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News for Friday, May 29, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:42

A sales piece/interview with sales director Paul Oughton. Oddly enough, it doesn't actually contain any information on Fallout 3's sales that hasn't already been repeated ad nauseam.

“It's always nice to receive positive recognition and to receive this from your customers and peers is fantastic,” says Bethesda’s sales director Paul Oughton. “I had it down as a one-in- three chance between us and two others, so put £20 on each.

“The key to Fallout 3’s success started with Oblivion. The market already had belief in the ability of Bethesda to produce great games. There was a huge amount of goodwill extended to us and retail had the faith to support our aspirations. In the end, the code delivered, the faith paid off and we all have a lovely warm feeling.”

Despite the game’s first week sales, the team at Bethesda had to contend with one of the most congested video game release schedules in history. To ensure the game didn’t disappear into obscurity, the publisher spent much of its whopping £2.5 million UK marketing spend on a campaign that lasted right up to Christmas.

“What we learnt with Fallout is that even with a triple-A rated game you have to compete effectively at retail, not just at launch but in the run-up to Christmas as well,” adds Oughton.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:38

FPS in an "Utopia-gone-wrong". See teaser trailer. Dunno if I really need to note this but no: we won't be covering this game.

News for Thursday, May 28, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 17:25

A broken website yet they're undaunted.

We will be keeping our gallery more up-to-date, so expect regular eye candy for your Fallout fix.

We are still recruiting for those interested. We have achieved allot this year, and those joining now are sure to steal *Cough* I mean share in our final glory. At the moment, we could really use help making movies, we have most of our other bases covered but we could always use more artists, because five just isn't enough.

Our most recent location Las Vegas, was "finished" on the day New Vegas was announced, and I hope that it stands tall in comparison. Wasteland fans will be pleased with this one.

We are currently discussing in private the idea of an expansion pack. Allot of planned content was cut from the build, and there is scope for expansion (assuming it is well received), which will involve more Wasteland inspired re-imaginings. We are only one location away from the finish in terms of writing, but are many months away from the finish line, but be assured we will not fail.


Link: Mutants Rising website.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:21

A new week, a new chance for Fallout Trilogy on the NPD list, and Fallout 3 too (thanks to DLC? Dunno).

NPD Charts May 10-16

1. Wrath of the Lich King
2. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
3. Empire: Total War
4. WoW Battle Chest
5. Left 4 Dead
6. Spore
7. World Of Warcraft
8. Fallout Trilogy
9. Fallout 3
10. The Sims 2 Apartment Life
Thanks Ausir.

Posted by Brother None - at 17:04

Hurray!

Hey, we're the guys who sought composers for an alternative soundtrack earlier this year. So, after seven long months, we're finally finished with the project and the soundtrack is complete.

It is a music mod for Fallout 3 that replaces ambient and GNR music as well as few music effects in the game. Featuring music from 14 different artists, which of some are members of NMA. If you want your Fallout 3 to sound more hostile and post-apocalyptic, this is the mod to grab.

Download links:

http://files.filefront.com/Fo3+Alternative+Soundtrackexe/;13800629;/fileinfo.html

http://www.metaltracks.tk/claymore/fallout_3.html

And a torrent:

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4915751

Artists in alphabetical order:

Ceekayed - project leadership
Claymore - project administration
Crazy Man
Din (feat. Clones)
MDP
Nebular Spool
Overcoat
Public
Soem Aeld
Sunsquid
TiLT
Trompkins
Yasahi

Posted by Brother None - at 17:03

If you're wondering why we haven't newsposted on Bethesda's upcoming game reveal, well, it's because it's their "gender-breaking" FPS project with Splash Damage, which I doubt is of interest to us. Still, Bethesda fans, keep your eyes open, I guess.

News for Monday, May 25, 2009

Posted by Dragula - at 14:55

To many of you, this is not news, you know you could escape the vault as a baby and mess up the game, however the article makes some other points besides that.

Fallout toddler

"The 'Fallout 3 Baby' and other similar glitches represent something in between – an unintended hiccup that allows players to see the game in a whole new light, transforming the narrative and mood into something completely different, and in some cases, creating a whole new kind of game."

News for Sunday, May 24, 2009

Posted by Tagaziel - at 10:09

Courtesy of Piotr Koczewski, our friendly ostrich, NMA now hosts scans of the ancient Fallout preview from the even more ancient (and defunct) Polish magazine Secret Service.



And, this time from the friendly neighbourhood cat, Mikael Grizzly, a batch of Fallout concept art, featuring Leonard Boyarsky's concepts for Laura, Killian Darkwater, Decker and Morpheus, four stages of creating a talking head, a Poseidon Gasoline station and last, but not least, concept art of the T-51b Powered Infantry Armour. And the cherry on top is the beta Fallout 2 title tag:



More to come as our archives of magazines are being digged through.

Link: Fallout Miscellaneous Gallery on NMA
Link: Fallout Concept Art on NMA

News for Saturday, May 23, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:35

Apparently we're pretending this is news worth following up on now. From The Cut Scene.

“Before they would pitch us on someone like Clinton, they may first go ask if he would do something like that,” says Pete Hines, Bethesda's vice president of public relations and marketing. “In no way, shape or form, did we say is President Clinton is who we want for this role or [tell Blindlight to] go chase him.”

News for Friday, May 22, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:16

Looks like Interplay will be present at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo. Though they're not listed, Eric Caen notes on the Interplay forum that they'll be showing their upcoming release DSi/DS release T-Rex Rumble.

T-Rex Rumble is currently in development and will be released in 2 or three quarters.
The game will be shown to press and website journalists during E3 in ten days, and preview of its unique gameplay should appear right after.
As of today, six missions are playable and we are scripting the other missions and we are working on sound effects & musics.
's right, Interplay's actually got 3 games (V13 and the DSi/DS titles T-Rex Rumble and Prehistorik), if not more (Earthworm Jim 4?). The chances of V13 making a showing at E3 are likely near nihil, but we figured we'd just chuck this out here since, heck, Interplay really seems surprisingly not-dead.

Also, don't forget Bethesda will be at E3, so prepare for stacks of Point Look previews.

Posted by Tagaziel - at 15:12

The Russian online RPG, Krai Mira has just released an online demo. In the words of the devs:

Krai Mira is an online role-playing game that immerses the player in a world devastated by global disaster. In this world, everyone can get his own way, communicate with other players, take part in fights, gather resources and items, hunt, explore new islands, trade, and more!

The game is based on a 2D isometric engine, tiled landscapes and bitmap objects rendered from 3D scenes. Navigation is performed with a mouse. Many actions have custom hot keys.

General graphic style - cruel realism and harmonious colors suit the setting and emphasize an atmosphere of a post-apocalyptic world. Short and expressive animations accompanied by charming music.
You can download the client here.

Link: Krai Mira Download

Thanks for the news go to our friendly NMA ostrich, Piotr Koczewski.

Posted by Brother None - at 13:36

Angry Gamers are still angry, and Bethesda does not dodge their ire this time either.

