Sometime in November of 2008, nearly a month after the release of F3 (yeah, time travel. Gotta love it. - Darrin Garcia), Emile Christ, Jamie Smith, and Evan Sentan hosted a Black Isle-to-Fallout comparison on Spike TV (The Australia Airing), based on the differences of the previous Fallout games to number three by Bethesda. A wave of videos were soon hit on Mars TV, GTTV, G4TV, and the European gaming channel The Gaming Jerks.
Not particularly fresh, but until Scott Garcia and I help finish the site with Elinor (hope we finish, too f-in' busy), I might as well write about something. Here's what they talked about:
Part I: The Quests and Karma of Fallout (Emile's part)
The Fallout games are popular for having a karma system. Take the Fallout 3 quests in Paradise Falls. There are quests where you have to find slaves, putting on a slave collar for them, forcing them to run from their city to Paradise Falls unless the collar blows up. If they make it back, you get a reward, and a new collar. This can be repeated over and over again until you're as evil as Hitler. Whereas, in Fallout 2, there aren't as many karma decisions. Kill a few hobos and pick locks from vendors and you're Satan. Complete some quests for the NCR or help capture food for insane people and you're the fuckin' messiah. Fallout 3 can ruin a perfectly good reputation, or a neutral rep, or an evil rep.
The quests of Fallout 3 feel a little more diverse than Black Isle's generation, not to mention different. In the Black Isle games, there were various legions, expansive camps, and factions you can complete various quests for. These can be as simple as capture an objective or kill a few bandits, or more complex like getting something called the G.E.C.K. from a Vault. Fallout 3's mostly follow a story, unless they are unmarked quests, like the "Oasis" quest where you have to help a recurring character from the Fallout games' mutation troubles. They're both really diverse, but Fallout 3's tend to follow more a story and background.
Part II: The Survival and Choices of Fallout (Evan's part)
Like The Master in Fallout 1, there's always going to be someone big to fight. In Fallout 3, you have decisions on who you want to fight. Be a good little angel, and you can choose to fight against the Enclave factions and slavers. Be bad, and you can choose to fight against the Brotherhood and kill civilians. Be neutral, and that's your decision. There's a lot of decisions you have to make in the Fallout games, no matter who makes them. In Fallout 3, make a good or bad decision and somebody will hunt you down, curse your name, while others admire you situation and mark you as an ally. In Fallout 1 and 2, your decisions matter to the entire world. Do a bad decision, everybody considers you bad. Do a good decision, and everybody considers that a good aspect of your personality.
And survival is important as well. Weapon conditions in Fallout 3 are more important. Run your condition down, and you'll either have to psychically repair it yourself, or pay some caps to a vendor to have them repair you. If you have a crippled lamb, you can choose to waste a Stimpack and heal yourself then, instead of later, or pay for a doctor to help you. It all depends on how you play. If a door's locked, you can either walk away, or risk picking the lock yourself, hoping the bobby pin won't break, or someone won't catch you. If a price for a superb armor piece is too high, you can give up a precious weapon that can give you the money, or just make with what you have and repair your own armor. Fallout 1 and 2 also follow these decisions with the same intense survival instincts.
As with most RPGs, MMOs, and CRPGS, your level is an important part. Go wandering into the wasteland with a low-level pistol and only a few health packs, you more than likely won't see the light of day, but you'll deal with only slightly higher-level enemies. Go wandering with a high-caliber plasma rifle and strong body armor, then you'll have a good chance, but you're more than likely encounter groups of enemies who are just as tough.
The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills and perks are also important, especially in the first two Fallout games (Nah, not really! - Elinor Bass) . If you decide to level up the Big Guns, Medicine, and Speech skill for a not-so-distant encounter, you could be leveling up Explosives and Lockpick for a farther away encounter. In Fallout 3, the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills, whereas the first Fallout games highly depended on perks / attributes, are also important. Level up your strength and endurance, and you could have body armor that lasts several magazine hits. Don't level up the Intelligence, you might not be able to think your way out of a smart speech. Don't level up the Perception, and you might not be able to see or hear the enemy near you before he slits your throat.
I have to admit, that's rather impressive, their various perspectives on everything. (Oh, and not all of us were invited. I'm half posting this up just for the hell of it, 25% because I want to feel better about not getting invited, 20% because it's informative, and 5% because I want everybody to shut the hell up.)