E3 2007: Fallout 3

Russ Pitts | 13 Jul 2007 01:45
E3 2007 - RSS 2.0

War never changes, but Fallout has.

This will undoubtedly upset a great many people. (Perhaps the same folks running our new layout through the ringer.) But it was inevitable.

It's been a decade since the original Fallout was released, and so much has changed about gaming, and games, that a new Fallout made like the originals would be *a step backward for game design, deeply disappointing. And before you start saying "Van Buren" remember that that game, too, was *based on the mechanics and design of the original games, much of which betrayed it's decade-old inception.

We asked Bethesda's Pete Hines what he thought about the departures his company has made from the original formula, and if they'd sought the input of any of the original developers.

"At this point, I've worked on this game as long as anyone who's made any Fallout game," he replied. Admitting that, while it might be desirable to receive a "blessing" of sorts from the creators of the series (as opposed to simply buying the license and running with it), at the end of the day, as creators, they felt they needed to own their own creation, even if it is based entirely in someone else's world. And make no mistake, Fallout 3 is quite firmly rooted in the world created in the first two games.

Set two hundred years after a nuclear war devastated the Earth, Fallout 3 puts you in the shoes of one of the descendants of a brave, careful few who hid themselves away from the nuclear terror in a communal fallout shelter called a vault. But unlike the vaults portrayed in Fallout 1 & 2, this one is on the East Coast of the United States, and has remained completely sealed for two centuries. No one has come in, no one has gone out. ("You're born in the vault, you die in the vault.") Until your father, a prominent vault citizen, mysteriously vanishes, and you have to leave the vault to find him.

Part of the intro movie for Bethesda's Fallout 3 made it out onto the net several weeks ago. Their presentation at E3 today revealed the rest. And yes, the entire thing was narrated by Ron Perlman, and yes, he said "War never changes" (the tagline from the original) at least twice.

After we watched the movie, Bethesda Executive Producer, Todd Howard, played through about 45 minutes of the game, revealing a number of weapons, demonstrating the various control schemes and making a lot of things go BOOM.

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