Fallout 3 trailer coming June 5

As footage of Black Isle's Van Buren project surfaces, Bethesda Softworks announces it will unveil the long-awaited RPG in just over a month.

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Just over four years ago, Interplay shuttered Black Isle Studios. The internal developer was set up to be the struggling publisher's in-house role-playing game studio and was responsible for some of the most acclaimed RPGs of the late 1990s.

Foremost among Black Isle's projects was 1998's Fallout 2, the sequel to the fondly remembered Fallout, a role-playing game set in a post-nuclear wasteland. The studio was hard at work on Fallout 3--code-named "Van Buren"--which presumably died along with the studio. However, the project was resurrected by Bethesda Softworks, who licensed rights to Fallout 3 in 2004 before buying the property outright this year.

The prospect of an Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion-style RPG in a Road Warrior-like world has sparked more than a little interest in Fallout 3. However, so far the only evidence of the game's existence has been two one-sheet teaser posters at the 2005 and 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expos. No platforms have been announced, although Bethesda--which released Oblivion on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3--has said it is working on "multiple" versions of the game.

Today, though, Bethesda revealed that it will give the world its first look at Fallout 3 on June 5. That's when the countdown touted on the recently launched official Web site for the game will end and a teaser trailer for the game will go live. (The trailer will also be available on GameSpot.) The once-bare site also now sports the Fallout 3 theme, which sounds much more serious than its ironic predecessors and concept art (pictured). A rep for Bethesda says the latter will be updated weekly as the trailer's debut approaches.

Many are looking forward to Fallout 3 being "Oblivion with Mutants," although that has not been confirmed by Bethesda, who has only said the game will run on the same GameBryo engine as Elder Scrolls IV. However, those who had hoped for an isometric, turn-based RPG like the first two Fallouts got a look at what might have been this week, courtesy of some leaked Van Buren footage.

The footage, which is available on YouTube courtesy of a trailer from fan site No Mutants Allowed, shows Interplay's Fallout 3 would have basically been an expanded version of Fallout 2. Although it sports slicker graphics and more fluid animations than its predecessors, the game's "Pip Boy" heads-up display is virtually identical, as is the equipment screen.

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