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News for Sunday, November 30, 2008

Posted by Per - at 19:22

It's the negativity edition, it seems.

GamesAreFun, 8/10.

Overall, though, Fallout 3 is a very enjoyable game that does live up to the name Fallout, no matter how vehemently the more vocal detractors decry it. The story, immensity of areas to explore and things to do, setting and feeling of desolation really do bring me back to the older Fallout games; even if some of the game play doesn’t.
WhatIfGaming.
Also previous Fallout players since Interplay days will ask themselves if this is a great game in general within the Fallout series? Not at all. In fact, the game is nothing related to Fallout other than pure coincidence of wasteland, the name, and our lovely helper Pipboy with our perks. While we understand many ignorant people out there will jump out of their chairs to defend this new game by a new well respected developer, it’s just sadly at a loss of serious identity in terms of being a series and moreover a good game in its own respect.

Fallout 3 is a solid RPG that offers a large amount of replay value and entertainment. It delivers fantastic combat system, a believable environment, and a great set of perks that never get boring. The deviation from the actual series and a large number of errors sadly degrade the gameplay value a lot and make Fallout 3 just an OK RPG in the end.
GameBoomers, B-.
Considering that the game starts about as close to the beginning of the protagonist’s life as one can get, character development is minimal. In truth, I could summarize the main character’s interaction with the world in a single sentence, but that would give away a major portion of the plot. This is a symptom of the real failing of the game -- lack of depth.
Teckitech, 9/10.
You can pretty much do anything you want from now on, although you have many main quests. You can kill friends, foes, people who help you, however you cannot kill children. They are quite unpleasant later on in the game.
Blog of War.
Overall, the “wander around and explore” RPG part of Fallout 3 is quite enjoyable, even great. Only Morrowind is better in this regard, I feel, and it even beats MW in some regards.

What Fallout 3 fails utterly at is the story portion of the RPG experience. Undeniably the weakest part of the game, the story and dialogue fluctuates between acceptably mediocre to horrible, clumsy. And, sadly, this malaise seems to cluster around the main quest.
British Computer Society, 83%.
Unfortunately, exploration often does not reap rewards in the early stages. The first outpost you get to is quite well signposted and there are a few mini missions to undertake but, like in the vault, characters are wooden and dull and there's no sense of atmosphere. It soon becomes very tempting to wander off to find your own fun.

With dogged persistence, Fallout 3 genuinely does improve from its frustrating beginnings but it never quite delivers on what it could have been. While it is unquestionably deep and highly ambitious, it seems Bethesda overlooked a few qualities like character, atmosphere and, above all, simple fun.
The League of Paul blog, 4.5/5.
Bottom line? If you like RPG's, get it. If you like shooters, get it. If you like a good story, get it.
PC för Alla, 7/10.
What you encounter in your search for your dad is a ruined and abandoned world where living beings are the exception. The problem in Fallout 3 is that it's a little too barren. Sure, a future post-apocalyptic world should be empty and broken-down, but what developers Bethesda have failed to do is create the right desolate ambience, so to speak. The world simply feels a little too flat, shallow and prop-like.

This impression is reinforced when you eventually run into other survivors. Not only are they pretty shoddily animated and the work of the voice actors is decidedly inferior, they also have a tendency to repeat themselves too much. The illusion of moving through a real (if future) world is in other words broken pretty quickly.
Shave-Reviews blog, 8/10.
I’m not the biggest fan of the fighting system, but then again, the last games I played were Resistance 2, Gears of War 2 and Fable 2, I’m probably a bit jaded and, uh, ‘used to’ ripping shit up (for lack of a better term). You have the choice of either running-and-gunning - I wouldn’t recommend it - or using their super-awesome targeting system that I can’t remember the name of! Let’s put it this way… it sucks as a shooter but is way cooler than any RPG turn-based crap I’ve ever seen before. Take it for what it is.
Thunderbolt Games, second review, 9/10.
As a game, Fallout 3 is a success. Bethesda has improved on the Oblivion formula and has, for the most part, reworked the engine in a way that suits the Fallout name. However, there are a few things that will annoy diehards. The combat tends to throw character traits out the window or play the game for you, and the atmosphere has definitely taken a turn for the heavier, rather than the sarcastic and self-referential humor of the other games. Still, a happy medium seems to have been struck. Fallout 3 is a big game that is worth sinking your teeth into, even if you have to close your eyes and hum every time you're reminded it's called Fallout.

News for Saturday, November 29, 2008

Posted by Lexx - at 23:07

About the FOnline second open test.

It will run in a similar format to the First open testing.
A new section has opened on the forums, which is completely dedicated to the open test. You can post your feedback here: Second open test.

There is a special subforum for non-Russian-speaking visitors: International.

The duration of the open test will vary from one to three weeks, depending on the circumstances.

Link to the client: http://fonline.ru/foclient.zip
Size of the archive: 37.7 Mb

Archive includes:
- FOnline.exe (executable game file);
- FOnlineDx9.exe (+d3dx9_38.dll, as above, but the renderer will use Direct3D9. This version will also have no (still not corrected in FOnline.exe) errors concerning incorrect scrolling of the window when in fullscreen mode);
- Mapper.exe (+Mapper_ReadMe.txt, the program used for the creation of maps in the game, which you can use to get familiar with the basics. There are also two maps, map1 and map2, in the archive);
- Manual_Ru.pdf (game manual in Russian language (recommended to be read before playing));
- Manual_En.doc (this manual is in the English language. Unfortunately, this is an older version. Check the end of the document for some important remarks);
- New music tracks;
- Animation for children (some localized game versions do not have them);
- Other misc files.

If while connecting you encounter the error: "Wrong version of net protocol.", then visit the main page and look for a patch. You should then download it and unpack into the client folder.

Setting up the client:
Unpack the archive anywhere on your hard-drive.
Start up FOConfig.exe. Select English language. Set the paths to the master.dat and critter.dat files in it (or you can just copy them to the folder where you unpacked the client). Also look through the other settings (if you have any questions about the other options, have a look into the FOnline.cfg file where you can find some short descriptions).
Copy the content of the "Fallout2\data\sound\music\" from the original Fallout into the "FOnline\data\sound\music\" folder. If you don't do that then you'll have no original music in the game.
You can also enter an address to a game server there. The address entered in settings by default could be changed, or new servers could be added.
Start up FOnline.exe or FOnlineDx9.exe.
You can read the rest in the game manual that is found in the client folder. If you still have any questions on setting up and initializing the client ask them here: Installing and running the client.

To make the test more interesting, a game has been invented: Holding the Base. The essence of the game is the following:
There are three bases: Sierra, Mariposa, and the Cathedral. On each location you can find a terminal on the last leve
l, with which you can submit ownership of the base to one of the following organizations: the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave.
Once submitted, they will ship different items (arms, armor, ammunition, spares... etc.) to the entrance of these buildings every in-game day (note that in-game time has increased by 12). Only the player who has activated the base can permit admission to this stuff.
There is statistics screen (Pip-boy -> Status -> Statistics) where all following parameters are shown:
- Current owner of the base.
- Best owner of the base (the one who kept the base longest).
- Allegiance of the base (to what organization it belongs).
- The preference of the base (to what organization it has been submitted more often).
I hope this game will enrich your gameplay.

Some important notes:
About the resolution of game window: The window can have an arbitrary size ranging from 640 to 1280 px in width, and 480 to 1024 in height. The maximal limits were set up due to map size adjustments.
When starting up the game you will have a radio in your inventory. You can read in the manual how to use it.
Do not forget about F1. Pressing this key in game will display a list of hotkeys and other useful commands.
Remember that all items left in encounters are completely remooved from a game it when you leave an encounter. Store your stuff in a Hubbologists banks.
Do not forget to fill your repliction bill in time. To provide yourself not to go to the special replication point for debtors.
There is a list of player achievements added to the Pip-Boy.
At present time, music adds 30-40 superfluous megabytes to the operative memory. So if you have a shortage of RAM or several seconds are critical to you then we suggest that you turn the music off (you can leave sounds effects though).

For those who a desire to help with the project completion (on a free basis), read the following thread: Financial support to the project.

To discuss the game in realtime, we welcome you to our IRC channel: #fonline, on the server: irc.forestnet.org.
Server list here,

Posted by Per - at 22:42

GameGirl.

This game incoorperates some of the best debates, the best books, the best movies ever witnessed. It's very Ayn Rand, even moreso than Bioshock. But what got me, what still has me, is the final decision to be made.

As the ending scene rolled, I felt like giving a standing ovation, as I have never played a game as amazing as this.
Invader Gamer blog, 2/5.
It may sound like I’m saying a lot of bad things about Fallout - but I guess my experience with the game didn’t match up to the hype that it was given. The beginning was terribly frustrating until I got to the part where I blew up the town then it got real fun for me, but later I found myself forced into a storyline that involved helping people out when I just wanted to play a jackass just looking to help myself out. It also didn’t help that the game had crashed twice for me.

By the time I stopped playing I had hit the spot that many people hit with MMORPGs - you just feel like you’re doing the same thing over again.
Best Digital Products.
Fallout 3 is an excellent First-Person Post-Apocalyptic Action Game.Older fans may be extremely disappointed with the changes that have occurred to the series since Fallout 2, and may want to avoid this game if they are looking for a direct update. New players, however, will greatly enjoy the game if they liked Bethesda’s previous game, Oblivion, or if they had fun with 2K Game’s Bioshock. In my view, Fallout 3 is definitely worth playing - it just isn’t the Fallout fans of the franchise might be expecting.
Hardcore Christian Gamer.
It’s these small incidental quests and moments that make up the best parts of the game. The main story line has some cool moments and settings, but overall is fairly disappointing. I didn’t care about any of the characters, and what should have been some of the most powerful and emotional moments were simply glossed over and pushed aside to get to the next plot point. The most rewarding parts of the game are when you enter an abandoned ruined house and piece together the events that went on in there simply by the placement of objects around the room.
Armchair everything blog, 9/10.
I do have complaints. As I previously mentioned, you’re restricted in only having cosmetic customization for your character. Your starting point is fixed, and the main quest is far too narrow. It would have been terrific if you could have chosen to play as a Ghoul, or a memeber of the Brotherhood of Steel. Or to have started outside of the Vault, in say Megaton or Rivet City or Underworld. How cool would it be to play as a Ghoul, and have raditation exposure heal you rather than hurt you?

If Bethesda builds on Fallout 3, and takes some more of the game play form Oblivion, for Fallout 4, that will be an incredible game.
Total Sci Fi, 10/10.
Much of Fallout 3 relies on surprise and shock. Like a movie, the plot is built on twists and turns, which are beautifully integrated into the game. Its only real flaw is that it’s so immersive and all encompassing that other games, and possibly real life, will be secondary considerations!
Yummy Cake blog, 94/100.
Anyway, as for the actuall combat system, its pretty klunky for a shooter, however, you will hardly be run-and-guning, as the V.A.T.S system is insanely fun, and after 55+ hours of me playing it, it never gets old. Although it is a bit confusing some times when if you shoot the guy in the leg, his head and both arms explode too.
PAL Gaming Network, 9.
Fallout 3 is a more-than-worthy successor in the illustrious Fallout series. There are few games which provide the level of immersion seen here, and the amount of time and effort which has gone into creating a believable, yet oddball, post-apocalyptic wasteland is astonishing. The game hasn't fallen too far from the Oblivion tree, which is not a bad thing at all.
Edge, 7/10.
The writing isn’t quite as consistent as the ideas that underpin it, however, and though dialogue trees rarely collapse into total logical failure, they do sometimes assume knowledge the player has yet to gain, and often have an unreal quality to them – as if human emotions had been explained to the writer secondhand.

These substantial boons aside, however, Bethesda treads water in most other areas of obvious improvement, and Fallout 3 is disappointing in its lack of finesse. But then submersion in this world means that you quickly look past the many frustrations – the uncanny NPCs, the occasional broken quest, the ill-conceived interface, the dozy voice-acting. It’s a game that rewards the long-haul with deep, inventive missions which eschew the usual fetch and kill structure, ensuring that the many hours spent in Fallout 3’s wasteland aren’t wasted.

News for Thursday, November 27, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 14:58

We have been steadily chipping away at Fallout 3 info, so here's another update...

zazoum's interactive map has been updated to 1.6 and now contains such handy little bits as a search function and a list of all locations for a number of skill books and other items. The location list has been updated to list all Fat Man, Mini Nuke and Behemoth locations.

We have added a quest guide, consisting of main quests (including ending configurations), optional quests and freeform quests, freeform quests being interesting mini-tasks not listed on your PipBoy.

We've updated the item guide to include pages on armor, skill books, chems and food 'n drink. Thanks again Makagulfazel for most of the item guide.

I think that's pretty much it on the Fallout 3 info front; we now have a guide to followers, items, quests, maps and some miscellaneous extra tidbits of info. We'll possibly add a bestiary and if anyone has requests or comments feel free.

Posted by Grave461 - at 6:37

With apologies for the peripheral interest nature of this post, but this is simply too much fun not to post...



Link: Fallout 3 - Wasteland Dancin'

Posted by Per - at 0:03

FEARNet.

It’s here at your second “birth” that Fallout 3 takes all of the concerns of the naysayers who bemoaned the franchise’s changes, from an overhead turn-based system to a first-person semi-real-time setup, and throws them to the wind. Leaving behind the cramped corridors of Vault 101 and seeing your first sun-baked glimpses of a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. ranks up there with the best game experiences of the year. The new franchise holders at Bethesda may have changed the formula, but their approach (dubbed “Oblivion with guns” by the aforementioned naysayers) works beautifully.

Fallout 3 is like meeting up with your high-school girlfriend all over again, but her acne’s cleared up and she’s lost the braces. It’s fresh and familiar, and with at least 100 hours of gameplay, it’s one hell of a value for 60 bucks. To quote Ron Perlman in his opening monologue “War never changes.” Fallout 3 has, however, and it’s better for it.
Bobby Anguelov's Blog.
Fallout 3 is simply oblivion with a skin, the shitty empty villages are there, the pointless dungeon crawls and fetch quests are there. Its a silly hack and slash with practically no character customization, everything that made the original fallouts what they were is gone. This is a glorified fallout tactics, a dumbed down, watered down attempt at the greatness of the first games. It is a failure as an RPG, but as an action hack and slash it isnt so bad, but thats not fallout, fallout wasnt a hack and slash. Fallout3 is what icewind dale was to baldurs gate.
The Northwestern.
If you’ve played 2006 Game of the Year “The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion,” you’ve already played 2008’s most anticipated game, “Fallout 3.” That’s because all-star developer Bethesda Softworks crafted “Fallout 3” off of its “Oblivion” engine, so the two largely play and look the same.

Truth be told, I’ve been counting down the days to the release of “Fallout 3.” It’s based on two cult-classic 1990s PC titles. “Oblivion” is one of my favorite games of all time, and the story is brilliant.

“Mass Effect” character interaction is far better and more complex. In that epic, your character actually speaks, whereas here you just choose among various text options.
Australian Gamer.
Fallout 3 also has a really good story, and unlike the shoddy “rinse and repeat” main quest from Oblivion, the Fallout 3 main story arc is a genuinely good story.

Fallout 3 is a great game, not just because it looks nice or because it plays well, but because it has a great story. Fallout 3 is, for the most part, an immersive and enjoyable experience. If it weren’t for the stunning array of bugs, it’d be in my top 1 or 2 games for the year. Unfortunately for me, like most RPGs, it takes more time to play than I really have available to play.
Snappy Gamer, 5/5.
Fallout 3’s world is densely packed with compelling reasons to revisit past locations again and again, and full of more amusing surprises with each new location you discover. In our replay we found it to be a very different experience, offering up many intriguing new possibilities. This may well be the only RPG you’ll ever need.

As a role-playing experience, there’s more than enough for hardcore fans to be appeased, but there’s a surprisingly rich tactical shooter in here too.
Teabag Gaming blog, 8/10.
For such a huge RPG, Bethesda really needed to nail the gameplay if Fallout 3 was to be a success. The game plays out pretty much the same as Oblivion in terms of movement and combat with the exceptions of using guns and batons instead of bows and sword. Fallout 3 is completely played out in real time, the combat, and the exploration, making it a more comfortable game to adjust to for eastern gamers, and fans of first person shooters.

Despite being overshadowed by the huge success of Bethesda’s monster hit, Fallout 3 has shone through, despite borrowing a vast number of features from Oblivion. It may lack the splendour that came with the lush plains and rolling hills of Cyrodil’s landscape, but the Capitol Wasteland is a unique world of its own.
GameFans Network, 8/10.
As mentioned, be sure to explore the game and what is has to offer. A great thing about games like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls is that they are made for you to explore, yes there is a main story line, yes you don’t have to worry about all those little extra side quests; but you should! Wondering off in to the wild and not having a care in the world apart from beating that ugly 2 headed cow heading towards you it was makes Fallout 3 a great game.
the-crypt.info.
The seven year interregnum between the last game in the series and this episode has given the developer the opportunity to immerse the player within the Fallout universe in a way none of the previous games could manage. The original isometric portrayal of Fallout 1 and 2 was a result of the limitations of the technology of the day and smaller development teams than any perceived need to render the game in such a viewpoint. Instead of sticking to this recipe, Bethesda have used their previous experiences with the Gamebyro engine (Morrowind and Oblivion) to render the dark and twisted wastelands from both first and third person perspectives; the results of this revision are truly spectacular.

Surfing the boards, forums and wiki’s on the net also reveals a mind-blowing number of quest bugs, game freezes and a number of NPC behavioural issues that would have a crack team of Social Workers and Psychologists working overtime until next Christmas. It would seem that Fallout 3’s post-release team will have quite a bit of work to do with patches and updates over the coming months.

This is the world of Fallout at its immaculate best.
Zo Knows Gaming blog, 3.0/5.0.
I did like the ability to talk to a lot of the characters and build relationships with them and I also liked the karma system that went up or down based on your actions which in turn affected who NPC’s reacted to you. In the end, the game does get a little more interesting as you play through, but it is not sufficiently engaging to even make you want to play that far.
Leeds Guide.
We've barely scratched the surface here, but suffice to say Fallout 3 has devoured our free time like an irradiated rat. It's visceral, engrossing, intimidating in scope and coherent in design, and brilliantly it delivers an experience which is decidedly unsettling - grim, fearsome, amoral - and yet deeply good fun. We can't think of a finer way to package the apocalypse.

News for Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 11:24

Going with peripheral news here. First, Final Fantasy dev Yusuke Naora expresses his bafflement at Fallout 3's success and the existence of the term jRPG (thanks Ausir).

The tremendous success of Fallout 3 seems to have made a particularly profound impact on Naora. "When we make a game that sells two million copies, that's always seemed like a tremendous success for us," he says. "But now we hear about Fallout 3 selling four million in just a few weeks, and it really surprises us. This is a game that doesn't even look like what we in Japan consider an 'RPG,' yet it's incredibly popular."

"Until about a year ago, we'd never even heard the term 'J-RPG' to distinguish our RPGs from Western games," he admits. Now he seems determined to sort out the defining differences between the two schools of RPG design. Does it mean stronger female characters? A first-person perspective? More realism?
With all due respect to an industry veteran, one can only speculate on how touch he is with non-Asian markets if he does not even know the term jRPG.

Back in comic-land, Shamus Young, known for his commentaries, comedic brilliance and seasickness while reading NMA has made Fallout 3 a featured game for his screenshot-cap webcomic Stolen Pixels, highlighting on such things as dialogue and the tendency to "dumb down" PC franchises for console (and the "special" nature of the Fallout "debate").

News for Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Posted by MrBumble - at 16:20

Editor to be Available in December; Downloadable Content coming for January, February, and March

November 25, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced plans to make both its editor and downloadable content available for its award-winning game, Fallout® 3 in the coming weeks. The official editor for Fallout 3, called the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit), will be available for free download in December and will allow Games for Windows® users to create and add their own content to the game. In addition, the first official downloadable content, Operation: Anchorage, will be available exclusively for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Games for Windows® in January, and more downloadable content coming in February and March.

“We’ve always seen the original world of Fallout 3 as a foundation for even more content. Some created by us, and a lot more created by users,” said Todd Howard, game director for Fallout 3. “It’s fun to create your own character, but it can be equally fun to create your own adventures. We can’t wait to see what the community does with the G.E.C.K.”

The release of the G.E.C.K. provides the community with tools that will allow players to expand the game any way they wish. Users can create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons, creatures, and more.

Three downloadable content packs will be coming to Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live starting in January that will add new quests, items, and content to Fallout 3.

Operation: Anchorage. Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action-packed battle scheduled for release in January.
The Pitt. Journey to the industrial raider town called The Pitt, located in the remains of Pittsburgh. Choose your side. Scheduled for release in February.
Broken Steel. Join the ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel and rid the Capital Wasteland of the Enclave remnants once and for all. Continues the adventure past the main quest. Scheduled for release in March.


The entire press release is to be found here

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 5:04

A group of composers has begun work on a project to make a Fallout 3 soundtrack that is more true to the spirit of the ealier Fallout titles. In only a week of accepting submissions they've already got three artists on their roster and with the attention they'll hopefully recieve here they can get many more.

If you are a budding musician and think you've made some good tracks why not join up with them? If not you can also go and sample some of the music yourself.

Fallout 3 Alternative Soundtrack Forum.

Posted by The Vault Dweller - at 4:56

Mark Morgan the music composer for not only Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, but also Planescape Torment has returned to business in the games industry after some years in the television business. He's interviewed about his past and future and mentions some nice stuff about the creative process behind his work.

What were you specific goals with the score? How did you deal with the interactive side of the game? How important were themes and theme development as opposed to ambient underscore?

My goal was to create emotional reactions for the player appropriate to the characters and the story onscreen. As far as the interactive aspect of the game, that was not one of my priorities in this particular instance. The score for Planescape: Torment felt like a film to me, in that the themes were primarily character driven.

What are you currently working on? Are you involved in Bethesda’s Fallout 3?

As I said earlier, I have just started writing for one project and am in negotiations on another, both are very cool. I don’t mean to be vague but I’m not at liberty to discuss the titles as of yet, hopefully I can divulge them soon. As far as Fallout 3, I am not involved in that game.


Read it all at GSoundtracks.

Posted by Per - at 2:25

Geek Syndicate.

This is a difficult review to write. There have been the two previous Fallout PC games and Fallout Tactics and of course the excellent “Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel” for the PS2 and Xbox, fans of those games will want to know whether this game follows their lead and whether it sticks faithfully to the well-established Fallout lore.
PCGZine, 91%.
Thankfully, the graphics aren't the only things that have improved since Oblivion, as the dialogue and combat have both seen huge overhauls. One of the focal points of the first Fallout was its witty dialogue, and thankfully, the spirit's been very much retained here. Emotional, driven, and often quite tongue-in-cheek, the conversations really help you form an attachment with the characters - something that's important in the much-touted branching quests.
PC Freaks & Geeks, 9.5.
In-game diversity is bought to the table by use of one-touch 3rd and 1st person camera angle switching, revolutionary Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System and the Karma options. Depending on your in-game response to the world/people you come across, you control the fate of your own character and ultimately everything around you. These features coupled with the skills/perks you can earn along your journey, make for an interesting and simply limitless gaming title you'll pick up and load up time and time again.
AceGamez, 10/10.
Once again, Bethesda has done well to make a standard gameplay mechanic seem like something much more natural and grounded in reality. S.P.E.C.I.A.L stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck, and the points you put into each will govern your basic abilities when you're fully grown. By forcing you to look at the RPG staple of ability points in this way, Fallout 3 makes you feel like a real part of the world in which you're creating a person, rather than some superhuman warrior knight who's going to somehow save the world after killing a few hundred goblins.

The perks are a wonderful addition that add even more individuality to your character and even more depth to a game that's already tunnelling halfway to Australia.
RPGFan, 94%.
As for its faithfulness to the originals, the verdict isn't quite so clear. The elements and quirks of the Fallout universe are present, but the change in perspective and graphical style transforms the original experience into something that feels decidedly different. Fallout 3 shouldn't be judged based on the past, however, and the Capital Wasteland will quickly dissolve any dread that may result from the shadow of its predecessors.

The plot only improves with time, and after a certain turning point and the motives behind your father's flight become apparent, a sense of urgency develops unfound in most games. A perpetual motivation to resolve the conflict drives players ever onward. It's all over rather quickly, and the dramatic presentation and intense action leave you wanting more. The end may be a bit sudden, but the story arc concludes succinctly and satisfyingly with the ultimate karmic choice.
msxbox-world, 9/10.
Much was expected of Fallout 3 ever since its announcement, mainly due to the heights of appeal Oblivion reached with gamers, and creators Bethesda have done all they can to make sure the expectations are indeed met. Ironically, many fans wanted Fallout 3 to fail, being so attached to Oblivion that it's hard for them to accept something surpassing it.
Fragland, 93%.
Fallout 3 is a fantastic game that almost manages to fulfil the sky-high expectations. The legendary status of its predecessors hadn't only managed to create heightened discussions between fans and passers-by, but also nostalgia-driven impossible demands. Luckily Bethesda chose to do their own thing and the developers came with a game that will be described as a hit in its genre.

New is the VATS system that reminds of older turn-based games like UFO or Jagged Alliance. The time gets frozen for a while and you can choose which body part of your opponent you want to attack. Unfreeze the game and you get to see the bloody outcome in all its glory on your screen. For some reason these constantly changing slow-motion images of flying limbs (after which they're no longer useable by that enemy) or exploding heads aren't just a pleasure to the eye but also keep the combat interesting throughout the game. Great!
Hardcore Gamer, 4.5/5.
While gamers were spending hours upon hours exploring Oblivion, Bethesda was hard at work creating a game just as massive. The third title in the critically acclaimed Fallout series, Fallout 3 is further proof that Bethesda means business when it comes to creating deep games. It’s finally a game that post-apocalyptic fans can call their own.

Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion. It’s incredible how fun and deep this game is.
JustPressPlay, 10.0 and A+.
This is where Bethesda brings the big guns. The graphics in this game are phenomenal and heavily realistic. They have a perk upgrade dedicated to making your enemies explode like crash dummy dolls. They built the world into a believable post-apocalypse Washington D.C.and a decimated world with the inhabitants just looking to live day to day.There are many small towns of people just trying to live and then there are the two major cities, Rivit City and Megaton. All places have a realism that is kind of haunting especially when you live in America and have been to the D.C. (which yours truly has). The engine is haunting and lively at the same time.
NotInThere, 3 (of 3?).
The mechanics of the game are not far from the mechanics found from previous Elder Scroll games. While the third person camera view has definitely been improved, the game mostly plays out forcing you to view things in first person; the combat being one instance. One thing that I wish had made it over from oblivion was the leveling system, while I do appreciate and understand that Fallout is following the path set by its predecessors, I miss being able to level non-important skills without the cost of a level.
PS3clan, 9.
Fallout 3 is a great RPG. I almost ashamed that my previous Fallout 2's have not played, because I still am a fan of this genre. Probably has something to do with that I do not play games on a PC. For RPG lovers is Fallout 3 is a game that certainly should not lack in your game cabinet. And I can assure you: this game will long in the PlayStation ® 3 remain seated.
WOOD TV.
The third installment of the Fallout series has been a long time coming. With the original coming out so long ago, this is a definite treat. Bethesda developed the game in place of Black Isle Studios and it’s been great to play. There have been a number of quality releases this year across all platforms. Fallout 3 is a game you’re not going to want to miss.
WorldIV blog.
Most “moral” choices boil down to SUPER DUPER GOOD and MUAHAHA EVIL. But that’s kind of OK, because somehow, they don’t FEEL like they’re presented that way. The evil choices are evil enough to make even a die-hard videogame bad guy like yours truly wince on occasion. And, like you’d expect, you’re not limited to the conversation tree choices to be good or evil. You can give water to beggars, steal stuff everywhere, and the like. If you get frustrated with a quest, you can even end it by shooting the quest-giver in the face. I mean, uh… I heard.
Quiet Earth, 9.5/10.
Fallout 3 uses a heavily-modified version of the engine Bethesda Softworks used for Oblivion, but that's where the comparison ends. It's freaking FALLOUT for crying out loud! That Post-Apocalyptic world has been fully realized in 3D, and you can explore almost every radioactive nook and cranny. It's immersive in every way I can perceive. I often forget that I'm sitting in front of a computer playing a video a game.

News for Sunday, November 23, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 23:40

Two smaller mods, remove bobblehead effects and PipWare UI were added, as well as the larger Fallout 3 Compendium mod.

Below is a list of features currently present in this pre-release of F3C.

1. VATS
*Changes to camera behavior/restrictions
*Changes to bonuses/penalties involved with VATS
*Changes to damage & weapon behavior while inside VATS
2. Action Points
*Run & Gun mode enabled
*Various AP formulas modified
3. Experience Points
*Player acquires XP more slowly
*Maximum level is now 25
*XP required for each level is different now.
4. Skill Points
*Player receives 5+Intelligence skill points per level
*Tagged skills do not receive +15 points
*Tagged skills gain two points for each skill point allocated, instead of one.
5. Perks
*Many, many changes
6. Radiation
*Water usage & immersion more dangerous
*Sickness from exposure more serious
*Rads no longer decay over time
7. Injuries
*Crippled legs are more serious
8. Gun Mechanics
*Gun condition more serious
*Guns in poor condition can also jam or lockup during firing
9. Game Mechanics
*Health formulas rebalanced for player & NPCs
*Carry Weight formulas rebalanced
*Damage from being ON FIRE has increased slightly
10. Weapons
*Various Pistols are slightly more powerful
*Automatic Rifles are more accurate, but not as accurate as single-shot rifles
*10mm SMG is slightly more accurate, but not as much as automatic rifles
*Gatling Laser uses Energy Weapons instead of Big Guns
*Laser pistol/rifle extremely accurate and effective at great distances
*Plasma weapons less accurate, more powerful, and fire more quickly
*Plasma weapons exclusively use micro fusion cells, laser weapons exclusively use small energy cells
11. Restoratives
*Food heals more health, and incurs greater rad intake
*The food sanitizer improves healing from food by 50%
12. Ammunition
*Ammo prices changed slightly
13. Armor & Clothing
*Power Armor gives more str, carries itself when worn, and provides better resistances
14. NPC Classes
*Children not immortal, requires typing "bat kids.txt" in console (only once)
15. Bobbleheads
*No longer give the player benefits WHEN picked up; but only if bonuses are NOT already present
Also added not too long ago is the Polish Fallout 3 patch, which for some reason wasn't released along with the others earlier.

