Is Fallout 3 the next Oblivion? That was our impression after leaving developer, Bethesda Softworks' demonstration of its latest project, a follow up to the cult classic post-apocalyptic role-playing series, originally debuted by Interplay Entertainment a decade ago. Since Bethesda secured the rights to produce the next chapter in the series in 2004, rumor, conjecture and fanatical fanboy-ism have been running rampant across the internet.
But while long-time fans have been on the edge of their seats to see whether Bethesda would stay true to the spirit of the original, many gamers unfamiliar with the series have remained blissfully ignorant. But that's all about to change now that the first details on the game have gone public. Like Oblivion, Fallout 3 looks like it's shaping up to be the sort of multiplatform mega hit that will make the already popular franchise even more famous, luring in both die-hard fans and strangers to the series - and with good reason.
Set 30 years after Fallout 2, Fallout 3 begins in Vault 101, one of many underground self-sustaining communities where survivors of the nuclear war that ravaged the planet in 2077 have been living in safety for the last 200 years.
Above: Your father will be played by Liam Neeson, and his appearance will reflect your choices during the character creation process
We were told the game begins with your birth - and you see a mysterious masked man delivering you. Once the mask is removed, you'll realize that it's your father. His appearance will be modified to look similar to yours based on your choices during the character creation mode. While adventuring and questing through the Vault, you'll learn the ropes of the game's mechanics as you mature towards the ripe age of 19.
Eventually, you learn that your father, an influential scientist, has broken one of the Vault's most strict taboos; he's left the Vault and deserted his fellow survivors. Where did he go? Why did he go? These are the questions that set the premise for Fallout 3 when you decide to follow in your father's footsteps by breaking out of the Vault in search of his whereabouts.