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News for Friday, June 26, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 15:46

NMA's Michael Grizzly takes a romp through Bethesda's 4th DLC, and...

Combat aside, one of the highpoints of Point Lookout are the NPCs, the ones that don't shoot you, at the least. Compared to the cardboard cut-outs most of vanilla Fallout 3 characters are, the inhabitants of Point Lookout are interesting, have some good writing and wouldn't feel out of place in one of the classic games (their lack of swamps aside).

Furthermore, as this add-on has an obvious focus on exploration I have to say that it doesn't disappoint - the State Park is littered with unique locations, most of which have a backstory presented in game and finding them feels really rewarding as does discovering their history, especially of the sinister Turtledove Detention Camp.

But the enjoyable exploration is marred by an ailment the original Fallout 3 suffers from - the game is confused as to when it takes place. It's two centuries since the war and yet you seem to find working power and lighting wherever you go, undisturbed corpses and buildings filled with loot that no one seemed to think of taking, even though they're right next to it, terminals that have been running for 200 years without failing... when playing, it feels more as if it was a little over a decade since the war. While in the Capital Wasteland it can be excused to a certain point, as it was ravaged by war, it's not excusable for there to be unlooted easily accessible locations in an area which didn't suffer direct nuclear destruction.
Link: Fallout 3 Point Lookout review.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:20

IGN 8.5.

The major draw to Point Lookout, though, is its emphasis on exploration. The vast area takes you from a rocky shore dominated by a lighthouse into the depths of a swampy, irradiated forest filled with inbred country folk. Point Lookout is a Civil War landmark and that history was not lost on the game designers. Along with more history on the fictional Great War that felled civilization, you'll also find nods to another of America's real life great battles.
GameSpy 4.5/5.
Point Lookout may be the best DLC yet. It brings much-needed environmental diversity to the game, while also hitting the exploration and collection aspects of the Fallout 3 game experience. The action is more intense than ever, including one prolonged indoor battle that is worth replaying over and over. The encounter is one of Fallout 3's most memorable, thanks to a pace that makes it feel like a John Woo film and a layout that's perfect for non-stop intense firefights.
Gamers Daily News 8.
With over thirty locations, you’ll be exploring for a while. Just be sure to bring your best weapons along, since even some of the random encounters try to evoke a horror movie feeling and take absurd amounts of damage; one was still going after four direct hits from a missile launcher! But be sure to leave some inventory room open, because Point Lookout has a lot of new weapons to play with and a fair number of them are worth having. Of special interest is that many items evoke a ’rural’ theme, which could probably be used to make a stereotypical redneck character if you’re so inclined.
Creepy Creeps:Point Lookout is no Resident Evil. It's not as scary as the first of those games. But it's got a double-barreled shotgun and plenty of shambling enemies to be shot with it. It's got a boarded up mansion, a propensity to exhaust its visitors' ammo supply, and some great psychological tricks similar to what Bethesda's designers dabbled with in one of the Vaults in the core game. It also has a bunch of new inbred enemies and a lot of people swinging axes in close quarters where your rifle is poor defense. If you like to panic while playing your games, this is the Fallout 3 DLC for you.

Beauty And The Beach:Games grounded on real world terrain such as Grand Theft Auto and Fallout benefit from art designers who draw from interesting elements of real geography. Forget lava bridges and rainbow roads. There's beauty in bringing a strong art style and the player witnessing it to craggy cliffs that overlooking a shipwreck and the shoals of sand exposed by low tide. A smoky sky, a looming Ferris wheel, a lone lighthouse in the distance, a cave littered with coffins… this is the scenery to make you feel uneasy.

Strange Pace: It starts hard. It ends easy. There are lots of optional side mission, at least one that was surprisingly simple for a Level 26 hero. An expansion's degree of challenge certainly doesn't need to be set to a steady incline, but when you feel like it's getting good is when it's ending.
Thunderbolt Games 8.
Sadly, Point Lookout is marred, somewhat, by the persistent glitches that come with a massive game like Fallout 3. During my time in the town my game crashed a few times both in loading screens and when using V.A.T.S. I also encountered some problems with water textures, my map marker telling me to go the wrong way, and myriad slowdown and framerate issues in certain areas. Fallout 3 DLC has become infamous for problems ever since the debacle with The Pitt, so it’s a shame to see it still happening. Of course you may encounter no problems at all with your version while others will experience loads; it’s just a risk you need to be willing to take.
Gaming Front Network.
Interesting above all are the new enemies, who all fall under the class of ‘Swampfolk’. (There are re-skinned versions of Mirelurks and Ghouls, but nothing important.) These characters establish a satirical tone in the DLC, being, essentially, rednecks combined with Super Mutants. They’re ugly and mutated, but have interesting dialogue with a southern twang. The dialog choices are much more comical also, with the most hilarious line being “I usually dump my bodies in the river, but this is nice too,” a line your character can say after seeing a man’s underground necromancer’s lair. Point Lookout is more obviously a black comedy than any previous component of Fallout 3.
GameFocus 8.7.

Graphic and Audio improvements with the game are noticeable of course as we see a new area which is a swamp area full of man and beast of various types we have and have not seen before. There is also a helpful fruit which can heal you that grow in several areas of the swamp but be warned there are some seriously inbred mutated farmers guarding some of them. New weapons are mostly rifles but if you played the previous expansions you character’s kit should be well stocked with enough firepower to thwart any redneck rampage.

Audio wise the games normal sound effects and music are the same high quality but I was extremely impressed by the amazing voice over work which is better than the original games voice acting. Most of the characters have a slight southern drawl to a deep accent which would not seem out of place in any horror movie taking place in the southern US of A.
Which is kind of odd considering Point Lookout does not take place in the southern US of A.

News for Thursday, June 25, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 23:22

We're close to the release of Operation: Anchorage on the PS3, Eurogamer reports.

