Saturday, 30 October 2010

A new review for a new Fallout in New Vegas.

So whatever happened to the Fallout playthrough?  Well it got to the point where nothing was happening and all the jokes I made seemed forced or weren't actually that funny.  I always have a problem with similar projects where I know how to start it, I know how to end it, but it's the middle that screws me over.  So who knows, I might make another few posts sometime down the line once I've figured out what I want to happen, but not right now.  No, right now is for talking about a similar game.  (I say similar in the same way that Vanilla Coke is similar to Coke, in the fact that it's more or less the same thing but with some improvements.)

Today's topic is, you've guessed it, Fallout: New Vegas.  Also known as Fallout 3-2.

My dad and I both got a copy each when it was released last Thursday and since then we've barely talked about anything that wasn't related to the wasteland.  The main reason for this is the size of the game.  You start walking in one direction and all of a sudden you discover a town with a lot of loot, a small populace, a questline and some enemies to sort out.  Each town has its own little quirks and some of the people are genuinely interesting.  For example, a gang full of Elvis impersonators.  The amount of things to see and places to go always astounds me as I can sit down to complete a quest, and 5 hours later I've picked up 4 others, discovered a few places and gotten no further in the storyline.   Obsidian Entertainment have produced a huge environment you can wander around for hours on end.

The main plot of the game seems a lot shorter than Fallout 3, though it makes up with slightly better writing.  Without wanting to spoil too much, the majority of the plot is based on revenge and power rather than F3's "Let's catch up with daddy for no good reason and see what's happening." The plot was a lot more interesting and for once you feel like you're actually making a difference, rather than just following the people in charge and watching them work while you kill some enemies.

The companions you can acquire have also improved, as they do not care about your karma when joining and give you a temporary perk while they are in your party.  After a time, a member might ask you to do a certain questline which improves the perk in the same way Mass Effect 2 manages your crew members.  Mechanics aside, each personality has their own charm.  Whether it's Veronica's jokes or ED-E's use of music to tell you enemies are here there's a lot of fun to be had with each one.  Plus, Danny Trejo and Felicia Day play Raul and Veronica, respectively.  And yes, you get a dog in this game as well.  Let me be the first to say that he's much better than Dogmeat, and I loved that dog.

Even the character creation is improved.  You wake up after an attack and check the good doctor who saves you put your face in the right place and didn't mess around with that brain of yours. It's a less traumatic scene than watching your birth and then the loss of a parent.  And I have to add that the tutorial is vastly improved, since you can actually skip it this time.  The joy I felt when I saw the option to [SKIP TUTORIAL] was insurmountable.  Although, if you do go through with it it only lasts about 5 minutes and you get a few extra caps to start you off, so don't be expecting another half hour long vault opening.

In terms of weapons, the game brings back some of your old favourites such as the Fatman and the Flamer and then adds to the collection.  There are tons of added weapons, and each now gets their own mods to go with it.  Depending on the mod, these can reduce the spread or reduce the weight, or even increase the ammo capacity.

New Vegas has a lot less perks than Fallout 3, and makes up for this by offering one every second level, which can get quite annoying when you have to wait longer to get the next.  From the few perks you're offered it isn't a bad selection, with the exception of the traits during character creation.

Hardcore mode was added to the game for those who wanted a bigger challenge.  Instead, it adds an annoyance.  Sleep, Hunger, and Thirst are now measured and increase over time, meaning after sleeping for a long period of time or walking halfway across the map you'll be thirsty.  This decreases certain skills in the same way radiation poisoning works, so it's best to weigh yourself down with food and water rather than weapons.  Speaking of which, ammo also weighs you down and certain calibres have different weights.  If you want to carry missiles around, you'd better not plan on having anything else at all in your pack or walking anywhere anytime soon.  Stimpacks now heal over time rather than giving you health on the spot, so combat becomes a lot more about strategizing when to use health boosts.  Companions are no longer invulnerable and can be killed during combat, meaning that quest you just spent the past hour on is gone thanks to one gang member and a lead pipe.  I'll admit hardcore mods was fun at times, as it added an extra layer of difficulty, but more often than not the fact that I couldn't pick up any loot because of my ammo hoarding annoyed me.  (Although the achievement was totally worth it.)

By now if you've read anything about the game it'll be about the various bugs and glitches in the game.  I know only too well that the game has it's fair share of problems.  Hell, it took me almost 4 hours just to get the thing running.  The game has crashed many times while just walking down the road and some strange behaviour in the AI doesn't help with the immersion.  Going into this I knew there were going to be annoyances such as these, but I realise some people aren't as tolerant of bugs, so beware of them.  The good news is that the developers are busy releasing patches and working to get rid of the bugs.

It may sound like I spent a lot of time talking about how much better this game is than Fallout 3, but thats because there's not a whole lot of new content.  Sure, there's improved content, but if you've played and enjoyed Fallout 3 it's more of the same, which is not entirely a bad thing.


  1. Nice review man, it does just seem like it's Fallout 3 again but with some of the community-made mods thrown in... and that's no bad thing! Got that 'crazy wasteland' perk yet?

  2. It was the first trait I picked though I've yet to find something to trigger it. The only good one out of the bunch.


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