GC 2008: Fallout 3 Hands-On

With a new, almost-complete build of Fallout 3 on show at Leipzig, it was only fair to take another trip to its postapocalyptic Washington, DC.

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Although we've seen Fallout 3 quite a few times in recent months, the development team is still remarkably open when it comes to letting us see more. They don't shy away from letting us explore the open-world game in any way we like, which is why we glean even more information every time we sit down to play it. With the news that the full game will ship on October 28, we went to see the game in its almost-final state to find out more.

If you haven't read our previous coverage of the game, then make sure you head over to our previews section to get a bit of a background on its story. Our demo started with us once again exiting the bunker that our character had called home for his entire life, only this time we headed in a completely new direction and tried adding different skills.

On the advice of the Bethesda spokesperson watching over our soldier, we headed down to a small house to the left of the bunker and opened the door. Inside was a woman who was an ex-prostitute, and who was now unfortunately addicted to drugs. She asked if we were here to collect some money on behalf of her pimp, and given that we'd upgraded our persuasion skill at the beginning of the demo, we decided to say yes. She handed over some credits, and to continue on our dark side, we inquired about whether she was still working as a "lady of the night." She declined and said that part of her life was over. (It had seemingly been replaced with her addiction to hard drugs.) Just to see what happened next, we shot at her, and though she put up a brief fight, we eventually managed to kill her, although we lost some karma as a result. Actually, the above makes us sound pretty cruel, but who knows--maybe Leipzig's just beginning to take its toll.

We encountered some new enemies after leaving the house: huge insects such as the bloatfly, as well as new armoured human characters called raiders. We used the VATS system (see previous coverage) to take out most of the enemies that we came across, and then played around with stealing more of the things that were left behind. One of the raiders was wearing a hockey mask for protection, and we were able to remove it from the dead body and wear it ourselves. You can press the left bumper to switch to a third-person view, and you can then use the right analog stick to tilt around your character to check out the view from the front.

After making it through the Meresti Trainyard and its abandoned train wrecks, we came across the outskirts of a small settlement. The problem was that it was protected, and we were immediately shot at by a sniper upon entering. We spun around and tried to use the VATS system to hone in on the sniper, but we couldn't see them, and they'd soon incapacitated us via our arms and legs. When we reloaded the game, we decided to head back and check out the school that was not too far from the starting bunker. The building had been torn apart, but a number of books and chalkboards remained complete, with writing from children and teachers. Underneath the school, a small dungeon with a number of raiders awaited, and we were able to pick up a sawed-off shotgun as a reward for heading inside.

We love that we keep finding so much to explore in Fallout 3, but each visit to its postapocalyptic landscape is never long enough. Luckily the full game is out on October 28, so we only have a little longer than two months to wait to start exploring every nook and cranny.

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