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News for Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 23:57

Pretty badass?

Pretty badass.

Link: Marcus the super mutant on

Thanks Ausir.

News for Sunday, February 22, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 17:20

Ain't never gonna stop. Gamespot (thanks Ausir).

Here's the biggest problem: Your best bet to get in is to look like a slave, so this means giving up all your worldly possessions. We tried this a few ways and got the option to try and sneak a gun or a knife in (always handy when going undercover) before deciding to try our luck with just our wits. After a bit of walking, we got to the bridge leading into Pittsburgh and navigated through some low-key hazards: mines, dogs, and some raiders that didn't pose too much of a problem. Things changed when we got closer to the chain link fence and saw a small group of slaves trying to escape.
After grabbing the ingots, it's time to fight in the Arena for a chance to win an audience with Ashur. It's at that point that I'm tasked with snatching the potential cure and bringing it back to the escaped slave. You will eventually be able to choose between allying between the slaves and the slavers, allowing you to play out The Pitt as good or evil characters. This will be a welcome change from Operation: Anchorage, which was great, but there was less freedom given to the character in how to drive the story forward. To that end, The Pitt will be the return to classic Fallout 3 gameplay. The developers wanted to vary the DLC expansions and The Pitt will offer the players a lot of choices. I'm also told it'll be a bit longer than Anchorage.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:14

MTV Multiplayer interviews Pete Hines (thanks Ausir).

graemepass @multiplayers Is it as combat focused as Anchorage? Because that’s not what I want.

Hines: No. It is much more in line with some of the other stuff in “Fallout.” There are these two factions. There’s a story: the slavers vs. the slaves. And you have to figure out who you want to believe and who you want to help. Clearly, there’s combat involved, but there are multiple ways to go about doing things. You have to decide ultimately what you think is right, because there is no real right or wrong.

DuhraL @multiplayers w/ the first DLC, they used a lot of the wasteland assets with a blue filter on top. Does the “Pitt” feel like a new city?

Hines: I don’t think that’s actually entirely accurate, but you could probably answer that better than me. When you were in it did it feel different? To me it does.

MTV Multiplayer: Yeah, the [Pittsburgh] bridge looks different.

Hines: It’s much grittier, much more industrial. It feels like what you might think post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh would look like.
GameSpot has a video interview, also with Pete Hines at DICE.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:10

Just a few more reviews for any stragglers still doubting about buying this DLC. Gameplay Monthly C-.

Once you’ve completed the whole scenario, which should roughly take two or three hours, you’re rewarded with a few unique items, but if you’re playing this after your playthrough of Fallout 3, those items are worthless. Operation Anchorage is a pretty disappointing first attempt at Fallout 3’s DLC, where the pretense of it being a simulation seems to be enough excuse for Bethesda to half-ass their own game design. If you really enjoy the shooting elements of Fallout 3, I’d say give it a shot if you really wanted to play through a linear sequence of combat, but otherwise, skip this venture.
GameZone 7.9.
The problem with Operation Anchorage is that the whole affair is very short and quite linear. Due to the constant ammo and health refreshers placed generously throughout the map, there’s really no reason that any Fallout 3 player shouldn’t be able to blow through the pack’s four missions in a few hours. While there is a subquest that has you searching for ten pieces in intel in order gain the Covert Ops perk (which will grant you a permanent boost in Lockpick, Science, and Small Arms), there’s still not a lot here beyond the combat. Additionally, once you’re done with the simulation, that’s it, and you can’t come back to it unless you load up a previous save. All that you’ll have is your new equipment to remind you of your Anchorage exploits.
OXCGN 6.5.
The problem with such an open-world game such as Fallout is the timing. Jump into this at a high level and you will find it all a very easy and fast experience. I am unsure why your character starts with set given weapons in the simulation however they maintain your current level, gain XP and bring any perks along with them.

While it might be much more challenging attacking this earlier on the rewards seem quite high then for a low level however next play through with this game I am going to give this option a try. Level 18 seemed far too high to find this a challenge but the story and experience still kept me playing through however it certainly didn’t take the four or five hours I was expecting.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:07

Todd Howard lectured at DICE. GameSpot offers some coverage (thanks ][avok), but a more detailed report can be found on Gamasutra.

