Another year in gaming and another worthy RPG appears on the horizon to grant us our deepest role playing desires. Fallout New Vegas hit stores and game retailers on October 18, boasting new experiences and challenges. If you haven’t already hopped into the wasteland by now, you are indeed missing out.
Somehow, Fallout New Vegas is a contradiction in itself when you first set out unto the Mojave Wasteland. It feels so much like the game you were playing just a few years ago, but then again, it lacks the general feeling of “seen this, seen that.” Most people would hound this game to be a glorified expansion pack, while others can see the new feel that was put in place for New Vegas. I’m one of those guys who can’t help but love this game. Sure, I’ve played Fallout 3 and being honest, I can’t say I’ve had as much fun with Fallout 3 as I’ve had on New Vegas.
First things first, the setting has gone back to the roots of Fallout 1 and 2. You will play through the remnants of California and Nevada, referred to in the game as “The Mojave”. Of course you probably already knew that. Its also very stunning to see how a game’s location can change the mood. Keeping it short, don’t expect to be confined to traveling “ghoul riddled” metros, and dim-lighted “dungeons” everywhere you go. The wild west feel is defiantly here to stay.
If you’ve played Fallout 3, you will come to know what to expect in terms of gameplay.However, Bethesda and Obsidian have chosen to throw a few bones our way by improving the V.A.T.S system as well as including a more challenging game experience.
While the V.A.T.S upgrade is a nice touch, the newly added “Hardcore” mode is something a lot of you have yet to see for Fallout. I’m not just talking about game difficulty settings here like easy, normal, or hard. I’m referring to the fact that you can now play a game that takes real life situations into the mix. Haven’t drank any water in awhile? Dehydrated. Haven’t eaten in ages? You’ve got starvation. Haven’t slept in a week? Boy are you in for it. That is basically the premise for hardcore mode. You will be constantly watching your health in a closer manner. This also affects a stimpack’s effect timing and the effectiveness to repair crippled limbs. Take head however; this game mode is not directly for the newcomers to the franchise.
What about the Graphics?
There is one thing you should know about me. I personally believe that graphics do not make a game.Sowhen Fallout New Vegas’s graphics looked super close to Fallout 3’s, I wasn’t so put down like most might have been. Of course, eye candy isn’t spared in the game. Seeing the Vegas Strip at night time sure does give you a cool feeling when treading down the block. I can’t say that it might have been a major attempt to shadow the fact most textures still have the quality from the previous game but then again did not most of us buy the game to enjoy the countless hours of gameplay? I’m just saying.
So Are There Any Downsides?
Even with New Vegas being such a hot title, you know that no one is going to like everything 100%. I’m sad to say that the game does sport some glitches however. Talking about the AI, sometimes you see the AI react very brainless and run into walls, run around in circles, or get caught behind a piece on geometry and not try to go around it. It didn’t happen often for me but it is an issue to note. Also, several people report this game to freeze in the most unexpected places. My advice? Save often!
While personally playing the game at the Hoover Dam location, I noticed some BIG frame rate hick-ups. This happens when you reach the dam top-side and walk around during a certain quest. I can only guess that I was getting around 10 FPS average. I have to admit that it was almost unbearable. This was not a gamebreaker, but it did make it frustrating to try and complete the current objectives. (UPDATE: A recent patch seems to fix some frame rate issues.)
Aside from some minor issues that are to be expected, this game is still VERY enjoyable. I don’t want you guys to go away thinking I’m dissing this game for more then it deserves. Being a indie game designer, I understand why these problems have occurred. Knowing an inside about the development trials and tribulations that can happen, this game is far from a screw up. Trust me.
I have two words for you. Buy it. Even if you didn’t like Fallout 3, give this one a second chance. There is no need in me trying to swindle you into a poorly made video game, and if a Fallout 3 hater can be won over with it’s precessing title, then you can enjoy it too. With a long list of DLC set to follow up the launch day, this is a game you won’t so soon be forgetting. Pick up your copy today
(or I will find you!)
Overall Score: 4.5 out of 5
Fallout: New Vegas (XBOX 360) Review