Bethesda has told Eurogamer that "finishing touches" are being made to Operation: Anchorage on PS3, but offered no firm release date for the Fallout 3 content. We had been prepared for a late June launch.
"Yes, quite a bit actually," he said. "It's a different platform with a different way of doing things and it requires special attention and plenty of testing before it's released."
Testing being the operative word; Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt and Broken Steel all arrived on Xbox 360 amid technical problems. Point Lookout, on the other hand, arrived this week without incident.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:27

In an ongoing project, quite a few of our modders have been modifying and adding new human critters to the Fallout critter DB. This is paintstaking work, but we've got quite a few results in already, though I do not think they've completed any full set (all armour all angles all weapons). The people working on it include x'il, Grayswandir, lisac2k, Jotisz, Brother Soifran, Josan12 and Mr.Wolna, but I can't figure out who did what exactly so they'll have to come take credit for their own.

Red Sonja

Black dude

"Evil Cassidy aka BDSM-psycho

Bald dude

Long hair dude

Speaking of long hair dude, Josan12 contacted us to inform us that while this modification is 60% done, they're hitting roadblocks getting it finished. If there's anyone reading who'd like to help, please head over to that thread and volunteer.

Posted by Tagaziel - at 11:01

So far unconfirmed, but Brian Fargo's inXile Entertainment has a new site and on that site one of the tab images is, well, of that peculiar Wasteland-ish flavour...

Fortunately, while inXile is looking for game designers with experience in shipped action or shooter titles, it is not related.

Link: inXile Entertainment Homepage 2.0

Posted by Brother None - at 1:56

Hurray! Eurogamer is - as always - first and - as always - ebullient, 8.

Without giving anything away, the episode does the usual Bethesda trick of eventually giving you the chance to choose contrasting outcomes. Do you protect the "victim" of an attack, or do you take a contrary view and dig into their past and find out that, in fact, they are the bad guys? Or do you just figure out what the biggest reward is and base your decisions around that? As predictable and transparent as the formula is by now, it's still an irresistible one, and one where you're never quite certain who's the least detestable. As ever, this gives some of the missions a pleasing degree of replayability as you figure out the best outcome for your karma alignment, or simply which of the new perks are most useful to you., 8.
I’m quite happy to admit that this resilience makes for a more enjoyable game. If plasma weapons cut through these guys like a hot knife through inbred butter, there wouldn’t be much of a challenge. And yet I find it hard to shake off the stupidity of a situation. My alien blaster will kill a heavily-armoured Enclave Commander in one shot, but Cletus McBanjo will often eat one and still come running after me. Indeed, he and his cousins (who are also his brothers, uncles and lovers) are able to take up to six shotgun blasts to the head before they finally take a dirt-nap - and I’m talking about the new double-barrelled shotgun, which supposedly does a truckload of damage with each hit.

It’s a minor flaw, but I still think Bethesda could have found a way around it. While I’m complaining, I’m not sure if the new weapons will be used much when players take them back to the main wasteland (you can go back any time you like, incidentally). The new shotgun and the lever-action rifle are a good fit for the atmosphere of Point Lookout, but they’re otherwise a bit dull in comparison with Fallout’s existing arsenal. More interesting is The Dismemberer - a special axe you can find that causes people to burst into little giblets. It’s a bit silly, but it’s also a lot of fun to use.
Edge Online, 6.
You could even go as far as to say it’s Fallout 3 at its worst, most of the enemies being the berserker variety – Mirelurks and the like – best dealt with by turtling and spending vast amounts of ammo. Most of its awards replenish that inventory, the suspicion being that much of the game will simply cancel itself out unless you’re grinding, which, chances are, you’re not. Like Operation Anchorage and The Pitt, you can visit Point Lookout whenever you like, making it a potential goldmine of perks and experience points. But for level 30 characters, which might well account for most of its visitors, it’s little more than a day at the seaside.

So, then: the best expansion so far and the game at its worst. Such a contradiction could only be made by Bethesda. Here’s another one: while they’re all fundamentally the same, no two bits of Fallout DLC have been alike. Fans are comfortable with these enigmas, and with just six weeks passing since Broken Steel, it’s hard to begrudge such a regular supply.
Stick Skills.
The creepy tone is set early. The new Hillfolk enemies look like they’ve been ripped straight from Deliverance. During battles, it’s common to hear them yelling "SCREAM! SCREAM FOR ME! AHAHA!" They also can pack quite a punch in a group and are more than formidable. But the creepiest moment comes in a bog, where inhaling a certain gas sends you on a hallucination. There are fake bobbleheads, giant sewing needles that pop out of the ground, exploding Nuka Cola bottles that rain from the sky, and, at one point, you find a skeleton that is apparently your mother. It was a mind trip that had me on the edge of my seat, and really made the experience come alive.
Wonderwallweb 8.
The feel of Point Lookout is very different to the main quests with it having a haunted feel for inspiration, with the spooky houses, crazy locals at the swamp and an awful lot of dolls heads on pikes it feels like something out of an 80's slasher movie. The whole experience is like a mini version of the main game with all of the adventuring and fighting you would expect.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:48

Kotaku has an editorialesque on the WG stat in Fallout 3.

What bothered me about Fallout was not so much that the heavy weapons, like a Flamer, weighed only "15." Maybe they're made from futuristic lightweight metal. No, it's more that a pair of freaking TWEEZERS was equivalent in weight to a motorcycle helmet. It's not even that the WG figure represents a total encumbrance factor – that either the item's size or fragility makes it difficult to carry - because a pool cue has the same WG figure: 1.

So I chatted up Todd Howard of Bethesda Softworks, Fallout 3's game director, about this. First off, is "WG" equivalent to anything?

"Not really," Todd said. "It's sort of close to pounds, but we intentionally don't really say what it is. It actually started based on the weights we used for The Elder Scrolls, which most people don't know are the also-amorphous ‘stones.'"

OK, fine. If they didn't peg WG to something, I will. And I'm going to base it on the weight of beer. A bottle in Fallout is 1 WG. In real life, a bottle of beer, depending on how stout it is, will weigh roughly three-quarters of a pound when you figure in the glass. By figuring my total burden as it relates to at least one item in my possession, I could start imagining how large a load I was carrying around.

