I have been
thinking a bit lately on how to manage this upcoming game season.
There are, to be blunt, just too many choices and this means I'm
going to skip some potentially good games...and probably grab a few
lamer ones and wonder what I did wrong in my life to deserve yet
another autumn of too many game choices and not enough time or
The few solid
decisions I have made are on three important games. I'd be getting
Rock Band 2 (already done...I consider this season having started
around September...maybe August), Tales of Vesperia (also done), and
Fable 2 (two weeks from now). However, the more I think about it,
the more I realize that I'll need something else. It's not that
Fable 2 and ToV aren't good, or that I think Fable 2 will suck. Far
from it. I just know that these three games will not be enough to
keep my mind diverted from reality.
I will obviously
have beaten ToV before long (I hope...I just can't seem to get back
in there to just kill the final boss...which I am at on my current
save). RB2 is great fun, but I can only play so much before either I
need a rest from the genre or until I physically need a rest to help
my wrists and fingers recover. The problem is Fable 2, no matter how
much I believe it will be an awesome game, it will only last me so
long before I just have to face that I have beaten the game.
My obvious choice
for another game to tide me over would be Fallout 3. Afterall, I do
like them thar Are-Pee-Gees. Plus, I am a fan of the series (ok,
most of the series...Brotherhood of Steel was an abomination). At
least I should say I was a fan of the series.
There seems to be
two sides on the unreleased Fallout 3. I don't want to sound like a
jerk since I know people on both sides, but both sides are wrong and
One side says the
game will be awesome. Why? That's hard to decipher. It looks like
more than anything, it's because of a cross between what is being
hyped and what the setting will supposedly hold (humor and
post-apocalyptic world). The only problem is that this is coming
from Bethesda. What's wrong with that?
once stood for some awesome things, but with some screwy execution.
For example, Morrowind had a great setting, lots of details, and
endless possibilities (well, as endless as a game could have).
Everything before Morrowind was the same, but less refined. Then
came Oblivion. Oblivion was an obvious example of a company turning
against what they stood for previously to force out a more market
friendly version. There were scaled leveling systems, making one
version for both PC and console (which was obviously refined for the
console, leaving PC gamers with a half-assed feeling engine), and
trying to allow a gamer to do everything without fear of
consequences (you could master all guilds, kill anyone, and still
finish all quests).
complaint of these "F3 lovers" towards the other side is that the
other side is too focused on the game engine being Oblivion style
instead of Fallout style. It's a complaint of "games evolve, so you
need to evolve too". It's a close-minded argument that ignores some
Then there's the
haters. These people are almost entirely fans of the original
Fallout games. They grew up with isometric views and don't want to
see FPS style engines forced onto good old RPGs. There is some truth
to these concerns. For example, while you could say the system can
work (Deus Ex is a great example), you can also see where it's gone
lately...Mass Effect. Mass Effect had a FPS/third person shooter
engine in it. While the system could have been good, Bioware took
too many short cuts and left us with a system that did feel buggy.
It was felt in everything from the clunky MAKO (vehicle) controls to
not being able to properly hand team mates. This engine also had
some noticeable bugs as it tried to offer a system everyone (RPG and
FPS fans) would love. In the end, it was a bad job of compromise on
two very unique systems.
The problem with
this side is that it's tied too much in tradition. While I do think
isometric is a great view mechanism in RPGs, I am willing to give an
Oblivion style engine a shot in the new Fallout...and this is from a
The "F3 haters"
complaint is that the lovers are getting too hyped for a game that
is just not supposed to be handled in this type of engine. Another
I fall into a
third position...hopeful but doubtful. I like to think that this is
more of a correct position. Not because I fall into this area, but
because it makes some damned sense.
position, as I live it, would like another "real" Fallout. That is
not just to say I'd like isometric and turn based. Although I see
nothing wrong with turn based and not forcing a
third-person-first-person experience when done right. I can tolerate
seeing a game grow up, so to speak. I, however, don't like the basic
ideas that are in this new game. Namely, it will be from an entirely
different set of people with a different set of standards. The
original Fallout (from Black Isle Studios) was designed in a way
that felt like the developer didn't care if they had a mega hit on
their hands. It was much like Bethesda felt when Morrowind came
along. They needed sales to pay the bills, but they still wanted a
game they would be proud of. The humor, the setting, the
concepts...they were all designed in a way that may not have been
hype-friendly, but still would find its audience in the end.
Bethesda, who once
was the perfect example of a developer that wanted to build
something they'd be proud of, have turned into a group that is
trying to mainstream everything. Reminding me, in the process, of
Square and their change after their breakout (in terms of global
domination) RPG; FFVII. After that game, nothing would be the same,
and that was felt with Morrowind.
Anyway, I'm not
saying the game will be bad (I probably will buy it when it
launches...but for the PC so I can get some mods to correct some
likely issues of this being a cross platform title), nor am I saying
it will be good. I want it to be good. I want a lot from this game.
I have been waiting for over ten years for this game. However, I'm
just not digging the two sides. I would like turn based and
isometric, but it's not a requirement. I would like the game to
continue. I would like a game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland
that has humor and cool weapons. However, more than anything, I want
a real Fallout game. That means it must have a good sense of humor
(something Bethesda is not known for), a solid engine that will
allow true RPG fans to enjoy the game (something that a FPS/TPS
engine doesn't typically allow), and the focus to be on far more
than just hype-able elements (like having a mini-nuke launcher).
anything, I think F3 will be a good game. In fact, I'm pretty sure
of it. I'm especially sure that the lovers will love the game. I'm
also sure that most haters will hate the game just from prejudice.
The real question is this; can a Fallout fan (who is not a flat-out
hater...like the position I'm in) have a good time playing "Fallout
3" or will it be a good time playing "Post-Apocalyptic Bethesda
RPG"? In other words, will Bethesda be able to deliver upon the
legacy or would they be better off having ditched the name or giving
it a subtitle name instead of "Fallout 3"?
Bethesda deliver a solid game that isn't going to need a dozen
patches at launch to make it work correctly...and a dozen mods to
make it feel like a refined experience?
but I'm just getting sick of the two very polarized sides on this
debate over a game that doesn't exist...yet.