Fallout 3: The wonder years

Fallout 3 is aiming to bring us closer than ever to our characters, through an innovative attribute-selecting experience. Instead of navigating a series of menus and options, we'll be living out the crucial moments of our vault-dwelling avatar - literally his formative years.

During these experiences you'll interact with your ol' dad, played by Liam Neeson. And by undergoing your early years, the character you eventually end up with will feel far more familiar, and intrinsically yours, than just kicking off an adventure as a complete stranger.

"We wanted people to experience something they've never had in a roleplaying game before," lead designer Emil Pagliarulo explains to the UK's PC Gamer, during the magazine's huge Fallout 3 feature. "In most games you never get to develop your character through the course of his or her life. We wanted to show what it's like to grow up in a Vault." Gloomy, we're betting.

It'll work by patching a slideshow of playable scenes together - starting with your birth. At this point, you'll select the base attributes that make up your character, from strength and endurance to charisma and luck.

Next, your actions as a child will dictate what sort of person you are, whether it's a brawling beefcake or silver-tounged charmer. Last of all will come your specialities, your skills - hacking, first aid or sharpshooting, for instance.

That Bethesda has gone all-out on working such atmospheric and engrossing features into Fallout 3 is proof - for the rabid, worried fanboys who need it - that the franchise is in the right hands. For our impressions of what we've seen so far,click here.

July 5, 2007

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.