What do I consider a good CRPG? Fallout 1 and 2 (they’re two separate parts, but it’s essentially one big story) are good examples. They offer you freedom, actions and consequences, all with great motivation. You are free to do all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons, but beware the repercussions. This created a way to contribute to the story.

In the original Fallout games I’ve killed all kinds of living beings, including children. Sometimes I earned money by killing, sometimes people wanted to blast me away for it. I’ve made money of cannibalism. I ****ed women to get what I want. I even had sex with a sixteen year old and got married to her because her dad caught me and forced me to the altar with a shotgun. I made promises to people and stabbed them all in the back, allowing me to get filthy ****ing rich in the process. I made and sold drugs, and even used it to temporarily up my strength, and became addicted after a couple of uses too much. I had philosophical discussions with mortal enemies, and the list goes on and on. It even contained homosexuality, something a lot of so called RPGs avoid like the plague. At the end you could even join the ‘bad guy’. Now THAT is contributing to the story.

Also, in Fallout 1 and 2, you couldn’t experience everything with one playthrough. Makes sense, because you’re acting as a persona, and you have limits. You can’t be an amazing sniper, doctor, technician and thief at the same time. Who you created and what you did had consequences, forcing you to think before you start pressing buttons like a twitching idiot.

Modern day CRPGs like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 pale in comparison to Black Isle’s masterpiece. I thoroughly enjoyed Mass Effect for the combat, the epic story and the dialogue system, but when it boils down to it, everything consists of black and white choices. Fallout 3 is even less of an RPG: there’s no real dialogue. It’s just you asking people’s names, jobs and things like that. These are monologues, periodically interrupted by the player. And the choices are even more black and white than Mass Effect, but there’s no reasoning behind them. You can blow up Megaton and you receive a little money for it, but what does it do to you? You’re not hated for it by other people, there are no consequences other than the town being gone, so why would you do it? With my first character I had already slaughtered the entire town with a baseball bat and a 10MM pistol the before I even met this quest giver.
(...)
For me, the list of true RPGs is quite short. Nearly any game involving Tim Cain or a studio he used to be part of (Black Isle and Troika Games). Obsidian Entertainment is looking to be a very promising developer within this genre, especially with their upcoming title Alpha Protocol. And the new Fallout installment will be developed by them and Josh Sawyer, known from Icewind Dale 2, a designer who wasn’t brought into the world by a mother who clearly drank during her pregnancy, like Todd Howard.
Are these guys trying to take our place as flagship Bethesda haters*?

Thanks again for the anger, GameBanshee.

* And yes I know that title belongs to RPGCodex

Posted by Brother None - at 0:07

If you need any help with Broken Steel, GameBanshee offers a full walkthrough, list of perks, equipment database, etc. etc, as well as a 8.0 review of Broken Steel.

Overall, Broken Steel is a better value than either of the previous two DLC packs. It contains about the same amount of new content, as far as quests and items are concerned, but then it also adds in support for a higher level cap. I wasn’t thrilled with either addition, but they’re nice enough, and combined they make the Broken Steel DLC pack worthwhile.

News for Thursday, May 21, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:12

Another 10-Q from Interplay, with nothing much to say. Nothing on the Fallout Trilogy or Bethesda's reclamation of FOOL as that falls outside of the financial quarter.

As of March 31, 2009, we had a working capital deficit of approximately $2,241,000, and our cash balance was approximately $124,000.

During 2007 we sold "Fallout" to a third party and entered into, subject to satisfaction of various conditions, the license back which could allow us to create, develop and exploit a "Fallout" MMOG.

We have entered into a binding letter of intent with Masthead Studios to fund the development of a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), code named "Project: V13." The game has been in design and development at Interplay since November 2007. Masthead and Interplay teams are working together under the direction and control of Interplay to complete development of the project. As a part of the agreement, the game utilizes Masthead's proprietary tools and MMOG technology developed for Masthead's "Earthrise" project.

We are exploring ways to leverage our portfolio of gaming properties through sequels and various development and publishing arrangements. We are planning, if we can obtain financing, to develop sequels to some of our most successful games, including Earthworm Jim, Dark Alliance, Descent and MDK. We have reinitiated our in-house game development studio, and have hired game developers.

We have entered into a Game Production Agreement with Interactive Game Group which provides for the financing of the development of games under certain conditions.
(...)
We entered into various licensing agreements during the three months ended March 31, 2009 under which we licensed others to exploit games that we have intellectual property rights to. We expect to enter into similar license arrangements to generate cash for the Company's operations during the remainder of the fiscal year.
And the Microprose thing.
On March 24, 2009 the Company sold to Microprose, LLC, an affiliate of Interactive Game Group, 5,454,967 shares of Common Stock of the Company and issued a warrant to purchase 1,677,483 shares of Common Stock of the Company for a total consideration of $327,298. Such shares and warrant were issued, and any underlying shares of Common Stock would be issued, in a private placement exempt from registration pursuant to section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933. Such warrant has a term of 3 years, an exercise price of $0.06, and is immediately exercisable. Out of the consideration of $327,298, $148,000 was received in cash, $126,000 was satisfied by the acquisition of certain intellectual property rights by the Company, and $53,298 was satisfied by the cancellation of the convertible promissory note (see Note 2) in the amount of $52,000 and accrued interest thereon from Interactive Game Group. These warrants were valued using the Black-Scholes Model. The amount of $ 23,000 was charged to 2009 operations.
That is to say, aside from the cash Interplay got "126k worth" of intellectual property. This might be the earlier-mentioned "Conquer Series", "M1 Tank Platoon Series" and "Subwar" from I2G or it might not be, not sure on that one.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:42

Arguably late to the party, but at least we're there, as The Dutch Ghost reviews Fallout 3's second DLC, the Pitt.


The design is in some ways far better than that of Fallout 3 and one can see it was shaping up well when the designers put the road and the bridge towards the Pitt together, the buildings and layouts of the streets also feel well thought out, with the structures the raiders later added - such as the hanging bridges - giving a clear impression of how the city is being repurposed by its new masters.

The steel mill and the abandoned steelyard have also been done well, even though it is a bit of a shame that exploring the steel yard becomes a singular fixed path with little alternate routes as the player has to search for steel ingots.

Even though its visuals are attractive, the Pitt does feel half finished, players only get to explore a small part of the city with most of the streets blocked off by rubble, much like the separate portion exploration of Fallout 3. And while some buildings such as the Steel Mill has been worked out well - as are parts of the raiders 'Uptown section - the slaves' Downtown section does not particularly give the impression of being a place where people have to live together.
Link: NMA Fallout 3 The Pitt review.

News for Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 19:53

This is pretty far out of the left field, from a Lev Chapelsky interview on Edge Online (the interview itself is about how poverty-stricken actors and film production workers are forced to flee to the gaming industry).

Have you worked with figures that aren’t in the acting world?

Celebrity acquisition applies not just to celebrity actors but to sports figures, politicians – we’ve made offers to Bill Clinton for videogames and gotten great responses with attorneys who have said, ‘The former president will not participate in one of your videogame products, thank you very much’. We appreciated that frankness and candour – you don’t get that kind of candour from Creative Artists Agency, frankly. If the answers no, they don’t return your call for six months.