As usual, check Fallout 3 Nexus for a variety of mods large and small. The killable children patch has been getting a lot of interest.

News for Saturday, November 22, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 0:42

It took a while (sorry), but we're ready to announce our caption contest winner: it is ShatteredJon's ghoul pic, for its simplicity and finesse:


It was a good contest with some funny entries so it was hard to pic. Here are some other jury favourites:


Posted by Brother None - at 0:14

It's time to let the RPG speciality sites have the mike again. RPGCodex looks at the game again, this time in Edward R Murrow's Dissertation on Fallout 3 (it seems they might just keep posting reviews).

The main quest is rubbish, pure and simple. Most every quest devolves into killing, and the only virtue of it is that you can skip most of it. It suffers also from another flaw of Oblivion, the player character is not the main character. Just like in Oblivion, how Martin was the true "protagonist" and you were more a glorified errand boy, you basically play this same role to daddy Liam and his pet project. Now, it's not being a “Chosen One” who must stop the ancient evil, which could be seen as a progress of sorts. Unfortunately, it's a case of being thrown out of the frying pan into the fire as you are the Chosen One's sidekick, who fights the mildly venerable evil. Also like Oblivion, it ends with you watching a big thing fight other big things instead of doing some ass kicking yourself. If I'm going to play a game riddled with combat, at least let me feel badass about it instead of cock-blocking me. Even in Bloodlines, when it devolved into a hackfest, my character was killing tons of stuff and wrecking house. I get to demolish the big players who had previously pushed me around, if I so chose to, not watch Smiling Jack fight them in his Mecha Battle Sarcophagus. But to make the climax something the player watches rather than participates in? What the hell, this isn't a jRPG you twats. Oh, and the ending is pure idiocy and to add insult to injury, they didn't even bring back the ending slides. Over 200 permutations my ass. It's more like one based on karma, one based on one choice at the very end, and one based on another choice at the very end.

And thus quests are basically where Fallout 3 again falls flat as an RPG. There are too few good ones, and the rest are buried in mounds of Bethesda's awful dungeon-crawling and terrible combat.
(...)
I'm left wondering what happened with this game. They had an existing engine, an existing IP, a multi-million dollar budget, and a large pool of human resources, but nothing, save a few nuggets of greatness in the quest department, in Fallout 3 stands out as anything higher than passable.

Ultimately, Fallout 3 is more Bethesda mediocrity in the vein of Morrowind or Oblivion. If those games tickled your fancy, you're bound to love this game, it's everything they do, but better. Or maybe you can look past the flaws and have a blast with it. I can't say I didn't enjoy parts of it, but I also can't say I wasn't almost always disappointed by Bethesda's general half-assedness. It's a mildly amusing timesink; but that's not saying much. Ultimately, it just doesn't work for me. It flies in the face of most everything I felt Fallout 1 did so well. Closing things off, Fallout 3 is a lot like a wasteland; you're searching through it looking for a little something good, something to keep you going, but to do that you have to go through a whole lot of bad and it just might not be worth it and you might not want to go on.
GameBanshee also reviews Fallout 3 and essentially the reviewer didn't like it but can't deny that if you liked Oblivion you'll probably like this, giving it an 8.4.
Sadly, Fallout 3 does not have a good PC interface, and it’s not even close. Some of the problems are no doubt because Bethesda designed the game for consoles and then didn’t bother to port it very well to the PC. That would explain why you’re not allowed to name your saved games (which, coupled with not including profiles, makes running multiple games really exciting), and why the hotkeys are so limited. For example, to see your weapons you have to press the tab key, then click on the inventory tab, and then click on the weapons tab. When was the last time you played a role-playing game, and you had to click three times to see your inventory rather than just press the “I” key? I know when it was for me -- when I played Oblivion, which used the exact same crummy system.

But PC-versus-console issues aside, there are some other problems with the interface. If you play using the third-person perspective, the targeting cursor is off, and so you have to keep switching to the first-person perspective to see what you’re really aiming at. Also, there is no mini-map -- probably to help with the game’s “immersion” -- but I like mini-maps because they show me where I am and where I need to go. To me, the best interface is the one that gives you the most options, and so I'd like to at least be given the choice of whether or not I want a mini-map enabled. Finally, the overhead maps are often worthless. Many of the locations in Fallout 3 have multiple floors that overlap each other, and having one map for all the floors combined doesn’t really help to show you where you are -- especially when the map has an incredibly low resolution and barely works even when there’s only one floor. In some ways it’s kind of fun that Bethesda mixed old technology with the future, but that doesn't mean that I want to view my maps on the PipBoy's small green screen. Please give me real maps.
(...)
The more I play Fallout 3, the more I consider it to be a “functional” game. It includes a big world with lots of places to explore and lots of enemies to kill, but there isn’t a lot to draw you in. The main questline isn’t especially involving, there aren’t a lot of enemies or types of equipment, and you might hit the level cap well before the end of the game, giving you a long stretch of time where you can’t improve your character at all. That is, everything about the game works, and you can spend a lot of time with it, but it isn’t always exciting.

When I play a role-playing game, I always hope for interesting characters, quotable dialogue, and memorable story elements. Fallout 3 just doesn’t offer these things, and, in fact, many of its story elements feel like they’re warmed over retreads from the original Fallout games (like when you learn how the supermutants came into being, or when you discover who your real enemy is). However, I’d describe Oblivion in about the same way, and a whole bunch of people liked that game, so I suspect a whole bunch of people will like this game as well. Fallout 3 isn’t a bad game, but it isn’t a great game, either, and my guess is that it will only really appeal to the Oblivion crowd.
Additionally, GameBanshee put in a whallop of Fallout 3 info. Not much we don't have, but they did beat us in the pretty picture department.

News for Friday, November 21, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 23:58

A new gameplay video has been released for Tactics-assets-using indie RPG Shelter, showing the current state of the game:







Link


Link: Gameplay vid in high quality (so the text is readable).
Link: Second Variety website.

Posted by Per - at 19:44

SCI FI Channel.

If you're used to just walking down corridors and shooting things, this game will take a lot of getting used to. You literally have no idea what you 'should' be doing. You might be making horrible, irretrievable mistakes, and you'd never know. But this is the game's strength - you gain experience and points as you go along, but where and how you go - that's up to you. Odd that the closer games come to real life, the more fun they are.
Bad Rhetoric blog.
Overall, it’s the best PC game I’ve played since Bioshock, and I think Fallout 3 edges it out. The first half of the game was incredibly tense, given the overall vunerablity of the main character and the constant need to scavenge. Later on, as the plot progressed and dying didn’t feel like a constant threat, I felt the urge to explore every corner, and it took me an incredible amount of time to exhaust the possibilities and feel like I was ready to finish the main plot. When I did, the payoff was reasonable.
Zero Punctuation. A bit transcribed by iridium_ionizer:
What I'm saying is make the most of the talent. Bethesda seems to be in the habit of hiring the biggest named voice actors they can find and having the character drop of the face of the Earth before you've even picked a class. They did it to Captain Picard in Oblivion. Now they've done it to Oscar Schindler in Fallout 3.

It's a shame because Liam Neeson's smooth, authoritative tones really helped ease the trauma of the games opening in which you are dropped bleary-eyed and blood-stained out of your mom's vagina. And now are expected to come up with a gender, name, and future appearance which is a lot to ask of a new born baby.
Tom's Games, 9.0/10.
The stories were never what attracted me to the first two Fallout games and, when thinking back on them, I can't remember many details. What I enjoyed most about Fallout and Fallout 2 was the freedom. There was a sense that you could do anything and kill anyone without breaking the game's story or hitting imaginary walls. Fallout 3 continues that legacy giving the player the option to interact with the other characters in a variety of ways; the caveat being that there are always consequences. It's the essence of "role-playing."

Comparing Fallout 3 to Fallout and Fallout 2 isn't a mistake, but the only real similarity between the old and the new game is the sense of the environment. It's clear they all take place in the same universe but Fallout 3 realizes it much clearer than ever before.
EzineArticles.
Fallout 3 provides an immersive atmosphere, along with brilliant graphics, a well-made character development process and awesome game play. This title should be present in any fan of the series or the genre of action RPG.
SavyGamer blog.
I think one of the things that really makes Fallout 3 work is the rules. It is incredibly open ended, but everything makes sense. I don't really think there is a 'bad' type of character to play as. Whatever type of character you create, you will have strengths and weaknesses, but always something that makes you think "I am glad I chose to have that stat quite high".

There is always a multitude of ways of dealing with any scenario, and it forces you to think "What would my character do?", and for the first time in a long while in an RPG, over time, that changed to "What would I do?". In the past I've really struggled with the Role Playing part of RPGs, often I've just played them for the gameplay or the story, but Fallout 3 has been a an incredible role playing experience for me.
Xboxlife, 9.5/10.
The people you meet all have certain unique personalities, and the amount of trivial people with no significance has been minimized. Instead you now meet people with names and backgrounds and you get the impression that they have a place to fill. It is also unusual that you meet new people and feel that they have the same voice as someone else, and this is true throughout the entire game.
Dark Diamond, 8/10.
Where the sound design really falls flat on it’s ass is the obvious recycling of character voices. It wouldn’t be a huge problem if the voice actors managed to change their voices even subtly for each role. However, when almost every Brotherhood of Steel Paladin has the same voice, it gets a bit unsettling.

The biggest flaw in the story is the fact that many of the points in the story can be completely skipped by passing a few fairly easy Speech skill checks while talking to NPCs. This becomes most apparent when you find out you can actually skip the entire final battle of the game with a few smooth words.

The morality system is the only real complaint I have about Fallout 3.
Testfreaks, 9/10.
Ok, so I’ve heard that Fallout3 is controversial but I can’t figure out why exactly though or what’s so controversial about this game. The controversy could be that Bethesda made such a great game all the others will be left behind?

The graphics, gameplay and storyline are all top notch, Bethesda did an excellent job with Fallout 3, and I personally can’t wait for a Fallout 4. I can easily see Fallout 3 winning game of the year and many awards, it’s just an all around excellent game.
ActiveXbox, 94%.
Overall the game is superb, for those of you out there who can’t afford many titles, this is the one to get. It will last you ages with so many quests to get through if you don’t follow the main storyline. The whole game is well written and has a great atmosphere. It isn’t perfect, animation is poor and it has crashed once on me but you won’t get a better game this year on the 360 that is for sure.
Cathode Tan blog.
In terms of a story, this game approaches Deus Ex levels of good for me and honestly blows Bethesda's previous attempts away. This doesn't feel like the story about gates or a story about some weird messiah - but it feels like your story, about you entering a wasteland of a world in search of your father. While the main character is mute, you do control the conversations with the other characters and feel like you have a part to play in the world.

There's a few other things, like the fact that herding your dog can get a bit tiresome ... but c'mon, you get a freaking dog - so who really cares.
GameStar, not just a score any more, 93% (thanks to Kashrlyyk).
Fallout 3 kidnaps us into a world, in which exactly these ostrich tactics went wrong. And this desert of the human failure produces a dramatic and ironic RPG spectacle. For the large play art, for the other maintenance very good in each case.

News for Thursday, November 20, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 1:55

Two editorials for Fallout 3. First Duncan Fyfe writes Fallout 3 - Escape From Vault 101, quite possibly one of the most incoherent op-ed pieces ever published on Gamasutra.

Even so, Fallout the third is the sober one in the family. Whether you think that's a deliberate choice or Bethesda's Achilles' heel, it works for this game. Fallout 3 executes its humorous interstitials as well as anything in the first game, while rejecting the broader pop culture excesses of Fallout 2's Monty Python prostitute showcase. It is, after all, the end of the world.

Far Cry 2, another sequel from a different studio, has absolutely nothing to do with the first game. The name is a vehicle for an unrelated design document and the game's called Far Cry 2 only because Ubisoft doesn't own the Mercenaries license.

The new Far Cry team and the new Fallout team offer new perspectives. Far Cry 2's Africa abandons aliens for malaria, item degradation, civil war and all-purpose ugliness -- while Fallout 3's wasteland is deliberately and unremittingly tragic. To the history of their respective series, they introduce a conscience.

They tell gamers that they can have their open-world shooter and post-apocalyptic wastelands, with their bloody conflicts, nuclear weapons, headshots, political intrigue and all the occasionally goofy video game accouterments, but they won't pretend anymore that it's all unreservedly awesome.

You should feel bad in Far Cry 2 or sad just walking around in Fallout 3. That Fallout 3 is able to convey all this entirely through atmosphere, rather than disadvantaging the player (a page out of the survival horror playbook) is a pretty remarkable achievement.
Shamus Young returns to his Fallout 3 quests (mostly related to DRM and technical polish) for questions answered. Fallout 3 scores well on most counts except for playtesting.
Do you have any plans on playtesting the game this time around?

While far better than the software jalopy that is Oblivion, Fallout 3 follows in the Bethesda tradition of games that feel like they’re held together with masking tape and hope. The problems cover the full spectrum, from amusing flukes to show-stopping crashes. Some of them are humorous. Some are aggravating. Here is a sample of them to give you an idea:

* A super mutant was having a scripted conversation with a victim he was about to eat. From the shadows, I dropped him with couple of sniper rounds to his ugly green dome. He was dead on the floor, but his conversation with the captured NPC continued on for several more lines.
* The interface is a mess for anyone who doesn’t use the default inputs. I can’t imagine that a singe playtester tried re-mapping the keys. One example of the key-mapping problems: You can re-map the “pip-boy” key (something you’ll be pressing a lot) from TAB to something else. But you still have to press TAB to close the pip-boy, and there is nothing you can do to re-map that behavior. Lots of things work like this. Some functionality can’t be re-assigned at all. Some can be “partly” re-assigned. It’s a mess.
* I rescued a couple of guys in downtown DC. As a reward, they pledged to “protect” me while I was in the area. Eventually I left and forgot all about them. Hours and hours later, after many quests and level-ups, I found one of them in my house in the city of Megaton.
* The game seems to crash about 1 in 3 times when I exit. There are also random crashes when roaming around outside.
* In Megaton, citizens keep coming up to me and offering me gifts for “all I’ve done for them”. This has happened a dozen times, despite the fact that I’ve only done one quest related to the town, ages ago. What the heck are these people going on about?
* If you are unfortunate enough to have an NPC follow you around, you’ll discover that they are horrifyingly stupid in combat. They will run right into your line of fire and will think nothing of hitting you if you get in their way. The brotherhood guys I mentioned before were a horrible curse because I was trying to engage foes at close range and one of my “friends” kept using a rocket launcher, which was more likely to kill me than my foe. Just appalling stupidity. Having actors immune to damage from allies wouldn’t fix the shortcomings in the AI, but it would at least stop punishing the player for it.
* I entered someone’s open room in Rivet City. They came in and went to sleep for the night, locking me inside with them. I didn’t have the lockpicking skill to escape the room. I woke them up and talked to them, but there wasn’t any option for “please let me out of your house”.

News for Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 2:04

Since the reviews are still going in hot we figured it was time for us to pipe in. Our guest writer Vince D. Weller, known around the world for his Oblivion review, courteously accepted our invitation to write down his thoughts for us, and that he did. So we present NMA's Fallout 3 review.

Instead of a consistent and logical world, we get "cool shit". What's cool shit, you ask? An excellent question. Cool shit is whatever stuff random Bethesda designers thought would be cool. To be honest, Fallout 2 was also sporadically guilty of this syndrome, but Fallout 3 takes it to a thoroughly different level.

A town in the crater of an unexploded bomb? - Cool!
A Peter Pan-esque settlement of invincible kids who expel people when they hit 16? - Awesome!
A Lovecraftian Cthulhu-dedicated "Dunwich horror" location - Pretty awesome!
A gang of blood-drinking vampire wannabies - Beyond awesome!
A howling radio DJ keeping the bored populace of the, uh, wasteland informed of your progress - wait, let me check my awesometer... my god, it's over 9000!!!

Overall, it would be easy to write a report worthy of an EU bureaucrat listing all the silly and stupid things Bethesda has shoehorned into Fallout 3. The biggest problem is not so much that it isn’t Fallout, but rather that the setting doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Bethesda had an opportunity to craft a cohesive “living & breathing” world, but instead chose to build an amusement park with a bit of everything ‘cool’ they could think of. To be fair, some things Bethesda did are brilliant and atmospheric, but they are isolated elements that never form a coherent and consistent world that makes even the most basic sense.
(...)
Exploration is an undeniable strength of all Bethesda’s sandbox games and Fallout 3 doesn’t disappoint on this front. You have a huge world filled with all kinds of different places to visit. 85 locations, to be specific. A lot of locations are incredibly atmospheric like the Dunwich building and the Museum of Technology and simply must be experienced.

The war-torn environment is superb. Broken buildings, highways, and bridges, interiors, ruined subway stations, the remains of the capital city are done nicely and convincingly. It’s a fantastic work, even if it’s off the mark by 200 years.

Armor sets (particularly the raiders armor), clothing, and weapons are very detailed and well designed (insane attention to details, I’d say). I built a steam-operated Railway Rifle, which came with a nice idle (or poor condition, perhaps?) animation: the rifle’s steam engine starts coughing and sputtering, my characters hits it a few times and the engine starts working properly again.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:59

No exact numbers will be known until Bethesda releases them, but NPD released their usual "a guess is better than nothing" statistics of US, retail-only sales. The month of October, Via Voodoo Extreme:

PC Games: October 2008

1) Fallout 3 - Bethesda Softworks - $49 - 71,000 units
2) Spore - Electronic Arts - $49
3) Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy - Her Interactive - $18
4) Far Cry 2 - Ubisoft - $50
5) Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning - Electronic Arts - $49
6) World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest - Activision Blizzard - $38
7) The Sims 2: Apartment Life Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts - $26
8) Fallout 3 Collectors Edition - Bethesda Softworks - $79
9) The Sims 2: Double Deluxe - Electronic Arts - $25
10) Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Electronic Arts - $48
11) World Of Warcraft - Activision Blizzard - $20
12) Civilization IV: Colonization Expansion Pack - 2K Games - $29
13) World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack - Activision Blizzard - $29
14) Crysis Warhead - Electronic Arts - $30
15) Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway - Ubisoft - $49
16) Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Premier Edition - Electronic Arts - $65
17) Dead Space - Electronic Arts - $49
18) Spore Creature Creator - Electronic Arts - $10
19) Civilization IV - 2K Games - $24
20) The Sims 2: FreeTime Expansion Pack - Electronic Arts - $25 - 9,000 units

Console Games: October 2008

1) Fable II* - Xbox 360 - Microsoft - 790,000 units
2) Wii Fit - Nintendo Wii - Nintendo - 487,000 units
3) Fallout 3* - Xbox 360 - Bethesda Softworks - 375,000 units
4) Mario Kart - Nintendo Wii - Nintendo - 290,000 units
5) Wii Play With Remote - Nintendo Wii - Nintendo - 282,000 units
6) Saints Row 2* - Xbox 360 - THQ - 270,000 units
7) Socom: U.S. Navy Seals: Confrontation* - Playstation 3 - Sony - 231,000 units
8) LittleBigPlanet - Playstation 3 - Sony - 215,000 units
9) NBA 2K9 - Xbox 360 - 2K Games - 202,000 units
10) Dead Space - Xbox 360 - Electronic Arts - 193,000 units
11) Guitar Hero World Tour* - Xbox 360 - Activision Blizzard
12) Guitar Hero World Tour* - Nintendo Wii - Activision Blizzard
13) Kirby Super Star Ultra - Nintendo DS - Nintendo
14) Fallout 3* - Playstation 3 - Bethesda Softworks
15) Dead Space - Playstation 3 - Electronic Arts
16) Rock Band 2* - Playstation 3 - Electronic Arts
17) NBA 2K9 - Playstation 3 - 2K Games
18) Far Cry 2 - Xbox 360 - Ubisoft
19) Fifa Soccer 09 - Xbox 360 - Electronic Arts
20) Guitar Hero World Tour* - Playstation 3 - Activision Blizzard
And that's just in the last few days of October (including retail preorders) as Fallout 3 was released near the end.

Meanwhile, the always-quick-updating UK charts show Fallout 3 grabbing #2 on Xbox 360 and #5 for PS3 in the first week of November (including last few days of October), dropping to 5 for Xbox 360 on the second week of November (sales dropping 42 percent since the week before) and dropping of the chart completely in the third week of November (actually it's #14 from what I got).

News for Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Posted by Per - at 19:18

Some sites called and said they want to review Fallout 3 too.

GameZone, second review, 9.5.

Very few gamers are familiar with the Fallout series since the first two games were available only on the PC. Thankfully, much like it did for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Bethesda Softworks brings us an action-packed role-playing game that takes us into an alternate reality version of America.

The minute you step out into the wasteland that was once American soil, you know you will never forget the things you will see and do in this world. Fallout 3 is a game that hits all the right notes and excels in being a role-playing game that wishes to challenge the genre to bring something bigger and better.
Aeropause Games/Technologypublic, 4.5/5.
Unfortunately, there is not much else in the way of good voice overs, by any of the other characters outside of the omni-present DJ, Three Dog. As a matter of fact, I think most of the voice work by other characters was done by the same twelve people at Bethesda. Every other mercenary and caravan trader seems to sound like the same guy looping over and over. With a budget like Bethesda had with Fallout 3, it seems like they put all their eggs into the star power and less into the support roles.

Fallout 3, does present a masterpiece on how to set up mission structure, moral choices and solid combat, all laid out in a horrible, yet intriguing post-apocalyptic wasteland. Bethesda has made broad steps to cater to the old guard, as well as new visitors to the Fallout franchise.
Forge, 5/5.
Built on the engine of orc/rat/elf-slayer Oblivion, developers Bethesda have taken the lessons learnt from their previous fantasy epic to make one slick RPG-action game. Experience isn’t gained from hoping around on one foot, but from the simpler model of awarding experience points for successfully achieving stuff.

Immense in its scale, the moral grey-zones of this game will have you coming back to it again and again, and that despite the first play-through holding a solid 50+ hours. It’ll remind of what RPG’s should be about; looting, killing and not actually finishing the storyline. Brilliant.
UGTV blog.
There may not be any critical misses but there are certainly areas where Fallout 3 misses the mark. While the team at Bethesda worked very hard to stay true to the spirit of the Fallout series, it certainly feels different from its predecessors. It lacks the a little of the wackiness, pop culture references and raunchy jokes that made Fallout 2 so endearing.

In general, Fallout 3 serves up a really meaty and fulfilling experience. Because of the way in which it blends action and RPG elements, it should appeal to most gamers save those with the most narrow of tastes. The plasticity of the character creation, quest solutions and sheer scale of environment will mean that after your first play through you’ll want to start all over again just to see what else you can do.
Texas TeamPlayers, 9.4.
If a person has not played the first one, the mechanics of the game may seem a little odd. They are explained, but a person new to the series might need a little more time to get used to the mechanics.
Tampa Bay Online, 4/4.
The genius of this game is contained, at the very least, in the different ways you can play. If you like, you can just roam around as in a first-person shooter, fighting raiders, mutants and worse.

However, the wasteland is also filled with characters with whom you can interact. You can spend all sorts of time role-playing if you want to. For example, in one town, an evil man wants you to help him blow the place up. You can help him, tell the sheriff about him to see what happens or even end up killing him.
reverend mo/jo's blog.
Travel times are about the same, and random encounters happen just as often. Except now, instead of staring at some dull map, you’re experiencing the world. You truly are wandering through a barren wasteland, constantly checking your periphery for nasty critters (or worse). It makes journeying in the world fun, instead of just something that has to be done.

I’ve seen none of this depth in Fallout 3’s conversations. In fact, some dialog options don’t even make sense. Your character is bizarrely aware of things he has no business being aware of.

Posted by Per - at 3:38

According to gamesindustry.biz, Fallout 3 made number one on the October sales chart in the US. It also hogs the 8th spot with the Collector's Edition, and that's about as much as there is to say about that for now.

From the Perpetual Student, Perpetually Gaming blog comes an Excel thingy with which to plan your Fallout 3 character: the Fallout 3 Character Planner!

While playing Fallout 3, and leveling up my character, I can’t help but let my mind wander to all the different possibilities of what I can do with my character. I’ve decided I want to start a new game with a guy geared toward being a Ninja. Since nearly every enemy in the game has a gun, this would make for some interesting gameplay. With all these ideas, I wanted some kind of chart where I could plot out my skills and perks and get an outline of my character. Such things exist for Diablo II and Too Human, but I could not find such a thing for Fallout 3. The obvious solution was to make my own.
And he did! Russian Game-OST reviews the game's soundtrack, as one might expect, translated for our convenience.
The game welcomes us with the very same music theme, which runs through the game as a burden. Weather it is to the good or not, the industrial ambient left us – now the wastelands are filled with the symphonic music with ethnic instruments’ panes here and there. Surprisingly, this doesn’t harm the game at all. The new Fallout was most likely to change in music aspect any way, ‘cause now the symbol of a true blockbuster and elite game – live symphonic music. Pure electronics is the destiny of low-budget projects.
And in case TechSpot's graphics card rundown wasn't good enough for you, H Enthusiast has what is probably an even bigger one! Fear the tech lingo!
Fallout 3 may have more controversy around it than any game in memory, but one thing at least is clear: it is a great performer. You don't need the most expensive video card around to play it with the highest settings at respectable resolution. In fact, a $205 GeForce GTX 260 (original) will get you very high settings at 1920x1200, and it's no slouch at 2560x1600 either. But if you have that giant display, and you need a high-end video card to push all those pixels, the fastest video card out there for Fallout 3 is the ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2. It is ultimately up to the consumer to decide if the extra $105 is worth it for another notch higher AA setting, but we could not be more pleased with how the HD 4870 X2 performed in Fallout 3.
Great, I was afraid I'd have to graft a PX 97-82b to my 456x3470 and plink down ¥4.3 on a retrofitted Gorgo JUG 50 (S1-Bauer pre-97 model, natch). To round off, another couple of those Fallout 3-themed webcomics episodes. Hm.

Thanks to Shai Khulud and DarkPhilly.

News for Monday, November 17, 2008

Posted by Per - at 19:45

T3, 5/5.

Shedding the stigma of its predecessors' geeky turn-based roleplay, Fallout 3 is instead a curious hybrid of both action and strategy. And rather than seeming like a weak compromise between the hardcore fans and the newcomers, this feels like a fresh and unique experience altogether. It is, in a word, spectacular.

Fallout 3 is, fundamentally, a first person shooter.
Game Boyz.
For a triple A title the animation was a step back. Some of the characters actions and movements were jerky, especially when fighting.Some characters can become predictable and thus easier to defeat over time. The reason i don’t spend too much time on this is because Bethesda spent more time on developing game play then graphics. What I mean by this there are lots of games out there that focus on eye candy and allocate a good chunk of resources to this process. The end result is that playing time is shortened drastically to the point where you can complete the game in an afternoon. I’d rather have extended playing time versus eye candy.
Philoking blog.
The combat system takes some getting used to, you can tell it’s an RPG with first-person combat as an afterthought. The movement isn’t fluid and aiming projectile weapons is pretty flaky. Luckily the depth and scale of the game is big enough to make you forgive the cludgy combat system.
3 News, 5/5.
Fallout 3 is a completely different kettle of fish to the others. From what I’ve seen (and there’s HEAPS to see, believe me) it is far superior. Big thumbs up to Bethesda Studios.
2404, 7.0/10.
In 1997 you just didn’t do first-person RPGs. It was isometric or nothing.

Fallout 3 is just mediocre. It’s bogged down by too many problems, engine issues, and poor writing to really wrestle its way into classic status.
TeknoDwarf's blog, 9.5/10.
All in all, Fallout 3 is an amazing game and I encourage everyone to check it out. Even people who aren’t necessarily fans of this style of RPG (such as myself) will find themselves loving the game. You’ll constantly find something new each time you play the game. Finally, with multiple scenarios at your disposal, this isn’t a game that will be leaving your disc tray anytime soon.
Clichè Gamer blog, Straight Flush.
Regardless of its drawbacks, I can only think one thing about this game. It is Bioshock and Oblivion fused into one, amazing, beautiful, enormous game. Its depth of story feels epic from start to end, and even though I plan to visit the world again at least two more times, I walked away at the end feeling great about the experience the I had.
MediaInside, 98.
Van Fallout 3 expected I in the first place nothing. On gamble I bought the game and as gamer which never RPG play game I super has been incinerated. Fallout 3 stand convex of the action, contain a nice and stretching tale and offer you an open, large and provocative world which we not yet earlier come in a game against its. Fallout 3 are certainly for me the game of 2008. This shit must experience you. To buy that trade!

Posted by Per - at 19:14

UK Spotlight, 9.1.

While the story is interesting and has some nice surprises towards the end it never compels you to keep playing to find out what happens. One of its biggest failings is the games inability to get the player emotionally connected to the characters in the game. Some scenes are full of emotional story and dialogue while all we see is a blank face.

