Fans and vault-dwellers alike were recently rewarded with the newest edition of the Fallout franchise, Fallout: New Vegas. The game casts you as a courier on a mission to deliver a package which you were instructed to take to New Vegas; however, while en route to the city, you were attacked, shot, and left for dead just outside your destination. You are found by a robot and nursed back to health by the local medic. From there, you are thrust into the story, and must attempt to find out who was behind your attempted murder and what was in the package you were carrying.
The fun in the Fallout series has always come from its gameplay, and to a certain extent, its story. The open-world format of the game really lets you play however you want to play. The main story almost gets lost amongst the horde of side missions and alternate stories you can play. This may seem like a bad thing, but it has the opposite effect. The sheer amount of things to do in the game is overwhelming at times, but each mission is another opportunity to get lost in the incredible landscape of the Fallout series. Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to the game in general. Fallout: New Vegas feels like an expansion pack of Fallout 3, but with a different setting. Although it works well, it could be argued that Fallout fans were looking for something different. However, although this game shares a number of similarities with its previous installment, it does take what was good about Fallout 3 and builds on it with all-new missions, characters, and settings.
The city of New Vegas looks awesome and the game really lets you explore any part of the city you want. Each casino has its own story and set of missions, and it is exciting to see what is really going on behind the scenes. It is amazing to see these incredibly interesting set-pieces all around you, but the missions have you going outside the city more often than not, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of the desert than you may have hoped for. Due to the fact that both games in the next-generation Fallout series share a number of similarities, it’s easy to see why some people would want more from the newer game, but overall, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The only downside to Fallout: New Vegas comes from the game engine. Both Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 3 use the Gamebryo engine, and unfortunately, this was a big mistake. Fallout: New Vegas turned out to be a very buggygame, exactly like Fallout 3 was. After playing for a few hours, your game will freeze or glitch frequently, regardless of which platform you happen to play on. If you do decide to play the game, there are a few things you should do to prevent freezing and data loss: save as frequently as possible and try to leave as much of the environment intact as you can. The bugs are tied in with the size of your save file, so the more things you touch, the more data gets saved, and the more likely the game will be to freeze.
Despite this game being so similar to its predecessor, there are a few new additions that are really enjoyable. The first is Caravan, the card game specifically created for Fallout: New Vegas. Caravan is a pretty easy game to pick up, and it is extremely fun to play against people in the Fallout universe. The other addition I liked was the ability to gamble in the casinos. It is a good way to earn money while having fun; however, the frequency of winning is determined by your luck skill, so the computer does not always play fair. You will also notice that many of the quests are longer and deeper than those found in its predecessor, which is a good thing.
The voice acting is excellent and makes you want to keep exploring these characters’ personalities. Speaking of characters, as you progress through the story you will be able to recruit certain characters to tag along with you. This was possible in the last game, but the difference is that this time around, you have more control over their actions, thanks in large part to the companion wheel. This wheel shows you all the options you have to control your companion, making it easy to have them follow your commands. Fallout fans probably remember the old karma system, which would give you good or bad points depending on situations you encounter and how you handle them. In New Vegas, that has been replaced with the faction rating system, so everything you do affects how a certain faction sees you, rather than how the world itself sees you. This works the same way as the karma system, but it feels a little better to have more control on how you are viewed in the world. Lastly, the environment looks great, and that alone makes it worth playing. Who knew that walking in the desert would be so gratifying?
Fallout: New Vegas is a great game. There are so many good things, from the scenery to the voice acting to the Fallout universe in general. Unfortunately, the game suffers from a number of technical problems which can be difficult to overcome at times. If you have patience and can overlook these problems, then you will be rewarded with an engaging and beautiful game. Overall, I highly recommend this game to RPG and shooter fans alike.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Fallout New Vegas developed by Bethesda Softworks
- Fun Story
- Open World Layout is Great
- Some Rather Major Glitches
- Occasional Data Loss is Possible