Fallout 3 Trailer

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jun 12, 2007

Filed under: Game Reviews 38 comments

Via the Rampant Coyote I find this trailer… teaser… thing… for the “upcoming” Fallout game. It’s more than a year off, so the thing is more or less worthless as an indicator of what the final product will look like, how it will play, or if it will be any good. It does demonstrate that the developers have hooked into the “atmosphere” of the original, for that that’s worth.

There seems to be some controversy about what sort of RPG we’re going to get. Some fans are expecting a re-creation of the original gameplay, down to an isometric view and turn-based combat on a hex grid. Others are expecting Bethesda to put out a sort of post-apocalyptic version of Oblivion. It’s sort of a pointless debate. I’m sure the game is in full development right now, and nothing short of an armed incursion into the Bethesda headquarters would have any effect on the final product. To wit: They aren’t going to chuck one design in favor of another because of some angry forum posts. So, taking the long view, the whole debate is more or less arguing about what the weather should be like tomorrow. Having said that, let me join in with the public futility and make some unreasonable wishes and wild speculations. Here we go…

It’s easy for me to say the debate of real-time vs. turn-based is pointless. I don’t really have a horse in this race. I love both game types. First-person? Third-person? Isometric? Parallaxing Sprite-based platforming Side-scroller? Whatever. If the story is solid and the gameplay is fun, I don’t care what sort of presentation they use. (That’s not true – if they release it as a text adventure I’ll probably feel let down. But I’d probably still buy it. Such is my love for this series.) My sympathies are with the turn-based fans: Those people don’t get much love these days, and I expect a lot of them have pinned their hopes on this title.

My only worry is that they will skimp on the important stuff like story and gameplay in favor of putting out a game which makes for nice screen shots. This was my primary complaint with Oblivion. The game had outrageous (for an RPG) system specs, and the PC version of the rendering engine was half-baked. It’s hard to tell how this will affect Fallout. If they’re aiming for a multi-platform release then they may keep the same system requirements. (Multi-platform in this case meaning both of Microsoft’s platforms.) Those specs were steep in March 2006, but will be a lot easier to bear when this game his the shelves in Christmas of 2008. (The trailer says “Fall 2008”, but we all know that games targeted for fall end up getting released in December.)

Note the name of the radio in the trailer: Radiation Kin[g]. That’s about as sly a Simpson’s reference as you can get. I missed it the first time through.


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38 thoughts on “Fallout 3 Trailer

  1. Telas says:

    …nothing short of an armed incursion into the Bethesda headquarters would have any effect on the final product.

    I’m in. Anyone else?

  2. Randolpho says:

    If I can run it on my PC, I’ll probably buy it, regardless of the RPG mechanics.

    Am I the only one who thought the teaser was a little…. redundant? It looked strikingly similar to one of the previous game’s intro movie, but I can’t remember which.

  3. Peter says:

    “Note the name of the radio in the trailer: Radiation Kin[g]. That's about as sly a Simpson's reference as you can get.”

    For what it’s worth, Radiation King is also apparently a brand name from the intro to the first Fallout game. (The Simpsons reference does pre-date it by three years, though.) I think it’s all about what you describe as “the developers … hook[ing] into the “atmosphere” of the original”.

  4. Phlux says:

    I was going to say it is foolish of Bethesda not to release any information on the gameplay mechanics. Certainly THEY know if it’s going to be turn-based or realtime, first person or isometric, etc… Why not at least release that little nugget to the fans?

    But then I realized that it wouldn’t make any difference. I would guess the Fallout fanbase is pretty fractured over this point. I’m sure a lot would like an isometric game, a lot wouldn’t mind having it updated into a first/third person RPG oblivion style, and I’m sure a lot just don’t care that much either way. So whatever they say they’re going to be wrong.

    They might as well wait until they have something awesome to show people. At that point if what they show is really spectacular, everyone will be all Ooo’s and Ahhh’s and that stuff will fall to the wayside.

    I’ve noticed the same thing happening in regards to this summer’s Transformers movie. At first it was all “Make the robots look like the cartoons! Michael Bay sucks! You’re ruining everything!” Now that the trailers are out and people have something to get behind, a lot of (not all, certainly) the pointless whining has stopped.

  5. Jeff says:

    I really hope it’s not a FPS. I’ve got that niche filled with STALKER already. What I want is a modern (not in setting sense) non-twitch RPG…

  6. Downtym says:

    If we’re lucky, it’ll be Fallout 3: Mass Effect.