Bethesda have also taken a leap in the design of their quests, unlike more and more games being released Fallout 3 doesn't treat you like an idiot, you won't be given each stage of every quest as a map marker for you to blindly run towards. Many quests will require you to do some investigation before proceeding to the next area.
DailyGame, 9.3.
The third big difference with Fallout 3, however, is the first instance where I really take issue with the game: character progression. One of the great successes of Oblivion was your gameplay decisions and actions had "real-life consequences" on your character. Use a melee weapon a lot, and your melee skill improved. Use your bow a lot, and your ranged combat improved. Sneak a lot, and your stealth skill improved. In Fallout 3, however, skill progression is strictly based on point assignments, which removes a big part of the feeling of "ownership" of your character.

Fallout 3 is not Oblivion with guns, nor is it Oblivion in the 23rd Century. Fallout 3 is Fallout 3: one of the deepest action RPGs ever created, a unique hybrid of real-time and turn-based combat. The hybrid at times feels a bit forced, almost as though Bethesda was afraid to go "too deep" at times, but the end result is still nothing short of a must-buy game.
suite101, third review.
Fallout 3 is certainly an evolution of the Fallout series style of gameplay but with much of the atmosphere and recognisable themes translated well, it’s a game that should appeal to old and new fans alike.
GameCollision, 9.9.
Very few games are as good, deep, and immersive as Fallout 3. The game looks great, sounds fantastic, and plays brilliantly. The story and atmosphere are more engaging than most Hollywood blockbusters, and it will last you longer than most games in the business. Easily one of the best games of the year and with possibly over 100 hours of gameplay, it's also one of the best packages. Sure there are some flaws but none that can't be easily looked past when you take in the game as a whole.
Zergwatch, 3 (of 5?)
I have played so many games on so many different platforms, but FallOut 3 has far surpassed them all.
neXGam, 9.6.
Each year appear full a hand title, which must have played simply each owner of console. Fall out 3 belongs without any doubt to this group of plays, which begin the Year Award to nominating for the Game OF. Fall out 3 carries the player forward on an indescribable journey, who want to last – to that extent their it – a half eternity can. The player experiences a world, which he is so fast not forgotten again. Yes, fall out 3 has more together with the Elder Scrolls row than with the actual Interplay roots, but that is in my opinion everything else as bad.
Hooked Gamers, 10.
While most franchises edge forward in technology on a yearly or bi-yearly schedule, Fallout’s last appearance is over a decade old. As a result, Fallout 3's engine is an earth-shattering improvement over the previous two games.

The game’s conclusion is of a magnitude that is rarely seen in a game and rivals the closing scenes of many a blockbuster movie. In the last half an hour of the game, Bethesda creates an emotional roller-coaster, mixing helplessness, anger, revenge, hope and elation and ends the game with a choice that is both unfair and impossible to make.

There is no doubt in my mind that Fallout 3 will end up a classic that will be remembered by many for decades to come.
GamersInfo.
This is one of the rare few games that I will find myself coming back to not only for the next few weeks but for months down the line, as players modify certain aspects of the game and make it even more fun to play. I really can’t recommend this game enough if you’re a fan of the Fallout series or have enjoyed games like Oblivion. And if you’re like me and enjoy blood, guts and gore, take the Bloody Mess perk the moment you hit level 6. Trust me. You will not regret it.

News for Sunday, November 16, 2008

Posted by Per - at 21:15

Daily Bulletin, 9.5/10.

The new multiplatform game by Bethesda Softworks is so utterly engrossing that the hardest part of reviewing "Fallout 3" is that I had to stop playing the game in order to do so. Bethesda, the studio behind the "Elder Scrolls" series, has created another classic in the role-playing genre.

This level of customization makes the game almost endlessly replayable. You'd be surprised how many ways there are to accomplish some quests, and the traits of your character - whether a charismatic charmer, a shoot-first psycho or a shadowy sneak - will have a lot to do with how you approach a task.
Rare Drop video review, 8/10.
Though Fallout 3 takes place in an entirely new universe from its predecessor, one could argue that it also takes place some 27 years after Fallout 2.

The voice acting in Fallout 3 is top notch. There's a large variety of talent on hand, and a vast majority of the lines are spot on.

Just know that there are other games such as Bioshock and Mass Effect that execute the action RPG sci-fi formula better than Fallout 3. Fallout 3 is a very good game in its own right, but I dare say that this is one of those cases where the game just doesn't live up to the hype that the media created for it.
PC Games, 90%.
Fall out 3 is unusually nose-free for a role performance of this size - in the age of the Day One Patches a small miracle. In the test fall out 3 ran absolutely stably, larger of nose was missing. Now and then times a texture or a NPC flickered hooked itself briefly in level architecture. Misfires in fights and during the way identification were rare. All Quests let itself terminate problem-free.

Many players complained over crashes. Also on our two test systems the play often smoked after the Tutorial after some minutes off; the bright horror! But the problem let itself solve completely simply - by updating the diagram map driver. Bethesda published a first Patch, which eliminates some crash nose after the releases besides. Necessarily we did not have it.
Dagens Nyheter, 5/5.
I could harp endlessly on how "Fallout 3" constantly pushes the boundaries of personal fiction, without ever breaking the implied contract it enters into with the player. The meta-fictions, the in-jokes, the satire, the allusions: none of these disrupt the pervasive feeling of cooperation between game and player for the purpose of rephrasing the questions of humanity's most basic premises. This is pure poetry.
PEOWW, 10/10, second opinion 9/10.
However it is possible to skip at least one part of the story just by exploring. The fact that Fallout 3 not only allows you to do this, most games would have invisible walls or broken bridges (GTA3 style), but also compensates with dialogue shows that game designers have actually considered what happens if a player takes an experimental approach. It's a sad state of affairs when that's something to be pleased about I know but hopefully other developers will start to take note.

Unfortunately it doesn't quite seem to deliver as a Fallout game.
The Birmingham News, A.
While this is a long-delayed sequel to a classic PC game originally made by an entirely different developer, Fallout 3 is surprisingly like its predecessors. It has the same "Mad Max meets The Jetsons" atmosphere, the same dark sense of humor, and the same wide-open gameplay.

There are a few freeze-inducing bugs and broken quests. The AI of both enemies and allies alternates between "kinda dumb" and "rock stupid." The ending, when you finally reach it, is almost indescribably lame.

All in all, it's an extremely fun game, and a worthy successor to the Fallout legacy.
Saving Progress, B+.
Bethesda’s Fallout 3 is structurally sound as an RPG. Playing like an offline MMO, your real appreciation for this world comes from exploring landscapes and learning secrets – many of which you won’t find on your first play-through. Powerful weapons, stat-altering bobble-heads, and a beautiful environment take the form of a physical reward, but most of your satisfaction comes from the personal encyclopedia you’ll create in your memory - a kind of Pokédex. These are Fallout 3’s strengths, and fans of The Elder Scrols IV will most certainly be impressed. But Fallout 3 isn’t a complete success.

On that note, the Fallout universe has been diluted. I’m not speaking of child-killing here, that’s something I’m quite thankful to be free of, but the warm welcome this world offers. Fallout 2 featured a suffocatingly harsh cast, and some characters were memorable simply because they were friendly: this tradition has been lost. Fallout 3 offers a warm welcome with Megaton, your first home city. And while you do have an option to free yourself of it, it’s somewhat strange that the city even exists.

News for Saturday, November 15, 2008

Posted by Per - at 15:49

These are the last ones! Haha, no, just kidding.

Electronic Theatre, 92%.

Bethesda Softworks have once again raised the bar for real-time animation. Though Mass Effect truly looks fantastic, the last year has seen advances that have all but been ignored due to the hardened faith the industry now seems to have in the law of diminishing returns. An aesthetic and aural treat, FallOut 3 is one of the most technically competent titles to have been released this year.
Square-Go, 8/10.
Despite its many flaws such as glitchy animation and repetitive radio stations, I've fallen for Fallout. For every emotionally detached character, there are moments of true feeling, like the last words of a dying man to his daughter, recorded and discarded in a ruined hotel, which become truly poignant when you later meet his daughter all grown up; or the sight of two skeletons huddled together on a bed, aging remnants of a world long dead. These aren't even moments that the game demands you witness, but a small number of many details strewn across the wasteland, just waiting to be found.
Orlando PC Game Examiner.
Somehow Bethesda managed to intertwine the majority of the quests in Fallout 3 so that the slightest intimation of your intentions can be seen by the other characters and has a lasting effect on your personal storyline. No other game seems to put so much pressure on the fact that these beings of computer programming actually react to what you do, as a player.

Bethesda Game Studios really outdid themselves with this one. Fallout 3 just goes above and beyond what anyone could ever want in a video game; regardless of genre.
DailyJoypad, 5/5.
Bethesda have certainly done their homework when creating the world too. Anyone fortunate enough to have played any of the previous Fallout games will know exactly what I mean. The location of Washington DC fits in with the same look and feel of the locations in the first two games. This is a game that has been crafted with loving care and in turn feels like a homage to the original games. Although Fallout veterans will feel at home here those new to the series will also get the exact same feeling.

The game can be played from either a third person or first person perspective, I preferred the first-person view myself but that is just a matter of taste.

I seriously can’t fault Fallout 3 in any shape or form.
Gamesweasel blog, 9/10.
Of course there are similarities with Oblivion but also Deus Ex 3. The scale of this game is immense and really does feel like a living, breathing world. In atmosphere stakes, less is more here. The wind howls as you walk the wilderness. Creatures attack you and others and it’s really eerie when the sun goes down.
Console Monster, 94%.
This game is so immersive and great in so many ways. It has been compared to Bethesda's previous game Oblivion which, in essence, is quite true.

Of course, if you weren't a fan of Oblivion I suggest you stop reading now as Fallout 3 is a similar style of RPG.
XboxAddict, 9.5/10.
In all, Fallout 3 does everything just right – it’s the perfect length, not overlong for an RPG but serves up a main story that you can finish within a week of regular play, enough side story and additional exploration to extend the game for however long you want, a combat system that takes what used to be a chore and turns it into a gratifying cinematic experience, a gamerscore achievement roster that steadily rewards continued play with regular awards for each completed story chapter or side quest, and a unique flavour and setting that haven’t yet been explored in this type of game.
Hardware Geeks.
Overall, Fallout 3 is still a great game. For anybody looking for a good western RPG, it’s difficult to find many other games that can match it at this time. It’s obvious that Bethesda took a lot of the feedback that they received from Oblivion and applied those suggestions to Fallout, but the problem for some of us is that it makes Fallout 3 more like Oblivion with guns as opposed to a real spiritual successor to the original PC games. In that respect, I would actually recommend that anybody who has yet to play the first two games wait until finishing Fallout 3 in order to avoid any preconceptions.

Posted by Per - at 4:20

The AVault podcast with a Pete 'n' Emil Q&A is available. If you want to know what they have to say you'll just have to check it out yourselves, that is the harsh reality.

The only other tidbit I have to offer is this Game Culture Journal blog entry on the D.C. Metro from the perspective of a game player, game designer and D.C. resident.

However, as technology has improved we have seen the dungeon grow into a more geographic space. This puts the Metro of Fallout 3 in a unique position: it can serve the traditional role of the dungeon while also traversing distances. Often cited as an easy example of what topological space is, the London tube map collapses representations of space into utility. Walking into a Metro station in Fallout 3, players can often find a map of the train routes. And yet, these maps are nearly worthless from a game perspective. The player is traveling along actual space with distances that correspond to the surface world, though they can become directionally disoriented.

Posted by Per - at 4:10

The GameRanger multiplayer service, which has been available to Mac players since 1999, now expands to cover PC gaming as well, and Fallout Tactics is one of the 521 supported PC games. Owner Scott Kevill apparently has a special interest in this game since he's been dropping the news in person on various Fallout sites:

I'm really excited to be releasing it, and hope it helps boost the Fallout Tactics community by allowing people to play that were unable to until now due to problems with opening ports, etc. The more barriers that can be removed, the more likely the community will stay strong, as new users won't be put off.
In order to host and play games it is only necessary to download the client, while if you want a unique user ID, some extra functionality and an absence of ads, there's a yearly fee.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:28

If there's an infinite number of realities out there, it stands to reason there's at least one where ZeniMax did not purchase Fallout and instead gave Bethesda the task to build their own post-apocalyptic RPG franchise.

With appropriate usage of counterfactual history, Brother None pens us a review of this Bethesda product, entitled Capital Wasteland: Revelation.

Whoa. Deja vu. You know how there's some developers that can come in swinging and just knock you off your feet with the vast changes from one game to the next? Troika is an old favorite example, there's really barely any way of telling Arcanum, ToEE and Bloodlines come from the same studio (other than the telltale sign of massive bugs on all three releases). On the other end of the spectrum are guys like BioWare, a company that basically does the same thing with every single game they make: an action/adventure-RPG centered around an epic story.

And then there's Bethesda. Boy, these guys don't change, do they? They're basically been making free-roaming, first-person action/adventure-RPGs since they started back in 1994. Sure, sure, they've done lots of stuff on the side, like racing games and Terminator games, but their mainstay has been conservative and unchanged since day 1.

So it's no surprise that the next entry to Bethesda's game list is yet another free-roaming, first-person action/adventure-RPG, though FPS-RPG might be more appropriate here. Capital Wasteland essentially holds on to everything that worked for Oblivion, right down to the engine, and is undoubtedly a recognizable Bethesda title. That is not to sell short a healthy four years of effort; the setting is new and while not shockingly original it is certain full of detail, and the quest design and implementation of a RTwP system to balance out FPS gameplay with RPG elements has no clear roots in anything Bethesda has done before.

Family reunions out of the way, let us get to the meat and bones of it.
EDIT: for clarity's sake, this is not NMA's Fallout 3 review, that one is coming soon.

Posted by Per - at 2:18

Barrel edition again, meaning we're dealing with blogs and blog-a-likes, although this doesn't mean it's all bad.

Pariah's Guild, 9.5/10.

Another feature I rarely see a game utilize is a comprehensive inventory system. You see, a player’s inventory has a specified weight limit, preventing a player from carrying too many items.

In fact, the game is so unique, that I personally think it could revive the Fallout franchise.
Gwyddia's Blog.
When Bethesda reuses something in their game, they are doing it on purpose. Think all those tract-home shells look alike? That’s the point.
Not funny... ever., A++.
Giant bugs, exploding faces, giant cannibal mutant Frankenstein looking bastards who laugh as the charge you because you’re reloading like a retard - this game has it all. And the best part is, every action has a consequence and affects how the NPC’s view you. Think Fable, but with more bear traps and melted faces.
Notebook Critic.
RPG fans should buy this game too. It brings back the RPG glory days of the late ninteies when Black Isle and Bioware constantly tried out-doing each other with ever grander and more ambitious projects.
The Endless Cast-On. (Note: scroll down to read, direct link doesn't work.)
I don’t like that fact that you can’t untarget someone. For instance, say you accidentally… punch a local in the face. And say later on that local is a quest person you need. Guess what? You’re fucked.

Fallout 3 is an RPG. A good, new RPG. It is not overly inventive or new in the grand scheme of things. Fable 2 is a true RPG, a new definition that we will one day become accustomed. Its quests are better and the game just has more to offer.
River's Review, 9.5/10.
At it's root, Fallout 3 plays like a very basic FPS. But the word "basic" is not a complaint at all, instead it's more of a subtle warning to those who have been spoiled by modern FPS' tendency to let you duck behind a park bench while your health safely recovers.

The game is also deep in the sense that HP and AP [used in V.A.T.S.] is not the least of your worries. You also have to worry about radiation.
A Gamer's Perspective, A.
You get to decide, among other things, your characters gender and looks, in fact the main theme in Fallout is choice, the choice to kill someone of let them go, The choice to save an entire town, or destroy it, hell, you can even choose between a first-person or third-person perspective.
ScrewAttack, some other guy, 9.25/10.
In Fallout 3, there is an overabundance of useless crap. There is just too much stuff to find with everything you inspect having something inside that you can pick up for some odd use.

Fallout 3 is a tough game to score because it isn't a 9, but it isn't quite a 9.5.
Insight Bits, 4/5.
Story telling is definitely not one of the game’s strong points. In fact towards the end the player fights for people that want to purify water, against those that also want to purify water. This made me question why I was fighting in the first place.

To hide you have to crouch. No matter if you are out of line of sight, if you are standing the enemies will spot you if you are in their range. This also means it’s also impossible to sneak up behind someone while standing, no matter how slowly you walk. This is a strong RPG element regardless of the situation being practical or not.
The Fortress of Awesometude.
Fallout 3 has set a new bar for gaming greatness. In all aspects of the game, it has achieved near-perfection.

The main story is simply no good.
The S3 Plan, 9.0/10.
That being said, the problem I have with the game is that it gives you limitless freedom all the time. There are no rules. But something bad will happen if you do some things sometimes. Because of that, you’re unsure of what you are ’supposed’ to be doing.

But, once you get over the fact that Fallout works like the real world — shot at someone, and he’ll shoot back, steal and you will be run out of town — and play accordingly, you’ll be alright.

Anyone who has ever played a Role playing game needs to play Fallout 3. It may be “Oblivion with guns”, but is sure as hell fun.
Video Games: the World of Gaming and Electronics, 9.5/10.
The repair skill is an invaluable skill because you can use it to unite a bevy of items together to create more space in your inventory. This is analogous to mixing herbs in a game like Resident Evil.

Overall, Fallout 3 definitely lived up to its billing. For all of the skeptics, this game delivers on virtually every front.
Nerds of the Year, 98/100.
Another small, tiny gripe is that third person view is still inadequate. Yes, I could have used the term”sucks” or “blows” but I figured inadequate was a better term to use when refering to a game of this caliber.
Frictionless Insight, 5/5.
I would have liked for the choices to be more meaningful, even if that had meant some of the late content in the game had gone to waste. I felt like the early encounters offered many paths to victory. The same quest could often be completed through diplomacy, stealth, combat or even computer knowledge. Late in the game, there were often fewer paths to success, largely because my character could do everything.

The superb voice acting and sound design also deserve more than a passing comment.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:12

Worth a separate note, Mikael Grizzle has finished and released his Fallout 3 item descriptions mod, which, well, adds item descriptions to Fallout. Discussion and screenshots here.

Another mod recently release is AA-12 Combat Shotgun, which replaces the unique "The Terrible" shotgun with the AA-12.

News for Friday, November 14, 2008

Posted by Per - at 20:35

The Maneater.

Too few health items, floaty character animations, stiff and boring non-playable characters - these are all things that "Fallout 3," and "Oblivion," for that matter, do wrong. With the amount of hype this game got, it's a shame it came out so bland. In a year filled with amazing new releases, "Fallout 3" is definitely something to drop.
CTV Tech Life.
Of course some of the monsters are friends, including a race of radioactive unfortunates who fight for acceptance within society and a wide range of altered humans and misfits. Once such character is “Hawkes”, who becomes your follower later in the game, travelling with you and helping out in battle. His dialogue is the best written in the game and he stands out as one of the best video game characters I’ve encountered in years.
The J-Tac.
The visuals are somewhat below average. The environments and landscapes are all different and interesting, but not as beautiful as most new games that are being released. The voice acting, however, is superb. Almost every character you meet has a different voice and sounds great.
CVGames.
Although you don’t have the precision in the world of Fallout 3 that you may find in these other titles, the game is tailored around the VATS system to compliment the real time battles. Despite this minor limitation, the gameplay is fun and engaging enough to keep any fan of the genre completely content. This shows just how far the gameplay has progressed.
Unigamesity, 5/5.
Fallout 3 is a game that proves that changing a successful receipt will not always result in an incredible miss. Bethesda took the chance of bringing us a different Fallout experience and they managed to reach perfection in today’s terms. It’s hard to write a conclusion for this review without sounding like a hater or, on the contrary, too permissive. It’s hard to write a simple conclusion when Fallout 3 is such a complex and wonderful game, a title so close to perfection, to that absolute level of coolness that no words could describe its greatness.

So just have this in mind: I hated Bethesda when I first heard that they’re going to bring a different Fallout 3, but now I can say that their game deserves to be placed on the shrine I was talking in the beginning, right above the first two games in the series. Fallout 3 is evolution. Beautiful evolution.
PopMatters.
The story branches out in more directions than I’ve ever seen in a video game, so you’ll need to play through many times to see what happens when you make different choices at pivotal plot points. As in the “Elder Scrolls” games before it, you could spend hundreds of hours playing “Fallout 3” and still find something new in a far corner of a vast and mysterious world.
Coventry Telegraph, 5/5.
SIMPLY put, Fallout 3 is one of the finest games ever created and shows us what the video game medium is capable of.

It has been produced by Bethesda, the developer responsible for the excellent Elder Scrolls series, which acquired the licence of the cult Fallout series and have combined the best of both games.
Way of the Geek, 9/10 (or 5/10 with console issues).
Fallout 3, despite the little (and huge) issues, is an immersive and fun to play game. It’s the only game where I’ve stayed up until seven in the morning playing, having lost track of time just exploring the Capital Wasteland. There is so much to do, so much to see, and so much to discover in Fallout 3. As I stated before, I spent about seventy hours in the game before attempting the final mission, and there was still a lot of locations I didn’t explore. It’s a lot of game for your money, but you may want to hold on to your cash until Bethesda fixes the bugs that makes the ability to even finish the game a gamble.

Posted by Per - at 17:31

This time we kick off with a trio of Swedish reviews with the same score.

PS3bloggen.se, 9/10.

That's also something I should maybe clarify further, that this is a completely stand-alone game and always should be regarded as one. Even though it happens to be the third game in the series it is not a sequel.

The only thing that really remains of the world in the previous games is S.P.E.C.I.A.L., which controls you and the progress of the game.

If you compare it to the originals it doesn't even come close to the wonderful gaming mode while it naturally destroys them with modern sound and graphics, and I wouldn't be surprised if this actually becomes Game of the Year. On the other hand it didn't turn out how many expected after 10 years of development.
Pixelplayer.se, 9/10.
Fallout 3 in all its aspects is a really good game, you could easily spend 40 hours in the game just exploring without touching the main quest, it's that kind of freedom that makes the experience so darn good. Earlier games in the series have been 2D turn-based RPGs but now the series has entered the three-dimensional world and I must say, I think they've managed really well to capture the feel of earlier games and take the series into the future in a way that satisifies old as well as new players of the series.
Gameplayer.se, 9/10.
With Fallout 3, then, Bethesda Softworks has managed to create one of the best role-playing games on the market and shown that you can pursue a very linear story in a free world without having the player feel they either lose the plot or get too boxed in. A game for the curious as well as the converted, but nothing for Luddites.
Totally360, 9/10.
Fallout 3 is a triumph in almost every sense. Despite some of its flaws it is a fantastic journey that everyone must experience.
PS3Zine, 80%.
It offers more dialogue options than Oblivion, making conversations more interesting, but the game opts for the rather static, awkward talk mechanic, which ensures that the chat lacks the dramatic kick necessary to make you care for the characters. You'll more likely take to canine pal Dogmeat - assuming you find him, which is by no means certain - though he's more awkward to interact with than your four-legged friend in Fable II, and his tendency to disobey instructions can get you and him in trouble.

Perhaps our expectations were too high, but whichever way you cut it, this is a slight disappointment. That it still manages to entertain and enthral for the most part is testament to how much Bethesda has got right.
Gamer Limit.
I’ve only gotten about 7-8 hours into game, and it has already been proving itself to be one of the finest and unique experiences of my gaming life. And that’s with me barely scratching the surface of the game.

Without giving too much away, one of my friends elected to destroy the town, and did exactly that. Now, for the rest of his play-through, Megaton doesn’t exist, and he never has access to any of the shops, people, and side quests that the town has to offer. That’s just a small sample of how dynamic Fallout 3 is.
TrueGameHeadz, 3.5/5.
Just to be clear, in case the subtlety didn’t work: “Fallout 3” has some atrocious writing; a key element that is essential in an RPG. Sometimes the story is the only reason, we tolerate poor game play mechanics (ex: the “Final Fantasy” series). “FO3” fails to meet these standards through its’ numerous plot holes, forced dialog lines, and easily forgettable characters.

The strange thing about “Fallout 3” is, despite its numerous flaws, it is still a fairly decent game.
RewiredMind, 4.5/5.
Fallout 3 seems to be something missing though. Whether it’s the surrealism of the entire story and the things you have to do whilst embarking on your quests or whether there doesn’t actually seem to be much of a purpose behind the whole game, I’m not sure.

Without a set way of going about finishing the game, you’re really free to go where you want and do what you please, however you can think of doing it, and that will really give each player a slightly different experience. If you like a bit of blood, some gunplay and an RPG, why not give it a go?

Posted by Per - at 1:15

Los Angeles Times, A.

The engrossing game-play and magnificent graphics, combined with generally small load times, make it all truly spectacular. After you begin, it's hard not to want to explore more, a hallmark of a great outing like this one.

Yes, a lot of what Fallout 3 does can be compared to last year's amazing Bioshock, but the detail and precision with which this game was made shouldn't be missed.
Kezins, 9/10.
Unfortunately, your love affair with Fallout 3 will not be immediate as it takes a few hours to get into the groove of the game — especially if, like this writer, you haven’t played Oblivion before.

The atmosphere does its best to immerse you in a realistic disaster report world where you’re afraid to go out at night, but the story fails to do the same. It might be tied to the fact that you can make town-destroying decisions, but its still a short, linear path with a weak, anticlimactic ending that fails to conjure up any type of sympathetic emotion; something the atmosphere, as mentioned, excels at.
The Niagara Falls Review.
That said, gamers who have played Oblivion will feel immediately comfortable with the layout and story design of Fallout 3. From the interesting characters with branching dialogue trees that clue you into one of the myriad side quests available to tackle, to an engaging main storyline that sees you searching for your scientist father (voiced by Liam Neeson), Bethesda delivers another top-notch action role-playing game.
Yahoo! Spiele, 89%.
The weaknesses of the diagram engine are made by the mad tendency and the end time atmosphere, as well as the mad architecture of the capital and environment again.

Generally speaking full package, which tied Bethesda here, hides itself certainly the best role performance of the yearly. Only which is missing, is the certain prize drama and the Sahnehäubchen of unforeseeable idioms, to little love and hate little in the action, which to a by far higher valuation would help the play. But the size, which black humor, which makes style and the freedom from a play a world - a world into which one, despite death and danger, only to gladly its time spends.
Gametactics, 9.
Unfortunately the main quest makes doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps in an expansion they will explain certain key pieces and it will all click but there is no excuse as you why they weren’t included. But do not fret; the main quest is but a tiny piece of the game. The story of Fallout 3 is your story of exploration.
Gamecell, 9/10.
As a confirmed, long standing fan of western RPGs going back to the good old, fat manual and glossy A3 sized map in the box PC tradition, it strikes me that Fallout 3 evokes a strong sense of a bygone era. It's very much in the mould of classics like the original Deus Ex, System Shock 2 or Thief and has the obligatory big, bold, vividly-realised epic quality while maintaining a very strong sense of structure and purpose.

I assumed that this kind of old school grand design had been lost forever, given the elbow in favour of the modern, streamlined & dumbed down approach that leaves me so cold.
German GameZone, 9.3.
The main question for every German player seems to revolve around the delicate topic of censorship. As recently revealed, our version was approved as USK 18 and modified for Germany, thus cut. All the bloody scenes are missing, i.e. no exploding heads, nor any arms or legs falling off. Instead our guys are "merely" tossed around painfully, but keep lying around the landscape for eternity. Of course the import offers infinite amounts of wasted life juice, which paints the camera red more often than not. Additionally, depending on the weapon used, the bodies of the enemies are vaporised to dust. But seriously now - we tried both versions long enough to come to the conclusion that even without splatter effects there's the same well-executed atmosphere as well as the same fun.

Bethesda Softworks really did it! It's hard to stop writing about this piece of work, just how it's hard to put down the controller once you dive into the virtual future of Washington DC. The nights are becoming very long and the matresses will long for their owners who won't go to bed! Because there'll always be another prisoner to be saved and maybe you could send the next mutant to heck as well. Then there's also ... you see where this is going.

News for Thursday, November 13, 2008

Posted by Per - at 21:34

Video Gamer reports that the upcoming DLC service on Games for Windows Live will start off with Fallout 3 content. No date, though.

Pete Hines, vice president of public relations and marketing for Bethesda Softworks commented: "Games for Windows LIVE helps us expand the Fallout 3 universe and bring the full experience directly to gamers. Through the Marketplace we now have a no-nonsense way to deliver updates and great downloadable content. It's really a complete package, and a great fit for Fallout 3."
PC Games Hardware offers comparative screenshots to show how the graphic quality of Fallout 3 can be improved by mad tinkering, but as you can expect it comes with a performance trade-off. Check the one where a whole bunch of houses appear out of nowhere even though trees further away change only in detail.
Bethesda's Fallout 3 is, like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on the Gamebryo Engine. On closer distances the engine is still able to deliver convincing graphics, but on long distances missing details and washy textures become obvious. You can change that in the "FALLOUT.ini”.
Spookingtons has a Fallout 3 comic strip which is just the thing for those who lost their faith in webcomics visiting CAD.

Finally I offer two user-made movies I found out there. You remember how in Oblivion people would set up huge domino-style contraptions? It's now been done in Fallout 3 although on a smaller scale. And then there's "Bear vs. Teddy Bear" which made me smile.

Posted by Per - at 19:27

Boomtown, second review, 8.

