Fallout 3 Preview

Another preview of Bethesda’s Fallout sequel based on extended hands-on time comes from Giant Bomb.

Fallout shares a load of similarities with Oblivion, and Megaton is where you start to see them. But you also see where Bethesda has improved on some of the previous game’s rough spots. Character interactions are the same: the camera zooms in on a person’s face, and you navigate dialogue trees to get information, items, and quests out of them. Unlike in Oblivion–where characters felt like they’d popped out of only about six different molds–every NPC I saw in the four hours with Fallout had a unique character model and voice.

And everyone had a story to tell. There was Confessor Cromwell, the leader of the cult-like Church of Atom, a group who worships the town’s bomb. Moriarty is the tough-talking town saloon owner, an information dealer who you may have to work with regarding your father’s whereabouts. Gob is a ghoul who works at the bar, lacks most of the flesh on his face, talks sort of like a New Yorker, and gets beat up on by Moriarty a lot. The place even had a whore-in-residence who offered her services to me, but wouldn’t give the same courtesy to Gob. Due to the whole rotten-flesh thing, you know. A girl’s gotta have standards, right? Then there was the town tinkerer with schematics for something called a “rock-it launcher,” the frightened girl who wanted me to deliver a message to her family one town over, and the friendly town sheriff, who kindly asked me to disarm the bomb, if I had the know-how.

Oh, and don’t forget Mr. Burke, the shady businessman with shiny wingtips hanging out in the corner of the bar. He instead wanted me to stick a little pulse device on the bomb so he could detonate it remotely and use the newly irradiated land for some other purpose. (A luxury high rise, perhaps.) Megaton, as you may have read, presents a tidy moral quandary in Fallout 3. You can save it, or you can blow it to kingdom come, and reap some kind of benefit either way. I’ve personally absorbed so much Fallout 3 coverage over the last year–and consequently read about Megaton so many times–that I made up my mind I was going to fix the town one way or the other by the end of my session.

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