The announced Fallout 3 Questions and Answers session with Todd Howard is up on the Official Forums. Some quotes that may be of special interest to fans of the original series:
"Is unarmed combat in? If so, is it lethal or does it knockout your opponent? [Waterchip]
Yes, it’s in, and yes, it’s lethal. It’s a big part of the game, and as far as game balance, it’s our goal to make melee as viable as using guns in killing off enemies. It’s something we’re obviously still balancing, but I expect melee to be more “lethal”, as getting near an opponent can be more difficult, especially if they have a gun, but at the same time, you don’t have to worry about your ammo counts, so that’s an immediate benefit to melee."
"Is combat playable in the zoomed out third person ("almost iso") perspective and how will VATS work from it, meaning - will it zoom into FP or something else? [kaos]
I’d have to say “no”. Combat’s not really playable when you zoom the camera all the way back and point it down. You can try, but it’s not meant to be played that way, because you still have to aim at the center of the screen, and at that point, the center is the ground. It’s playable from 1st and 3rd person, but closer-in over-the-shoulder 3rd person. Regarding VATS., it does zoom in on your target, from your eyes, so I guess you’d say it is a “1st person” view. So if you’re playing in 3rd person and enter VATS, you zoom in on the target, and when you’re done, it flips back to your 3rd person view. It happens pretty fast and it’s smooth. I kind of see VATS as its own view."
"Will you have the written descriptions of items or just the visual? Granted, the visuals work just fine for me, but I loved the descriptions from the earlier Fallouts about how nasty the bed looks or whatever. Will there be something like our beloved text box anywhere in the main HUD? [anonymous]
We just show the object name, like “nasty bed”, but in general, I think if we’re relying on text to describe how something looks, sounds, etc, then we screwed up not having that come across naturally with what the player is seeing. It annoys me whenever we have to resort to describing something like that, even in Oblivion, with, say a journal describing how I feel or what I am seeing…it should just happen naturally."
Take a look at the whole thing. It answers a few more questions, and it's a good read.