Despite the epic gameplay on offer here I do have a few major issues with the game. The initial atmospheric feeling is lost after a couple of hours as the game employs dark humor that falls flat. There is no fear of the wastelands and when it gets dark what little fear you have is never heightened. Games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R managed to capture this atmosphere perfectly, but Fallout 3 hasn't. Also, the open landscape level design is fantastic, but every metro station and underground area is identical making them repetitive and boring. The AI occasionally bats for team retard as enemies find it hard to navigate certain terrain and ducking behind cover confuses them.
Games32, 91 (but offering a "second opinion" which, from the sound of it, wouldn't go that high).
As a conclusion, I can only say that Fallout 3 won`t go by unnoticed. Most probably hated by Fallout veterans and adored by newcomers, Fallout 3 is indeed Bethesda`s best work, but definitely not suited to the Fallout universe. For me, I`m sorry to say, Fallout 3 just doesn`t cut it.
Planet Notion.
Gameplay is smooth and engaging, and the level system leaves you a great deal of choice over how your character will develop. Become a smooth talking sharpshooter or an alcoholic brawler, an expert with explosives or a genius with computers. Whatever you choose, the game will accommodate, and leave you with a satisfying and compelling narrative. Go and buy Fallout 3, you really won’t regret it.
Games for Windows.
Playing it, all complaints were wiped away. For all the charm of the isometric predecessors, Fallout 3 gives you a sense of realism unmatched in the earlier games. Now, the ruins of blasted freeways overshadow you as see the apocalypse through your own eyes.

While the Fallout series likes to put you in uncomfortable situations, looking someone in the eye and watching a bad choice unfold in Fallout 3 is something else. I’ve been coddled, I suppose, by games like Fable and Knights of the Old Republic, where you could easily infer the good or evil course of action. Here, in Fallout 3, Bethesda has turned morality on its ear.
HellBored, 9.4.
Went through the conversation tree and the end result was a gunfight with my supposed employer. Bam, killed him, but then had to flee the town as the entire populous was gunning for me. The problem now was I had to spend hours wandering the wastes doing little side missions for an age before I could return. Not the end of the world but an annoyance.

But really, those why find the missions a little repetitive are missing the point, because while Fallout 3 is certainly not perfect, the goods outweigh the bad to such a degree that the negatives really can be ignored.
Paw Print.
This game is not for the faint at heart; it's gorier than a chainsaw bloodbath from Gears of War and some of the quests demand you to do things far beyond even the moral boundaries of the Manson family. I suggest playing this game in a well lit room filled with teddy bears and close friends. If not, there's a strong chance of depression and loneliness.
The Rotunda, 9/10.
One surprise I received while playing the game was the rewarding of the character with perks. You gain a perk each time you gain a level and also sometimes from completing a quest. They are game changers that improve your character, making them even more individualized. This element in its own right gives you amazing replay value, not to mention the 200+ hours of game play if you include side quests.
Maxim, 4/5.
Also, while the presentation of the game seems to be first-person shooter intensive, there's a surprising amount of meticulous planning and maneuvering you'll have to do before jumping into fights. Great for those who have a lot of sit-down time, bad for those who just want to pick up and play.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:11

First, on the info front, we have expanded our map pages to mirror an interactive map of Fallout 3, a great job by zazoum.
A second expansion has been made to the locations page, which can now guide you to the Behemoths, as well as a slew of Fat Mans and mini nukes that the game is littered with (not a complete list yet).

Second on the info front, we've put up an information page on the Fallout 3 recruitable NPCs. Fiddling about with console commands made stats appeared for each of the 8 possible NPCs, and it turns out that all humanoid ones scale to the level of the PC. It's a bit fiddly on what exactly this does, it appears to upgrade hit points and 3 main skills but we might not have nailed it down yet so excuse any small errors.

On the modding front:
Max Tael's MTUI is another interface overhaul mod designed for ease-of-use on higher-resolution PCs.
Mikael Grizzly's Fo3 Original Combat Armour is a texture mod that changes the look of combat armor.
Mimezu's texture pack + addons is a package of improved and sharpened textue for great optical pleasure.
Hmudaa's T-51B as default BoS power armor switches the armor models so the standard BoS model is the T-51b.
lexo1000's An Ultimate Fallout 3 Music Mod is an easy-to-implement huge file that puts all the old Fallout 1/2 tracks over the Fallout 3 ones.

There's an absolute metric ton of small-to-big mods on Fallout 3 Nexus, including a lot of texture upgrades for those having general problems with the look, but also including tweaks and gameplay changes, as well as stuff like the killeable children mod

News for Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 22:15

You may have noticed NMA was down for a handful of hours earlier today. Our server, Old Stalwart, decided to give up the ghost and just collapsed wholesale due to the rather large amount of traffic we've been getting lately. It is possible we'll see sporadic downtimes in the coming few days as ourr move to a new server gets sorted out. A few minor errors may pop up and we're addressing them as we find them, please report any problem you have via our contact form.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Posted by Per - at 14:21

There have been plenty of reports of Fallout 3 problems especially with the PS3 version, and Kotaku has had enough:

Been sitting on this for a few days, just in case Bethesda managed to get their act together since Fahey's post, but the number of users affected and time that's passed is getting a little much. Seems Fallout 3 is still broken. It's broken on PS3, it's broken on 360, it's especially broken on PC. The console versions are still crashing and freezing and corrupting in various spots, while the PC version...well, where do we start.

Now, before we get too down on Bethesda, the same thing happened with Oblivion. Game was all kinds of broken, eventually patches came out, game stopped being broken, everyone got on with their lives. And the same will no doubt happen with Fallout 3. It's just a shame that, over two years on, people throwing down good money on a Bethesda game have had to put up with the same mess all over again.
In less entertaining news, Ctrl+Alt+Del deals a blow of mockery from which the previous Fallout games surely can never recover. The joke seems to be either "Turn-based combat is unrealistic, HAHA" or "Role-playing games use numbers to represent stuff, HAHA", I'm not really sure.

Posted by Per - at 13:53

Loot Ninja, 9/10.

Exploration is key to the game as the player is placed in a huge sandbox to play in, make the most of it. I’ve taken to doing a chunk of the storyline, then a few side quests, then more story line and I’m still missing tons of content.

Fallout 3 still has its RPG roots but allows for much more fun and fluid experience compared to the standard RPG.
Spinit.
The only problem I had with the game was one metro station freezes the game every time I try to enter it. This seems to be just me, and is not something everyone needs to look for. I mention it only so you understand that a game this large and open is nearly impossible to test completely and you may encounter some frustrating parts like that.
Team Teabag, 10/10.
Fans of the series will be wondering how well it makes the transition from overhead turn-based to first-person real-time and, I can put you out of your misery, it really is quite incredible how they managed to take a solid concept and make it even more immersive. If you’ve played Oblivion you will most likely have fallen in love with that game and will appreciate how expansive and alive the world feels.
Video Game Media, 9.2.
Fallout 3 is not just a worthy addition to the series - it's also a fantastic action role-playing game in its own right and a solid contender for Game of the Year.

A nice addition to the leveling system is the introduction of "perks", which are special bonuses that open up as the player advances.

So while the game will likely leave an impression, that's not because of its RPG elements, but because of its surprisingly strong combat elements and its excellent presentation.
GotGame, non-fan review.
Overall, Fallout 3 sucked me in quicker than I ever expected and kept me there up until the end and even afterwards. I’m really looking forward to my second and third play through with this one. If you have ever enjoyed a western-style RPG, you will fully enjoy Fallout 3. Also, if you ever wanted to get into RPGs but find yourself going back to Halo or Call of Duty, the faster-paced combat lends itself to run-and-gun gameplay.
GotGame, fan review.
So I persevered through my frustrations and feelings of fanboyish scorn… and now I’m at a point where I don’t want to do this review anymore because it takes time away from playing the game.

It took me a few hours to “take off the nostalgia goggles” and embrace the changes that Bethesda brings to the Fallout series. But once embraced, oh how the doors of awesomeness open. I love this game: the wit, the story, the dialogue, the reading material, even the combat system has grown on me. I love Fallout, plain and simple, and I love Bethesda for bringing back this franchise with such a fantastic game.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 5/5.
A designer once said games were "a series of interesting questions". Role playing specialists Bethesda must have taken notes because this post-apocalyptic blockbuster asks players difficult questions, putting them in tough situations.
Gameplanet, second review, 8.5/10.
Those wanting to explore the world in extreme detail would still be better off by picking up the PC release however - most gaming aficionados have admired the potential of the Oblivion engine on the PC, and it's clear that the quality has been reduced to allow it to run adequately on the current consoles.

Bethesda have taken everything that was good about Oblivion and improved on it in many ways. It's always promising to see a developer improve with each game (especially when the quality of each game is so high to begin with) and I cannot wait to see what they manage to pull off next.

I just hope they figure out a way to remove some of the artificial from the intelligence in their world.
GameOn, 9.5/10.
I found the opening of the game to be excellent and the approach taken to character development is genuinely unique and amusing. The first few quests and levels of the game are very well executed and really help to create a sense of immersion, introducing the characters and creating a sense of association with your protagonist.

Posted by Per - at 0:24

Barrel edition, sort of. Will try to keep it short. And sweet. Muahaha.

Yahoo! Games, 5/5.

Fallout 3 is a technical triumph, but more importantly, it's a beautiful piece of design, exploring the well-trodden video game ground of good vs. evil better than any other game to date.
randombullseye blog.
The first two are two notable for using the Infinity engine and a turn based battle system.
Avion.
'Fallout 3" is an instant masterpiece of computer games. Bigger and better than even "Oblivion," Bethesda has out done itself once again.

The only complaints about "Fallout 3" can be that it is so engaging that when one of its few bugs does pop up, it really sticks out.
LucidLAN.
The user is not being stuck with a particular set of quests and how to do them. You can practically do everything you want to and how you want to.
Digital Spy, 4/5.
Previous Fallout titles are well known for their comedic dialogue and black humour, but here we have a more sombre entry to the series. Bethesda has gone for a deeper concept, a strong script and meaningful inter-character relationships.

Gameplay mechanics are much improved this time around.
Gamepyre, 96.
I’ve know I’ve missed some Bethesda games like Redguard, but I was shocked when I found out that I’ve missed on the entire Fallout series up until now.

Hey, what can I say, this game is pretty much perfect.
RF Generation, 9.0/10.
They certainly didn't hold back and I found it quite hilarious to hear the NPCs cursing like drunken sailors, even the children. Sorry, let me rephrase that, imaginative drunken sailors. Where some games use it as a cheap laugh, in this one you can certainly understand as society has crumbled and things are truly bleak.
STACK.
This action/role-player is set in a vast world filled with all of the organisations featured in the previous two games.
Scratched Disk Apocalypse blog, 4.5.
Exiting the building I turn around to see the friend of the raider I have just killed taking careful aim at me with his fat man Mini nuke launcher.

However the real pleasure comes from having mass freedom.
X3F Fancast Defense Force blog, 9.5/10.
Not only does Fallout 3 give you choice in dialogue and actions but also in quests. If someone asks you to do something you never really have to do it.

There is also a great amount of detail that shows in Fallout 3. Sometimes it is just little things like assigning a weight to each object in the game so you know how much you can carry at once, but sometimes the detail stands out far more and it is apparent Bethesda thought of everything.
STLtoday, B+.
Here and there, a few names and descriptions pop up that remind of previous “Fallout” games, but this one stays away from dwelling on the past. Instead, gamers might think “Fallout 3″ smacks of the unrelated “Oblivion” fantasy RPG — minus the wizards and warlocks.
Gaming Life appends IGN's ratings at the bottom for some reason, so I assume they think 9.6 is an accurate assessment.
Fallout 3 is probably one of the newest role-playing games that offers full deliverance and a gripping, action packed game.

Just make sure that you see everything, which can take at least 100 hours of exploring. I mean, you'll get more XP points for every ruin that you find, as it will tell you a story of a former inhabitant.
Chris' Games Blog... blog.
Fallout 3, a FPS sequel to the great Fallout series made by Bethesda but originally made by Black Isle Studios.

But do not be turned off by the fact that it is an fps, it still retains the core of Fallout 3 with VATS.
Hemarroid's Blog blog, 5/10.
One thing that Bethesda could have made (since the text description are gone) was to make all as explicit as it was in the old days, but they have failed in that task, even panties were out of the equation...

News for Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Posted by Per - at 19:53

GameShark, second review, A.

You may have already heard about the large bomb nestled in the heart of Megaton city, but it serves as the perfect example of the gratuitous freedom offered in Fallout 3. On one hand, you could detonate the bomb and drown in waterfalls of wealth and bad karma. On the other, you could disarm it for the Sheriff and bask in the simple pleasure of a child’s smiling face. What nobody tells you about are the options in-between. You could let Burke and the Sheriff duke it out and loot the corpses, or dismiss the entire situation and simply walk away.
Diehard GameFAN gives a "good" rating overall but a "pretty poor" rating in the "miscellaneous" category. Whatever you do, don't buy this game for the miscellaneous.
The voice cast star studded, and the performances are stellar. As mentioned above Liam Neeson is the voice of your father. Roddy McDowell is the voice President Eden, the leader of the Enclave. Ron Perlman is the voice of the Narrator. You as the main star have no voice actor assigned to you. Why exactly I don’t know. After playing Mass Effect I know that it’s possible to have an RPG where the main character has a voice.

At one point I was walking when I saw a fire fight break out. As I got closer I saw two caravans being attacked by a Deathclaw. Not wanting these sources of possible medicine and ammunition to be destroyed I jumped in and started helping. We beat the beastie, but not without the loss of two people. And it was totally random. You just don’t see things like that in most games.
PlayStation Beyond, 9.5/10.
The dialogue system is similar to the dialogue system in Mass Effect, for those that don't know how that system works; it is simply a list of things available to say depending on what you have learned throughout your journey in the Capital Wasteland and the level of your Speech or Barter skill. The dialogue is inferior to Mass Effect in one way; the main protagonist does not speak...ever, despite this Fallout 3's dialogue system is one of the best available.
Dread Central, 4.5/5.
This game is rife with responsibility; you have a lot on your shoulders. Any game with the option to enter a dangerous abandoned vault to find a violin for an old woman who can't repay you that also offers the option to infiltrate an underground city entirely populated with children and turn them over to slavers is clearly above and beyond the average moral choices offered in interactive entertainment. The kicker? You can do both in the same play through.
AusGamers, 9.5/10.
Moreover, interacting with other characters in the game-world is an equally old-school affair with oftentimes single replies repeated over and over again. There's no real dynamism to conversations either, which is just difficult to swallow after being given something as robust as Mass Effect's conversation wheel.

The real problem here is while Bethesda have tried really hard to craft a dynamic world with consequence, they've left out some really simple (and completely obvious) stuff that would have gone a long way to creating an even deeper sense of suspended disbelief.

As I mentioned earlier, this might sound like nitpicking, but when you look at everything they've gotten right with Fallout 3 (and there's a lot, because the whole game and experience is absolutely massive in scope, detail and execution), all of this just makes it feel somewhat short of an ultimate goal.
CheatMasters blog.
It is this freedom and decision making which sets Fallout 3 apart from other first person shooter and adventure role playing titles and to be honest puts it into a completely new level of it’s own, and it will certainly be the title that others to come will aspire to match when it comes to the depth and variety the game offers you as a gamer.

If anything is going to better Fallout 3, it will appear on the next batch of consoles in four or five years time. Fallout 3 is today’s gaming at it’s best, and is a must buy so go get it.
The Michigan Times, A.
At one point every monster I killed would clip through the floor and disappear from view. Odd effect of the nuclear radiation or an annoying bit of bad coding? You be the judge.

Posted by Per - at 17:41

Kotaku reports that adjustments are being made to the Japanese release of Fallout 3 to remove or tone down certain elements.

The side-quest The Power of the Atom has been changed. Non-playable-character Mr. Burke has been taken out of this side-quest, removing the option of detonating the nuclear bomb. That's not all, the name of a weapon was changed as it was deemed "inappropriate" for Japan. Smart money says the weapon is mini-nuke launcher "Fat Man" for obvious reasons. The online reaction from the Japanese users seems to be largely disappointment to these edits. Fallout 3 goes on sale in Japan this December.
If I read the translation of the press release right, there will also be no dismemberment of humans or named ghouls, while feral ghouls, super mutants and beasts will still fly apart and there is no (other) reduction in gore.

Link: Bethesda press release (in Japanese)
Link: Auto-translated version (not in Japanese)

Spotted at N4G.

Posted by Per - at 2:56

Adrenaline Vault is going to run a Bethesda Q&A this Friday:

This week, we kick things off with Bethesda’s VP Pete Hines and the lead designer of Fallout 3, Emil Pagliarulo (both formerly of AVault). Turks, Chris and Billy will be taking your questions through Wednesday, so if there’s ANYTHING you want to find out about Fallout 3, from those actually in the know, stop by the forums and post your questions.
If you have a question or two you'll have to post them over here (registration required). You have two days! Then you turn into a pumpkin!

TweakGuides has put up an extensive Fallout 3 Tweak Guide (thanks to pewbeng) which not only details all the options in the INI file, it also lists mods and communities, console commands and "neat stuff" which is probably code for unspeakable things. This repository of much knowledge is not to be missed if you have any sort of interest in these things.
iMinGrassSize=80 - This setting controls the density of grass clumps. The higher the value, the less tightly packed grassy areas will be; the lower the value, the more grass there will be. In other words, lowering this value will significantly reduce FPS in most outdoor areas, but can make the game world seem more lush and overgrown. For example, try a value of 10 and it will radically alter what the wasteland looks like. Alternatively if you're after a performance boost or just want less grass for visual reasons, raise it to a value such as 140 to greatly thin out the grass (Fallout.ini).
Meanwhile, AtomicGamer features a Fallout 3 Character Creation Guide with two character types: ranged and mêlée.
It'd be nice to just focus on using a couple of guns to do most of your killing in Fallout 3, but unfortunately the game generally stops you from doing this with weapon degradation. Unless it's maybe an Assault Rifle or Hunting Rifle and you're in DC, you just won't find enough guns on dead bodies to repair your current guns with. You might have an ammo problem as well. This means that generally you're best off relying on a couple of the ranged weapon skills - and the full range of weapons included in each of them - for maximum combat efficiency.
And in the latest reviews

Posted by Brother None - at 1:35

The review is still a bit off (but coming) and in the meantime we've constructed a construction piece, with some quick thoughts and impressions shared by our staffers Sander, Pope Viper, Mikael Grizzly and Makagulfazel. As we all wait for the NMA review (I'm curious to read it myself), hold on with the NMA impressions piece.

Speaking of Makagulfazel, we have him to thank for our detailed Fallout 3 items page, which has now been expanded with an armor page.

News for Monday, November 10, 2008

Posted by Per - at 19:51

Gaminator, 7 (thanks to KKND).

The 7/10 is the note for a game which is not called Fallout. If you do not know previous titles, or you do not like them as much, then you probably won't bother that some symbols from the series were simply dessecrated. And that's ok, because it has flaws, it is solid CRPG-shooter in the atmosphere of world destroyed by a (too) big war. However, if Fallouts are big part of your memories, then, well...it's hard to give it more than 3/10. It's true that they succeeded in changing the perspective to first-person, the atmosphere was preserved to some degree, but...it lacks the most important thing - playing with the player. There aren't any good side-quests, main-plot is only for about 10 hours of play, the icons of the series - like Brotherhood or their power armors - were degraded to complete mediocrity. And, what is the worst - we were treated like people, whose IQ level isn't something they can be proud of. And we cannot forgive that.
The New York Times.
It takes a lot of gumption to blow up the entire Washington area; render the wreckage in detailed yet almost painterly strokes; populate the wasteland with all manner of alternately deranged, endearing and frightening characters; weave a score of intersecting story lines; sprinkle on a thick layer of high-powered weaponry; and simply set the player loose. Yet that is what Bethesda Softworks accomplishes with Fallout 3, one of the most ambitious single-player role-playing games in recent years.
The Adventuress blog.
The entire skills and stat system is very similar to the one in Oblivion, so you may have an advantage to this game if you’re an Oblivion fan.
The Gamers Cafe.
Fallout 3 is still kick ass game to play. Sure it has it very minor imperfections, but they hardly scratch the surface of almost bombed out world that is very exciting to explore and ravage. Oblivion without the trees and perfect braining of enemies heads. What more could you want?
Jolt, 9.6.
And what a rich experience Fallout 3 is, anyway. Everyone’s journey can and will be different, but nobody’s should be disappointing. The game combines the strengths of two fine RPG series, which for Fallout 3 means compelling narrative in a post-apocalyptic setting and immersive gameplay in a huge, open-ended world. All of this just leaves one question to answer: is Fallout 3 a contender for Game of the Year? And the answer: undeniably, yes.
D+Pad, 5/5.
The real genius of Fallout 3 is that the focus is never lost; no matter how far from the main story thread you stray – and it’s possible to ignore it for countless hours – Bethesda have ensured that a sense of cohesion is maintained.

Though it doesn’t do anything particularly revolutionary, the level of artistry is so far beyond anything we’ve played recently that it almost doesn’t need to; standing uniquely in the busy Christmas schedule and indeed within 2008 as a whole, Fallout 3 is an experience to savour, a game about which every player will have their own story to tell.
Bright Hub, second review, 5/5.
The basic premise of the story is tried and true Fallout: Independence and the outside world are thrust upon you for one reason or another and you are left to sort out what you ultimately do. The big difference is that this time it is for personal reasons rather than some "for the greater good" motive. This gives your character a much more open venue to take care of things as you wish.
Made of Awesome blog, 9/10.
One of the game’s best moments for me was a character with a long laundry list of weird or even stupid requests. She went from, “dear god can I shoot her” to “why can’t I make my character marry her?” Some of the characters are that entertaining.
RPGCodex.
You, the proverbial role player, will enjoy the varied way you can respond to NPCs and the how you can shape the world through your actions. You might even find a hard to make choice here and there about whether to go with your guts or to go with what you know is right. Above all, it’s about discovery, and discovery is what Bethesda does best.

Ironically, discovery is also a cause of hurt in the world of Fallout 3. The game is perfectly fine with the player choosing the wild dialog options, but as soon as things get back to the real world, it doesn’t want you to go off track. Once a script ends, it ends, and the game doesn’t want you running it anymore. This is perhaps the biggest difference between Fallout 3 and its predecessors. The original Fallout begged you to break it. It begged you to get caught at level 2 by the Super Mutants, and attempt to kill Killian with Tycho at your side. Fallout 3 gives you choice, but outside of those choices it can get fuzzy. You attack someone through insulting dialog instead of starting the fight by running up and clobbering them with your baseball bat. There are many things to discover around the volcano, just don’t jump in it, or go to that area labeled “Caution: Native Cannibals”.

Posted by Per - at 3:42

Toronto Thumbs.

My second gripe – and it’s one I realize that no amount of patching can possibly fix – is that the AI of some of the NPCs is just awful at times. Interrupted speech, getting in the line of fire, and general lack of facial expression in times of severe danger are among the things that should be addressed in any follow-ups to this game. A lot of work has obviously gone into making the world of Fallout 3 a believable one, and for most games the AI problems wouldn’t be an issue because they would be on par with everything else in the game. But Fallout 3 is actually more than a game.
The Stute.
New to the mix is the V.A.T.S. aiming mode, which turns "Fallout 3" into a turn based shooter.
Absolute Games, 75%.
Alas, having successfully reproduced the shell Of fallout, Bethesda substituted its contents.

Bethesda relishes murders, accentuating attention to the crushed tortoises and the torn extremities; however, they perish here exceptionally adult - children they are immortal. Really the value of human life does change with the age? Apparently, the brutal handlings above the defenseless very young girls and the decrepit old men considered it more ethical - the scissors of their censorship they did not touch.
ComputerGames, 72/100 (thanks to Dominus).
To me, Fallout 3 is Bethesda's best game yet, but it's got more holes than a sinking ship. It's a perfect symbol for contemporary games: oversimplified, too accessible and way too commercial. The clever, edgy dialogues are gone, along with the complex relationships and the depth of the game world, replaced by a flawed visual feast, generic conversations and a gameplay fit for the masses.
Gaming Verdict, 9/10.
To wrap it all up, I know I might have weighted this review somewhat to the negative aspects that I perceived in the game, but if so that is only because so much praise has already been heaped upon it. That praise is deserved, to be sure, but the game certainly has some areas that could see improvement. Having said that, there hasn’t been a game in a long time that has gripped me in this manner.
Neowin.
In conclusion, Fallout 3 is definitely worth a look at; the game appeals to both the casual and hardcore gamers. Whilst it is debatably Oblivion for 2008, there really wasn't much to work on in Oblivion, and what there was has been noted and improved. Fallout 3 has all it takes to be a mainstream, yet special RPG, that appeals to a wide audience. Even those who have not played many RPGs before, or even none at all, will feel comfortable playing what could only be described as one of this year's most remarkable games. The price may be a little high for the special editions, but it's worth every penny when you consider that this is at the top end of video games.
Digital Chumps, 8.0.
Now, the problem of the game lies deep within the gameplay itself. Clearly following the success of Oblivion, which was just a hell of a game, rubbed off quite a bit on the gameplay mechanics of Fallout 3. That's a good and bad thing.

The characters details are so damn good too, as you can see someone's teeth, the proper mouth movement and just little things that remind you that Bethesda worked so darn hard on getting the visuals right. They did a near perfect job.

Posted by Per - at 1:28

Total PC Gaming, 10.

We've all given people vital to our quests and story development playful shots to the head only for nothing to happen, but when we tried it on our hovering house robot, we received a flamethrower to the face. Our loyal servant had become an angry adversary. Our unguided choice and freedom to do as we wished had been our undoing.

Fallout 3 cracks the problem of integrating FPS-style combat into a role-playing game’s structure more so than any other action RPG. Its sheer depth and detailed brilliance is deserving of high praise indeed, and perhaps worthy of something that has never been awarded before, whatever that could be…
TrustedReviews, 9/10.
In fact, while the cliched description of Fallout 3 as 'Oblivion with guns' is inaccurate, this is every bit as much an RPG as The Elder Scrolls IV, and maybe even more so.

Fallout 3 isn't an instant hit; it's a grower. If it were an album it wouldn't be the one you played constantly for a week but then forgot, but rather the one that you're not sure about for the first few plays, but still come back to ten years later.

While it's not as immediately brilliant as Oblivion or Bioshock, it counters this with a strong atmosphere, an epic tale and deeper game mechanics than either.
GameShout, 9.8/10.
I have to admit, when I first heard that Bethesda, the people behind the Elder Scrolls series, were going to be giving Fallout the Oblivion treatment, I was really worried. I feared a game of Fallout where you level up only by using the skills and where you’d have to repeatedly arm and disarm your own landmine for a few hours to boost up your trap skill. Thankfully, Bethesda didn’t let Fallout fans down, and the core game ended up staying very true to its roots.

Fallout 3 is a first-person shooter / RPG hybrid.
No Hype Reviews and second opinion.
If you have no investment in the series or Bethesda you can live a long and healthy life without trying this title. You will be missing out on one of the strongest pieces of art in the medium.

Occasionally while car hopping you will fall through a car, and have the car then fall on you, and you die, which is upsetting.
The Campus Press.
This game is totally worth full price. Not only is the game rather long (if you play the side missions a lot), but the game can be played two or three times without becoming repetitive and the choice between being good and being evil adds to that.
Operation: Operator-C blog, A.
I’m here to say that anybody interested in a new Fallout game, or any decent action-RPG with a unique, interesting theme should stop worrying, stop wondering, and grab a copy of Fallout 3 as soon as possible. That is, unless you’re a close minded fan boy, spouting disappointed drivel across the internet that would make even a sadistic post-apocalyptic raider blush.

Sometimes, however, it fills like there’s too much content compacted into the game, but I couldn’t possibly fault the game for that.
NZGamer, 8.8.
Fallout 3 is a very difficult game to put down and the strange thing is, the game isn’t even all that brilliant in terms of gameplay alone. It’s basically just a typical mash-up of RPG elements and plenty of first-person shooting thrown in. Yet it’s the overall presentation, level of detail and good old fashioned story-telling in Fallout 3 that cause it to be extremely addictive.
gram.pl, 4.5.
On the new Falloucie to write possible really long and a great deal, is this since without the doubts plays very developed. Difficult also to avoid automatically overlaping itself comparisons to preceding games from the series, though from a second side the entire cutting off from a praiseworthy past also ought not to take place. What sort therefore is new Fallout? Is other, this certain. The drastic change of perspective, from what sort we observe events in the game, had to pull for itself quite a lot the changes. These however they appear to be in the famous majority considered and good fitted in the new face postnuklearnej of saga. Is not this however for sure only postnuklearny of fashions to Obliviona, how they affirm some. This solid, though the not devoid of mistakes plays, which might really nicely pull and several times systematically kick in bum. About only will how many be overcome anticipations. Fallout 3 is other. But is really good.

News for Sunday, November 9, 2008

Posted by Per - at 1:46

Little bit of barrel-scraping here, but it makes for funny quotes.

Worthplaying PC review, 9.6/10.

Certain armor can also bestow temporary bonuses in the same way that JRPG items do, which will likely grate the survivalist nerves of more than a few of the Fallout faithful. Some bonuses make more sense, such as when Power Armor grants improved strength or books that improve your skills. I still had a fantastic time despite this, but with so many of these extras floating around, the level cap felt pointless. It would have made more sense to not have a level cap but place a limit on perks, because once they're reached, it dramatically shifts the gameplay into one of pure scavenging without the drive to improve.
Ctrl+Alt+Del.
I've still got a ways to go with the game, but I've played for an entire day, and I'm looking forward to playing another one. It's not the Fallout 3 I'd been dreaming of for the last ten year, what Project Van Buren was supposed to be, what Starcraft 2 is to Starcraft... a true isometric successor with fancy 3D graphics.

