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Fallout 3 Launches Amidst Controversy 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-fallout-one-might-say dept.
Earlier this week, Bethesda released Fallout 3 after a long campaign of defending and protecting the game's reputation from claims that it contained inappropriate content. Ads for the game in Washington DC's subway system were pulled after they upset some touchy travelers over the depiction of post-apocalyptic Washington landmarks. Shortly before the game's release, early trailers were removed as well. Earlier this year, the game was banned in Australia for its in-game use of morphine, causing the drug's name to be changed to Med-X. On the issue of sensitive content, Bethesda's Emil Pagliarulo wrote in Edge Magazine about the design decision to disallow the killing of children in the game. Gamasutra ran an opinion piece on the same subject, and the Washington Post discusses the role of Washington DC in Fallout 3. On the DRM front, the game does come with SecuROM, but Bethesda says it's only used for a disc check. Reviews for the game have been overwhelmingly positive so far, despite reports of bugs with the save system and occasional lock-ups.
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Fallout 3 Launches Amidst Controversy

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  • by KGIII (973947) * on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:24PM (#25595859) Journal

    With all of the controversy surrounding Fallout 3 I'd have to say that Bethesda's doing a good job at keeping the game's reputation alive. I haven't ordered it yet but I'll be getting the deluxe version with the booklet and DVD.

    Actually, I'm not doing anything more important so...

    I'm a bit disappointed that you can't kill kids in the game but I suspect someone will find a way to patch it so that you can. Either way, it is a must have game for me with or without DRM.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by imbaczek (690596)
      I've played the two original Fallout games (loved them BTW) and recently had an occasion to play F3. Don't get your hopes too high if you were a fan of the prequels, because this game is not Fallout. Fallout-ish is a better term, but IMO it doesn't capture the feel of its predecessors.
      • by KGIII (973947) *

        Yeah, that is my understanding as well. I suspect that I won't like it nearly as much as Fallout 2 but, then again, nothing can compare (IMO) with FO2. I still fire up FO2 and play it quite often actually, even after all these years. I've watched the trailers, I've not yet played, but I'm not expecting it to be the same and I don't expect it to be better.

        I just have to play it because it's Fallout. I'm not a very big gamer or anything but if they came out with a new Zork I'd probably buy that one too.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:03PM (#25596155)

        This argument gets made again, and again, and again for EVERY sequel that's ever made, and you know what? It's almost inevitably WRONG and people don't realize it until time has passed and the game has cemented some fond memories in their heads. After which, they'll complain that the next game "isn't like fallout 3".

        I remember when Fallout 1 was released and people bitched that it wasn't as good as Wasteland and that it didn't capture the feel that made Wasteland unique.

        • by mog007 (677810) <Mog007@nospAm.gmail.com> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @05:59PM (#25597897)

          I bought Fallout 3, with low expectations. I hated Oblivion, it just wasn't my kind of game. But I'm a fan of Fallout, and I just had to try the game. I can't remember the last time a surprise was so pleasing.

          This has got to be the first time I've played a game where the developers took the advice from their previous game to heart, and actually fix things. Fallout 3 is much more immersive than Oblivion, and they actually managed to keep the original flavor of the first two Fallout games.

          All the cars looks like concept cars from the 50s, back when everybody thought dorsal fins were a neat idea for dolphins AND cars. I was afraid the game would be like Oblivion with guns, but it's actually just Fallout with a first person perspective.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *

          People also complained about Grand Theft Auto 3, just because it wasn't top-down like GTA 1 and 2 were. I think that parallels the complaints about the non-isometricism of Fallout 3 nicely.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Draek (916851)

          I remember when Fallout 1 was released and people bitched that it wasn't as good as Wasteland and that it didn't capture the feel that made Wasteland unique.

          Then again, given that most people say "Fallout 1 & 2" and don't mention Wasteland at all, it was probably true and that if it succeeded it was on its own merits, as its own series, instead of a continuation of what Wasteland had started.

          A sister post mentions GTA3 too, and having played almost all of the GTA games, I can say that while the originals and 3-plus-sequels are all great games, they're both very distinct game series, very different from each other in feel and design.

          Me, I'm waiting for a seq

      • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nvetskirneh}> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:09PM (#25596201)

        Having played it almost non-stop since the european release (oct. 30), I will say that it's Fallout, but not as you know it. Approach it with an open mind and don't be afraid to explore. The game will guide you a bit better than the originals, but it's still very easy to get yourself into some serious trouble.

