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Role Playing (Games) E3

E3 Previews - Fable 2 and Fallout 3 38

While most of the games at the show are coming out this Holiday season, some are tantalizing glimpses of 2008. Two titles that are (most likely) coming out next year also happen to be highly anticipated follow-ups to RPGs. Bethesda's Fallout 3 has been getting the bulk of the press between the two, as the post-apocalyptic title recaptures the interest of veteran gamers looking for some nostalgia. Part Oblivion, part retro, part humor, and all Fallout , expectations still seem to be high despite the lack of hands-on experiences. Fable 2 has been an equally anticipated roleplaying title, as Peter Molyneux's promise to make us love NPCs stands as a challenge to the Lionhead team. After much discussion of other gameplay elements, the focus of presentations at this year's E3 appears to be on 'one button combat': "Imagine satisfying combat with just one button. Every movement of your weapon, every parry, thrust, and counter is controlled with a single button ... Swiping away at enemies was simple enough by just mashing away at the button, hearkening back to the simple sword combat of a game like Prince of Persia. There was far more depth to take advantage of, however. Holding down the button took a defensive stance, and parried incoming blows from all directions. That classic Hollywood swordfighting move, the behind the back parry was a piece of cake to pull off. More complex counter moves, ripostes and finishers are more difficult to pull off, requiring specific timing, but once again, it's all accomplished with a single button."
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E3 Previews - Fable 2 and Fallout 3

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  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:49PM (#19843825)
    Odin Sphere implements what they speak of (though in a mostly-2d world), with button-presser-for-combos, and button-holds-for-defense approach for many of the characters. It doesn't really work that well at all. It's much better to be able to guard-cancel with another button, or just get out of the way, rather than risk being there when a guard-breaking attack can get you, just so you can be closer once the attack ends. Not that guarding itself is always bad, but the flow of having to wait with a button down for guards to 'kick in' just isn't that useful, and doesn't end up intuitive, even with practice.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @06:54PM (#19843873)
    The original Fable received a lot of hype and was the major driving factor in getting me to purchase an Xbox, but after playing it I was horribly disappointed. It was an alright game on its own, but the massive amount of hype and the fact that for every cool thing you could do in the game there were at least two more that you thought you should be able to do, but couldn't, managed to leave a sour taste in my mouth.

    I like second chances though and with more powerful hardware, the Xbox 360 might help bring some of the missing features in the first game to the sequel. The only problems I'm seeing so far is that Molyneux seems to be making grand claims again and I'm wondering if they'll pan out or I'll just be left disappointed again. It's nice to hear that the game is looking good, but with the hardware capabilities of the Xbox 360 any game can look good if it wants to look good. He really needs to worry less about the looks and more about making sure there's plenty of feature rich gameplay. You can always spend the last few months touching up the graphics, but it's a real pain in the ass to make sure last minute feataure additions work smoothly.

    I'm a little leery after the last go-around, but I'm still hopeful that Fable 2 shapes up into an excellent game. Maybe it will be the game that motivates me to go out and buy an Xbox 360.
  • by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Thursday July 12, 2007 @07:14PM (#19844021)
    Peter Molyneux is great at coming up with ideas, not so good at implementation. This cycle has been repeated multiple times. As such, I've learned to just ignore the hype. Fable was pretty fun (certainly an adequate action/adventure/rpg thing) if you came into it like I did, ignoring the hype and hoping for a fun game.

    In a broader sense though, I think that gaming really suffers from a lack of Strong AI. Developers have been trying to do what Molyneux hyped up for "Black & White" since at least the early '90's. There was an early preview of a medieval RPG in CGW, whose name I can't remember, but they were hoping to have really deep and complex NPCs, and a dynamic political Arthurian environment that behaved in a natural way, with Romance, and Fights, and the whole shebang (on 486's no less!) Needless to say, they ran into some heavy problems and the project died, never to see the light of day. Can you imagine the kinds of games possible with Strong (or even strong-ish) AI? Games with the real, equivalent of a GM behind them? Stuff that would make Neverwinter Nights with its limited human GM tools look like the first Wizardry from 1980? Truly dynamic scenarios and rewards?

  • Re:Happy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13, 2007 @09:43AM (#19848055)

    It seems like the very vocal "Fallout" fanbase just wants the exact same game as last time.

    Nah, Fallout fans want a game designed for PCs rather than one designed for Xbox.

Each new user of a new system uncovers a new class of bugs. -- Kernighan