Friday, October 31, 2008

FalloutLog 01

After grinding to a halt with FC2, I called up the store yesterday morning to see if there was any hope of getting Fallout 3 at the end of the day like FC2. "It was an FC2 deal" they sad. "They ring us up and say it's good to go, then we ring you guys". Ok, well let me know if it's available then, because I have another long night rebuilding servers if it's not in. As it turned out it I got the call around midday saying it's good to go, just as I was finalising plans to shoot through early from work as compensation for another late night. Perfect!

Fired up the into with Cameron and Sandy watching on. It looked familiar from a teaser released months ago, so I thought I'd be Ok for Cameron to watch. We were then greeted with a birth scene with proud dad asking what he got, a boy or a girl? A glowing box appears for you to choose. Wha? interactive character creation? It's done just right.

We're now 1 and escaping from the creche we find a kids book "You're SPECIAL". Opening it up it once again surprises me that we're stepping though character creation in an interactive way. The primary stats are the same, the blurb is almost identical from Fallout 2, but it's oh so well laid out. I'm grinning as the similarities meld in with this new experience.

Skipping forward again to a 10 year old birthday party and my very own PIPBoy, this time a wrist computer with almost the same interface as in Fallout 2, but now it's ingrained into the game. I love it. Much more intuitive and yet so very similar.

Another skip forward and we're sitting a GOAT exam to find out what type of job we're suited to. Once again it's an interactive way of setting your skill preferences, but in an Ultima IV type question and answer session. You can change it once you're done to what skills you wanted if you've played it before. The last question is awesome.

One more timeshift leads into a dilemma. Dad's left the vault and everything is going to shit. I finally make it out of there too, but a few of the mentors developed though the moulding process are killed either at the hand of the overseer or by me. I'm free of the vault and good riddance.

Before I exit I get one last chance to change any of the settings before they are permanent ala Oblivion. I didn't really see the connection to oblivion through the whole process until that final screen, then it all seemed to slot together as the same type of mechanic. I had to repeat the process once because it needed a total restart once i signed up to Games of Windows LIVE and the non-skippable scenes of the birth process was a right royal pain, much like Oblivion.

Outside is awesome. After coming off a FarCry sensation I was pleased with the decimated vista that greeted me as I stepped out of the vault. The Oblivion feeling was still fresh and I mulled about whether it felt more like Oblivion or FarCry. Outside it definitely loses it's Fallout charm and drops more into a regular open world FPS, but it's holding its own so far.

I had a bit of a purposeful deviation to see if there were any interesting things to find scattered around away from the beaten path down to Megaton, but there was precious little growing, let alone stuff to collect. I sauntered back toward the city and met my first Wastelanders in the form of a travelling salesman complete with 2-headed cow and bodyguard (must be standard fare). I traded some junk I vacuumed out of the vault in my not-so-hasty exit for a laser pistol. I had picked up energy weapons as a priority skill since it fit better with the science look I was going for, but remembered an agonizing wait to get ahold of a laser in Fallout 2 when I tried the same build. Having a blaster and energy clips already is awesome. I'm happy with skill picks already.

Megaton is at the top of the hill and robbie-the-robot greets me with a canned advert spruking the pleasures found inside. Nice touch. The Sherriff was just inside the gates and gave me some instructions about the city as well as having an issue with a bomb he'd like me to solve. Talked him into giving me 5 times the caps (?) for doing it. I haven't seen it yet, but how hard could diffusing a bomb be?

The problem with the bomb is that it's fkn HUGE! Say, 10 times the size of Fat Boy? I doubt a plane would have even been able to carry it. There's also some crazies paying homage to it as "the bringer of life". I tell you what, if that thing went off there'd be NO life within 1000Kms. Turns out I don't even have sufficient skill to even open it up to have a look, and I'm giving it a wide berth anyway. Maybe my skill choices weren't all that flash? Damnit Fallout and you're penchant for agonizing choices at character creation!

Poked my head into most of the shops and buildings in the city to see what's going on. The freaky barkeep at the saloon turned out to quite a likeable zombie, more so than the regular "me first" mentality. He also buys my junk at a better price, so he's now lumbered with 50,000 plates and spoons I hoovered from the common sleeping area.

The water sanitation plant needed help, but it too needed more skill than I had; or so I thought. Revisiting my inventory revealed a set of overalls from 101 that boosted my maintenance skill just enough to fix the leaks around town. 2 of the 3 were easy to find, but the third eluded me for ages. It's amazing how many pipes there are in the town when you're looking for them.

Next was a trip outside to see a lady about some monies owed to trade for info on my Dad. She turned out to be more believable than the slimeball running the bar that sent me on this mission, but she seemed to give me more than he was asking for to do the right thing. Something didn't add up, but I'm richer and happier. I bet there's a sting when i get back to trade for the information though.

Dug around the wreckage of the old town for some random pre-world items, but stumbled into a firefight that I eventually realised I'd caused. I had walked past a blown up school and heard shooting so I got closer for a look. I didn't know they had seen me and were trying to shoot me, but were just lousy shots. I taught them a baseball lesson in why you'd want to aim straight. They turned out to be raiders. Probably not the brightest and most dangerous, but they weren't really much of a threat. What are all the Megatron citizens whinging about if a vault-n00b can take them out with a baseball bat?

The school was filled with pre-war books. Some charred, but still saleable (Gob will love these). I feel a bit like a pack horse lumbering all this armour and goodies back to town for a few more bottle tops. I'll be back this way for sure to relieve these guys of their burdensome armour.

Fallout humour is more evident now that I'm used to the outside expanses. Lots of little incidental stuff, like a poster in the school teaching kiddies a Vault-tec inspired duck-and-cover strategy.

Cleansing the school also got me to level 4, and enough skill points to look at the bomb. It's relatively straight forward and the 500 cap windfall makes me probably the richest guy in town. I'm now dealing in stimpaks as a pseudo $50 to keep Gob happy buying my leftovers. I also have a house!

Here it is, home sweet home ... What's that smell? There's milk still in the fridge?

The last happy snap introduces a new character. I picked up a toaster in the vault and it reminded me of talkie-toaster, so he's my companion from now on. I'll see how many shots I remember to put him in.

With a place to stash stuff I started to unload some no-so-immediate things I'd been carrying around. Extra guns and armour purely as spare parts. I like the new maintenance section. you can fix anything if you have the same type of equipment, but not as well as a full-time mechanic. I'm pretty gifted in the tinkering business so it might be worth a dabble. There's also plans I picked up for a home-made bomb that needed nuka-cola, an ashtray and a tin can or something. Looks like all the junk I've been hoovering might actually be used. Gonna have to stash 2 of each just to be safe. I feel like Noah...

Finally made it down to the supermarket for some "book research" and got acquainted with another raider nest. I finally figured out the VATS system. It's great for lining up 4-5 shots at once rather than just about aiming. Especially from hidden cover you can almost guarantee an ashen pile at the end of the laser barrage. Found my first hackable computer too, and it let me into a room filled with goodies.

There's so much stuff here I drag it out to the doors, hoping for a quick fast-travel to get me home. No such luck. Can't fast-travel when overburdened. Now I'm wishing I had put a few more pips into strength. I left it all inside the door. Going to be maybe 3-4 trips to get it all back. Do I need all those plates ???