What project did you ask Bill Clinton for?

I think that might have been to play the president in Fallout 3. Wouldn’t that have been brilliant? You get to that point in game and you hear that voice in the ether coming from off-camera and you’re like, ‘I know that guy!’

It was worth a try!

Exactly. And that’s always our attitude with celebrities, that you’ve got about a point zero zero one per cent chance of that one, but fuck, it’s worth a try. We might get the offer in on a day that they’ve got a wild hare up their ass because they just had great sex the night before and they feel like they’re on top of the world and they want to try something new. We do a lot of that.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:10

Angry Gamers is angry at Bethesda's treatment of Interplay (thanks GameBanshee).

Bethesda's parent company Zenimax, has reared its ugly head and turned Bethesda into an evil pawn in this sleazy form of license acquisition. These are the conditions set by Bethesda to allow Interplay to complete their MMO, you tell me if this seems fair:

* No single player or offline mode in any way.
* Must be for PC or Mac only, no ports to console whatesoever.
* Minimum of 10,000 monthly subscribers.
* Furthermore, Interplay must enter "full-scale" development of the MMO with a minimum of $30 million in funding by two years from the signing of the agreement, or it immediately forfeits its rights to the license.
* Interplay may not sublicense any part of MMO development without Bethesda's approval.
* The MMO "must meet or exceed such quality standards as may be set by Bethesda from time to time" in order for Interplay to remain in good standing, and Bethesda has the right to inspect Interplay's offices and development progress at any time during normal business hours provided two days' notice is given.
* The company must launch the game in North America and Europe within four years of that development commencement date, with the potential for a one-year extension if development is progressing adequately, giving the game a final release date limit of April 9, 2014
* In return for granting Interplay the MMO rights, Bethesda will receive royalties of 12% of sales, subscription fees, or other revenue generated by the game.

Why would Zenimax and Bethesda buy the exclusive Fallout rights? Quite simply, ownership leverage. Acquiring the licensing rights allows Zenimax to set ludacris conditions for Interplay and purposely led them to believe they would still be working on the MMO. They knowingly created these conditions so Interplay would forfeit the MMO rights, at no additional cost to Zenimax other than what had already been incurred upon buying the exclusive rights. Then their new MMO studio, Zenimax Online Studios produces the game and makes a potential profit of at least 88% more than the 12% of royalties it would have gotten from Interplay. Read ahead and see for yourself why these sleazy bastards are robbing Interplay blind.
Not to put too fine a point on it but that doesn't make any sense, guys. Interplay signed a contract fully aware that those conditions were part of it. Of course Bethesda's plan was to get the MMO license back for free all along. And of course you can argue it's not a very good deal from Interplay's side.

But how can you blame Bethesda for the contract? They didn't exactly cut off the head of Herve Caen's $600.000 stud horse and put it in his bed while he was sleeping...errr...as far as we know. Still, the sentiment goes on...
It definitely seems like Pete Hines is trying to deny it repeatedly. He also said that they're trying to protect what they created but in reality Interplay made the Fallout series a cult classic, not Bethesda (...)

If they do decide to create a Fallout MMO can the greedy assholes at Bethesda/Zenimax handle the launch and upkeep of an MMO? If they can't even release downloadable content without major glitches, how are they going to take on the large-scale issues unique to Massive Multiplayer Gaming?
On the other hand, can Interplay? Interplay surprised and impressed quite a few people by actually managing to get a retail Fallout PC bundle rereleased and into major gaming store outlets (Best Buy, Walmart) that barely carry PC shelf space at all (if you don't know why that's actually pretty impressive you haven't been keeping track of the PC industry much), but an MMO is another matter.

Which is part of the reason for this quote from GameInformer magazine that has been floating around (thanks VictorPresper).
Flogging the dead horse that is Interplay could be everyone's best interests, if our fourth-grade lawyer logic is correct. Interplay, which had a deal with Bethesda to develop an online Fallout project, has failed to do so in the time allotted in a deal. Now it looks like the rights for a Fallout MMO title are going to Bethesda - which opened its own MMO studio in 2007. Right now, the different sides are hashing things out, and hopefully we'll soon be hearing about a result in Bethesda's favor and a Bethesda-made Fallout MMO to boot.
Sucking up and unashamedly showing their bias? Sure. But worried justifiably about a half-alive company taking on FOOL (they seem to be somewhat unaware of Masthead)? Sure.

Discuss.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:17

Good news from the FOnline website, as a date has been scheduled for the third test of the MMO application.

The date of third open test defined - it's 15'th of august. Just to remind - there are no any pre-registration needed - visit this site and download the client archive in target date. This test will last till release with small breaks for updates.
Thanks UnidentifiedFlyingTard.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:13

The lack of new PC releases means the NPD top list has rusted shut a bit, so perhaps unsurprisingly the Fallout Trilogy is still there.

1. World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard / $36
2. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / EA Maxis / $20
3. Left 4 Dead / Valve / $29
4. World Of Warcraft / Blizzard / $20
5. World Of Warcraft Battle Chest / Blizzard / $40
6. Empire: Total War / Creative Assembly / $50
7. Spore / EA Maxis / $50
8. Fallout Trilogy (Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics) / Interplay / $20
9. Bejeweled Twist / PopCap / $14
10. The Sims 2 Apartment Life Exp. Pack / EA Maxis / $20
Doing well, then.

Thanks Ausir.

News for Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 17:47

Here's the press release on the DLC retail editions (which will not be available for PS3), the DLCs coming to PS3 and a GotY edition (which will include the DLCs for PS3) of Fallout 3.

Bethesda Softworks Europe Announces Plans for Additional Downloadable Content for Fallout 3 on Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3
19th May, 2009 - Bethesda Softworks Europe is today pleased to announce that Fallout® 3 downloadable content (DLC) is coming to PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. We have been working on implementing it for a while and look forward to bringing it to PS3 gamers via the PlayStation Network. Operation: Anchorage will be released for PS3 in late June, followed by the release of The Pitt and Broken Steel 4-6 weeks apart. Release dates will be forthcoming.

In addition, a new update will be released for PS3 that will allow users to download and play the new DLC. The release date for that update will be announced at a later date.

There are also two new DLCs planned for all three platforms:

• Point Lookout – Explore a massive new swampland area filled with new quests and content.
• Mothership Zeta – The aliens have returned, and they’re pissed. Experience an alien abduction first hand and find out if you’re tough enough to survive.

Point Lookout will be available in late June for Xbox 360 and PC. Cost will be 800 Microsoft Points. It will be available through Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live. Point Lookout will be available on PS3 after the first three DLCs have been released.

Mothership Zeta is scheduled for release in late July for Xbox 360 and PC. Cost will be 800 Microsoft Points. It will be available through Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live. Mothership Zeta will be available on PS3 after Point Lookout.

Finally, new Fallout 3 products will be available at retail this year.

Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #1 includes The Pitt and Operation: Anchorage on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC on June 12th across Europe.

