Explicación del sistema de autonivelado
Gaining power to kick some serious butt is a hallmark of RPGs. Typically, you're initially relegated to exterminating rats and similarly mundane vermin, but after questing for a few dozen hours, you're capable of dragon slaying. One of the great perks of becoming more powerful is the ability to strut through previously ominous territory and beat the crap out of enemies that used to terrify you. But Oblivion scales in difficulty and denies you that sense of accomplishment. If you return to a crypt after gaining some experience levels, hoping to stomp the zombies that previously manhandled you, you discover that those blasted undead have upgraded to deadly Wraiths. Oblivion's enemies reorganize into groups, and as you advance in level, enemies are supplanted by more powerful creatures within those groups. So, the Goblins you once encountered are replaced by Goblin Skirmishers and finally by Goblin Warlords. There isn't even a reprieve once you've encountered a group's most powerful creatures, as those enemies constantly scale up in attributes and equipment to match your level. Oblivion's scaling makes level advancement less rewarding, makes its world unrealistic-eventually, bandits demanding pennies end up decked out in glass armor and magical equipment worth more than lavish estates. You're actually regarded for not advancing in level-quests such as the Kvatch Siege are easier you undertake them as a pleb, since you'll only encounter Stunted Daedra instead of their more formidable counterparts. A demonic invasion isn't so terrifying when its bridgehead forces could have been routed by a lone wild bear.
Fortunately, Fallout 3 will not use Oblivion's level-scaling, but contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, scaling isn't completely discarded. The first important change is that creatures never scale up in abilities to match your level, so each Deathclaw in F3 will always have the same attributes, regardless of your character's level when you have the misfortune of encountering it. Second, each territory in the game is now assigned an encounter level that determines the level and equipment of critters when you discover that area, so a first-level character that wanders into an area designated as "encounter level 5" will be badly outmatched by the inhabitants. Loot is also generally scaled to the area's encounter level, but some item items will be hand-placed, which is similar to how Morrowind handled loot.
An area's level doesn't remain static, but it gets locked as soon as you enter it. If you enter a city block designated as a level 5 area, it will remain a level 5 area and never scale up in difficulty. Areas you haven't yet encountered do "tether up" in difficulty level, but the tethering level doesn't linearly scale with your level, so there's still an advantage to gaining experience levels. The city block that's initially designated as a level 5 area will tether up and be designated as a level8 area if you don't wander into it until you're a level 15 character. But since an area's level is locked once you enter it, you'll still get the satisfaction of returning to a previously difficult area and annihilating its residents once you have a more powerful character.
Bethesda's still tweaking these systems, but they should make exploration more interesting and not diminish the regard for advancement by making you feel like you can never really get ahead. I'd still prefer a static world like Gothic's, where encounters are always consistent regardless of your character level, but this toned-down scaling system sounds like a huge improvement over Oblivions.
Pues lo de la "inteligencia" la verdad que es una cagada si aquí todo el mundo se la pone en 1 y habla cual bardo con un speech de 100.Espero que eso lo modifiquen o que por doquier te obliguen a tener un mínimo pa aparentar y eso.ACTION TRIPhttp://www.actiontri...7fallout3.phtml
Still trying to get adjusted to the hallway light after being treated to a rather lengthy, 40 minute demo of Bethesda's Fallout 3.
One thing that needs to be noted right away about Fallout 3 is that Bethesda is obviously taking a very similar approach to what they did in Elder Scrolls IV, in terms of how the game is being played. While the third person view is functional and often useful (over the shoulder look mostly), the main way to play the game would definitely be in the first person. Beth's executive producer, Todd Howard, calls this the most immersive way to experience an RPG title.
Now, personally, I may object somewhat to this statement, but the fact of the matter is this is how the game's gameplay is executed and this is what Fallout fans should expect. Is this a good thing? A matter of personal preference really.
The game starts off inside Vault 101, the safe haven or the bane of the survivors of the nuclear holocaust. The demo kicks off with our main character being a young 19 year old guy (who looks at least 30 by the way) getting ready to undergo his test of mental abilities – a rather neat way to determine your characters traits, similar to what Beth did in Elder Scrolls games. The trailer that was released on the net is the actual start to the game, so the story picks up as the "young" man gets familiar with his surroundings. Also, the whole game conveys a retro sci-fi look, which should be familiar to all Fallout aficionados. As the plot unravels, you learn that your father has somehow escaped Vault 101. The trick here is that, under the government of the Overseer, the vault was thought to be impossible to either exit or enter.
After a sequence of events that was speeded up in the demo, Todd took us out of the vault and into the barren wastelands of the Fallout world.
While the engine still looks very much Oblivion-ish, if you catch my drift, with nice detail in the game world and on the models, but with animation that's a bit stiff, a marked improvement was immediately noticeable in the sheer number of objects in each scene as well as their intricacy. Bethesda is definitely going for the portrayal of an aftermath of total death and destruction, and they are pulling it off quite decently in the game.
