Video Q&A: Fallout 3's Endgame

Bethesda Softworks' Pete Hines discusses the final stages the long-awaited postapocalyptic RPG's journey to the PC, PS3, and 360.


Attention role-playing gamers: Fallout 3 is gold.

Well, almost gold.

"At this stage we are really right down to the very end of the process," Pete Hines told GameSpot this week. "I'm just trying to get discs done and sent off and certified and released to manufacturers...So there's a mad scramble to get all those copies made and into stores."

If all goes according to plan, Fallout 3 will finally arrive in stores on October 28 for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Its arrival will end a six-year saga, which began in 2003, when Interplay Entertainment halted development of Fallout 3 and disbanded its developer, the famed Black Isle Studios. That project, code named Van Buren, died as its once-mighty publisher itself nearly ceased to exist due to evaporating revenue.

Then, in July 2004, the Fallout series was dramatically revived when Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion developer Bethesda Softworks struck an agreement to publish the postapocalyptic role-playing game. (Two years later, it bought the IP outright.) Despite criticism from some diehard fans of the first two Fallouts, who lament to this day that Fallout 3 will be "Oblivion with mutants," Bethesda restarted development from scratch.

The resulting 3D action does offer real-time action like Elder Scrolls IV, but it also offers the VATS system, which freezes combat and allows for the limb-specific targeting used in Fallout and Fallout 2's turn-based system. Though it ditches the first two games' North California setting for the burned-out ruins of Washington DC, Fallout 3 also includes a modified version of SPECIAL character creation and Perk systems of the first two games. It also sports the sunny-but-cynical 1950s-era stylings of the original--not the widely hated spin-off Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel--as well as their lore, such as the PIP-Boy 3000 wrist computer.

Of course, Fallout 3 bears the Bethesda stamp, having the massive open-world gameplay which the studio is famous for--and which Fallout 1 & 2 pioneered. "The current scale of the game is not what we had really envisioned to start," Hines explained. "We actually envisioned the game would be smaller when we first drew it up. But we're never careful about being slaves to anything we write down...So we made the game bigger than it was because we felt we needed to flesh it out with more stuff, with more locations in between, to make it more dense."

Will this be enough to win over the most skeptical of Fallout fanatics? Hines hopes so. "I think we're going to get people who've played the Elder Scrolls and liked what we've done," he said. "I also think we'll get folks who maybe played Fallout and loved Fallout whether they played the Elder Scrolls or not...Hopefully, we've made a game that they can get excited about."

In two weeks, the game industry will see.

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Avatar image for it009x9281

I have never played fallout 1 but played 2 even though it crashed alot but i love fallout 3 a year later having logged 445hrs so far and still finding new places i have not been to before

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@gothicman yup your thinking of fallout tactics, and as I am a Fallout fan i kinda dislike tactics due to the linear story. But the gameplay is a bit fun in it, a bit too easy is all. But being a fallout fan doesnt always mean you hate fallouts new gameplay :P i like it. The only thing i hate in the game is the population, like megatown how many people lives there? 20... Thats like how many people there are in a casino in New Reno from fallout 2...

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gothic your thinking of fallout tactics. 1 and 2 certainly were all 100% turn based with no other options.

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I've played both fallout 1 and 2, way before fallout 3 was in development with Bethesda, and I love it^^ Now as for the new one, I love even more what they have done with it. They didn't cut out anything that fallout 1 or 2 had except maybe the completely turn based style and aerial view of the game, but I never liked that view of gameplay, and just so all you fallout 1 and 2 fans that are complaining out there, 1 and 2 also had a non turn based style where it was pretty much automatic. At least in this u will need some skill to play or none if you so choose. In my opinion, this game is gonna beat Oblivion and I'm gonna simply love it^^ And best part is, it still has the overkill perk that fallout 2 had lol. I loved blowing raiders to pieces :D

Avatar image for Vargre666

I would seriously go for the PC version. Yeah, there may be some bugs to work out but Bethesda has a pretty solid rep so I cant see any MAJOR flaws getting in the way. You will however have TONS of DLC, sooner or later, that wont be available for the 360. Look at Oblivion for an example. People are STILL modding the game, how many years later? Its something that just never dies. You can still get some pretty good, new, interesting content for an older game that on other platforms has lost its shine. Id be willing to bet my left nut that FO3 will follow suit.

