Okay, so apparently, for reasons that baffle me, there is a 8-bit version of Fallout 3. In Japanese...It's unclear if this is a fanmade project, but I THINK it's actually being pushed by Bethesda to get more attention to the franchise in Japan. I don't even know. You can mess with it here.
The latest edition of Experienced Points over at the Escapist tackles the issue of how modern "RPGs" (like Fallout 3) have turned into nothing more than action/adventure games.
A classic RPG quest setup: You need to get the Knickknack of Awesome, which is in the hands of King Bob. In exchange for the Knickknack, Bob wants you to rescue Princess Nancy from another kingdom. Because he'd rather not start a war, he'd prefer if you didn't kill a bunch of prison guards in the process. So we have a quest with loot, risk, travel, and optional goals. If this were an old-school RPG like Fallout or Planescape Torment, then we'd probably have many, many ways we could approach this challenge:
1) Sneak or scam your way into prison and free Nancy, claim the knickknack. 2) Murder your way into prison and free Nancy, claim the knickknack. 3) Swipe the knickknack outright. 4) Kill King Bob, then take the knickknack. 5) Get Nancy killed (or kill her yourself) and then end up having to obtain the knickknack some other way. 6) Kill Bob, take the knickknack, but later rescue Nancy anyway. 7) Kill Bob, take the knickknack, enter prison, kill Nancy. 8) Free Nancy on your own, then meet Bob for the first time and get the knickknack. 9) Bribe Bob for the knickknack with a huge sum of money.
That's a lot of options, and players can have a lot of fun running through the game again and again, experimenting with different actions and seeing what the NPC's have to say. Roleplayers will approach the quest by asking themselves, "What would my character do?" Other players will just do whatever sounds like fun. "Stealth mission? Awesome!" And others will just look for whatever route gives them the greatest mechanical advantage. "If I wipe out the guards, I can make a fortune looting them!" The game is able to appeal to a lot of different play styles and moods.
But if we were talking about a more modern RPG like Oblivion or Fallout 3, then this quest is likely going to be a lot less flexible. On the back of the box the game might brag about how you'll have all kinds of choices to solve problems the way you want, but in the end your options will boil down to:
1) Sneak into prison and free Nancy, claim the knickknack. 2) Murder your way into prison, free Nancy, claim the knickknack.
Maybe the two routes will have a good /evil bent to them, and maybe you'll sometimes get a third option, but in general the days of inventing our own solutions to freeform quests are gone. Usually the game world will be "hardened" against the player by making certain NPCs (like Bob and Nancy) invincible. Some doors, no matter how flimsy, will be indestructible and have an unpickable lock. And Nancy won't appear in the prison cell until Bob tells you to rescue her. Now the game is less about inventing your own solutions to problems and more about just doing what you're told.
Why, you might ask, has this happened? Shamus Young says its because of voiceacting.
While the newer games supposedly evolved from the older ones, they have very little in common at this point. Usually when a genre changes radically fans will blame it on the designers "dumbing down" the game for a wider audience. But in this case I think the culprit is technological advance: I think games have been simplified because of voice acting. If the game is all in text, then King Bob can have dozens - maybe even hundreds - of different lines of dialog to respond to all of the possible player actions. If the game is fully voice acted, then this is completely infeasible. Voice acting might not be the only reason games are offering less freedom, but I think it's a major culprit. Going back twelve years or so you can see the trend: The more voices we get the more linear games get, because having both at once is too danged expensive.
Shamus also brings up the point that most of us don't even bother to listen to all of the dialogue...we just click right through it. The rest of the article can be found here. It's a good read.
DAC's own BryanR has created a multiplayer mod for Fallout 3. Now, you'll be able to take out those pesky radscorpions in teams! While still in the early stages of testing and implementation, the mod promises to dramatically improve the replay-value of Fallout 3. Check out the test video below:
Here's the rundown from BryanR:
Basically I have a server and client built just for the purpose of multiplayer Fallout 3. The client program I made reads from a special .esp file which I am using to do my dirtywork of collecting information on players. This information is forwarded to the server. The server then forwards it to the other clients, and then the script variables are written to to reflect changes.
DAC will keep you updated on any new developments.
Concerning Fallout 3 , I really was curious to hear your more in-depth opinion about it.
So you said you had a similiar opinion on it to Sawyer, but what was missing from that, in my opinion, was a breakdown of your pro's and Con's for Fallout 3.
Considering Bethesda made it in a similiar style to Oblivion, I just wanted to know specifically, how was the transition?
And like I said in the above comment, what did you like and not like.
:: Floodgates open ::
It's a testament to the game that for every thing that initially bothered me, there was a solution or a tool to counterbalance it. For example, I was exploring Hubris Comics, dropped my Power Fist so I could haul some extra loot, then came back and couldn't find it on the floor. Pissed. And then I remembered Dogmeat has the dialogue option to go "fetch" existing weapons in the environment and bring them back - so I asked him to go hunt down the Power Fist for me, and he found it in 5 seconds. Awesome. The game had enough options and tools at my disposal to insure I was having fun no matter what the challenges, so I can't ask for much more.