But what I couldn't measure is ammo, meds and chems, which have no weight value - and I wasn't going down to the local needle exchange to weigh whatever approximates a Jet syringe. Why didn't Bethesda give them a weight? Because in the game, these are very valuable items. Why wouldn't an RPG, which is more based in realism and more dependent on choice-making than other genres, also require players to be more conscientious about what they're carrying?

"In regards to ammo and money, it's just too granular a decision for the player, if they had weight," Todd said. "You don't want to make that a choice for the player; he already has to manage so much in his inventory and you need things he can find that are an instant win - ammo, money, drugs, etc, things that help keep him alive and playing. It would just bog the game down too much to find ammo and be thinking, ‘Do I want to pick up two of these bullets or the whole stack?' We felt that decision should be on [which] weapons to carry, not what ammo."
Thanks rehevkor.

News for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 20:36

ZeniMax buys id Software. Relevance to us: zero. Unless Bethesda tries to use the id Tech 5 engine for Fallout 4, which, with their inability to handle even a solid undemanding engine like Gamebryo, would be pretty hilarious.

News for Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 21:43

I feel like I could've written this newspost a week ago.

Anyway, seems like it's the 4th buggy DLC release in a row for Bethesda, though it seems a bit early to determine whether these are sporadic or universal issues, Cinemablend reports.

Point Lookout, the fourth downloadable episode for Fallout 3, arrived on the PC and Xbox 360 this morning. In what's become sort of a common routine with Fallout 3 DLC, a few bugs have cropped up.

A few users on the Bethesda forums are already reporting freezing and other glitches. The complaints mention both the Xbox 360 and PC versions.

It's tough to say just from a couple complaints whether these are universal issues, though. Most North American folks are at work or school now so we'll see if the volume of complaints picks up later in the day. The last two downloadable episodes The Pitt and Broken Steel experienced issues though so it's not outside the realm of possibility for bugs to crop up in Lookout, too.

Posted by Per - at 20:00

Fallout 3 has been patched to 1.6, another update purely to add achievements, this time for the Point Lookout DLC. Download them from our Fallout 3 patches folder.

Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - USA English
Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - UK English
Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - French / Français
Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - Italian
Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - German / Deutsch
Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - Spanish / Español
Link: Fallout 3 Patch 1.6 - Austrian / Österreich

Posted by Per - at 15:02

The latest Fallout 3 DLC can now be downloaded, at least if you're not Japanese and if you're willing to part with 800 of those "Microsoft Points". Currency just keeps getting dodgier. Here's the game description in case anyone forgot:

Buy a ticket and hop onboard the Duchess Gambit, as Tobar the Ferryman takes you to the strange seaside town of Point Lookout. What secrets does the dilapidated boardwalk hold? Who lives in the sprawling mansion? Why is the Punga Fruit so important? And what horrors lie in the depths of the murky swamp? Point Lookout is the most open-ended DLC yet, and allows you to explore an entirely new and expansive gameplay area any way you’d like. A completely new questline allows you uncover the town’s hidden secrets, and wield powerful new weapons like the Double-Barrel Shotgun against the swamp’s dangerous, and deformed, denizens. So venture to Point Lookout, if you dare. Just pray it’s not a one-way trip.
I hate Tobar the Ferryman so much. Look out for tons of reviews in the near future.

Thanks to Kilus.

News for Monday, June 22, 2009

Posted by Per - at 22:56

Crazy foreign site Grupo 97 has posted an interview with the Sawyer, not about New Vegas but about games in general. Of jumbled word order sometimes beware and also of italicized text.

- Some people say videogames cannot be taken seriously as developers are the first ones not doing it. Not talking about their jobs really, but to the fact of considering videogames as a real artistic expression medium instead. Could that be true?

Game developers often take their jobs very seriously and pour their hearts into their work, but I believe developers and publishers often do not use games as a medium for exploring serious themes or issues. And when games are used to explore themes, such exploration is normally done through proxies (e.g. elves vs. dwarves as an exploration of racism). Because these proxies are alien to us, the emotional impact of their struggle is often diminished. I think that designers should attempt to ground their themes in issues that will really resonate and raise questions with the audience. It's difficult but important.
I hate those dwarves so much.

Posted by Brother None - at 19:26

It must be Awesome O'Clock, as Mash has updated his high resolution patch for both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2.

Highlights of version 2.1:
Added the 'Options' button to the Main-menu.
Screen resolution can be set in-game via a button on the 'Option/Game-Pref Screen' when accessed via the Main-menu.
When subtitles are enabled, a space will automaticly be created for them at the bottom of the movie screen.
Added some side art to fill the blank areas either side of the IFace-Bar.

News for Saturday, June 20, 2009

Posted by Per - at 15:49

It is maybe the last PL interview with Jeff Gardiner you'll ever need. Or maybe it isn't. Platform Nation posted it.

Can you give us any hint as to what the story of Point Lookout is?

Once the player arrives in Point Lookout they’re directed to a mansion that appears to be on fire. Once inside, the player gets entangled into helping a Ghoul named Desmond defend the mansion, and from there is asked to infiltrate a local cult known as the “Tribals,” to find out how they’re modifying the local Punga fruit and to delve into what else they’re hatching. The player will ultimately have to choose sides, a choice that isn’t black and white .

How long after announcing the first 3 DLC did the team decide that you wanted to continue making more?

How many DLC we were going to create was always ‘up in the air.’ That being said, we had the idea for Zeta early but decided not to create it initially. When we did decide to create two more, it was at the top of the list.
Thanks to Ausir.

Posted by Kilus - at 2:15

The codes sold by GameStop don't work anymore, but apparently they did work before. And footage of Point Lookout has been put online. Spoiler warnings apply:


Posted by Brother None - at 0:27

Six more screenshots, hot off the press release.

News for Friday, June 19, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 22:07

The Hachiko interviews Burgess & Gardiner on Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta.