Taking Inspiration From Unlikely Places

"One of the tricks we do -- and you can use this on your franchises -- is read old reviews," Howard explained.

It is important to play old games as well, he went on, but reading old reviews removes much of the aging process, because they are written from the perspective of somebody experiencing those games when they are new.

That allows you to understand how design decisions affected the reviewer, away from the difficulties that come with dealing with archaic graphics and input methods.

"You can pull up a review of Arena, our first Elder Scrolls games, and if you black out a few words, you can't tell what Elder Scrolls game it is, whether it's Daggerfall, Morrowind, or Oblivion," he said.

Inspiration can come from disparate sources -- Fallout 3's body part targeting system drew influence from such seemingly unrelated touchstones as Burnout 3's crash mode and the slow-motion blows of the Fight Night games.

News for Friday, February 20, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 12:42

How Huxley. Point.

I have now invested about 25 hours of gameplay into Fallout 3, and I am glad to report that it is a remarkable game experience both in story telling and action. The game is an RPG through and through, presenting a great amount of choice to the player as well as a generous portion of action, and tells an engaging story. Fallout 3 should not be played as a first-person shooter however…although the game can be explored from either first- or third-person perspectives, to me it just didn’t feel right using third person for more than just checking out the new armor I acquired, and marveling at how bad-ass I looked. Fallout 3 is a game to be savored, radioactive morsel by radioactive morsel.
In all I could forgive many of the limitations and restrictions of Fallout 3 if it didn’t have the name Fallout in the title. After all most are simply annoyances and limits on what is a beautiful game. But a RPG is at its heart a story and Fallout 3 by its heritage is a continuation of a great line of stories. On this point Fallout 3 fails. Badly, completely, and utterly. This game is disgraceful of the Fallout legacy.

During the production I read a quote from a Bethesda Softworks development blog that every member of the development team read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy to be used as a guide when creating the game. For those that have read this Pulitzer winning book I’m sure you know where I’m coming from. For those that haven’t, go get it from the library or buy it. You’ll thank me. In either case I wish they had hired Mr. McCarthy to write the story instead of using his work as an inspiration.

Given that they didn’t do that maybe if Bethesda had 1 million monkeys for a million years they would have risen to the writing quality that the original team achieved for Wasteland 21 years ago…and not even with a Pulitzer to their credit. Hell, a gamer can dream right?

Posted by Brother None - at 12:36


Once inside the encampment, you'll find that locating Ashur is easier said than done. The guy doesn't exactly pal around with slaves. Before you can get to him, you'll have to go through a series of quests and familiarize yourself with a new weapon: the auto-axe. This was the only new weapon I found during my time with The Pitt, though more may be found later in the quest. This melee weapon is essentially an over-sized weed-whacker with every safety measure removed. Pull the trigger and you'll extend the rotating blades, tearing through anything that gets too close. Seriously, just running at enemies was enough to rip them to shreds. Going into VATS with the weapon didn't provide any added enjoyment for me, so I mainly just stuck with real-time auto-axe action. The auto-axe becomes even better if you complete a side quest in The Pitt that rewards you with a new perk to boost the strength of the weapon (one of two new perks I earned while playing).
Kinda sorta thanks Ausir only I spotted this before I read the PM but I'll credit you anyway since that's the kind of guy I am.

Posted by rockfx01 - at 10:16

Exit grids are fixed.

FMF Demo Alpha Release Build 003
Please note the changes to the installation and run method as it has changed from previous builds.

Download Location

System Requirements
  • Officially patched Fallout 2 v1.02 UK or US is required. Other localizations may or may not be supported. Please let us know if you have a different local and it does or does not work.
  • Unpatched Fallout 1.00 will NOT work with this or future builds.
  • If another mod is installed, this mod will still work OK alongside it as long as you have the correct Fallout version installed, the master.dat and critter.dat are unmodified, and there is no existing FVP.ini file in your Fallout 2 directory for a different mod.