Avatar image for Magnum50

I can't decide if I should go 360 or PC... I'm new to the series, and really not into CRPG's, but I do want to play this... the 360 version will be trouble-free, and properly supportted... while the PC version will be easier to sit down and play since it's SP. (wife and kids use the TV most of the time).

Avatar image for it009x9281

Unfortunately i only ever played fallout 2 a few month ago(fallout 1 didnt work)so i could see what the fallout world is but due to constant crashes i could never get into it,so i cant really judge the first 2 but looking forward to fallout 3 if its anything like Deus Ex i should love it

Avatar image for TheDunn

ciskaos, lol, because FO 1 and 2 had the best graphics, animations, and voice acting ever (sarcasm btw). If you liked FO 1 and 2 for the story, then why are you judging 3 on the animations and voice acting???? And btw, what are you talking about!??!! Oblivion had amazing animation and graphics, and voice acting for all of the characters in the game, that's pretty amazing.

Avatar image for Chickenesta

Theres going to be a huge difference between the two, its the opposite side of America and the power armour and other stylings are all different, now me, Im not bothered in fact im excited about this despite being a fo1/2 buff, this game will be a good game, but it will never been what some people want unfortunately :(

Avatar image for lukedeutsch

@shogo84 I understand what you mean, but really, there doesn't look like there will be that much difference between Interplay's fallout and Bethesda's fallout...they look like they have the same type of concept. Interplay's Fallout was a sandbox turn-based RPG that was open ended. Bethesda's Fallout, (even oblivion) seem to be that way also.

Avatar image for skull_blader

it will come down to Fallout 3, GTA4, Gears of War 2 or Fable 2, LittleBigPlanet or Resistance 2, and Metal Gear Solid 4; for game of the year. close runner ups being dead space, far cry and hopefully (if its as good as it looks) legendary.

Avatar image for urquhart999

'modded version of oblivion'?!? i just seem to get the feeling that fallout 'fans' would like fallout 3 to be a 2d linear interactive story book! personally think this look really awesome! goty? maybe far cry 2 will hopefully run it close.

Avatar image for djmokong

@showGo84 I totally agree with you! everyone ranting out there about it being like oblivion either did not play Oblivion or was not just in to playing games like Oblivion. For me Oblivion was one of the best RPGs for the next gen console. Story wise and game play. Yes, I believe that FO 3 may have some comparisons to Oblivion,and that's the reason it will be the game of the year, and also because whatever was lacking in Oblivion will be made better in FO 3.It has great graphics,sound,music and everything, but I think what will sell this game is what Bethesda does best,GREAT STORYTELLING! I also played FO 1 and 2, and I say this installment is a big improvement, but for me, it's always the story. And I believe I will be satisfied when I get this game.

Avatar image for ShowGo84

The plain and simple truth: You wonder why Bethesda didn't tie in Fallout 3's story with the previous franchise, but it's actually pretty obvious. They changed the game play, using their signature system so the smart thing to do would be to avoid using Interplay's storyline or anything that makes you think Interplay when you play it. So OF COURSE they aren't going to make it like Fallout. They're going to make it like Elder's Scroll because they're known for that Sandbox style, and what is wrong with that? They're BETHESDA, not freakin' Interplay. And what is so WRONG with it being like Oblivion? Oblivion was amazing - game of the year. How else would you rather they have done it? Xbox360 hasn't had a "great" game since in my opinion. So just please shut up with the Oblivion rant. We have about a million other posts reassuring us of your thoughts that are actually blandly obvious without your remarks. The Oblivion style is called a designer's signature. Get over it.

Avatar image for TCC4U

Likes_2_spooge, some ppl just aren't so open minded and feel betrayed with the new Fallout 3. Some ppl flamed the TV when it just appeared. But hey, I don't like the idea of a new Star Trek film with the same characters but different actors. So I can understand what ppl like zaku101 feel like. I think Fallout 3 will be like the best game of the year, it looks great, the story and the lore is great, the skills and perks sound awesome and the action is mind blowing. They seem to have gotten everything right beside the real-time 3rd/1st person view, which is an improvement in my book. I have played Fallout 2 as a youngster ^_^ . So I know what I'm talking about :P. Hi5 Bethesda!