        Yes, there is a bit of console-ism in the feel of the game, but holding your trusty hunting rifle as you crest a hill and look across the barren capital wasteland, the sun scorching the desolate landscape, the wind howling and kicking up dust devils, your geiger counter ticking because of the ooze-filled barrels in the abandoned scrapyard below, it just feels right. I haven't even really bothered with the main quest so far, I'm having far too much fun exploring what's left of civilization.

        Wandering across the desert and keeping an eye out for radscorpions, raiders, molerats etc. you might come across a manhole cover hidden in some shrubs or perhaps spot a radio tower that's still standing. And you're definitely rewarded for exploring, perhaps not in loot, but definitely in immersive experiences.

        I love and treasure the experiences I've had in Fallouts 1 and 2, and Fallout 3 is definitely shaping up to give me a completely dissimilar experience.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I love and treasure the experiences I've had in Fallouts 1 and 2, and Fallout 3 is definitely shaping up to give me a completely dissimilar experience.

          That should have been "and Fallout 3 is definitely shaping up to give me a not completely dissimilar experience."

          I really dig this game and have had no problems whatsoever with it. The whole save game issue is overblown and I haven't had a single crash either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        This game is Oblivion with guns and radiation. Not that that is a bad thing in any way.

        I have to say the opening 20-30 minutes of the game are incredibly innovative in its narrative structure. Usually tutorials are horrible, but this one was really fun.

        Sadly as soon as I hit the wasteland, the VATS system made the game crash and I've not reloaded it since.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by springbox (853816)
        I couldn't play the original games because they just constantly assaulted you with mountains of text. Fallout 3, however, is amazing.
      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @06:23PM (#25598101) Journal

        this game is not Fallout.

        I'll second that. The best way to describe the game, IMO, is Oblivion with guns that tries to pretend to be Fallout stylistically (palette, fonts, music etc). A lot of major annoyances come straight from Oblivion - very inconvenient, console-centric UI, particuraly inventory (they did mask it as a Pip-Boy, but it's easy to spot that in terms of layout and active elements it's essentially identical to Oblivion inventory, except it's in monochrome to drive you completely mad). Slow walking and slow jumping. Ugly animations on all characters, including PC (don't ever try to enable 3rd person view, lest you hurt your eyes). Skills redone TES-style with ranges from 0 to 100, and magical step values of 25-50-75 required to perform specific actions (it is very upfront about it - "you need 50 lockpicking to open this"). Real-time combat as crappy as it always was in TES: do you remember how you could swing the sword at an enemy at your arm's length and not hit anything because your skill is not high enough? Well, now imagine the same with a shotgun! Weapons get damaged when used, once again a la Oblivion, only they do it very, very quickly - you only need to go through several clips on a pistol for it to break. Stealing things decreases karma, even if noone was there to see you (and yes, all NPCs in the game magically know your karma) - so it's really more like renamed reputation from TES. Unkillable key NPCs (they get knocked out rather than killed, and then just get up again... and again... and again... you might also remember where you've seen that before).

        On the whole, it is very obvious all the time that not only the game is made using the Oblivion engine, but also a lot of the original mechanics is carried over as is, or only slightly draped.

        On to other, unique problems, VATS has annoying slo-mo which cannot be disabled at all, and becomes very tiresome quickly; also, forget about sniping the way you could in F1/2 - even with a sniper rifle, you'll have a hard time hitting the enemy's head at 30+ meters even with full 100 in Small Arms skill. End result: the most efficient way to use any gun is to use cover to run up to the enemy at point-blank range, shove your gun into their face, enter VATS, and do as many headshots as your APs allow (which will be 80-95% hit chance at this range no matter what your skill). Anything else is less efficient overall, and also a waste of ammo, which is very scarce on any difficulty level. Oh yes, forget about all-out burst fire killing sprees you could do in F2 with Vindicator or Bozar: you'll never have enough ammo for anything like that!

        NPC dialogs are pretty bland compared to F2. Typically, you get the "standard" predictable set of choices: straightforward good / straightforward bad / lie a lot / lie a bit.

