While the issue doesn't hit newsstands until Monday, purported points from the Fallout 3 article have surfaced on the net. Here's the skinny:
The article is based on an hour long demo GI was given. I'll list the high points
- Game runs on an evolved version of the Oblivion engine. Third person
view has been reworked since the verdict was that the Oblivion version
- Game starts with your birth and your mother's death in a vault
hospital. This is essentially the character customization part of the
game. Your father hands you up to have your DNA analyzed and you get to
pick out all your character traits. Your dad takes off his mask to
reveal similar traits to the ones you picked.
- You grow up in the vault and as you grow you get your first book
titled "You're Special" which allows you to choose you baseline stats
for each of your 7 primary aptitudes. You'll also get your first
weapons and wrist computer (menu) as you get older and take tests to
determine the initial layout of your skills and traits.
- Every aspect of character creation is based on S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system.
Of your 14 skills you can tag 3 to grow at a faster rate than the rest
as you level up.
- Battle system is called the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System
(V.A.T.S.). The article states. "While you'll certainly be able to
tackle enemies in real time using first person shooting, V.A.T.S. lets
players pause time and select a target at their leisure". Battle system
still uses action points, but once you've used them up you'll still be
able to fight targets in real time while they charge back up.
- Game is still violent and gory. One of the featured screens is of a
guy's head exploding in super gory detail. Apparently all gory deaths
in the game will be in slow motion.
- More than one way to play the game. Go balls out and kill people, or
sneak past situations, or perhaps talk your way out of situations.
- Enemies can target you just like you can target them, so you can get
injured in very specific points on you body. This in addition to an all
new health/radiation system. This new system has you measuring how
radiated certain things (like water) are and how they affect you when
you consume them.
- Karma system returns
[. . .]
It doesn't say anything specifically about party members, but there's a
section that talks about how integral NPC's are to the game, and that a
lot of the progress in the game will be made via quests.
EDIT. A little caption under a screen shot says you'll be able to hire
henchmen to help you out but this is definitely not a party based game.
Also Bethesda confirms that there'll be a dog in the game.
[. . .]
As a matter of fact they do. The game does not scale like oblivion, so
if you enter a high level area expect to be promptly murdered.
Also, I just read a little caption.
Level cap is 20.
Definite ending to the game, but there are 9 - 12 possible endings.
[. . .]
It is XP based. Most of your XP comes from quests.
Not sure if the person who wrote this just doesn't know what turn-based combat is or if the system has just been butchered (maybe KOTOR style?). No enemy scaling is a very good thing. I also like hearing the words "third person view" and "SPECIAL" though. Stay tuned for confirmation of these rumors.
Thanks to Cthulhu and Anonymous!