From the land down under

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Today on Gameplayer, Chris Stead has an 8-page preview with new impressions of Fallout 3 based on a recent meet up with Pete. Here’s a snippet of the preview:

The theme of Fallout 3 is Sacrifice and Survival. Or more to the point, what will you sacrifice to survive? The whole diverging paths and user-defined narratives that we have been experiencing in RPGs over recent years has become less of a gimmick and more of something truly emotional this generation. Who did you kill in Mass Effect, for example? Fallout 3 takes this feature and powers it with atomic energy. There is a full moral see-saw to ride in the game, referred to as karma. Various decisions you make in regards to completed and uncompleted quests, in combat and in conversation act to split your experience into multiple parallel universes.

Meanwhile, over at Gamespot’s Australian site, you can check out new impressions of the game, as well as an interview with Pete on their show Crosshairs. If you want to skip ahead to the Fallout 3 stuff, fast-forward to around the 11-minute mark of the video.

Update: Here’s two more Australian preview to check out — one from PALGN and another over at The Age.

Around the Web and on newsstands: New lists edition

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Today at the office, we received the 1,000th issue of Entertainment Weekly (since it’s a double issue, it’s actually issue #999-1,000). To celebrate the occasion, EW has a lengthy feature about the “New Classics” — where they list off the top 1,000 films, books, and albums of the last 25 years. While not as robust as some of the other lists, there’s also a list of the top 50 videogames from the past 25 years, with Oblivion making the list at #47.

For more news, hit the jump below…

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Rising Site

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In a continued effort to make our websites accessible to folks around the world, this week we launched the Japanese version of our official site.

As you may already know, ZeniMax Asia, is responsible for publishing/distributing Bethesda titles to Japan and other Asian territories — games like Fallout 3, Star Trek: Conquest and Star Trek: Legacy. ZeniMax Asia will also be publishing titles from other developers. As you’ll notice on the homepage, ZeniMax Asia is bringing Rockstar’s Bully to PS2 and Xbox 360.

For more details on ZeniMax Asia, check out the press release we put out back in April.

Around the web: Todd takes the Hot Seat

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Interviews with Todd continue to roll in. Here’s two more for you to check out.

At IGN, Todd sat in their “Hot Seat” to answer burning questions — both gaming and non-gaming related. Here’s a sample:

IGN: Does your work say anything about you?

Todd Howard: That I’ve never really grown out of my love of the 100 hour adventures of my Apple 2 days. The ones I would go to bed dreaming about solving. I crave moments of discovery in games, the moments of “can I do this?” and the sense that I have found something no other player has. I want my games to have that. I want length and depth and hint books that can kill a child if dropped on them.

More stuff after the jump…

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Around the Web: “Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi” image of Todd edition

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Here’s the latest Fallout/Elder Scrolls coverage from across the web.

We’ll begin at 1Up, where they have a feature titled “Three Wishes,” in which developers from around the industry share their wishes for the future of gaming. Amongst those asked to rub the magic lamp, Todd shares his utopian wish for “a standard platform across all consoles and PCs for games.” Sounds nice.

To read Todd’s wish, as well as the wishes of others (including Gas Powered Games’ Chris Taylor and Sims/Spore extraordinaire Will Wright), head here.

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This IS History

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In case you missed it, CVG put up a two-part feature over the weekend titled “The complete history of open-world games.” The staff at PC Zone take a look at the history and appeal of the genre, while talking with folks that make the games — including Todd Howard. Here’s a sample from the section entitled “Grand Theft Scrolls” in part 1:

Beginning with Arena (which you can now download for free at the game’s 10th Anniversary page at elderscrolls.com), which was followed by Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion and many expansion packs, Bethesda’s series takes in the empire of Tamriel and otherworldly realms such as the Shivering Isles, with the player character able to be a number of races (including Orc, Dark Elf, Imperial and Nord) and classes (such as knight, bard and sorcerer).

“I think that perhaps, the Elder Scrolls series has most of all pushed the idea that massive scale can also be manageable,” says Howard. “That all the little details can be done to an extreme, yet the whole world can still fit together and tell its own story as you wander through it.”

To read the rest, check out these links (part 1) (part 2).

Vive La France!

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For those of you living in France, Pete just passed on word of three magazines that should be on newsstands.

The June issue PC Jeux has a two page spread that covers aspects of the game that Pete showed while in Europe about a month ago. Similarly, Pete showed the game to the folks at JoyPad, where the game is featured in their May issue. Not to be confused with JoyPad, be on the lookout for Joystick’s cover story on Fallout 3 in their June issue (on newsstands now).

If you’re like me and you don’t know a lick of French (still puzzled as to why I took Latin), there’s a new interview with Fallout 3 Original Composer Inon Zur (I know, he’s not French) on IGN’s Insider page. Here’s a sample:

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Around the web and on newsstands: Playing catch up edition

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After a week down under (more on that later), I’ve returned to the office with plenty of coverage to catch up on. Here’s a look at some of the stuff I’ve missed…

To kick things off, the May 2008 issue of OXM (US) has a feature called House Rules: Other Ways to Play, which reveals new ways to play Oblivion. Check out the issue if you want to know how to pitch, bowl, or even play tee-ball within the Oblivion world.

Speaking of OXM, the editors have put together a special spring issue called Ultimate Xbox 360 How-To Handbook. Within the issue is another opportunity to put together the Vault Boy bobblehead papercraft cutout that was previously found in PC Gamer. Look for the magazine on newsstands now.

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Around the Web — Interviews Edition

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Gamespot (UK) has a video interview with Pete up now. Meanwhile in reading format, we’ve got new interviews with Pete in a variety of places.

First, the folks Gamesindustry.biz cover a lot of ground in their inteview Surviving the Fallout:

Q: How far are you going with the ‘go anywhere’ sense in this game?

Pete Hines: Very. If you want to see how many of the hours you can play without seeing an hour of the main quest, give it a shot – it will be lots. You could spend 50 hours, 70 hours, just doing stuff in the world and never once make an effort to figure out what happened to your dad. We want it to be a self-directed world, for players to just see what happens.

And the idea is that the main quest is not the only cool stuff going on – there are tonnes of miscellaneous free-form things out there for you to do that will be a lot of fun, that maybe you’ve got five or six quests at any time where you can figure out what to do next.

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