I've heard that this area is a kind of left behind place and very swampy. When I think swamps I think things like redneck psychos in Deliverance. Is there going to be an element of that when it comes to the content and its main threat, or are we looking at the Enclave still or a more monstrous/mutated one? What type of enemies can we expect?

Joel Burgess: Another goal with Point Lookout was a deliberate shift towards a more low-tech environment. This area wasn't ground zero for any bomb strikes, but its felt the effects of the Great War in its own way. New weapons are things like a double-barreled shotgun and lever-action rifle, and our enemies are the sub-human swampfolk. While Point Lookout features some elements footed firmly in sci-fi, we really wanted to get back themes of survival and the unknown with the atmosphere of this DLC.
They actually got quite a few answers on Mothership Zeta, though none very detailed.
The "Easter Egg" UFO always seemed like a funny gag more than anything. Was content based around this ship always planned? If not, where did the idea come from to use this specific piece of the currently existing Fallout 3 game?

Jeff Gardiner: No, this content was not always planned - it seemed like a fun and natural fit for our 5th DLC. The idea came out of a big brainstorm meeting we had for pitching DLC themes - this one was Istvan Pely's, our Lead Artist.
What's the main story of Mothership Zeta? Are players going to be tasked with just surviving and finding an escape or is there going to be more involved than that? Are we going to have to stave off an alien invasion, for example?

Jeff Gardiner: The general plot starts out as an escape attempt until the player figures out what the Aliens are actually up to. There are a number of other abductees for the player to interact with, and from whom they can solicit help.

What's the alien ship going to be like? Is it going to be all metal and corridors or will there be more variety or organic type elements in play too?

Jeff Gardiner: It's metallic and sterile - it's a got a great aesthetic, something totally new to the Fallout 3 fans.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:04

Lead designer Joel Burgess and lead artist Nathan Purkeypile take us through the process of graphic and world design development of Point Lookout in a new dev diary.

In order to establish the aesthetic for Point Lookout, we didn’t just start building the whole world at once, but instead focused on small locations that became “benchmark” areas. This way, we could make sure that we had the look that we wanted, proving our visual ideas. This is sometimes referred to as a “vertical slice”. Once a benchmark convinced us that our visual goals were feasible, the team would build the whole world using those themes, colors and density of clutter as a metric. We built two major benchmarks; a typical marsh area and the Mansion, which is part of the coastal cliff area.

The marsh benchmark area is where we placed all of our new plant life and trees. While everything is dead and dry in the Wasteland, we wanted Point Lookout to be a region where plant life has managed to survive and proliferate in wet conditions. Team artists labored over new trees and plants that would define the area. These new assets had to sacrifice some of the detail of clutter from the base game in order to achieve a much higher level of visual density in Point Lookout. While things in the Capital Wasteland are spread pretty far apart, we wanted to capture the feeling of wading through a dangerous and dense marsh. A whole new set of landscape textures was created to get the dark and muddy feel that we wanted to achieve. Thanks to clever optimization, very few sacrifices were made to realize the team’s visual goals.
As for the denizens...
Point Lookout wouldn’t have been complete without characters to populate it. The setting yielded no shortage of ideas for new enemy types and characters, but with finite resources we had to be selective about what work the team could take on. Tobar is the Steamboat ferryman, and this grafter is one of the first characters the player will meet. He received a custom outfit to match his unique and ebullient personality. Point Lookout is also home to a group of transcendental Tribals, who received new garments to help reinforce their beliefs and set them apart from citizens of the Capital Wasteland. Perhaps most involved was our new enemy type; the Swampfolk. These denizens of the marsh are descended from the reclusive natives of the swamp, inspired by Bayou legends and other modern myths. Everything about these enemies was a challenge – we chose to embrace a certain amount of humor in their presentation, but they needed to be dangerous, yet still human. They’re people, albeit mutated by radiation and deformed by generations of poor breeding. These new enemies are as much a part of the environment as the shacks they inhabit, and help reinforce the sense of place which is so important to the player experience of Point Lookout.
'Coz everyone knows Fallout is all about Bayou legends and other modern myths. Hi-yuck!

Posted by Brother None - at 14:26

Just a few lines with a few tidbits on Mothership Zeta.

Jeff Gardiner, Bethesda’s lead producer on “Fallout 3″ DLC, wouldn’t confirm what sort of weapons we’d be seeing, but he did say that you’ll definitely be getting more ammo for your Alien Blaster, and there will be new galactic doodads to tool around with, as well. As for the style of play in “Mothership Zeta” he said it’ll be “more action-oriented.” Like “Operation Anchorage”? “Just a bit more focused [than "Point Lookout"], with less of an emphasis on exploration.”
Spotted on RPGWatch.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:25

GameStop has broken the street date on a title once again, Kotaku reports, and this time it is Point Lookout, whose retail codes for some odd reason actually activate the DLC (why?).

Now, we usually hate posting when street dates are broken, because, you know, they usually get broken. Heck, so many get broken that someone really should register Now, downloadable content, this is new.

At time of posting, GameStop is already selling a retail packaged version new Fallout 3 DLC, Point Lookout. This downloadable content is not due to hit Xbox LIVE until next Tuesday. The retail codes that GameStop are selling right now work, so people are buying this and people are playing it.
Spotted on RPGWatch.

EDIT: Kotaku corrects itself, the codes do not work yet, which makes sense.
Updated: Bethesda contacted us, saying that the codes will not work until the content goes live on Tuesday — meaning if you enter it, nothing will happen. However, some tipsters are reporting that their early codes do work.

Posted by Per - at 4:43

In April, Chris Avellone went to Australia as one of the speakers at Framework, a kind of games industry get-together that is a bit less hype-y than E3 by the look of things. There is now video evidence on YouTube of the man probably talking about Alpha Protocol mostly, but also mentioning Fallout, KotOR and Torment-related stuff. CA appears around 7 minutes into the first clip, and then holds forth in the remaining ten clips. If you make some popcorn it's like a gripping feature film about video game design presentation.

Thanks to Nephilim77.

