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Anatomy of a Kill
on September 10, 2010 at 11:55 PM
This edition of CSI Capitol Wasteland is not for the squeamish, or for those opposed to wasting their time reading random blogs. So if you hate slowing down for traffic accidents, move along. In fact, this read is a train wreck, both in subject and content. So consider yourself forewarned.
It's hard to explain why I did it, so I'll leave the speculation to you. But it's akin to climbers who scale Everest "because it's there." When a game as meaty as Bethesda's Fallout 3 showers you with remains both human and otherwise, it teases you with the possibilities. OK, maybe not you.
It's to Bethesda's credit that this wasteland of Washington, D.C., is so expertly detailed. That meticulous craftsmenship extends to its inhabitants, even when they've met an untimely -- and bloody -- demise. It's funny and, yeah, disturbing, that watching eyeballs sail through the air in slo-mo is so fascinating.
Recently, when exploring Alexandria Arms(?), I was surprised when one foe disintegrated with a body shot from my combat shotgun. I must have been inspired by the setting, which featured mutilated corpses, caged skeletons and cadavers hanging from meat hooks, because I was compelled to reassemble him.
Frankly, I wanted to see whether I could identify and reassemble so many remains. And in fact, it proved a daunting task. The problem is that picking up objects is as much science as art, and as the former it's kind of broken. Using R3 on PS3, objects can be lifted and carried. In general, they bear a suitable weight.
I broke his heart with a combat shotgun.
However, I found not all remains are created equal. Large pieces like the upper and lower abdomen and heart are easy to maneuver. The smaller parts, however, bedeviled me. The one hand I recovered and the jawbone were virtually impossible to move; they couldn't be lifted, only dragged, and often got stuck on the floor (papers, blood stains, etc.).
You talkin' to
Worse, hit detection for item interaction is scaled to the size of the object. That means that trying to select a small item like a jaw might result in grabbing a larger object like the abdomen because the latter's sphere for interaction encompasses it. Combined with poor collision detection, the ability to move items in close proximity is problematic at best.
Time to feed the Deathclaw.
As corny as it sounds, this was my Everest. It probably took me at least two hours to stage this reassembly. But I met my challenge, and am able to demonstrate the degree of detail Bethesda lavished on this unique and thoroughly realized world. Sure I could have used more conventional means, but this got your attention, didn't it?
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