Bethesda’s Pete Hines fielded your questions about “Fallout 3” March expansion “The Pitt” yesterday, and we’ve got answers about gameplay length, new weapons, “a brand new kind of bleak,” and more.
I wanted help. An hour before my hands-on session with “Fallout 3“’s second downloadable expansion “The Pitt,” yesterday at the DICE Summit outside of Las Vegas, I asked readers of our Multiplayer Twitter feed to submit questions. The queries poured in. So, instead of just playing “The Pitt,” I took your questions to Bethesda’s p.r. guru Pete Hines, to get some answers.
Before you dig into this, the basics that you need to know about “The Pitt” is that it takes “Fallout 3″ gamers to a ruined Pittsburgh with a mission to free slaves and find a cure for a disease. Players wind up amongst the slaves, facing choices about who to believe.
Hines and I at on a bench in the hotel suite where “The Pitt” was being demoed. I opened my laptop and we scrolled through these your questions:
jomolungma @multiplayers Does Mellon Arena survive the apocalypse? I think it actually could. Also, how closely does it map the hills/rivers of Pitt?
Hines: Much like for D.C. we’re very careful about what would have existed in the “Fallout” universe versus what exists in our world. When you play “Fallout 3″ in D.C., everything you see is not exactly as if it blew up today. We sort of go through and see what games would have existed in this world…
MTV Multiplayer: So Mellon Arena existed in this world?
Hines: I know it’s not in the DLC.
MTV Multiplayer: But you don’t know if it was destroyed or if it had never been built?
Hines: Right. But for his or her purposes, we do have a couple of folks on the team who were originally from Pittsburgh, so they were way into this in term of what it should look like and feel like.
graemepass @multiplayers Is it as combat focused as Anchorage? Because that’s not what I want.
Hines: No. It is much more in line with some of the other stuff in “Fallout.” There are these two factions. There’s a story: the slavers vs. the slaves. And you have to figure out who you want to believe and who you want to help. Clearly, there’s combat involved, but there are multiple ways to go about doing things. You have to decide ultimately what you think is right, because there is no real right or wrong.
DuhraL @multiplayers w/ the first DLC, they used a lot of the wasteland assets with a blue filter on top. Does the “Pitt” feel like a new city?
Hines: I don’t think that’s actually entirely accurate, but you could probably answer that better than me. When you were in it did it feel different? To me it does.
MTV Multiplayer: Yeah, the [Pittsburgh] bridge looks different.
Hines: It’s much grittier, much more industrial. It feels like what you might think post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh would look like.
mattycallen @multiplayers is it as linear as the last one, or open world? Is it a separate environment? Does all my equipment transfer over?
MTV Multiplayer: Well, we know it’s a separate environment. [Note from Stephen: not only does it have its own map, but once you go to it, you can’t come back to D.C. until you’ve finished with it.]
Hines: It is linear unto itself. It’s different from “Anchorage” in that everybody won’t be doing it the exact same way. The “Pitt” folks may side with one side or the other and go about doing things differently — so in that sense, it is again a bit more like “Fallout” in letting you be the kind of person you want to be.
1point21gigawat @multiplayers any new skills, perks, or weapons that they can talk about?
Hines: Auto-axe is the cool one. It’s a melee one.
MTV Multiplayer: That ties into this other one:
brianszabelski @multiplayers How does the Auto Axe play?
Hines: Well, hopefully you have a chance to play it [Note from Stephen: I didn’t get that far.] It’s a really cool, kind of badass and nasty [weapon] with serrated blades that spin around.
NT_ @multiplayers I want to know if they are going to ditch GFWL so that it can be purchased through Steam for the exact price & no hassle.
Hines: We’re not going to ditch it. And, right now, Xbox Live and Games For Windows Live are the only ways you can get our DLC.
MTV Multiplayer: That extends to this one that’s coming out?
Hines: That’s true for the DLC we have announced and are talking about.
bigst3ph3n @multiplayers how much does it cost?
Hines: Same. 800 points.
bigst3ph3n @multiplayers And what new gameplay do they offer like the first made it more fps style. Does this do anything diff?