Fallout 3 Game Add-on Pack #2 includes Broken Steel and Point Lookout on a disc and will be available for Xbox 360 and PC in August across Europe.

A Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition will be available in October. It will include the original game plus all five add-ons for £39.99 / €59.99 for Xbox 360 and PS3, and £29.99 / €49.99 for PC.

Retail versions of the game add-on packs for PS3 will not be available and the DLC will only be available for download via PlayStation Network or with the Fallout 3 Game of the Year edition.

Posted by DoktorVivi - at 17:19

IGN reports on two new Fallout 3 DLCs, as well as the fact that all Fallout 3 DLCs will no longer exclusive to the Live system but expanding to PS3, and now with more aliens!

Point Lookout takes players to a new swampy area with new quests. Mothership Zeta features a return of the aliens who are described by Bethesda as "pissed." The download allows players to experience an alien abduction. Both Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta will be priced at 800 Microsoft points (US $9.99). Point Lookout will be available in June for Xbox 360 and PC while Mothership Zeta is slated for July on the same platforms.

Operation: Anchorage will be released for PS3 in June with The Pitt and Broken Steel following with 4-6 weeks between each. Exact release dates will be announced in the future. Both Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta will eventually find their way over to PS3 as well, though they will come after the first three add-ons have made the leap.
(...)
IGN: Without spoiling too much for us, what is the general plotline of Point Lookout's new quests?

Todd Howard: Yeah, I really don't want to spoil it yet. It has a swampy-horror vibe. It's the brainchild of Joel Burgess and Nate Purkeypile, two of our best people here. Their pitch was, "picture backwoods Maryland, where the bombs didn't actually fall, but the world has left it behind." It's also big. Really big. It's a mini wasteland swamp to explore. It has a main quest, side quests, etc.

IGN: What about for Mothership Zeta?

Todd Howard: If you poke around Fallout 3, you can find a crashed UFO with an alien inside that is broadcasting a signal your Pip-Boy picks up. This is where you can get the alien blaster. Well, Mothership Zeta is answering the distress call. You get abducted and the whole thing takes place on a giant alien spacecraft. It's one of those classic 50's B movie type things, but with a harder edge.

News for Monday, May 18, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:13

Bethesda Europe's Sean Brennan answers questions gamesindustry.biz has concerning the Fallout 3 DLC and sales model (first part of the interview with more general thoughts here).

Q: You recently had more issues with the release of Broken Steel on Xbox 360 and PC – is it still a learning process, is it still early days for DLC as a service in general?

Sean Brennan: Can I say, rather delicately, we're in the seminal stages of the market for both first-parties and third-parties.

Q: Is there an issue with QA and testing internally at Bethesda?

Sean Brennan: I don't think so. It's something where we're producing a lot of content and we're working in partnership with Microsoft on this, we've produced a lot of content in a short time frame. Think of it like this – we're releasing a lot in terms of gameplay, it's about half a full-price game with 4-5 hours worth of gameplay, when there's only eight hours in some full-price titles. That process, for us and for Microsoft, it's inevitable in a sense that there's going to be some issues there. Obviously it has been a concern but I think we've ironed all of that out now. We're in a good position now, but it's not been how we wanted it.
Seriously?

Spotted on GameBanshee.

News for Friday, May 15, 2009

Posted by Tagaziel - at 22:12

Certain things slip into released DLCs, such was the case with incomplete AutoAxe files in the Operation: Anchorage DLCs and is, again, with a script from the fourth Fallout 3 DLC. It can be viewed in GECK's scripting tool, under the heading DLC04RelayStatBackdoorUnlockSCRIPT.

scn DLC04RelayStatBackdoorUnlockSCRIPT

BEGIN ONTRIGGERENTER PLAYER
DLC03RelayStationBackDoor.unlock
disable
END

Posted by Dragula - at 2:44

Reviews till your eyes bleed.

1up

Having played through the main quests, I can say that the lack of different paths wasn't the significant detriment I would have expected. With the exception of one decision towards the very end (which I'll get to later), things play out very much as you'd expect them to.
Blast Magazine 9/10
Unfortunately, the mission ends up being a bit of a failure. The Enclave turn out to be a little tougher than you and your team anticipates, as your rivals have gotten their hands on some heavy-duty missile technology. Your company is almost completely wiped out and Liberty Prime is damaged beyond repair, setting the Brotherhood back “years!” From this point on, it is your job to do some very intense reconnaissance missions for the Brotherhood.
CNET
Of all the missions from all the Fallout 3 DLC packs, Broken Steel includes easily the most enjoyable. In terms of comparative worth, it strips Operation: Anchorage naked, forces it to its knees and paints the radioactive Wasteland with its easily forgettable brains. With a Tesla Cannon.
Game and Player
I do, however, have two issues with the new content. The first is that the new endings do not have the same sense of closure and satisfaction that the original did. You go through all of that effort and what you get is so anti-climatic it was just a bit of a letdown. My other issue is that with the new level cap it is quite simply impossible for players to reach that cap without a character that has maxed-out stats. It defeats the purpose of making things challenging, and removes the incentive of giving players a free hand in their own development since everyone's going to end up with the same kind of character anyway.
Talking About Games A-
New Perks, levels and a great story, however, do not necessarily mean this expansion is perfect. From day one there was a problem with the initial download, where random users experienced a conversation bug which made it impossible to progress the story and access the new content. That was solved relatively quickly, as was the achievement glitch where some gamers finished quests without any points being added to their gamerscore. While this has been fixed, it isn’t retroactive, so victims of the glitch are forced to replay the missions again. That’s not terrible, but that’s not perfect, either.
Xbox Evolved 9/10
Fallout has been out for about seven months now and I’m sure there are those of you that have played through the game 100% and those of you that have played through the story and haven't gone back to the game. With the Broken Steel expansion both parties will have a reason to go back and slay more wastelanders.
London Free Press
Fallout 3 remains one of the best games of recent years, so anything that adds to the experience -- especially if it keeps that true Fallout-y vibe like Broken Steel does -- can do no wrong. The only downside is that this is truly the end as far as this tale is concerned. And this time, it won't matter how hard we cry about it.

News for Thursday, May 14, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 16:14

Chris Taylor posted on the Interplay Tech Support forum to point to a new compatibility patch Interplay release for those of us with XP/Vista who can not get Fallout Tactics to start. It's not immediately clear if this is an issue & solution for the Trilogy Set version only or for all versions of Tactics.

Link: Fallout Tactics compatibility patch.

Posted by Dragula - at 3:02

If you did not have enough, here are some more reviews.

