Fallout 3 PAX Previews

Two more hands-on previews of Fallout 3 from the Penny Arcade Expo. The Exploding Barrel.

Probably my favorite part of the demo, however, was running across a traveling merchant who looked oddly like Will Smith from Hancock. This encounter was what really illustrated Fallout 3’s ability to allow gamers to truly do whatever the hell they wish. After deciding to not buy what the merchant was selling, I then followed him for a few steps and equipped my baseball bat.

You can imagine what happened next. I used the VAT system, and in glorious slow motion, proceeded to whack the trader in the back of his head. However, he didn’t die. Instead, he pulled out his hunting rifle while I continued to smack him with my bat, and started to retreat to gain some distance. However, I had no intention of allowing him to escape. I switched to my pistol, and shot out his legs. The merchant started stumbling away, so I chucked a grenade at him. The ensuing explosion ripped the merchant into pieces. Part of his face went one way. Part of his leg went another. And I went away with a brand new knife, a hunting rifle, and some ammunition for my weapons. Unfortunately, I had to run quite a distance away from my original position to finish murdering the merchant, and I lost track of where his caravan actually was.

Heroine Sheik seems to be mostly unfamiliar with Fallout’s roots, mostly.

It’s pretty obvious the game is ripping off Bioshock. Send me hate mail if you must, but first let’s look at the comparison. Bioshock was a shooter with RPG elements that took place in a post-apocalyptic dystopia. Fallout 3 is, yeah, just that. Bioshock achieved stunning visuals and environments by juxtaposing desolation and destruction with a campy, retro aesthetic in its posters, radio broadcasts, and items around the city of Rapture. Fallout 3. Well have you seen vault boy? (We’re not even getting into the nit-picky, interesting comparisons, like how Bioshock’s world is defined by having too much water, while the Fallout 3 landscape seems defined by its lack.)

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