Fallout 3 Screens And Info Print
Written by Starfox   
Sunday, 01 July 2007 18:00
It's not a secret that Bethesda after finishing their whole Oblivion thing with the release of Shivering Isles has switched the work focus on the next installment of the Fallout franchise, Fallout 3. So what will be in there for us gamers? The beginning of an answer with some screens and info...

Fallout 3 Fallout 3

Fallout 3 will use an overhauled TES 4 graphic engine (Oblivion) and will be a first-person game (but for the hardcore fans of the series, third-person mode is included). The gaming ground should be a little smaller than Oblivion and include a part of a post-apocalyptic Washington, a new town named Megaton and the ruins of an old commercial complex (Paradise Falls).

Fallout 3 Fallout 3

Speaking about the storyline Bethesda is curiously much more talkative than they're used to be with, say... Oblivion. The game should retain the basis of the series (a great nuclear war between USA and China in 2077) but shifts the action to a new ground. This time instead of the west coast, it will be Washington DC (where Bethesda is conveniently based). Strictly speaking, Fallout 3 is not a continuation of Fallout 2 but is set in the same universe, just 30 years after.

Fallout 3 Fallout 3

As in any RPG comes eventually the particular point of character generation and development. It appears that Bethesda wanted to use this time a somewhat original approach. Unlike TES where you start as a fully grown being and get to pick your specializations in one pass, Fallout 3 will have you start as a one year old baby taking is first steps and abilities, then jumping a few years later (age 10) to pick up a PIPBoy (similar to previous Fallout games) to accomplish some tasks and quests in order to pick up some more abilities, stats and experience your childhood which will also help to define your relationship to your father Liam Neeson.

So you finally build your character from age to age to end up at 19 when suddenly your father disappears (which is the start of the story itself). Until then you've been living in the somewhat protective environment of Vault 101 (one of several self sufficient communities build after the war) and you decide to leave in search for him.

Fallout 3 Fallout 3

According to Bethesda, the NPC interaction system from Oblivion as been completely stripped out from Fallout 3 and replaced by something that should be definitely better (why didn't they think of that for Oblivion, it's a wonder). The number of NPCs has been itself dramatically reduced (from over 1000 in Oblivion to just a few hundreds in Fallout 3) which allows for more pinpointed personalities.

And finally, comes the combat portion of the game. While previous Fallout games were completely turn based, combat in Fallout 3 will be achieved via the VATS (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System) which is the way for Bethesda to plunge gamers in profound despair as usual. Well, apparently, it's not that bad but we'll need to actually see the thing in action to decide if it's a pain in the ass or not. Basically, you can fight in Fallout 3 like in any other FPS but that is denying your own combat abilities. Following the description of those who already tested it, VATS is a crossover between bullet-time and turn based fight. You pause the game before the combat then depending on how many action points (AP) you have you may quietly decide of a series of actions like shooting at a leg with your shotgun, reload then taking a shot at one arm or blow the head off your opponent (yeah that's right, Fallout 3 is set to be a very violent game according to Bethesda but one of the "fun" violent genre -- if there is something like "fun" violence). After you choose your series of actions, you just resume the game and let VATS does the job with the camera flying around following the important events like going to slow motion for the final impact of a bullet in the head sending an eyeball rolling out.

Why did I have to take a breakfast today? I guess the eyeball thing is the "fun" from Bethesda point of view...

Fallout 3 Fallout 3

There would be other things to talk about regarding what you can expect from Fallout 3 but I will leave that to the great preview they have at Eurogamer.

I'd just mention in other news that Bethesda confirmed that the game won't be "Vista only". It will include DX10 but will be perfectly playable on XP with DX 9 and shouldn't suffer a great difference. For once we can only agree when Todd Howard says about "Vista only" games:

Todd HowardI'm not of the opinion of requiring Vista. I think that's bullshit.

Hey it's probably the sanest opinion I've read so far from a game developer on this topic.

Well, we're still a long way from the release of Fallout 3 since the first estimates indicates Fall 2008. Let's just hope since they seem to be on the good track that they will remain there and won't derail at some point... Personally, I could do without the eyeball thing...