Avatar image for The_Tau

Ok, this is what i think of the game, Fallout alot simmilar to oblivion..the Vats/pipboy system doesnt give the true fallot feel that fallout 1 and 2 gave, with their birds eye view and turn-base style..fallout 3 gives a more realistic view of the post apocolyptic USA as it is in 3rd/1st person views..but saying that. its just like oblivion.

Avatar image for zaku101

"If the hard-core fanatics can't get past the fact that it's action is real time then tuff luck." Holy Ignorance batman. Honestly I understand how this game can look epic cool to some people who never played the first 2 games, or many games at all. To me it looks like just looks like a modded oblivion fps. I played hundreds of fpss and I honestly don't need to play another one in deep rpg series like fallout.

Avatar image for Xyw

Will this be a real Fallout? It looks like oblivion to me -.-

Avatar image for pimpollazo

This game looks amazing... I don't really understand how can some fallout fans dislike this and prefer the look of the previous cancelled version... really.. it's different.. but it looks far greater than the original version..the word is Amazing... I hope Beteshda puts a more dramatic and expressive storyline than the one in oblivion... Because it was a great and it has a lot of pretensions, but I think the dialogs with the characters and the characters themselves.. they were so simple, very generic... maybe fable was the antithesis to that, or mass effect.. I hope beteshda improves that!

Avatar image for risingdiablo666

Hmm.. what i wouldn't mind knowing is thre goign to be any 2 player action at all or is it going to be completley singler plaer.

Avatar image for R3qui3m4usmc

Im intensely antsy for this game I love Bethesda i have complete faith in them i agree with this being game of the year easily Let me into the magic circle of Fallout 3

Avatar image for SuPeRsKiTtLeS

Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet, Farcry 2, and Fable 2 all within a many games and so little money...

Avatar image for CureForLiving

But yeah really looking forward to this one, although I was kinda worried in the beginning about Bethesda making it.

Avatar image for Jaksin

I just flat out can't friggin' wait... It's killing me.

Avatar image for R3DN1N3

This game is gonna rock. I had a feeling about the ElderScrolls, and even Bioshock when it was still just an announcement and I will say that I'm feeling the same way about FallOut 3. If the hard-core fanatics can't get past the fact that it's action is real time then tuff luck. That's not a good reason to not pick this up. Besides, there are people in Bethesda like Howard who are FallOut fnas to the MAX. You really think they would screw with the game's core storyline or values? I smell 2008 Game of the Year right here

Avatar image for lucas182

"Oblivion with mutants" a game i'd GLADLY pay to play heck "oblivion with pink and yellow little carebears" is a game id gladly pay to play

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Avatar image for Nosnitsttam

Yes, the game looks fantastic. But what REALLY has me excited is the attention to detail and the lore of first 2 games, which is where they've drawn all their inspiration. So they're basically ignoring anything after fallout 2 which is wise. Tactics was fun but it didn't really feel like a Fallout game, and don't get me started on BOS (shudder). So despite the shift in perspective and making the combat real time, not much has really changed. Unless the game is crippled by bad load times, framerates and other bugs (kinda like the first 2 fallouts), this should be the best game of the year. As for the skeptics, all you need to do to change your mind is try out the early demo of Van Buren. after that, making the game 1st/3rd person isn't all that bad of a design decision.

Avatar image for lancethered

this game is freaking awsome i cant wait for it to hit the store shelves and i hopet wont sell out to fast

Avatar image for jqh97116

I cannot wait. Period. This... i hope will be one of the best games ever created.

Avatar image for flackstone

Fallout 3 looks like the best game ever made.

Avatar image for Herenr

Too funny. Someone is actually going around giving everyone a thumbs down. Boy, these detractors are desperate, sad individuals. I feel sorry for em. It must be fun wasting time attempting to bash a game, for whatever reason, as opposed to playing them.

Avatar image for cxfounder

1 word pumped

Avatar image for McDog3

I have high expectations for this game, but i'm not worried. It "should" be a really great game. They obviously spent a lot of time into rethinking Fallout, not to just be another Oblivion, but to expand from earlier Fallout games....

