The muchly anticipated sequel to Bethesda’s breakthrough game Fallout New Vegas is now on the shelves and looking much like the Fallout 3, except with a few tweaks. It almost lives up to it’s big brother’s expectations however it falls short in just a few categories which I will go into more depth below.
Play the YouTube video at the bottom of the page for some of the games music while reading through this blog.
Upon installing Fallout New Vegas i noticed how the graphics and themes were almost exactly the same as Fallout 3, even the models looked like the exact same ones, probably to save money i’m assuming. This made me feel like there’s a connection to Fallout 3 still, and not a whole completely new game. Throughout the storyline however I felt that it was lacking content and depth as I wasn’t as emotionally linked with the story as I was in Fallout 3 where you became either fond or felt contempt towards most main characters in the game. I’m sure most of you agree with me here, when I say I really hated Colin Moriarty from Fallout 3. His cold personality and his obsessive need to make money turned me against him and i’ve often saved the game just to snipe, rocket, or punch his face off. I really enjoyed feeling various emotions towards the characters of the game if Fallout 3, as it dramatically increases immersion of the player, almost feeling as if they are actually in this post-apocalyptic world. However alas I didn’t get the same sense of depth for most of the characters in the game. The doc, right at the beginning of the game just fixed you up and sent you on your way, without much background story of him at all. Frankly this was fairly disappointing as I play RPG’s for their storyline, and (mostly) not for it’s blood and guns content.
One thing I really hated in this game was, yep you guessed it! The invisible walls around every mountain or high terrain point. They were extremely limiting and didn’t let me go anywhere I wanted to explore like Fallout 3. Yes, this was probably done to save time and to prevent players becoming stuck in the ground or finding glitches, but the one feature I really found enjoyable in Fallout 3 was the ability to go wherever I wanted, and to discover new paths to places I needed to get to. The map also “felt” smaller than Fallout 3’s map as well, possibly due to the map invisible restrictions but, also the large areas you weren’t able to explore such as the area around Jacobstown and the Legion camp.
I did love the new companions and companion screen in NV, it was much easier to give orders, heal and equip your team in the heat of battles when there’s not much time to spare. A particular focus was the benefits your party members gave you, such as Lily giving you increased 10% damage to sneak attack criticals. Another new addition to the game I loved was the wider variety of weapons you could choose and way’s of attaining add-ons to most weapons, such as a thermal scope for the Varmit Rifle. There were many more weapons in this game than the previous allowing players to seek out and obliterate any enemies with relative ease, as well as being able to customize weapons to their own skills and perks. This brings me to the new perks and skills in the game, In Fallout New Vegas you can’t just level all your stats to 100 by the end and be all-powerful, but you must carefully choose perks and skills that will benefit your character, as you can’t choose most of them.
Blind Deathclaw… Wut? This is just one of the new creatures and people that had been added in New Vegas. A variety of creatures have been balanced to your levels, so to pose a threat but not so much that they will kill you upon engaging them. The Cazador are a great example of this, mainly due to fighting a bunch of them once early in the game and found them a great challenge, so now I tend to avoid them over a single deathclaw. A new game mechanic in NV lets the player create allegiances with other “factions” spread out over the wasteland, two of the most well-known ones being the NCR and the Legion who tend to fight often. I often found myself in many tiny wars between these factions fighting one another, the best bit however is the factions your ally yourself with will determine the outcome of the game. Not to ruin anything here but later on in the game there are three main choices and multiple sub choices you can choose between and you may need to break away from an allied faction to continue on the path you’ve chosen. I enjoyed this new feature in the game due to making it even more non-linear than Fallout 3.
Left is a picture of an expansion of New Vegas, I haven’t bought it yet but i’m sure it’s just as exciting as the Fallout 3 DLC containing more cool weapons, armour and a few mini quests to complete for additional experience and rewards. However i’m only reviewing the main game.
One identical component between NV and 3 is the amount of bugs, glitches and crashes the games contain, and the potential to contain. Throughout this game it’s hard not to find a glitch or two that many either be beneficial or harmful to your progress in the game. I’ve become stuck countless times in various places on the map and have actually been stuck in an infinite loop on a quest because two people keep telling me to go to the other one. In a game of this size however it’s to be expected, although I would like a patch fixing these over time as people find them.
The graphics quality in New Vegas was the same style as it’s predecessor, however I would have liked a graphics quality upgrade from the same fairly low-quality style. I felt like the basics were there but the character animations could have been a little more fluid and life-like. If you’ve read my review on Metro 2033 you would have noticed I’ve praised the life-like character animations and realism of their activities, but compared to that it seems to be lacking something.
The sound effects and music in the game were on the same par as Fallout 3, consisting of nice ambiance when exploring and rapid fast paced music when running for your life from a deathclaw or 20 Legion soldiers with spiky bats. I’ve got a 5.1 Z-5500 surround sound Logitech system setup, from which I heard every tiny sound and the direction it came from which also made the immersion factor feel almost realistic.
Overall this is a brilliant game with the same aesthetics and play-time as Fallout 3 but with a new map, characters, story and guns. This game will keep you occupied for many many hours playing through all the different combinations of different perks, karma and characters that you have to choose from although you may occasionally find yourself stuck in a wall, or quest. I highly recommend this game if you are into any RPG, RTS or FPS genre games and maybe Puzzle games as well.
Here’s the final score out of 100%:
Fun Rating: 100%
0% – 24% = Hopeless Game, Definitely not worth buying! if you have it sell it now while its worth something!
25% – 49% = Terrible Game, This game will not prove to be very enjoyable, and may only be played once and forgotten.
50% – 59% = Average Game, A very mediocre game that you may play occasionally to pass time but doesn’t prove to be very enjoyable.
60% – 69% = Nice Game, A game you would play once or twice to see how it is, but ultimately lacks replay-ability and immersion.
70% – 79% = Brilliant Game, This game would satisfy your gaming needs for a very long time but would eventually be forgotten over time.
80% – 89% = Fantastic Game, A very fun game that proves time and time again to be enjoyable and addictive.
90% – 99% = Amazing Game, Extremely Enjoyable and has lots of replay-ability content, as well aspushing the boundaries for future games.
100% = Epic Game, Go and buy 20 copies right now! (In-case there’s a nuclear war and they get destroyed)