        • by chonglibloodsport (1270740) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:31PM (#25599689)
          OK, you've listed a lot of things you don't like about Fallout 3. Some of them I agree with you on, some I don't.

          Real-time combat as crappy as it always was in TES: do you remember how you could swing the sword at an enemy at your arm's length and not hit anything because your skill is not high enough? Well, now imagine the same with a shotgun!

          I assume you're referring to Morrowind, where this was the case. Not so in Oblivion or Fallout 3, both use collision detection to determine whether you hit or miss.

          also, forget about sniping the way you could in F1/2 - even with a sniper rifle, you'll have a hard time hitting the enemy's head at 30+ meters even with full 100 in Small Arms skill.

          Also not true. My character only has 40% in small arms and I have been getting tons of 1-hit kill headshots at long range with my trusty hunting rifle. See above.

          Skills redone TES-style with ranges from 0 to 100

          In my opinion, the skills system in F3 is superior to the previous games. In F1/2, a lot of the skills were underutilized or redundant. Traps, Explosives, Throwing, First Aid, Doctor, Sneak and Steal were all redundant skills that were greatly streamlined by being integrated into F3's Explosives, Medicine and Sneak. Fallout 3's replacement of the largely useless First Aid and Doctor skills with Medicine is a great feature. Instead of healing your character a limited number of times per day with some invisible voodoo using your bare hands like in F1/2, F3's Medicine improves your ability to use stimpaks and other medical supplies such as Rad-X and RadAway.

          Outdoorsman, Gambling, Lockpick, Science and Repair were all badly underutilized skills that were either removed (in the case of the first two) or made far more useful and integral. Repair was hardly ever used at all in F1/2, whereas in F3 it is used all the time to maintain your weapons and armor. The game gives you a great incentive to raise it by allowing you to repair things to a higher quality when your skill is higher. Same thing with Science and Lockpick. In F1/2 you hardly ever used these skills, but when you did use them they were often far too low for the situation. It often felt like the game was cheating you by requiring you to raise these otherwise useless skills to a very high level for only a handful of key situations in the game. Not in F3! You'll be using Science to hack computers (a very fun word puzzle) and Lockpick (not as fun as hacking, but still enjoyable) to open doors and containers all the time! Raising these skills now gives a very rewarding progression in your ability to access things without F1/2's annoying random crap such as "The door is now jammed due to your lack of skill".

          and magical step values of 25-50-75 required to perform specific actions (it is very upfront about it - "you need 50 lockpicking to open this").

          Ok, if you don't like that the game is upfront about it, that's your opinion. In my opinion it's a very minor text difference from "you have no chance of opening this door/repairing this machine/using this computer" in F1/F2, which otherwise had the exact same numeric checks going in the background (but with annoying randomness added).

        • by Haeleth (414428) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @08:39AM (#25601831) Journal

          very inconvenient, console-centric UI, particuraly inventory

          I'm guessing it's a while since you played Fallout, right? Because the inventory interface in Fallout was utterly dreadful. Ahh, what could be more fun than paying for $50,000-worth of weapons by transferring bottlecaps 999 at a time?

          Slow walking and slow jumping.

          Walking was slow in Fallout as well, and you couldn't jump at all.

          Skills redone TES-style with ranges from 0 to 100

          Good lord, how dreadful! And vastly inferior to the authentic Fallout, which had ranges from 0% to 100% instead.

          Real-time combat as crappy as it always was in TES: do you remember how you could swing the sword at an enemy at your arm's length and not hit anything because your skill is not high enough?

          Um, no, that was a Morrowind issue. In Oblivion, if you can reach it, you can hit it.

          Weapons get damaged when used

          Wait, that makes gameplay more sophisticated than it was in Fallout...

      • by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron.gmail@com> on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:56AM (#25600673)

        I recently played a bit of Fallout 1 for the first time and my first impression of it was: This game plays like a turn based isometric oblivion with guns in a postapocalyptic world.

        So it makes perfect sense to me that Fallout 3 would use the Oblivion engine.

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:25PM (#25595869) Homepage

    ...and all the guns have been replaced with walkie-talkies!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Chinese pistol sure feels that way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by FourthAge (1377519)

      "Major fracture detected. Morphine administered."

      I hear that morphine is also used as a painkiller in Half Life 1 and 2! Apparently it allows the player to function normally even when injured. BAN THIS FILTH!