News for Thursday, June 18, 2009

Posted by Per - at 23:02

Operation: Anchorage goes for $7 at XBLM says Joystiq. This is $3 down from the usual price which is $10. No one will take Ausir for more than $0.2.

News for Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:49

A painfully uninteresting interview with Jeff Gardiner on Point Lookout.

Can you tell us a bit about the quests in Point Lookout? What will the quests have us doing?

The main quest will lead you to investigating a mysterious cult of locals who have taken over the area by infiltrating them. There are also approximately half a dozen side quests, which include delving into a mystery of Consance Blackhall and her occult obsession, helping a local whose sick and needs a special tonic, and helping a local kid who hasn’t been mutated from years of living off swamp water.
Thank you so much, Go! Gaming Giant, for having Jeff Gardiner repeat information that was on the basic info sheet for this DLC anyway. Please go to journalism school.

Thanks RPGWatch and, to a lesser extent, Ausir.

Posted by Ausir - at 4:08

Fallout 3 Add-On Pack #1 (Operation: Anchorage + The Pitt) made the weekly PC toplist, coming in at 10. Fallout Trilogy has fallen out of the top 10 now.

News for Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Posted by Per - at 23:24

I don't know if you've heard of this new game.

Default Prime.

Fallout 3’s gameplay changed a whole lot from Fallout 1 and 2. Fallout 1 and 2 where point and click overhead view kind of like what you would find in Runescape or WoW, but Fallout 3 you can play in third or first-person, use V.A.T.S., steal, and tell what your doing a lot better.

This game has a pretty unique story and really good graphics to match. You could play through this game a ton of different way since there are so many different possibilities to say or do. There are around 110 weapons total, 8 unarmed weapons, 33 melee weapons, 30 guns, 16 energy weapons, 11 direct-fire weapons, 4 Area-of-effect weapons, and 8 grenades.
Feed Your Console, 10/10.
In the end, if you enjoy games with deep narratives, stunning graphics, incredible replay value (Let us not forget the DLC), this is a game you must buy. With the recent announcement of Fallout: New Vegas and the upcoming DLC episode Broken Steel, I have something to keep me occupied until the next major release. Never before has Nuclear Holocaust been as fun or beautiful as this.
Criousgamer, 9.2/10.
Fallout 3 is a brilliant game that portrays the fantastic nuclear wasteland of Washington DC. It has a strong story, great gameplay, And the ability to choose your path in almost every objective and much, much more. Fallout 3 is mostly an action RPG, but the stealth elements are quite entertaining.

Absolutely amazing, there are few games that have such a robust way for you to grow and immerse yourself in the game, with good and bad, stealth or attack, right to the point or highly adventurous, this game offers it all. The combat works, but firing without V.A.T.S. really is not great, that should be fixed, though V.A.T.S. is great in it’s cinematic representation.
Plugged In.
As you level up, a wide variety of special perks are offered which can muck things up all the more. A perk called Bloody Mess, for example, causes your victims to explode into what the game describes as a "red, gut-ridden, eyeball-strewn mess." The Cannibal perk, as you might imagine without any further description, takes things into even darker realms.

That a game with so much creativity, humor and lesson-teaching potential ends up bombarding players with this kind of content is disappointing to say the least. Game-reviewing website noticed the problems, saying, "If you haven't figured it out yet, this is not a game for kids or anybody with a developing moral compass."

And somehow even that sensible summation falls short of a full tally for this messy equation.
GameCritics, 8/10 (same grade they awarded Broken Steel).
HIGH It's Oblivion... with guns!

LOW It's just—sigh—Oblivion with guns.

Fallout 3 is an imperfect yet important work in documenting humanity's cultural history of fear and is highly recommended.
Just Adventure, A+.
And yet, those of us who were happy about Bethesda getting the gig recognized some key synergies as well. Both series emphasized wide-open game worlds with enormous freedom in movement, character development and role-playing.

And, of course, those of us in the “Awesome!” camp turned out to be right. Actually, we turned out to be really, REALLY right, because Fallout 3 has turned out to be a spectacular game.

The game is the happy offspring of Bethesda’s RPGs and the earlier Fallout games, and manages to shine with the virtues of both parents.

Posted by rcorporon - at 7:48

PWN or die gives a list of 11 worst jobs in video games. Fallout 2 and 3 are both featured, read on to find out how.

Spotted this over at Kotaku.

Posted by Per - at 3:54

The monthly NPD list for May reported by Edge Online features the Fallout Trilogy combining its good weeklies into a #9 position, Fallout 3 featuring at #15 and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition rearing its head at #17. No new titles in the top 10, but here it is anyway:

1. World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
2. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
3. World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest
4. World Of Warcraft
5. Empire: Total War
6. Spore
7. Left 4 Dead
8. The Sims 2 Apartment Life
9. Fallout Trilogy
10. Starcraft: Battle Chest
Meanwhile, Interplay's careers page lists two new job opportunities. One of them is for a Concept Artist with "excellent 2D skills and traditional art knowledge" among other things, the other for a MMORPG Content Designer with "4 plus years experience in game design, with a detailed understanding of RPG dialog and quest systems", "Excellent creative writing skills" and preferably "Familiarity with the Fallout universe". Both of them should come equipped with a "strong work ethic", but I'm sure that will rub off on them from the management anyway.

News for Saturday, June 13, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 20:26

Another DLC, another review by The Dutch Ghost, as he tackles Broken Steel.

Aside from changing the ending of Fallout 3, Broken Steel would also show the consequences of the decisions the player made during the main quest, one of the important ones was if the player would choose to carry out the Enclave president's plan to infect the water the purifier would cleanse with modified FEV that would destroy all mutated lifeforms, in time.

Normally the water would be clean and help restore the player's health when consumed but if the player has chosen to infect the water the player suffers stat penalties when he or she drinks the infected water for the first time and severe damage to eventual death if the player continues to drink the water.
The player will also suffer negative karma if the player gives the infected water to water beggars.

