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Fallout New Vegas Review [VIDEO GAMES]

So Fallout: New Vegas came out a couple weeks ago, although we really aren’t 100% on how many days its been because, well, we aren’t sure what day it is now. All we know is that we can’t stop playing New Vegas. It is that freakin amazing. If you read our earlier preview you know that it is in fact not that different than Fallout 3. It is basically a sequel, albeit with a largely expanded variety of weapons, new perks, new stuff to build, weapon modifications, the ability to make ammo, and a new “Hard-core” mode that kicks ass.

And of course a whole new world with loads of interesting characters.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the sort of “choose your own adventure” plot line that includes dozens of different factions, gangs, groups, and organizations that are struggling for survival in New Vegas. You choose who you help and who you betray, and at the end of the game in the little closing epilogue story thing, it tells you the fate of every faction.

Besides all the minor factions, there are three main forces at war for New Vegas, and the primary plot line forces you to choose one of them or to claim New Vegas as your own. So there are four diverging story lines that you can follow, and you’re going to want to try them all. Do beware though, that there is no “right” path. Each of the main factions has their positive and negative features, so there is no easy choice.

And that of course is the whole point.

What we Love about New Vegas

The landscape is larger, with more locations, more missions, and more going on. There are some awesome new weapons, a whole bunch of which are more wild-west themed, but also light machine guns, some super-powerful energy weapons, and great assault rifles.

You can win money by playing several games on the strip in New Vegas as well as by playing a strange game called “Caravan” with different people around the areas outside of New Vegas. This is a great way to make money and much faster than picking up every damn bottle cap you find lying around in the rubble. This is good, also, as money tends to be worth less. Many weapons will cost upwards of 10k to buy, and some ammo is expensive.

Did we mention how cool the weapon mods are? Our favorite weapon ended up being the sniper rifle, to which we added a silencer, extended mag, and a lightweight frame.

There is a new damage system: each weapon now has two ratings for damage, one indicating its penetration power, and the other the actual damage caused. There is a trade off in armor piercing vs damage causing, so there are times you will be switching between weapons or between types of ammo depending on how armored the target is.

The hardcore mode keeps track of your hydration level and hunger, in addition to a few other things. We haven’t plaid the hardcore much yet, that is next on the to-do list.

What we didn’t like so much

The beginning of the story is a little weak. You wake up in a doctors office to learn that you are a courier that got way-laid and executed. Or at least attempted-executed. You then tell the Doc “who you are” and explain your proficiencies. This isn’t a big complaint, we just felt like they got lazy with the premise of the character, where as in Fallout 3 the identify of the character to the story was central, and quite engaging.

The Alpha Male Deathclaw. This thing kills with one hit, took several nukes to kill, and is worth the same experience as the baby deathclaw. Yah, that sucked.

Some missions are difficult to figure out, when they shouldn’t be. The compass pointer thing can be a little buggy, telling you that the next mission objective is through the door in front of you, and then tell you its back through the door you just came through once you’re on the other side. Can be annoying.

The weapons early on really really suck. You’re probably better off sticking with melee weapons for a while, but whatever you do, avoid the “service rifle” at all costs. Its weaker than the BB gun in Fallout 3 and is slow slow slow to shoot. It looks like it would be a decent rifle, which is why the warning.

The strip itself it is a little small. There are really only three casinos and there isnt much to explore. You are going to spend 98-99% of your time outside the strip, and it just seems like they could have made this portion much more rewarding and interesting as a settlement to spend time in.

Strangely, it can actually be hard to find creatures to fight for experience if you just want to level up. There are few places were there are always creatures or characters that are worth the time to kill. There are basically no super-mutants in the area, and we kinda liked that part of Fallout 3.

In Summary: It Kicks Ass!

New Vegas is going to remain one of our favorite games for a long time. There are just so many different ways to experience the story line, so many side plots and minor factions that you’re going to need to start over several times just to feel like you’re getting the most of it. And hardcore mode adds several levels of challenge that require a great deal of planning and attention.

This is, so far, our favorite game this year, and if you liked Fallout 3, it will probably be yours too.

  • lanceivarCOED Writer
    Im a dude, dude.