Splash Damage Blog
Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... That New Fallout Game
The holiday madness is in full swing and thumbs everywhere have been working overtime. A special congratulations goes out to our friends at Bethesda who have managed to deliver yet another fantastic game with Fallout 3.
In general, the quality of games coming out at the moment is pretty spectacular and with postapocalyptic guns, fantasy guns, and realistic African guns, there's something for everyone, or at least people that are into guns. Better yet, with Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: World at War just around the corner, more guns are on the way!
Predictably, Fallout 3 is all over this latest edition of Currently Hurling, but two other sequels starting with Fa make an appearance, as well. Read on to find out how we feel about it all:
Paul 'MoP' Greveson (Technical Artist):
I've been playing Fallout 3, far more than can be healthy. As a big fan of the Elder Scrolls series, I had high hopes for Fallout 3 - and they've been met!
The environments and settings are really intriguing, original and in some cases simply beautiful (in a demolished, rusting, post-apocalyptic sort of way). The characters range from ordinary to insane, and there are several humorous encounters with confused robots, enthusiastic writers, mad scientists and the like.
One of my favourite aspects of the game, though, is the same as I found with Oblivion and Morrowind. When I talk to friends who are also playing, and finding out what they're doing in the world, how they've tackled the same problems, and what they value as skills and weaponry, the answers cover an impressively wide range. Everyone has their own slant on situations, their own solutions and skills, their own idea of what is going on in the world of Fallout 3. And it's this diversity and depth which gives the game such a huge replay value.
Note: I would say the same even if Bethesda weren't our publisher! :)
Gordon 'digibob' Biggans (Senior Programmer):
This week I have primarily been playing Fallout 3, along with most of the rest of the planet. I have been a huge fan of all the games in the series, pretending for one moment that the original Xbox game never really happened. This will probably be the first RPG in a while which I will play through multiple times. There are just so many different choices available to you, a quick glance at my map shows me that I've probably only covered about 25% of the playable area and even then, I'm sure there's plenty of stuff I've missed in there. In case I wasn’t totally clear there, this game is *huge*. There are a few niggles here and there; I felt that the regular gun combat really wasn't very practical for example, and since I spent most of the early game ignoring VATS, I was constantly out of ammo. This barely detracts from what is an otherwise totally awesome game, and I shall likely be playing this for some time to come. Suggestions for crazy builds to try out are welcome!
Paul 'diggs' Saunders (Game Designer):
I’m too busy playing Fallout 3 to reply to this, I’ve got some dog meat on the boil and super mutants to decapitate!
Jared 'jRAD' Hefty (Senior Programmer):
Oh Fallout 3, how I love you. I’ve barely done anything on the main storyline, and have instead spent the last 20 hours of play time choosing a random starting location, choosing a direction, and walking for as far as I can, discovering everything I can along the way. There’s so much to do, and it’s all set in a beautifully desolate world filled with interesting stories and loads of dark humour. I said “goodbye” to free time almost as soon as I started it up.
Oh Fable 2, how I love you. You’ve reduced me to sentence fragments. Playing fetch with my dog (aka “Spike”.) Raining blasts of electricity down on my foes’ heads. Impressing crowds with my farting skills. Chopping wood. Blasting insult-hurling gargoyles. Becoming fat and earning the title of “Salad Dodger.” Extended rocking out on my lute to open a Demon Door. And that’s just a sampling of the variety of rewarding things you can do. Free time...what’s that?
Oh FarCry 2, what bad timing you have. I played you for 2 hours, got a bit bored running around listening to really bad voice acting, started up Fable 2 and then Fallout 3, and haven’t looked back. Sorry, I’ll get to you at some point, I promise.
Richard 'Fluffy_gIMp' Jolly (Media Director):
Arggggh, there's too many RPG's to play and so little time. Being probably the offices' biggest Oblivion fan (with over 160 hours of play), words can't describe how eager I've been to play Fallout 3. I was lucky enough to have a little sneaky pre-release play of it the week of its release; it's awesome in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, my gaming time has been few and far between so I'm frantically trying to finish off Fable 2 before I fully immerse myself into the Fallout world, so as not to taint the experience and give it the dedication it deserves.