Gamer 2.0 8.8/10

"The ending you decide to take really has no bearing at all on events in Broken Steel minus a few dialogue changes, which really slumps the effects of Broken Steel considering you have no outcome at all to what happens. But in retrospect, the need for everyone to play the same story makes perfect sense as you play through Broken Steel."
Worth Playing 8/10
"I wasn't too thrilled with most of the new perks, such as the one that allows you to slowly reduce your rads over time — as if Rad Away were difficult to find in the game. Granted, it probably wasn't easy to think of something new and worthwhile for players to buff out their characters this late in the game, but there are a few others that have some potential for amusing fun. The "Puppies!" perk gives canine companion Dogmeat, if you have him, a form of immortality in case he's turned into super mutant chow. Another one, "Quantum Chemist," allows you to convert 10 Nuka-Colas at a time into the rare and Action Point-enhancing Nuka-Cola Quantum. The "Nerves of Steel" perk allows AP to regenerate faster so that you can obliterate your enemies more efficiently. "

Posted by Brother None - at 0:08

Honestly, this is either testament to how few copies the top 10 really sells or OMFG WTF BBQ is the appropriate response. NPD's top 10 US PC retail gaming sales (with the usual disclaimer that it's a guesstimate at best) sees Interplay's Fallout Trilogy hitting at #7, just above recently released (though admittedly DD-focused) Demigod.

1. World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Activision Blizzard)
2. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe (Electronic Arts)
3. Left 4 Dead (Electronic Arts)
4. World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest (Activision Blizzard)
5. Empire: Total War (Sega of America)
6. World Of Warcraft (Activision Blizzard)
7. Fallout Trilogy (Interplay)
8. Demigod (Stardock)
9. The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts)
10. Spore (Electronic Arts)

News for Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 16:02

OXM interviews Pete Hines on the Fallout franchise & Bethesda.

And is Broken Steel the last DLC for Fallout 3?

Yes, that's the third of the three things. Whether it's the absolute last one remains to be seen. Because it's been hugely successful. Operation Anchorage vastly exceeded our expectation. It was like "holy shit, we did how many?" And the Pitt was really successful, after a bit of a false start.

But Broken Steel is the one that. when we first announced all three, this is the one that everyone has been bugging us the most about, because it removes the ending and changes the level cap and lets you play more in that world. I think it's going to be hugely, hugely popular.
Am I really the only one who thinks that since they openly admitted the level cap and endings were mistakes, it should've been fixed in a patch, rather than make people pay for it?

Eh. How about this bit of beauty:
I'm expecting a big no here, but is there an official comment on the Interplay / Bethesda situation?

I'll give you a bit more than a 'no'. It's a whole legal thing and we let the lawyers sort out what takes place there and when they come to a resolution we'll have information to share and we'll let folks know. Something like that there's legal involved, PR is the least of our concern.

Anything on a Fallout MMO then?

It's to be seen. Our intention is that Fallout is ours, we went to great lengths to acquire it. It wasn't just something we were working on but something we owned. We want to make sure whatever it is we do is appropriate and we have a lot of love for it and respect for it.

Look, we ran a gauntlet for four and a half years doing this - there was a lot of folks weren't really sure if we were the right guys to have this. Were we going to fuck it up and destroy what was beautiful? But for the most part I think we've proven that we can be stewards for this thing and take care of it.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:33

Yeah, we've been slacking of a bit on the review front, and by gum I'm now going to make you sit through every horrible minute of it. GameFocus 9.5.

Cons
- …….
AtomicGamer 85%.
From the perspective of many PC gamers who don't play user-made mods, have installed the 1.5 patch and didn't notice any difference, and only play the DLC packs, Broken Steel does work just fine now that the download issues of the first couple days have been fixed. So don't be scared off by that previous paragraph unless you've got some mods that you simply need in order to fill out your FO3 experience. And this is definitely the best DLC add-on so far, as it adds plenty of gameplay, some great-looking new areas both inside and outside the area you're probably very familiar with by now, and is the only pack released so far to really change what's happening in the regular game. If you almost bought The Pitt but held off because $10 seemed maybe just a bit too much, then go ahead and pick up Broken Steel because it's definitely worth the cost this time.
GameStar 78/100.
Broken Steel raises the maximum level to 30, adds 14 new special talents and allows you to explore the world even after finishing the game. That’s all good, but it’s probably coming out too late for most Fallout gamers.
GameZone 8.8.
The main quest line can be finished in about six hours or so but the real treat comes in the form of the final missions that will lead to a promising ending. If you were greatly disappointed by the ending of the game, Broken Steel promises a rewarding ending.
MeriStation 8.5.
Fallout 3 gets new content and Broken Steel set a new quality level on the downloadable content for this game. Expanding the level cap up to 30 and adding a nice set of new items, enemies and weapons is only one of the features of this expansion. Also, it really makes you feel the way the original did and let you play with your characters forever so it's worth buying if you expend a lot of time developing your avatar.
Gaming Nexus B+.
I didn't seem to run into any bugs throughout my play of Broken Steel except for one. In fact, I started the DLC with a bug. Having finished the Pitt DLC, I saved right outside the train yard where you can take a rail car to the Pitt. When I loaded up the saved game after installing the DLC I found my character underneath the train track in a sort of noclip mode but I couldn't move too far. Luckily I could fast travel to a location to get out. Now, whether this was brought on by the DLC remains to be seen but I don't remember loading up the save game and experiencing this issue. Other than that, my journey through Broken Steel was pretty problem free. There were some issues with the Windows PC Games for Windows Live installation of the DLC but that was fixed in a day or so. The bug experience was certainly a lot less than that of the Pitt so I have no complaints in this area.
Extreme Gamer 8.0.
Two major complaints about Fallout 3 as a project have finally been addressed within the new content. The first complaint about Fallout 3 is that the game ended... well, now it doesn’t and you are free to roam the wasteland partaking in various side missions after the main mission. For all those who have finished Fallout 3, we now owe Bethesda a big "Thank You" for extending the life of the game beyond its orignal intent. Secondly is the level cap. Without the new content installed your game will end and your character will not be able to progress past level 20. Again, Bethesda saves the day by raising the level cap another ten levels to cap out at level 30. Level 30 should be more than adequate to take on all the monsters that roam the wasteland. For all those who still feel underpowerd, or simply want more power, more perks, and more motivation explore the violent vista of the wasteland, Broken Steel is a must.
Gamervision 8.
There’s quite a bit to like about this wild new world, particularly if you haven’t already completed the other two DLC packs. In fact, pretty much my only issue with “Broken Steel” is that it should have been released first. Bumping the level cap to 30, adding new perks, and re-opening the world after you’ve played “The Pitt” and/or “Operation: Anchorage” just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. While you could argue that all you had to do was not play those missions until after “Broken Steel” came out, I think they just should have released them in reverse order. Particularly since the items you attain in “Operation: Anchorage” border on game breaking, and make the other two DLC packs a breeze. The three achievement based missions are where you’ll spend most of your time, but there are also five or six additional side quests I came across. Like the rest of the game, how much you get out of this content depends on how willing you are to explore the world.
Thunderbolt 8.
It’s just a shame that everyone will have to pay for this level cap, especially since PlayStation 3 owners won’t even see this DLC unless Bethesda change their minds. However, those with the ability to shell out will find a long and difficult new batch of quests - including a few side quests - as well as a way to get a hold of some cool new perks, weapons, armour and of course, achievements. Put simply, Broken Steel is the most complete piece of DLC for Fallout 3 so far, and the one most worth purchasing. Even after you’ve finished the extended campaign there’s plenty to go back to with the new level cap, including a way for all you dog lovers to bring Dogmeat back from the dead - Awww.
GamePro Arcade 4/5.
Your new quest consists of three main missions and a number of short side missions. Initially gamers will find these to be derivative and dull. Retrieving data from a satellite relay and picking up coils will not be a challenge. Things don’t get interesting until you reach Adams Air Force Base, where enemies are tougher (Enclave Hellfire Troopers are nasty), more numerous, and you’re finally given a purpose for your actions, along with some interesting choices to make.
Everyeye.it 8.
Broken Steel is a recommended DLC for Fallout 3, that brings some good patches to the original story, first of all the open-ended final. Other good news: new powerful equipment, new hours of play, and the possibility to level up again the character. All for 800 MP.
Kotaku.
Taxing Difficulty: It's not altogether bad that Broken Steel was much harder for me than Fallout 3 was, but it is troubling that it may have been this hard because of the DLC conundrum Bethesda posed to gamers. If you, unlike me, had already completed the missions of the first two DLC expansions you probably will have better weapons to defeat Broken Steel's tough enemies than I did. I held off from playing them because they didn't raise the game's level cap and I didn't want the quests in those expansions to not reward me with character-building experience points. Perhaps the best road to take would be to download Broken Steel, let the new level cap take effect, then play the quests of the first two DLCs to get the weapons that will ease Broken Steel's quests.
GameSpy 4/5.
Other perks will allow you to instantly change your karmic alignment, perhaps for the purposes of attaining those pesky karma achievements, or just as a way for you to draw a follower that otherwise wouldn't have anything to do with you. This way, baddies can get someone like Paladin Cross, while a goodie-goodie may get a chance to experience a relationship with a coldhearted bastard like Jericho. It's also a good idea to pick up the Explorer perk with one of your levels, since it will help a lot as far as seeing everything the game has to offer.
Video Games Reloaded 8.8.
Broken Steel also introduces a few new weapons; my personal favourite is the Tesla Cannon which is essentially the same laser that Liberty Prime uses. It’s deadly; it can destroy a Vertabird with one shot! A line from Red vs. Blue has some relevance here… “I bet I could blow up the whole goddamn world with this thing” and you would probably be right. I only wish I had the weapon much earlier so the rest of the game would be a breeze. Well I know what to do if I ever decide to go through the 360 version on my other gamertag…
Evolved Gaming 9.
I believe that this expansion feels a lot more like a natural expansion more than the Pitt and Operation: Anchorage was. The missions are set in the world of the main quest in Fallout 3, unlike the Pitt and Anchorage where you have to travel to another location, and because of that the DLC plays very well and naturally, like it was in the game already. There are also moral decisions in this expansion, just like the rest of the DLC, but the decisions in Broken Steel seem like they affect the rest of the game more than the other expansions.
Xbox 360 Achievements 10.
However, don't expect to be a living God on the way. Many enemies (particularly in the Broken Steel story line) have been powered up to match what you can bring to the table, and pack some serious firepower. You'll also find intimidating new foes, like Albino Radscorpions or Super Mutant Overlords, as you traverse the Wasteland. These enemies promise to keep you on your toes, and bring a level of challenge to the game that was mostly missing once players hit the old level cap.
InsideGamer 5/5 (thanks The Dutch Ghost).