Installation Instructions
1. Extract the FanMadeFallout zip file to C:\Program Files\BlackIsle\Fallout2. After extracting the zip file, the Fallout 2\ directory should contain a new folder called "FMFdata", and the files Readme.txt, "FMF.exe", "FVP.ini", and "fallout2.fmf".
2. Open the extracted data directory and ensure the "proto" directory is set to Read-Only. Apply this change to all enclosed files and subdirectories.
3. Run the FMF.exe executable and start a new game.

Change List
  • New installation method, uses Fallout Virtual Patcher to run the mod.
  • Supports Fallout v1.02 ONLY. UK and US versions should both work ok, I don't know what will happen with other versions.
  • The Whaler can now be boarded.

Bug Reporting
Our Mantis Bug Tracker is available to anyone who wants to sign up and log defects they find in the demo. Please keep in mind that if you find and report a defect we may need to ask for more information if we are unable to reproduce it or if we would like you to test the fix.

What NOT to report:
-Complaints or flaming, I.E. "Where are all the NPCs!" or "You guys sux0rs."
-Major feature requests such as new quests, NPCs, or adding mind-controlling aliens to the game. Minor feature requests or improvements are okay, but we make no guarantee that we will implement them.
-Obvious missing elements that just haven't been implemented yet. Unless you have access to our private forums, you probably don't know what those elements are anyways.
Anyone who does not obey these guidelines will be warned and/or banned from use of the tracker.

What to report:
-Generic bugs related to maps, quests, scripts, dialogue, etc. Basically anything in the game that does not behave the way that it should.

How to Report a Bug:
1. Sign up on the tracker at and confirm your account from your email address, then you can log in to the tracker with your username/password.
2. After logging in to the tracker, you will start at the "Main View" page. If you have reported any past defects or have anything assigned to you, it should be displayed on this page.
3. Click the "View Issues" link in the top menu to be transported to the bug list.
4. Do a search for the bug you found to see if it has already been entered. If it is already entered, please do not re-enter the same bug a second time.
5. If there is no bug logged yet for the issue you are reporting, click "Report Issue" in the top menu to create a new bug entry.
6. In the bug report page, fill in the fields with as much information as possible:
  • Category: The category which the bug falls under such as Art, Dialogue, or Maps.
  • Reproducibility: How often does this bug occur? If you can reproduce it 100% of the time, choose "always". Select an appropriate choice for the reproducibility of the bug.
  • Severity: How big of an effect does this have on gameplay?
  • Product Version: The version of the demo you were playing when you found the bug.
  • Summary: A short description of the bug. This should be very brief and include keywords for the bug, such as "Crash when initiating conversation with Stockley."
  • Description: A longer description of the bug. This should be detailed and describe exactly the symptoms of the bug and a summary of what causes it (if known).
  • Additional Information: In this section, please enter the steps to reproduce the bug in a numbered list. Try to keep it to as few steps as absolutely necessary to recreate the bug.
  • Location: For the demo, this should always be COTC.
  • Subcategory: A more specific identification of what specifically the bug affects, such as an Item, a Quest, Scenery, etc.
  • Difficulty: This is for development purposes only and you do not need to complete this.
  • Upload File: If you have a screenshot, log, or other file that would be useful in troubleshooting the bug, upload it and attach it to the bug.
  • View Status: This should always be set to public.

7. Finally, click [Submit Report] at the bottom

Posted by Brother None - at 0:16

Fallout 3's 2nd DLC was available for hands-on at D.I.C.E., so expect a few previews. First, GameSpy (thanks Ausir).

