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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