As you exit the Vault, you are faced with a world of moral ambiguity and a rather uncompromising style of humor; again trademarks of the Fallout series. In that sense, the designers are staying true to the core concept of characterization and storytelling, something that a lot of fans will regard as music to their ears. Expect a lot of "fucks" as well as crass humor, but wrapped in an intelligent and ironic take on life.
The RPG elements in Fallout 3, naturally, play a big role. Through your little retro PDA, you will be able to choose your character's stat alignment, something that will be very hard to change later on in the game. In addition, our hero will be presented with a number of moral choices. For instance, he will enter a city which has survived and sort of grown around a nuclear bomb, which has miraculously never detonated. As chance would have it, a shady and overly-eloquent character in the town's sleazy bar will give you the option to actually rearm the bomb and blow the town to bits. Lo and behold, that is exactly what our game demonstrators did. Bearing in mind the AI routines of the NPCs, which did seem more life-like and engaged in more meaningful actions than in Elder Scrolls IV, the choice to blow the town to hell was an interesting one. As most of the guys in the room would agree, a more entertaining one at that.
Another important thing to note about the game is the combat system. While looking rather like your classic shooter combat, with a crosshair and all, Fallout 3 is actually very different in that sense. As you know, the old Fallout series was turn-based, and Fallout 3 sort of continues that spirit. Though you can execute combat in real-time, there is an option to stop time and use action points to perform powerful shots in the head, torso, or extremities. This will, in turn, allow you to deal with multiple enemies more effectively. The gore of the game seemed quite excessive, but this all fits into the unapologetic nature of this surely M-rated title. At any rate, this is what people expect from Fallout.
Near the end of the presentation, Beth treated us to a level of post-apocalyptic Washington DC, which was very impressive in the amount of damage done to the city.
Final scenes included combat with multiple soldiers and mutants with you right smack in the middle of it all. Granted, this is something that has been the big wow factor of Oblivion, but the gameplay was sort of diluted as you progressed through the campaign.
I am very much hoping Fallout 3 won't have that detached feeling to it. It didn't in the presentation, but then neither did Oblivion under similar circumstances.
Fallout 3 is scheduled to appear in stores in the fall of 2008. As always, expect this date to change once we get closer to something resembling a beta build. What I've seen of the game at the show here, it looked pretty complete and functional – certainly a sign that Bethesda knows what they're doing.GAMING NEXUXhttp://www.gamingnex...FullNews&I=5107
Bethesda Software had a tremendous showing of Fallout 3 and we were privileged to check out the 45 min demo of the game. While the game's still a year away, Fallout 3 looked really polished and exhibited the style from the first two. A lot of the art and music will be familiar to Fallout fans so don't fear as the property is in good hands. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. are the seven stats that determine your characters traits while there's the usual abilities available as well. When you create your character your father, voiced by the great Liam Neeson, will look different depending on the look of your character.
The game has you starting out being born and lets you experience key events in your life until adulthood. We were shown the main character leaving Vault 101 for the first time and entered the city of Megaton. The city is built around an undetonated nuclear bomb and it's here where you can have a few options for missions. You could help the mayor and defuse the bomb but the path we saw was an NPC asking you to detonate Megaton and wipe out the town from the face of the Earth. Even when you get the item to set the bomb to explode you have the choice of turning the guy in that hired you. Fallout 3 is about choices and Bethesda offers plenty to choose from.
Action takes place in real time but you can pause the game and queue up action by using points. This feature retains some of the aspect of the original two games and lets you plan out where you want to attack an enemy without having to frantically select the spots to hit. From the demonstration, I like how the system works and think it'll be a nice feature that will appease old fans. You won't need to be a great action gamer to succeed in Fallout 3 combat.
You can play from the first person view or float the camera around to a position of your liking. The demonstration even went old school as the camera was moved far away and at an isometric view. So you don't always have to play in first person mode if you don't want to.
All weapons have a state about them so some can be in better shape than others. If you pick up the same weapon you can break one down to some smaller parts which fit easier into your inventory and also take those parts to fix other guns in your arsenal. The demo had a gun that was firing a pretty spread out pattern but fixing it with parts from another gun generated a tighter concentration of bullets.
Graphically, the game's a feast for the eyes as the modified Oblivion engine never looked so good. When you first walk out the world is in such a harsh shape from all nuclear fallout. The designers did a really great job at modeling a desolate world with highly detailed textures and top notch architecture. So much little detail in what I saw made the world come alive. One impressive effect was the passing of some sand and dirt in the wind as you looked around. The mutants exhibit great detail as well with some very nice motion capture. Havok is working overtime here generating dynamic movement. All objects were thoughtfuly designed and Bethesda tried to think of why a button would be in a certain place or a gauge was in a certain place. They really gave a lot of attention to detail in designing not only the landscape but the objects in the world. The game just oozes style and the artists at Bethesda should be commended for creating such a highly detailed world.