  7. Frank says:

    Honestly, I’ll enjoy the game no matter how they decide to present it. I just love the series. I think what hooked me was the Dogmeat character, the reference to the Mad Max series was amazing.

  8. For me, the branching storyline and multiple solutions to all problems will make or break it for me. Combat just has to not suck, in that it should have at least some actual strategic element to it. A straight port of Oblivion combat would probably disappoint.

    As a quick metric, if I’m manually aiming, rather than using a character skill on a character I do nothing more than paint with my mouse (“paint” in the military sense), I’m going to be disappointed. (And “aiming but being inaccurate if my skill is low” is even worse than traditional FPS shooting; I suffered through that in Ultima Underworld but it’s not worth doing again.)

    As another quick metric, it should be possible to win the game without firing a shot. I don’t actually intend to try anymore than I did in the first two, but it’s indicative of the sort of thinking from the first two I hope they do.

  9. Avaz says:

    I wonder if we’re gonna get the same kind of pop culture tie-ins and references that ran rampant in the first two in the series (I specifically don’t include that fop FO:Tactics).

    That said, I am with you, Shamus. Short of being a text adventure, or graphics straight from Nethack – No, scratch that – Even if it came in the aforementioned formats, I’d still buy it because I’m such a big fan of the series.

    I’ve restarted Fallout 2 about a couple months back, and I’m dying to play it all the way through (since I never got to do so when I bought it when it came out).

  10. empty_other says:

    Could hope for the Deus Ex gameplay, at least. I dont think they are doing turn-based. Not even partially turnbased. Nor 2d. Or isometric.
    (and i pray for the miracle of real coop-gametype, but have no real high hopes :( ).

  11. Knight says:

    Well, here’s one thing we know…

    The teaser movie was created IN GAME ENGINE, so it’s sure as hell not gonna be isometric. :P

  12. Insanodag says:

    To be completely honest, I don’t think that the engine will be that important. The teaser-trailer really does a good job of capturing the feel of the two previous games in the series, and if the rest of the game is as true to that material as the trailer, I am certain it will be a most enjoyable experience.

  13. deViking says:

    The trailer did seem to capture the flavor of the game.After the Xbox Brotherhood of Steel garbage , I’m not sure I have as high a hope as i did with say Tactics. E3 is coming up so maybe we get a bone or two thrown to us.

  14. Michael J. Anderson says:

    Some of what makes Fallout great is *choices with consequences* … whereas a lot of what makes Oblivion a non-RPG action game is non-choices without any consequences. Heck, you can’t even say *no* to a quest.

    Fallout fans fear ‘Oblivion with guns’. Nobody thinks that the game will be under-produced or unpolished …

    I can go with action or turn-based or 1st / 3rd / iso perspective … I just want it to be a world in which I exist and matter and that the things I do in game matter. And have an excellent story, of course …

  15. Johan says:

    My main concern is dialogue. Bethesda have been able to come up with decent game play (Oblivion) and main plots (Daggerfall) before, but they have yet to release a game where the dialogue isn’t just meant to railroad you onto the next quest or tell you where you can sell your loot. If they succeed in creating a good dialogue system with believable NPCs, everything else (immersion, story) will follow.

  16. Takkelmaggot says:

    Perhaps we’ll see a take on the Arcanum system (turn based or realtime, whichever you prefer). In either event, I hope for a third-person system on the grounds that it ain’t Fallout if you can’t shoot rats in the groin with a rocket launcher.

  17. Shandrunn says:

    If the new Fallout allows for mods, someone just HAS to make one where a critical hit with a flamethrower, instantly killing the target, comes with a Mortal Kombat “TOASTY!” popup.

  18. Rob says:

    I just started playing Neverwinter Nights 2 and I hope the fallout 3 team does a better job with the camera controls. I don’t know what they were thinking but I find it really difficult to manouver the camera around walls and houses and it hinders gameplay. That being said, I’m with you guys that I’ll buy and enjoy any fallout game that continues that awesome storyline with it’s quirky characters!

  19. empty_other says:

    Just hope someone mod in the Bloody Mess perk :D

  20. Bogan the Mighty says:

    You know seeing you say multi-platform just reminded me to share with you something I saw. The new Shadowrun game that came out, which has nothing to do with the actually rpg other then in name only, is the first game I saw that was Vista only. Go figure it was a Microsoft creation. Just thought I’d toss that out to you.

