Todd Howard, executive producer of Fallout 3, has told videogaming247 that its' Bethesda's aim to release the massively anticipated RPG for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC simultaneously.
"They should all be the same date," he said. "That’s our plan."
The news will delight PlayStation 3 owners, who were forced to wait until April 2007 for a version of Bethesda's swords and sorcery smash, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, while Xbox 360 and PC versions hit in March 2006.
Fallout 3 is set in Wahington DC, 200 years after a nuclear holocaust. Howard told us that Cormac McCarthy's recent novel, The Road, was among one of the big influences on the game's development.
“The Road is fantastic and came out in the middle of our design phase, so it became required reading for many of us," he said. "We looked at many post nuclear movies, some very disturbing, things that deal with Hiroshima and such, and it gave us a good look at that type of nuclear destruction. Other general ones we looked at were things dealing with survival or how people deal with the effects of any war or rebuilding."
Fallout 3 is likely to be awesome beyond all belief, and if you haven't read The Road yet you need to take a long hard look in the mirror. The game is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2008.
Read all of Todd's answers to our questions after the link.
videogaming247: You've been keen to stress that Fallout 3 isn't a shooter, that it's an RPG in which you shoot. Firstly, why does the game's classification matter so much, and, secondly, doesn't the fact that the game has shooting elements means it's going to appeal to both those interested in RPGs and those interested in FPSs?
Todd Howard: You’re probably right, in that it appeals to fans of both, and we’re OK with that. I don’t know that the game’s classification does matter much. I like to think of RPGs as the best genre-blenders, in that you can do anything in them. No type of interaction is off limits and you can have action parts, puzzle solving parts, or anything else. When you’re making a shooter, you never ask “can the player get married and have kids?” When you’re making an RPG, that type of thinking goes on all the time, so while it may look like a shooter, I think that dramatically undersells what the game does.
Obviously, the game's pedigree is second to none, but this is a radical departure from the first two titles. What elements have you been careful to preserve as Fallout makes the jump to 3D?
The world around you and the lore of the Fallout world, it’s very important to us, and we’ve always loved it. It was that world we wanted to make come alive. In addition, I think the basic character system of Fallout, with your SPECIAL attributes and perks, is something we’ve tried hard to maintain. It’s a great system, where you have to make hard choices and those choices really define who you’re going to be and what type of game you’re going to play.
The "post-disaster" genre isn't particularly well visited in games, certainly not as well as in movies and books. Do you look outside games for inspiration? We're thinking along the lines of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", and so on.
You picked one of the big ones, yes. “The Road” is fantastic and came out in the middle of our design phase, so it became required reading for many of us. We looked at many post nuclear movies, some very disturbing, things that deal with Hiroshima and such, and it gave us a good look at that type of nuclear destruction. Other general ones we looked at were things dealing with survival or how people deal with the effects of any war or rebuilding.
Twelve alternate endings sounds, to be frank, mental. Why so many? Do you feel the need for this product to be definitive?
That number is artificially inflated, in that what you get at the very end is based on a number of things you’ve done. Some of those tweaks to the ending are pretty small, so I think it’s better to simply say the game has multiple endings based on what you did. Some of the really big decisions that affect the end you make right at the end, but some of them deal more with your karma, and how you’ve lived your life.
Finally, can we expect all the SKUs to launch at once, or are we looking at a similar situation to the Oblivion release, where Microsoft enjoyed an exclusivity period on the console side?
They should all be the same date, that’s our plan.