In the end I took about five hours to complete (Broken Steel) and that felt very rewarding.
On top of that, with the Tesla Cannon I kept a nice new weapon from this adventure.
With this weapon you can kill the average opponent with two direct hits, but it has the setback that it like a sniper rifle has to be reloaded after one shot.
Broken Steel is despite its difficult setting and the fact that you have to spend a lot of extra time in the game to reach Level 30 a great expansion that every Fallout 3 - gamer should get.
...

...

Puppies!

News for Monday, May 11, 2009

Posted by Tagaziel - at 23:01

The Poles of Game Corner report that Afterfall is still alive. According to Thomas Majki, President of Nicolas Games, the scale of the game became even greater, as it's not just a single game now, it's an entire universe created for several products. With its website taken over by cybersquatters.

Link: Translated article from GameCorner.pl

News for Friday, May 8, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 14:36

Todd Howard and Emil Pagliarulo are interviewed by NowGamer for a "Fallout 3 Retrospective", because it seems like it's the right time to retrospect, y'know.

Fallout’s devoted fans knew as much, and the moment Bethesda purchased the IP from Black Isle Studios they felt the same thing was happening to them. Fallout 3 would be just another bastard offspring of a once proud institution, sired by an industry with a pathological aversion to originality and a powerful lust for profit. However, impartial observers had reached a different conclusion: Fallout 3 was in the care of Bethesda Softworks, a master of the art of role-play, and failure was not an option.

“We felt obligated by the series, not by the fans in particular, as we’re big fans ourselves,” explains Todd Howard, the game’s producer. “We knew, going into it, that we had huge shoes to fill.” Bethesda is an immensely capable studio, but the Fallout series’ unique personality and rare maturity attracted a jealously protective audience. Very few games took you to the places that Black Isle dared, and it’s natural to be wary of even the most skilful and well-meaning alien influence. Howard could have screamed his sincerity from the highest mountain, but suspicion came with the territory.
(...)
Not that designing the Capital Wasteland was a gruelling ordeal in the name of fun. Washington held lifelong familiarity for many members of the team, and the rest could draw inspiration from the opportunity to unmake their shared national history. Standing before the Washington Monument – its form pocked and exploded by years of perpetual warfare – is a potent reality check, but the idea manifests itself in more subtle and ingenious ways. In a single day of playing Fallout 3, we sold the Declaration of Independence for less than the price of a decrepit missile launcher, then used it to destroy a robot programmed to act like George Washington. Bethesda’s brainstorming sessions must have been a riot.

“It was, actually,” says Howard. “We had to spend a good deal of time figuring out what the government in the world of Fallout would have been like, and how Washington DC would look if the events after WWII were different.” The area around the Mall, which contains almost every famous structure in downtown Washington, was an immediate concern. But strangely enough, when it came to deciding the fate of such symbolic buildings, the conclusion was invariably the same. “We went in with a pretty good plan,” Pagliarulo explains sheepishly, “and, you know, as we kept building the world, we kept destroying other recognisable landmarks.”
And, as bonus content, NowGamer and Pagliarulo team up to show us everything that's wrong with gaming's public face.
The pride in a job well done still shines through, however, and Pagliarulo enthusiastically dispels the misconception that an artist can’t be objective about their own labour. “I realise the humble answer is ‘No, we had no idea it would be that well received’, but that wouldn’t be completely honest,” he admits. “It was pretty late in production, when all the combat was balanced and VATS was working well, and my thoughts began to move from ‘This is pretty cool' to ‘Wow, this is, um, awesome’. I’m a huge gamer, and there came a point where, for the span of a few months, I was having more fun at work than I was playing other games at home. That’s never happened to me before. For nearly four years I watched my colleagues pour their souls into this game, but I really started to feel we had created something special, something that hadn’t quite been done before. It’s been a really, really great ride.”

