Welcome! Log in

Interview: Fallout 3

Pete Hines on Fallout 3

"The Fallout Vibe"

October is getting closer, and with it the release of Fallout 3 (Oct 28 in the US and Oct 30 in Europe). Although the game is set in a different genre, is developed by different people and is using different graphics (you might add a “totally” in all three cases), many old fans want it to be the true successor to Fallout 1 and 2. Read what Bethesda’s Pete Hines had to say about their “Oblivion with guns” (no quote!) and the heritage of the Elder Scrolls series.

Listen to a 30 sec. excerpt from the interview (MP3)

GamersGlobal: Pete, at E3, Fallout 3 seemed to be rather easy to play by due to the V.A.T.S. mode. By queuing up all those headshots or shots into the legs, I could win nearly all fights very easily. I was playing in normal difficulty, by the way. Is this something you’re going to tweak? Or do you want to have it so easy in the beginning?

Pete Hines: For the most part the stuff that you find in the beginning should be fairly easy for you to deal with. We certainly don't want it to be like you come out of the vault and start fighting and keep dying. So the enemies you face in that part of the world, will not be that difficult to deal with for someone who just turned level 2. As you go out in the world, you definitely find tougher enemies, folks that are bigger and a tougher challenge.

GamersGlobal: Was the E3 version "simplified", e.g. by making the hero's character more powerful than he would be in the finished game at that early stage? Or was every V.A.T.S. hit in the E3 version a critical hit?

Pete Hines: It was simplified in terms of giving you the highest stats for the weapons you start off with. Every V.A.T.S. hit in the E3 version was not a critical hit. Far from it. It's random, so some folks may see more or less of it when they play for any period of time.

GamersGlobal: Will V.A.T.S. head shots be always fatal, if they hit?

Pete Hines: No. There is an amount of damage it will do to the limb, and an amount it does to the enemy's overall health. In the easier creatures you would have faced early on, they don't have much health so they die easier. As you explore out and fight tougher creatures, you find that you can cripple one or more body parts before you can kill the enemy.

GamersGlobal: Will V.A.T.S. hits, or normal hits, into legs make opponents fall down or hop on the other leg, while they still fight on?

They won't limp unless you cripple one leg completely.

Pete Hines: They only suffer the effects to that part when you cripple the part. So in the case of a leg, they won't limp unless you cripple one leg completely. Just hitting it doesn't make that happen. You have to get the status bar for that limb all the way to zero before they suffer the effect. The same goes for you and your body parts.

[ When we played the PC version of Fallout 3 at Games Convention a couple of days ago, V.A.T.S. no longer felt like cheating, and what Pete had said proved true. Still, V.A.T.S. was very effective – see our update news here, which also has additional details on the game. ]

You'll score more critical hits like this one when you use V.A.T.S. (see small screenshot on the next page), but they can happen in normal, reaction based shooting, too.

Next page: Oblivion, Story, Respawns >>>

405 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 13:00 #

That "excerpt" is a *.m3u file. You might want to fix that. ;P

Edit: Wait, that works? Never too old to learn, I guess. I thought it was just an upload of the wrong file. Silly me.

5433 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 13:32 #

No, it's a playlist linking to the real file, this should work :-) But thanks for pointing out what you conceived as an error, often enough, it *is* an error :-)

Singleroma (not verified)
0 EXP -
November 6, 2009 - 18:22 #

I agree with Jorg

2674 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 12:08 #

I must admit that I have never played any Fallout title so far (although Fallout 2 is already on the shelf and ready to be played sometime soon) so I can't judge on what the differences to the original series are. Fallout 3 is one of those games that I can't really judge upon. There are other games, games where you think you know everything about them even before their release and just by reading the previews, but Fallout 3 certainly doesn't belong to those. In many instances, it is still a mystery to me, like for example: how do different parts of the game world differ in their look? But that doesn't change the fact that I'm very interested in playing it. I think I am already intent to buy it, actually.