But it is Fallout 3. And so far, it's really enjoyable.
Computer Shopper.
There’s very little humor in the game, and Bethesda has made the Fallout world quite depressing. You’ll recognize familiar landmarks, now in ruins. Your main objection in the game is to find out what happened to your father, and this involves talking to a lot of people. If you aren’t used to role-playing games, you might find this incredibly tiring. A lot of the game is about exploration, so don’t expect it to be entirely action and no substance.
Port City Gamers.
Besthesda Softwork's Fallout 3 has the perfect recipe to be a great game. Taking the Oblivion engine and wrapping it in a post apocalyptic Washington, D.C., and adding guns, I mean what else could you want? Well, unfortunately one thing they forgot to add was fun and excitement.
The Nerdiest Kids blog.
Fallout 3 is one of the year’s best games. The gameplay and atmosphere of the game should sell you alone. If you pass this up, you can die in a fire.
Fallout 3 blog.
I am so glad that they kept the VATS combat system of the older Fallouts. Honestly, without it, it wouldn't have really been Fallout.
Blend Games, 4.5/5.
While the storyline is a fitting continuation of the series, I wasn't as thrilled with the characters themselves. Liam Neeson voices the main character's father and he's awesome, but that's pretty much the only character you'll develop any sort of attachment to. It's an open-world game filled with hundreds of characters, many of whom you can kill at a whim, so I wasn't expecting too much character development. I was satisfied with how talkative most quest NPC's were, but the NPC companions are sadly made of cardboard.

The first two Fallout games have taken on this mythical aura amongst fans over the past decade and I have no reason to doubt that in time this game will be viewed with the same rose-colored glasses.
Gamer's Review, 89%.
Fall out 3 a beautiful role performance is very good general and despite the English acoustic output to understand, however the main problems are the animations of the characters, those usually too awkwardly and matt work and on the other side the intensified AI error, which disturbs the play river substantially, since one must to also sometimes escort and these then really dämlich employ themselves persons. However it is a mad play, which more good than bad characteristics possesses.
Yet Another Reviews Service, 9.
Fallout 3 is one of the most engaging and fun experiences I've had in a game in a very long time. The Xbox 360 version looks fantastic, and even with the few bugs it has, it is very easy to overlook them because of the sheer size and scope of the game. If you are a fan of Role Playing Games or First Person Shooters, then I recommend you pick up this game.

News for Saturday, November 8, 2008

Posted by Per - at 21:47

ZTGameDomain, 9.5.

Not only does this shortage lead to some tense moments of gameplay, I also found it adding another unexpected wrinkle to the gameplay. I found that constantly being short on Bottlecaps (currency in Fallout 3), Stimpacks, food, or drinkable water made the moral decisions in the game even more difficult. It's easy to tell someone offering you 100 caps for a job "That's alright, keep it. I just want to help". It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. That is until you realize that you're 98 caps short of the money you need to repair your favorite weapon or purchase much needed supplies. The weight of that sacrifice starts to push a little harder than you're used to.
games xtreme, 9.5.
Now finally I’ve been able to sink in some serious quality time with the game and I can report that Fallout 3, for me, was a huge success and is a massive open-ended beautifully crafted first/3rd person rpg with atomic levels of atmosphere and an almost insane level of detail.
The UberReview blog.
I have put in a few solid sessions on Fallout 3 over the past week and I have to say that the game is a rare treat. It has a gripping storyline, great visuals and the morality twist makes for a very interesting change from the norm.
Games On Net, 4/5.
Knowing that turn based combat is not very palatable to the masses, Bethesda has opted to take combat in a new direction. Players can fight in real time, but I advise that you don’t, because it’s bloody awful; enemies move around like headless chickens, so it’s difficult to get a shot in, the hitboxing is all over the place, and the enemies just don’t seem to react to being shot. It really just feels like Oblivion with a gun. Fortunately, combat is complimented by the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting system (or VATS).
Forever Geek, 9/10.
Whichever system you buy Fallout 3 on, believe the hype. I never normally say that, but this is truly an epic game in a number of ways…ranging from the many ways in which you can choose how to play the game all the way through to the superb atmosphere provided throughout.
Fun or Frustration? blog, with a separate spoilery plot review.
And so your character is stuck making a stupid binary decision, and all the while you’re staring at the game in utter disbelief, wondering why the most sensible option was explicitly left out. As a result, instead of an emotionally charged, dramatic ending, the immersion of the game is lost as you swear at the in-game characters for being locked into a ridiculous, easily-defused situation simply by virtue of bad plot design. Which means that, for an otherwise enjoyable game, the endgame is wholly unsatisfying and does not measure up to the caliber of the other gameplay elements.
theGUE video review is a bit drawly but has a couple of funny moments.
There's one particular place I don't want to ruin for anybody that hasn't played the game yet, but you find this Amazonian woman, so not only did the human race survive, but the Amazonians did as well, which is nice, means, you know, more diversity, you know, for, ah, you know, parties?

Posted by Per - at 19:54

Svenska Dagbladet, 5/6.

The game's greatest shortcoming is a paralysis that seems to have spread among the plants and people.

The trees stand like monoliths in the howling wind and the faces of the Fallout people are unpleasantly stiff even when they drone on in their long, uninteresting monologues.

These are annoying flaws in a world that is otherwise deeply fascinating to get lost in.
Talking About Games, A.
An aspect of NPC interaction that could use a makeover is the conversation system, though. It isn’t that there is anything particularly wrong with it, it’s just that since Fallout 3 began production there have been a few new RPG dialogue innovations that kind of make it hard at first to go back to the “old way” of doing things. What specifically comes to mind is the free flowing (and audible) voice of Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard. Again, there’s nothing really wrong with Fallout’s dialogue. It’s just difficult when you’ve had caviar to go back to fish and chips.
GeekFortress blog.
The depth of this game almost seems endless and the replayability makes it seem like several games in one. With glitches and errors aside the game still shines as a gem for all PS3 owners to experience if only by watching someone else play. You won’t be disappointed with what this game brings to the table and what we can expect future games to aspire to be.
Loading, 8.
A lot has to do with the perspective. This design decision which was criticized in advance actually works so well that it creates a kind of Metroid Prime effect; playing in first person perspective works so brilliantly that you wonder why no one realized this beforehand.

Bethesda manages to keep all the good parts of Oblivion while they really capture the characteristic aesthetics, feel and humour of Fallout. It is as ironic as it is logical that Bethesda, the company with the world's most boring design department, manages to make their first game with personality once they get to use another developer's characters, environments and worlds.
The Reticule blog.
Another aspect I think Bethesda deserve credit for is their cheeky nods to the fan community: The Brotherhood of Steel Outcasts representing No Mutants Allowed anyone? Not allowing you to slay children while giving you a town run by the most annoying little bastards in the world? Unlike Moira Brown (you’ll know what I mean when you meet her), you simply cannot plug them with 10mm, and Bethesda knew it when they put them in. Excellent. Intelligent. So very irritating.
Tech2, 4.5/5.
The channel gains some righteous rebel overtones thanks to its radio jockey – Three Dog – who is the 'good guy' of the wasteland since he brings everything from good advice to inspirational stories to the wasteland dwellers. If you decide to play the game while collecting positive karma, every now and then he'll speak of Mister Vault 101's (which is you) good deeds and ask people to give you a pat on the back. Such a simple yet effective device has never been used in a game before, and I applaud Bethesda's ingenuity in creating something so amazing that it utilizes simple means to enhance the immersion level.
Eurogamer.pt, 9/10.
It lacks to the Bethesda to complain the authorship and the details caracterizadores of the Fallout universe. Many of the fundamental principles of Fallout 3 are portion of the Black Isle Studios. Although this is unquestionable that the Bethesda knew to have in the hands and to take care of with the due respect the Fallout name. More than to know to reinventar a game and to assure a desirable evolution, it is over all in the base and composition of a world directed to avesso for the harshness of the war and where the survivors fight for the life in the center of the destruction, that if cheated the biggest step.

Posted by Per - at 3:17

play.tm, 96%.

Now, while Fallout 3 naturally 'feels' like Oblivion in terms of its gameplay structure, narrative possibilities, contributing NPC scope, and the wealth of positive benefits and negative consequences hanging on the player's every decision, what it offers those willing to immerse themselves into its relentless desolation is a game that betters Oblivion and delivers wholeheartedly on the unfulfilled promises of BioShock and Mass Effect.

Quantifying the merits of a videogame during the reviewing process is generally a case of identifying its genre placement and assessing whether it measures up to, or perhaps even surpasses, integral related and/or established yardsticks of quality. However, every now and again a game comes along that absolutely refuses to be tied down by preconceived notions of what it should or shouldn't be, instead rising mightily above the gamut of gaming mediocrity and unashamedly embarrassing other, supposedly top-tier titles in the process.
io9.
You can leave your mark on the world of Fallout 3 with the smoking barrel of your 10mm sub-machine gun, or you can carve out a slice of civilization in this desperate place. It's as if you're the director, author and lead actor all at once, and you do your own stunts. All in all, it's a very satisfying sci-fi gaming experience.
The Rice Thresher, 5/5.
The game's setting may be pretty bleak and desolate, but the graphics are stunning. Fallout 3 boasts an impressive draw distance that not only shows distant landmarks on the horizon but also displays crisp textures within the player's immediate surroundings. The enemies are slimy, the guns are rusty, the explosions look awesome and the level of detail in the junk and rubble alone is amazing.
Game and Player hands out 4.5/5 using some words I had to look up.
Skirmishes in corridors should trigger a little nostalgia for Oblivion, but will also manifest the familiar shortcomings of dramatic scenes carried out in the Gamebryo engine. Were it a play, lines and blocking would betray a lack of rehearsal; it's a little frenetic and absurd. All of this exposes a lack of polish evident in NPC interactions throughout the game and may shock the player expecting better from Bethesda. It took at least a few hours for my own impression of Fallout 3 to be redeemed.
Gateway.
All kidding aside, "Fallout 3" is by far one of the best games to come out this year. While some have complained that the main storyline leaves something to be desired, the most enjoyment comes from simply wandering around the area, finding unique places and people, then blowing them apart.
New York Post, A.
Like many old-school Fallout fans, I was alarmed at first when I heard that the game would be giving up its tried & true isometric view. I was even more worried by the possibility that the game would be little more than 'Oblivion with a Fallout skin.'

Neither of those worries came anywhere near true. This is Fallout, nothing but Fallout, and it's a masterpiece.

I'm honestly at a bit of a loss as how to wrap this up. Fallout 3 is phenomenal, and there's no question that you should run out and buy it if you haven't already.

But, really, who hasn't bought it yet?
PLAY, 97%.
The much-lauded V.A.T.S. combat system works brilliantly and makes Fallout 3’s combat both compelling and strategic. With it, enemy attacks can be frozen in time and specific body parts targeted and crippled. This enables you to take on and beat some of the game’s tougher enemies, even at a relatively low level.

Fallout 3 is a brilliant, daring game. It expands on the Oblivion formula in numerous ways and is equally as compulsive to play. It’s not for everyone, though. The dark and gritty world and the adult themes make Fallout 3 unique in the medium of videogames and we thoroughly recommend that you experience it.

News for Friday, November 7, 2008

Posted by Per - at 22:32

ParaGamer, 9.0/10.

Fallout 3 shares some of its features with the Elder Scrolls series more than it does with previous Fallout games. You are able to wait and sleep for several hours and you can also fast travel to any location that you have discovered. It is a far more spirited and intense game in terms of combat and action. You will probably notice that the movement is a bit robotic but this is easy to forgive considering how the game devotes its main qualities to other areas of play.
The West Georgian, 10/5.
Fans of the series became worried as initial glimpses of the game seemed to differ drastically from the first two. At release, however, this fan was more than pleased with the result.

After attending a midnight launch for the game at Gamestop here in Carrollton, I could barely tear away from my computer. Playing it straight through, I can say that the game fully deserves its title, being a qualified successor to the original greats.
MSN Tech & Gadgets UK.
Fallout 3 is an excellent, story-based RPG that gets its hooks into you right from the off. If you’re after a game that will keep you engrossed for weeks and that requires thought and patience as well as a quick trigger finger, it comes highly recommended.
VGWatchdog/TheSixthAxis, 9/10.
When Bethesda picked up the Fallout realms, still smouldering from the nuclear megaton bombs that Black Isle put up, we were a little anxious. The previous two Fallout games were (and still are) considered absolute classics, and coupled with Oblivion’s Marmite-like ability to prescribe love and hate in equal measures all we wanted was for the third game to stay true to its roots and expand on the stuff we liked the best. Rest assured this is exactly what they’ve done.
Snackbar Games, 5/5.
Fallout 3 is based around choices, and never before has a system of choice been implemented as effectively as it has been here. Any playstyle is welcome here, and ensures no two people will experience the game the same way. Anywhere that Fallout 3 fails to get a Game of the Year award is sure to face numerous comments and letters to the editor from Gamerdom's howling denizens.
alive!, A.
The game also abandons the antiquated turn-based, zoomed-out perspective in favor of a first-person, real-time view.

This more intimate view plays like an Elder Scrolls game with guns.

Like Oblivion, Fallout supports some basic player choices. Want to be the bad guy who chooses to activate a dormant nuclear bomb in the midst of a struggling community? How about the savior who deactivates the threat? The game allows for both. Like all good morality plays, the choice can drastically change the outcome of your play experience.
Extreme Gamer, 9.0/10.
This holocaust holiday into the wasteland of Fallout 3 is a brutal take on a post-apocalyptic action. Fallout is back and dare I say, better than ever. Fallout 3 has the ability to draw in both audiences who enjoy role-playing games, and the others who like a good shooter. Bethesda provides all the tools leaving it up to you to shape and enjoy your incredible journey in Fallout 3. Fallout 3 is one of the best games to be released this year and I’m glad Bethesda took their time making Fallout 3 the best it could be. The Fallout legacy continues....
The Sage video review, 8.0/10.
Indeed, Bethesda's influence on the game's design has about the same amount of subtlety as a sledge to the solar plexus. Fallout 3 plays exactly like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and its design mirrors Oblivion almost perfectly. But do these striking similarities make the game unplayable or unenjoyable? Far from it. While Fallout 3 isn't anywhere near as charming and memorable as Fallout 2, the game still deserves its time in the sun.
Finally, German GameStar has a page with charts, gauges, bullet points and arcane symbols which somehow add up to a 93% score and a "sehr gut" verdict, which Babelfish obligingly renders as:
VERY MUCH PROPERTY

Posted by Per - at 18:10

Eurogamer performs a cross-platform comparison for Fallout 3, and finds the PS3 version falls behind a bit.

It's a little known fact that Bethesda farmed out its excellent PS3 Oblivion conversion to an external developer, and you can't help but wonder whether the same thing has happened here. It's almost as though there's two different agendas here - with 360, the aim is to retain the look and feel of the PC version as much as possible, cutting corners where they can get away with it to improve performance. With PS3, the objective seems to be different - to retain everything from the PC game (anti-aliasing aside), no matter what the impact may be on the way the game feels and plays. Different conversions, different compromises, different levels of success.
A forum thread on GameTrailers meanwhile concludes the PS3 has better graphics than the Xbox.
After some comparisons being done on other forums, it was shown that actually the PS3 version has some noticeable advantages over the Xbox 360 version, specially for textures and specular lighting, here are some PICS:
Who can argue with PICS!

TechSpot gives a semi-review of the game and tests every combination of settings and graphics cards that ever existed.
Unfortunately there appears to be a huge amount of gamers that are having issues getting Fallout 3 to run on their systems without generating random crashes. Apparently there is a memory leak issue, among other things, that is really hurting stability (patch issued yesterday). Fortunately I am yet to encounter a single crash while playing Fallout 3, and more remarkable was the fact that we were able to vigorously test 18 different graphics cards without a single glitch.

In our end, the biggest problem we encountered had more to do with performance, or rather the lack of it when using certain graphics cards. Take the multi-GPU products such as the Radeon HD 3870 X2 and 4870 X2, neither of which worked as they are supposed to. Both graphics cards were limited to a single GPU as the latest Catalyst drivers are yet to support Crossfire in Fallout 3.
To me this reads a lot like SuAside talking about ammo types, but I'm sure someone will make sense of it.

And finally another malcontent blog entry with an agenda, called "Fallout 3 perfect? Not so fast...", from ScrewAttack:
The way I see most games journalism publications, online and print, is that they are a kind of second public relations arm of the industry. Most reviews seem to be written in a way that the writers write to impress the large studios and companies. At the same time, a lot of smaller studios seem to have to have a truly amazing project before most publications will even look at it. Why is that? Is there some sort of payola scheme at work where publications are rewarded for "good" reviews and articles? Smart money would say yes.

The fact of the matter is, a lot of publications thrive off of getting exclusive content which usually only comes from companies. Companies publishing their AAA titles, the ones that they spend years and millions on, will want their products shown in the best light will allow access to publications that often give that positive spin. Positive reviews equal increased revenue for both parties: publishing houses see increased sales and publications get increased advertising and exclusive content.

Posted by Per - at 16:44

The RPG Observer, 5/5.

While playing Fallout 3 it is hard to not get sucked into the feeling and lore of the series, as the atmosphere is perfectly represented through the gorgeous visuals and amazing music. The gameplay is perfectly engaging and as someone who regularly stays away from FPS games, I found it very easy to play. With the incredible character customization and freedom of choice available in the game, there is a great deal of replayability. Taking all this into account, this is a game I cannot recommend more highly. The only problem is finding something else in the future as good as the masterpiece, Fallout 3.
Game Vortex, second review, 98%.
As you make your way through the first part of the game, make use of the ability to save anywhere because you will die... a lot! Because of this, things can get frustrating; there was even a point early on where I had to force myself to keep playing. Then it struck me - if I was really setting out on this journey, that's exactly how things would go. Of course, in real life I wouldn't have the benefit of multiple saves, but being able to make a "real world" connection like this is one of those things that makes Fallout 3 great.
Herald & Review, 9.5/10.
I haven't played the previous games in the series, so I started "Fallout 3" knowing nothing about it. What I didn't realize was that this role-playing game would be so fantastic: deep, beautiful and complex.
RealGamer, 9.4.
While the main quest is over in a flash, sub-quests are widespread and satisfying. Instead of opting to throw in hundreds of fetch tasks, the guys at Bethesda have opted for a smaller, tighter, more refined collection of in-depth side-adventures. I really admire this approach. In sacrificing the sheer number of things to do, Fallout 3 allows itself to tell deeper stories, tales centred around particular characters or factions, journeys that can take hours to see all the way through.

There will be stubborn Fallout fans who won't be impressed, undoubtedly, but going into something like this with a closed-mind is idiocy. Game design has changed in the last decade, and Fallout 3 does feel like a distinctly modern videogame, but it's also a total breath of fresh air for the genre. Its hybrid gameplay style and constant atmosphere contribute to one of the most enjoyable games I've played in a long, long while - the naysayers are beyond foolish for missing out.
Tiscali, 10/10.
Rarely has it been hard to summarise a game - but typically Fallout 3 gleefully breaks that mould too. Think of it as the hybrid offspring of BioShock and Oblivion getting it on in a darkened developer's studio, and you wouldn't be far off.

If you want a game that satisfies a hearty blood lust, flexes your IQ until it squeezes out another point or two, whilst all around you a beautifully woven story unfolds like a cinematic epic - then step this way, we're surprised it took you this long.
The Ledger.
You could easily finish the main story and a handful of side missions in a weekend and get a good idea of what "Fallout 3" has to offer, but there's a mind-boggling amount of content to discover if you wish to pursue it.

The Capital Wasteland is an incredibly compelling and dynamic place, just don't forget to pack your geiger counter.
Tufts Daily, 4/5.
Fans of the previous “Fallout” games may find other features missing as well, although each has been traded for a new one. Characters with particularly low intelligence scores are no longer given unique dialogue options, but every line of speech is beautifully voice-acted. The targeting system no longer includes the eyes or crotch, but the slow-motion effects animate the explosions of irradiated limbs. The band of well-armed children is completely invincible, but players can still sell the gullible ones into slavery.

These faults are minimal, excusable and predictable. A game as darkly comic as “Fallout” could not be brought into the mainstream without some reservations. Fortunately, its mass-market development has created one of the most compelling and technically complex games available today.

Posted by Per - at 1:51

The Hachiko, 5/5.

It's hard to call Fallout 3 just an RPG. Players still roam around, grab quests, and level up after they've gained enough experience, but it's so much more about the experience and downtime rather than the linear goal that drives you forward. You see, Fallout 3 isn't just an RPG, but rather a life simulator of what it must be like if the world actually did suffer an apocalypse. I've too often found myself slowly shuffling towards a nearby city, my bag packed with so many items I can't run anymore, and a crippled leg holding me back. It's not an easy way of life outside the Vault, having to survive fights with mutants and scrounging all the items I can. I walk towards the salvation of a walled city and must remind myself it's just a game, because if I don't the bleakness starts to eat away at me and I feel the sense of hopelessness that surely plagues the citizens of this new world. It's hard not to be moved by the game. Throughout it all, however, it's still a phenomenal achievement as both an excellent game and benchmark in the history of gaming.
LazyGamer, 9.8/10.
You need to sit up and pay attention, because if you don’t, you may very well miss out on what is quite possibly one of the most incredible titles to ever grace the modern gaming world.

Yes, you read that last part right. Fallout 3 is an experience that cannot and should not be missed and possibly the greatest creation ever to come out of Bethesda Softworks.

Characters have personality, the environments and locations are generously smothered in a thick atmosphere that will leave you breathless and missions will keep you guessing about their story elements and outcomes. Some missions will leave you feeling like you are in a survival horror, while others will feel like a corridor shooter. The variation is refreshing and the outcomes are completely up to you.
The World of iMike blog.
Apparently the Fallout series is legendary. I suppose I've been living under a rock for years now because this third entry to the series is the first I've ever heard of them. Its true, I'm a video game geek and I been playing them for as long as I can remember. But as I said, up until now, I've never heard of Fallout. Thats unfortunate too because it seems I've missed a pair a good, memorable games in the process. But all is well, for Fallout 3 kicks major fucking ass.

If you are or were a fan of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, then you will adore this gem. Bethesda Game Studios make amazing games. I was an Oblivion addict. And after about 10-15 hours into Fallout, I'm a Fallout 3 addict. Same principle only in the future with guns. Basically.
UMBCUnderground.
In recap, the sound is amazing, voice acting, background noise; the whole sound design team should get a medal. Environment graphics are pretty good; character graphics basically suck in comparison. The story (barring side missions) is way to short as an RPG for me, a guy that grew up with the likes of FF3 and Chrono Trigger. The combat system is “clunky”, I lifted that word from the Gamespot review because it’s an apt adjective for the combat situation in Fallout 3 and they gave the game a 9.0 anyway, I guess combat in a combat RPG isn’t that important of an element anyway. On a scale of 1 to not worth my money I give it a 30 dollars as that is how much I would like to have paid for it.
Spongy Chicken, 9.5/10.
Luckily Bethesda have taken and adapted one of the most popular features from the original Fallout games, V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). When you press RB whilst targeting an enemy the game will pause and allow you to target individual body parts. You can for example shoot the weapon out of someones hand or shoot them in the leg to stop them charging you. Headshots are less likely to succeed than going for the torso but pack a lot of extra damage. This system is always a joy to use, the camera will regularly zoom in as parts of your enemies bodies are dismembered.
Igromania.
Unfortunately, into Fallout 3 remained all that, for which we scolded Oblivion. Cursor on the present measures is not very contemporary, but the peace of game - is too strong accurate and [iskusstvenen]. Pours oils into the fire and the system of radiant AI, which theoretically must make the behavior of play characters maximally vital. In practice - meeting NPC very frequently "include fool”, beginning, for example, to butt the nearest wall.

Fallout 3, undoubtedly, succeeded. Assume that and not everywhere Bethesda operated smoothly, but the very important remained on the spot - this is actual of Post -nuclear roleplaying of game with the appropriate atmosphere and the simply outstanding depth. We recommend both to the fans of the first two parts and thereby, who is not familiar with the ultimate source, but greatly he wants to be introduced.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:21

The small crash-fixing patch for Fallout 3 has been released by Bethesda, grab it for your localization from our Fallout 3 patches section.

Bug Fixes

Fixed occasional crashes when exiting the game or using Alt F4 to exit.

Fixed crashes when using Alt-Tab while binks or credits were playing.

The game now restarts properly after title updates finish installing.

Posted by Per - at 0:16

Sarcastic Gamer.

You can play the game as a straight up shooter and totally enjoy it. The game also allows you to stop the action and target specific body parts of enemies during a fire fight. The games unique feature is the V.A.T.S. or Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System and with a press of a button, you can stop the action, survey the battle, pick your spots and unload. While the VATS system could be perceived as slowing down the action, in reality it just makes blowin’ stuff up more fun. Just wait until the first time you drop a grenade at the feet of a baddie and you watch him, or her get blown sky high in glorious slow motion and you’ll be hooked.
Pocket-lint, 9/10.
There are, obviously, a few flaws. That good old Fallout humour has all but been lost entirely, meaning Fallout 3 is almost universally quite a serious world. Since you’ve so much freedom too, you can easily find yourself trapped in a situation where you’re up against enemies that can easily overpower you. Neither are major minus points, in fact the latter has been clamoured for after the scaling system of Oblivion, so don’t put too much weight on these two minor failings.
Sky News, 9/10.
These are top quality titles that deserve and demand not just gamers' money, but also their time and devotion.

In the case of Fallout you can magnify that tenfold, because this isn't so much a videogame as a slice of life - a perfectly constructed glimpse of a post-apocalyptic setting which cannot be rushed through or simply played - it has to be experienced.

But this isn't just a visual feast: borrowing much of its structure from developer Bethesda's previous Role-Playing Game, Oblivion, Fallout 3 offers countless hours of quality adventuring, with plenty of entertaining side quests and a rewarding main storyline which for once avoids the kind of clichés that so often undermine epic adventures.
suite101, second review, 8/10.
In previous instalments of Fallout, V.A.T.S was a useful tool, in Fallout 3, it is essential for your survival. Put simply, it is a tool which allows you to target different parts of an enemies body, and this allows you to creatively close a battle. V.A.T.S also allows you to observe your enemies’ deaths in gruesome, full-on, slow motion, gratuitous animation- hence the game’s 18 rating.
Robotronic Dynamite!, A+.
My meaning is actually quite simple: Fallout 3 feels, more than any game I can recall, like the evolution of the medium. Instead of being bound to the designer's linear will, I'm free to make my own way. In his infamous essay arguing against video games as art, Roger Ebert cited the observer's control over events as a key reason as to why video games were not art. I would offer this game as the antithesis to that argument. Were it not for the tremendous freedom the player enjoys in Fallout, its commentary on mankind's natural inclination toward petty barbarism and its message that doing good is its own end would be completely lost because it's the choices the player makes that reflect these themes.

Fallout 3 isn't perfect, but to list any complaints seems an obtuse task. Much better to use my time reflecting on what an amazing game Bethesda has put together.
MyPS3, 9.5.
A lot of Oblivion's bugs have come across into Fallout pretty much as they were. Rag doll style corpses have the occasional habit of dancing a post death jig all over the floor, AI really isn't all that crash hot, and the town people have a bad habit of behaving like robots. This was no more apparent when at one point two AIs where stuck walking into each other. Eventually one of them won the battle of repetitive-animation-wars and pushed the other one off the edge of a walkway, killing him. What was even better was finding a skeleton somehow lodged through a wall, going nuts with its collision physics. Getting too close to said skeleton resulted in a whole lot of high speed health loss and death.
PC Gameplay magazine (provided by The Dutch Ghost), 90.
Chasing your father is perhaps not as epic as sealing the gates to a demonic dimension, but it is only the beginning that will eventually develop to an intriguing story.

Fallout 3 perhaps doesn't have the pure tactical depth that made the original games so revolutionary, but Bethesda has succeeded in transferring the Fallout atmosphere perfectly to the next generation.

Also the game doesn't have the size and length of Oblivion, but the replayability (with different endings) and an interesting world make up for a lot of it.

To round off and to go back to the question at the beginning of our introduction, yes, Fallout 3 is a better game than Oblivion, and yes, even the old fans that were so skeptical against the many changes could be pleasantly surprised.

News for Thursday, November 6, 2008

Posted by Brother None - at 22:22

Press release.

Bethesda Softworks Announces Successful Launch of Fallout 3
$300 Million Worldwide Launch Across Three Platforms

November 6, 2008 (ROCKVILLE, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, announced that its hit title, Fallout® 3 has enjoyed record sales at launch, reflecting the huge consumer demand for the game. Approximately 4.7 million units of Fallout 3 were shipped worldwide last week for the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows® representing retail sales in excess of $300 million.

Released on October 28 in North America at midnight store openings in over 2,000 retail outlets nationwide jammed with fans eager to get the game, Fallout 3 quickly became one of the industry’s top sellers around the world. For example, in the United Kingdom where it was not released until Friday, October 31 the rapid sales of Fallout 3 have led the game to be ranked number one among all video games, as well as being the number one game on each of its three platforms.

Hailed as one of the most anticipated games of 2008, Fallout 3 received a 10 out of 10 review score from Official Xbox Magazine, a result then repeated around the world with perfect scores by some of the industry’s most influential and respected critics including: Gamespy, GamePro, UGO, the Associated Press, MSN, The Washington Post, Guardian, FHM, Scripps Howard, G4-TV, The Toronto Star and Eurogamer. MSNBC’s review offered the observation that it viewed “Fallout as a no-brainer for game of the year.” The Daily Star in the UK echoed that conclusion, saying “You can hold all bets on game of the year – I think we have a winner.”

The successful launch of Fallout 3 by Bethesda Softworks follows the success of The Elder Scrolls® IV: Oblivion®, which remains one of the highest scoring games ever published and earned “Game of the Year” honors in 2006. Fallout 3 has been featured on over 100 magazine covers across the globe and is available in eight languages. The initial retail shipments of Fallout 3 included both the Regular version of the game as well as a limited “Collector’s Edition.” A Fallout 3 Official Game Guide in both the regular and collector’s edition versions has also been a strong seller. Fallout 3 is slated for release in Japan on December 4th.