Like all happy customers, though, gamers simply want to know when they can expect to buy their next ticket. Fallout 3 was an incomparable experience, not just the high-octane roller coaster we’re used to, but the concept is only as infinite as Bethesda’s desire to pursue it further. Our minds often drift into a reverie of new, far-flung wastelands – London, New York, Tokyo, you name it – but we’re too familiar with the game industry’s poker face to even bother with questions about a sequel. We content ourselves with the knowledge that, as long as the potential for improvement remains, a studio of Bethesda’s calibre would always be interested.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 14:33

And more. Edge Online 6.

In Broken Steel, Bethesda’s solution is a severe bout of collective amnesia. The Brotherhood Of Steel has seemingly forgotten whether you purified or poisoned the waters of the Capital Wasteland. The victims, if indeed there were any, have forgotten they’re supposed to be dead. And so, for that matter, have you. The Enclave, meanwhile, has retreated to its command centre at Adams Air Force base and left many of its smaller squads cut off from the chain of command. The Commie-hating uber-mech Liberty Prime is making light work of its smaller outposts, but its deadliest weapons are, as you discover early on, still very much in service.
The Hachiko 4/5.
Broken Steel is also quite unique in that it takes you to several different areas, unlike the one or two sets of the first two DLC expansions. During the course of my adventure I waded through the sewers, climbed through dilapidated buildings, searched an abandoned science facility, navigated through the metro ruins, and fought the Enclave on their own turf by way of an air force base used for battle staging. It felt like a more natural extension of the normal Fallout 3 game, instead of completely taking place on some map not normally associated with the regular Fallout 3 game.
Eurogamer 7.
At this point, Broken Steel already feels more in-keeping with the better moments of the main game, with a trio of missions that take place in distinct and separate parts of the Wasteland, as opposed to keeping the player hemmed in. That said, the first two of the three new missions aren't exactly taxing, and take place in the same kind of environments you've seen hundreds of times before, facing familiar enemies.

A couple of hours in, it's hard not to be bored by more of the same. Exploring the shattered innards of the Old Olney power plant is a distressingly familiar exercise, while the underground exploration in the Presidential Metro under the White House barely feels any different to the dozens of other subterranean journeys you'll have taken under DC. Fighting yet more identical ghouls and sentry bots feels like a cut-and-paste exercise, and this lack of inspiration is disappointing after all the initial promise.
The Xbox Domain.
With all the new content that Broken Steel brings, it seems to be released out of order. This really should have come first and the separate campaigns released prior. If you have yet to pick up any DLC for Fallout 3, pick this one up first! You will have the benefit of continuing to level up through the new ending as well as the additional campaigns. Broken Steel certainly does it’s job to complete the story with a grander finale which takes about the same time as the other DLC campaigns, around 4 hours or so, but it seems to lack the same amazing campaign experiences Operation Anchorage and The Pitt left me feeling with.
AusGamers 8.5.
Other cool touches that revealed themselves were small aesthetic things, such as new dialogue from Three Dog and NPCs. I stood around listening to water caravans conversing with Brotherhood Knights and Rivet City Scientists and the like, and it all flowed consistently and contextually. Having branching stories and mini side-quests that revolved around Project Purity was a nice touch, and because of this, I equally felt the play time involved was much better. Then of course there's the other major, major change – the expanded level cap.
ScrewAttack.
As for time, I'd say four to five hours. It took me about five and a half, but that includes two deaths, two console freezes, and a period of about fifteen minutes where I just went nuts killing every Enclave soldier I could find in an effort to stockpile that sweet Fire-Resistant armor.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:45

And I put a heavy question mark on that because I'm not taking responsibility for whether or not Broken Steel or any Bethesda product actually runs on any computer.

Uh, anyway, Broken Steel is back on GFwL, implying that it's fixed.

News for Thursday, May 7, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 15:22

And another dabble. IGN 8.5.

Playing through the new content took me roughly seven hours which is a bit longer than the past Fallout 3 add-ons. Along the way, you'll find a few new enemies and a few new weapons to deal with them. The new Tesla Canon must be the most powerful weapon in the game yet, capable of taking down Vertibirds and most any enemy in a single shot. There's also the Heavy Incinerator that spits long range balls of fire. Fire that baby up in VATS for a great looking kill. These new toys and the hours of gameplay would be enough to satisfy many and that isn't even getting into the feature that has Fallout 3's hardcore fans so excited.
Cheat Code Central 4/5.
With the major hike in the level cap comes a commensurate level of opportunities to kill things. The Enclave Hellfire Trooper, dangerous troops who wield the must-have Heavy Incinerator and fire-resistant armor, are one of the most interesting new foes you'll face. Others are simply upgraded versions of older adversaries, including Super Mutant Overlords, Feral Ghoul Reavers, a variety of robots and turrets, and even the hearty Albino Radscorpions. In addition to a handful of flame throwing devices, most of the new weaponry to be found is ridiculously powerful. Heavy Incinerator rounds erupt on contact, causing anything within range to ignite and receive peripheral burn damage. The new Tesla Cannon also delivers a tremendous blast that continues to cause area-of-effect damage for a short time beyond the initial impact. There's also a chance to pick up a Fat Boy and some other excellent ordinance, for players who've yet to come across them in the main game.

That VideoGame Blog.
We read some reports of Broken Steel containing errors when it was released but encountered no such bugs ourselves. Everything ran smoothly with occasional texture and environmental pop in that was always present within Fallout 3. Others have reported experiencing Achievements not showing up on Xbox Live, however that is being worked out. Don’t let that stop you from spending the 800 ($10) MS points on Broken Steel. It’s more than just a side story, it’s more Fallout 3 altogether. Don’t be surprised if you spend close to 7 hours getting every new thing in the expansion. It’s worth the purchase.
TeamXbox (impressions).
You’ll find a new weapon, an awesomely powerful one at that, with which you’ll take the fight to the Enclave’s last – but not least – pocket of resistance to finally wipe them out. And that, in a nutshell, is the basic story thread of the new Broken Steel DLC. Sure, there are some other new side missions and things to play with, but if you were looking for the latest chapter in an epic sage, this doesn’t exactly feel like it. More like a really great Epilogue.
Spotted on GameBanshee.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:13

No further details available, but the Interplay website notes the publisher is bringing the classic Fallouts back to retail.

Retail Edition of Fallout Trilogy Available Now!
The boxed edition of the critically-acclaimed Fallout Trilogy is now available from Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other retailers. This value-packed bundle includes the original "Fallout 1", "Fallout 2" and "Fallout Tactics". For Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP and Vista.

News for Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 21:07

GameSpy's Fallout site softballed a bunch of questions to Alan Nanes for the Ultimate Epic Spectacular Awesome Broken Steel Interview.

- Rebalancing the game for the new level 30 cap was a difficult task? Can you tell us more about the process?

