Fallout 3 - No longer a Fallout game

I want to introduce myself, I am Joakim and I'm an experienced Journalist as well as a novice game developer. I have noticed something very disturbing with the game industry today which applies to Fallout 3 in the highest degree, unfortunately.

In the game industry today, we've got a big problem. Many developers gets forced to create a game which everyone will like, a game that have small parts of every type of game mechanics. The flavor that made Fallout 1 and 2 so great is falling apart as game developers cannot afford to create a game that only certain groups will love (and then i mean LOVE, just like Fallout 1 and 2). When I say that they cannot afford to do that kind of niched games anymore, it's because publishers demands are higher, the productions costs of the game is higher (really, there's A LOT of difference between a Fallout 1 and 2 engine and the Fallout 3 engine) and of course the competition is much greater than in has ever been.

Let me be clear with the fact that a game is NOT good because of good graphics, cool effects or super inventive game mechanics. A game is good because the concept is good, because the complete mix gives the game a flavor which touches the gamers soul. Just like Fallout 2 for example. The graphics isnt great, buts it's charming; the environment sounds are full of empathy; the story is brilliant and really makes you believe you actually are in another world, meeting people with different stories to tell, not just place able creatures with scripted conversations.

Fallout 3 has some good elements left from the past and some previously good elements, which Bethesda has modded and unfortunately exploited in a bad way and ultimately destroyed. The story in Fallout 3 seems to hold a very high quality. Actually, the story setting is the one thing that might save the game from being the game industry's "average joe". Though, the really brilliant great game mechanics like the perk-system or the fighting-system have unfortunately been destroyed - obviously not purposely. The perk system was great, because that was something you longed for when leveling up, like "bummer, no perk this level but may be next, gosh I really look forward to it! I will have to choose carefully as I don't get these so often". When you get it each level it will not be as great any longer, it will be more like "Yeah I leveled up, another perk, nice. Which one should I take. I'll just take that one, doesn't matter so much, I get another perk pretty soon anyways".

My point is: game developers tend to take an element that people like and "make it happen" more often. If a gamer says "I love it when I find magical weapons", the game developer thinks "Hmm, they like magical weapons, lets take away all non-magic weapons and only have magic weapons. That will make them super happy, right?". Truth is, it's more of the opposite. It actually takes away the "magic" of the element and makes it casual. That is exactly what Bethesda has done with the perk system. Though I have to give them credits for adding A LOT more perks to complement this. That's what might save the perk system from becoming "casual". I don't know for sure, but I really hope that it does and I'm almost sure it will as I don't think Bethesda are complete nut heads.

I mentioned something bad
about the fighting system, didn't I? Yes I did and by that I mean that a game like Fallout is not meant to be a first person shooter (FPS), that's a complete other type of game. Fallout is meant to be strategic, you should be relaxed while you analyze the situation, chooses your target and spending your action points carefully. When compromised with a regular FPS, the whole VATS or the strategic elements tend to blur away. As another person wrote in another tread, that will only make you use VATS at first because it's "cool", but in the end you will just play FPS as that's faster and ultimately more secure way of fighting as it doesn't depend on your characters skills as much as it depends on your own "mouse aim" skill. I'm sorry Bethesda, but you screwed this thing up A LOT. The game should be third person ONLY and when in a combat zone you should get the overview of the zone in peace and quiet before you start to fight. When you do, you CAN use real time fighting like in a FPS, but it should be MUCH harder and disadvantage full that you will prefer the VATS at almost all times and of course really be dependent on your action points, which are just some thing that currently exists so that the old Fallout-fans won't whine as much.

I would like to finish of with one thing I worry about: Misc game mechanic-wise useless content to be found everywhere, like fishes, tails, pocket lint and so on HAVE to remain the same way it always has. It should not have an immediate purpose, like Nuke Cola to be used as health packs. Nuke Cola is a regular drink that you should drink just for fun, not becuase you gain health. I really hope this "useless" content stays as useless as they were in Fallout 1 and 2. I really like that about the games. God bless pocket lint!

To summarize: the game industry is to "casual" nowadays and don't leave room for niche games that attract a certain audience ALOT instead of everyone just-a-bit. I'm sad to say that Fallout 3 has fallen victim for this and by that the game will be no different than a FPS with some extra features and a supér story setting. Fallout 3 is no longer a Fallout game, it is "some game that takes place in the world of Fallout, but doesn't really share the original concept of the REAL fallout-games".

This is actually a copy of a post I made on the Bethesda forums which got locked down because it led to fans starting to flame eachother instead of discussing the real subject of the tread. Find the forum tread here: http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=863531 (fun fact: I got over 100 posts in a matter of hours before it got locked down)

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