So here's the list:
The negatives: Dogmeat's breathing if you don't adjust the sound sliders. The tiny model house in Minefield not containing anything special. Anyone armed with a flamer can kick my melee-specialized ass, and thus, can kiss my ass. It was confusing to find one's way around Megaton, although it had beautiful set pieces and I got used to it. I played with a 4 ST character and regretted it, but it made me appreciate the ST boost from alcohol more (1st time I've ever considered alcohol a viable drug in any game system, ever) and also made me appreciate Buffouts. I suck at the Science minigame, which is a horrible confession for an English major. Thought Hubris Comics should have had more Grognak issues, although I really liked the fan mail and the text adventure game in there. Didn't like not being able to kill Amata or Andy the Robot at the outset because I hated them both. I didn't like that the first potential companion was a bad karma companion and expensive, but then the twin goals of being an **** and scrounging up a thousand caps became bait and a challenge in trying to get him - when I got Jericho, I felt like I'd earned him as a companion. I think Repair became too valuable as a skill, but it's better than the special case it was in Fallout 1 and 2, so I'd rather that than it remain a broken skill (like Doctor in F2). Maybe because I'm approaching it from the development end, I didn't care, but I think the level cap turned a number of people off, as did not being able to play after and continue the game until Broken Steel came out. Some of the locations I think broke the 4th wall (Dunwich, which I actually enjoyed playing, just not the premise).
So that said...
Likes: Opening immersion and re-introducing you into the Fallout world. Fallout 1 and 2 had consistently broken or special case skills that were rectified in F3 (for example, Repair - and Doctor vs. First Aid in Fallout 2 became broken without a time limit, so Medicine was clearly an improvement). Fast Travel. Felt my skills mattered in general. The kitchen bell XP sound. I love radiation more in F3, it makes me pay close attention to the environment, I loved the Grognak text adventure game, I loved the Gutsy and Robobrain combat barkstrings, I liked the usage of the radio and the reactivity to the player's actions - that seemed an elegant way of reinforcing your actions in the world as well as introducing a bad guy you couldn't immediately shoot in the face, I liked a lot of the moments in the game, including suddenly being surrounded by the creepy Andale residents after entering the basement in town, I never thought a neighborhood filled with land mines would be a good adventure locale and I ate my words, loved the juxtaposition of real world mundane locations and their change into dungeons (Campgrounds, Springvale School, Super Duper Mart). Liked tracking down radio transmission signals for rewards. This is the first game I've ever played where I was excited to see barricades.* Nerd Rage surprised me as a Perk - chose it by default at one level only so I could drop grenades on myself to increase my carrying capacity and found it surprisingly useful at saving my ass when I walked into an ambush. The Pitt DLC, especially the opening vista crossing the bridge, is incredible. Liked the lockpick minigame. The Arlington Cemetery actually hit me pretty hard, and as a location it really drove home the futility of war to me - just seeing all those graves with Washington DC stretching out behind it made me feel really bad. Loved firing my combat shotgun into a bus with 5 ghouls trapped on the Dupont Circle freeway below and watching the whole screen erupt in fire. Consistently being rewarded for exploring the environment - there was always at least three things to see on the horizon that you wanted to go check out. I didn't think I would like Liberty Prime, but the Iron Giant aspect worked for me and made me do a 180. I liked the Brotherhood camping out at the Pentagon. The sign inside the portable bomb shelters made me smile. I liked the Time Bandits aspects of Mothership Zeta. Seeing Dogmeat on fire, and being so tough that he didn't even care that he was on fire. Liked playing as a Psycho-using alcoholic and murdering caravan folks for things I didn't even need. Thought beer was valuable as a ST enhancer to carry loot. Liked the Well-Rested Perk. Shiskebab rocks - tap and burn.
* Yes, barricades. I have never had anything but hate for barricades until this game. They block my progress. **** barricades. But in F3, they are filled with the equivalent of RPG candy - containers are usually embedded in the wreckage, which was a great way to turn something hated into a gaming loot opportunity.
IGN has rated Fallout 3 the seventh best game of the entire decade. Here's what they had to say:
It's tough for a studio to take over a beloved franchise from another group of developers. Bethesda's Fallout 3 is a roadmap to success. Blending elements of old with its patented open-world design, the group that cut its teeth on The Elder Scrolls franchise brought back a classic while taking it to new heights.
Thought I'd share this video with everyone. It's the trailer Bethesda should have released for the Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition. It showcases all the DLCs (I think) as well as the main game to the tune of the 1812 overture. Worth watching if only for the music!
The author of the video says the best part starts at 7:07.
Apparently mods for Fallout 3 have been impossible to play on the XBox 360...until now. A user on the XBox Scene forums has managed to figure out to how to do it:
WARNING: Apparently this also requires a modified Xbox 360, so you could get banned from Xbox Live if you do this.
Ok, I'll explain it the best I can. Firstly, I used xexloader to install fallout 3 to an external usb hd from the retail disc. (I already had the expansion packs installed) It would probably work just as well if you installed to the internal hd.
Anywhos... I then connected the hd to my computer where I used xextool to patch the xex to the latest version using the method outlined here.
