After playing Fallout 3 and all the DLC for well over 100 hours, I can honestly say it is one of my favorite games of all time. The game?s stellar success was the result of Bethesda?s dedication in crafting great and detailed games. However, when it was announced that Obsidian was going to be handling the development of this new Fallout sequel, a worried and doubtful sigh immediately exhaled from my lungs. Obsidian is known for making sequels to popular and successful games, and making them with, well, much less quality (ie: KOTOR 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2). They even made an original game that was pretty terrible too. Unfortunately, this trend of releasing lesser quality sequels has continued with Fallout: New Vegas and pales in comparison to the Bethesda developed Fallout 3.
Now, is New Vegas a bad game? Definitely not, but lacks in mechanical details. With this said, New Vegas is probably the glitchiest AAA title ever released and should have had more time in Q&A. NPCs not showing up or showing up in the wrong place (one character was stuck in the ceiling with an awkward animation), enemies getting stuck on the environment, attack button lock ups, ruined save states, clipping, characters walking backwards or into each other, delayed VATS, strange animations, characters speaking with no mouth movement ? the list of bugs goes on. Although still playable, the glitches can be crippling and annoying. Using multiple save slots and saving often is highly recommended.
Given that New Vegas is an absolutely huge game, it is excusable to run into a programming error or two. While Fallout 3 had its share of errors, it is nowhere near the lower mechanical quality of New Vegas. While using the ?the game is so big so there are bound to be some glitches? excuse can only fly so far, it is neutralized by the fact that New Vegas is running on an engine that is already a few years old so there should have been plenty of time and knowledge to avoid backend problems. Sure, Obsidian has already created some patches to fix some of these problems, but gamers not connected to the internet to receive these auto updates could feel cheated and disrespected.
Looking passed all the bugs, New Vegas is still a highly enjoyable title. Just like the wasteland of its predecessor, the Vegas desert is a huge world to explore that can easily suck up 100 hours of your life. In a similar fashion to the vault dweller leaving the vault for the first time Fallout 3, the player is bum rushed with the tremendously vast environment of New Vegas as soon as the opening building is exited. It really is an amazing experience.
Instead of being simply Fallout 3.5, New Vegas has added some new features to separate itself. First, the Vegas strip is composed of several different factions. If you help one faction, it might piss off another. Or if you decide to not join with any faction, you are free to wage war on everybody. It is completely up to the player as to how the game is played and each decision will modify something in the future. Because of this, several different types of play-throughs of the game are encouraged, increasing replay value. Each mission and faction also contains a unique amount of charm that will constantly throw a curveball at the player. New Vegas is filled with unique situations that can only be achieved through this open world sandbox style game.
Dialog trees, the karma system, VATS, the Pipboy ? all the cool features that were in Fallout 3 are in New Vegas with some new options. Weapons can now be tweaked with additional stat supporting special ammo, fires can be started to cook up new items, the player has more control over friend AI companions, and gambling mini games earn extra caps. The new features are welcomed but do not really add anything entirely new. And the bobbleheads have been replaced with the less interesting snow globes.
The game has its backend problems but the overall game mechanics and design are still entertaining despite being a few years old. The massive Mojave Desert begs to be explored in detail as it is filled with a charm that only a Fallout game can provide. Sure, the game?s engine shows its age but it makes up for it with sheer size and replayability. While the voice acting and musical score accurately fits the alternative 1950?s Vegas era with a high amount of quality, Fallout 3?s audio department still takes the cake in comparison. All characters speak with voice acted dialog but the same actors are used repeatedly throughout the adventure. Character models also start to repeat and NPCs? awkward stares are still kind of creepy.
Fallout New Vegas is basically everything that Fallout 3 was, just in a new environment, a new story, but with more bugs and a few new bells and whistles. Looking through the errors and similarities of the previous game, New Vegas is still quite the entertaining experience as it just absolutely sucks the player into this world that screams to be explored. Very few games generate this type of wonder and curiosity simply by placing the player in a unique environment that is seeping with exploration qualities. The constant ?oooh, let?s see what is over here? atmosphere easily turns late nights into early mornings. New Vegas, as well as the other Fallout games, should not be missed.
Better Than: Alpha Protocol
Also Try: drinking radiated water
Wait For It: real life Pipboys and New Vegas DLC
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