MTV Multiplayer: I think we covered that one already.
gravitybomb @multiplayers It “The Pitt” going to be more of a return to the gameplay of fallout 3 or will it be another departure, a la “Anchorage”?
MTV Multiplayer: I think we covered that.
Hatchetjob @multiplayers Does it stop being relentlessly bleak?
Hines: Again, a question for you! But, honestly, my answer to that would be “no.” It’s pretty bleak and in some ways it’s almost a bit more bleak. Because everyone in this world… it’s a really contaminated world. And so the people look a lot worse for wear. It’s a bit grimier, dirtier, nastier, but in a different way. It’s a brand new kind of bleak. [laughs]
latinogamer @multiplayers Will the DLC pack entice players to revisit the game, after 10-20 hours if playing the original game
MTV Multiplayer: [laughs] Yes!
Hines: [joking] No. Not at all. Don’t bother.
edwardli @multiplayers how long it is compared to operation anchorage.
Hines: I think it’s about the same. It’s probably a little bit longer. Part of it is just how you choose to play it. Certain choices you make make certain parts of it a bit longer to get through. We’re aiming for that four to five hours or so of additional stuff.
Ajguy @multiplayers How detailed do they get in recreating Pittsburgh? As someone who lives there, I’m dying to see it.
MTV Multiplayer: I think you addressed that.
Hines: I think anybody who lives in Pittsburgh — and we’ve even had media outlets from Pittsburgh pinging me saying ’We want to see what you’ve done to the city.’ — I think people from Pittsburgh will feel that this is what they expected it to look like. But you’re not going to be going on a sightseeing tour, picking out landmarks.
goodmanw @multiplayers Is it going to be like the first DLC, very gun heavy, or more of the normal Fallout 3 gameplay?
MTV Multiplayer: I think we already addressed that.
Hines: More in the normal gameplay. Clearly that’s a big concern. We tried to be clear with everybody that, hey this first one “Anchorage” is going to be more combat, more straight ahead stuff. Whereas “The Pitt” is going to go back to more of the “Fallout”-type gameplay where you can make choices.
roxaloxa @multiplayers i want you to wrangle information about the next elder scrolls out of bethesda. use any means necessary.
Hines: Good luck with that.
MTV Multiplayer: Can I punch you right now?
Hines: Is there a suitcase full of money that I didn’t see you walk in with?
MTV Multiplayer: No, I don’t have any money on me.
needlerfanpudge @multiplayers How big is it, what kind of loot is in it, and how do you get to it in the game.
MTV Multiplayer: Can you state, geographically, how big it is? Is there something you would compare it to in terms of the size of the overall “Fallout” map?
Hines: It’s a little hard to do because it’s kind of a self-contained mix of interiors, exteriors. The inside part of “The Pitt” is bigger than all of Megaton’s interiors and exteriors. It kind of flows… It feels pretty big.
MTV Multiplayer: And in terms of how you get to it, you said a guy comes up to you?
Hines: Yeah, you come across this guy who has escaped the Pitt and is asking for your help in curing the problems of that thing. Specifically, it is about this cure he has found out about and wants you to help him to not only help the slaves — which he was one — but also to get this cure which could have huge implications. Mutation is obviously a big thing in the world of “Fallout” and this would help solve that.
BenjaminBirdie @multiplayers How do you get to Pittsburgh from Washington DC. No, seriously. Will it be on the map or what?
MTV Multiplayer: You take the train.
Hines: You take the two-man train [with those handles that each person has to pull up and down]. You don’t do it in real time. You take it and then you get there.
MTV Multiplayer: You would need the Wii for that, because you would need the WIi remote [to make the up and down motion].
Hines: It would be several hours of really boring gameplay.
MTV Multiplayer: [laughing] I meant: “You would need Teddy Ruxpin for that.”
conniedarko @multiplayers what sort of new weapons/armor can we expect?
Hines: Yeah, there’s new raider armor.
DeadlyCyclone @multiplayers Will it be longer than Anchorage, and will there be more goodies that you unlock after beating it (i.e. Armor/Guns).
Hines: Yes, yes. Stuff you can bring back. Because, unlike Anchorage, this isn’t a virtual thing. It’s a real-world space.
There you go. Our first Twitter-assisted interview. Let us know if you liked it and want more.