But what worries me most about it is not the V.A.T.S, but what Pete Hines said about being different from World of Warcraft. Sure, a game world needs a good flow to it, and sure: Fallout 3 shouldn't feel like WoW. But you need some restrictions in the world, you need areas where you just know: "Oh, I think it's not safe to be here, I better go elsewhere." And I'm not sure if Hines and his team have figured out a good way to deal with this. In the interview he didn't convince me yet. But all in all that doesn't really change my anticipation for the game.

5433 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 17:20 #

I know exactly what he means, but I see the other side, too. I can live with anything as long as Bethesda doesn't make the same opponents easier to kill for lower level characters and harder to kill for high level characters!

In the classic Wasteland (the pre-pre-pre-predecessor of Fallout 3), the third or so settlement you came by was the Guardian Citadel. There were flags around the base (shown as 2D tiles of course, we're talking about an early C64/MS-DOS game here) telling you to LEAVE. If you didn't, you were killed in the first round of combat by heavily armed opponents you couldn't even fire back at. I still recall when, near the end of the game, my party of six was finally strong enough to pay those Guardians a visit. Translated to Oblivion, I could have walked in there with a Level-1 party right at the beginning, and, with some save/load, would have prevailed...

That's what I do not want to see happen in Fallout 3.

Player (not verified)
0 EXP -
August 30, 2008 - 00:14 #

I guess thats exactly what's gonna happen ... sadly ...

Leonard McCoy
2459 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 12:46 #

Giving the readers an excerpt of the actual real-time interview is a most fabulous idea. This way we also get a chance to here the interviewee promoting/defending his game most furiously.

Having played Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics, I'm still a bit skeptical about Fallout 3, partly because it's, of course, in a way totally different from the earlier 2D installments, and yet so close to Oblivion.

5433 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 13:35 #

Thanks! I have been thinking about, but have dismissed posting the whole interview. First, natural speech is never printable, you always have to edit it. Second, who wants to listen to 15 or 20 or even 30 minutes of speech without video? The excerpt is more a proof that, at GamersGlobal, we really *talk* to the designers, and not only send e-mails with some questions to them.

Player (not verified)
0 EXP -
August 30, 2008 - 00:13 #

... theres this strange thing called podcast ... so there are some people who don't need a video to listen to something ...

5433 EXP -
August 30, 2008 - 07:25 #

Still, would you like to hear all the stuttering, unfinished sentences, redundancies of a real conversation?

Player (not verified)
0 EXP -
August 30, 2008 - 12:49 #

Personally, I really would like too. It would be more real for me, and i could make a better guess about how honest and "real" the interview is.
For example in a video i saw recently of Pete Hines you could hear that he tends to repeat prelearned scentences and wasn't speaking from ingame experience.
To me Pete Hines is nothing but a PR gag where the joke is on the consumer after all.
I often get the feeling he just tends to tell people what they want to hear.

So after all i'm a big fan of unedited information cause i'm not very trusty with the media. I would like a new approach to information there, but well it won't be a "Bestseller" i guess.

Player (not verified)
0 EXP -
August 30, 2008 - 12:59 #

Additionally I would guess that it would still be popular amongst people who are waiting desperately for a title. I know that i would reach out for any information about Fallout 3 or Far Cry 2 hoping i maybe could get a glimpse at 1% more Information on the game.

405 EXP -
August 30, 2008 - 13:37 #

Seconded. Additionaly, a real conversation can be far more entertaining to listen to than reading the condensed text version.

Player (not verified)
0 EXP -
August 29, 2008 - 13:03 #

I've never experience such a troubling waitingepisode for a game before.
On the one hand i think it will be great and im optimistic and then again i read some lines in an interview and I turn to supersceptic. Strange thing ...

Player (not verified)
0 EXP -
August 31, 2008 - 11:04 #

By the way, you'll find 5 Gameplayvideos on the Fallout 3 homepage read for Download. They will take you on a course out of the Vault to Megaton, some Wastelandlocations and Tenpennytowers where the player is remotely bringing atomic holocaust to Megaton and watching that impressive explosion (Bad Karma).
Also I often thought "Oblivion" while watching and even "Mudcraps" one time ... it was quiet impressive here and there.