Diablo III proves old-school Fallout can do well today

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Pixelitis offers a staff editorial musing on how Diablo III's old-school-ness proves an old-school Fallout can do well today.<blockquote>Before the Fallout franchise landed in the hands of Bethesda, the developer of the first two games in the series, Black Isle, already had the third installment in the works. Codenamed Project Van Buren, it was isometric, used 3D visuals, and allowed players to stick to the traditional turn-based combat or switch to a new, real-time system. It sounded immensely promising, but then it was unfortunately canceled due to layoffs on Black Isle’s staff carried out by Interplay.

    The rest, as you’re sure to know by now, is history. Bethesda picked up the Fallout license from Interplay following the closure of Black Isle and set out to create its own vision of Fallout – one done in the style the company was most comfortable with: a first-person action RPG.

    Now in 2012, as I troll the depths of Hell in Diablo III, I’m now more than ever certain that that a new isometric Fallout game would work (and sell) in today’s market.

    For me, the widespread critical acclaim for Diablo III - a game that still plays much like Diablo II – tells me that making an isometric PC exclusive title isn’t going to lead to lackluster sales. In its first week, Diablo III received rave reviews and sold a record-breaking 6.3 million units.

    An isometric game making bank in 2012? Inconceivable!</blockquote>Thankfully, they also bring up Shadowrun and Wasteland 2 on why it would work, because Diablo III alone makes a tenuous example. All the two titles share is perspective, and that alone is too little to draw any kind of conclusion on viability. Diablo has always been an action-based game with mass appeal, while for Fallout the isometric perspective is a fairly minor element of what scares people away from Fallout 1/2 style, compared to turn-based combat and pen-and-paper inspired mechanics.

    It's fun to muse upon, but I'm not exactly holding out hope Bethesda will ever do a Fallout in the original style. It's not just about viability, they have simply been making essentially the same game for over a decade now, and they are too uninnovative, efficient a company for that to change.

    What do you guys think? Will the revival of gold-box-era and 90s RPG styles lead Bethesda to possibly task Obsidian with a turn-based, isometric "spin-off" of Fallout?
  2. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    No, it won't. Seriously, that was a crappy editorial.
  3. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Wait, I've got a brilliant idea?! What if we hybridize what makes Diablo successful with Fallout!

    We'll call it Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. It will be glorious.
  4. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    Omg I think you gave me a boner. It will be isometric and all, and you will be badass, and shoot stuff.
  5. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    The next Bethesda game will merge their two award-winning franchises.

    It will take place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by dragons.

    Elder Scrolls: Reign Of Fire: Fallout.
  6. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Hey man, I actually thought Reign of Fire's post-apocalyptic notion was sort of neat, especially once it was "explained" (the dragon's motivation is pretty clever). Of course it devolved into stupidity later on but still, as post-apocalyptica go, I've seen worse.

    (I was working on a series on post-apocalyptic films at some point)
  7. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    You never said you stopped!

    Fallblo of Steel IV the Continuation: BN Is a Big Fat Quitter
  8. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    I was making decent process, I'm not really in a position to watch any more films right now, and all my notes were on the HD of my computer, the one that I lost when its motherboard was fried.

    Was having fun with it too. It's a weird, diversified genre, especially when you stretch the definition a bit and make sure to include Z-list films :P

    I can barely do anything on this computer. Let alone get stuff done.
  9. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    And everyone will curse like a drunk sailor, Ghouls will talk about lost testicles they need help finding, missile launchers and laser weapons will be made of junk, raider matrons will dress like leather underwear models or BDSM queens, Super Mutant pee jokes, and so on.
  10. randy Mc rupp


    May 6, 2007
    I'm not sure if it isn't just Diablo making bank. Regardless of the perspective.
  11. HerrMike

    HerrMike First time out of the vault

    Oct 23, 2011
    There never needs to another game like Diablo 3, ever.
  12. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    It's never going to happen because Bethesda (or more accurately, ZeniMax) don't give a crap about making isometric games, they give a crap about making big expensive games that sell millions and make millions more back. Doesn't matter if there's demand for an isometric Fallout, even one that makes huge profits - Bethesda are a big developer and they aren't geared to make small projects like that, nor does the publisher have any intention of effectively giving up their Elder Scrolls/Fallout money in exchange for a (theoretically) less safe project which won't provide nearly as big returns.
  13. dukem

    dukem First time out of the vault

    Jun 23, 2003
    in the discussion of isometric vs 3rd/1st person I've always said, that isometric still works and pointed in diablo's direction where nobody would dream to change the view. yet somebody comes and thinks its a good idea for fallout.

    While the success of diablo3 has nothing to do with that and I would not implicate that a fallout would work because of that. I still think that isometric view is not something that gets outdated, its just another form of presentation that can co-exist even in the present time (which is what diablo proves now) 3rd or 1st person is NOT the logical succeeding view that replaces iso just because it's modern and technically possible.

    while I loathe diablo3 maybe it will make clear that Isometric view does not have to make a game unsuccessful.

    however I also think that as long as FO is with bethesda it won't change, but the franchise does not have to stay with them forever, so there's still hope :)

    (now we need examples of extremely successful turn-based games lol)
  14. tunih

    tunih First time out of the vault

    Apr 1, 2009
    later this october we will get a chance to see how a isometric games do

    thats wheh the latsest instalment in the ufo series is released.
    its a full isometric 3d turnbased squad based game.

