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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: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.

  • by ciderVisor (1318765) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @01:57PM (#25596105)

    I don't know if one could shoot a kid or not, but, if you did, that would have a negative impact on your character's karma, so in-game there would be sanctions against you.

    Perzakly. You can kill Little Sisters in Bioshock, but that decision stays with you right to the end of the game.

  • by KozmoStevnNaut (630146) <`henrikstevn' `at' `'> 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.

  • by Toll_Free (1295136) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:12PM (#25596231)

    No, he doesn't.

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

    Sad, but true.


  • 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 Broken scope (973885) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:56PM (#25596541) Homepage
    Because in the original games it was a choice with rather extensive consequences.
  • 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.

  • Re:Washington, DC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kabdib (81955) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @03:38PM (#25596877) Homepage

    > 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?

  • Re:Washington, DC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by k_187 (61692) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @04:31PM (#25597257) Journal
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @05:23PM (#25597631)
    OT, but FYI: Plasma cutters only work on metal, as they require an arc between the electrode and the work. If you pressed one to your arm the most you'd feel is a low-frequency throb and a blast of air.
  • by mog007 (677810) <> 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.

  • Or like Fallout 2... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chmcginn (201645) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @06:23PM (#25598093) Journal
    Fallout 2, in addition to the Good/Bad Karma scale, also had character 'titles' which were earned by specific actions. 'Child-Killer' was a huge pain in the ass - no matter how many good things you did, you couldn't ever get rid of everybody in post-nuclear San Fransisco knowing about that one 12-year-old pickpocket you shot in the second town. And it had some serious impact - certain quests would just never be available.
  • by westlake (615356) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @07:12PM (#25598443)
    Because in the original games it was a choice with rather extensive consequences.


    Introducing children into an RPG helps bring your world to life.

    But simply marking them for target practice is pandering - cheap thrills for the gamer-geek with nothing better to do.

  • Re:Vulturism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gregbot9000 (1293772) <> 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.
  • by Kagura (843695) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:56PM (#25599489)
    I couldn't agree more with OP. You can *clearly* tell you're playing with the Oblivion engine, but that goes away after five minutes and you completely stop thinking about it in terms of "Oblivion with guns". They really did a good job defying all expectations.
  • Re:Bah! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crossmr (957846) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @09:58PM (#25599513) Journal

    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 X0563511 (793323) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:56PM (#25603703) Homepage Journal

    I just taught them to sneak. Everyone hid, the mutants walked through town, cursed at each other a few times, and left.

    There's a few ways to play this game...

Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.