Posted on 30 March 2011 by Rock'nRolf
Fallout 3 was well received in general. Although some called it “Oblivion with guns,”, the game won tons of prizes and awards. In the original we got to explore the post-nuclear wasteland around Washington D.C., and some other areas in the DLC expansions. Bethesda did their best to stay true to the original series and mixed both turn-based and real-time gameplay. The awesomely brutal visuals and atmosphere were also quite faithfully converted to modern hardware.
In the continuation of the saga, we get to visit New Vegas and surroundings and meet its residents. In short, it is an entirely new game with a new character, a new giant map to explore, and a few changes to the game mechanics over Fallout 3. It’s not Fallout 4, but it’s pretty close.
The game starts somewhat surprisingly with You, an unsuspecting delivery boy at work, receiving a bullet in the head from a man in a striped suit and buried. Fortunately a helpful cowboy robot is around and takes you to see the doctor in a small town close to the graveyard.
Your first thoughts as you wake up from your coma is of course ones of violent retribution. At least that’s the intention, but this is Fallout, so you are free to to wander around the wasteland and perform side quests for 50 hours or more before moving on to the main adventure. Freedom in New Vegas is quite impeccable.
That said, the game has a main story, and you get shoved in a general direction. You can find answers to the questions the young messenger set up, whether you like it or not. But what you choose to do with this information is completely up to you.
Open-Ended, Irradiated Nevada
Having freedom to do more or less what you want in the game world is not a new concept, but Obsidian has done a great job in this regard when it comes to Fallout: New Vegas. Your freedom to move around and do what you want is impeccable and frankly, one of the best parts of the game. ven if the game – just like Oblivion and Fallout 3 – is a little bit too balanced, since your enemies will be adjusted to your character’s level.
The game’s view on morality is quite balanced – nothing is entirely black or white, so whether you want to be a real bad-ass or an angel of mercy, you are going to have to face some challenging decisions. While taking out an entire town with a flamethrower is all fun and games, it may have a negative impact on what happens later, i.e., some quests will be unavailable thanks to your previous actions. It’s easy to immerse yourself in the game and it’s very hard to put it down, which is an aspect that all RPGs should strive for.
Turn-Based or Not?
The completely turn-based Fallout 1, 2 and Tactics were all excellent games but in an isometric perspective. With the move to 3D, Bethesda had to make the tough choice between pleasing fans of the original games and moving to a more mainstream, FPS-like game.
As in Fallout 3, the VATS system is this compromise, which is awkward at times. My personal preference would be uing VATS (turn-based mode) throughout the game, but you can’t use it for more than a set number of turns before it returns to “FPS” mode. It’s frustrating but somewhat understandable that Bethesda had to go down this road.
Exploration is still a large part of the game and a very satisfying part at that (yes, there’s an Enclave power armor to be found). The game world is massive and there are countless little places to discover. In all, Fallout: New Vegas is an immersive and engaging RPG that will keep you entertained for at least 50 but possibly over 100 hours. Replay value is somewhat limited, since you will know all the locations when revisiting the game, but that’s hardly necessary as the game itself is huge. It’s a unique, desolate and strangely wonderful world to explore, with an atmosphere that has can’t be compared to anything outside the Fallout universe.