Duck and Cover and NMA poster Cimmerian Nights has written an editorial on the V.A.T.S. combat system called "VATS: How Bethesda Set their Sights on the Lowest Common Denominator and Hit a Bullseye". The title will probably tell you whether you want to read the piece in its entirety, but here's a summary anyway:<blockquote>While from a role-playing standpoint VATS must be looked at as a failure to capitalize on basic RPG concepts, it certainly doesn’t spell the end for it. It’s showcasing of over-the-top violence and gore certainly holds the attention of the wider market that Bethesda intended to reach. It should be interesting to see what modifications if any Obsidian can incorporate with their upcoming spin-off based on the same engine. Ultimately, it is Bethesda and it design philosophy (mass market appeal at the expense of RPG foundation) that will dictate the inclusion of this gimmick in future titles, or it’s relegation to the scrap heap with other “innovative” cul-de-sacs.</blockquote>Hey, I remember using a much different combat system when visiting Scrapheap.