Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Fallout over the Fallout 3 Trailer
Okay.... number one: It's a trailer. A well-done trailer for a well-loved RPG series, Fallout. But it's... a trailer.
And it deserves an entire article of commentaries from 1Up? Right. (And yes, since I'm commenting on the commentaries, I'm officially Part of the Problem).
"Hmm... looks good. Seems to nail the spirit of the original Fallout games." What more can be said?
Apparently quite a bit more can be said. My problem? The attitude seems to be, "We loved the idea of Fallout, but we don't want to play it anymore --- please just give us more Oblivion plzthx - that game sold like crazy, and we want more of that. Please make Fallout 3 a first-person shooter with RPG elements." Yes, every freaking RPG from here on out needs to be Oblivion, apparently. This was the point-of-view espoused by Matt Peckham in his later-retracted Neverwinter Nights 2 review. Methinks he wasn't in any way discouraged from turning his review into a rant against the genre by the editorial staff of 1Up / Games For Windows.
(Incidentally, Matt wrote a stellar review of IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 in the last issue, which greatly redeemed him in my eyes. Just don't do RPG reviews anymore, ok Matt?)
Ok. Now, we flip around to my favorite source of daily RPG-related snark, RPG Codex. Reaction to the reaction. Which basically amounts to, "Oblivion sucked, we want turn-based isometric like the old Fallout games! The GFW crew is on crack."
The little war is brewing that has nothing to do with the trailer. Or Oblivion, really. And Fallout 3 is only a pawn. I feel for Bethesda, the poor developer stuck in the crossfire, but they knew what they were taking on when they bought the rights to the franchise.
The reason for the religious war on the part of the RPG Codex community is that Fallout 3 could represent a last hope for turn-based RPGs. Publishers these days combine the long-term memory of a hyperactive 4-year-old off his Ritalin with the risk-acceptance of a brittle-boned octogenerian couch-potato. They green-light projects based almost exclusively on their resemblance to hit games from the previous two years.
Fallout 3 has the potential to be the first major turn-based RPG success on the PC since... well, since the last Fallout. If that happened... watch out! Like a pack of hungry dogs, publishers would suddenly be green-lighting more games "like Fallout 3" in hopes of imitating its success, and people like Darren Gladstone would suddenly quit trying to play to the crowd with comments like, "I can deal with no more turn-based gameplay."
At least, that's the dream. What'll really happen is that Bethesda - which has both the engine and the know-how to do more games like The Elder Scrolls - will make an FPS-like "action-RPG" out of the franchise which will still sell like crazy and ensure a future where 1Up editors can continue to mock the "quaint tastes" of their backwards predecessors... and the minority of gamers who still remember that PC games can be more than just secondhand scraps from the consoles and MMO's.
(Vaguely) related hysterics of post-apocalyptic proportions:
* Action vs. Turn-Based RPGs: Evolution, Trend, or Catering to the Lowest Common Denominator?
* The Most Important CRPGs of All Time
* Oblivion: The Flower-Picking Simulator
* Oblivion Rocks My World
Read or Post Comments on the Forum
Links to this post: