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Fallout New Vegas Review

(Image from Epic Games’s Game Page)

Fallout: New Vegas begins with a bullet to the head, where most games conclude with the classic “Game Over” sign. The headache is due to a mysterious man in a chequered suit and his two dimwitted assistants, who are very interested in stealing a certain cargo from us, brave couriers. Fate owes us one more chance because we have bad luck with both cards and love. By some strange coincidence, the robot bodyguard Victor finds our intended corpse and, in a moment of what appears to be good, virtual will, takes it to a doctor in the adjacent community of Goodsprings. We can move on to character creation after a few days of heavy sleep because the neighbourhood doctor is an expert. Even the introduction to New Vegas is good among the sea of clichéd action in role-playing games.

Although not as elaborate as in the third Fallout, the character development process—styled as a medical and psychiatric interview—runs smoothly and is certainly endearing. The faces produced in the process, not so much, as 99.9% of the population of the game world in New Vegas suffers from the same disease as in Oblivion and Fallout 3. You must, however, find a way to go on. Naturally, as before, we have the choice to change the skill values suggested on the basis of the questionnaire and manually distribute the points among the features, both right before the creation process is finished and upon leaving the first place. Additionally, we receive the good old PipBoy and even the uniform of a certain crypt. The opportunity to play in Hardcore Mode, which significantly increases the game’s difficulty, is what’s new, though. After choosing this option, Stimpaks wont heal you instantly and will not repair severe limb damage. The ammunition is also heavy, and you must regularly hydrate our character and rock him to sleep. In a nutshell, it becomes slightly more realistic and unquestionably irritating. Of course, there is no requirement; you can simply play in ordinary mode on any of the five movable difficulty settings. So, a lovely thing for everyone.

We can pursue the causes of our indisposition once we’ve finally arrived in the Mojave Desert’s clean, radioactive air, or we can forget the main narrative and concentrate on exploration and side missions. Although the wasteland in the new Fallout looks and is roughly the same size as the third, it performs somewhat differently. There are social accents first of all. Those who are worried can rest assured that it is not about being able to boast about the length of the gun on Facebook or PipBoy’s connectivity with Twitter, but rather about the community that lives in the gaming universe. There are numerous groups and factions working here with varying relationships to one another. The New California Republic, also known as the NCR, Caesar’s Legion who are just straight up savages and brutes, and lastly Mr. House and his Securitrons guarding New Vegas are the three primary powers. Because Lake Mead is located behind the neighbouring Hoover Dam and has not been contaminated, the NCR and the Legion have a strong desire to visit it. The point is straightforward: whoever controls the dam and the water determines the circumstances for the entire region. Both the NCR and the Legion want to establish order in New Vegas, therefore neither one is willing to give up. Although the NCR is now in charge of it, there are rumours that the Legion is hard at work mobilising and will attempt to retake control of the dam soon. On the other hand, House wants the other two from the Vegas region to just vanish. There are other smaller local gangs and communities in addition to these three larger ones. Wild Khani, associated escapees from the NCR prison, or occupants of the military base in Nellis, among others, are ready for interaction. They isolate themselves from the rest of the wasteland and fire rockets at any unfortunates that emerge within the firing range. There is even a Brotherhood of Steel someplace in the world. So, there is someone with whom to blend.

(Image from Game Page on Steam)

What impact does this have on gameplay? In the game world, our decisions frequently support or hurt one faction’s goals. You won’t need to travel far to find examples, as we will come across the first such option in Goodsprings shortly after starting our quest. Newly formed gang members arrive in the area asking for a specific man and threatening to fight if he is not freed. We can choose to support the neighbourhood or the gang. Depending on our stance, one of the communities will begin praising us, and the other will execute us before we even get close to the village it now permanently occupies. And news spreads quickly, so it doesn’t matter if we’ve never been there. Although straightforward and by no means novel, these processes grow slightly more complex later in the game and, when combined with the numerous options available during the main tale, drastically alter how the game plays.

One of Fallout: New Vegas’ biggest advantages is the abundance of options. The main plot’s opening is rather linear, but once you get to Vegas, a number of significant game-changing choices must be made. Treason, acting as a double agent, or being a hard worker in the gang can all be our share, with the right motivation. We can join forces with anybody we choose, and we can even seize control of Vegas. Since the level of intricacy is comparable to Alpha Protocol, we cannot rely on finishing all of the more significant tasks or obtaining all of the achievements at once. The intrigue has, at most, been quenched after one game-play.

The choices we make affect the tasks that come next and affect how the game can end. The rewards of investing in the Speech skill are immeasurable and there are many dialogues in which it can be applied. It’s enough to state that conversation helps us avoid even a few last fights. The plot itself isn’t particularly original, but the way we experience it because of the freedom of action is amazing. This is the ideal way to motivate you to play it again, at least in part. We can spend a good number of days learning the entire story, given that it typically takes around 10 hours to finish the main plot the first time, and that’s just the primary plot.

