3 had given me everything I really needed to see!

The rest of Fallout’s RPG elements exist inside of your Pip-Boy, as there are plenty of stats, weapons, and armor to consider, as well as Skill Points to distribute when you level-up.

Crispy Gamer.

Talk is cheap. There are tons of quests to undertake and characters with which to interact. I only bumped into one talkative survivor in my journeys — a reformed prostitute hiding in one of the few standing houses. The rest of the humans shot first and asked questions later. You can do the same if you don’t mind earning a bad reputation.

Rock Paper Shotgun.

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.]

Games Radar returns to Fallout 3 to compare its hype-level to Resident Evil 5 and Left 4 Dead.

Does it justify the hype it’s been getting? This demo doesn’t really answer that. Fallout 3 has been trading on two things the heritage of the series it is part of and the fact that Oblivion was in many people’s eyes the best RPG of recent years. Granted, it looks great and the VATS works, but it’s very difficult to say anything other than that until we’ve had chance to play more in the comfort of our own gaming pit. Ed note: Our PC Gamer brother has done exactly that and spent five hours with it. See his impressions here.

Hype justified?: Semi.

Jeuxvideo previews, NMA translates.

One should remember that the game is still in development and that it won’t be released until several months. However, it is impossible not to be disappointed by this Xbox 360 version. Impossible to miss the systematic aliasing of the scenery and a certain lack of “sharpness” of the textures. Even worse, the whole thing really lacks “a sense of life” even though we are dealing with a post-apocalyptics world. No, the real problem lies elsewhere, particulary for the fans of the previous episodes : it is impossible to find the artistic design, style of Fallout 1 & 2. Bethesda seems to have been instead inspired by something like Mad Max.

Finally, you may remember the fairly negative Game|Life preview. Tom Chick responded to it, basically calling it a smear piece.

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.

As for likable characters, heck, I really liked two of the people I met. The black guy in the cowboy hat who you saw in one of the early screenshots is the sheriff of Megaton, a town built around a crater with an unexploded nuclear bomb — Fat Man style — at the bottom. He was your standard-issue small frontier town sheriff, but plenty likeable, even when you’re trying to sass him. I also liked Gob, the irradiated ghoul bartender, who’s obviously supposed to be a sympathetic character.

Anyway, nice work, Wired. I guess they’re hiring from NMA, or RPG Codex, or wherever these goofballs spawn from.

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