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Calling Fallout 3 into question(s)
Editorial - posted by Section8 on Thu 21 June 2007, 17:43:12Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3
Well, that day has finally come. Fallout 3 is no longer just a speck on the horizon, and we're starting to see some vague revelations of what the game actually has in store for us. As most predicted, those who adore Fallout to the point of obsession aren't exactly overjoyed, given that Bethesda have indeed taken the route they've been hinting at for years - they're "going with what they know". So we have two sides being their predictable selves.
But is the bleak outlook justified? An awful lot of people seem to be either instantly dismissive of the Fallout fanatics, branding their collective opinion as a kneejerk negative response to something they've made their minds up about long ago. There also seems to be a more zealous movement who derive pleasure from Fallout fans general state of unhappiness, which paints them in the terrifying light of caring more for the well-being of a company's bankroll than that of their fellow man.
So, here's an opportunity to ask yourselves the same questions the "angry vocal minority" have asked themselves to get to this point. Maybe you'll come up with more positive responses than we did, so by all means, share them on our forums. But firstly - Into the Wastes!
With relation to core gameplay
Has anyone who enjoys first-person shooters ever found themselves wishing they could pause the game and let the computer take their headshots for them?
Conversely, has anyone who enjoys turn-based tactics ever longed for a first-person shooter mode between turns?
When playing a hybrid FPS/RPG, such as Deus Ex or System Shock 2, does anyone find themselves wishing character skills were an alternative to their own rather than player and character skill complementing one another?
Is this really "innovation" when many games previously have featured similar mechanics of using a regenerating resource to slow gameplay and give the player an advantage?
Does anyone not believe that two distinct modes of play would be difficult to balance, leading to situations where one or the other is favourable to the point of being an exploit, a la Arcanum?
Alternatively, assuming the system is biased toward neither mode and perfectly balanced, does anyone relish the idea of lining up a perfect headshot only to be thwarted by random die rolls? Does this becomes much more of a concern in melee combat, where any miss within range is implausible and frustrates the player who fails despite adequate skill?
Anyone find themselves wishing that utilitarian character generation was replaced by a lengthy tutorial mode and Fable style cuteness? Anyone think it's likely to be enjoyable more than once?
Have you ever wished that Fallout's colourful dialogue trees were replaced with a keyword system where you no longer evoke any kind of character, much less Fallout's classic archetypes?
For the contingent of folks who are willing to brook any form of gameplay to experience Fallout's setting, aesthetic, morals, humour and narrative
When playing Fallout, did you wish the game had less 1950's Americana influences? Less from cheesy Sci-Fi classics such as Them!? Less of the over-the-top comic book elements, such as the excessive death scenes, shining knights in power-armour, goofy looking mutants or stylish but impractical weaponry?
Did you find yourself longing for more generic elements? Rusted chunks of metal that would be at home in anything from Call of Duty to Flatout? Supermutants that wouldn't be out of place in High-Fantasy, Surival Horror or Sci-Fi? find yourself actively wishing that all game enemies were more like Resident Evil's Nemesis, Far Cry's Fatboy or Lord of the Rings' Uruk-Hai?
In short, ever wished Fallout looked less like Fallout and more like everything else?
While playing Fallout, did anyone ever wish the player was given less authorship of their character? Ever wish you came with the baggage of your family and being a teenager?
Are you happy to see both Super Mutants and the Brotherhood of Steel on the East coast, against all odds? Do you really want familiar faces at the cost of plausibility/continuity?
Does the moral choice of helping a stranger detonate a nuke in the middle of a town sound like one you'd agonise over? Does it sound any less cliched than any other "shady guy in the darkest corner of a bar room, waiting for some patsy in his evil scheme" plot arc?
Is a heavily armed ticket-collecting robot an example of wry humour, or more like those awesome moments in Police Academy when the timid Hooks suddenly snaps?
Obviously, at the end of the day, we still know very little about what we're getting, but I had to ask. If I've missed it, what exactly are the magical elements that have folks saying "sounds great! I can't wait to buy this!" in the saner parts of the internet? Is it faith in Bethesda? Are people really that enamoured with post-apoc that they'll forgive the absence of a great deal of Fallout's unique style? Or is it simply that too many Fallout-less years have jaded us to the point where we can't see potential when it's right in front of us?
And of course, if you think the questions are leading or misleading, or that any of the conclusions/interpretations drawn from second hand info are incorrect, feel free to argue the point. Any and all discussion is welcome.