Fallout 3 E3 Previews

Another heap of coverage from E3 of Bethesda's upcoming Fallout 3. Gamervision.
While it allows you to aim and fire at different body parts just like any other first or third person shooter on the market, Fallout 3 has a modified version of its predecessor's combat system by implementing VAT, freezing time and allowing for precise aiming at different parts of the body (while identifying the % to hit of each). Using this, I was able to take several shots at any part of the enemy I choose and watch them delivered in a short cinematic. Several attacks can be taken at once depending on how many action points I had stored up, and using all of them I was able to blow off the leg of one of the attacking dogs, crippling him. Along my way to the city I took out several dogs and rats in this fashion, familiarizing myself with the new, but interesting take on combat. It feels like you would suspect it would, a hybrid of Fallout's turn based combat and Oblivion's real-time combat.

As I approached the town I saw a group of vagabonds standing near a caged animal. Being the humanitarian I am, I began firing at the enemies from afar. They rushed me, and I was able to experiment with the VAT on a human target. Not only was I able to shoot several shots at any part of the body (including the weapon), but I was able to switch between targets mid-attack using the same system. When the remaining enemies were within melee range I took out a baseball bat (followed by equipping a baseball hat) and attacked.
- We couldn't find much to gripe about, especially with so little time playing the game, but one thing that stuck out was the slightly clunky-looking movement of enemies. We squared off against a bunch of "Raiders" and a couple of "Slavers" and all of them loped around rather unrealistically. Maybe it's all the radiation floating around, but they all seemed too fast for humans and bounced about as though they weighed less than a Post-It. If I'm going to be blasting away at these for 100+ hours, I don't want that bugging me the whole time.

Should You Count the Days? Oh my God, yes! Sprawling, action packed, moody, humourous and face-explodingly violent, Fallout 3 will easily vie for Game of the Year honours in 2008. Thankfully it's set for an October 7 release, meaning the several months you'll be indoors playing it and eschewing contact with friends, family and your job, will be all the ones with bad weather.
Gamer 2.0.
All of this, excluding V.A.T.S., should be familiar to those who have played previous installments of the franchise. The biggest change comes in the way you actually play the game, the aforementioned first-person perspective introduced by developer Bethesda Softworks. This change actually works well because of the implementation of the V.A.T.S. system, allowing players used to the older style of combat make an easy transition, shooting in real time in some situations and switching to the V.A.T.S. system when they feel necessary. The V.A.T.S. system, as aforementioned, pauses the game and allows you to take a more strategic approach, using action points for each move. If your action points drain to nill, you can still pop up the V.A.T.S. system to get a view of the number of enemies in the area so you can plan how to attack them when you switch back to real time combat.

The Pitboy is back with a new model, the Pitboy 3000, which essentially serves as your main menu, accessing your stats, quests, map, and more. The map will not only show you the game world, an expansive one just a bit smaller than Cyrodill from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but also all previously discovered areas that can be instantly traveled back to. It can also show any shortcuts to your destination provided by the D.C. metro system.
Totally Rad Show Episode 70 (starts at 17:15, ends at 18:15).