Post-Nuclear Simulation Blues *UPDATE*


Wow, so many people have come here to see this post. Welcome all. I just want to point out that this post has a companion post that clears up a few things I was thinking when I wrote it, but didn’t include because it made sense in my head and I completely failed to take into consideration it might not make sense in everybody else’s heads. So if you feel like you want to read a bit more of an explanation, check out “Fallout from Fallout. And if you have any questions or comments please feel free to hit up our email address or hit the comment link. But please remember this is a family-friendly site, so don’t use profanity. Thanks again for dropping by.

The first in my series of “Most Anticipated Games 2008” posts.

As a franchise much beloved by those who have played it, the news that Bethesda was taking over the development of Fallout 3 was greeted with great wariness on the web. Having never played any of the Fallout games myself I can’t really speak for those who were less than enthusiastic at this announcement.

What I can tell you is that my anticipation for this game was second only to GTA IV at the beginning of the year. Now I’m all about the Fallout.

The initial grab for me was the teaser trailer. There’s no game play, no action, I doubt it’s even a real cut scene from the game. But… wow. The music is a perfect contrast to the video and even for the game itself. The posters are reminiscent of the 50’s in their style, which makes sense due to that era really focusing the Cold War and, subsequently, nuclear holocaust on the American mind. At the end we are treated to a voice-over by none other than Ron Perlman, the man who did the voice-overs for all the Fallout games (and who is also responsible for a wicked cool portrayal of Hellboy on the silver screen).

From the reading I’ve done online a big fear among Fallout faithful has been that the most recent installment will be more FPS than RPG. I think this fear has been a big reason why Bethesda has been touting the new control scheme so heavily. You can’t read an article about Fallout 3 without hearing about V.A.T.S. (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System). It’s sounding very much like an RPG with FPS elements (though Bethesda is careful to note they are not making an FPS and that you will have a hard time getting through the game if you choose to play it that way).

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been particularly big on playing RPGs. Turn-based systems drive me crazy mostly because I’m not the type of person that likes to wait and exchange hits. The closest I can come to dealing with a turn-based system is playing World of Warcraft. I know video game nerds everywhere will be outraged that the battle system is the main reason I refuse to play any Final Fantasy games. I tried to play Final Fantasy VII and couldn’t get past the first battle. I suck at turn-based games. I own it.

V.A.T.S. in action.In any case, what I’ve seen of V.A.T.S. has me excited to give it a try. I’m really digging the news that you can shoot in real-time and go into V.A.T.S. for more precise targeting (though as with all turn-based games there is no guarantee you’ll actually get a hit).

The beloved character Dogmeat is also making an appearance. What’s so cool about that? Well, apparently you can tell Dogmeat to go find stuff you need and he’ll go find it. But, he doesn’t just disappear off-screen for a couple of seconds, then magically reappear with what you asked for. He could be gone for hours looking for the item you requested. It will definitely add an element of realism to the game. Let’s face it, when was the last time you looked for something that wasn’t readily available and found it right away?

V.A.T.S. in action.The choices that you have to make in the game are interesting to say the least. The only example I’ve seen is enough to peak my interest immensely: You have to decide whether or not to activate a dormant nuclear bomb. If you activate the bomb you destroy Megaton, the town built around the bomb, effectively deleting any quests you could have done there. If you choose not to destroy Megaton you can’t do any of the quests associated with its destruction. The choices you make could drastically alter the outcome of the game, which Bethesda has said will include over 200 endings.

But the thing I’m most excited about at this point is the beginning of the game where you develop your character. You literally “grow up” learning what you need to know the play the game. Of all the games I’ve played that have tutorial levels this is, quite simply, the most original idea I’ve ever heard. From birth to the day you finally leave Vault 101 in search of your father you learn how the world of Fallout 3 works. On top of that, your choice in physical attributes will affect how your father looks, effectively creating a family resemblance. Very cool.

Given all that (and I’m sure there’s much more I haven’t written about) it should come as no surprise that this is my most anticipated game of the year. For up-to-date info check out the excellent Fallout 3: A Post Nuclear Blog. For pictures check out the gallery.


  1. The 200 endings are just permutations of several actual endings for various locations and factions. And it’s much less than in Fallout 2.

    And VATS is not turn based in any way (nor is WoW for that matter). It’s real time with active pause.

  2. Even as just permutations, it’s much more than I’m used to in the games I’ve played. I’m still constantly amazed that games have gotten to the point where even the less important-seeming things you do can affect total outcome, no matter how small.

    WoW may not be turn-based per se, but the hit-be hit-hit format is about as close to turn-based as I can come. VATS may not be turn-based, but from what I’ve read it takes some inspiration from it (I’m leaning toward the whole strategy being a factor in when you want to deploy it, something I’m terrible at). I fully admit I’m a button-masher and I doubt that will ever change.

  3. “…I’m still constantly amazed that games have gotten to the point where even the less important-seeming things you do can affect total outcome, no matter how small.”

    Gotten to the point.. gotten to the point.. boy this new generation of gamers has no clue what it was once like.

    Fallout 2 had over 1,000,000 (that’s one million for the arithmetically disinclined).
    Fallout 1 had a few hundred as well. This was in 97′ and 98′ respectively.

    My advice, don’t play Fallout 1 and 2 unless you want to become an instant cynic, yes they are really that good. I think a Fallout game with todays technology would rival GTA4 in popularity. Unfortunately; this is closer to Oblivion with a blood-fest mod, which I think will sell, but won’t shatter any records.

  4. Games have gotten to this point years ago. In fact, Fallout 2 had hundreds of thousands if not millions of permutations of its dozens of actual endings and even Fallout 1 had more than 200.

  5. Anyway, for more information on Fallout games and setting, I recommend The Vault, my Fallout wiki 🙂

  6. Blame it on the console fixation (I’m a console gamer through-and-through). I fully admit I’d never heard of Fallout until I saw the teaser and started reading about Fallout 3. I’m intrigued enough that I definitely want to play the first two, it’s more a matter of “clearing my plate”, as it were, of all the other games, movies, and TV shows I’ve got going on. Plus there’s that pesky work thing that rears its ugly head.

    Thanks for commenting 😀

    I’ll be linking the Fallout wiki here and at my other blog.

  7. As pointed out, WoW isn’t turn based (and neither is VATS)… FFVII is, though.

    “My advice, don’t play Fallout 1 and 2 unless you want to become an instant cynic, yes they are really that good.”

    Agreed. Though some people just can’t enjoy that type of stuff – too much reading, too much thinking. (Myself, I’m bored with games that don’t make me think.) Anyway, I’m just glad another Fallout will be made. Oblivion wasn’t bad, and the best quest-writer for that is in charge of Fallout 3, so I’m hoping the story-line and customization will be of major importance – which is what Fallout is all about.

  8. […] ·Visual Crack talks Fallout 3 in their new series discussing the most anticipated games of 2008. […]

  9. Fallout was my favorite game, until Fallout 2 came out. Fallout 2 was my favorite game until Oblivion came out. Fallout 3, well, do the math…

  10. Fallout 1 vas best game.
    Best game from games what i vas payed and best game from fallout trilogy.

  11. Oblivion is bad game.
    Know u morrowind ?
    Oblivion is good playable only with OOO and UniqueLandscapes.

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