Post Apocalyptic Preview - Fallout 3
It has certainly become a very busy time of year for most gamers as they scrounge around for any loose change or flaking note that may be sitting around waiting to be spent, as countless games developers, and most importantly, the publishing houses, choose to release hordes of titles into the marketplace all at once, swamping an otherwise barren landscape with top quality gaming experiences that encompass wide varieties of game styles and formats. The Playstation 3, after a slightly awkward summer, is starting too shine once again with a few stellar titles on the horizon which may or may not instigate the next phase in the war of the machines.As is tradition for most annual battle domes in the videogame arena, Sony usually surprises many by leaving some of its supreme titles and announcement to squallier the competition come Christmas time, what with new storage capacities, accessories and peripherals and software updates bringing the long awaited return to form in the shape of the awesome Home and the PSN, time will only tell what we can look forward to playing in the coming months.Next month however, sees the arrival of the monsoon rains as it were, as a handful of specialist gaming franchises take to the stand to perform wonders for Sony’s magic box, and what better way than to start it all off, than unwrapping the seal off one of this years most promising multiformat releases, Bethesda’s very own Fallout 3. The third in the series, and a first for the PlayStation format, a game that will surely become one of the greatest action adventure games of all time, or so we believe after the preview code we managed to get hold of, this simply is grand in scale.
This game has been hotly anticipated ever since its announcement back at the E3 show in 2006 and since then, the bandwagon has continually gained momentum towards the games release on October 31st. The first question that many people ask, ‘is it any different to Oblivion?’ The obvious answer to this is a resounding yes, and all for the better in our opinion. With the Elder Scrolls Oblivion picking up a platoon of awards in 2007 for its intuitiveness, flexibility, freeform gameplay and graphically superior wilderness, not to mention a lengthy scenario system and fluid game design, Fallout 3 is a very promising prospect indeed.With the opening sequences setting the scenes for the games mammoth 40 hour plus quest, Fallout 3 begins in such a manner that if you started up its console brother in much the same way, the plethora of similarities will astound you. Starting out in Vault 101in the year 2277, 36 years after the setting of its predecessor Fallout 2, the main character creation tools kick start into action, as your tutorials educate you into learning the ins and outs of the dynamic creative units on offer, and the brand new VATS system, which will become the heart and soul of your equipment; structurally reinforcing the way you play out your quests. The game itself plays out in both a first person and third person perspective, with the main character creation occurring as the player delves deeper into the childhood aspects of progression. After the main characters mother dies during labour in the Vault 101 hospital, immediately after which the player decides the character's general appearance through a DNA analysis conducted by the father. As a child in the Vault, the character receives a book titled ‘You’re Special’ whereupon the player can set the character's seven primary aptitudes. The character receives weapons training and a PIP-Boy 3000 later on during childhood, testing your character to fit certain deliberate functions into your working mechanisms as player. By involving you in this way, you immediately empathize with your chosen character, and begin the game in earnest.
Fallout 3 takes place in post-apocalyptic United States, with the tricky environments playing host to all manner of radiated creatures from the depths of hell itself; physical life forms of once decomposed body parts and nuclear obliterated limbs scar the derelict building site that was once Washington DC. To make matters worse, your father mysteriously disappears from the Vault, as you awaken in a startled and emotive state. After instigating a moment of quiet discomfort in utilizing your new equipment to the best of its ability at its current stage, you make your way to the grand seal of the Vaults entrance. This moment of postmodern capitalist limitation on the player seals your fate in an instant, making you feel slightly uneasy about leaving the nest, and stretching your burnt wings in the morning sunlight, if that even exists.As you take your first steps into the hallowed light from the heavens above, the world around you is burning in pain. Reeling from the bloody wars of the last 200 years, America stands as a playground for madmen, with dark spaces and secret corners littered with the undead, corpses squandering the rubble, bricks and mortar making up the usual piles of skeletal debris, encapsulating an aura of discomfort and terror in the air.Along the way, the player will encounter organizations seen in the previous Fallout games, including the Brotherhood of Steel, a group of technology-coveting survivors, and the Enclave, the elitist and genocidal remnant of the U.S. government. Couple this with the new enemies infesting the wastelands and you could very well be back in Tamriel, serving cold steel to Orcs and Devils. Seeing the pastel shaded colours of the watery sun for the first time, mixed with the smoke and smolder from burning bodies will make you shudder with excitement, and fear. Emotions run even higher when you approach an obliterated lakeside, in which the floating remnants of scarred and tortured souls lie broken and embedded in the games cold core of coded toxins. Try saying that after a few. With some of the best particle effects and shading we have ever seen in a videogame, the PlayStation 3 version is by far the best, with the graphics far surpassing that of Gears Of War, Killzone or even the mighty Oblivion itself. It really is one of the best looking games we have ever played, boosting a top quality visual feast of 1080p splendor, dipped in chocolate covered sauce and smothered over your lips, it’s that inviting. You want to touch the screen, wipe away the dust clouds in front of you, run away from the mighty windstorms that sweep across the distant plains, shield your eyes from direct sunlight, burning your face with its intensity and harshness.
Fallout 3 will leave you naked and isolated for the first few hours or more, as you become used to the various weapons technology and systems that make up your life support equipment. Nuclear tanks and missile silos are your main hideaways, as you seek the cover of broken houses and twisted metal just to be able to add those skill points to the right inventor experiences and skill sets.The devastating truth is that this game is marginally better than Oblivion in its first few hours, and we absolutely love Oblivion here at PSB towers. But we just have to admit it, it’s that damned good. With 1920’s music beating out of the smashed disc tables, turning on a wobbled axis as you scavenge for any signs of life amongst the tumbling mountains of smoldering smoke and brickwork, leaving a trail of bloody body parts in your wake thanks to an awesome control system, Fallout 3 has already proven that its a game to be taken seriously as contender for game of the year.Even the camera and framerate never faulters, with a smooth transaction from action sequences to comedy moments of blood splattering orgies, conversations with members of the wasteland to integrated movies, Fallout 3 actually manages to excel in all areas. There are some slight code worries at this stage with some of the games draw distances and pop-ups occurring in game, but this are very slight and never detract from the main focus of gameplay. All in all this title is one of many upcoming releases for the PlayStation 3 which will hopefully cement it as the gamer’s choice of console for this generation. Role on October 31st in Europe, and three days earlier in the States, as the game hit shelves on October 28th.