      • The Med-X gives you a damage resistance bonus. The Aussie censors had a problem with associating morphine with a bonus. You actually get something similar in the UK, drinks companies aren't allowed to associate alcohol with success or benefit in their advertisements.

    • by Ralish (775196) <ralish@@@gmail...com> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:05PM (#25596165)

      As an Australian, I find this both hilarious and infuriating.

      I just spent much of this week playing a game that revolves around surgically amputating the limbs off deformed people using such delightful weapons as plasma cutters. In fact, just before I completed my first play-through, I acquired the achievement for "1000 limbs amputated". The game, of course, has mass amounts of blood and gore.

      Yet, a game that references a real-life drug? That crosses the line!!

      Honestly, this just shows how out of date and simply stupid the Australian classification boards guidelines are. If you asked the average person what they find more offensive/disturbing, a game that has enormous amounts of blood and gore (and passed through the ratings process without issue), or a game that references a painkiller, I think the answer would be obvious.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:28PM (#25596339) Journal

      1. As a Fallout geek, I don't even understand the fuss. The drugs in Fallout 1 and 2 were already called stuff like Buffout, Jet, etc. So, lore-wise, it's a change for the better.

      I mean, sure, I could live with a name like "Morphine" too, but I see no reason to run amok about their respecting the canon either. It's Fallout, people. Getting upset that the drugs in the Fallout universe have Fallout names, is a bit as silly as getting upset that a LOTR game has mithril. Sure, you could call it "titanium" instead of "mithril", but it won't actually make the game better. It's the canon for that world, silly.

      2. If I were to bitch about a name change there, I'd rather bitch about the weapon names. Fallout always had real weapon names, like the G11 or AK-47 or FN-FAL or whatnot. Now suddenly we have non-descript stuff like "chinese pistol" and "chinese assault-rifle." WTF?

      3. In fact, I wonder if the whole "let's name the drugs RL names" thing was just a PR stunt to cause a lot of talk.

      I mean, if you look at the whole thing, it is schizophrenic to the extreme. The weapons get changed to non-RL names, the canon be damned, _but_ at the same time they supposedly really wanted to change canon-correct drug names to stuff like "Morphine". It makes no sense. There is no coherent plan in there.

      My guess is that they never actually planned to release it with RL drug names, and just pulled a PR coup to get a lot of talk about their game. I.e., that this isn't as much a censorship story, but really a story about PR bullshit.

      • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nvetskirneh}> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:44PM (#25596469)

        Fallout 1 and 2 didn't have real weapon names, everything was "10mm pistol", "assault rifle", "sniper rifle" and so on. The full description of the weapons did have the precise model name for the guns, but the 10mm pistol was a "Colt 6520", the assault rifle was an "AK-112" and the sniper was a "DKS-501", none of which exist in real life.

        The Desert Eagle .44 was an exception, as was the Mauser M/96. Fallout 2 did add a few other real-life guns such as the M3 Grease Gun, Tommy Gun, H&K G11, FN FAL and the H&K CAWS. Every other weapon was fictional. And honestly, who cares if the guns have real-life names? I'm rocking a chinese assault rifle that looks suspiciously like a cheaply-manufactured AK-47 and the only difference it makes to me is which starting letter I have to look for in my inventory when I want to equip it.

  • Bah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Warll (1211492) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:30PM (#25595903) Homepage

    "despite reports of bugs with the save system and occasional lock-ups." Occasional lock-ups my ass! The game must have had next to no QA for many it it crashes as soon as you select new game!* It won't even play if you have some of the most popular codec packs installed!

    *Myself included

    • by ultranova (717540)

      The game must have had next to no QA for many it it crashes as soon as you select new game!

      By any chance, is it doing the DVD check then ? Because that caused Morrowind to crash nearly always. It's a longshot, but it might be forth getting a no-cd patch.

      • by Warll (1211492)
        Nah I'm not having any problems with Securom, although others do. So far I've set FFDshow not to be used with the fallout.exe and I have unassociated .mp3 and .ogg with winamp. But it will still not get past half way on that little clock shown when a new game is about to be started.
      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by Fallingcow (213461)

        Bought mine on Steam, not supposed to have any Securom.

        Worked fine for ~2-3 hours, now crashes ever 2 minutes or so, every single time I fire it up. Tried all the solutions I can find, not going to keep looking, because I really shouldn't have to be dicking with this.