Fallout 3 features one of the most realized game worlds ever created. Set more than 200 years following a nuclear war, you can create any kind of character you want and explore the open wastes of Washington, D.C. however you choose. Every minute is a fight for survival as you encounter Super Mutants, Ghouls, Raiders, and other dangers of the Wasteland.

Fallout® 3 has been rated Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout 3, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com and www.prepareforthefuture.com.

About Bethesda Softworks
Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a premier developer and worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software and has produced numerous award-winning titles, most recently with 2006 PC and Xbox 360™ Game of the Year and RPG of the Year, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion®, and the 2002 PC and Xbox® Game of the Year and RPG of the Year, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind®. Among Bethesda’s more popular franchises are The Elder Scrolls® series and Fallout®, as well as its licensed properties, such as Star Trek®. Its product line spans the sports, racing, RPG, strategy, and action genres. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.

Fallout® 3 © 2008 Bethesda Softworks LLC, a ZeniMax Media company. Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, ZeniMax and related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Fallout, Prepare for the Future and related logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Bethesda Softworks LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by Per - at 21:28

CVG has a feature where they ask the question, "Which of Bethesda's epic RPG's is the best?"

This month office discussions, rants and indeed bare-knuckle fights have centred around Fallout 3 (well, until Gears 2 and Fable 2 dropped through the letterbox). Why? Because despite how darn amazing it is, we just can't shake the feeling that... whisper it... spiritual prequel Oblivion may still be the better title of the two. Shocked? Well, maybe not. Because living up to 2006's Game of the Year was always going to be a near-impossible task.

Crucially, it's important to remember Fallout 3 is obviously not the sequel to Oblivion, but a faithful reimagining of a cult, if all-but forgotten, 90s PC RPG series.
While Fallout 3 wins the combat discipline, Oblivion wins in graphics, game world and quests and walks away teh winnar.

The Daily Herald looks at Fallout 3 from an FPS perspective.
Third – and this has been driving me absolutely up a tree… I mean gnashing of teeth frustrated – is the fact that while I can see the irradiated wasteland as far as the eye can see, the game only rendered a mob when it is practically on top of you. “But Justin, you must be playing this on a Commodore 64! Lrn2upgradenubkkthx!” Not so much, actually. I have a high-end PC with dual-SLI graphics cards and can run Crysis at max setting just fine – yet mobs in Fallout 3 do not materialize until they are five to 10 yards away from me. Sure, they can shoot at me from much farther away, and I see this hail of bullets coming at me and I don’t even know where it’s coming from.

Overly harsh critique? Maybe. I would argue that Fallout 3 is an RPG first and a FPS second. But it seems to me lately that my experience with FPS games lately has been lacking. Even FarCry 2 – which was supposed to be a transcendent FPS experience – was lacking when it came to enemy AI, making the game slightly comical.

Fallout 3 is a great RPG, and I’ll recommend this game to anyone who asks. I just wish it was a better FPS.
Examiner has a piece called "Fallout 3 from A to Z" which is just that.
K is for Kiss

Some people might not think that the barren deserts of the post-nuclear age might not make for romance… and you know what, they’d probably be right. While intimate companionship has certainly been a part of previous Fallouts, most of those have been in direct connection to the oldest profession, or the sort of instance that makes for one hell of a shotgun wedding. Post-apocalyptic settings in general tend to treat romance as a thing dead to more important concerns, like eating and putting a roof over your head. Love is truly a rare thing in a world filled with radiation, or zombies, or both. So far in Fallout 3, I’ve run across one pseudo-romantic relationship for the player to engage in, but have stumbled across the tatters of many NPCs who’ve learned that love is only an option so long as the wasteland wills it to be so.

Posted by Per - at 20:48

Britxbox, 10/10.

Choice is a word thrown about increasingly often, but not since Oblivion (surprise!) have I felt that my decisions will have a genuine impact on how the rest of a quest will unfold. Rarely have I felt that my choices were a means to an already scripted end. The multitude of NPCs all have their own conversation trees and I found myself exploring every avenue of conversation in an attempt to learn more about how society has managed to survive and even prosper in some areas.

Fallout 3 is an absolute triumph. Bethesda have created an RPG that not only stands out in the genre, it has further moved the goalposts Bethesda themselves set with Oblivion. It also further highlights how far western developers have advanced the genre compared to the increasingly stagnant offerings from the east.
Gameplay Monthly, B-.
On its own merits, Fallout 3 is a good, though not great, game; it is not, however, neither a true nor worthy sequel to Fallout or Fallout 2, as it lacks much of the writing and ambiance that made the franchise what it was. The lack of true consequences to the choices made by players is not a road the design of the game should have taken, and the focus on player skill over character skill effectively nullifies the reason why characters need to develop skills in the first place; combined with lackluster writing and world design, Fallout 3 is another disappointing entry into the otherwise barren RPG market that will leave many RPG purists disappointed.

Overall, Fallout 3 will tide RPG enthusiasts over until they get their next fix, although, like many sequels designed by different developers than the origins, fails to truly capture the spirit of the games that preceded it. Nonetheless, it is a fun, if ultimately shallow and repetitive, game.
X360, 10/10.
As numerous people start to argue whether Oblivion or this is the better game, we feel the need to sit on the fence. The third Fallout is almost the perfect accompaniment to it, extinguishing the problems of old and using the template we love in a world that is sure to appeal to a wider audience. You may not understand why anyone would want to live in a medieval fantasy land, but a post-apocalyptic America will get you intrigued at the very least. Still, in the end it’s the complete freedom and vast magnitude of activities and quests on offer that will reel you in and convince you to dedicate 100 hours of your life to that box underneath your television. Every town has a preposterous amount of pursuits to grab your attention and one expedition will always lead you right into another. Fallout 3 is an absolute behemoth of a videogame and one that stands taller than most, even during the packed holiday season. Not only one of the greatest RPGs ever made, but one of the best games full stop. The end is here!
PlayStation LifeStyle blog, 9.5/10.
Buy this game, and by no means should you hold off to buy this title. Trophies/glitches or not this is one of the best titles I’ve played in quite some time. It is a completely immersive world. Bethesda really pulled it off this time around, and succeeded where I thought they failed in Oblivion. I know right now if you are a gamer it is hard because there are so many titles that have been coming out that deserve a purchase (trust me my wallet is hurting too), but this title is definitely worthy of a purchase. If you can’t afford it and are still curious at least give it a rent.
Game Vortex, 95%.
You'll also need to play smart. Going into a situation like Rambo usually isn't the best solution when multiple enemies are present, and it is downright suicidal when those enemies have guns. The VATS system is the key to victory because of the sheer fact that it essentially pauses the game and allows you to select both which enemy you want to attack and the body part that you find most vulnerable. Unfortunately, Fallout 3 also allows you to save anywhere and as often as you want. While this is good because you won't lose your progress, it is also a very easy way to cheat death or undo a screw-up that you may have committed.
Ultra Ninjas, 10/10.
In fact, one of the main positives throughout your time with Fallout 3 is that sense of discovery – of finding both major and minor details that gift you items, abilities or simply an additional battle or encounter. As an example, I found myself legging it from a chasing enemy and taking shelter in an empty shell of a building. As I ran through the door I heard a loud ‘woosh’ and turned around in time to see an iron girder suspended by chains swing down from the wall and send my pursuer flying a few hundred yards into a wall, which was as pleasing as it was unexpected. The simple act of traversing through the wasteland discovering new places is great fun, and given how much the game focuses on that then it’s a good thing indeed.
Daily Mail compares Fallout 3 to Tolstoy and Bergman in terms of artistic level and worries that it is "leaving the mass audience behind".
This is quite beautifully written, with dialogue so involving and so nuanced that it would be mesmeric even without the ability to get involved and control the action.

Frequently funny, poignant and often dismally dark, it paints a post-Apocalyptic picture as arresting as anything in the dystopian canon and invites you to navigate it all in pursuit of a father who has fled the security of your sealed bunker for reasons unknown.

It looks amazing, as flinty and bleak as the story demands, but utterly convincing. Peopled with an almost limitless cast of painstakingly well-drawn survivors and scavengers, your progress through the boundless nuclear winter will depend at least as much on your interactions with them as with objects and environment.

To describe it as an open world RPG is a disservice. Yes, you must battle, collect, level up and explore, but the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. Fighting is revolutionary, particularly the evolving weaponry, the mechanic for accruing attributes both original and intuitive, and the moral complexity frankly daunting.

And therein lies the kernel of that potential problem. It is simply so big, sprawling and layered that I genuinely wonder whether it can be fully appreciated without oodles of both time and inclination.

Posted by Per - at 18:38

GayGamer, 9/10.

There are natural expectations that one would have of any artistic team, in the same way that we'd expect a Bioware game to offer, say, black and white moral choices, or expect a turn-based Atlus RPG to feature animated sprites standing on squares. Fallout 3 is Bethesda's best effort, and that effort looks nothing like Interplay's best effort, never mind the decade that's elapsed in between.

What's important here is how excellently the game stands up on its own and how it compares in spirit to its distant predecessors. On that count, Fallout 3 lives up to - and exceeds - expectations.
HDO blog.
Overall, it seems that Bethesda does know how to listen. Many of the gaping problems present in Oblivion were fixed in Fallout 3: They dumped the dumb skill/leveling system, made the world map not boring, and hired more than 3 voice actors. It still though could have used more polish, the engine quirks are still present (glitchy physics, awkward animations, pop-in). TL;DR: It's fun, buy it as long as you have time to suck away entire evenings at the computer.
A.V. Club, A.
The result is a clever blend of role-playing and first-person action. Sadly missing is much of Fallout's pervasive humor; better omissions are Oblivion's silly adaptive difficulty (your enemies were always as powerful as you were) and too-generous character progression.
LoadingReality, 9.0.
Overall this game is fantastic. It has a lot to offer and should be fun over many playthroughs. There are so many different endings depending on what you do in the game. So I recommend this game to anyone that owns a system that can handle it (sorry Wii). It's a gorgeous game and it could be a contender for Game of the Year.
YouGamers, 90.
Stealthy movement and surprise attacks also have some issues. Whenever you crouch, it is assumed that you are sneaking around. A simple indicator will show if you are hidden from any nearby enemies and attacks made while hidden get major bonuses. The problem is that enemies stay completely unware of you even if you kill one of them. This is somewhat logical if you stealth behind a robot and disable it using a special perk ability while others have their backs turned at you. It's quite illogical when you blow off a head of a Super Mutant with one shot of a big gun from "hidden" status - the other two standing next to him will completely ignore the fact that the head of their buddy just flew across the room unless they actually see you. So it can get a bit easy to kill piles of enemies - just sneak around and kill them one by one, abusing the bonuses given by killing from stealth. It should be noted that this flaw happens only when moving stealthily - if you shoot someone from standing up, everyone around him will notice it and attack you normally.

Most importantly Fallout 3 captures the old Fallout setting and feel very well and the storyline is great. Naturally some old purists with their 2D-bitmap tinted Old Skool goggles have been whining loudly for various reasons - some of them valid, some not - but the truth is that Fallout 3 is a real Fallout game and the shift to modern engine dictated most of the notable changes, and the vast majority of the changes work out just fine.
The Gaming Planet, 9.8.
The Graphics are top notch and incredibly good, Bethesda took their time to make Washington D.C. look gritty and really depressing, also the characters looks amazingly good although there are the occasional pop-ins and technical glitches, but even though all those are there it won’t stop you from looking at the amazing scenery in the game as well as stoping for a moment to just soak in the depressed and bleak future of tomorrow. Other than the graphics, the diolauge is on the ball which characters responding to every question you ask them or to every jerk answer you give them, you can either be a good person or be a jerk like I said before and either be neautral or evil, but know this whatever you do, you decisions will determine the outcome of your ending and for me we’ll let’s just say I was very nice and got a good ending in order for me to complete this game.

Posted by Brother None - at 9:30

Via Planet Fallout comes a small update on the promised patch of Fallout 3.

Hey all, I wanted to give you an update on this…

It looks like this patch might not being going up today, but you should expect it sometime this week. You should know the patch only fixes some crashing on exiting the game, as requested by Microsoft.

We’re also moving along with pulling together a more extensive update. We’re still in the process of going through and looking at any issues/fixes, and once that is done there is lots of additional testing/fixing that has to be done before it can be released. Similarly, we're looking into matters on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

When I’ve got more information, I’ll pass it along.
IGN is next up to interview Inon Zur.

Posted by Brother None - at 9:15

These pages are a little more rough around the edges than I normally like 'em to be, but they should be of help to those of you out there struggling on certain points:

Fallout 3 weapons details stats of all Fallout 3 weapons and gives locations of rare and unique ones
The Fallout 3 world map gives all 85 locations in Fallout 3 with description and quest references for a number of them
Bobblehead/follower locations provides you with the location of all followers and all bobbleheads.

Posted by Per - at 2:22

And it came to pass that people pleaded for the reviews to stop coming, but the reviews didn't stop coming. And then they cracked open and there were little zerglings inside! With water guns! It was horrible.

PSIllustrated, 97%.

From the moment that Fallout 3 begins, everything looks simply gorgeous. There is a commitment to the franchise that can't really be explained. Bethesda took their time to ensure that every facet of the Fallout 3 universe fit within the framework of the original games that came out over a decade ago. The scenic vistas are breathtaking and every character is lively and vibrant. Huge, open areas in the wasteland truly convey the feeling of loneliness like no other game before it. Load times are kept to a minimum and everything runs at a smooth rate. Honestly, it needs to be seen to be believed.

Being able to craft your own journey in a game this large is epic. Fallout 3 deserves all of the acclaim it will get and deserves a place on your shelf if you haven't yet picked it up. If you are a old-school fan of the franchise or a newcomer that is looking for a more in-depth RPG experience, it is hard to go wrong with Fallout 3.
GamingShogun.
One unforeseen effect that Fallout 3 had on me while I played it was an overwhelming sense of despair and aimlessness. I had not thought of the increased immersion that the first-person view would bring, and as I wander through the ruins of the nation's capital I actually feel sad. Sad that we humans had to do this to ourselves.

Overall, this is a very worthy game of the Fallout title. Bethsoft has created what is probably their best product since Daggerfall, and that is saying a lot considering the gems they have produced in between the two titles. Fallout 3 will provide you with hours upon hours of entertainment as well as bring back fond memories of playing the first two games (look for homages to them throughout the game).
sprites & bites blog.
The game was very similar to Oblivion, but many times better. In Oblivion I could travel for miles wandering around and not meet anybody and not be bothered, but here in Fallout 3 every step I felt there was something around the corner. I stepped with a real fear that something would jump out on me. I think the cause of that was the post-nuclear-bomb setting. The ruins, the desolate buildings and burned out cars, I was always moving with excitement and intrepidation about what was coming next. Even in areas I had been before and killed all enemy, I felt like something else was around the corner.
Columbia Spectator namedrops NMA.
Fallout 3 tries to imitate Black Isle’s writing ability by expanding the number of dialogue options, expanding the voice cast—and swapping out Patrick Stewart with the much more talented Liam Neeson—and just in general improving the quality of the writing. It largely succeeds—the game has some of that dark humor that Fallout fans have come to expect from their games, but it still falls short of the standard set in the late ’90s. Maybe we can hope for improvements for Fallout 4.

The most disappointing parts of Fallout are the bits that are obviously inherited from Oblivion—wonky non-player character artificial intelligence, copy-and-paste dungeons and locales, and a general difficult imbalance throughout the entire campaign—though this is seriously improved from Oblivion. Bethesda did a pretty great job, overall, even though Fallout fans are considering rioting. They’ll get over it—nerds always do.
PC Game Fun Time blog.
It is true, Fallout 3 does feel similar to the previous major title from Bethesda. If you totally hated Oblivion, you will probably hate Fallout 3. If, instead, you thought Oblivion was a pretty good game, but marred by some serious flaws, there is a good chance you will love Fallout 3.

Ultimately, my opinion of Fallout 3 is now very strongly positive. I don’t know if the game will hold many hundred hours of replay value. There are some signs it may not. I am quite confident, though, that it holds for me at least several dozen more hours of enjoyment. This is in addition to the 15 or 20 hours I have already put into it, and it makes Fallout 3 a must-play in my book.
The Game Reviews, 9.5.
The open-ended nature of the world also hurts the impact of the game’s story, as there’s never any real impetus to keep you on the path of looking for your character’s lost father rather than striking out on your own. Even as the game progresses, the story never really manages to fully captivate the player. Before long, the main storyline becomes just another objective on the list of missions, something to be completed in your own good time when the urge to tackle secondary tasks has subsided. It’s hard to believe that an RPG can have a forgettable story, but sadly that is the case here, as Fallout 3 is driven more heavily by curiosity than by narrative.

There is one last thing to say about Fallout 3, and it can be taken as either a complement or a criticism depending on how you view it: There is a good deal of merit to statements that the game is essentially “Oblivion with guns.” Substitute swords and magic for firearms and explosives and you basically have the same weapons system. Replace goblins, ogres and bandits with ghouls, super mutants and raiders and you have your enemies. While the games are distinct in many ways, the two titles share a lot of similarities, and the core of the two games is very much alike. If you loved Oblivion, then likening this game to that one is likely the highest praise, but if you abhorred it, then this one observation may have taken Fallout 3 off the table entirely.

Ultimately though, Fallout 3 really deserves to be tried by everyone, as it is one of the rare games that can be all things to all people.

Posted by Per - at 1:17

gamesindustry.biz reports that not only did Fallout 3 hop to the top spot of the UK sales chart (although other news outlets have claimed that it since was pushed down by Wii Fit), but it has already outsold the four previous Fallout titles combined - yes, including console smash hit Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. There's no arguing with success now.

Boing Boing Gadgets posted a blog entry on Bethesda's supposed inability to instill their post-apocalyptic vision with humanity.

But the reason Fallout 3 seems so different from previous Fallout games is because it is — above all else — a quintessential Bethesda game. Sure, gone is the staggeringly beautiful fantasy realm of Oblivion, replaced by a nuclear wasteland of unrelenting but wholly captivating scenic bleakness. Bethesda knows how to build a world. It's world execution is flawless. What it can't do is convey actual people as anything besides soulless, patrol-route jerk puppets.

I love Fallout 3. It's totally grabbed me. But it's Bethesda's wasteland... and, a fan of the previous games, I can't help but wish they'd called their game anything but Fallout 3.
The chief example involves "draining the fun out of fucking a post-apocalyptic prostitute", so you can see that the Fallout franchise attracts all the sickest elements of the gaming world.

Meanwhile, at Crave, a full-page Fallout 3 ad in The New York Times is on display. If you don't live in New York, you can now see it anyway. Apparently the ratings quoted in the ad are those of OXM, IGN, Gamespy and AP. The reporter muses:
The ad plays up a string of recent "perfect" review scores (a contentious topic we discuss on the latest episode of the Digital City podcast), but we doubt that more than a small slice of the paper's daily readers would be in the right demographic group for a full-page video game ad, especially one that quotes the Official Xbox Magazine or GameSpy.
Speaking of ads, Printing News has an article on the Fallout 3 ad campaign.
Even if you're not a "gamer" and don't really care about video games in general, it's hard to ignore Bethesda Softwork's Fallout 3, which hit shelves last week. The company has done an amazing job of mixing media, going for full saturation and awareness both before the launch, and after. And while you might think the campaign centered around electronic media, if you had waged a bet on that, you would be very poor right now.
Another "review backlash" type blog entry appears at Hellforge, whatever that is, asking the question: "Are people who review video games the most easily impressed people on earth?"
I could probably go on and nitpick it down to around an 8, but I don’t want to. It doesn’t leave me feeling the need to destroy it through tiny problems. I think I’ve highlighted the main issues for me that stop it from being the messiah that game reviewers have proclaimed it. It’s a decent game, and Bethesda have retained a lot of the atmosphere and feel of the old games while updating it for the rapidly evolving taste of modern gamers. And modern games reviewers are incredibly forgiving, it seems.
hakunin made a little web gadget for defeating the hacking minigame in Fallout 3, one that "should get it every time". It is there for anyone who hates that minigame and would rather leave it to some thing on the internet that probably uses their data input to grow and grow in power.

Parental guide site What They Play has a piece called "Fallout 3: 7 Things Parents Should Know". We already knew the game was violent, but they also pick up on more subtle things:
Unlike in the real world, though, curing drug addiction is rather simple in Fallout 3. Players can go to an in-game clinic at any time and pay a small fee to receive a shot that rids them of their addiction, perhaps bolstering an unrealistic view of how drugs work.
Now you know. Thanks to Jabu.

News for Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Posted by Per - at 23:43

More reviews found on the Bethblog list; these are the ones in English.

NY Daily News.

There's nothing strange about being entertained by the story line, however. The satisfyingly high-stakes quest to save the already miserable world is a tough-as-nails exercise in survival and resourcefulness.

"Fallout 3" encourages your inner MacGyver. Collecting scavenged prewar junk allows you to fashion makeshift weapons like the Rock-it Launcher. Cobbled together from a wood chipper and a vacuum cleaner, the launcher will fire anything that's handy, from coffee mugs to candy bars, with deadly effect. The offbeat humor makes for some memorable moments, for example with Pip-boy, its 1950s-style cartoon mascot.
Empire, 5/5.
Role Playing Game – three words guaranteed to strike fear and loathing into the heart of any gamer more accustomed to roaring through cross-town traffic in a jacked sportscar, or pumping demented Nazis full of lead. But while post-apocalyptic epic Fallout 3 is governed by the bewildering statistics, intense character development and earnest dialogue that are the hallmarks of any hardcore RPG, the game’s immersive take on role-playing traditions and willingness to satisfy even the itchiest of trigger fingers make this one of 2008’s deepest and most gripping adventures.

Set generations after humanity brings itself to the brink of extinction in a billowing mushroom cloud, Fallout 3 is the latest entry in a hallowed series that began life in 1997, and has since been voted one of the best RPGs of all time in a string of geek-polls. Now shirking its PC-only roots for a simultaneous console release, Fallout’s development reigns have been handed to Bethesda Softworks, the coders behind 2006’s magnificent The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; and while there’s still a seething fanboy contingent that claims it’s sacrilege for franchise creator Interplay to sign away its greatest triumph, Bethesda’s innate understanding of what a new generation of gamers wants from a modern role-player is the best thing that’s ever happened to the series.
Entertainment Weekly, A.
The game has such a rich and vast (albeit, spartan and dour) open world that you'll probably spend more time getting into random shootouts, scavenging for supplies, and helping other people than you will looking for dear ol' dad. Which isn't surprising, when you consider that the game was made by the same people behind the equally-epic-in-scope fantasy adventure The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The similarities end there: Fallout 3 employs a first-person point of view (yes, there is a third-person option — but don't bother) and has lotsa guns.

Of course, some first-person-shooter purists are bound to think that all the wandering around and chatting with people would kill the momentum, and that the role-playing elements (having to eat, improving your skills, etc.) make things overly complicated.
MamaPop.
Bethesda Softworks took the aesthetics of ambiance to an artistic level in Fallout, going beyond any experience they've ever produced. Taking a few cues from Cormac McCarthy and Mad Max, the wasteland of Fallout is the loneliest place on earth. Really. I've never experienced dread in a game before. Loping around the devastated terrain of DC with radioactive dust blowing overhead, wearing fatigues I stole from a man I murdered with a broken pistol, squatting under toppled overpasses made me, quite honestly, afraid to see what waited beyond outskirts of town.

In the four hours I played Fallout, I realized it's a bit more intricate than Bethesda Softworks let on, yet it was a welcome surprise. From the makers of Oblivion, I should've expected a similar experience with in-depth, multi-character relationship building, alliance making, and back stabbing.
Check Your HUD blog.
It’s worth pointing out that Fallout 3 uses the Oblivion engine. As such, it has a lot of the same issues Oblivion had. When you bump into a table that has a couple plates on it, the plates will go flying. When NPC’s interact with each other, the conversations are stiff, and just feel a little off. Don’t get me wrong—this has been improved upon greatly from Oblivion, but it is still an issue. Doors will magically pass through you, or any NPC that happens to be in the way when they swing open. Last but not least, as was the case in Oblivion, it’s possible to get yourself stuck when trying to traverse parts of the landscape the developers didn’t intend for you to cross over. In both games, I found myself loading a recent save after getting stuck in between some rocks Bethesda clearly didn’t want me to climb over. All things considered, these are small annoyances that only slightly detract from Fallout 3’s overall level of quality.
The Daily Toreador.
The total freedom of choice and exploration is reason alone to play the game. To sweeten the deal, the massive world is filled to the brim with interesting characters and interesting conversations to be had with them.

Unfortunately, the combat isn't always as satisfying. At its core, "Fallout 3" is an RPG like previous games in the series. However, it also tries to be an action game.

The action portion, real-time combat element of the gameplay disappoints somewhat in that it's still an RPG - just an RPG in disguise. This means you can point a gun at an enemy's head but still miss because a series of hidden "dice rolls" behind the scenes didn't go your way.

Posted by Per - at 20:39

Foreign edition, with thanks to the Bethblog and Babelfish.

Italian Games Radar, 9.5/10.

All how much said in the page precedence could make to think that Fall-out to 3 or a worthy continuation of the series to which it is boasted to belong. For sure backs this is true, for others it is a little less. What one has gotten lost for road is the ability to take itself little seriously, since lacks that goliardia and spensierato “scazzo” that it was one of the peculiar characteristics of the two predecessori, above all in the tone of the conversations with the NPC.
Spanish Vandal, 9.5.
In spite of the doubts and complaints that nothing else arose to confirm themselves that the ones in charge would be the parents of the series The Elder Scroll to give back to the life to Fallout, to day of today these fears are obviously unfounded. And they are it indeed because we are before one of the best games of the year, and signs candidate to remain in the Mount Olympus of the videojuegos next to his predecessors, to whom it does not have practically anything to envy.
Italian Multiplayer, 9.5.
Perhaps it will not be remembered for the technological implementazioni but it is without a shadow of doubt a visual pleasure for the artistic ability to recreate a realistic, credible world and push-button where the player can girovagare in all freedom without to find again itself never spaesato, immersed in an post-atomic chaos hits that it in ace with a schiaffo and it does not leave more in peace for tens of hours of gameplay.
Dutch XGN, 9.2.
Fallout already much would have had be rather brought to the consoles because a truth RPG-liefhebber weet not what which misses with a title such as these. With Fallout 3 you can hours from the feet, the possibilities are infinitely and the system with which you can kill yourself antagonist, is extremely tough. All your decisions stipulate further course of the game and as soon as you start with this game, you want in fact no longer stop with game. If you love, however, spicy sausje, indicated then warned: once come from the locker, the adventure starts just real!
Italian GameStar, 91.
Fall-out 3 is son of Oblivion.
Italian SpazioGames, 9.1.
In phase of preview we asserted that Fall-out 3 transmitted already that feeling of capolavoro that every fan of the precedence tito them has hoped of being able to try. We can now confirm those impressions and to be happy for un' able work to take to the majority of the present elements in Fall-out and Fall-out 2 and to transport them in a three-dimensional world gloriously at times distressing.
Dutch Gamed, 90.
The sound deserves also thick plucks. Voice-acting are of a high level, the dialogues have been well written, the surroundings sounds and the sounds of all weapons are also terrible good. Special attention deserves the radio, these can become used to listen to canals among which Galaxy News radio several radio. Music which is twisted here on in combination with the surroundings gives an appalling onbehagelijk feeling you and puts your senses on sharply and that makes this radio station this way terribly good.

All in all I can say that Fallout 3 certainly worth it are and that Bethesda again by has Softworks can deliver. Apart from what weak combat system are the game still defying and inviting. It sees terribly and the sound impact is also thick in order. Also on the long period this game will not annoy, there are mounts to tasks which you can do, order which be explored can and stuff which must be robbed urgently.
Italian GameSurf, 9.
Regarding the longevity, we keep ourselves to emphasize that, l' spirit of Fall-out 3, is mainly analogous to the player to the search of un' not frettolosa experience, but incline all' exploration and to discovery silks. To wear the blinders and to head straight towards the places of the quest main, mean to turn the shoulders to a rich world of life and brulicante of facts to examine in depth. Around we persons with own history move to tell, which will not be limited to supply information to us, but will live own screw, as we will be able to observe watching them during the several moments of the day.
Spanish HardGame2, 9.
First of all I would like to direct me to the lovers of Fallout to say to them that this is a great sequel that knows to catch the essence and environment adjustment of the previous ones, although is clear that the game concept is placed next to Oblivion. That yes, you are not going to think that it is a Oblivion with different environment adjustment and small new features, because this would do perderos to you a full game of new features.

The best thing than I can say of Fallout 3 is that it is extremely funny thanks to the enormous options of game that offer, that united to excellent locates it environment adjustment like the best exponent in the sort for PS3, and one from the most recommendable games facing the Christmas campaign that already has been sent. A clear candidate to game of the year, and essential for all the lovers of the good videojuegos.
Italian PS3Italia, 9.
Initially it does not seem to exceed as it had been felt to say. It knows it delivery from where all it begins is a po' scarna and the fattezze of our parent are not excellent. Then but remainders in the weft and you notice that every personage, and we by it are truly many, have their univocal fattezze and are inserted in various atmospheres between they in every minimum detail.
Italian Nextgame.
You will eat the fingers thinking to when you have increased of ten aims the Big Guns without to think next to quest' other skill, but the examples that could be made are very many and regard also the choice of the perk more adapt (the Thief as an example seem secondary before arriving to Megaton, but later on it can carry several advantages). Wanting or nolenti this freedom is but own to set up to piacimento ours alter ego to render Fall-out 3 more fascinating, deep anchor and therefore impegnativo.

