Interview: Fallout 3
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.
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.