Tim 'Huntle' Rose (Production Coordinator):
For the past 2 weeks I have been mainly living as a devilishly good looking horned rogue with a penchant for pies; stealing from the rich and killing the poor. I have also been playing Fable 2. I was a little apprehensive at first, having picked the young boy and been subjected to the abusive "Sparra" nickname, I wasn't looking forward to reliving Captain Jack's formative years. Thank Molyneux she didn't last long, and I reached adulthood without resulting to sorocide.
As with Oblivion, I had the most fun avoiding the central quest and loitering around towns, stealing, vandalising and generally making a nuisance of myself. However, when I did attempt the main story I really enjoyed it. I didn't have to think or study the objective log, I just had to follow the sparkly line and everything would be alright. Fighting was fun and responsive and, after my initial fumbling with the spell system, I was able to combine melee, ranged and magic with ease and finesse.
My only problem with the game was a lack of region map, which didn’t make the experience as immersive for me as it could have been. Sure, there was the one on the load screens and mini maps on the quest page, but I missed a big map with labels telling me where I was and where I was going. It felt like riding the Underground blindfolded and working out the layout of London from poking my head out of the tube stations.
Oh, and there was this one time in Rookridge (a few times tbh), I had to rescue my son after he went adventuring into a Hobbe infested cave. I found my son, reached the surface again, expected to be greeted by his biological Mother (to complete the quest) only to have my other wife (the whore) show up and demand sex. Needless to say, it wasn't long before my son was turned into a Hobbe and I went on a rampage through Bloodstone killing every last living prostitute. Computer games, eh?!
Ben 'Randles' Hopkinson (IT Manager):
Jared and I made a mad dash across town after the Joysticks awards on Friday to get our copies of Fallout 3 – I’ve been playing it exclusively ever since.
The game starts off really slowly but after 5 or 6 hours you’re hooked, some of the story arcs that quests lead you on are fantastic, I definitely recommend delivering that letter to the West family nudge nudge. The post apocalyptic landscape is rendered as far as the eye can see and some of the views are spectacular. I still haven’t decided whether to destroy Megaton or not.
I tried playing FarCry 2 but the cropped and stretched 4:3 output on a widescreen TV made me sick so I’m accepting all good offers for my ever so slightly used copy of FarCry 2.
Little Big Planet came out today, so goodbye 360, goodbye world... See you in a few weeks.
Steve 'badman' Hessel (Community Relations Manager):
I've already given up trying to keep up with the insane onslaught of high quality games and have focused on Fable 2 so far. It's quite literally a fantastic affair all around and I'd say that it's one of the best games I've played on the platform. There's something very compelling about making profound choices throughout the story and seeing their impact on every single NPC that you meet along the way. Coop is a very welcome addition and having your Xbox friends float around as orbs in the world is a great touch (even if they only serve as involuntary destinations for all the crap jewelry I've amassed in the game).
Fallout 3 is next on my list and after my extensive Oblivion escapades, there'll probably be countless late night sessions there. Best stock up on coffee. :)
Aaron 'Hoffa' Hoffman (Lead Environment Artist):
The other week I grabbed my copies on FarCry 2 and Fable 2. Have only played through a few hours of FarCry 2 (ironically thanks to Fable 2) and have enjoyed it so far. I love being able to sneak around in a FPS, although the AI has seemed a bit weird at times. I then tried out Fable 2 and have been addicted since. At first I concentrated on building my property portfolio, but now am continuing on with the story in a rich man's world. I’m really looking forward to starting Fallout 3, but going to try and finish Fable 2 first... maybe.
Chris 'peaceful warrior' Sweetman (Audio Director):
Fallout 3. What can I say, it's already my Game of the Year. There's an amazing sense of immersion right from your start as a baby and through you escaping Vault 101. Outside, there's a huge expanse to explore with an incredible amount of missions and even the chance to blow a entire village up with a nuke. It’s a beautiful thing to see the day changing to night and wandering off in any direction. Genius!
What have you been playing? Let us know in the comments!