Sure enough, I was immediately greeted by a gang of slavers who beat me down, took all of my possessions, and turned me into a slave. But hey, at least I was in, right? Thankfully, a kind woman named Midea was there to help me, and told me that she would be able to help me get what I needed. Alas, that meant "working" for the slavers, collecting steel ingots for their foundry. Apparently the ingots were just lying around for the taking, but I had to journey out into a particularly dangerous area to get them. This area was infested with trogs, a new type of humanoid enemy that is fast, ferocious, and attacks in groups.
And the Escapist.
You see, The Pitt is inhabited by Slavers, led by Ashur, and their slaves. True to the Pittsburgh we all know and love, the business of the Slavers is ... anyone? Anyone? Yep, working with steel. So there are slaves wandering about, heads down, trying to look busy to keep from attracting the attention of their masters. These Slavers wander around - wearing fancy new raider outfits, mind you - with weapons, ready to enforce the rule: Work, or die. The slaves are busy obeying that One Rule, carrying back-breaking loads of steel or cutting large I-beams with AutoAxes (New Weapon Alert!), or large chainsaw-like items with a large rotating saw blade on the end.

That one finds himself in the grimy Pitt after completing the shipped title, feels, well, a bit ... unholy. But Hines explains to me you just jump into a save game from before you finish - perhaps even the handy autosave before the ending? - and you're in business. You'll receive a message and an update in your Pip Boy for a quest to help Wernher, and you are off to the lovely and exciting destination of The Pitt.
And finally, a press release'd description + screenshots.
The Pitt opens with a desperate radio message, and a meeting with its sender, an escaped slave named Wernher. Wernher claims that the leader of "The Pitt" has created a cure for mutations... and he needs you to go in and retrieve it. From there, the player can proceed in a number of ways, in true Fallout 3 style. Do you fight your way in, or disguise yourself as a slave? Ally with the slaves, or join their Raider overlords? The Pitt is very morally ambiguous - there's no real right or wrong, just choices to be made, sides to be chosen, and a mystery that could send shockwaves throughout the entire Wasteland.

Key Features:

* Explore an entire new area - the post-apocalyptic ruins of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, known as The Pitt!
* Find and use new weaponry, such as the AutoAxe, a new melee weapon with a powerful, serrated rotary blade hungry for flesh.
* Discover new side quests and subtle plot elements and determine your path in this place where nothing is "right" or "wrong."
* Exclusive new perks and achievements!

News for Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:02

Experience Points editorialized on role-playing in Fallout 3 from a pen and paper gamer perspective.

Fallout 3 quickly gives the player dialogue choices that color who the character is, rather than a giving the player a sense of who their character is beforehand. Why was I behaving like a little Vault punk, other than the fact it was in line with how future me might behave? An early example of contextually removed choices is the G.O.A.T. exam, a silly test clearly designed for the players benefit, not the avatar’s.The answer to these questions have no in-game effect. The results of the exam determine which skill points the game suggests you tag, not binding you whatsoever to the outcome. Any motivation for choosing one option over another comes from the player alone.

Despite these barriers, I had fleshed out my character to my liking and came out of the vault comfortable with my decisions. My evil actions would be driven by mistrust, paranoia and a desire to find my father. Yet the game design did not facilitate this interpretation. I stole to survive, yet for every Stimpak I would steal, I would lose Karma points. At one point, my negative karma allowed one "shady" gentleman to view my character as a potential compatriot, despite the fact he had never seen me steal or kill. The personality I gave my character was not the personality Fallout seemed to be shepherding me towards.
I wonder if he played the originals and is aware of their pen and paper roots...

Posted by Brother None - at 13:57

The Interplay website was hacked a day or so ago. They've put up a "we'll be back soon" sign and will be back when they're back. Just an FYI to regulars.

Thanks Kardinal.

News for Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 17:31

Oblivion & Fallout 3's Todd Howard and System Shock 2 & BioShock's Ken Levine shared a panel led by MTV Multiplayer at the New York Comic Con. We've covered the only relevant bits before, but if you want to see footage of them discussing the Wii, Killzone 2 review reactions and (peripherally interesting) "how to build a better ending", here you go.

News for Monday, February 16, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 20:36

Game Informer's coverage of The Pitt comes with an interview. Nothing huge in there but it's the first tidbits:

GI: What’s the narrative setup for The Pitt?

