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Page 1 of 2Panic among Fallout fans and RPGers alike spread throughout the internet after news broke a couple of weeks ago that Interplay had shut down Black Isle Studios and put Fallout 3 on hiatus. Although it doesn't serve as much consolation to those Fallout fans that were looking forward to the next PC title in the series, there will be at least one more game set in the post-apocalyptic universe - Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel - and it will be hitting store shelves in only two weeks. This time, the Wasteland comes to life on both the PS2 and Xbox consoles, and will offer a unique source of Fallout material to sink our teeth into. Luckily, we were able to track down Dan Kingdom, Designer on the project, to get some answers for the questions we had about the game. Read on:
GB: For those gamers that haven't been following Fallout: BoS, can you give us some details about the storyline and how the game relates to previous Fallout titles?
Dan: Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel is post-apocalyptic action adventure, set roughly between the first and second installments of the PC games, and picks up on some of the issues left over from the first; such as the remnants of the Mutant Army.
Of course, we have had to ensure that anyone who hasn't played either of these can also enjoy the game, so the main story line introduces itself gradually, rather than being a direct continuation of prior events.
As an initiate of the Brotherhood of Steel, your character is set upon a task to prove their worth, one that sounds straightforward enough at the start. Simply find the small town of Carbon in the great expanse that was once America and contact the Brotherhood Paladins that wait within. At the start of the game, your character - one which you can choose from three available to begin with - enters Carbon, but the Paladins are nowhere to be found.
The game then drags you into an adventure to locate your missing contacts, forcing you to deal with the powers that secretly govern the town, and on towards the remains of a city over the horizon.
GB: In Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, players had to drop items if they wished to trade with one another. Will there be some sort of trading interface window available in Fallout: BoS?
Dan: The player will trade in the same fashion as seen in BG: DA, with a number of characters along the path of your adventure offering you access to a large number of items, weapons and armor for you to browse through, provided of course that you have the caps to pay for them (caps being the wastelands sole-surviving form of currency).
GB: Many of us Fallout fans loved the cartoonish Vault Boy character Black Isle used to complement the traits, perks, and other statistics in the original Fallout games. Can we expect to see any new sketches of this little guy throughout Fallout: BoS?
Dan: Yes indeed, that little rascal is back once again, most notably in the player's stats screen, ably demonstrating all of the skills that you can acquire throughout the game. However, keep your eyes peeled whilst exploring the game world and you'll also catch sight of him in some new, uh... dimensions.
GB: Will character advancement involve attributes (SPECIAL), perks, and skills? Any new abilities you can elaborate on that weren't in the first two Fallout titles?
Dan: We've taken the core functionalities of the SPECIAL system and transferred them into a selection of skills that you will be able to utilize as you play through the game. Whilst your character starts at a default level of ability; average health, adequate weapon use and so on, you can spend the points earned by leveling up to improve these abilities and acquire new ones (anyone who has played Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance will feel instantly at home here).
With a wide range of skills, you can decide to concentrate on improving your melee combat ability - turning your character into a walking engine of pugilistic destruction - or you can hone your ranged weapon and explosive skills and take people out from afar. Mixing these up will create a 'jack-of-all-trades', allowing you to dabble in everything. It really all comes down to your own personal tastes.
As for new skills, each of the three characters has a number of specialized skills available only to them. An example of this would be Nadia, who can learn to use custom-made arms and energy weapons with far greater dexterity than the other two.
GB: With the game shipping very soon, can you elaborate on the unlockable characters in the game (how many, what type of characters they might be, etc)? How about the third character, Cain?
Dan: All I can say at the moment is that yes, we do have unlockable characters that you can play through the game again with, and that each is accessed by completing the games three chapters - attentive readers should be able to deduce how many then are available ;)
Cain is the third of the characters available from the beginning of the game, and the most off-beat of the three since he is in fact a Ghoul (the twisted and ugly bastard offspring of radiation and mutagens). Cain is actually a kind of 'all-round' character, a middle ground between Nadia speed and agility and Cyrus's strength. Also, his ghoul pedigree allows him certain leeway with toxic substances that would harm the other two.
Unlike the other two, who are attempting to join the Brotherhood for relatively noble causes, Cain is only interested in acquiring power. He's ugly, he's devious, and he's a lot of fun :).
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