  21. Octalforty says:

    “…so the thing is more or less worthless as an indicator of what the final product will look like…”

    Actually, the devs have said that it’s all in-engine, but not real-time. That is, it’s using in-game assets and framedumped (one frame at a time) to achieve a smooth 60fps. Given that, I’d say that the chances of an isometric view is likely close to nil.

  22. ravenkith says:

    I know, I’m going to come off as a fanboi when I say this.

    But it doesn’t matter what the game is like, as long as it’s better than Brotherhood of Steel.

    Seriously, I’m going to buy this game. It will be in my collection. Oblivion is pretty enough that to see a world as detailed as that, but post-apocalyptic in nature, be able to explore that world–well that’s got me, right there.

    My only hope is that, since it’s a Fallout title, they will have the same dark humor, adult themes, and random pop culture encounters as the last two.

    The fact that Fallout was definitely not a kid’s game is what has kept me going back to the franchise for 1, 2 and Tactics.

  23. Melfina the Blue says:

    If they make it Vista-only, I will be pissed. I keep hearing about the awesome that is the Fallout series, and am looking forward to Fallout 3 as my chance to experience this for myself. Here’s hoping they release the modding tools with the game like they do for Elder Scrolls games, and make it for both XP and Vista.

  24. Daemian_Lucifer says:

    Shamus said:
    “It's easy for me to say the debate of real-time vs. turn-based is pointless. I don't really have a horse in this race. I love both game types. First-person? Third-person? Isometric? Parallaxing Sprite-based platforming Side-scroller? Whatever. If the story is solid and the gameplay is fun, I don't care what sort of presentation they use. (That's not true – if they release it as a text adventure I'll probably feel let down. But I'd probably still buy it. Such is my love for this series.)”

    Same for me.Though I would prefer if it was like NWN,but I dont mind the oblivion style either.What really matters is the story and the atmosphere.Thats what made me love the first two parts and replay them both a couple of months ago.

    Also,about the vista,Im not going to buy that crap!If they make it vista only…..Well,I do know who will buy it…And theres always a way to “join the familly”mwahahaha!

  25. Bogan the Mighty says:

    To actually add to the topic at hand, I think I’d prefer the game to be 3rd person too. Shamus talks about how awesome this series is and well I’m just going to have to find out with 3. If it ends up being like Oblivion I’d end up doing what happened with Oblivion and Morrowind, I get wanderlust and just roam the countryside forgetting about the actual story till I get bored then I don’t want to finish the story. Hopefully they wouldn’t make it as vast a world for it either way though.

  26. Leon says:

    Everyone keeps bashing Fo:T. What I think most people are trying to say about it is that it was a good game, but a bad Fallout. It included an option for turn-based or CTB, interesting new items and new views on old things, and opened the door for a real Fallout set somewhere other than the west coast.

  27. YaVerOt says:

    Hopefully this will be seen by the right powers that be.
    In the trailer I saw a Fallout 3 logo, 3 indicating it is the second sequel of Fallout, which means hex (not square) based isomorphic view, and turn based combat in addition to pop culture references in a post apocalyptic retro-futurist RPG. It will use SPECIAL, and there will be three ways (minimum) to solve every quest (fighter, talk, sneak). It will have a hilarious low INT play mode, that can make it through the game.

    If that is not the game they intend to deliver, then there is still more than enough time, to CHANGE THE NAME by removing the 3, and adding a subtitle; indicating it is a spin-off like Starcraft:Ghost was going to be (or Fallout:Tactics was).

    Now if it is F3 they are working on, I’d really like to have the option of the lucky & charismatic idiot, instead of “dumb-mode” limited to fighter-types. Even better dialog taking into account charisma & intelligence and using the full span of those atts instead of INT (lessthan) 4.
    I’d like to see that the engine is well enough designed that when the inevitable patch is released, it doesn’t invalidate all save games forcing everyone to start over.
    I’d like to see the option of both good & evil play. I’d like the ‘really cool stuff’ not be the buggiest items in the game (car). I’d like to not stumble over not-implemented quest after not-implemented quest as I reach the end of the game (boneyard). I’d like the option of giving my NPCs decent weapons without having to constantly worry if they’re going to full-auto on me. If a town wants my whole party to put away their weapons, then “weapons away” is a single click or button I can use for the whole party. Since I play with the swear filter on, I’d like to not have entire paragraphs of voice acting replaced with a single “beep”. I want to have the option of aimed-shot:eyes on the kid that just pickpocketed me (no matter what EU laws say on the matter, I live in the US).