Gardiner: Pittsburgh was once the industrial center of the pre-war world. The city was spared the horrors of nuclear fire, only to have its people infected by a nightmare plague of disease, infection, and mutation. The Pitt opens with the player encountering an escaped slave from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The slave, Werhner, claims that the leader of “the Pitt” has created a cure for mutations… Once inside the Pitt, the player will have to figure out how to gain audience with the raider boss. What they’ll discover could send shockwaves through the Wasteland. The Pitt is very morally ambiguous – there’s no real right or wrong, just choices to be made, sides to be chosen.

GI: What new features/creatures/weapons/locations can players expect to encounter in The Pitt?

Gardiner: Without spoiling everything, The Pitt contains all of the above! There’s an “AutoAxe,” a melee weapon comparable to the ripper but with a huge, serrated rotary blade. There are three new perks including “Auto Axpert,” which will give the player a boost in damage when they’re using the new AutoAxe. Pittsburgh itself is infected with “Trogs,” creatures that were once human but slowly devolved into scampering mutants who fear the light and fight in packs. Many iconic locations in Pittsburgh are modeled in the game; several of our developers are from the city and their first hand knowledge is on full display!
Thanks Ausir.

Posted by Morbus - at 13:53

Fallout 2 total conversion "Fan Made Fallout" has finally a playable demonstration. Its Alpha version at least:

We are still having some problems with the build due to exit grids not playing nicely (yet), but here is a zip file of the data directory which you can start testing out one of the maps.

To install:
1. Rename your C\Program Files\BlackIsle\Fallout2\data directory to "" or "data2".
2. Extract the zip file above to C:\Program Files\BlackIsle\Fallout2. It will replace the original data directory.
3. Run the Fallout2.exe executable and start a new game. After getting through the start videos, you will start at the City on the Coast Markets.

Currently this map is the only one available since the game crashes when you cross the exit grid Razz. If anyone knows how to get the exit grids working properly, please let me know. I've followed the tutorials for exit grids but they still don't seem to work. I'll look at this more tomorrow to see if I can get it working, but if anyone is familiar with mapping, your assistance would be appreciated. You can feel free to load up the mapper with the scripts source attached at the bottom and the data directory above (note that the is actually called "" due to the FMF executable not yet working quite right).

I will be putting up daily builds this week with any improvements as they become available. If anyone would like to help get the map situation sorted out we would all greatly appreciate it. My expertise is definitely not mapping.

The source scripts are available below. Feel free to download it and take a look. If you find any bugs and feel like fixing them, feel free. Send me a PM with the modified code so that we can merge it into future builds. Once we get the exit grids working, there will be quite a bit more to do since there are several other quests and features scripted on the other maps. The biggest issue right now is getting to the maps where those quests are located.
Link: Playable Map @ Fan Made Fallout
Link: Source @ Fan Made Fallout

Thanks Sleek.

News for Sunday, February 15, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 15:50

This one slipped under our radar for a bit, don't let it slip under yours. Forgotten Knight released a Fallout 2 total conversion mod called The Last Hope. Overview:

This is a total conversion mod for Fallout 2. Version US 1.02d is not required since this mod comes with it's own executable and .dat file.

Main features of this mod are:
- new world map look, bigger
- changed encounters, adjusted difficulty
- new cities, very few visible at the beginning
- new NPCs, dialogs, scripts
- changed weapons look (some of them) and some new ones
- new vehicles, not directly drivable but used to store items
- some new items used for quests
- new quests
- now you can't see NPC's inventory if your steal skill isn't high enough
Screenshots (courtesy Vault of the Mad Brahmin).

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to start up the ol' jalopy again.

Link: The Last Hope mod on NMA.
Link: The Last Hope mod thread on NMA.
Link: The Last Hope website.

Thanks JaW.

News for Saturday, February 14, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 16:21

Just picking up some of the bigger GotY awards. Fallout 3 won Game of the Year, RPG of the Year and best ammo (teddy bear) from PC Gamer.

From the first time the Vault door rolls open to your initial encounter with a 15-foot-tall mutated monster with eight-inch claws to a climactic ending battle that we won’t spoil for you here, Fallout 3 is a game you can’t possibly experience by playing just once. It’s all of these memorable moments - just a few of which are captured right here - that put Fallout 3 ahead by a nose in the tough competition for this year’s PC Gamer Game of the Year Award. In an effort to give them huge egos, we asked Bethesda’s Lead Producer Todd Howard and Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo what they hope that other game developers learn from the success of Fallout 3.