Avatar image for Eko_Eko_Azarak

I'm glad to see Bethesda applying the things they did in Oblivion to such a great franchise like Fallout. It should be really interesting to see what they do with it. So far, it looks amazing-I'll definitely be picking it up.

Avatar image for PaulDixon77

Hadn't even really heard of the fallout series until 1year ago. And up until 6 mnths ago wasn't even bothered until I realised it was bethesda next game after oblivion. Now its my most anticipated GOTY, I'm so stoked for this game. Oblivion set in the Fallout universe develpoed by Bethesda, can't go wrong. GOTY for me and a 10 from gamespot, for sure. Bring it on. The only fly in the ointment is Fable II that comes out a week earlier, descisions mmmmm i think Fallout will win though. Yes of course it will, or by both, no can't afford to. Arrrgghhhhh Farcry 2 aswell, whats a guy to do, goddamn publishers. Anyone know a way to earn a few extra 'shillings'????? Help!!!! Going mad with excitment...............

Avatar image for necronaux

6 years in the making? Better be epic.

Avatar image for Torque1599

I think I'm going to enjoy this game. I sank quite a bit of time into Oblivion. Despite what the critics say, Oblivion did have some well done, non-repetitive quest design. However, after sinking about 60 hours into the game, I started to get sick of it. I got sick of some of it's more glaring design flaws such as the lack of dialog options, too few voices, the lame conversation pie and dynamic leveling. Dynamic leveling is what ultimately turned me off to the game. It's a trap for new players it's so easy to level up really fast and then find yourself hopelessly outmatched. Still, Fallout 3 seems to have fixed these flaws and I am genuinely looking forward to it.

Avatar image for johnnyv2003

I never trust the 'merging' of gameplay styles. It works sometimes, but falls flat most of the time. I'm going to be renting Fallout 3 first, and that could very well lead to a purchase afterwards.

Avatar image for lightwarrior179

I have never played a Fallout before and look forward to Fallout 3 as my initiation into this famed RPG series. So far I think Bethesda has seemingly done justice to the game keeping some of series staples and traditions while adding some of the "Oblivion-ish" experience into it.

Avatar image for jadefury27

love what i've seen so far. will the game play back it up? can't wait to see.

Avatar image for GhostyMcboo

I can't say I'm excited as much as I am for this as any other game out there. The whole package is gold! I love the cynical art direction and postwar styling (seems appropriate, doesn't it?). In my "old age" I'm finding less time to play games, so I love it when just one grabs my attention. I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Avatar image for Nineball2112

I'm definitely getting this game. I'm leaving it as a Christmas gift idea for my family though! :-) So many great games coming out the rest of this year and the first part of next!!

Avatar image for DoctorBedlam

Got it preordered and am simply biding my time until that fateful day.

Avatar image for BigDaddy973

I cannot wait for this game!!!! It will be amazing!!!!

Avatar image for brownba3

Pipboy 360, well said. AS a fallout fanboy and an oblivion player - notice the difference...- I even bought and played fallout tactics...- I am looking forward to this game and hope my and other fallout cultists concerns are misplaced. I have preordered it and will play it - and enjoy it even if it is oblivion with guns. Not a big fan of first person 3d - the movement often makes me sick - physically - seasick from a video game! - can't play or watch a lot of games like COD4 or other 3d FP - with the unlocked cameras...So, more of a physical bias for isometric third person. And for all the naysayers - remember Interplay/BIS are now making a MMOG Fallout - that is almost as much blasphemy as Bethesda and Fallout - 3 weeks and then talk smack... of course, that could be why they haven't released a demo, they know people won't like it and are making everyone buy it before reviews can come out...?

Avatar image for Jorlen

Played the original Fallout game, loved it. Played Fallout 2, loved it. Played most of Bethesda's games, loved them. Bethesda making Fallout 3 based on the Oblivion engine? Who in their right mind would think this as a bad thing? Bethesda's last two games got RPG of the year and countless awards. These folks know what they're doing... Fallout 3 will be amazing. If there's one game developer we can count on, it's Bethesda. To the skeptics, yes Black Isle is gone and done, and this WILL be different, but FFS, pull your heads out of your #^%$ and try to enjoy it ;)

Avatar image for henry4th

Poeple who loved Oblivion would probably love this game, poeple who hated oblivion probably won't like this game for the very same reason as to why they hated Oblivion.