    **sorry for the double post but your blog accidentally interpreted something as markup and killed the second half of the comment

  28. Gary says:

    Hopefully they include easter eggs like the dead whale from the first one because you know if the developers took time to include random pop-culture jokes they most likely had time to create a decent game. Of course, I have been wrong in the past.

    I would guess it would be Oblivion style in game play, turn based would be nice but from a marketing stand point first person sells better to the general public. Speaking of marketing it will most likely be a dulled down from adult oriented to at least teenager so it can be purchased by more people. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that money drives games, movies, and damn near everything else. Darn shame if you ask me.

  29. Dan Hemmens says:

    While I think Shamus is absolutely right that the difference between Isometric and First Person, turn based or real time, is going to be pretty much meaningless, I’ll be extremely annoyed if it *is* first person, Oblivion style, because I’ll be physically incapable of playing it.

    I’m one of those “FPSes give me motion sickness” types. I had to take little red capsules in order to play Oblivion, and even then it made me faintly ill. There’s no way I’ll be able to deal with a first person Fallout.

  30. Telas says:

    Fallout 3 or Wasteland 4?


  31. Relayer says:

    While I agree that the gameplay is what matters, I’ve always enjoyed isometric 2D games more, especially for RPGs.

    I find that depending on the speed of the engine and the perspective and field of view, I can’t play 1st or 3rd person games too long without feeling some motion sickness.

    But forgetting my “illness” for a sec (hehe), I find that the gaming industry just didn’t go far enough with 2D and sadly too many gamers think 3D = quality mindblowing graphics and 2D = ugly. The fact is that 2D can be just as attractive and appealing as 3D.

    Some 2D engines were just used far too many times or past their prime, such as Bioware’s Infinity Engine being used for IWD2 in 2002 after debuting nearly 5 years before – this giving the impression that 2D RPGs could not keep up with the times. But Troika’s Temple Of Elemental Evil is a great example of an isometric 2D engine that looked great for its time.

    Aesthetics aside though, turn-based or semi-TB gameplay is best represented via 2D graphics, IMO. Any type of stategic gameplay in fact just plays better when you can view the entire “battlefield”.

    And if FO3 is to be a true sequel then it should use the same TB style gameplay. Making it a first person, real time action-based RPG kills some of the spirit of the game. Basically, it will then be another ACTION-RPG like Oblivion which is totally unneccessary, Fallout setting or not.

  32. Relayer says:

    To DAN HEMMENS: Hehe, I’m not the only one with 1st person motion-sickness. Oblivion wasn’t a problem for me though. But the last Vampire the Masquerade, Metroid Prime (Super Metroid is my fave non-RPG game of all time!) and several others I could not play to completion because they made me REALLY sick (especially Vampire).

  33. Relayer says:

    I really hope it’s not an FPS.

    First, I’m not a 1st person shooter fan.
    Secondly, how can a game require much strategy in first person? It’s all twitch, action-based as evidenced in Gothic and the Elder Scroll series. Of course I don’t mind the perspective in these games since they’ve been this way all along so I never expect absorbing, paced, thought-requiring tactical combat. But turn-based combat is central to traditional RPGs and that is what Fallout was. I’m all for change but War…War never changes… Oops, lost myself there :) I’m all for change but 1st person Oblivion type combat is just too much of a change. And I fear that simplifying the combat leads to simplifying the dialogue to simplifying the quests to the dark side. I mean, look at what they did to The Elder Scrolls. Morrowind with it’s expansions, had Bethesda worked on NPC interaction and characterization could have been perfect. What do they do? The “radiant AI” was definitely an improvement from Morrowind’s standee NPCs who repeated the same 2 phrases. And the combat improved…but then they simplified or botched everything else including arguably the easiest thing to get right in a game, the UI. Anyway, /rant off. I really hope Bethesda makes a game that remains faithful to the original in more ways than setting.

  34. Relayer says:

    I just realized I already posted a comment on a couple of weeks back. Damn, hope this isn’t the onset of Alzeihmers.

  35. Shamus says:

    Relayer: Not to worry – I still read ’em all. :)

  36. Gary says:

    They just did a interview with the producer of Fallout 3 at E3 on G4. He said it would be a first person style game like Oblivion.

  37. Corwyn says:

    “Perhaps we'll see a take on the Arcanum system (turn based or realtime, whichever you prefer). In either event, I hope for a third-person system on the grounds that it ain't Fallout if you can't shoot rats in the groin with a rocket launcher.”

    Now there’s a game I’d like to see someone pick up the defunct licence for. To see a new version, with all the depth and less of the bugs…

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