There is surprisingly little NPC conversation regarding the player's decision at the end of “Take it back”. Owen Lyons and the members of the BoS, as well as the people now working at the Jefferson memorial, thank the player for his or her part during the last quest of Fallout 3. But other than the occasional radio message by the GNR DJ Three Dog, the general consensus of the other NPCs is that there is clean water now and that the Brotherhood runs the purifier, but that the player's part in these events is largely unknown.
Link: NMA Fallout 3 Broken Steel review.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:00

The lives and times of Feargus Urguhart on GameBanshee.

GB: As someone who has been directly involved with the Fallout franchise over the years, what is your honest opinion of Bethesda's version of Fallout 3? Given the game's design and the success it has enjoyed, do you think it will affect the way your team approaches Fallout: New Vegas?

Feargus: My honest opinion is that they chose the right direction. I could nitpick some of the game systems and how they did certain things, but they would really be nitpicks - and you would probably get a very similar list out of Todd Howard. I can say that I've really enjoyed playing Fallout 3 and the thing they absolutely NAILED was the feeling of actually being in the Wasteland. Ultimately, that is what Fallout is all about; it's about being in that world and running around in it and that's what Bethesda did with Fallout 3.
GB: Of all the role-playing games you've worked on at Interplay and Obsidian, which would you say that you're most proud of being involved with and why?

Feargus: Ultimately, I think it really is Fallout, but for different reasons than may seem obvious. It was incredible to work on Fallout and I'm really proud of what we were able to do - and for the things that I personally did right (get the Hub working and the .223 pistol quest) and the things that I did wrong but learned from (the Turbo Plasma Rifle). What I'm really proud of is that Fallout seemed to really pave the way for all of the other RPGs that came out in the next four or five years. It seemed to set the stage and wet people's appetite for Baldur's Gates, Arcanum, Neverwinter Nights and Planescape: Torment.
Thanks for the reminder, zag.

Posted by Dragula - at 14:05

Found this amusing read while surfing around:

Games You Probably Like, But Shouldn’t

"Now, before I fully break into this, I want to state that Fallout 3 is a great game. The problem lies in the fact that it’s a great game in the same vein as Oblivion. Morrowind was wonderful and was fully upgraded in every conceivable way to the level of Oblivion. What changed between Oblivion and Fallout? As I mentioned before, the only differences are the presence of guns and V.A.T.S. I think the best review of this game would be through my first person experience."

News for Thursday, June 11, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:57

Guinness Record Books' desperate attempt to become relevant again by creating a really large number of gaming categories continues.

Bethesda Softworks’ Lead Designer Todd Howard was awarded with the record for the Fastest-selling Multi Platform Role-Playing Game (RPG) after Fallout 3 sold over 4.7 million copies in its first week on sale from October 28th to November 4th 2008.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:55


The first thing you encounter when you exit the ferry is a dilapidated old amusement park with a crumbling Ferris Wheel and destroyed midway. Here you’ll find a few vendors from which to buy items, since there’s no caravans to find in this new land. There’s also no real Brotherhood or Enclave presence here. Just lots and lots of mutated hillbillies.

Ah, hillbillies. They’re called Scrappers here, and the last thing you want any of them to say to you is “squeal like a pig.” They’re one of the three new creatures on display, but you’ll also encounter a lot of variations of familiar monsters from the Wasteland. The Scrappers tie in somehow to a bunch of crazy cultists that are your main adversaries in the game.
Random NPC.
The attacking tribals are armed with a variety of simple weapons, ranging from pool cues and hunting rifles to more deadly combat shotguns and assault rifles. Still, their considerable health and large numbers make them a significant threat all the same, and some are armed with the newest additions to Fallout 3’s arsenal: long-barreled shotguns and axes. While not as flashy as, say, the shocksword from Operation: Anchorage or The Pitt’s Penetrator rifle, the new weapons do pack a punch. A badly-damaged shotgun pried from a tribal’s cold, dead hands does more damage per shot than the drum-fed variant you start with. The catch is that the new shotgun fires both barrels at once, which turns an enemy inside out at close range but forces you to reload immediately. Other weapons, creatures, and unique perks have been mentioned, but were not featured in the demo.
Planet Fallout.
As soon as you arrive, the ferryman suggests you check out the local mansion. Straight from the moment you open the door, you know something is going down. The owner is being besieged by a number of Tribals, the equivalent of swamp Raiders, and asks you to help stop the siege by sealing off different sections of the mansion as the Tribals break in. Though this may seem fairly straightforward, the sealing of the different areas of the mansion actually introduces a new scripted action where the Tribals actually break down the doors in pieces. By ‘in pieces,’ I do mean in pieces. You can even shoot through the openings as the Tribals attempt to find their way in.
Point Lookout is Bethesda’s biggest environment to date with regard to their DLC, and is said to be about one fifth or one sixth the size of the Wasteland itself. As you approach the area from the Duchess Gambit, the first thing that will strike you is the area’s eerie, almost haunted nature as you see an abandoned amusement park on the docks covered in a light mist. The amusement park that you will encounter within minutes of landing on the mysterious dock is loosely based on Coney Island in Manhattan, but derelict and with its better days long behind it.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:52

Planet Fallout interviews Jeff Gardiner.

Planet Fallout: Speaking of DLC launching, the last two (The Pitt and Broken Steel) both had problems that were not just glitches and bugs but issues from the get-go. Is this something that has really been looked at?

Bethesda: I’ve lost tons of sleep on this. Unfortunately, both of them were totally unforeseeable errors. I call it a “solar flare”. Sometimes solar flares affect your cell phone. Literally, both of these were that. But both Microsoft and us are very conscientious. I’m a gamer, too, and I would hate to experience this in a game I love and I apologize for this. Trust me; it has literally kept me up at night. Point Lookout has been thoroughly tested – again- and we’re going to try our best to ensure that we won’t have to repeat those problems.
Planet Fallout: Now, we talked about the monsters being almost a little bit like Broken Steel cap type monsters. Now, is that going to be a continued thing, we’re going to have the level 30 kind of monsters, like the Overlord in the new DLCs, or will they have to have Broken Steel?