Certainly, there are then the unavoidable defects (graphically has been looked at better, the variety than acclimatizations it is not the maximum and to some it will be able to seem too much dispersive end), but concerning personality, longevity and fascination we could not ask better and in bottom c' it is indeed (or little null) to envy to the first two historical episodes.
Norwegian Spillmagasinet, 6/6.
Fallout 3 is action-based in real time, but has introduced a combat system that takes all the best things of turn-based games into the action world. This is because in the Vats system you press a button and can select attacks based on action points. This works so well that we want to see it in all RPGs from now on. Bom basta!

The playability is brilliant, but it could still be that a few old Fallout fans think it's mean and stupid to abandon the turn-based gameplay. These are probably people who also think the world was better when you only had one TV channel. This is an RPG for 2008, and a brilliant one. If you like RPGs, if you liked Oblivion and have wanted to leap into a gloomy future world where action and using your head are mixed in an excellent way: run and buy!

This is my favourite game this year.
(The last one was translated by me, so Babelfish is not responsible for any errors. A++++ WOULD TRANSLAET AGIN)

Oh, and there was also this Dutch Arena51 video review. I can't stuff that through Babelfish.

Posted by Per - at 18:48

The James Logan Courier.

Though "Fallout 3" resembles and feels like a first- or third-person (your choice) shooter, it is, like "Oblivion," a role-playing game first. Your character's abilities are dependent on your accumulated stats and abilities, and that includes your shot aim, which might fail you even when you target an enemy perfectly. It's an odd disconnect, but it makes sense and is easy to figure out with practice.
Gameplanet, 9.5/10.
With that in mind I was a little concerned about how the concept of Fallout was going to transfer from what was essentially a strategy game, to a first-person shooter. Bethesda however has done something very clever with the combat system. V.A.T.S (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System) allows you to (at any time) pause combat and target specific body areas on your enemy. Want them to drop their weapon? Disable their arm. Being chased? A few bullets in the leg will slow 'em down... hopefully. Once you've selected your actions, the results are played out in slow-motion and from many angles. And yes, lashings of gory cinematic death scenes are your reward for some well placed shots.
Sci Fi Weekly, B+.
On the Fallout side, there's no denying that this is not the game that original developer Black Isle would have made, had its parent company, Interplay, not gone out of business and sold the rights to Bethesda. But at the same time, this isn't some knockoff remake or wretched re-imagining; Bethesda's gone out of its way to create a world that's loyal to its predecessors. The game has adopted all of Fallout's jargon, which should make veteran players feel right at home. The game retains its 1950s Atomic Age vibe, complete with ruined hovercars, the ever-smiling Vault Boy mascot and the two-headed Brahmin quasi-cattle.

Ultimately, players' enjoyment of the game will likely be a function of the baggage they bring to the game. Those hoping for a faithful, third-person-perspective port of the earlier Fallout games will be disappointed, while Oblivion fans hoping for another 100+ hour marathon may walk way criticizing the lack of depth. Those somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, or those who are new to the franchise, will find it offers an engrossing trek through a radioactive wasteland.
kiwibox.
The third installment in an already popular and extremely successful franchise, Fallout 3 is definitely in top contention for Game of the Year, and that's really no surprise considering it comes from the people who gave gamers Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. From its stunning visuals and expansive size to its in-depth character customization and satirical (and curse riddled) writing, Fallout 3 is an incredible achievement any way you look at it.

There isn't enough room in one review to talk about all of the amazing features that Fallout 3 has to offer. The amount of freedom that players have is truly astounding and the game is truly what you make of it.
Central Michigan Life, 4/5.
"Fallout 3" is a great game if you are an role-playing nut, or a fan of the original games.

People looking for multiplayer or straight-up shooting should stay away. It's not a fast-paced game.
Evergeek, 4.5/5.
Fallout 3 is poised to top many an Editor's Choice list this year as it meets the lofty expectations of seasoned gamers and is ready to dazzle newcomers perhaps unfamiliar with this relatively new breed of games that actually play out differently for each user. As it happens, Fallout 3's action, drama and story arc are heavily dependent on the player's in-game decisions, conversational disposition and penchant for brawn before brains or vice versa.
Pushing Play blog.
As I was running through the hallways I saw Amata again, so I tried my luck with the knife on her. Once again, she simply slumped to the ground unconscious. Quite the trooper; she had now survived 3 headshots at point blank range, and about 12 vicious knife wounds.

So what does Fallout 3 have that other games don’t? Good writing, great artistic direction, and a great deal of attention paid to creating a cohesive and complete world, rather than disjointed area’s only linked together by the missions that send you between them. It doesn’t hurt that the game is fun as hell.

Posted by Per - at 6:00

Election special!

Den of Geek, 5/5.

Comparisons to Oblivion are inevitable and unavoidable. Bethesda's previous classic was so good though, that this certainly is no hindrance. In fact, one of the best compliments to be levelled at Fallout 3 is that it's every bit as good, if not better, than the Elder Scrolls title. Contrary to popular belief, this is not simply 'Oblivion with guns' though, and although many elements are the same, there's a whole lot of new content here, and a raft of new play mechanics.

Unless I strain my neurons, I can't really pick any clear faults with the game, and any issues are mere minor blemishes. But at a push I'd have to admit that the real-time FPS combat isn't as tight as it could have been, and doesn't feel as smooth or approachable as a dedicated FPS title. And while V.A.T.S does a great job most of the time, occasionally the camera can stumble, and will get stuck within objects or characters, obscuring the view of the carnage.
TalkXbox, 92.
Before you’re born into the world, you should set your expectation accordingly. Fallout 3 is not a sequel to Fallout 2. Aside from a few scarce references and the inclusion of franchise classics such as the Brotherhood of Steel and Vault Boy, you’d have a hard time identifying this game from some other apocalypse simulator. The game would’ve been better off titled “Trashland” and didn’t worry about rabid fans screaming blasphemy whenever arcane specifics were fiddled around with.
Gamebrit, 9/10.
It should be noted that the original team have since been disbanded so development rights have been handed to Bethesda, who are making this their first self-published title. Anyone worried about the lack of input from any of the original crew might have on the overall experience should allay those fears now, as Bethesda has done a wonderful job bringing Fallout to the next generation. Seeing as they are responsible for the Elder Scrolls games, which share many common elements with the Fallout games, its no small wonder that they would be up to the task.

The fact that the team are big fans of the series is also pretty clear from the outset, as all the elements the other games are known for are all here. The karma system returns and has been fleshed out considerably, as have the weapon creation and skill sets.
GameGirl extensive impressions.
If you don't have this game, you need to go buy it. I would rate this game as being one of the highest on my list of "best games evar" and I am betting you would too. You can expect a full review of this title from me once I finish, but I wouldn't expect that to be for another several weeks. In the meantime, go grab yourself a copy and experience it for yourself!
Armchair Generalist blog.
The combat is annoying, even though you have a Value-Tec Assisted Targeting System (VATS). You can dump loads of ammo into adversaries without killing them (it's percentage-based hitting dependant on your skills), and other times, they pop like balloons. The percentage chance of hitting body parts is frustrating, as it can mean missing miscreants that are yards away from you. Watch as your assault rifle hammers slugs into a target's head and they keep coming. Grrrr... And I love how 450-pound, 7 foot Super Mutants are able to surprise you because they make no noise running up behind you. The Mad Max-wannabee Raiders are very quiet stalkers also, until they start screaming as they charge at you. It's not a perfect system at all.
Dose.ca, 9.0/10.
The world of Fallout 3 is stuffed with satire, despair and violence - but you'll friggin' love it! Given its setting, you have to expect some edge, but Bethesda ramps up things up by stuffing so much dark humor into the scenery, throwaway dialogue and characters that you find yourself laughing at even the most tragic and horrific situations. Even the much-touted VATS combat system - which allows players to target an enemy's specific body parts for brutal and gory annihilation - self-reflexively helps you perpetuate the love of conflict and death that the game at its outset holds responsible for humanity's downfall. It's an element of the game that elevates it from a simple post-apocalyptic shooter.

One of the biggest disappointments of the game is the combat. While not a total deal breaker, there are some serious problems. Seeing as much of the main quest involves you running around killing things, you'd think Bethesda would have things in the first-person looking less buggy, less jumpy and less dorky. Enemies run around in that cartoony way they did in Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and it starts to feel a little like good ole Duck Hunt sometimes as you try to pop a cap in raiders or super mutants as they dance and glide around. And don't even talk to us about the third-person views - whether in or out of combat, it's absolutely atrocious to look at and almost insulting in its uselessness and incompleteness. Even the VATS system - which often makes the combat fun and awesome - has its problems with weird camera glitches that often leave you vulnerable to attack. It's scary that so much time was spent on creating such a deep, believable world, and so little time making sure the combat mechanics were just as deep or believable.
The Columbus Dispatch.
There are few, if any, flaws in this game. The graphics are impressive -- including the ruins of the capital. The game also takes full advantage of campy art reminiscent of the Cold War culture of the 1950s.

The only complaint might be the use of some salty language that seems gratuitous at times. But expecting the inhabitants of the brutal world of the Wastelands to be gentle is probably unrealistic.

While fighting has its place, it's the quests that will occupy much of players' time. If they are as plentiful and engaging as they were in Oblivion, Fallout 3 will provide hours of play.
Finally, there is now a reasonably accurate transcript of the ABC Television/Good Game video review from before.

Posted by Per - at 2:56

Stone Monkey blog makes a brief comment on the Fallout 3 reviewery:

And most curious is the uncharacteristically gushing GameRevolution review, which doesn’t really critique the game at all, and even more oddly, makes no comparison or even passing reference to previous Fallout games. In fact if you didn’t already know better, the review would make you think that this was a new franchise. I ask you, if a new Super Mario Brothers game was reviewed, wouldn’t you expect a few comparisons to the previous legendary games in the series? Oh, wait, maybe if a third party bought the rights to the Mario franchise and turned it into a first person shooter, then it’d be best not to bring them up.
It then goes on to call VDweller "legendary" and recommend his impressions thread, so I sense an agenda there.

IGN has a Head-to-Head feature for people wondering which version of Fallout 3 is the best, looking at aspects like graphics, controls and extra features. The PC version wins most categories, and they don't even mention modding. Plus it's the cheapest. The PS3 version gets picked on for having more bugs, but it's "still a great buy".

There's an opinion piece up on Neoseeker called "11 ways Fallout 2 was better than Fallout 3". From the intro:
Don't get me wrong. Fallout 3 isn't good -- it's great. One of the best games of the year, easily...but even still: could it have been better? Are mods going to bring Fallout 3 to incredibly new heights, like mods made a gem out of the rough diamond of Bethesda's Oblivion?

Fallout 2 is probably my favorite RPG of all time. So, understandably (I hope), any game I'm going to compare to Fallout 2 is going to come up short. Well Fallout 3 is the sequel to Fallout 2, right? Well I'm going to compare them. And guess what -- Fallout 3 is going to come up short.
There are a few factual errors and the arguments are not the strongest ones possible, but it might be worth a quick look to some of you insane haters. If nothing else, it's fun to note that the byline which graced the article for the first few hours - "Bethesda -- did they rape the soul of the original games?" - has now been changed to the more tasteful "Was Bethesda able to live up to my impossibly high standards?"

Posted by Per - at 2:11

Reviews, reviews never stop. (A bunch of them are from blogs, though. Who reads blogs?)

Gamervision, 9/10.

Some of my fondest gaming memories stem from killing children in Fallout. It wasn’t the actual act that was so satisfying, but the response; being labeled as a “child killer” and having the entire world turn its back on me. The fact that I was able to do it, the freedom to do whatever you wanted; that’s always been what excited me about Fallout games. When Bethesda picked up the rights to the series and announced that it would build off of the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion’s engine, I was excited to see what their take would be on the post-apocalyptic world. Comparing early screenshots, it was apparent that they were going to go their own way with it, enough that many people assumed it would be “Oblivion with guns,” which would be all well and good, but “Oblivion with guns” isn’t Fallout. Luckily, those views were mostly short sighted, and the full game is not only an impressive achievement in its own right, but a worthy entry that fits seamlessly in the Fallout series as well.
RPGamer (second staff review), 5/5.
The main quest is rather short, jerking the player back and forth from one end of the map to the other. Events related to the main plotline are usually scripted affairs. While it has some dull moments, it has some deeply emotional ones too, and pushes on the "games as art" button often, requiring the player to think about his decisions and really contemplate how he wants to impact the world, thereby affecting anyone experiencing the game on a level that non-interactive mediums such as novels and movies cannot.
Random Battle blog.
It’s everything I hoped it would be and then some. I know I sound like I’m being a fanboy here, but I’m really having a blast with it. When the mod tools come out for PC, I’ll probably buy it again just to take advantage of the fan-made content. If you like open-ended RPGs and post-apocalyptic settings, if you’ve ever been a fan of the Fallout games, or if you just want to check out a cool game, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
gamecrash blog.
Fallout 3 simply fails in every category you throw at it. Lame missions, bad acting, unfocused plot, dated graphics, idiotic AI and ancient game-play mechanics do not a classic make.

I was so looking forward to Fallout 3, but the sad fact is, Bethesda shoe-horned this debacle into the Oblivion engine, which does nothing more than make it feel like Oblivion with guns.
San Francisco Chronicle.
When Bethesda Game Studios announced it licensed the title, many die-hard fans hoped for more than just their fantasy RPG Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion re-skinned with guns. Fear not, Fallout 3 captures the essence of the decade-old originals with its dark humor, kitsch retro-futuristic influences and downright bleak and depressing atmosphere, creating a truly immersive, open world role-playing game that's worth repeated play.
Daily Campus. (Note: This worked for me for a while, then started asking me to register. If necessary you can read the whole review from Google's cache.)
Some of the game's attempts at humor work - the conclusion of the National Archives quest in particular is brilliant - and some, like the bubbly, off-beat mechanic Moira, simply serve as painful holes in the game's verisimilitude. And some of the dialogue hasn't been completely gender-corrected - despite playing a female character, I found myself being called 'sir' or 'boy' more than a few times.

Additionally, while the graphics are generally strong, facial animations are even flatter than the voice acting. When "Oh my God, they're killing everyone" and "Care to sell that scrap metal?" are spoken with the same blank, furrowed-brow stare, it's hard to feel any reaction to even the most emotionally charged parts of the game.

If you've never played the other "Fallout" games, you're in good hands: "Fallout 3's" enormous range of character choices, compelling world and wealth of content will keep you entertained and sleepless for weeks.
Mike Shea's Website. (He's a writer type of guy, OK?)
The atmosphere of Fallout 3 envelopes you. It feels just like you're in the Road Warrior, scrounging for every shotgun shell, wondering whether you should shoot this non-hostile guy just to take his six .32 calibur bullets and his water. I found myself thinking like I was in the wastelands where laws haven't existed for 200 years and every living thing is a potential threat or a potential walking bag of resources.

News for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Posted by Per - at 23:09

JSOnline.

“Fallout 3” is finally out.

And for those who have followed this game’s development (available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PCs), rest assured you will not be disappointed — it’s everything you wanted. From character design and combat, to storytelling and the massive environment in which the game unfolds, the game excels in both creativity and craftsmanship.
HonestGamers, 10.
And then there's the Fallout of old, which brings me to this request: if you're a fan of the originals, please play them again before you tackle this. The absolute worst thing to do would be to revisit the Fallout universe wearing rose-tinted specs, because Fallout 3 really is a resounding improvement on every level. Interplay's games were true classics, but things have moved on a long way since then, and Fallout 3 is the quintessential proof.
Daily Record, 5/5.
Fallout 3 is a very special game. It might take a few hours for it to click, but once it does it will have you completely under its spell. It will take a considerable amount of time to extract everything it has to offer. It's definitely one of the biggest releases of the year and for gamers looking for something to get stuck into over the long winter months, this is perfect and comes highly recommended.
Video Games Reloaded, 10.0.
AI can be a mixed bag; the ones that follow you can be a bit idiotic, while enemy AI is very clever. I’ve died many a time thanks to the enemy having powerful weapons and a big group to fight. Enemies are well varied, from humans to super-mutants. There are some nasty ones out there, but they all die the same way...shot to the head, see it fly off and cheer. The PC version has a separate achievement list, so those who love getting those can know there are 2000 points up for grabs if you play both. Although that’s really for the hardest of hardcore gamers.
the electric playground, 9.9/10.
On my personal top five games ever list, sits Fallout 1 & 2. I now have to remove them in order to make room for Fallout 3. This game has been blowing me away ever since I first laid eyes on it, and now that I have the final game, I can't stop playing. It has the best of both worlds: the huge terrain of Oblivion, the character and combat system of Fallout. It is an absolutely killer combination, to say nothing of the beautiful presentation of the game.
Thunderbolt Games, 10/10.
On the whole, it is merely an average campaign. The voice acting never ceases to be superb, and the characters you meet are relentlessly interesting, but it is also inflicted with a few flaws that Bethesda has always been plagued with and has yet to correct. The characters in Fallout 3 move like two-by-fours kept together by door hinges. Legs and arms swing stiffly whenever a character walks or runs, and the animations which occur during conversations between characters are so generic that I have to wonder if the company actually employs any animators, or if they simply purchase some kind of stock package from Acme Animations, Inc.

In the the first two Fallout games, the story was essentially the reason you played the game. They were extremely linear, and though there were moral dilemmas, they were completely black and white and also quite linear. Side-quests often came across as chores, necessary only to level up or to gain access to a game-play feature that should have been there from the start. Fallout 3 is entirely different. This is a game you play to immerse yourself in a world. Exploring, meeting friends, making enemies; this is what the game is about. And at that it excels, offering location and characters that are superior to not only anything in the franchise, but also to almost every other role-playing game ever made.

Posted by Per - at 20:41

Eurogamer held a live Q&A session with Pete Hines of Bethesda. There was a lot of "no comment" going on, but among the results:

Q: Will the PS3 version receive Trophy support in the future?

Pete Hines: It's going to happen, just not sure when. We'll let folks know when we have something more definitive.


Q: Will there be a patch to add southpaw controls for the left-handed people out there? And what about a fix for the various PC niggles?

Pete Hines: Well on the 360 the console itself actually handles that. You change it in your control options, so we don't bother doing it in the game. I'll have to check on how PS3 works.

As far as fixes, there's a PC update coming out later today that will address a few PC-specific things that have come up. Can't give you any details yet beyond that as far as what else might be in the works for any of the three platforms.


Q: What happened to the Fallout 3 toolset we heard about over the summer. Are there still plans for one? Might we even see one for console? Or are mods still a privilege reserved for PC gamers?

Pete Hines: Well, let's start with the last part first. Developers aren't in charge of what content can appear on a console. That's up to the console manufacturer. You should understand that the things we allow people to edit/change in our games is pretty off-the-charts. We're not taking "make a map" here. We're talking "I downloaded this mod and it deleted 2/3rds of the game world and replaced it with mole rats.

So I don't see consoles making that leap for quite a while until they can better protect and control the amount of content users create and remove things that could be harmful to the unwitting end-user who thought they were getting X but got something else instead.

As far as our tools, no word yet on that. As soon as we know for sure, we'll let you know.
So, who wants to be the first to make the world-of-molerats mod for PC?

Thanks to Ranne.

Posted by Per - at 20:24

PSU, 9.0.

So you can interact with a gadget on your arm. Sure, it’s neat, but what about more personal interactions? These are present in full force, second only to the dynamic dialogue of Mass Effect. The branching conversations you have with other people are expertly executed. Ranging from grunts and colloquial remarks to expertly crafted monologues, the writing is always spot on. The voice acting, like that of Oblivion, is excellent, and unlike Oblivion there are few lip-syncing issues. It’s a bit ironic that in a world so dead, the inhabitants seem so alive.

But what’s most impressive about the dialogue is the sense of gravity each conversation carries. Every time you make a remark, it has consequences one way or another. Your karma will fluctuate as you talk to people and perform actions, ultimately determining whether you are good, evil, or neutral. Each path has pros and cons; there is no “right” choice. Most players will find that morality isn’t a clear-cut choice either.
Xbox360Achievements, 96%.
Fallout 3's graphics are a case of Jekyll and Hyde. The wasteland features an incredible amount of stuff to look at, with beautifully desolate countryside and cities, all backed up by a draw distance that will allow you to see for miles. Interiors, however, can't impress to a similar extent, with dated textures looking too much like the original Condemned, and level designs that begin to feel repetitive after a while. Some areas are also too poorly lit, to the extent that even with the Pip-Boy's light on, it can be difficult to see. Character models are the greatest improvement the graphics have made over Oblivion, but the visuals still seem a bit dated.
yProxy blog.
If you are fanatic about Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, and you simply crave more quirky wasteland charm and drama, then you will get some of that, but in a much more bland way. V.A.T.S. does not replace turn based combat, and the dialog trees are much smaller in Fallout 3. The world just isn’t as complex, but it is prettier to look at.

If you are looking for an immersive, single-player, hybrid RPG/first person shooter game, set in a post apocalyptic world, with mildly adult themes, then this game is for you.

Is it worth $50 for the PC version? In my opinion, it’s not. It’s all a bit too short and simple. Wait until the bugs are fixed, and the price comes down. However, if price is no object, and you don’t demand a lot of value for your money, then buy it yesterday. It is fun.
Gamer.nl, 10/10.
Fallout 3 are above all however a monumental performance. It continues building on the original by means of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. - the system and the well application of the terrible, mail-nuclear cosmos. But it brings also are new, dared things, such as the brilliant V.A.T.S. All bits of Fallout 3 falls in each other. The `core gameplay' are nothing less than brilliantly and the surroundings in which these gameplay take place, remain infinitely interesting.
Allchaos blog, 9.6/10.
My videogame making career is over. It's over. Wanna know why? Cause someone beat me to everything I had planned on making for my game.
Gamehounds podcast (roughly 12:30-25:40).
The problem is that there were so many things about Oblivion that were wrong and they fixed them. I should say they're better, but they're not fixed. I honestly fucking do not know why. They must be dealing with the same people who did the voice direction, and also some of the voice actors from Oblivion. Those people should have been fired, and I honestly don't know who that person had to fuck to get that job, but I wanna know who I have to fuck to get that person fired.

So my ultimate tie-up is I like Fallout 3 better than Fable 2 right now, ask me next week. But they're both pretty fucking good, they're both amazing.

Posted by Per - at 19:15

Military.com.

Although many of the quests are pretty typical for a role-playing game, they usually have an interesting post-apocalyptic twist — like the early decision on whether to detonate an unexploded atomic bomb that’s sitting in the middle of a village. Quests can be multi-layered or so contradictory that completing one will shut down an entire line of others. Of course this enhances replay value.

Your decisions on which quests to fulfill also play into the game’s rich morality system. This gauges your actions, as well as your interactions with nonplayer characters, to determine how different characters will react to you. If you want to befriend embattled settlers or the Brotherhood of Steel, you’d better have a good rep. If you want some help from a shady character, he’ll shrug you off if you’re not bad to the bone.
360 Evolved, 9.6. (Note: There are seemingly two sites with this name, we already posted a review from the other.)
Overall Fallout 3 is an amazing, beautiful and an incredibly deep and huge game. To fully experience and appreciate the work the developers put into the game, spend alot of time with the title. Fully explore the wastelands, visit all of the surrounding towns, or strongholds. Play around with the V.A.T.S and let it spoil you by just how well it works and then realize that other shooters need to have an option just like it. It is impossible to pack a comment on every feature that is included into this review without making it a novel size feature. Just feel safe with your purchase of Fallout 3, because you are buying definitely one of the best if not the best game of the year. Bethesda can seem to do no wrong here lately with Oblivion and now Fallout 3. And with promised downloadable content, one can only wonder what they have in store for us lucky Fallout 3 owners.
Boomtown, 9.
In fact, the only real flaw with the game is because the complex and multi levelled areas are so difficult to navigate using your map when you are first discovering them. The game concludes with a satisfying outcome, but really doesn’t make much of a big deal of your course through the game and final decisions on what to do, and unless you’ve got a save before the unexpected point of no return, you’ll have to start again to explore more of the world. Of course that’s the beauty of the game. You’ll want to.
Kombo, 9.5.
Early in Fallout 3, ammunition is incredibly scarce. As you progress, the problem alleviates itself some, but during the first few hours of the adventure, the lack of ammo feels like a genuine problem. If you choose to do sidequests that do not reward you with ammo, you'll find that you're very low on ammo. Because the game's currency, bottlecaps, are also in fairly short supply in the beginning, you can easily find yourself in a situation in which you don't have enough ammo and don't have enough bottlecaps to purchase ammo. As a result of this, I found myself straying away from sidequests and exploring until later in the game because I didn't want to risk running out of ammo. There's no doubt that this is an intentional design choice on Bethesda's part, as the lack of ammo lends to the tense atmosphere. But it discourages exploration, which seems to go against what Bethesda games are all about.
Computers N Stuff, 10/10.
Fallout 3 is a worthy successor to the previous 2 Fallouts and fully deserves its title. Bethseda have done a brilliant job of getting the Fallout vibe and making it their own at the same time. They’ve worked their magic yet again and produced another classic game, a game that everyone should buy.
RPGamer, 4.5/5.
Overall, Fallout 3 is an amazing game and a great new take on the series. It succeeds in not being "Oblivion with guns" and is able to win over gamers that were not even fans of Bethesda's earlier works or the Fallout series. Fallout 3 is an addicting experience for those who enjoy a game with an open world to explore and quests to complete, and makes a great introduction to the series for newcomers. As long as gamers can handle some blood, guts, and a heavy dose of foul language, there is little wrong with the game. This might even be one of the only games in this reviewer's recent experience that has enough of a draw to continue playing after the main quest is completed. Fallout 3 is a great experience, even for gamers who typically don't enjoy games like it.
Random Remarks blog, 5/5.
I found the main story on the whole to be engrossing and have the potential for shortcuts if you go to the right places BUT I found the ending to feel rushed and felt that there was the potential for at least 1 if not 2 more story missions before the final mission began. Unlike Oblivion there is a defined ending and you have to complete all your subquests before you start the last mission. My other gripe about the plot is that there is essentially just 1 ending with tweaks, no matter how you play. The main plot if taking the conventional route is probably 10 hours in length and less than 3 if skilled and shortcuts are taken. This vastly underestimates the amount of gameplay present and there is probably over 50 hours worth in sidequests and also in playing in different ways.
GAME.
Boasting a world that makes you think, feel and appreciate, Fallout 3 is a true triumph. It's immersive, epic and yet the pace is entirely dictated by you. It gives you the freedom to do what you want, the choice to help or to neglect, but it will always respond accordingly. Fallout 3 is, simply put, the new standard for RPGs; an experience not to be rushed through, but to be savoured.
Colony of Gamers (Evil Avatar), 4/5.
Like most RPGs you'll spend a lot of time talking to people across the land. As is the trend nowadays you can choose to walk the path of a saint or sinner. Being polite, helpful and just increases your Karma score; rudeness, theft and wanton destruction drags your Karma score down. Your Karma score - good, neutral or bad - does affect some gameplay elements, in particular which groups will attack you on sight, but for the most part it feels like you're making a personal choice than any drive towards one side or the other. While traveling I discovered what is for me the biggest divergence from Oblivion: barriers. There are a lot of outright impenetrable obstacles in Fallout 3. You'll be chugging along towards your goal only to find yourself in sort of urban box canyon, trapped on three sides by collapsed buildings. Usually this just means a little backtracking, but often you'll find yourself heading all the hell the way back to your destination trying to find a way across that mountain range of fallen structures.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:49

We've had a few complaints about how NMA has no impression piece up yet. But, sadly, we are not going to put up an impression piece until we've had the chance to play through the game well and proper, digested our impressions to put down some thoughts. Expect the NMA review anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks from now, and no earlier. That's not to say we're not going to editorialize, but we're in no rush (sorry).

The guy writing the NMA review - Vince D. Weller - happens to just have finished a kind of Let's Play thread with the first 5 days of Fallout 3 and his thoughts on it. For your enjoyment and to at least give you something while we prep our articles, NMA has put up these impressions as an early-impression My Fallout 3 adventures! article. Stress on how this should not be read as a review, and should be taken as light-hearted as it is meant.

Day 1-3 cover familiar ground you probably know from previews, so they're fairly spoiler-light. If you wish to avoid spoilers do not go near day 4-5.

Posted by Per - at 0:30

Gamer 2.0, 9.6.

While you look for your father you will encounter one of the most fully realized worlds ever seen in a video game, something Bethesda touted heavily prior to release and certainly delivered. Grand Theft Auto IV had a great representation of New York City and Midnight Club: Los Angeles gave LA its due, but Fallout 3 gives D.C. much more. Vault 101 doesn’t initially set you up too well for what to expect in the Wasteland. But once you emerge from the vault, you will have no choice but to sit there and stare in awe at the barrenness of what is laid out in front of you.
Gry-Online, 91%.
So looks true Fallout of our time. The classical realized license „along contemporary” not only in the sense oprawy, but above all with regard to the structure. Many was the Sceptics of idea „Obliviona with giwerami”, chick, I was among them. Led team through Todda Howarda carried out however lesson from the faults of last production, but at the same time ideal introduced into a composition in this all elements stricte falloutowe. This one from niewielu this year's games, which really until they ask about the repeated once or twice completion. Offers *swobodę działania* in this conservative, classical understanding - from the point of view „ending of 2008” is simply oldschoolowa. Does not have already market for the games such how preceding Fallouty. Let us create market for Fallouta 3.
geek.com.
Fallout 3 is unique and brilliant from the start. Rather than the typical flashy epic intro, Fallout presents a somber, haunting foray into the experience. It’s still graphically impressive, but it’s more subtle in its manipulation rather than the deluge of sensory input that usually accompanies the opening cinematics of games. This beginning is fitting, for it marks the first thing you’ll notice that is wonderfully unique about this game that dares to do things differently.