In reality there are so many things we saw about the game that I could go on and on about Fallout 3. Suffice to say the game's going to be huge and it's going to be a long year wait for the game to come out. Fallout 3's a long time coming and it looks like fans of the first two will be happy at what Bethesda is doing for the third game.TEAM XBOXhttp://previews.team...0/Fallout-3/p1/
When last we saw Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout 3, we were sitting in their studios’ impressive theater, viewing the game for the very first time. After the company obtained the rights to create a new game in the post-apocalyptic role-playing series, hardcore fans wondered if the development team could recreate the near-perfect combination of writing, RPG mechanics, and combat that made the original game such a hit. Although the critical response to the new game was overwhelmingly positive after the first showing, old school fans on the Fallout forums and message boards weren’t convinced. Well fans, I was given a second chance to see the game in action again earlier today, and I’m happy to say that I was even more impressed than I was the first time I saw it.
The game kicked off with an extended version of the trailer that hit the web a while ago, during which Ron Perlman declared, “War. War never changes.” He then proceeds to narrate the backstory, which details the nuclear war that ravages the world. He explains that humanity had taken shelter in massive underground vaults, and that Vault 101 was the only one that remained locked. It’s where your character was born, and it’s where he’s supposed to die. You’ll spend the early part of your life in the Vault, and it’s where you’ll learn that skills that will (hopefully) keep you alive when you finally venture into the wasteland.
When in the vault, you’ll obtain the wrist-mounted PipBoy computer that you’ll use throughout the game to do everything from checking your attributes to changing your gear. Your core attributes are set when you’re a year old, when you’ll find out that you’re S.P.E.C.I.A.L. This acronym stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck, each of which is given a numerical rating depending on the choices you make. You’ll also have to answer plenty of questions on the General Occupation Aptitude Test (or G.O.A.T.), which will determine your ratings in 21 core skills, including Big Guns, Repair, Speak, Science, Medicine, and Throwing,
Once you finally leave the vault’s protective confines, you’ll be thrust right into the action. The combat in the game is best described as first-person shooting, but it’s much, much deeper than your standard shooter. Since bullets are at a premium in most post-apocalyptic wastelands, trying to run and gun your way through the game is a pretty bad idea. Instead, you can use V.A.T.S. (VaulTec Assissted Targeting System) to pause the action and queue up your targets. You can target individual body parts, and you’ll be told how likely you are to hit them. It’s a great system, offering a much deeper experience than your standard shooter.
One of the things that most impressed us about Fallout 3 is the writing and overall tone of the game, which puts the player in what someone from the 1950’s might imagine is the future. The design is excellent, featuring a retro-futuristic aesthetic that could best be described as the bastard child of The Jetsons and Mad Max. I mean, the fact that shooting the fusion reactor in a car that looks like a Studebaker will cause a miniature nuclear explosion speaks volumes about the artists.
There’s a lot to like in Fallout 3, as it offers one of the most unique experiences we’ve seen in a video game. Although some people wonder if it’s just going to be Oblivion with guns, we’re happy to report that the game also features plenty of over-the-top gore, profanity, and laugh-out-loud funny dialogue. We can’t wait to get our hands on the game in the coming year (yes, it’s that far off and still looks amazing), as well as delve into some more of the game’s features. Check back often for updates!THE ESCAPISThttp://www.escapistm...-2007-Fallout-3
War never changes, but Fallout has.
This will undoubtedly upset a great many people. (Perhaps the same folks running our new layout through the ringer.) But it was inevitable.
It's been a decade since the original Fallout was released, and so much has changed about gaming, and games, that a new Fallout made like the originals would be largely unplayable, and deeply disappointing. And before you start saying "Van Buren" remember that that game, too, was made almost ten years ago. It would not be the same game today.
We asked Bethesda's Pete Hines what he thought about the departures his company has made from the original formula, and if they'd sought the input of any of the original developers.
"At this point, I've worked on this game as long as anyone who's made any Fallout game," he replied. Admitting that, while it might be desirable to receive a "blessing" of sorts from the creators of the series (as opposed to simply buying the license and running with it), at the end of the day, as creators, they felt they needed to own their own creation, even if it is based entirely in someone else's world. And make no mistake, Fallout 3 is quite firmly rooted in the world created in the first two games.
Set two hundred years after a nuclear war devastated the Earth, Fallout 3 puts you in the shoes of one of the descendants of a brave, careful few who hid themselves away from the nuclear terror in a communal fallout shelter called a vault. But unlike the vaults portrayed in Fallout 1 & 2, this one is on the East Coast of the United States, and has remained completely sealed for two centuries. No one has come in, no one has gone out. ("You're born in the vault, you die in the vault.") Until your father, a prominent vault citizen, mysteriously vanishes, and you have to leave the vault to find him.
