September 30, 2008

An Obsession in Full-Swing

I don't know exactly how I stumbled into the world of videogame Role-Playing Games (RPGs) (it might have taken root years and years ago when I played "The Bard's Tale" on the Apple IIgs back when I was a youth), but last year's release of "Mass Effect" got me going bigtime. I played that twice through, and had a sudden insatiable urge to continue that sort of gameplay.

Erik mentioned that I might want to try something called "The Elder Scrolls", and while out on a trip to the local GameStop, I picked up "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion", the Game of the Year Edition. I played my share of Mass Effect, sure, but I spent some MAJOR time with Oblivion... well-over a hundred hours, at least. I mean, I managed to get all but one of the achievements (59 out of 60 of them) -- that's just preposterous!

Oblivion really lived up to its name... when you're playing it, there's really not much else you can think about. I remember being at work and just aching to go home to play Oblivion. It became a bit of a competition between me and Erik - to see who could finish the game and get all the achievements first.

And then, I don't remember when, I don't remember how, I learned about "Fallout 3". This is another RPG being produced by the same people who made Oblivion, but this time it takes place not in a medieval-style fantasy world, but in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of Washington D.C. Your character is a "vault-dweller" -- born and raised in a large-scale underground bunker, and you're forced out into the wilds of the unprotected fallout zone in an effort to find your father, who has left the "vault" just as the game begins.

Fallout 3 Gameplay Demo

The gameplay looks startlingly (and tantalizingly) similar to that of Oblivion, but it takes that style of game which I have recently become so obsessed with, and paired it with a story and setting that hearkens back to one of my own favorite genres: post-apocalyptic sci-fi. It's a recipe for a LOT of fun, and a LOT of time spent at home, in front of the tv, staring at the screen.

Fallout 3 doesn't come out until the end of October, and the wait has been really excruciating. I've been wandering the websites, the fan forums, the game news sites -- all in search of any new info I can get my hands on -- yet trying to refrain from picking up information that might be "spoiler" material. It's a fine line to walk on.

A few weeks ago, Erik and his brother Bryce attended the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), a large gaming convention up here in Seattle, and Erik got the chance to get his hands on Fallout 3 for 10 minutes of gameplay. I was hella-jealous, but was indeed happy when he came home at the end of every convention day with new schwag from the game - a vault-dweller's survival guide, a limited edition poster...

...I've got it bad. I want to play this game! The game is released on October 28th, and we've already got our copy pre-ordered online (the Collector's Edition, which comes with a Vault-Boy bobblehead figure, an artwork book, a "Making of..." DVD, and even a Vault-Tec lunchbox!). Recently, a new interactive site came online for the game -- Prepare For The Future (.com)" -- and that's helping me get by, but October 28th can't get here fast enough! My last day at WizKids is October 17th, and I'm eager to find another job to, you know, help pay the mortgage and all -- but I'd be lying if I didn't hope that my next job didn't start until a week or so AFTER the Fallout 3 release. :)

So before then, I will catch up on some reading, try to catch up with my friends and family, give Zippy a lot of playtime -- because who knows how many hours (or days, or weeks, or months) I'll be unavailable!

For now, the countdown continues...

posted by julie at September 30, 2008 08:45 AM