Wednesday, December 10, 2008

my Fallout 3 hands-on first impression

Thank you, Bethesda, for this awesome game...the bar has been raised, for interactive art. sometimes, a game comes along that really amazes me, and this is one.

the intro is so cool, you have to at least play this if you were doubting. It took 2 hours just to get past the entry setup/prologue story, to where I escape the vault, and step out into an incredibly detailed world as the sun is just going down...i went about a 100 yards before I already found someone that apparently needed some help, but didn't talk to him yet, and just looked at everything...the sun and sky,in the distance birds were circling above something they thought was interesting, and they were clear and un-pixelated!- the amazingly detailed burned out skeletons of buildings and rubble, a destroyed and charred children's playground, a strange robot probe that was wandering back and forth, with some weird old 50's propaganda recording coming out of its little speakers... Just seems really unique and well-crafted. they obviously spent a good amount of time on the environment.

I hope the rpg elements are a step above the rest, but it was so late, and i had to finally pry myself away, before i engaged the first real quest. i look forward to my future adventures.

the one thing that crept up in the back of my mind, as i began wandering the desolate rubble, was that i was relating more to this environment, identifying and thinking more in terms of-'what would i really want to do now, where should i go from here', more than say, oblivion or even star wars. As incredible as those worlds are, i feel like it is a fantasy that requires more 'suspending' of reality and disbelief, to fully enjoy the way the creators intended. With Fallout, i can actually feel like i could realistically be in the characters shoes. i can relate to this fictional, yet all-too-possible reality of a nuclear catastrophe within a large, modern, and familiar real-world city.

i know a game is immersive for me, when i find myself taking the time to slow down, smell the roses, open up its treasure boxes, and move about as if i was really there-instead of rushing around, just trying to kill the last guy with a gun, to get to the next level. i have begun losing interest in those 'wash,rinse, repeat' style games on equal timeline with my ever-shrinking chance to actually play games. C'est la vie!

This type of game, i appreciate as art, an escape from reality that places you into a story that [arguably] you wouldn't (hopefully!) be in, and make decisions you would never be required to make in any real-world job. That is the allure and the fun of the RPG, i feel.

The return of the 'PiP-Boy 3000' gadget, a monochromatic, all-in-one arm device that anyone who grew up on 80's personal computers can fondly appreciate, is handy and fun to play around with. The character faces remind me of Half-Life 2, but i agree with the official reviews, people do seem oddly stiff when they walk, engage you, and as they speak, while any other characters in the background become oddly frozen until you are done.

Another minor whine about the characters, they engage each other randomly in conversation, (which is cool) much like Oblivion, but when numerous people are in the room, it can become hard to hear your primary interests words, when 3-4 other conversations are happening, all at the same volume, right next to you. Maybe a patch or plugin will be made to adjust this...

But i am a perfectionist when it comes to games [often dream of designing them], and i know it is impossible to make a perfect product, but it just seems odd that things that people complained about, or were minor issues as far back as morrowind, still inhabit a developers game code.

Ah-well, that's what the modding community is for right? By far, this was a very inspiring 2-hour intro into a world that i am positive i will enjoy for many, many more hours.

... i'm happy to report-the game rocks so far.

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