Although the wasteland is too empty, the side mission and exploring the game area are both enjoyable. There are a huge number of places to explore, although some of them are merely tiny gas stations or communities with a few houses on a cross. Thankfully, we also visit more urban areas and underground areas where fighting and looting are absolutely rife. There are also numerous Fallout-specific flavours and comedy. We assist in preparing a group of fervent ghouls for a space adventure to the Promised Land and assist in recovering a flawlessly preserved bomber from the lake’s bottom. Some of the jobs are really difficult and just as interesting as the major objectives, which is something the game should be commended for. Since the maximum experience level has been increased, maniacs will once again be able to spend hundreds of hours travelling the globe. The patient ones will have no problem making it to number thirty and even receive a reward. Those who disliked the world exploring and battles in Fallout 3 would find this situation to be worse because there have been almost any modifications made. The enemies are still utter idiots, we still use V.A.T.S. For real-time shooting, the chopping is still underdeveloped, and shooting with a hug is still the greatest option. Strange circumstances, like using only your knuckles to rip off an opponent’s arm with the lowest melee skill, are still common.

The option to upgrade weapons and produce custom bullet types using the resources you find throughout the game has been included, though. At the right table, with the right abilities, we can accomplish a lot of good. A sizable default armoury of weaponry, which is far bigger than Fallout 3’s, should be sufficient for people who don’t like to experiment with crafting. Potential allies are also available, and they may be managed more quickly and easily than before using the new, circular command panel. The most crucial orders are rationally arranged, allowing us to entirely alter our friends’ attitudes, their weapons, or the distance they keep in just a few short seconds without interrupting conversations. Naturally, each Buddha has his or her own beliefs and background, so not everyone will be a good fit for our group.

(Fully equipped Power Armour suit)

Now is the time to voice some displeasure because Fallout: New Vegas has ears too. The technical aspect of the game serves the great bulk of the enjoyable components. The graphics and optimization come first. By today’s standards, the game looks exactly like Fallout 3, which is more than satisfactory. There are too many terrible animations, too many repetitions of the three parts, and not enough details. The hardware requirements for the PC version have, however, dramatically risen for unknown reasons. The majority of places function perfectly, but practically anywhere you try to move the camera in TPP mode, it freezes briefly before rotating back to its beginning position. Although I am aware that the characters’ mouths are disgusting, there are times when I wish there was a screen where you could see more than just the ass, let alone glance about. 

When playing in Vegas, the amount of frames reduces dramatically, and some shootouts might be unstable on older hardware if it weren’t for V.A.T.S. The metropolis is utterly devoid of climate during the day, overexposed, and stunning with bad textures, but it has a cool appearance at night when the glow can be seen even from remote regions. Numerous mistakes and shortfalls are the second issue. NPCs rapidly collide with one another and shuffle around; most foes dangle in the air or are encased in stone and are immobile. Even while it may seem plausible at first appearance, the Mojave Wasteland is surrounded by imperceptible walls, making it difficult for us to access numerous locations. Another issue is the occasionally problematic V.A.T.S. – Occasionally, after firing, it prevents you from firing since there are no percentages at the limbs, and you have to switch it on again. The combat itself also has a problem. I experienced precise shots from unarmed adversaries coming from their fingertips on multiple occasions. Additionally, they continue to be immortal at that point. The game frequently crashes into the system while loading a place, which is also common. Fortunately, this occurs far less frequently throughout the actual game. Because they are not always surprising, Steam accomplishments are another issue. In a nutshell, there are numerous technological issues. Although there aren’t as many bugs as in Gothic 3, the polish should have been better. 

In contrast to this, the soundtrack is upbeat, particularly the character voices. Actors like Matthew Perry, Dany Trejo, or Kris Kristofferson, who were cast in the roles of more significant NPCs, as well as the voice of the legendary Ron Perlman who serves as the narrator, may all be heard coming from the speakers. Everyone is performing admirably, which, when combined with dialogue that is beautifully crafted, produces a lovely mood. Radio stations play a ton of excellent music from the time period. 

Before I fully immersed myself in the mystery and the vast universe of Fallout: New Vegas, I met irksome flaws at every turn that shouldn’t have been included in the game’s final edition, which left me with a very negative first impression. Later in the game, all of these babblings faded into the background as a startling number of decisions with grave repercussions and a cool, fairly sombre climate took control. The exploration and subplots are both time-consuming and enjoyable tasks, as is learning how many ways there are to finish the game. Sadly, it still isn’t sufficient to persuade those who didn’t enjoy Fallout 3 to play. On the other hand, despite the numerous flaws, those who enjoyed Fallout 3 a little bit would enjoy it even more on Mojave.

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