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Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

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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  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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!

  • 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...

  • Re:What the crap?! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by wolfponddelta (922904) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:01PM (#25596139)

    Since when did we, as game consumers, start giving software development companies a pass for releasing buggy software?

    Easy Answer: the first time you ever booted up a windows machine to play a game on.

  • 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 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.

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

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:19PM (#25596287) Homepage Journal

    Stop pretending like you are justified for piracy. You're aren't. Piracy is a person decision. Man up and just say you want to steal the game. Don't claim that you are forced to steal it. You could buy an XBox 360 or a PS3.

    As for a portable XBox 360 - http://benheck.com/ [benheck.com]

  • 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.

  • Re:What the hell? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 01, 2008 @02:50PM (#25596493)

    "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.

  • Re:SecuROM? Fail. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 01, 2008 @03:08PM (#25596629) Homepage Journal

    Using a pirated copy involves circumventing copyright protection, which violates the DMCA. That being said, I still use no-cd cracks for games I purchase. I choose not to respect the DMCA, but I also believe in supporting game developers financially so they continue to make PC games.

    People like SanityInAnarchy bitch about what they want, but if you never support things financially, then no one cares. I watched major PC game development houses fold one after the other, and suddenly I realized that if I want these products to continue, then I need to purchase them.

  • by KGIII (973947) * on Saturday November 01, 2008 @03:13PM (#25596681) Journal

    Because it is amusing. What other reason is there to play a game? The killing of women, children, and anyone/everyone was an option that made the originals so great. Just like in life you can kill children but there will be hell to pay.

  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @03:13PM (#25596693)

    Because you can kill everyone else in the game? Magical protection for the children just doesn't make sense.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Saturday November 01, 2008 @06:15PM (#25598045)

    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.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @06:26PM (#25598121) Journal

    And you want to be able to kill children in a game why?

    Because it's fun!

    Because, in Fallout 2, kids in some places would pick your pockets and steal things. And the simplest way to get those things back would be to let them steal a primed grenade...

    Because it's fun!

    Because you might want to play a really evil guy who just kills anyone. You know, that's why it's called a roleplaying game? Because you can RP the personality you want?

    And, of course, because it's fun!

  • by Draek (916851) on Saturday November 01, 2008 @10:25PM (#25599665)

    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 sequel for DooM2, and hopefully another one for DooM3.

  • 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 Nazlfrag (1035012) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @12:25AM (#25600279) Journal

    Marking them as invincible is just pandering to reactionary busybodies with nothing better to do than spoil a games immersion.

  • by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron AT gmail DOT 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 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 Nick Ives (317) on Sunday November 02, 2008 @01:26PM (#25603445)

    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 Wakk013 (922235) on Monday November 03, 2008 @01:37PM (#25615019)
    Because the cars, in this parallel universe, all have nukes in them. Their version of the future was that everything was nuke driven. If you shoot up a car, regardless of weapon, it will explode. What sucks is when I'm standing next to one as cover, not realizing it about to blow up lol!
  • by voodoobettie (1391605) on Monday November 03, 2008 @03:05PM (#25616529) Homepage
    You can switch to third person view with R1 on the PS3 so you don't have to play in first person if you don't want to. I played Fallout 1 and 2 (I didn't like Fallout Tactics much though) and I found this game to be very like the other Fallout games with better features (like gear that up your stats) and a giant world to wander around, just like you would if you were actually emerging from a vault. I think it's awesome.

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