Part of the intro movie for Bethesda's Fallout 3 made it out onto the net several weeks ago. Their presentation at E3 today revealed the rest. And yes, the entire thing was narrated by Ron Perlman, and yes, he said "War never changes" (the tagline from the original) at least twice.
After we watched the movie, Bethesda Executive Producer, Todd Howard, played through about 45 minutes of the game, revealing a number of weapons, demonstrating the various control schemes and making a lot of things go BOOM.
For starters, fans of the original games need to know this: much of what you loved about Fallout is in there. The Pip-Boy has been faithfully updated, as has much of the character stat system, and the turn-based aiming mechanic. While the combat in Fallout 3 is not turn-based, you can enter the VATS system to target individual body parts of your opponent, and allocate action points, then watch as your character cinematically executes the attacks, often triggering explosions of gore.
The look (the vault is surprisingly familiar), feel (guns, ammunition and violence all have the same "grit" as before) and humor (Mr. Handy calls you a stupid git behind your back) of the Fallout world has survived, been updated and made new. Although the new game is in 3D, and features a first-person perspective, it's still Fallout. It's the same world. It is new, but the same. I can't say this enough. Change, in this case is good.
Still, to the chagrin of some, it is, in fact, much like Oblivion meets Fallout. It is first person, NPCs do feel more like Bethesda NPCs than Black Isle NPCs (although the dialogue options are still hilarious and wonderful) and the world feels much more malleable. In Fallout, one always felt as if the world was what it was, and you would live or die without making much of a difference. War, after all, never changes. You could stomp out the bad guys if you wanted, but that would leave only a gaping hole, not rejuvenate the world.
I get the feeling from this demo that Bethesda's Fallout will feature much more quest feedback, and perhaps offer the chance to change, if not war, then perhaps a few lives. And although this lessens the sense of alienation and isolation, that isolation may not have been entirely planned to begin with. After all, a lot of PC games from that era felt "isolated" merely because they were. The technology didn't yet exist to create living, breathing worlds. Bethesda's improved radiant A.I. and unparalleled world-building expertise have combined to create a much more immersive experience, and while not exactly the Fallout you remember, is still Fallout.
While it's impossible to say whether or not the finished game will please all fans of the series (or even newcomers) based on a staged 45 minute demonstration, I went into the presentation expecting to be at least a little disappointed, but I was not. The degree to which the Bethesda team remained faithful to the word of Fallout is staggering, as is the level of detail and ... there's no other word for it ... "love" put into the game.
This is another one I'll definitely be picking up (in Fall 2008), and it will go right up on the shelf beside my original copies of the first two games. Right to the left of the space where Van Buren would have goneRPGFANhttp://www.rpgfan.co.../2007/1219.html
Fallout is a series that remains dear to many, many PC RPG fans worldwide. Despite the fact that the last two titles, Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel were not quite as well received, Fallout and Fallout 2 remain perennial favorites. Many were wary when Bethesda Softworks took the reins on the newest Fallout title. After all, how could some guys who had worked mainly on a fantasy-oriented series capture not only Fallout’s wonderful gameplay, but its post-apocalyptic flair? With Bethesda’s early demo at E3 2007, one thing is clear: while it is far from a carbon copy of the first two titles, the franchise is in safe hands. Todd Howard, one of the brains behind Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls series and executive producer of Fallout 3, took us through an hour of their Fall 2008 release, and we couldn’t have been more impressed.
Fallout 3 begins in Vault 101, one of the iconic vaults of the series, located in the Washington DC area, not far from Bethesda’s own headquarters. Unlike Vault 13, out of which the main character in Fallout 1 was sent to find a replacement water chip, the main character leaves Vault 101 against orders. After all, the Overseer says that when one is born in the Vault, they’ll die in the Vault. As the main character ventures out to find his father, however, he becomes only the second to venture out. Interestingly enough, the player’s father will resemble the character, whose features are set in the first hour of the game.
Character creation can be done either via character sheeting – the easiest way to twink for veteran RPG fans – or by following quests in the first hour of the Vault, as the main character advances from birth to age nineteen. Characters will gain statistics through the SPECIAL system that Fallout fans are familiar with, setting perks and flaws, and gaining key abilities. One thing players will notice is that Bethesda has painstakingly re-created the 2D Vaults from earlier titles in full 3D. There’s detail in everything, from the knobs on devices to the PipBoy 3000, which looks absolutely amazing.
Not only is the Vault created with care, but all of the graphics found within Fallout 3 are as well. Once emerging from Vault 101, players are introduced to a world ripped to shreds, with the futuristic world portrayed in the 1950s given a grisly makeover. All of it is rendered in real time and looks absolutely amazing. Bethesda has created environments that can be changed on the fly, so not only does the devastation look amazing, but all of the damaged caused on the fly looks absolutely real. Now, environments looking fantastic in a Bethesda game aren’t exactly new: both Morrowind and Oblivion had fantastical environments, though the characters themselves looked a bit off; not so in Fallout 3. Characters look just as good as they do in any other top-tier game, if not better. Fans of Bloody Mess shouldn’t worry, either, as enemies in Fallout 3 fall apart just fine.