    Hopefully it will do very well
  15. Autoduel76

    Autoduel76 Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    May 14, 2007
    Yeah, this is kind of a silly thought. The theme that Isometric RPGs can be "successful" in today's climate is a fine one, but not only does Diablo have little to do with this, but Fallout is also among the least likely candidates to make an isometric revival.

    We have Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun, coming from recent Kickstarters, and don't forget Baldur's Gate EE coming very soon as well. I think its clear that the future (well, at least the present) is going to see a pretty solid run of small budget (and indie) isometric RPGs along with the "return" of some other genre's and developers.

    But really this has nothing to do with Fallout and little to do with Diablo. I will say that it is kind of ironic that Diablo 3 drops with Baldur's Gate and a Brian Fargo presents Wasteland 2 following somewhat shortly on it's heels...just like 15 years ago, but more coincidence than cause.

    And Fallout is, for now, a 1st/3rd Person RPG franchise moving forward. A successful enough one at that.

    If people want to pin more hopes on that era of games, Planescape and even Arcanum have a much better chance of returning with sequels in the next handful of years than Fallout moving away from it's current design.

    And as someone also interested in the return of some 80's franchises, I expect inXile will attempt something interesting for the Bard's Tale after Wasteland and who knows what other franchises might see some action.
  16. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    I couldn't give less of a fuck between isometric, third person or first person. If the game is good, it's good no matter what view of the field you have.
  17. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    Don't think so much about he actual game play of Diablo 3, but the aesthetics. It's a beautiful game, and probably one of the best looking isometric games to ever come out.

    As I played it, I couldn't help but wish for a Fallout or Baldur's Gate style game using that sort of an engine. It really does look nice.

    As to hoping that Bethesda will see the light and allow a "Fallout Classic" to be built, I wouldn't hold my breathe. They are pretty much stuck in their way of doing things, no matter what. They had a chance to do something really special with Fallout 3, and we all saw how that turned out.
  18. Gnarles Bronson

    Gnarles Bronson regular mutant

    Oct 30, 2011
    I think you all are mischaracterizing zenimax. They don't care about 3d fp /3rd person isometric--- they care about making money. And if someone came to them and said, "hey, I've got an idea to make an isometric game which will make us lots of money," they are not going to dismiss it just because it doesn't fallow their formula.
  19. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    We're not talking about Zenimax. That publisher will grab anything it can if it thinks it'll make money, they're overstretching at a dangerous rate, despite Bethesda's horrible track record as a videogame publisher.

    But Bethesda does care about the perspective. Because Bethesda is an extremely rote developer who never really does anything they're not intimately familiar with. They're very comfortable and very good at making the type of game they do, and they're not going to do anything else. I don't know if they could, honestly, but they don't want to.
  20. NicholasDM

    NicholasDM First time out of the vault

    Jun 27, 2012
    While the isometric view was once the epitome of future gaming technology, it's time has come and gone. Isometric, while novel and even though old/retro has become "trendy" again, I doubt you'll see many more serious games done in that style. It's just not what people want these days, and there's no envelope for developers to push. They would be limiting themselves by limiting themselves to an isometric view.

    I for one started playing the Fallout series with Fallout 3 and was just amazed at the story and quality of the game itself. Hopes to go back and play the originals to catch up on the story were fairly dashed when I found out that they were Isometric view and indeed were products of a by-gone gaming era. While they may be masterfully great games, as a gamer I probably won't ever play Fallout 1 or 2. And don't let this mistake you into thinking that I hate Isometric games; for many years I was once trapped in the the shards of Ultima Online, and quite enjoy Zombie Shooter. And yes, I even played the venerable Diablo II and loved it. I even loved the multiplayer aspect of it... when the servers weren't crashing. I'm sure there were others, just nothing memorable.

    There is something very captivating and compelling about wandering the Capitol Wasteland, as well as the Nevada desert, in the spenders of full 3D. Especially with the gorgeous (though yes, aging) engine they chose to use. I never played the original game the engine was designed for, so I don't have a silly reason to dislike aforementioned game engine. Stick it on a 24" monitor, crank all the settings up to max, turn off the lights, turn off the in-game music (not the radio music... but sure, turn it off, too!), crank up your speakers and enjoy the sights and sounds. The ambiance is sometimes eerie with how silent it all is, with just the whispering of the wind and dust across the ground; the creak and squeal of metal hinges off in the distance, and your characters great, clodding boots stamping around.

    Now, I've looked at what the new Diablo III looks like and personally wasn't very impressed with the visuals. The visuals aren't anything better than Guild Wars or Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, which are games of years past. I think that today's Fallout gamers would have been disappointed if they were limited to such. It is my opinion that Fallout 3 benefited from having a fully immersive environment.

    Anyways, that's just my opinion on it all. Just my 0.02. I think Fallout 3 was a great success. I've even warmed to Fallout: New Vegas despite some initial doubts and trouble with the change in how aid items function. If there is another sequel, my hopes would not be for an engine change, but allowing the user not only hours of gametime, but days, weeks, or months of unique and ever-changing game time by allowing them to explore the entire country. I'd even settle for part of it! I know that's probably never going to happen, but it'd be cool. I do, however, have to concede that replayability for Fallout 3 suffers. I've taken a break from the original F3 and have been playing Fallout: NV for the first time lately.