“Great ideas never die. It didn’t matter that Fallout was a series that was silent for 10 years. The world and core mechanics of Fallout 1 are so inherently awesome that they deserved to be done again, but in a new way. So much of reinventing something again is the presentation. Read old game reviews and see how the audience responded at the time, and find a way to make that happen again. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘People no longer like that.’ What I wouldn’t give to see X-Wing or Wing Commander reborn again. Hmmmm.” - Todd Howard
Lessons learned: you can freely take an IP, turn it into something unrecognizable and the media will lap it up.

Entertainment Merchants Association decided GTA IV beats Fallout 3, but the game did pick up best RPG/Strategy.

News for Friday, February 13, 2009

Posted by Pope Viper - at 22:09

CVG is providing details regarding the upcoming Bethesda DLC: The Pitt

The Pitt consists of a large 'dungeon' area, an abandoned steel yard, as well as a settlement divided into two halves; Downtown, occupied by slaves, and Haven occupied by their masters.

For the first time players will be able to interact with Raiders other than by fighting them, says the mag, and one major quest has you taking on the role of a slave, investigating rumours that the Raider boss has found a cure for mutation.
Dungeon areas! DUNGEONS!

Link: CVG article on The Pitt DLC

Posted by Tagaziel - at 15:34

The newest Game Informer issue carries two new screens from the upcoming Fallout 3 DLC, showing the Pittsburgh entryway and a new weapon, the spotless, yellow Auto-Axe.

Posted by Silencer - at 0:38

In lieu of FMF news, you can take a peek at two in-game screenshots from this update at the Fallout 1.5 Resurrection site:

Various reactions to your character based on its stats are a core element of Fallout, as well as one of the things that made it so engaging. The two new screenshots in our gallery show examples of the kind of reactions that a woman character can cause in the world of Resurrection. One could see it as both a negative and a positive case.

We are constantly asked when exactly will Resurrection be done. Moreover the last update was only released in Czech. So I'd like to clarify this one more time: There is no precise release date. As you could see for yourself, we haven't been very successful with setting these, and hence we'll just say that when it's done, it's done, where at this point we are counting on this year. As soon as we'll be able to say something more concrete, we'll inform you through this page. For now... the work keeps going on.
I must say, the definition of "positive reaction" here is a bit... questionable, shall we say? But, what the hell. Enjoy.

Thanks, Deamon!

News for Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 12:17

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed beat out Fallout 3 in the Writer's Guild of America game writing awards, Gamasutra reports (thanks TyloniusFunk).

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has won the second annual Video Game Writing Award from the Writers Guild of America. The winners were announced in a ceremony on February 7.

Writers Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford and Cameron Suey were honored with the award, beating out fellow nominees Bethesda Game Studios' Fallout 3; Electronic Arts Los Angeles' Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3; Eidos' Tomb Raider: Underworld and Mousechief's Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble.
To make up for it somewhat, Fallout has quite a few nominations in the Game Developers Choice Awards: Best Game Design, Best Visual Art, Best Writing and Game of the Year. Winners to be announced March 25th, see the press release here.

BAFTA has also announced its nominations, and Fallout 3 trails titles such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (7), Grand Theft Auto IV (6), Fable II and LittleBigPlanet (5) with 4 nominations: Best Game, Original Score, Story and Character and Technical Achievement, as well as the non-award "one to watch". Voting for the GAME Award is public and can be done here. Winners to be announced March 14th, see the press release here.

News for Monday, February 9, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 15:27

Todd Howard joined Ken Levine for a panel led by MTV Multiplayer staff at the New York Comic Con. Tidbits here, the most noteworthy bit being Bethesda is working on an iPhone game, quite possibly a Fallout one, though I can't shake the feeling we already knew that. It's not noteworthy otherwise, unless you want to see affirmed how self-centered Todd Howard can be:

Their favorite game from last year…

Levine: “King’s Bounty,” a Russian strategy game. Played a ton of it.