Graphics aren’t everything, but Fallout 3 seems to have nailed a new style of gameplay that varies greatly from the original titles, yet remains faithful at the same time. Players who want to play in real time, like the battle system seen in Oblivion, are welcome to do so. However, those who want to spend their AP can do so using the VATS system – the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. Players will hit the right bumper button, or equivalent button on PS3 or PC, and be introduced to a menu similar to the aimed shots from earlier titles. While there didn’t seem to be an option to shoot enemies in the groin, Bethesda did add a feature where weapons can be attacked and damaged (though the Vault Dweller should beware, as his own weapons can be damaged in the exact same way).
Enemies are incredibly intelligent in Fallout 3. Very early on, we saw a super mutant attempt to flank Todd Howard’s character, though the super-statistics of his demo character allowed him to easily take down the underground foe. Players will be able to use a wide variety of weapons, from a .22 hunting rifle seen at the beginning of the game to a hand-held nuclear catapult called the Fat Man. Combat is very tactical and players must balance risk versus reward. Is it worth it to blow up that nuclear-powered car to take down a group of super mutants if you’re going to be bombarded with radiation because of it?
Combat’s not the only place where choices matter; Fallout 3 will use branching quest and speech trees, allowing players to make just about any choice they want. Early on, the Vault Dweller will encounter a town called Megaton, built around an un-detonated nuclear weapon. He can be hired on to detonate the weapon, or he can save the town. If he chooses to destroy it, the explosion can be seen, in real time, from miles away, where the detonation device is.
Risk versus Reward seems to be the theme in Fallout 3, not only inside the game, but Bethesda Softworks’ view of the game. While they remain true to Black Isle’s vision of a post-apocalyptic world, they are making their own, brand new game. It may not be the hex-based combat that the ultra-hardcore are looking for, but Fallout 3 is on track to be one of the most fantastic games of 2008. Good Work, Bethesda. Good Work.GAMERSINFOhttp://www.gamersinf...07/12/fallout_3
I’ve got to warn you - Fallout 3 isn’t coming until fall 2008.
So, you’ve got a lot of time to get excited about it.
Here at E3, Bethesda took us through an approximately 45-minute demonstration of some of the beginning parts of Fallout 3. Some things that they pointed out, I’d like to note up front:
No, it’s not isometric. The default viewpoint for the game is first person, because they believe that’s the way to make it the most immersive. However, you can play in third person, effectively, and you can pull the camera out quite a ways.
Bethesda wanted to capture the feel of the original Fallout game. They did a lot of work to recreate Vault 101, while expanding on it and making it live and breathe. While the first Fallout says “you’ve lived here all your life and now you’ve been kicked out,” in Fallout 3, you’ll actually go through some of the major points of your life - and then have to escape the Vault!
This is definitely a “rated M” game. It is extremely gory in parts, and there is lots of foul language.
For the demo, the character wasn’t created from scratch - instead, we joined in when he’s 16 and supposed to go take his G.O.A.T. test. This test will basically help set up your skills.
When you’re 1-year old, we were told, you have to read the book “You’re S.P.E.C.I.A.L.!” which will set up your stats. Such stats as luck, agility and strength will have a great bearing on the game and are hard to change once it starts. You have to make some hard decisions for a 1-year old!
But even before that, you’ll set what your character looks like. After customizing his (or her) look, the game uses that decision to make your father, a respected scientist in the Vault, look like you. Your father, by the way, is voiced by Liam Neeson, who reminds you that “you were born in the Vault, you die in the Vault.” Then he disappears (but that happens at 19, not 16 …)
So, we walked around. For the demo, we tried to lie to our father, but with only a 29 percent chance of succeeding, it was a failure, and he ordered us to go take the G.O.A.T. As we walked to the classroom, people would say hello or go about their business - we got to see some Vault greasers (stereotypical 1950s gang members) harassing a young woman, and we could’ve gotten involved with that if we wanted, interacting with the Radiant artificial intelligence. Instead, acting like we were 19 - when you leave the Vault - we headed out of the Vault.
Before leaving the Vault, we ran into a handyman-type robot who complimented the look of the overalls we wore - then insulted us after we left. It was quite funny.
Once outside, you see a wide open view of the world. There’s nothing out of bounds - you can go anywhere you want. The quest that you’re on will suggest that you go to a town called “Megaton” to look for your father.
Remember those greasers I mentioned? If you’re not familiar with Fallout, let me get you up to speed. Fallout 3 takes place approximately 200 years after a worldwide thermonuclear war wiped out civilization in 2077. The United States of 2077 bears more of a resemblance to a futuristic version of 1950s society than today’s. World War 2-esque recruiting posters and 1950s-esque advertising still dominate the landscape. The cars are all large and nuclear-powered.
