Interview with Sawyer with 411mania , slightly more in depth than the average game website, but still a lot of info we've heard before.
The orbital laser has been shown off with a huge radius and 24-hour recharge. What made you include this in the game, and will there be any places that the weapon won't be able to be used, besides in buildings?
JS: I knew I wanted to have a pre-war Poseidon Energy solar energy plant off of Highway 95 south of Boulder City, because there is a real solar energy plant there in Nevada today. I also really liked the layout of the Solar Two project outside of Barstow, California because it's the style of solar plant where the reflector array focuses all of the light on a central tower. It's visually very impressive because the intense concentration of light reflects off of dust in the air. In turn this made me think of Archimedes, the Greek mathematician and inventor. One of the legends about Archimedes details his defense of Syracuse against the Roman navy through the use of a heat ray generated by sunlight reflected off of bronze shields. Since Poseidon plays off of various Greek myths and was involved in various nefarious government projects, it seemed fitting that the HELIOS One plant would be tied in with a secret laser weapon. Hence, ARCHIMEDES.
The ARCHIMEDES laser is pretty powerful, but it's not a true super weapon in the sense of Fallout 3's mini-nuke. It hits a huge area, does respectable damage, and sets targets on fire. But it's the sort of thing to use on relatively low-health groups. Using it in deathclaws, Brotherhood paladins, or other heavy-hitters will result in more irritation than devastation. It can be used outdoors anywhere once a day.