        I've not seen a PC release from a major publisher have problems this severe in years. I guess it's partially my fault, since Bethesda's known for releasing beta-quality software and fixing it in the 1.1 patch, but for me their poor QA had usu

    • Re:Bah! (Score:5, Informative)

      by deathy_epl+ccs (896747) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @03:05PM (#25596605)

      My friend had frequent lockups and discovered that it was a missing codec. As I understand it, there's threads about this fix on the official forum. It may not fix your problem, but it's well worth looking into.

      As for me, I've had little problem overall. I did manage to have one corrupted save, but it was early on and no trouble since. Otherwise, it only crashes when I tab out and back in too fast, and it's not the only game that suffers from that issue.

      Regarding the SecuROM, I'm not against all forms of copy protection. It doesn't limit my installation count, and it doesn't install a rootkit. I can live with a disk check.

      On the other hand, I did buy the Steam version but that's just because I like not having to keep track of disks or CD keys... which also says I'm cool with auth checks.

      Honestly, my entire issue with SecuROM (especially from EA) is as described above... Install limits sound like an attempt to get more money out of the customer, and rootkits are just dangerous - especially when Sony writes them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by crossmr (957846)

      I only crashed around the time I was leaving vault 101..4 times..after looking at the crash info I found out it was the audio codec from my digital video camera software causing the problem. I had the same problem with oblivion and forgot about it. I renamed the audio codec problem and now I've played another 7 hours without a single crash.
      individual experiences and anecdotal evidence do not make blanket statements.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:31PM (#25595911)

    "The people of our city do not need a daily reminder that Washington is a prime target for an attack," wrote Joseph Anzalone in a letter to the editor of the Post which was noticed by GamePolitics. "We do not need a daily reminder of what our worst fears look like," added Anzalone. "Since any First Amendment objection would be irrelevant (the ads do not present a true viewpoint or political message and would therefore not be protected), there is no reason for these ads to be part of our daily panorama," he continued. "The ads should be removed, and the appropriate office at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority should be directed to exercise better judgment regarding what can be displayed in our transportation system," concluded the concerned citizen.

    As a resident of the Washington DC metropilitan area, I fully support a multiple multimegaton nuclear apocalypse targeting the city.

    • Re:Washington, DC (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:47PM (#25596031)

      Sadly, the similarities between the Washington DC area and Fallout 3's representation of it don't go much beyond those landmarks and a few borrowed community names (Falls Church, etc.). DC area residents hoping to go where their house was 269 years ago will be disappointed, because the locations of various towns, bridges, rivers, etc., are nowhere near their present-day locations. One might have thought that the decision for a DC-area company to produce content set in the DC area would have resulted in a world a bit truer to the real thing than what they actually came up with.

      On the plus side, at least some of the Metro stations actually do look a bit like the real thing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by k_187 (61692)
        In the making of DVD they talk about how in the 1950s, the fallout universe split from our own. Which they promptly invoke as a reason why things aren't exactly the same between the real world and their version. Going down into the Metro and seeing the vaulted ceilings and mezzanine levels was nice though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        The Fallout universe is supposed to be a world divergent from ours sometime post-1950, and the Great War, in which Washington D.C. (along with the rest of the country) was nuked happened in 2077. Considering this, why would anyone expect to find the ruins of their house or some other prominent landmark in the Capital Wasteland is beyond me - even leaving the alternate universe bit aside, 70 years is a long time, you know...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Dachannien (617929)

          Considering this, why would anyone expect to find the ruins of their house or some other prominent landmark in the Capital Wasteland is beyond me

          That wasn't exactly what I said. Nobody expects to see the ruins of their house, but they might have hopes that they could make a guess based on the maps and other info provided in the game and then go there. Unfortunately, though, the geography of the area are profoundly different from that in real life.

          For example, the Lincoln Memorial is on the west end of the National Mall, not too far from the east bank of the Potomac River. If you're standing in a building on the National Mall and you ask where the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kabdib (81955)

      > the ads do not present a true viewpoint or political message and would therefore not be protected

      I keep running into things by people who seem to have read a different version of the Constitution than I did. What's special about a 'true viewpoint' that makes it any more protected than any other form of expression?

