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DAC: Exploring the Secrets of VATS
Editorial - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Mon 21 June 2010, 16:11:54Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3
... or "How Bethesda Set their Sights on the Lowest Common Denominator and Hit a Bullseye". Duck And Cover's Cimmerian Nights explores the topic in-depth.
When word came out that Bethesda had purchased the rights to Fallout in 2004, the news was received with mixed feedback. Initial responses ran the gamut, but beyond the acquisition of Fallout, little else was known at the time. Speculation ran that it was likely, given Bethesda’s recent track record that the Fallout series would be entering new territory – most significantly from the standpoint of game design philosophy, and in turn how that philosophy would manifest itself in game mechanics, an early established and defining strong point of Fallout’s gameplay that distinguished it as a cRPG heavyweight.
While from a role-playing standpoint VATS must be looked at as a failure to capitalize on basic RPG concepts, it certainly doesn’t spell the end for it. It’s showcasing of over-the-top violence and gore certainly holds the attention of the wider market that Bethesda intended to reach. It should be interesting to see what modifications if any Obsidian can incorporate with their upcoming spin-off based on the same engine. Ultimately, it is Bethesda and it design philosophy (mass market appeal at the expense of RPG foundation) that will dictate the inclusion of this gimmick in future titles, or it’s relegation to the scrap heap with other “innovative” cul-de-sacs.
Whether they see VATS as a success or not while be evident when future iterations of the series are released. But given the intent the original developers of Fallout had, and the RPG elements they employed to acheive that, and the foundation they built the series upon, VATS must be viewed as a the ill-conceived, gimmicky compromise it is.
thanks to Cimmerian Nights!
Spotted at: Duck and Cover