Even looking at your Pip-Boy - the computer on your wrist that tells you your attributes, health, radiation count, equipment, basically all of the “game” information - has a ’50s feel to it. And speaking of the Pip-Boy - the developers like to point out that there are more pixel shaders on the Pip-Boy than they used in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. They wanted it to look perfect.
So, you wander the landscape. At a Red Rocket - a refueling station for those nuclear-powered cars - a few shots set an old car (a Chryslus Highwayman, if I remember the name correctly - each car will be identified to you when you look at it) on fire and blew it up in a mushroom cloud. Developers showed us how the system used to show all the destruction also allows the change in the scenery if you, for instance, shoot the scenery.
Then there were a few skirmishes with giant spiders.
Combat is something that a lot of people had questions about. In the original Fallout, it was turn-based using a system called “VATS.” Now, you have a choice.
For instance, you have a targeting reticule. With your trusty .22 rifle in hand, you can take potshots at the spiders, with a chance of hitting a body part (such as a leg, to slow it down, or an antenna to try to make it go berserk and attack his friends). But if you’re not good at shooting like that, you can still use VATS.
Using VATS will cause time to pause, and you select what actions you want to take based on how many AP you have - action points, which regenerate at a rate determined by your agility - as well as the chance to hit certain parts of the creature. You can even set up multiple targets in VATS to switch back and forth.
A later battle against a super mutant showed us that. First, a couple of shots went into the leg of a mutant who was charging us with a super sledge. The next shots then went toward the head of a mutant with a Chinese assault rifle, blasting at us from a platform, and the last APs were used to reload.
Why use VATS if you’re good at shooting?
Well, for one, Bethesda doesn’t want this to be a shooter - they want it to be a role-playing game. They’re still ironing out the combat system, but your chances of doing something good - a critical hit, a hit to a body part - will be better using VATS. Also, even in “twitch” mode, your skill still affects your accuracy and damage with a weapon.
Plus, when using VATS, you get cinematic! Instead of being completely focused in the first person’s must shoot it out with mutant, you get a brief dramatic movie of your actions as you fight it out!
A great example of that came near the end of the demo - but I’ll save that for later.
After shooting it out with spiders, it was time for a visit to Megaton. Megaton is named that because it grew up around an atomic bomb that dropped but didn’t explode. There’s even a cult that worships said bomb.
As you walk into town, you’re first scanned by Deputy Weld, a robot sentry, who allows you entry. The town’s sheriff and mayor will talk to you, and you can play it cool or just act obnoxious. From there, you can explore the town, or do as we did - walk to the bar, meet a mysterious stranger who wants you to blow up the atomic bomb in Megaton, and agree to work with him.
We headed to the bomb, installed a device in it and then went to meet up with the stranger farther away. After all, you don’t want to be close when that goes off!
The best way to get there is Metro. Climbing into the tunnels led to a couple of battles with super mutants and later showed off the hacking system. Instead of fighting with two super mutants, we found a dormant security robot and hacked it.
Basically, hacking entails getting the right password. You’ll look at a scrambled file with a number of words in it. Each time you try a word, it’ll tell you how many letters were right in the word. STREP might go to TRACK which might go to AWAIT, for instance. Get it right, and the ‘bot is yours - get it wrong, and you’ll get locked out.
In this case, the robot came out, didn’t know there’d been a war and so asked the super mutants for their tickets; when they didn’t show any, the robot killed them.
(I’m glad that Metro doesn’t actually have that!)
From there, we exited out into Chevy Chase.
Yes, the game is set around Washington, D.C. - after all, Bethesda is from those parts. (And so am I, so I dug that! I also noticed that the Metro logo was similar to the logo in real life, though the Metro’s design isn’t based off the real Metro.)
When we came out of the Metro, we were attacked again. Unlike Oblivion, enemies will be of set level when you encounter them and will stay at that level. Shooting up the hulk of a car, we dove into a personal fallout shelter to keep the radiation down when it blew up to take out some of the mutants.
You see, you don’t have to worry just about health in this game - you also have to worry about radiation. It’s all around, and you can get it from doing such things as blowing up nuclear-powered cars or even drinking contaminated water or food, such as the water we drank from a toilet bowl. (Pay attention to the water, too. For those of you that complained about the water in Oblivion, it’s much better here, with true reflection and refraction.)
Fortunately for us, the Brotherhood of Steel - armored and laser-armed guardians - happened to be around, and we met with them to make it safely to our objective. We fought through more mutants and arrived at the Galaxy News tower …
… just to be jumped by an enormous super mutant behemoth, wielding a mace made of concrete and a fire hydrant.
Our lasers didn’t do much to him, so we ran over, grabbed a Fat Boy - basically a nuclear rocket launcher - and took a pot shot at him. It missed.
