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Fallout: New Vegas Review

October 31, 2010

War, war has changed. It’s 2010 and the the sequel to the 2008 game of the year Fallout 3 has been released, but could the sequel grab the game of the year award even though it has been developed by a different developer? Does Fallout: New Vegas fall short to what made Fallout 3 successful or does it do everything the previous entry in the series did and more?

Skinned alive.

New Vegas does not act as a direct sequel to Fallout 3, but offers a similar role playing experience with many new and returning features. The game is set 4 year after the events that took place in Fallout 3. You play as a Courier who’s job is to deliver packages till one day your package is stolen and you’re left for dead. You’re then rescued by Victor a mysterious robot and brought back to a town called Goodspring. Story wise, nothing new, it has been done over a million times. While the story can be interesting at times with the numerous branching paths the game can end, yet it doesn’t draw you in and you will find yourself discouraged in continuing the main quest because the story is, let me try and summarise this…boring.

Anyone order a hammer?

You will awaken at Doctor Mitchell’s house and will be introduced to the character creation screen. Here you will create your character just like Fallout 3. Name, age, gender, specials and so on. Once you’re about to exit the Doctor’s house, you will be presented by a notification asking you if you would like to turn on Hardcore mode, but we will get to that later. So the game begins with you, the Courier in search of the man who shot you, Benny. Then you’re open to a whole world of possibilities, with currency used as caps, dinosaur toys, radiated rockets, ghouls and hell of a lot of bugs and glitches.

While Fallout: New Vegas is a larger game in comparison to Fallout 3, the game is infested with glitches and game breaking bugs. Which comes the million dollar question,was this game even tested? The main quest itself is bugged. The sidequests are bugged. Your companions are bugged. The loading screen is even bugged. During my playthrough I had just completed a main quest and fast travelled to The Strip. I approach the door and it wouldn’t allow me in because now you magically need a key. I’ve been in The Strip more times than I can count and what makes it even worse was this occurred after the 1.01 patch on PS3 was installed. Other bugs such as your companions being stuck to the environment while trying to run, you getting stuck next to a car and frame rate dropping to zero. The game also freezes multiple times, that you frequently begin praying it doesn’t freeze because once it does, it means the console itself has frozen too.

How cliché.

This game seems to have been released incomplete and not tested at all, but when the game isn’t suffering from these glitches it’s truly great. The game is really fun to play when you’re not experiencing the bugs and glitches. The game delivers hour upon hour of joyful gaming. Even while you’re with your girlfriend, you will be thinking Fallout. Although in this day and age, games with this amount of bugs cannot be excused, but then again Fallout: New Vegas does do what it’s meant to and that’s make the player addicted, and I am.

The visuals are out dated and so is the engine. The game itself overall is visually and performance wise better on PC. It’s even less buggy. Players who have played Fallout 3 will recognise many of the textures used in New Vegas. Character appearances have not changed and you will see the same looking civilians in this game that you saw in Fallout 3. Does this mean Fallout: New Vegas is the same game as Fallout 3 but with a different topping? Short answer to that, no. Long answer, noooo. New Vegas is a very different game, with various differences such as a more balanced character building system. At the end of the game, your character won’t feel the same as the other million players that are playing around the world.

Somethings burning...

The V.A.T.S. system is back and is still pretty much the same although your character can use unique melee weapons abilities can be performed in V.A.T.S. A weapon modification, crafting and plant harvesting system have been incorporated into the game. The weapons modification system seems shallow with only 3 types. Increase the size of your weapon’s magazine, mounting a scope or modifying the rate of fire. The plant harvesting system allows you to collect various types of herbs and roots to create powerful healing herbs to aid you on your quest or you can use them to create bombs and even insert them into your ammunition for that extra omph power. Also a number of casino games such as Roulette and Black Jack can be played within The Strip.

Decisions have become more important than ever. No more decisions between black or white. The obvious answer isn’t slapped into your face and speech challenges still depend on your character’s specialities. Although this time around if you fail a speech challenge it can be redone by speaking to the same character again, rather than it disappearing forever.

fallout-new-vegas-12

Hardcore mode adds to the challenge but is it interesting or annoying? You consistently have to keep hydrated, eating food, sleeping and you cannot fast travel if the distance will make you sick of dehydration. Your Stimpaks also do not heal instantly but overtime and your bullets can add weight to your inventory. Hardcore mode doesn’t necessarily add much of a challenge but does become a chore over time. Good thing it’s optional. If you’re searching for realism Hardcore mode is the way to forward.

The reputation system that was absent in Fallout 3 is back in New Vegas. The role of this system is to ally with whom you desire. Each faction will react differently towards you depending on your loyalty towards them. Such as helping the NCR will make Caesar’s Legion angry and will shoot you on sight, while the NCR will aid you during your quest and vice versa. A companion wheel has been implemented to allow interaction with your companion to be less of a nuisance. Options such as follow, stay close, wait and talk are available to use. You can only use one humanoid and one non-humanoid companion simultaneously. Roaming the Wasteland with a companion grants you a special perk to be equipped as long as the companion is with you.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Voice acting is one of New Vegas’s strong points. No matter how long you spend in the game, you will always hear something new the characters have to say but then again some sentences are repeated enough times for you to learn the script. The radio station’s music is still similar to the likes of Fallout 3’s with old classics playing, it really does add atmosphere to the game, especially The Strip music.

Fallout: New Vegas is a game with a large number of rough edges with its ageing engine detracts from the experience, yet it’s really fun game to play and you will find yourself spending half your life completing. With the main quest to take an average of 17-20 hours to complete alone. Even if another identical Fallout game is to be released with only a different topping, we wouldn’t say no.

Score: 8/10

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2 comments

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