Howard: “Can I say Fallout 3?”
Note: King's Bounty: The Legend was indeed last year's best game. Well done Ken.

News for Sunday, February 8, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 15:21

Bethesda confirms the delay of the next two DLCs to GameSpot.

"The next DLC for Fallout 3, The Pitt, will be out in March," Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines said. "Broken Steel will be out the following month, in April."
While GameZone interviews Jeff Gardiner on the DLC in general.
Q: How has the team succeeded at making a military simulation out of Fallout 3?

Jeff: All of the combat elements are there – we just modified the gameplay to suit the needs of the simulation. For instance, we added ammo and health regeneration facilities. We eliminated the need to repair weaponry; and we added in an interface which allows the player to customize and outfit a strike force to accompany them.

Q: What’s the reasoning behind the addition of the ninja suit? Can we expect more suits such as this in the future?

Jeff: The Chinese Stealth Suit is not only fun for the player – it also makes for a very unique enemy when worn by the Chinese themselves! We use these DLCs to experiment with ideas, to try things out that we weren’t able to with the main game. That’s where this suit came from. After playing through the game myself several times as different character types, I had some of the most fun when stealthing about. This suit makes it easier, and deadlier, to do so!
Spotted on Blue's News.

News for Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 12:31

Just a few more reviews if you're still in doubt. Joystiq.

The change in rules and level structure -- even the reliance on reaching health/ammo drops -- creates an experience that is more tense than almost anything in Fallout 3's main game. Although it's probably going to feel a lot less so for those who already have high-level characters. That's because all of your perks, skills, and stats carry over. If you're a dead-aim in the Wasteland, the VR enemies will be much easier to head shot. On the other hand, if you play the campaign early on in your Fallout 3 experience, it's going to prove very tough.
GamePro 4.5/5.
Operation: Anchorage is a blast to play and the weapons earned after completing it are certainly useful in the Capital Wastelands, but it's not without some serious flaws. The VR missions are very short, taking only 2-3 hours to complete and can't be replayed once beaten. This DLC also doesn't let gamers extended level progression past 20 or continue the game past its original ending. You'll have to wait for the Broken Steel DLC for that.

Despite its shortcomings, Operation: Anchorage is a must own for Fallout 3 owners. It may be short and sweet, but anything that can add life to a title this good deserves needs to be played.
Jolt 50%.
There is not really much more to say about the gameplay, as from here on in it is simply a case of clearing enemy camps and destroying your objectives. So how does it all hang together?

I found the episode really very easy - the combination of frequent health pickups and ammo replenishers made it almost impossible to die. The enemies also seemed a lot more fragile than in the "real" world. In fact, I only died once - and that was because I was standing too close to an artillery gun when I blew it up. This may also be due to the fact that I was playing with my buffed-out level 20 character

News for Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 23:53

NMA's Mikael Grizzly take us with for a quick jaunt through Anchorage, Alaska. Conclusion? Not worth it.

Because that's what Operation Anchorage is. It's a linear shooter in which you follow a pre-set path, shooting Chinese in the process. Combat wasn't the best part of Fallout 3, with overpowered VATS and AI that makes politicians look like MENSA members, but there it was at least balanced with exploration and some character interaction. In the grim past of the Fallout world, there's only war.

And you're fighting alone again, to make it worse - the touted "strike force customization" feature is a failure, as you have no control over their behaviour and their AI is pretty much nonexistent. So, in the end, you still have to shoot everything yourself, since your squad either ends up dead, stuck or watching the wall.

What further degrades the gameplay is how sparsely populated the battlefield is. One would expect the final confrontation between American and Chinese forces in Anchorage to include massive amounts of soldiers and ordnance with, but no, the operation feels more like a small skirmish on the sideline of the actual battle. Tense trench warfare in Anchorage is a yawn-inducing walk through narrow corridors, blasting the occassional mandarin-speaking grunt to pieces in overpowered VATS. A large vehicle depot supporting many tanks is a small yard with ten grunts to kill. The final "push" adds injury to insult, as it consists of six T-51b Power Armour soldiers running through an ice field to blow up a door.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:30

HipHopGamer interviews PR head Pete Hines in one of the most surreal video interviews I have ever seen. They talk about Fallout 3, the DLC and the PS3 version.


