Fallout 3 Preview

Edge Online previews Fallout 3 based on 60 minutes hands-on time.

There are other mixed signals. While it’s far too early to make a call on the quality of its writing, the character voice-acting is considerably better than the often disturbingly stiff inhabitants of Oblivion. There’s still a sense that the characters don’t quite act enough, however. Compared to what Vampire: Bloodlines did some years ago in terms of physical performance in a similar straight-headshot game, this is somewhat lacking. While, inevitably, the density of the original Fallouts’ text will be lost, a fully voiced game should make the most of what it’s got. Fallout 3 doesn’t quite do that.

However, as a mechanic, the conversation system appears to be working well. While there are many examples of the traditional RPG triptych of (Yes, I’ll do it)/)Yes, I’ll do it for money)/)I WILL KILL YOU!) there are generally more options, which seem to respond sensitively to your character’s make-up. For example, playing someone with the Lady-Killer perk can exploit more amorous routes to success (or its cousin, embarrassment). Similarly, stealth is firmly integrated as an alternative approach, as well as various technical options. Special mention must be made of the hacking system, whose password guessing is one of the more impressively naturalistic attempts to make a hacking ‘˜sim’ that is neither trivial (as in System Shock 2) or clearly a transplanted mechanism from another game (as in BioShock).

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