28 Aug 2008

UPCOMING 2008 - Fallout 3

Over the last few months this game has been lauded with such a large degree of manic over-congratulation that I am instantly suspicious of what it will contain when it eventually reaches the shelves on October 28th.

Yeah. Tell it like it is, Flava Flav. Do your demented chicken dance and let the people know...

I believe there's an old adage that explains how there's no excessive media back-slapping bullshit without a bile-spewing, shit-churning hype-machine with which to hold it all together. Or something.

Now, I'm a huge fan of the previous Fallout games and I honestly don't want to appear like one of those psychotic fanboys - who are themselves as unlikely to emerge into the outside world as the vault dwellers that consume their every thought - but I'm worried.

I will happily admit that it isn't the mid-nineties and game developers can't really get away with producing two-dimensional turn-based RPGs anymore. Or at least, they can't if they want to make any money from it. But, after scouting the net for as many slices of gameplay footage as I could possibly find, it transpires that Bethesda are still showing off the same map and the same five minutes of play as they were a year ago with as much gusto as a small child on a sugar rush.

Speaking of which, the only interview truly worth watching is the one in which Executive Producer, Todd Howard, bizarrely sticks a boiled sweet the size of his fist into his mouth mid-interview and works his way through it whilst blagging his way out of explaining why Fallout 3 will absolutely, hand-on-heart, definitely not, probably, maybe, might make the same mistakes as Oblivion. I can only assume that the humbug's greyish chewy-juicy centre provided sufficient secretions of bullshit to allow him to finish whatever it was he was saying. Still, I was honestly amazed at how he managed to avoid choking.

Regardless of this rather unorthodox method of creating excitement and tension in interviews, the repeated demo footage is nothing if not a vehicle to show how repetitive it is to watch an enemy exploding into an extravagent crimson mess every time a bogey is flicked at them. In some ways this is fine, of course. Previous Fallouts were no strangers to ultra-violence. The bloody mess perk is good, simple fun and I often used it for kicks, but is it really something to endlessly brag about in promotion of the game? Where is the detailed commentary on the roleplaying elements, or the true explanation of ridding the game of solid turn-based tactics and replacing it with the 'V.A.T.S.' system, which has only ever looked like a flashy gimmick.

I need answers, dammit, and part of my fear is down to the fact that, after buying the game - and I will buy this game, for better or worse - I'll install it and load it up and the answer to my biggest question will be there, metaphorically scrawled across every piece of irradiated debris that fills the screen.

"Is this Fallout?" I will ask nervously.

"No, you fucking idiot, this is not Fallout," comes the response.

Naturally (or unnaturally I suppose), I'll eat my own scrotum if it turns out that even half the fans of the series truly find satisfaction and solace in this game.

Obligatory exploding-head screenshot ahoy:

5 comments:

Nick Dymond said...

Fallout 3 will be a success regardless of content. If you're cynical enough you could argue that this is the very reason it is being made.

You could mistakenly think that making a sequel to a cult classic would be a risk for a developer. Wrong! You've got a game whose heritage includes praise like "one of the best games ever made!" add to this bigger weapons, slow-motion, extra-super-gory-viscera(tm), teddy bears being fired from cannons, the Oblivion followers and the recent success of games such as Bioshock...well, you're onto a winner.

The only way we can 'vote' any disapproval is not to buy the game. You're as worried as anyone about this title and yet you've admitted that you'll buy it regardless.

Rowan Davies said...

"The only way we can 'vote' any disapproval is not to buy the game. You're as worried as anyone about this title and yet you've admitted that you'll buy it regardless."

Well, I can't rightly rip into a game this much and never play it. I'm not that cynical ;)

Plus I'm intrigued as to how close my expectations match the actual game. It will probably be heartbreaking of course...

Nick Dymond said...

Demo? That's what they're there for. :)

Rowan Davies said...

True, except that Bethesda never released demos of Oblivion or Morrowind so I don't think the chances of Fallout 3 getting one are too good...

Nick Dymond said...

No demos? Mother f.........

I might rent it for a weekend for the 360, just to get it out of my system.