Bethesda Softworks Preview: Fallout 3

Bethesda Softworks Preview: Fallout 3
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • You get to play as a toddler!

Cons

  • We'll let you know once we get our hands on a copy

Bottom Line

Visually, the game already looks phenomenal, and is far, far more detailed than the already stunning Oblivion. Bethesda is promising virtually identical graphics and performance between the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions as well as simultaneous launch dates. Late 2008 is a long way off...but we have a hunch that Fallout 3 is one game worth waiting for.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)

While Fallout 3 hasn't hit our shores yet, we did have the privilege of seeing the demo.

Oblivion was just the beginning. We unearth the dark, mutant-infested world of Fallout 3.

Flashback: in 2077, the Year of Our Lord, the United States and China launch a brief, vicious nuclear artillery exchange. As it turns out, Armageddon isn't the end of the world; it is, as narrator Ron Perlman describes, a "prologue to another bloody chapter" in man's existence.

Just before the war, many sought refuge in massive underground bunkers called Vaults. Once sealed, the Vaults are sealed permanently -- nobody enters, nobody leaves. This is the dark world of Fallout, a cult hit on the PC in the late 90's and now an upcoming action-RPG from Bethesda Softworks, creator of The Elder Scrolls series.

You call this a super mutant?

Skydark

Fallout 3 is set 200 years after the bombs dropped, some 80 years following the first Fallout. You begin the game in Vault 101, a facility that lies beneath the bomb-blasted surface of Washington, D.C. -- a similar setup to past Fallout titles. But rather than start as a standard low-level character, Bethesda breaks role-playing convention by putting you in the satin-laced booties of a toddler.

During this "baby segment", you'll learn to walk, play with toys, and lay the groundwork for your character class as an adult. It's a tutorial and an innovative prologue all wrapped into one. Later, at the tender age of 19, you sneak out of the confines of Vault 101 to find your father (played by Hollywood veteran Liam Neeson), an influential scientist who has disappeared from his lifelong home.

The surface

Upon leaving the vault, you emerge into the shattered, ruined corpse of Washington, D.C. Vile "super mutants" prowl the sewers and giant ants skitter around the nearby foothills. As in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3's action takes place primarily through a first-person perspective (an over-the-shoulder camera is also available). And though you'll tote a variety of shotguns, rifles and laser carbines, Fallout 3 isn't a first-person shooter...at least, not exactly. Strategy and skill selection play a vital role in your success, as does targeting enemy body parts to cripple them in various ways. Fallout 3 is first and foremost a role-playing game. Action counts, but this ain't no Halo.

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