Since we originally balanced the game for a cap at level 20, many players already have skills that are maxed out at 100. We knew this would be an issue when we were rebalancing for level 30, so our focus was on the new enemies and their abilities or equipment. We had a lot of saves to test from, thanks to our team keeping their saves from the original Fallout 3 testing, and they covered the gamut of player archetypes. We took these saves through Broken Steel and ran them across the newly populated Wasteland to see how they’d fare against our new challenges. If something was too powerful, we’d dial it back a bit, and if something was too easy, we’d amp it up. This meant having meetings quite often to get together and go over all the data, then taking the meeting results back to the editor and making adjustments until we felt we had it right.

Posted by Brother None - at 21:02

Not a lot of reviews out there, but I suppose that may be because people aren't able to get it to run. VideoGamer loves it, 9/10.

So, Broken Steel is great, almost by virtue of it extending the life of an already tremendous game with content that satisfies. It rights Fallout 3's disappointing ending, provides a new quest line that wraps things up nicely (and is of similar length to The Pitt) and, crucially, increases the level cap by an impressive 10 levels (levelling up isn't quick, either. I was 24 by the time I'd finished the quest line). But it's by no means perfect. The new perks seem to concentrate on giving players the chance to fill in the blanks in their stat sheet. 'No Weakness' is a case in point. It instantly brings all S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats that are less than five, up to five. Rather than providing perks that help you specialise more in certain areas – stealthy melee fighters, charismatic small guns specialists, for example – Bethesda seems to feel that players want to be maxed out in almost everything, which is a bit of a shame, because it depresses individual play styles somewhat. That I took the opportunity on odd levels to take some perks I'd skipped as I was levelling up to 20 exacerbated this feeling.
ars technica thinks it's epic, and recommends a buy.
Ultimately, though, Broken Steel is the extra content that fans of Fallout 3 have been waiting for. It provides an epic conclusion to an epic story and lets players continue adventuring afterwards, should they desire to keep on exploring and wrap up some loose ends. Not only that, but it makes the game challenging again, something that seemed to be missing for those of us who had maxed-out our characters and were traveling around with heavy-duty equipment.
3dJeugos 7,4.
Broken Steel is important in the sense that it continues the individual campaign of Fallout 3, however, its technical features and lack of novelty are a bit of a shame. The extension that we are discussing here offers a slightly longer duration than its preceding expansions, but it is less intense that the action in Operation Anchorage and less interesting than the captivating The Pitt.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:42

Bethesda released a patch for the Fallout 3 modkit. Nab it here.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:35

Broken Steel got the nick "Broken Still" even before its release, but it looks like it's living up to the name. Kotaku and Eurogamer are running stories.

According to early posts on the Bethesda Softworks forum and our own experiences here, the DLC downloads and then throws up an error.

The error says: "Not a cryptographic message or the cryptographic message is not formatted correctly. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x8009200D)."

There also appears to be a difference between the reported file-size (471.6MB) and the file you actually click through to download (510MB).
Bethesda replies by way of Dermont.
Still looking into. I advise every NOT to try to hack the .cab file or anything to screw up the game in this state. Just continue to report any new issues found to the correct forums threads. Thanks for you patience and once again sorry for the inconvenience.

Bloody thing is still kicking and screaming on our end to, so we feel your pain (I even used my own M$ fun point to buy the add on).
For comic mockings, see Penny Arcade and Backward Compatible.

Anyway, Bethesda is once again blaming Games for Windows Live and professing their own innocence, though I'm not sure I'm buying that one again. The file's been pulled from GfWL, and this is the official reply via Hardforum.
As we reported previously, PC users who downloaded the Broken Steel downloadable content via Games for Windows Live this morning were treated to a "cryptographic message is not formatted correctly" error. We contacted Bethesda's Pete Hines, who explained that the error is related to Games for Windows Live.
Thanks Eternal, Ausir, tfp, VRaptor117 and steppenwanderer.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:29

Gamasutra interviews community manager Matt "Meatshield" Grandstaff.

Speaking of Pete, he referred to you as having "survived Fallout 3." Fallout 3 is an interesting case, because it inherits separate longstanding and communities from both the Fallout franchise and Bethesda's own past games. Can you speak to the challenges of working with those, as well as presumably attempting to draw in new community members?

I don’t know if Pete means to do it, but when he hires a new employee they seem to be thrown into the fire right away. When I started, I had two days to familiarize myself with things before we opened our Fallout 3 forums.

I remember that first week when Pete introduced me to [executive producer] Todd Howard. I forget exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of "Good luck, meat shield." In the first few months, handling Fallout was definitely a challenge for me, but more importantly, it was a challenge for the community.

You know, you had this passionate fan base that had waited years for a sequel, and once we started to promote the game, they wanted to know everything about the game. With limited information on the game released, there was plenty of speculation, arguing and sometimes total mayhem in our forums. If I could have a dime for every time I heard "Oblivion with guns" or read a topic called, “What is the definition of an RPG?”...

To make things more interesting, the idea of "Oblivion with guns" was pretty appealing to our existing Elder Scrolls fanbase -- so there was a culture clash when the Fallout boards opened in our existing forums.

Over time -- especially after the game was released -- I think the two sides have come together and strengthened our community. It’s especially cool to me to see our Elder Scrolls fans, who are pretty familiar with modding, help Fallout fans with modding the game.

As for me, I think I’ve come a long way too. I still feel like a meat shield, but at least I know what to expect. Fallout 3 was more or less my rookie season in community management, a memorable one at that.
Thanks Sigoya.

News for Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Posted by Tagaziel - at 14:45

Broken Steel has hit the "shelves" of the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 800 MS points. And it seems the release lives up to its name.

Link: Broken Steel on Xbox LIVE Marketplace

News for Sunday, May 3, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 18:33

Continuum has been working on a Submarine Mod for ages, intended to add a new explorable location, a rusty submarine. The FRMs seem to be complete done, providing a boat to reach the sub, an exterior look and an interior look


Link: Submarine Mod thread on NMA.

News for Saturday, May 2, 2009

Posted by Brother None - at 16:38

"No comments" were given to Gamervision, who speculate Point Lookout is likely tied to the state park, and Eurogamer, who also provide some proof of sorts.

The publisher was speaking after US retailer eStarland outed a fourth add-on called Point Look as part of a DLC bundle with Broken Steel. A similar retail deal containing Operation: Anchorage and The Pitt was confirmed to Eurogamer earlier this week. There's no further information about Point Look on eStarland's website.

Another claim supporting this is that Bethesda has only used 350 gamerpoints out of a possible 750 so far, and only 14 Achievements out of a possible 30 as established by the new DLC rules confirmed this morning. That suggests Bethesda has left plenty of room to grow Fallout 3 further.
Spotted on RPGWatch and GameBanshee.

Posted by 13pm - at 12:37

The trailer for the new Fallout 3 DLC is up on YouTube. The quality is quite bad even in HQ, but you still can get the idea. Giant robots, lots of explosions and Ron Perlman's narration are included.

Link: The new trailer at YouTube
Link: Official release on the Fallout 3 website

News for Friday, May 1, 2009

Posted by Dracon M'Alkir - at 0:16

So says Shacknews.

Pripyat will pick up where the original game left off. Players will take on the role of an agent in the Ukraine Security Service, sent into the Zone to collection information on a failed military operation.