Fallout: New Vegas Review (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
Fall into the world of Fallout once again, this time in the American Southwest
In 2008,Bethesda Softworks revitalized the long dormant Fallout series with Fallout 3, a game so large in scope it left even The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion in the dust. Although hailed by the internet community as simply “Oblivion with guns”, Fallout 3 was so much more than that. The karma system added layers of depth, there was a long and complex narrative and as with Oblivion, players who couldn’t be bothered with structure could just as easily set out in any direction and do whatever they please. It was true gaming lighting in a bottle.
Now, Bethesda has once again captured that lighting with Fallout: New Vegas. Although the game technically takes place in 2080, three years after the events of Fallout 3, this is a completely separate story with no reoccurring Fallout 3 characters or plots. Are the wastelands of the American southwest worth prospecting or should you steer clear of the Deathclaw riddled desert?
Unlike Fallout 3, you are not a Vault dweller, but someone who was born and lived on the surface all your life. A curious delivering a mysterious package, you are shot and buried alive by a notorious gang of outlaws and left for dead. Fortunately for you, you are soon after dug up and rushed to a doctor by a patrolling security robot named Victor. Once you gain your bearings, you set out to unveil the failed plot to end your life. The wasteland beckons, and you feel the urge to answer the call. To give out more would be to spoil the plot. The one thing I can say about the plot? War never changes.
Fallout: New Vegas apparently is using the same engine Fallout 3 did, so expect to see the same level of detail from Fallout 3. Character models still have cat-eyes when in dark areas, they animate with slightly jerky motions and rag-doll physics can sometimes be just as outrageous as in other Bethesda games like Oblivion. Even so, New Vagas looks damn excellent and should please anyone who was happy with the way Fallout 3 looked.
As with the graphics, the audio too seems heavily influenced by Fallout 3. The radio on your Pip-Boy 3000 still plays the 1940’s swing music we’ve all come to love from Fallout games. Voice acting is superb, sound effects carry a sufficient punch and environmental effects add to the immersion greatly. This is a great game to play with a surround sound system.
The gameplay from Fallout 3 returns with several new refinements and enhancements. New Vegas is an RPG-FPS, but you don’t have to use guns if you don’t want to. Instead, there are now many melee weapons that can be just as effective, if not more so. The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, V.A.T.S., makes a return, now with greatly enhanced melee-specific commands, such as swinging a golf club as you would in the sport when attacking for a “fore!” strike.
Outside of combat, dialogue trees offer some great insight into various characters, and depending on your attitude in such conversations, people were either grow to love or hate you, and treat you accordingly.
The Pip-boy 3000 interface is identical to Fallout 3’s. You can now create your own unique weapons, and ammo comes in four different verities. In addition to standard ammo as seen in Fallout 3, there is now cheap ammo, which costs less but damages your weapon, armor-piercing rounds which do more damage to armored enemies or animals with thick hides, and hollow, pointed rounds which do more damage to enemies without armor.
There’s probably a lot I’m forgetting at the moment, but rest assured, this is an extremely deep game.
As with everything else, controls are mostly unchanged from Fallout 3. On the Xbox 360, the controls are broken down as such
Left Stick: Basic movement
Left Stick (Click): Crouch
Right Stick: Look
Right Stick (Click): Pick up object
B: Display Pip-boy 3000 (menu)
X: Reload, X (hold): Arm weapon/disarm
LB First/Third Person View toggle
LT: Zoom Aim
Fallout: New Vegas is largely not too frustrating, but it can be if you get in over your head. Word of advice: Never start a fight you can’t hope to win. There are some enemies you cannot escape from if you attempt to run. Also, watch out for landmines and bear traps.
Availability & Price
Fallout New Vagas is released on October 19th for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Windows PC. Expect to pay the full retail price of around $60.
Fallout: New Vegas is not Fallout 4, but rather an independent story that takes place after Fallout 3. I will expand this section soon.
-I’m only several hours in, but already the game seems to be every bit as long, if not longer than Fallout 3. Expect ~250+ hours of gameplay
-New places to explore
-Signature Fallout dry humor in horrific settings
-Basically everything that made Fallout 3 such an amazing experience returns
-Perks are earned every two levels instead of every one as before. I find this annoying, but only because I’m used to the way Fallout 3 was set up.
I’ve been playing for only a few days and have already run into a few random graphical glitches, just as Fallout 3 had. None of them are game-breaking, but don’t be surprised if an enemy doesn’t get stuck in a rock or the sky turns pure white every now and then.
-The basic graphics are unchanged from 2008’s Fallout 3. This is slightly disappointing, but it’s not like Fallout 3 was a bad looking game to begin with.
New Vegas might look or even play like another expansion pack for Fallout 3, but this game packs far more gameplay than could be found in any expansion and is as amazing as it seems, even better than Fallout 3. Pick it up for your system of choice. I’ve only had the chance to play the 360 version so far, but I will update once my PS3 version comes in the mail. Don’t miss out on New Vegas. It is an incredible experience and may just be my game of the year.
Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Windows PC
Genre: First Person Shooter Role Playing Game
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Gameworks
Also from the developer: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2, Alpha Protocol
Game Length: ~250+ hours
Buy, rent or skip: Buy