Bethesda: You do not have to have Broken Steel to play Point Lookout. We needed to make sure that it [Point Lookout] is a challenge for the higher levels but still playable from 15-20. There are ways to tweak the numbers to ensure that any player can play it at that level and enjoy it.

News for Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 22:24

Matthew Standley has been hard at work for some time now to bring us an updated version of Jason Mical's pen and paper system, and now he has.

Jason Mical did an amazing job putting together the 2.0 PnP rules. I saw a few places where I could add fine tuning and additions especially given all the updates to the sources material since the original publication (2001 I believe?). Mical's Fallout drew upon FO1, 2, Tactics, and Wasteland. I've added content from FO: Van Buren and FO3 and its add-ons as well as some rules clarifications, equipment quicklists, and some sample NPCs.
Link: Fallout PNP MS Edition Equipment.
Link: Fallout PNP MS Edition Rules.
Link: Fallout PNP MS Edition World.

News for Monday, June 8, 2009

Posted by 13pm - at 14:13

It looks like Obsidian Entertainment is in the spotlight these days. Gamasutra has made an interview with Feargus Urquhart about the development of RPGs today. The beginning is rather pompous and disputable:

The Western RPG is in a renaissance of popularity and creative richness right now, thanks to titles like BioWare's Mass Effect and Bethesda's Fallout 3.
Whatever. Despite that, it's a quite an interesting read, though the answers are mostly vague. Of course, there's a a question about Fallout 3:
Q: If you look at the sort of pretty mainstream success of Fallout 3, do you think that they found a way to make a hardcore RPG much more mainstream than has been done in the past? Or when you look at how Fallout 3 is suceeding compared to what you've done on Fallout 2 or other RPGs that you've done...

FU: I think Bethesda did two things, and I'll start with that sort of thing. Any great game, it's beyond how exactly you play it. It's how you play it, and a specific "Are there numbers? and "Are there not numbers?" and all that kind of stuff. It's more of a feeling.

What really was great about the original Fallout, Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, was the feeling of being in this world. And that was attractive. Well, attractive is maybe the wrong word. It was compelling. (laughs) That's a better word.

I think what Bethesda did an incredible job at is making you feel like you are in this Fallout world. And that's what we did back at Black Isle, to make you really feel like you were in this Fallout world. The whole thing -- from the loading screens to the main menu to the Pip-Boy to all that kind of stuff -- it really felt like it was a whole cohesive unit of feeling like you're in this world. And they did that.

When you do that, it is instantly more compelling to any kind of gamer. As long as they feel like they're not being hindered by something or that something is annoying in the game, then they're probably going to enjoy it. And I guess part of that is also taking it, obviously, from a turn-based PC game to using the Oblivion engine and learning how to use their Oblivion engine and make it Fallout. And that's not to say that it's just Oblivion: Fallout.

I think the second thing that Bethesda did an incredible job at -- and this is what they do really well -- is they are just behind their games. I think a lot of the success of Fallout 3 in particular -- because there are people probably at Bethesda that Fallout 3 is not the kind of game that they play -- but they jumped in with both feet, like, "This is the game. We believe in this game." And I think that is why you see a success, too. It's almost catching.

In other words, you have a publisher who's like, "Well, we have these seven games. What do you think?" Bethesda is, "No, you're buying this damn game." So, I think that the success was from both ways. They were able to get the feeling of Fallout, and they really believed in their game. And that belief in the game came through in how they were talking to everybody and pimping it and all that kind of stuff.

Link: RPGs, Moving Forward: An Interview With Feargus Urquhart at Gamasutra

Thanks to Lexx and Ausir

News for Sunday, June 7, 2009

Posted by Morbus - at 13:19

Age of Decadence is an independent post-apocalyptic fantasy RPG made by Iron Tower Studio that promises... well, you know the deal. If you don't, go over to their site.

So what's new? The demo? Noup, but they're trying to keep our interest up by creating a thread to show the already known storyline of one of the first start game vignettes, with special attention to quest design and choices and consequences. Don't just read the first post though, because C&C doesn't stop there. In fact, judging from what was shown, there are choices every step of the way. There's also loads of screenshots to show how it works ingame.

Link: Choices & consequences @ Iron Tower Studio Forums

News for Saturday, June 6, 2009

Posted by Silencer - at 1:33

Likely complete with Enclave iBots. Joystiq reports:

Bethesda wants to bring the Fallout series to smaller screens ... they just haven't figured out how to pull it off yet.

"I think that the world of Fallout is unique enough that it could work on any platform. I think some of the things we do like VATS, I think that could translate to any platform, particularly the iPhone," Todd Howard told us yesterday. "We've looked into those things, we just haven't found the thing that supports the brand well. I wouldn't be surprised if it does happen one day. The iPhone versions that we've designed and said 'Ehh, we don't think we're going to do that right now,' there are ... there are a lot of them."
Thanks Ausir!

Link: iPhone versions of Fallout 3 @ Joystiq

News for Friday, June 5, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 1:59

Just a few impression pieces from E3. GameSpot (thanks Ausir).

Speaking of the locals, we met some of Point Lookout's savage inhabitants as we made our way up the hill to the mansion. These half-clothed mutants looked like gnarly, inbred hillbillies, the kind that might drag you away in The Hills Have Eyes. After making short work of those goons, we approached the mansion (Calvert Mansion, by name) and saw some high-tech security cameras guarding the entrance. A voice came over the loudspeaker, identifying us "not a tribal" and demanding that we get inside and help him fight off some bad guys. Inside the mansion, we found ourselves in a large entrance hall, with two curving staircases framing a makeshift outpost. Wired turrets were blazing as a man and his two dogs fought off some characters that looked a lot like raiders.

