Interviews// Bethesda's Pete Hines: The E3 '07 Fallout 3 Interview

Giant ants and rat scorpions

Posted 25 Jul 2007 17:59 by
SPOnG: What kind of weapons do you get? What types of baddies will you come across?

Pete Hines: You start of with nothing when you leave the Vault, but you scrounge around and find hunting rifles and Chinese assault rifles and laser rifles – there’s a whole range of different types of weapons, small and big, energy weapons, that kind of thing.

As for the baddies, there are a lot of creatures that are drawn from the original games. Then there are a number of new ones. Your biggest foes in the game are these super-mutants that are invading the world and are in a constant battle to push humans out. You’ll find all kinds of weird mutated creatures in the game from giant ants through to rat scorpions. You have to ask yourself “What has radiation done to all these creatures that were in this world before the bomb fell?” So you can imagine the kinds of strange mutants you’ll encounter.

SPOnG: Talking about killing and violence, what do you think of the whole Manhunt 2 debate at the minute? Are you concerned by this whole increased media and political focus on the effects of very violent videogames?

Pete Hines: Well, for us, it is all a matter of context. Our game is not a game where all you do is violently kill human beings one after the other. That might be part of the game or it might not be. You know, you might choose to role-play a particular type of character who, as much as possible, chooses to avoid conflict and avoid combat.

You might want to use your speech skill, for example, to try to resolve potential conflicts peacefully wherever possible. So, we are not a ‘you are going to kill lots of things very violently’ game.

If you choose to play the game violently, then so be it, but it is in the context of this much larger role-playing game where you are talking to people and solving problems and buying and trading things.

The same thing could be said for Oblivion. You could do nothing but run around and fight things with swords if you wanted to. But that’s not the entire game – there’s loads of other stuff to do, NPCs to talk to, potions to make, flowers to pick, lots of other stuff! It’s very important that violence within our games is seen in the context of the overall game.

In the case of Manhunt 2 the context was – and I’ve not played the game, but based on what the ratings boards have said – it’s just that non-stop killing one after the other after the other. At least that’s my impression of it. That’s not the case for us.

SPOnG: Sure, it’s a totally different type of game. However, in Fallout 3 you have said that the ‘moral behaviour’ of your character is very important.

Pete Hines: Yeah, it’s huge. In Fallout one of the big things is that the number of quests you have is much smaller than in Oblivion, but all of those quests have a much greater number of ways in which they might be solved. So, in Oblivion, if you were playing a certain type of character… say if you were an evil guy, you would lean towards the ‘Dark Brotherhood’ quests.

Whereas in Fallout it is more like you are presented with these various quests and you choose how you want to resolve them: are you going to be a nice guy? A mean guy? Or are you going to be in that ‘grey area’ in-between, where you are not entirely sure if you feel good about your actions? You are presented with these ‘moral dilemmas’ – and you, the player, will make these decisions on a quest-by-quest basis.

SPOnG: There has been a lot of speculation about this ‘Corpses Eaten’ statistic that we can see in the game from the current demo you are showing – does this mean that you can play as a zombie in the game?

Pete Hines: We’re not talking about ‘Corpses Eaten’ right now [smiles]. There is an awful lot of stuff that we still have to tell folks about Fallout 3. Don’t forget that we are not coming out till Fall 2008 – we have a long way to go still!

SPOnG: Great stuff. Thanks for your time Pete!

Pete Hines: No worries. Now let me show you this new demo. You’ll like this.


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