  • ads pulled? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nemoest (69043) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:35PM (#25595945) Journal

    Whoa whoa whoa, who said the ads were pulled? I was just in Metro Center yesterday and I can assure you, the Red line platform is still decked out with "Vault Life" and pictures of the Capitol and Washington Monument in apocalyptic splendor.

    Even the article quoted only references a letter to the editor saying the ads should be pulled, nothing says they were.

    I agree there is some controversy, but lets not go too far.

  • by Tofof (199751) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:36PM (#25595957)
    Quick background: in the game, there are several ways to restore hp (sleeping, eating, etc). Most food and drink is, however, contaminated, and will have a tooltip reading something like "+10 hp | +3 rads" indicating that while it will restore hp, it will also slightly irradiate you.

    So, I'm rummaging through a restroom in the first shanty-town outside the safety of my vault. I notice the urinals can be used, and seem to restore health. My thought is "ok, I suppose that makes sense, holding it forever would certainly cause eventual health problems.."

    Needing some hp, I hit use. The camera drops halfway to the ground as if my character was crouching. There's a slurping sound. I'm baffled as to what's happening until my horrified fiancee, watching beside me, declares, "Oh my god, you just drank from a urinal."

    There's more than one way to solve every puzzle in Fallout 3. Apparently, drinking from ... unorthodox sources is one such solution to basic nutrition.
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Hey, running water. Provided the pipes still work, of course. There's a reason pets like to drink from the toilet instead of that bowl you filled up... uh... yesterday?

    • by Hatta (162192)

      You could do the same thing in Duke Nukem 3d. You just had to kick the fixture first.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ultranova (717540)

        You could do the same thing in Duke Nukem 3d. You just had to kick the fixture first.

        "Doctor ! This man's been hit with a shotgun to the heart !" "Bring him to the toilet, nurse, I'll smash the urinal ! Quickly !"

    • Uh... did it give you any radiation though?

    • I did the exact same thing.

      "oh, weird, you can piss in this one. I guess I'll go ahead and try it."

      "uh, wait, why am I looking in to the toilet bowl?"

      "heh, I didn't notice that, why does it give me any rads for taking a pi... OH. Oh, wow. Gross."

    • by springbox (853816) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @05:00PM (#25597487)

      Needing some hp, I hit use. The camera drops halfway to the ground as if my character was crouching. There's a slurping sound. I'm baffled as to what's happening until my horrified fiancee, watching beside me, declares, "Oh my god, you just drank from a urinal."

      Oh, I just thought my character had horrible aim..

  • What the hell? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by copponex (13876) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:41PM (#25595997) Homepage

    Oh no! Virtual children in video games are dying! There are fake people taking fake drugs in a fake reality! Let's commence with worldwide outrage!

    The Washington Post - isn't that the same newspaper that supported the Iraq war, which has killed and displaced tens of thousand of real children, and is still forcing young girls to sell their bodies so their families can eat?

    I swear to God. The entire world lives in a fantasy land of anecdotes and paranoia. How about some news stories about things that actually matter, especially the ones that exist in reality...

    (not directed at video game media, but the Post? Christ almighty)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "The Washington Post - isn't that the same newspaper that supported the Iraq war, which has killed and displaced tens of thousand of real children, and is still forcing young girls to sell their bodies so their families can eat?"

      Ah yes, but those are brown children and not part of the dominion.

  • by Kabuthunk (972557) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <knuhtubak>> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:42PM (#25595999) Homepage

    Oh yeah, that makes PERFECT sense. You can kill ANY other living creature in the game, EXCEPT kids.

    ESRB: Ohhh, you can't release a game that shows killing kids. After all, if someone sees it done in a game, SURELY that must mean that they will follow up with going on a child-slaughtering rampage through the countryside.

    Give me a fucking break! If I decide I want to play the game by killing every last person and become the sole survivor, with this new rule, I get to be the sole adult survivor... but of course surrounded by CHILDREN! Oh yeah, that's not FAR creepier than decimating everything.

    It's an adult game for adults! If parents do their jobs, then kids won't SEE in-game kids getting killed. Or anyone getting killed.

    And TFA's comments about their decision for that. What does killing children add? Oh, I don't know... freedom to do whatever I want in an imaginary universe in which death, decay, and destruction are among the MAIN SUBJECTS!

    • by The_Angry_Canadian (1156097) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:49PM (#25596041)
      Are you suggesting that parents should take care of their childrens ? I mean, how would I play Fallout then ?
    • They have to develop a version of the game where you can't kill kids regardless for a EU-localized release. FO1 and FO2's European releases wouldn't let you kill kids.

      And do you really need to kill kids to enjoy a game?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Toll_Free (1295136)

        No, he doesn't.

        He NEEDS a reason to bitch. Without a reason, you're only left with a bitch.

        Sad, but true.

        --Toll_Free

      • by afabbro (33948)

        And do you really need to kill kids to enjoy a game?

        No, I can make do with torturing them.

    • ESRB: Ohhh, you can't release a game that shows killing kids. After all, if someone sees it done in a game, SURELY that must mean that they will follow up with going on a child-slaughtering rampage through the countryside.

      To their credit, the ESRB WAS going to do a controlled experiment where they had 50 teens playing "baby killer 5" and 50 playing "diaper changer 2" followed by putting the teens in a daycare environment and observing any reduction in the number of babies, but some government regulations got in the way, so they decided to avoid the whole problem.

      I joke, and of course it's no reason to censor, but let's not act as if it's impossible that games can influence people's behavior. I mean, teenagers ARE idiots, so

  • Cool game (Score:3, Insightful)

    by popmaker (570147) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:48PM (#25596039)
    Reading the summary, the only thing I kept thinking the whole time was "man, this game is AWESOME!"

    All this controversy is just going to make the game more exciting, but people seemingly fail to realize that, time after time.

    I just hope my computer can handle it.
  • SecuROM? Fail. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:49PM (#25596049) Journal

    On the DRM front, the game does come with SecuROM, but Bethesda says it's only used for a disc check.

    On the raping front, the game does come with a rusty pipe, but Bethesda says it's only going to be used to beat you repeatedly.

    What, I'm supposed to feel glad they weren't also going to ram it up my ass?

    You seem to be missing the point. "Only a disc check" still means I'm going to be cracking it as soon as it's out of the box, so I don't have to go find a fucking CD every time I want to play the game.

    And if I have to crack a game to play it, I won't buy it. Treat me like a criminal, fine, I'll be one. Pirate bay it is...

    • by 77Punker (673758)

      Well, you could get the Xbox version instead of whining about the PC version and pretending that it's an excuse for not paying for the game.

    • Re:SecuROM? Fail. (Score:5, Informative)

      by theM_xl (760570) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:04PM (#25596161)

      Funny thing. The SecuRom is only on the launcher. You can instead use the setup.exe on the DVD, which is clean, to install the game. Then use Fallout3.exe instead of FalloutLauncher.exe to run the game. You don't even need to have the disc in the drive that way.

      Bethesda hasn't been evil so much as plain silly on this one...

      • Hmm... Interesting. The game just moved from "no way in hell" to "maybe."

        But I shouldn't have to do this.

        • Is there a single new AAA game on the market today shipping without any DRM? There are small titles without DRM, but this sounds like far less DRM than most major titles shipping right now.

        • Let's iterate...

          1. No Install Limit
          2. No Rootkit
          3. No Dialing Home

          We used to call it copy protection, and a simple disk check wasn't a big deal. Why, when we call it DRM, is it suddenly a big deal that it checks the disk?

          I realize that you may have a problem with Steam (since it does auth checks, fair enough if you do), so your mileage may vary, but I purchased the Steam version. I've just done a check for the SecuROM device driver in my system, and it's not there, which implies the Steam version does not install

      • Re:SecuROM? Fail. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:28PM (#25596335)

        Funny thing. The SecuRom is only on the launcher. You can instead use the setup.exe on the DVD, which is clean, to install the game. Then use Fallout3.exe instead of FalloutLauncher.exe to run the game. You don't even need to have the disc in the drive that way.

        Bethesda hasn't been evil so much as plain silly on this one...

        1) Publisher/retailer/other-asshats in the chain demand ShitROM.
        2) Developer puts in a DVD and says "Sure, all you marketing morons who have autorun enabled, there's your ShitROM! See, it's right there in the launcher!"
        3) (while whispering under its breath "and for those of you who just run the setup.exe and the real game executable, you're just fine")

        DRM: It only inconveniences morons, because it only appears on systems administered by morons. The corollary, however, is that it becomes very easy to convince morons (like the ones in marketing, or whoever else in the organization is responsible for the cramming of ShitROM onto games) that the DRM is actually installed in the first place.

