Ever since Bethesda acquired Fallout 3, it has remained more or less in mystery. Cut to last month – a new trailer and some magazine scans reveal the successor to the famous Fallout line of video games.
For the uninitiated, Fallout is a post-apocalyptic RPG that achieved immense fame because of its innovations and its excellent and open-ended gameplay. Fallout 2 was even more popular and spin-offs followed it but Black Isle didn’t look at Fallout 3. The rights were sold to Bethesda, makers of the massively famous Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
To summarize a few facts, Fallout 3 will be set in post-apocalyptic United States and as the teaser proved, the atmosphere is in tune with previous Fallout games. You once again don the uniform of a vault-dweller, who has lived all his (or her) life in an underground ‘vault’ and then undertakes a major quest. The game will use a unique combat system, which can be described as a cross between first-person shooting and turn-based action (like in previous Fallout games).
Continue reading below for plenty of details.
Unlike previous Fallout games, the hero of Fallout 3 will spend a considerable amount of time inside the vault, so that the eventual departure is more dramatic. The vault uses the “retro-futuristic” look that is characteristic to the Fallout series. You can fully customize the vault-dweller at birth and you will define the character’s stats as he “grows up” inside the vault. The vault-dweller’s father will also play an important role in the story and his appearance will be similar to the vault-dwellers.
Combat in Fallout 3 is handled as a cross between Oblivion and Fallout. You will play in a first-person view (you can switch to third-person anytime) and when you engage in combat, your enemy will zoom in. At this point, you select where you wish to attack and such actions take up your Action Points (which, like before depend on your character’s agility). You regenerate your points slowly, but this means that combat is more economical and doesn’t involve button-mashing or quick reflexes.
An interesting addition is the concept of weapon damage. Your weapons will eventually wear out with time and you will have to repair and maintain them, to ensure their efficiency. You can even construct your own weapons with some tools and salvaged materials. One idea I liked is to fill a lunch box with bottle-caps and explosives to create a rudimentary shrapnel bomb. I’m gonna try it in school.
Even though Fallout 3 is based off Oblivion’s engine, it will be considerably different from Oblivion. The scale of the world is smaller and the number of NPCs smaller as well. But of course, the broken world will still be more expansive than those of most games. The environment is fine-tuned to match the ruined and destroyed atmosphere as well. One healthy addition is that every NPC will have a unique face. No more generic NPCs! Hurray!
Fallout 3 will be a very replayable game, because your character will be very specialized. A 20-level cap and the ability to commit your character to certain skills and the “perks” feature ensures that every (well, almost every) character is unique. Shooting and killing your way through enemies may not be the best course of action for a character with no skill in shooting. You can guess the possibilities.
The game as a whole is inspired off the first game in the series, not Fallout 2 which means that the stronger elements of Fallout 2 such as sex and prostitution will most likely be scrapped. There will be the same dark ironic humour of Fallout and no more Fallout 2 Monty Python jokes. There will also be several other elements that will add up to the game, such as a DJ informing news and possibly your exploits over the radio, or the Karma system, where you quests will have three possible outcomes – good, evil or grey. Sometimes choosing the right path may also get tricky!
Overall, Fallout 3 is looking to be a very promising game, despite several rumours of Bethesda turning it into an Oblivion clone. It would be best to keep our finger crossed and eagerly await what could be a RPG legend.