Dodging his wild swings, it was back into VATS, and the cool scene I mentioned earlier.
The good thing about shooting, well, NUKES at a bad guy is that even if you miss, you can still hit. So, instead of shooting for his torso or head, it was his right leg that was the target. As one of our erstwhile comrades dodged out of the way of the rocket, blasting him with laser fire, the fat little nuke shot right … past … his … leg …
… and hit the ground behind him, going up in a huge mushroom cloud. Scratch one super mutant behemoth.
But while still in slow-motion, watching the carnage, bodies of our friends came flying past us, whipped and kicked up into the air by the huge blast. Uh, sorry guys.
It was a good way to show off the Havok physics engine, though.
From there, it was a quick walk to the top of the building, meet our mysterious friend and push the big red button. Scratch Megaton.
Those are the kind of situations you’re put into in Fallout 3. It’s a character-driven game with lots of hard choices of what to do - do you go “goodie goodie” or evil? Or just stay neutral? Every choice you make has consequences. But you’ve got a definite goal that you’re working toward - finding out what happened to your father - so always keep that in mind.RPG GAMER
Once the lights dimmed in Bethesda's makeshift theater in their downstairs suite, an image of a light burning into life appeared as the creaking sounds of a 1940s song warbled into the air. The camera began to pull back showing a broken up, beaten down jukebox that, it soon was revealed, was nestled in the midst of a ruined trailer. The camera continued to roll back until an entire blasted landscape was revealed -- the nuked ruins of a once proud city. The craggy voice of Hollywood veteran Ron Perlman slowly intoned about the unchanging nature of war and the fate humanity had condemned itself to. And this was our introduction to the heavily stylized, incredibly detailed world of Fallout 3.
Once the introduction concluded, Todd Howard, our guide through Fallout 3, began his playable demo. We were located in Vault 101, a sealed-off city deep underground where humans escaped to avoid the fallout of a nuclear war. While most of the vaults were opened long ago, 101 remained isolated. Todd explains that Bethesda put a lot of work into its character creation system, though we can't see the 19 year old hero just yet -- we appear in a lab/clinic with a first person perspective. This is because, our guide said, Bethesda feels that when you're trying to become fully immersed into a realistic roleplaying game, where the idea is to feel like you've become another person, first person is the best way to achieve this. It's not mandatory, though, as there is a third person over-the-shoulder camera view as well. He switched to this mode to show it off, and it seemed just as functional. Todd then moved a bit around the lab, showing off the immense detail of the room. He said that one of their goals was to study up on the stuff they were making, because there should be a point to all the dials, levers, and whatsits that appear on the mechanical devices. It's all about achieving a greater feeling of realism.
Once this acclimation is done, we move through a door into the protagonist's father's office. Now an even more recognizable voice pipes up: Liam Neeson's. He's talking to another individual, but once this is done, pops turns his attention to his son. He wants you to go take a test called G.O.A.T., which will assess your skills and abilities to determine best how you can contribute to the Vault's community once you're older. Naturally, as the father talks, his son has the option of responding with various different dialogue branches. At this point Todd describes a pretty interesting feature that ties into the character creation system. The protagonist's father's appearance is based off of whatever you design the protagonist to look like, only older.
We walked around the Vault a bit and took in the sights. As we moved through the underground community, we again came across a few points where the hero had different choices for how he'd act in a situation. It emphasized the extent to which the player will have the ability to shape the sort of man (or woman!) the character becomes. There was also a nice bit of humor at certain points. When we encountered a robot named Mr. Handy, a muttered comment had most of the audience laughing out loud.
Skipping ahead a bit, our guided tour of Fallout 3 was eventually led outside of the Vault into the Wasteland above. Particularly interesting was the first moment stepping outside. The glare was intense and blinding as slowly things came into focus, the hero's sight gradually adjusting to the blazing sun. Once the vision cleared, the wasted grandeur of the outside world was quite a sight. The vista laid out before us, Todd stressed, was all real, all explorable. And as our hero descended from the hill he found himself on, he stepped around a puddle that displayed just how far Bethesda's come in making lifelike water.
As we explored the Wasteland, it wasn't too long before we came across some enemies: giant ants. This was the first opportunity we got to see how combat played out. There were two modes available. The first seemed pretty reminiscent of first-person shooters. The game's cursor was moved overtop the enemies and the hero fired his gun. In the second mode, Todd brought up a targeting HUD that displayed different sections of the enemy's body (like arms, legs, torso, head). Each section had a health gauge and an attack success percentage. Attacking through this method seemed much more like a typical RPG setup and should be more comfortable with those leery of FPS games. However, it definitely seemed like a lot of work was put into both styles of attack, and later battles in the demo showed that there was a lot more to both of them. For instance, our hero got into a pretty intense shooting firefight later on in the midst of DC's ruins, and this involved lots of rapid running and gunning. Meanwhile, a battle in some old abandoned metro tunnels showed us how the targetting system could be used to strategically queue up successive attacks against multiple enemies, and another battle against some giant ants demonstrated how hitting their antennae could cause them to become frenzied and attack their own allies.