Then, I edited the fallout3.ini as instructed by the "manual" instructions from this.
Then I took the contents of the mod and put them in their respective places in the fallout 3 directory.
I had noticed earlier that the title update container had an esp file in it so, i figured what the heck? Its a longshot, but ill give it a try. So....
Then, I used this guide to help me make a live container for the mods files. Im not sure what all I needed to put in it, so I just put everything in. The esp file and the folders. Just make sure you fill out the gameid and other stuff for fallout 3. Also, instead of telling it youre making a demo, select the "content" option. When that was all said and done, I had a shiny new live container. I just dropped it into the retail hd with the rest of the expansions.
After getting everything put back together, I loaded up fo3 through xexloader and what do ya know? My little "House Mod" showed up in the downloads list.
The first save I tried was a later save and it took a couple tries to get it to load. It wasnt until I tried an early one that everything seemed to load up and actually work.
Thats it! I hope someone can take this, make some sense of it, clean it up and streamline the process.
IGN has a preview of Metro 2033 up, and to give a bit of perspective, they compared it to Fallout 3. Highlights:
To better grasp the horrors within, it's instructive to compare Metro 2033 to Fallout 3. In both, the remnants of civilization are besieged by mutants, bandits, and the invisible sickness of radiation poisoning. Yet while they are superficially similar, at their core the games are nothing alike. Fallout is riddled with in-jokes. Metro is as serious as cancer.
Take money, for instance. In Fallout, people use bottlecaps as currency; these pre-war artifacts are scarce simply because they aren't being made any more. In Metro, people use 5.45mm caliber bullets. In an early mission, a young scallywag offers to guide you to your next waypoint in exchange for one of these irreplaceable little slugs. As this post-nuclear Oliver Twist leads you on a merry course through grubby corridors and filth-encrusted pig pens, the thought occurs: does he want the bullet to buy candy? Or does he just want to end it all?
They basically say Metro 2033 is a much more realistic game, although more linear than Fallout 3. That is one of the complaints I think we all have about Fallout 3 as well: it was a bit too aimed at kiddies who would go "WHOA check out that fatman!" The original Fallouts didn't have that sort of thing. I guess it's all part of the console culture.
There's a video on Youtube showcasing a mod-heavy Fallout 3 called "Fallout 3 - Wanderers Edition." It makes Fallout 3 much more playable - as a shooter. We all know of the heavy criticism Fallout 3 drew for trying too hard and not quite succeeding in merging the RPG and FPS genres, but this mod package seems to solve the problem on the FPS side. Check out the video:
You can find all the mods used in the video in the end credits. I haven't really been bothered to keep Fallout 3 mods here, but maybe I should start?
Charles Onyett: The original Fallout is on my short list of favorite role-playing games of all time, right next to Baldur's Gate II and Planescape: Torment. When I heard Bethesda was making the third title in the series and that it would be shifted away from the turn-based style of gameplay the series was known for, I wasn't quite sure what to think. Then I saw the game, and all my concern melted away. Bethesda was able to draw from its extensive experience with creating open-world role-playing game in the past and successfully fuse the Fallout fiction and personality to a new kind of hybrid real-time/turn-based combat system. Targeted shots were still there, but now it felt more interactive. The game lost some of its tactical depth, but it compensated with an overwhelming amount of content and an overall ease of playability. It had humor, it established an unmistakable tone, and it had a satisfying range of character builds and ways to play. Plus, it let me sit on a balcony with a bunch of fancy people while I nuked a town filled with silly, gullible mendicants.
Erik Brudvig: It's quite common to get burnt out on writing about a game. There's only so many ways you can write about the same thing before you feel completely tapped. Well, I've been writing about Fallout 3 for well over a year now. First it was multiple previews. Then it was a review and a year's worth of downloadable expansions. And you know what? I'm still not tapped. This game rocks. The open, depressingly dreary world is crafted by masters. This is a true role-playing experience filled with fantastic stories and characters. How will you survive after the bomb drops?
Topping off the list are Modern Warfare at number 2, and Mass Effect at number 1. You can go here to check out the whole list of the 25 best 360 games.
It appears some Fallout 3 fans are trying to make a live action film of the game. I shouldn't really say "film" as it seems to be just a group of high school kids, a camera, and a duct-tape Pipboy. Check out the two videos:
GoGamer.com is offering up some discounts on Fallout 3. The regular PC edition is heavily discounted at 40%, while the collector's edition is down 22%. The various platform releases seem to be discounted as well at the moment, including the GOTY edition. Take a look if you're interested in picking anything up.
Or at least on the PC. Apperently a number of people who try to install the newest downloadable content receive the error message of:
"Not a cryptographic message or the cryptographic message is not formatted correctly. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8009200D)"
Bethesda are currently looking into ways to fix the mess they've unleashed, which makes me curious: Don't these people ever test their DLC before releasing it? All three DLCs, as well as the game itself, have just been marred with technical problems and in some cases with the game itself, have never been truely fixed. Who handles their quality assurance?
In other news, Stevie Wonder alerted his doctor as he saw this one coming.