Highlights from Q&A on Fallout 3

fallout32.jpgNo Mutants Allowed has a post by Brother None detailing some of the answers from Game Informer Magazine’s Associate Editor Matt Miller‘s Q&A on Fallout 3. Miller is reportedly the only person outside of Bethesda to have actually seen the game. The article was released in this month’s limited addition Game Informer.

Fallout 3 developers are under a gag order on discussing the details of the interview as was revealed earlier this week. However more game information should be coming out in July.
Brother None’s notes also include a quick summary of highlights from the video interviews with Fallout 3 executive producer Todd Howard and lead artist Istvan Pely. You can find these Game Informer Online videos for Howard part 1 and part 2 and for Pely up on YouTube.

Q: Is this another Oblivion but with a Fallout theme?
A: In short: no. Sure, Fallout 3 plays primarily from a first-person perspective like Oblivion, and conversations with NPCs use a similar style of dialogue tree, but combat, questing, character creation and most importantly the tone and style of the gameplay shares more in common with Fallout 1 and 2 than Oblivion.

Q: Is the game turn based or real time?
How’s the V.A.T.S. combat system work again?
A: I talk about this a good bit in the July magazine article, but to be clear, Fallout 3 plays in both real time and a paused tactical combat mode. It’s not really turn based, however. Instead, you can pause the real-time action in order to make aimed ranged or melee attacks on your opponents, smashing their legs to slow them down, or perhaps shooting an arm to hurt their weapon aim. Like in the original Fallout games, doing these aimed shots take action points, but since there are no turns, those AP recharge over time after unpausing the game. You can shoot in real time, but that will then slow your recharge rate. In practice, this means players have the option to play the game very much like an RPG, but with a good bit more action than traditional RPGs. Are there other details to the way this system works? Almost definitely, yes. Do we know all the answers to how V.A.T.S. works after seeing it in one demo? No. We’re waiting just like you to find out more.

Q: Will porting the game to consoles hurt the PC version?
A: Hmm… Well, the game’s not really being ported anywhere. It’s being built from the ground up for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. [...]

Q: Is the game first or third person? Isometric?
A: It’s both first and thirdâ$”a point I mention in the article. It does not use the isometric view of the original games. It is possible to pan the third person camera pretty far back, but it definitely isn’t meant to be played in a view that is anything like the original. However, almost half of the questions we received were about the camera view, so I thought I should address it here. To clarify, unlike in Oblivion, with its wonky third-person camera, a big focus has been placed on making Fallout 3 fun and playable in both first and third person. [...]

Q: Can you play the game without doing any combat?
A: I never got a hard and fast answer on this point, though I did ask the development team about it. On a general level, they did say that they’re trying to build multiple solutions into almost any quest or situation you encounter, and that using stealth and diplomacy were very useable routes to overcome different obstacles. Whether you’ll be able to play through the whole game without committing any violence is a point they’re still hammering out, to my memory.

Q: What is your overall impression of the game?
A: To be clear, I was and continue to be a big fan of the original Fallout games. Believe it or not, so are the guys over at Bethesda. From my perspective as someone who loved the originals, I have to say that my feeling of the direction that Bethesda is taking the franchise is very strongly positive. If you are a fan who is adamantly against some significant changes to the way gameplay occurs in the Fallout series, I’m going to tell you right now and save you the disappointment: I don’t think you’ll like Fallout 3. However, if you’re a fan of the Fallout universe, of the unique look of the world, of the moral ambiguity, of the dark and often violent humor, and the invigorating branching story paths, then everything about what I’ve seen of Fallout 3 should please you.

He (Miller) further notes that it looks like there are no vehicles, that it’ll be M-Rated, that it’ll be open-ended but with consequences, that it’ll be full of dark humor, that he doesn’t know the map system (if any), that you can play only humans, that there’s lots of drugs, that there’ll be more voice actors than in Oblivion, that it won’t have level-scaling “like in Oblivion” and that the area covers more than just Washington D.C.

 Also, here’s the cliff notes of the video interview with Fallout 3 executive producer Todd Howard and lead artist Istvan Pely:

Todd Howard:
- Videogames 10 years ago and videogames today are different canvases that we paint on.

- He wants to keep this: the shades of gray, the different choices a player will make, texture of the world, making tough decisions, going out and doing things that affects the world.

- He wants you to be emotionally involved in the game, especially now that we have the technological advances in videogames.

- He wants you to see the game in first person and in third person because he wants the players to feel the world but he doesn’t want to reward player with twitch play because stats really matters.

- It’s going to be violent. they spent time making the kills gorier and gorier so when you blow a bad guy’s head, you’ll say “yes!”

Istvan Pely:
- It will have 50s vibe in it.

- He is saying how the old fallouts had sprites so they had to re-work things again for fallout 3.

- He just wants to make you feel the world.

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