We also got a few in-depth looks at Fallout's status screen, which was very coolly integrated into the game itself in the form of a personalized armband computer system (the Pit-Boy 3000) the hero wears. Here the RPG nature of the game was even more on display -- we could see the hero's stats (which, we found out from Todd, are set by the player at the time of the hero's birth), his large list of skills (which increase as he levels up), items, and personal status. The hero was, like enemies, divided up into different body zones, each with their own hit gauge. Weapons had damage counters, too; a damaged weapon would perform more poorly in terms of damage per second. Later on, we saw how a weapon could be repaired by scalping parts from like-named weapons. The hero also had a rad counter which would increase as he became more exposed to radiation from the nuclear fallout. For example, one way to restore health is to drink water, but a lot of the water is still tainted by radiation poisoning. Drink too much, and it can have negative long-term consequences. The Pit-Boy could also be used to generate the game's background music by tuning into some of the remaining broadcasting radio stations, which will be filled with classic 1940s songs Bethesda has licensed, like a piece by Bing Crosby's less successful brother Bob.
Part of creating a realistic world is being able to interact with it, and a lot of that was demonstrated. Back in your father's lab, you could pick up a bobble head from his desk and drop it. The precise movements of the object are guided by the Havok physics engine. Out in the Wasteland, Todd showed us how he could shoot the road and create bullet holes. He also took aim at one of the nuclear-powered cars. A few hits were all it took to cause it to explode, leaving a ring of radiation in its wake. Moving in too close caused the rad counter to start creeping up. Though the first examples were just for show, and the latter seems like something downright dangerous, the ability to heavily interact with the environment can also be used to the player's advantage. Luring enemies into the radiation zone, or igniting such an explosion near them, would certainly make for strategic maneuvers.
The meat of the demo came once the hero arrived in the town of Megaton, so named because it was built in a crater created by a nuclear bomb that never detonated. The people of the town, we learned, had come to revere the bomb -- it was a sign that God was protecting them. We met the sheriff of Megaton, and again got a nice look at the player's ability to choose different courses of action. Want to be nice to the guy, become his friend? That's doable. You can also be rude, turn violent... it's all a matter of choice. It was interesting how the townspeople engaged in conversations with each other as we walked by them. There was just a natural sense of interaction and vocalization within the town. The highlight here, however, was definitely a mysterious individual named Mr. Burke who was sitting by himself at the bar. He had quite a proposition for our hero. Megaton, he said, was a blight, and he wanted to offer the hero a whole lot of money to place a device inside the bomb that would allow Burke to detonate it. In talking to Burke, we saw how the hero's talking skill count have an impact on the game. The hero could try to persuade Burke to offer up more money, or persuade him to drop his ambitions to destroy Megaton. Again, choice was paramount.
For the sake of seeing an interesting conclusion to the demo, Todd accepted Burke's offer. Down to the bomb we went, where a device was inserted into Megaton's nuke. Then Todd took us down into the metro tunnels beneath the wasteland. There were fights with armed mutants -- these guys were definitely several leagues above the ants we faced before, as they seemed smarter, utilized cover and range more effectively, and carried weapons of their own (melee as well as other types of guns). But the neatest part was when the hero wanted to activate a computer console to operate a robotic security guard. This was done by hacking into the computer, which involved bringing up a hex editor. The player could pick out select words intermingled amidst random characters. Selecting the right passcode would allow entry to the system. If the wrong word was picked, the hack told us how many characters in which positions were correct, so we could better deduce what the right password was. Todd told us that this system is randomized, so it's never going to be the same thing twice. Sorry, guys -- no cheating by heading over to GameFAQs.
After leaving the tunnels, we arrived in the heart of DC where we faced some more battles with the mutants. Here we were assisted by the the knightly Brotherhood of Steel, a militaristic order whose goals are to drive back the mutants and reclaim this territory for the humans. They were initially scornful of our hero's presence, telling him to keep back and out of the way so they could escort him to safety, but after a few serious battles, they were instead complimenting how handy he was with a portable nuke launcher. Yes, a portable nuke launcher -- that was certainly a nice thing to have around when it came time to take down a gigantic mutant behemoth that quite easily eviscerated a few of the Brothers.
Once this major fight was done, we worked our way up to the tower where Mr. Burke was waiting. All that was left was to turn a lever, and boom -- Megaton became a new explosive mushroom cloud on the horizon. It was awesome to see, and certainly ended the demo with a bang. Fallout 3, which is being developed simultaneously for the 360, the PS3, and the PC, is still a long way off. Bethesda's aiming for a fall 2008 release. But what was demoed for us today showed incredible promise and this is unquestionably a title that everyone should keep their eyes on.
TOD HOWARD en acción