Fallout 3 due fall 2008

[UPDATE] Teaser trailer reveals release date of Bethesda's much-anticipated postapocalyptic RPG, hints at Ron Perlman return; hi-def version inside.

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After weeks of taunting gamers with concept art, Bethesda Softworks has released the first teaser trailer for Fallout 3. Although brief and cryptic, the two-minute-plus trailer does answer some questions about the much-anticipated title--and might allay many fears of fans from the series.

First and foremost, the trailer dates Fallout 3. Though it did not reveal any platforms, Bethesda now plans on releasing the "next-generation" role-playing game in fall 2008. Bethesda's most recent RPG, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, was originally scheduled for a fall 2005 release, but was delayed until spring 2006. It debuted on the PC and Xbox 360, but was eventually ported to the PlayStation 3 as well. [UPDATE] The game has now been confirmed for all three platforms.

Secondly, the trailer indicates that Fallout 3's designers are attempting to stay true to the spirit of the acclaimed first two fallout games. The original Fallout (1997) began with a retro "Indian head" television test pattern. It then showed an ironic 1950s-esque newsreel of power-suited soldiers happily executing prisoners to the tune of "Maybe" by 1940s crooners The Ink Spots. The camera pulled back to reveal the TV was inside a burnt-out house in the postnuclear ruins of a bombed-out city before fading to the "Fallout" title screen. Then, narrator Ron Perlman (Hellboy) spoke the line, "War. War never changes."

After the same test pattern, Fallout 3's trailer begins with a 1950s-style radio warming up and then playing the Ink Spots' "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire"--which was reportedly supposed to be the original Fallout's theme. It then pulls back to show the interior of what looks like an Eisenhower-era bus containing various quaint personal effects. As the camera retreats further, it shows the bus is merely a shell, stacked atop a heap of twisted rubble in another ruined city. A power-armored soldier enters the frame and turns toward the camera. The trailer then cuts to the Fallout 3 title card as a voice-over again says, "War. War never changes." Speaking to GameSpot, Bethesda's Pete Hines confirmed that the voice speaking the now-iconic line is indeed Ron Perlman. However, he declined to say anything further about the actor's involvement in the game.

Oh, there will be vaults...
Oh, there will be vaults...

Thirdly, the trailer contains many clues about what the actual game Fallout 3 will look like. Primarily, Hines confirmed the trailer is entirely in-engine, meaning that when players finally step into the postapocalyptic RPG, it will look much the same. Also hidden in the trailer is a recruiting poster for the same war that preceded previous Fallouts, as well as an ad for bunker maker Vault-Tec promising "A brighter future--underground!" A billboard for a car similar to that in Fallout 2 can be seen on a burned-out building outside the bus, and the radio bears a label saying "Radiation King"--a brand name from the original games. Finally, the soldier's power armor clearly bears a Brotherhood of Steel logo--meaning the chivalrous order will be back in the sequel--and its helmet design is almost identical to that on the box of the original game.

GameSpot will have more details on Fallout 3 as they emerge.

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