In Point Lookout, the raider niche has been filled by tribals, fervent cultists who paint their faces and utter religiously themed battle cries. Playing as a Level 20+ character, we actually had a tougher time killing a few tribals with a Chinese Assault Rifle than we expected. Point Lookout is more difficult than much of the previous DLC, and is tailored for players who have beaten Broken Steel and are on their way to level 30. In fact, we're told that the initial message clueing players in to Point Lookout's location will include a warning that it is quite dangerous. The lead producer of Fallout DLC translated: Players should be at least Level 17 or so, and even those in the early 20s will face a healthy challenge.
Nothing too earthshaking , although it has enough new material to justify the relatively small expenditure these expansions entail. Just keep in mind that the designers recommend characters of at least fourteenth level (although the enemies seemed very difficult even for the twenty-fourth-level demo character I played), so if you're not ready for this one, don't go plopping down the cash just because of the horror aspect. If you've built your character up a bit, though, Point Lookout is one you'll want to, ahem, be on the lookout for.
I won't lie, shooting a fanatical cultist in the head was rather satisfying.

Oh, did I mention there's a cult? These "inbred mutated locals," as producer Jeff Gardiner puts it, are certainly fanatic about their beliefs. But are they the bad guys? The good guys? Do such concepts even exist in a post-apocalyptic, ghoul-ridden world?

News for Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Posted by Morbus - at 13:44

It's basically a small text about the next DLC available for Bethesda's Fallout 3. Point Lookout is the name, and here's what IGN have to say, in a snip:

Point Lookout takes you to an as yet unexplored area of Maryland that didn't suffer the same kind of devastation that DC went through when the bombs fell. In fact, it appears to be a rather quaint beachfront community that has fallen into disrepair. (...)

In fact, that's something that Bethesda is specifically going for, attempting to create an H.P. Lovecraft vibe with the entire pack. Point Lookout is stepped in thick fog, with a number of new effects for the environment, including new water, sky and tree textures to make Point Lookout look a bit more off kilter. Even stranger, however, are the "monsters" that you'll face. The newest ones are the Hillfolk, mutated people that seem completely ripped from "The Hills Have Eyes." There were a number of these creatures that silently attacked us with different implements, such as shovels, axes and even double barreled shotguns. As rustic and simplistic as these weapons might seem, you shouldn't discount them on looks alone. These items are extremely powerful, particularly if you repair these items into better condition.
More at:

Link: E3 2009: Fallout 3: Point Lookout Hands-on @ IGN

Thanks anonymous.

Posted by 13pm - at 9:00

As some of you know, those guys at Kotaku Australia have been gathering the questions to Chris Avellone. Now Q&A is out. Some of the questions, as expected, are Fallout related.

Q: What did you think when you heard Bethesda were making Fallout 3? And what did you think of the game when you played it?

I was pretty pleased - Oblivion + Fallout seemed like a great combination to me. Also, I heard they gave Tim Cain some advance looks at F3, and he seemed happy with it, so I was pretty interested in playing it. I trust Tim. In a minor note, though, I was a little sad that my alcoholic drug-addicted psychopath couldn’t murder everyone in Vault 101 during the escape, but maybe that’s a good thing. I must have chased that robot and my “girlfriend” (my psychotic mind knew she’d been telling lies and plotting my murder behind my back) around for a half-hour beating them both into constant states of unconsciousness before giving up and embracing my Vault freedom. I did enjoy the opening and the exploration afterwards, though, and had fun, and even more gratifying to me was a lot of developers I knew who weren’t RPG fans were playing it and loving it as well, so kudos to Bethesda.

Q: Will we ever see Obsidian return to its Planescape roots, as we are seeing with Bioware and Dragon Age?

Probably not, I don’t even know who has the Planescape license now, and I’m afraid if I went back to it, I’d fuck up a good thing. Then again, we’re going full circle on Fallout now and that’s going well, but I’m not working on that project (it’s in the very capable hands of Mr. J.E. Sawyer), so that probably explains why it’s going well. Wink

Q: Chris, you’ve worked on a bunch of games that have been cancelled (Van Buren, Torn) or had lots of content cut out (KOTOR2). How do you handle it when something you’ve worked on for months or years ends up being released in an imcomplete state or not released at all?

You drink, sigh, and move on. I actually got numb to it early on in my career (Monte Cook, an editor at Hero Games, would routinely reject my submissions I’d spent months or years on, and he was right to do so because they sucked – I also had ten module proposals to Dungeon all rejected one after the other), so it wasn’t too bad when it started happening at work. The only time it really hurt was Fallout 3, because that game felt like it had the potential to be better than Torment, and when I was working on it, I could feel the inner creativity “sing” because it felt like everything was clicking into place.
More questions and answers at Kotaku. Go and read it, because it's worth it.

Link: Question Time: Your Interview With Chris Avellone at Kotaku Australia

News for Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 23:15

What it says.

DESCRIPTION: Point Lookout opens up a massive new area of the Wasteland – a, dark, murky swampland along the coast of Maryland. So hop on the ferry to the seaside town of Point Lookout, for the most mysterious and open-ended Fallout 3 DLC adventure yet.

STORY: Buy a ticket and hop onboard the Duchess Gambit, as Tobar the Ferryman takes you to the strange seaside town of Point Lookout. What secrets does the dilapidated boardwalk hold? Who lives in the sprawling mansion? Why is the Punga Fruit so important? And what horrors lie in the depths of the murky swamp?

Point Lookout is the most open-ended DLC yet, and allows you to explore a huge, swampy wasteland any way you’d like. A completely new quest line allows you uncover the town’s hidden secrets and wield powerful new weapons like the Double-Barrel Shotgun against the swamp’s dangerous, and deformed, denizens.


• Discover and explore an entire new area – the beachfront town of Point Lookout, with its decrepit boardwalk and surrounding swamplands loaded with adventure.
• Explore the chilling mystery that pervades this once sleepy town, with a new quest line and open-ended gameplay.
• Encounter unique new swamp denizens and weaponry that will test even the toughest characters.
• Exclusive new perks and achievements!
Three screenshots.

And a trailer for some FPS. No idea what game this is.


Thanks Ausir.

News for Monday, June 1, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 1:02

But just a glimpse.

Thanks UnidentifiedFlyingTard.