        Seriously, if what you said about the launcher-vs-installer is true, someone at Bethesda's not being silly, they're being brilliant.

      • by Renraku (518261)

        I bet they were forced to have SecuROM but some saintly developer put in a way to bypass it. You all have to remember, plenty of developers read Slashdot. Plenty of them DO NOT WANT tripe like SecuROM or Starforce to be inserted into their wonderful games, but that some misguided person in management or legal demands that it happen.

        Even if it causes people to HATE the game or be totally unable to run it, that's the law of the land.

        If they ever catch who did it, they'll be fired or possibly have their pant

      • by aztektum (170569)

        Hm, this pleases me. I may have to go buy this now. I was holding off until I had better clarification of their DRM scam... er scheme.

  • How is that a bug with the save system? A bug to me is something such as deleting your saves... this "bug" is just that if you save at a certain point near the end of the game you can no longer explore the open areas in the game from that particular save as you're locked into that room. That's not really a bug...
  • I'm just not buying this until mod tools are released.

  • by Mascot (120795) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:42PM (#25596453)

    should be, why didn't they finish the game?

    For an RPG it has huge immersion breaking holes in it. You can shoot someone's bodyguard right in front of their eyes, strip their store of everything not nailed down, and they'll still greet you with "Oh, hi, you're the new guy! So nice to meet you!" less than a second later.

    Save a guy's life? He'll be eternally grateful during the scripted conversation afterwards. Talk to him again immediately after the event ends and he might go "Speak punk, before I put a bullet in you".

    It's almost as if Bethesda never made one of these games before. Or never thought of a concept like a state machine for the conversation/reaction trees. I find it quite baffling.

    This thing is begging for an enhanced edition like Witcher got. I bet it won't get it though :(

  • by MrMista_B (891430) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @03:14PM (#25596697)

    Just another example of 'old people' thinking.

    What if this were a book, or a movie, or a TV show, instead of a videogame?

    There are thousands of books in which children are killed, drugs are used, that have post-apocalyptic imagery based on real places on the covers, and in the books themselves.

    Movies too, number in the thousands that show the killing of children, the use of drugs, and the destruction of public property.

    And Television shows, again, there are many where children are killed, drugs are used, and property is destroyed.

    So why, then, the hysteria of a videogame portraying the same?

    I think I've suggested an answer to that in the subject of my post.

  • Vulturism (Score:5, Informative)

    by Caboosian (1096069) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @05:05PM (#25597523)

    So, since I got Fallout on the 28th, I've been doing damn-near nothing but playing it. There are a lot of criticisms I have for it - many of which have been brought up in the comments - and even more praise, but there's one thing that I really, really love about this game.

    You're a scavenger. Nothing more, nothing less. My character is currently level 15 (out of 20), and I still scavenge everything. Guns, tin cans, nuka-cola, everything! Why? The steady degradation of weaponry/armor (and not just in a broke/not broke way, the guns get less accurate/do less damage), along with the scarcity of resources (not only in the world, but at the shops, too!) really prevent you from getting a gun and saying "hey, I'm set!". Bethesda made an absolutely brilliant decision when they decided to force you to use similar equipment to repair one piece of equipment. It forces you to loot everything, and constantly puts the player in a state of apprehension ("shit, I really need to find a shotgun, or I'm gonna be up a creek soon").

    This isn't Oblivion, where by level 50, you're the biggest, baddest mofo in town, and you're rollin' in dough (and presumably bitches). You're a bottom-feeder, and that really creates almost a sense of urgency, even when you're not fighting. Fallout isn't just about fighting Super Mutants - you're fighting the environment. You're a vulture, and I'll be damned if that doesn't make this game one of my favorite games of all time.

    • Re:Vulturism (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gregbot9000 (1293772) <mckinleg@csusb.edu> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @08:36PM (#25598987) Journal
      fuck yeah, I don't know what they did but I constantly feel like I'm getting the crap knocked out of me. I was level 17 and had 1000 rounds for the chines assault rifle, 40 stims, and 3000 caps, I went and hit downtown up, and by the time i got done I was broke as hell. Jericho was dead and I was irradiated and mostly dead. I don't think I've been handed as memorable a beating as that in any game.

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