Opinion// Fallout: New Vegas

Posted 20 Oct 2010 14:22 by
Games: Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout 3 was my GOTY in a strong year. It had a lasting impact proving that Bethesda could turn its corporate hand to a previously adored franchise by blending the best of the originals with their own engine creating a killer RPG.

Now Bethesda have handed the game to Obsidian, pleasing original Fallout fans because the original Fallout devs have their hands on it again. Itís a full game, keeping the same first-person viewpoint and a lot of the features from Fallout 3 such as the engine, SPECIALS, VATS weapons system, trading and, Iím afraid, the dialogue option system.

Fallout 3: New Vegas leaves me in trouble as a reviewer though. Itís not a dip-in, write-up type of game. Hence, this is your insight into my review. It's a pre-review. It is, like Fallout 3, one that you lose yourself in; totally immersive, impressive and somehow important. Because of that (and here comes my admission) even though Iíve levelled up three times and played a good couple of eveningsí worth, Iíve barely scratched the surface.

Rad Free
It just makes me feel a bit guilty. What if New Vegas is like GTA IV and the first few missions are great before it steadily grinds itself down into meaninglessness? Hence the admission. Iíve not got out of Goodsprings yet, but I want to tell you all what Iíve seen and, hopefully, let you finish the story yourself.

The town of Goodsprings is named after the pure, rad-free water flowing just a short distance from the town. It is clear and restores health readily: highly important when, if you play in Hardcore mode as I did, not even Stimpaks can save you. The medicinal water is also completely free! Well, if you can kill the posse of mutated geckos which, like little raptors, are utterly bloodthirsty and not nearly as cute as they would at first appear, it is.

Goodsprings is your Megaton if, I suppose, you didnít blow Megaton up, you sick fuck. It has a saloon, which is open 24/7 and unmanned for half those hours (Iím just saying!); a kindly doctor with some useful and unattended medical supplies (what?) and a supplies store with a good selection of guns and bullets and 800-odd caps available in return for such seeming trash as mandibles, glands and hide. What he does with them, Iím not asking. So long as you keep a neutral reputation there, it seems, youíll have a bolt hole should it all go tits up on the strip.

Blue Sky Thinking
In terms of appearance, thereís not much to comment on until you get outside of the doctorís house where youíve woken up. But when you do...thereís...I donít know how to tell you this...blue sky! Grass! (albeit in patches) cacti and flowers! You can collect them and make food for yourself by the campfire!

It is strikingly different from the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3. Thus the spray-painted messages in empty caravans declaring the loneliness and desperation of their erstwhile occupants seem weirdly melodramatic in a way that they didnít in the ruins of DC. Sympathy is harder to come by when basking in the daylight, drinking pure water, knowing that a few miles away are casinos, law and order (of a sort) and electricity.

Although the game systems are reassuringly familiar, thereís plenty to reinvigorate that anxiousness to get exploring: a chance for a new character with a new skill set (particularly useful for my friend Loki whoíd fully skilled up in melee and had to quit soon after he met his first super mutant with a Fat Man); new traits such as Small Frame which makes you agile, but more likely to be limb-crippled; Four Eyes which gives heightened perception whenever you wear glasses; and Wild Wasteland, unfolding the bizarre and silly elements of the game (the one I plumped for).

Graphical Shame
Unfortunately something has been lost in the quality of the graphics. Textures on buildings look fine from a distance but are a mess close up, the cutscene at the beginning seems to be acted by Action Men, and everything in the wasteland looks weirdly superimposed. This is a shame, but not enough of a problem to make Fallout 3: New Vegas unplayable by any means.

Roaming can start pretty quickly and in Goodsprings alone there are some interesting finds: a theme park over-run with convicts; gang members you can kill, purloin their clothes thereby infiltrating yourself into the larger gang; a caravan with a new radio station set inside and numerous new and old creatures to kill including coyotes who, while not friendly, wonít attack unless threatened.

When I reached the cemetery on the outskirts of town I climbed the hill and saw the lights of the Vegas strip for the first time. The sun was setting and streaking the sky with pink and purple and a few sarsaparilla bottles tinkled at my feet, indicating that, not long ago, a group of teens sat on this hill, partying silhouetted against the neon, or perhaps a young couple sat in this spot to hold hands and dream of moving to the big lights of the city. At any rate, when a game gets you like that, it must be worth playing. I canít wait to find out what happens next.

The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and does not reflect those of SPOnG.com except when it does.

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Games: Fallout: New Vegas

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PreciousRoi 26 Oct 2010 01:11
Fell inside a rock just south of town...somehow some Gekkos managed to follow me inside the rock...took me about 20 min to realize I could escape via fast travel (I don't tend to use fast travel much in games of this type) ...also saw some more gekkos inside another rock later...
PreciousRoi 28 Oct 2010 08:29
OK, this game is a buggy piece of crap.

Told one of my companions to stay put at a point in the story where I am interrogating someone in a locked room for the NCR (with my fists). Somehow he gets into the room with me and starts slicing up the subject of the interrogation, luckily he stops when the subject has had enough, but now he is trapped in the room, which I can't open (requires Key) which I'm not sure even exists, as I've tried pickpocketing the person who would presumably have it.

My last non-auto save was HOURS and HOURS of gameplay ago...now I know, my foul there...but failure to save manually should only punish me for my mistakes, not the game being a poorly tested piece of s**t. So now I've lost my companion, who was schlepping a lot of valuable gear for me, the only remedy I can see being starting over from my last save...which is an unacceptable solution (an entire Vault I cleaned out between now and then, among other things)

Glad I rented.
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PreciousRoi 28 Oct 2010 09:05
Went on official game forums...

apparently calling it a "poorly tested piece of s**t" is an insult to excrement.

people are afraid to play the game its so bad, its got so many issues, ranging from merely annoying to utterly gamebreaking.
miroorcelcius 11 Nov 2010 05:54
This is nothing compare to FO 3, bigger map but nothing to see, few shacks, hills, rock, dry lack, gas station, what else ? few caves. only hoover dam i enjoy. not to mention no random accounter, the artwork of caesar and khans. my god. what's up with that ? the name Fallout is self destructed by releasing NV. for the Bug, i accept it. but the artwork and locations is poorly created. lack of imagination. no feel of apocalayptic sense and world. Waste my money.
JJReis 4 Mar 2011 20:44
Yup. A poorly tested piece of crap is right. Bethesda is never, ever going to sell me another game.
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