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    Preview: Fallout 3
    Tuesday, 23 September 2008
    Fallout 3 has caused controversy amongst its fanbase by changing the classic top down, isometric viewpoint to a first/third person perspective. Fortunately, the changeover is being handled by Bethesda Softworks, the people that have already established themselves in the first person RPG genre with the Elder Scrolls series. Gaming Corner takes a look at why Fallout 3 is still a game to look forward to despite the radical change.

    It's still the same eerie retro bleak future.

    "War....War never changes" The tone of Ron Perlmans voice captures the essence of Fallouts depressing setting. Set after a nuclear world war that has completely wiped the planet clean apart from those lucky enough to find shelter in giant underground vaults, the player explores the wasteland searching for his/her father. The world is littered with objects from the world before the war, a world fueled entirely from nuclear power. Retro, Monopoly style graphics litter the wasteland which gives Fallout 3 the same retro-future feel as the classic games.


    Perks have always been a feature of Fallout games and allow players to pick a special ability once they have leveled up a set amount of levels. Each perk grants a player enhanced stats in a certain area or a special ability depending on circumstance and has an accompanying story to explain why the player has that perk, for example the "Little Leaguer" perk has the following explanation: "Years as the Vault little league MVP have honed your hitting and throwing. With every rank, you gain 5 points of melee weapons skill and 5 points of explosives skill". Each skill also has its own "Vault Boy" icon adding to its usually comic nature.

    V.A.T.S (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System)

    In previous Fallout games it was possible to target and disable specific body parts. Bethesda have developed the V.A.T.S system to carry this over into Fallout 3. By pausing the gameplay, the player can target specific areas of the enemy and stack up actions. For example, on a humanoid character the player could choose to hit 7 different points: head, left arm, right arm, torso, left leg, right leg and held weapon. On mutated opponents the different areas vary. The number of actions the player can stack is determined by their characters action points (AP). Once the player has picked their actions, the character carries out the shots in a short action scene normally resulting in a lot of gore as the selected body parts react to the hits.

    Custom made weapons

    Players are able to create and customize weapons by using items found in the wasteland. The example used in the gameplay trailers was the bottlecap mine. This is made by filling a tin lunchbox (the same design as the one that comes with the special edition) with bottlecaps and explosives. Once detonated the makeshift bomb sends bottlecaps flying, damaging enemies in a similar way to a ball bearing bomb.

    It's looking pretty

    Exploring a wasteland full of rad-scorpions, super mutants and other freaks is bound to be a terrifying experience and Fallout 3 looks like it will be able to recreate the tension and atmosphere with its visuals. Shanty towns look rusty and make-shift, mutants look horrible disfigured and the nuclear blast in the gameplay trailers looks absolutely stunning. Bethesda have also improved on the friendly NPCs of Oblivion, making them look more lifelike and less like the warmed up corpses of their previous offerings.

    All in all, Fallout 3 is shaping up to be a promising addtion that the series needs after the mediocre Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. Fans of the series will no doubt complain about the change of genre, but as a game Fallout 3 will more than likely not disappoint.

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    posted by Goafer @ 23:00  
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