Posted by Brother None - at 13:09

A bunch more reviews. GameBanshee 6.4.

The set-up is decent enough, if a little unlikely. It was nice to see the Outcasts get into the spotlight, since they got so little play in the main campaign, and fighting Chinese soldiers in the mountains of Alaska is also nice, just because it’s so different from everything else in the game. But the problem, or perhaps I should say one of the problems, is that Bethesda created the content so it could be completed by almost any character (you can actually trigger the quest at level 2, immediately after leaving Vault 101), and that means everything about it is easy for advanced characters.

Let me give you some examples. You start the VR simulation with a knife and a 10mm pistol, which aren’t exactly the most powerful weapons in the game. But you can complete the entire simulation with just those two weapons if you want, and not have too many troubles. If you actually use the assault rifle or the sniper rifle or the new gauss rifle that you can find, then the Chinese soldiers will go down like weeds versus a weed whacker. Or how about this? Bethesda actually took out the need to scrounge for bullets, or to collect stimpaks, or to keep your equipment repaired. Instead, you find “health dispensers” and “ammo dispensers,” and the dispensers are so liberally placed that you can spray bullets around all you want, and you don’t have to bother with sneaking or using cover at all. If you like playing action games in god mode, then this is about as close as you can get without having to use a console cheat.
Gaming Nexus C+.
The problem I have though with the missions in the DLC is that the game tries to be an action FPS when Fallout 3 clearly is not one and doesn't feel like one in the first place. I know Bethesda is trying something different with Operation Anchorage but the gameplay just doesn't feel right. I shouldn't be running around and gunning like I was in Quake or Unreal Tournament. Yes, you can try to sneak around and take enemies out quietly but there's little or lack of any role playing other than that. You can't repair anything, you don't have to worry about picking up health or ammo, and you don't have to use much strategy other than going in guns blazing to finish the act. It took me roughly 2.75 hours to get through the entire thing as the progress is pretty linear so it's also short. In retrospect, it falls short when trying to be an action game.
IncGamers 6.5.
Gameplay-wise the mechanics stay the same - I still haven’t tired of seeing someone’s head explode in a mess of gore and eyeballs and there are quite a few enemies to deal with in Operation Anchorage. Unfortunately, the range of enemies is not particularly diverse. There are your standard goggle wearing Chinese grunts, the rather nifty looking Predator-camouflaged Crimson Dragoon elite troops and a tank, with the latter being the most disappointing. I was expecting a large-scale brawl with the tanks but after a damp squib of a set piece they were never to be seen again. Bah!
And finally an editorial from the Escapist going over the problems of getting the DLC to run, again, and offering solutions.
The problem seems to be that after you download and install the game, and even after the Games For Windows client has told you that it's been installed, the DLC doesn't seem to go into effect in-game. Technically, you should be able to wander to a certain spot in the Wasteland, whereupon you'll pick up a mysterious radio signal that will lead to the new content. For a number of players, however, that radio signal never shows up.

Posted by Brother None - at 13:06

In case you need the help, GameBanshee now offers a full walkthrough, item list and achievement list for Fallout 3 DLC Operation: Anchorage.

Meanwhile, the Vault has chipped away at its Operation: Anchorage page, which now also contains full info on the downloadable content.

News for Sunday, February 1, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 6:32

OXM Podcast has a podcast interview with Todd Howard in at the 21 minute mark, talking about the Fallout 3 DLCs. They mostly talk about achievements. One bit of news though.

[The Pitt] is still scheduled for somewhere in late February?

It'll probably be early March-ish now.

Early March-ish, and Broken Steel about a month after that then?

Yeah, they'll each be a month apart, maybe a little more, a little less, depending on where they are in development. We'd like to have something every 5-6 weeks.
Thanks Ausir.