It plays a lot like the typical Bioware or Bethesda RPG as you would expect, and doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel.
WonderwallWeb, 9.9 (be sure to check out the scoreboard).
As you are no doubt aware this game is developed by Bethesda Softworks, the same people that gave us Oblivion, and there are plenty of similarities to that game. The way you interact, move about and the feel of the game is identical, which is no bad thing, and while Oblivion was a great game, this betters it. The post apocalyptic feel and the story that drives the main adventure really makes you want to explore. The people you talk to throughout the game all have some great personalities and top HD graphics to help them along with their amazingly accurate lip-syncing
Horror-Movies, 9/10.
As far as the gameplay goes it is quite different from the first 2 Fallout games. I have been playing in First Person as if it is a shooter. You can however play it in Third person which is quite similar to the original games other then visually being far superior.

I think that Fallout 3 is far superior to Bioshock in every aspect and easily the best game that I have played so far this year. I am not sure how far into the game I am but I have been playing for a whole day and still have tons of missions to complete and the world is hardly even explored yet. Fans of the original games will love this game and I think fans of great apocalyptic tales will be hooked on this game! A must buy !
Free Swim blog.
I waited for the raider to walk past me, then jumped out -- but kicked over a bottle, and that raider whipped around, along with a second raider I hadn't even noticed. This second raider was a woman, and she was right behind me. Using VATS I targeted her head once (since she had a tire iron as a weapon) and then targeted the chest of the original raider three times.

Go buy Fallout 3 now, and get started -- the game combines sneaking, an open environment that is visually spectacular, character customization and creation that is incredibly detailed, problem-solving, and very hardcore action. If you're a fan of the earlier games you will not be disappointed -- if you've never played any other Fallout game, this is the one to get. You do not need to have played the other games.
ABC Television video review (thanks Lichbane), 8.5/10 and 9.5/10.
Reviewer #1: This is Oblivion with pew-pew lasers and giant cockroaches and I'm loving it.

Reviewer #2: Yes, there's nothing like an old-school RPG with old-school dialogue trees and gear collection to while away the hours.

News for Monday, November 3, 2008

Posted by Per - at 21:47

MMO news site Massively has a small piece on the viability of a Fallout MMO.

Fallout 3 is out this week and I've spent a whole lot of time exploring and fighting in Bethesda's singleplayer MMO world. I've always wondered whether a post-apocalyptic MMO would work well or not, which is part of the reason I've kept a close eye on Fallen Earth in the past. But what's always been in the back-burner of my mind is whether or not the Fallout license would be necessary for a post-apocalyptic to flourish. While endlessly exploring our own personal post-apocalypticia is incredible fun, do we want a massive one?

The first thing to address is the why of a post-apocalyptic MMO. The fantasy genre offers us an escape into a magical world. Superheroes allow for all sorts of wish fulfillment. So what does a big, giant wasteland offer up? The human endeavor and the chance to help or impede it. Fallout is a world where corrupt corporations, mislead governments, slavers, raiders, mutants and worse all threaten humankind. Wasteland Earth is practically a siren song for challenging heroics, and an easy temptation for cruel villainy.

[..]

An MMO that offers players a chance to truly experience a world in dire need of help, that's what a Fallout MMO should be at its core. And it needs to be Fallout because of the spirit, lore and ferocity of the world that's been created. Although combat and exploration would most certainly play highly important roles too. There really isn't any reason for a Fallout MMO to work and work quite well. Worryingly, the nearly lifeless husk that is Interplay currently owns the rights to such a thing. So even if it does come to fruition, we may not really care to play it. I hope that never comes to pass, though. I'd rather not ever have a Fallout MMO than see a mediocre or even bad one released.
I believe they may have meant "to not work and work well".

MCV reports that Fallout 3 is doing well in the UK sales department.
Bethesda can celebrate a wonderful debut in the world of European self-publishing now that it has been confirmed its 360, PS3 and PC outing Fallout 3 has shot straight to the top of Gfk ChartTrack All Formats Top 40 this week.

It replaces Lionhead’s Fable II at number one, which in turn slips to fourth place behind EA’s FIFA 09, which climbs one position to second, and Wii Fit, which shoots from eighth to third.
Podcast Major Nelson includes a 30-minute talk with Pete Hines in its latest instalment, talking about the legacy of Oblivion and design choices. I had some technical problems listening to it, though, and I doubt there's much new in there.

AddictGaming draws attention to a little graphical oversight. Yawn.

Finally, Canadian studio Meduzarts was tasked with making hi-hi-resolution versions of Fallout 3 images for promotion purposes. A 1600x922 version is available in case someone needs a new desktop background. By the way, this is the image that spawned a very minor controversy which we never bothered to report on.

Some of this was found via N4G, also thanks to Jokerb.

Posted by Per - at 21:04

Gaming Console Network, 9.8.

I am sure I missed a ton of little tidbits about Fallout 3, but that is why you are a gamer, it is your job to dive into the game of Fallout 3 and experience it all for yourself. And who listens to reviewers these days? I have written game reviews for over 8 years and I still could care less what one person has to say about a game…
Games On Smash, 8.5/10.
The lasting appeal about this game is different from most other games. Other than playing this game non-stop for weeks on end, you will probably set it down after the first thirty to fourty hours, and come back every once in a while to kill some time. It also doesn’t help that things can get frustrating if you wander into the wrong area, as it is filled with enemies that may be way above your level in the game. Wandering into the wrong area could get your head blown off imedietely. Which is fine considering certain areas shouldn’t be accessed until you are at a higher level, but considering most of the missions go through these areas, you will probably just throw down your controller and turn off your machine. This rage will probably last until you get into the higher levels when everything starts to balance out.
Duke City Gamerz, 9.7/10.
Controls in the game rock when you are in first-person mode. However, the game goes rogue when you are in third-person. It's horrible. Your character may walk in one direction, but when you make a quick turn, you'll swear you are watching Michael Jackson's "Moon Walker" video. Thanks but no thanks to third-person mode in "Fallout 3."
Gamerscore Blog video review, S (or at least an S is displayed at the start of the video).
As you can see I'm really pretty excited about this game, it's a whole lot of fun and... and... and I look forward to playing it without a gas mask on.
Everyeye.
Up to now the game has been sezionato through cold meters of comparison and for "sections stagni". Un' analysis of the sort can have evidenced of more or less obvious the structural limitations. But, like pointed out previously, a title thus complex it demands, for being appreciated to bottom, patience and a look d' entirety, able to enclose of all its sfaccettature. Of the rest, the great force of the role games generally is that of rapire l' customer in a fantastic world, very constructed, transmitting emotions and wrapping the player literally.
Nerdrage blog kicks off with a Fallout 3 review.
The karma system seems to be have been bastardized into your average good and evil system. Some actions are automatically considered bad karma, regardless of the context of the situation, while others lack a convincing explanation as to why they affect karma. Why is it bad karma to steal some information from someone who is blackmailing me for it and who treats everyone near him like crap? If anything, that seems like it's an affirmation of his bad karma! Why is it bad karma to convince someone that their experiments could result in deaths? To me, this seems to come from the idea that you are playing as the hero and therefore not doing the most heroic thing must be bad karma; a philosophy which I find to be quite flawed.

Posted by Per - at 18:02

GameXtract, 48/50.

I don’t know why people deem the V.A.T.S.’ (Vault-tec Assisted Targeted System) slow-mo camera silly or boring after a while, but sinking so much time into the game using both V.A.T.S. and real-time fighting, I can easily tell you, it will most certainly NOT get boring. The sound effects made during V.A.T.S. are ridiculously satisfying, the squishes and groans of enemies will most certainly give you a smiley face.

The only thing I notice that returns from Oblivion is the great talking system, fast traveling and the menu is familiar from Oblivion’s Journal. That’s it.
About.com XBox Games, 4.5/5.
It also brings up the question of why the heck can’t we just climb over the rubble? You can climb ¾ of the way up the side of a building before the game stops you. I know if I was trying to survive I’d be climbing over stuff rather than going through creepy tunnels.
Part Time Gamer.
Fallout's setting, post-nuclear Washington D.C., is unlike any game I've ever played. Gears of War had a war time, massive destruction type of feel to it, but Fallout's distraught landscapes have you feeling desperate to find your father, or whatever your current mission is, especially when you can see for miles and not see any refuge. The city is dirty and broken. You constantly wonder if the next life sign you run across will be friendly or not. You want to keep moving. You want to listen to what characters have to tell you.
Atomic MPG online impressions.
Unlike Oblivion, which matched the power of NPCs and monsters to your own level no matter what order you explore the world, F3 makes sure you know just how nasty everything else is, including the environment itself. Your rad meter constantly pings off the scale, and if untreated radiation sickness is just around the corner. Enemies can cripple your limbs, slowing you down until you can rest or heal, and if you get ambushed by tougher opponents, simply running away is often more dangerous than standing and fighting, simply because it’s so easy to blunder into ever tougher enemies in your blind headlong flight.
Consolenauts, 4.5/5.
There are a lot of us out there that like open-world games like this. You know who you are and you likely already bought it as this review was posted a few days after release. But for those that don’t have it yet and happen to love Grand Theft Auto or The Elder Scrolls games then you really REALLY should play Fallout 3. It’s just as open as you’d expect from Oblivion, minus that ending being the real end. Fallout 3 also sports 200 endings, which are animated sequences that play based off the choices you made in the game.

Posted by Per - at 3:37

More reviews. Again, crazy robots have been used for translation.

MeriStation, 9.5.

To its favor it counts on a deep development and that gives total freedom to the player to explore and to make evolve its personage. The system of personage creation, the abilities and the skills allow us to create a hero or a villain, an angel or a monster, a cruel and ruthless human or a person who worry about the others. In the dark world of Fallout 3, these elections mark the way to follow, and the great amount of them causes that a unique game is not sufficient to savor everything what the title must offer.
PTGamers, 18.
Fallout 3 has its share of bugs, else it wouldn't be a Bethesda game, and I'm not talking about the sort of mutant creatures we have to annihilate. I mean the issues that will compromise our exploring, at times in an irreversible way. Between a few crashes without Med-X or what have you, problems with collision or pathfinding for secondary characters, or text scrolling by too fast, the game has also instances in which the player simply gets blocked by the scenery, with no means of escape - sometimes fast travel can be a life-saver, but the planets must all be aligned just right for nothing to prevent this workaround.

The conclusion, after all, is a very simple one. Fallout 3 is a great quality game, worth every penny spent on it which are repayed with dozens of hours of exploration, combat and satisfying - if not very deep - role-playing elements. The spirit and atmosphere of the series are present but brought up to modern times and, despite a few concessions, it was a job well done.
Gaming Front Network, 9.7.
Fallout 3 is not a traditional fun game. It’s not a game to rush through. It’s not meant to be played in anyway. Fallout 3 is an experience. It’s a world to get lost in. To just let yourself be there. If you can do that it you will love this game. It’s not an easy game to really describe. Everyone will ultimately play this game their own way. To each is his own. Enjoy.
Globe and Mail, 5/5.
Still, it's about as close to flawless as I've seen in a game of this ilk. Bethesda Softworks has masterfully melded role-playing game intelligence with heart-pounding first-person shooter action, and set it in one of the largest, most immersive and compelling game worlds yet made. Fallout 3 is a strong contender for best game of the year, and will be seen as a benchmark for open-world interactive entertainment for years to come.
The Gamer's Hub, 8.3. (Comic Sans!)
Fallout 3 succeeds at bringing the Fallout universe to life in a first person RPG. While playing the game the thought of this being a pleasant mix of Oblivion and Bioshock which is a good thing considering how well both of those games were received. The main story is well written as most of the side quest are also. Playing the game you will want to learn the outcome and as the story unfolds with a few twist and turns you will not want to put the controller down until you complete the main story. Then you can go back and complete side quest you might have missed, or replay the main story in a different way for a different ending which really adds to the games replay value.

As you play through the game one thing is clear, sequels are going to be in the works if this becomes a successful franchise.
Horny Melon.
If Bethesda would have just left the Oblivion controls alone everything would have been fine. But they tried to avoid the “Oblivion with guns” stigma and wrecked them. Sure movement is the same as always and the controls are responsive but there is no intuitiveness. Maybe it is because the mind feels Oblivion but the hands don’t. You will spend the first couple minutes of the game hitting the wrong buttons for everything. Another annoying factor is the menu selection. You cannot simply cancle out of a conversation you have to find the leave conversation phrase (like “I have to go now”) which sometimes requires you to back up through several layers of choices.
MSNBC.
The well-worn conventions of the RPG genre — quests, loot and leveling up — remain intact, yet “Fallout 3” feels utterly distinct and vital. Pulse-pounding combat mashed up with extensive character customization and engrossing exploration makes for an unforgettable gaming experience.

Add a healthy dose of twisted humor and one of the richest game worlds ever created and “Fallout 3” becomes a no-brainer for game of the year.
USA Today, 4.5/5.
The frustrations occur when you don't use V.A.T.S. Shooting accurately is very difficult due to sensitive aiming controls and a tiny targeting reticle. Fallout 3 also exhibits a few odd technical glitches, mostly involving objects suddenly appearing on screen.

Both grievances are easy to overlook when you weigh Fallout 3's engrossing exploration and intriguing plot. It's a vast wilderness worth getting lost in.
And finally, two reviews we've quoted but I believe we so far haven't linked to: OXM US and OXM UK.

Posted by Brother None - at 3:00

Another music interview.

Under the May 8th story on the Latest News page of InonZur.com, Todd Howard (exec producer of Fallout 3) comments: "[Inon has] created a score that has epic sweep; from the lonely ambience of the wasteland to dramatic fights for survival." We got a taste of that with the song samples, but could you tell us more about this and how you're helping to bring the game to life?

IZ: I tend to look at [the] musical score as the emotional dimension of a game or movie. This is why I always try to understand what the developer wanted the gamer to feel from an emotional point of view, rather than trying to describe what is REALLY happening right now. In this way, the score taps into the psychological realm instead of staying passively as a mere description of what you see. Therefore, the music is helping to create the realistic elements of the drama.

News for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Posted by Per - at 22:37

Super PLAY, 7.

Naturally, I've toyed with the idea. Thought of locking a few missiles onto selected targets in Cyrodiil – the realm where The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion took place. Press the red button and just let death rain from the skies. Let atoms split and let all the annoying indifferent inhabitants drown in a sea of fire and radiation. Let the ashes settle like a warm blanket over a world that's fallen asleep.

Now it's not left to my imagination any more. Bethesda has pressed the button for me. Blown Oblivion to hell. Burned down all its forests, plants and fields. Fallout 3 is what's left when the smoke has cleared. But something's not right. When I open my eyes I see the steel-grey interior of Vault 101 and a birthday party in my honour. I'm ten years old and four pairs of empty eyes stare at me out of four faces which are wrong somehow. They smile like a newly botoxed Idol jury, and I'm struck by a realization that freezes the blood in my veins.

They're still there. Even though the world of Fallout 3 feels like a Cyrodiil where all my apocalyptic fantasies have come true, the great nuclear war wasn't enough to kill the creepy inhabitants of the fantasy realm. Maybe because they were never alive to begin with.
FZ.se, 4/5.
V.A.T.S. mode is as close to the turn-based original as we'll get and I take it to be a compromise to make it more accessible (console-adapted) while still trying to keep some of what went before. V.A.T.S. is entertaining but grows tiresome after a while. It's Max Payne rather than Fallout.
totalplaystation, 9.0.
It's an incredibly bizarre feeling, being torn like this. On the one hand, I want to absolutely rip the game apart for being such an obvious descendent of the Elder Scrolls games, but I have such a love affair with anything post-apocalyptic and liked the storyline so much, spent so many hours just running around (probably close to 50 now, all told) that I can't let the feeling of sameness get in the way of what the game offers, which is, simply stated, a whole hell of a lot of fun.

There's a reason why Bethesda didn't want any of us press folks playing through the story missions of the game: it's actually a pretty short trek. Were one to know what they were doing, it'd probably be possible for even a normal user to breeze through things in about five or six hours. Luckily, in those five or six hours, you're going to get a great storyline -- arguably Bethesda Game Studios' best yet -- and of course at nearly every single point in the game, there's always a lingering kind of tugging feeling, an urge that can't be denied to just run out into the world and blow shit up.
eDome, as translated by a passing robot.
Against this background I consider the Fallout 3 as a real top game. It is difficult to say if the game is better or worse Fallout like the old legendary games, the games that so different and have been made during a separate period are in question. It however, I can say that the game will postpone its original idea finely for the present and succeeds in serving to the lot from the tightest game experiences of the year.
Destructoid, 9.0.
Bethesda’s vision of the Fallout universe is decidedly less tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top when compared to other games in the series, particularly Fallout 2. That’s not to say it’s without humor, but it’s certainly darker and far more subtle than what many fans might be wanting and even expecting. What it is, however, is well-crafted and intelligent, with mostly-believable characters just trying to find their way through a torn world. From the shunned ghouls of the underworld to a surprisingly articulate Frankenstein's Monster-esque mutant, there are plenty of memorable character encounters throughout Fallout 3. And because the characters and world feel so real, your actions have a real weight, and the story has many points that elicit true emotion.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:00

The first few mods are the usual early-day tweaking fare, but one could say they're fairly necessary.

The aptly named No waypoints or markers for enemies or quests for Fallout 3...uhm...does what it says.

Radiation Redux tweaks the whole radiation thing so it doesn't give you quite as much info on your radcount.

Minimal UI Mod "removes many hud elements, and others are scaled down. Also includes the Official Fallout Font from the NMA site, with a few different sizes included for you to try out".

Posted by Per - at 2:51

Ohmpage.

The game is beautiful and really epic in scale but it’s certainly not for everyone. It can be intimidating for some. It can be too much of an investment for others. If you do want a rich, deep experience in which you can get heavily invested and if thoughts of exhaustive exploration as you traipse across a wasteland don’t scare you off then maybe this is the game for you. A lot of people won’t be able to handle Fallout 3. It’s not for the faint of heart or for casual game players but those who are ready to sign their life over are going to love this game to bits. Though it is not perfect and could use some of the ideas from other recent RPGs (notably the fluid conversation and cinematic qualities of Mass Effect) Fallout is everything it promised to be and wonderful example of the refinement and polish the console RPG genre has made possible.
Middle East Gamers, 9.7.
Fallout 3 portrays carnage in such a magnificent scale that even Mozart would appreciate the tender beauty that destruction has to offer. There’s always something left to explore no matter how well you’ve ransacked the territory. Weapon designs couldn't have been better, combining the 1950s vibe into everything you interact with. The retrospective artistic design is what we came to appreciate the most. Think of it as BioShock minus the water…
Blast, 5/5.
This caloric description doesn’t even begin to do justice to Fallout 3. Not only is Fallout 3 the best game of the year, but it’s one of the best games ever made.

That’s a lofty statement, but you’re reading a magazine that has a track record of telling the truth. So listen up.
SFX360, 10.
Like The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Fallout 3 is a true RPG experience although this time your not in a medieval storyline. I will warn you that this is a long game so make sure you devote plenty of time to play because there is no such thing as a quick run here. The main campaign can run around 20 hours to finish, but this is only a small fraction of what Fallout 3 offers. To truly experience the game you need to explore the wasteland because you'll find many other side quests as well as dungeon crawling. The complete experience will run over 100 hours of gameplay with each experience different from the next. You can bet your bottom dollar that Bethesda's working on episodic content and other downloadable content (no horse armor content please?) just like they did in Oblivion. RPG gamers look no further because Fallout 3 delivers on everything your looking for.
KishCom blog, 8.5/10.
I played Fallout 2 many years ago on my PC and I really really enjoyed it. It was a third person/overhead view type game, whereas fallout 3 is more of a first person shooter and on Xbox 360. What’s great though is how Fallout 3 still feels like Fallout 2 (and presumably the original Fallout) — the game feels like it’s a successor.
Gamester online impressions.
First off, yes, it is as good as advertised. I set a high bar with my previews but it clears them and then some. One thing I wasn’t allowed to delve into too deeply were the side quests and story, and those are easily the best part.

For all the raves about GTA IV’s details I think this may be the most detailed, fleshed-out game world I’ve ever seen. Every character, from major players to wandering traders to inconsequential bit parts, has a unique personality and a look to match it. Every room is uniquely littered with appropriate set pieces, some useful items and furniture; it’s a hallmark of Bethesda’s recent games but they outdid themselves this time.
Common Sense Media, 5/5.
Not only is this game an immersive, futuristic Wild Wild West thriller that offers many dozens of hours of play, but it's also quite the looker with its high-definition characters, environments, and special effects (the game looks and plays the same between the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions). Animation isn't always smooth, though, and there are occasional camera issues that obscure your view instead of aiding it. Another minor shortcoming: it would have been great if a second player – online or in front of the same TV – could join in and play with you at any time (as you can in the Fable II RPG) but at least the artificial intelligence is smart and will keep you on your toes. Whether or not you played the original Fallout games, this sequel is one of the finest – yet quite mature – video games of the year.

News for Saturday, November 1, 2008

Posted by Per - at 21:02

suite101.

From 1Up to IGN, reviewers seem to have reached a consensus that Fallout will be very successful, is extremely innovative, and perhaps one of the most ambitious games ever undertaken. Without a doubt, it is an extremely immersive and captivating world filled with lovable, and detestable, characters. Greatly improved voice acting coupled with a fun and darkly humourous take on a post-apocalyptic future makes Fallout 3 an easy recommendation for any fan of science fiction, fantasy, or the role-playing genre as a whole.
Spong, 94%.
All I am saying is that Bethesda has delivered on its promise of a game that does enable you to think a little as you play a lot. At no point, even during Neeson and some of the other annoying character interactions (why all the NPCs who say “Hi” in one sentence and then “Fuck off” in the next?) do you feel that you're being treated like an easily-hyped, blinded child.
WFAA/Quickdfw.
Games such as Fallout that let you choose a moral path (e.g. Knights of the Old Republic and Fable) make me wonder how many gamers indulge their dark side. The game starts with such charming innocence, letting you play a short while as a babbling toddler exploring the massive bomb shelter you call home, that it's hard to remake yourself into a bloodthirsty demon 30 minutes later. And, notably, you can kill anyone you run into, but children are off-limits. The developers apparently had some qualms about absolute freedom.
The (Toronto) Star, 4/4.
Fallout 3 takes the Bethesda style and applies it to the near-legendary Fallout universe, an alternate world where the '50s went on for decades – until, finally, the bomb dropped. I'd never played the previous Fallout games – I haven't had a really gaming-capable PC since the early '80s – but back in the day, I was really into the series' "spiritual predecessor," Wasteland, and all the style and wit and black humour my teenage self loved in that game is in Fallout 3 multiplied and amplified to wonderful effect. Everywhere you look – seriously, everywhere, right down to the bathrooms and broom closets – there are details to soak in, little tableaux to experience, black-humour gags, breathtaking moments.
Games Are Evil, 5/5.
So, here it is: a hotly-anticipated sequel from a different time and a previous generation. Despite the fact that the individual components powering Fallout 3 are completely different to Fallout and Fallout 2, it would be disrespectful to Bethesda (and the ghost of Interplay, obviously) if the former games were ignored. And they’re not – there are even cheeky mentions towards nabbing a few water chips and getting hold of a GECK at the beginning of Fallout 3. This is no simple re-imagining or a case of gutting the franchise to make it work in an Oblivion mould, no, it’s a very conscious and determined effort to create a sequel, and fans of Fallout in general should be thankful to Bethesda for doing it. They’ve turned themselves into a developmental phoenix, breathing new life into a dead series and heralding it with jubilation as it marches triumphantly over the gaming sphere.
Yahoo! Games UK & Ireland, 5 out of.
The world is pregnant with opportunity and side-quests will tumble into your lap as you begin to explore the wasteland. You are free to be good or evil as you play, stealing from the poor or helping them, being rude in your conversations or maintaining civility. With a slew of multiple endings based on your choices it’s an experience that inspires replay and thanks to the compelling and meticulously realised world, Fallout 3 stands as the greatest open-world adventure of the year.
Technic3D, 90.25%.
Fallout 3 braucht ein wenig Zeit, bis der Spieler mit ihm richtig warm geworden ist. Je länger das Spiel aber dauert, desto mehr steigt das Verlangen, wieder in die Welt von Fallout 3 eintauchen zu wollen. Die klasse Grafik, die abwechslungsreichen sowie guten Quests und das bekannte Jäger-/Sammler-Prinzip machen Lust auf mehr und sorgen für Langzeitspielspaß.
the Gazz/Creators.com, 5/5.
Engaging enemies combines real-time combat and an innovative turn-based mechanic called V.A.T.S., which freezes the action and lets the player queue up several attacks before resuming. V.A.T.S. offers several advantages such as an increased chance to make a critical hit as well as the ability to target certain body parts. Believe me, that Super Mutant will have a hard time shooting you if you knock the weapon out of his hands first. However, players can also choose to ignore V.A.T.S. if they want.
Gamereactor provides a video review and offers one score for each Nordic country: Norway 8/10, Sweden 7/10, Denmark 8/10 and Finland 9/10.
But at the same time, gameplay is very first person shooterish. I mean, you can play it with a system called V.A.T.S., where you freeze the time and use Action Points. At first I didn't understand this system at all, it felt totally meaningless. You can aim at the head or something, but it's much more effective just blasting away.

Posted by Per - at 4:54

Game Informer, 9.5.

While I found scavenging to be oddly satisfying, the true heart and soul of Fallout 3 is how player choice is incorporated into the questing and combat. Every mission puts your alignment in the world on trial. Given how tough some of the choices are, it’s difficult to play the entire game with the ideology of “I’m a good Samaritan” or “I’m a ruthless killer.” I entered the game with the hope of being as evil as possible, but ended up being a gray in-betweener. This falls squarely onto the shoulders of the phenomenal writing. The dialogue is brilliantly penned, some of the situations couldn’t be more precarious, and the game has a knack for making you feel guilty and/or foolish. Unfortunately, as strong as the dialogue is, it’s hard to embrace its emotional moments as all of the acting is incredibly wooden.
Gamekult, 7.
Although the overall graphics and their brown/grey tones typical of Next-Gen games leave a bit to be desired, some environments are truely magnificent, despite a technical proficiency clearly outdated. The graphics engine shows its age, with disgraceful textures and rough modeling not very successful, which is even more annoying as the game slows down heavily during loaded scenes. We also experienced few graphical bugs and occasional crashes, sadly something quite usual from games of this studio, even if they're scarce enough. Let's finish on a more positive note with a special mention for the excellent 40s and 50s musics that one can hear on the Pip-Boy radio, that give the game a nostalgic feeling that neither art direction nor dialogue seem to be able to convey. Definitely a plus to the atmosphere that remains one of the strong points of Fallout 3.
GiantRealm, 81% (and a fairly damning list of gripes).
When venturing into the vast wasteland that is Fallout 3, there is only one important thing to remember: This is not a Fallout title. From the offset, it's very obvious that this is a reskinned Oblivion. From the absolutely gorgeous, if destroyed, vistas to the somewhat clunky, borderline dysfunctional AI, it shares all the problems and glory that came with its predecessor. If you can put that aside, which I have, by giving it another name (for the record, I call it "Trashland," but that's an appealing name to me as that's how I see a post-apocalyptic world), you will find yourself enjoying the world much, much more.

I can't stress it enough, the world should be what you're after here. if you're looking for amazing story, memorable personality, NPCs you really, really want to kill (or save, I guess, if that's your style), or anything else, I'd honestly suggest you look elsewhere.
ScrewAttack, 8.5/10.
Everything that Bioshock got wrong Fallout 3 gets right. Your weapons and armor degrade with use and have to be repaired by either you or a shopkeeper. Fail to maintain your gear and you'll lose your gun midway through a firefight or end up with armor that offers no protection. If that wasn't bad enough you have to pick and choose what skills you want to use and *gasp* actually play the game that way! Focus on Speech, Barter, and Sneak and you'll be a well-informed consumer that can talk his or her way out of almost any situation, should you get caught. The whole game is built around the idea that anyone can get out of almost any situation. The downside to this is that you cannot be the supreme badass you played in Bioshock. For example, on one mission I was pinned down by the Enclave and, had my Science skill been high enough, I could have sealed them in a room and moved on. Instead I had to shoot it out with them because I focused more on guns than Science.
In bonus minor news, Sarcastic Gamer posts two Survival Guides to Fallout 3, here and here.

Posted by Per - at 3:21

An editorial on Gamasutra, "I Kill Children", examines the decision to cut childkilling from Fallout 3.

Problematically, in singling out and self-censoring one particular type of 'crime' in his game, Pagliarulo by implication justifies all the others as being non-gratuitous and necessary. Last night I blew the head from a homeless scavenger girl, one who was barely into her twenties.

The slow motion camera tracked her head's explosion before lingering on the crimson fountain spurting from her neck stump. Is this kind of interaction and feedback socially responsible? And so then what's the difference to killing a minor?

Is the life of a make-believe child really worth more than that of a make-believe adult?

[..]

Self-censorship was the least effective course of action open to Bethesda if they are looking to morally instruct their players. Why not take the route less traveled and try to implement some meaningful consequence, something beyond an essentially meaningless "karma" stat?

Of course it is the route less traveled for a reason: it's a whole lot more work. The framework of systems and rules that govern Fallout 3 serve the setting: a place of lawless anarchy. As such it's difficult to introduce a potent enough disincentive to murdering children. And, in more general terms it's hard to make any game talk to a player in true terms of "good" and "bad," when the medium's primary vocabulary is one of "success" and "failure."

[..]

These are difficult questions with few satisfying answers. But no matter what, in removing the opportunity to kill children in their anarchic game, Bethesda has admitted video games' ineffectiveness in providing meaningful disincentives and negative repercussions for in-game atrocities. That the team chose to carve the issue out of their game rather than attempt to engage it head on, speaks volumes.
Many of the comments are eloquent and passionate. And the first one rings with a tone of familiarity: "You offer no real argument as to why you want to murder children."