It’s not everyday I get to check out games in my own leisure since every title that comes my way have to be played quick before its review deadline. It’s even moreso for RPGs I wish to take my sweet time playing instead of blazing through for a week. Fallout: New Vegas happens to be that one shining pinnacle of my hobby where I have all the time in the world to explore every corner of the wasteland, participate in the humongous selection of quests both main and sideline, and be a Badass Wasteland Overlord just like my personas in Fallout 1 and 2.
Actually, I have about a few more days left before crunch time, but let’s not spoil the moment. Here are thoughts of the game so far, both good, bad, and random:
- While I did enjoy Fallout 3 a while back, I felt that it didn’t really capitalize on the dark humor, series history and quirkiness of the franchise to the fullest extent. Fallout: New Vegas rectified all of that. More Perks and Traits than you can shake a stick at? Check. Old friends and factions from Fallout 2 making a comeback? Check. A quest that lets you find a sex robot and ghoul cowboy for your clients? Only from the people behind Fallout 1 & 2, folks.
- If my past history of the first two games are of any indication, it’s always safe to tag your Guns, Speech, and Lockpick skills. Not only is it an easy way to acquire money and ammo via safes and locked doors (people are oblivious to keeping their stuff safe even in the future) but talking your way out of a sticky situation nets you much more experience points than putting up your dukes and fighting. You might also want to factor in Barter, Science, and Repair too: many terminals, doors, and robots require a pretty high Science and Repair rating to interact with.
- Speaking of past Fallout titles, the Bloody Mess trait is just as awesome as it was back then. It’s amplified even further thanks to the V.A.T.S system (you pause the game and target opponent’s limbs based on how much Action Points you have) and its “cinematic kill” moments. I aim my 9mm pistol at some Jackal gang member’s leg? His body and limbs fly out in a gruesome fashion.
- When they said they’re going to bring in allusions to Las Vegas, Obsidian Entertainment aren’t kidding. Even with the barren setting of the universe, New Vegas is as seedy and morally filthy as it can get. The world is engrossing enough to immerse both new and old-school gamers.
- Is that Chandler voicing the guy who left me for dead at the start of the game? And Chuck as a scientist guy I can recruit? And Codex as a recruitable Brotherhood of Steel Scribe? And Machete as a Mexican Ghoul? And Star Trek’s Wesley as a random Robobrain overlooking Hoover Dam? New Vegas is indeed a pop culture nerd’s wet dream.
- The game still looks like ass. There’s too much brown (even for a wasteland), everyone has that blank uncanny valley stare, and Obsidian Entertainment didn’t really do a good job at masking the fact that they’re re-using assets up the wazoo. Sequels usually do this, but not as blatantly as Fallout: New Vegas. Maybe I’m spoiled by Borderlands’ take on a post-apocalyptic setting and visual tastes are subjective, but I’m definitely not playing Fallout: New Vegas because of its looks.
At least the inclusion of the 50s-styled robots are still cool.
- And yes, Fallout: New Vegas still has that same problem as Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion where you’ll come across the same voice actors from time to time. Get ready to hear War’s voice more times from random NPCs.
- It’s already been 20 hours since I started off from Goodsprings, and my game froze once. Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones; some reviewers gave it a good score despite its bugs, while others gave it a score befitting of an unfinished product. Even if the game is good, you have to factor in the frequency of its bugs and how game-breaking they can be. Think of it this way: would Citizen Kane be a cherished movie if Orson Welles left in accidental shots of the crew and equipment’s shadow in its scenes?
- I do not remember the Deathclaws (the franchise’s uber-beasts) being this tough in past games. They’re fast, they hit hard, and comes in pairs. You might want to head off to the Quarry Junction another time when you’re on a higher level.
Long story short: game kicks ass because it immerses you into its world pretty well, it’s lengthy without resorting to filler, and it’s making me contemplating on taking leave just so I can complete my missions for the Brotherhood of Steel and a huge gang of Elvis impersonators that’s taking dominance in the seedier parts of New Vegas. However, news of the game’s buggy-ness are commonplace; you might want to hold on for a patch or two to clean things up. Also, do make it a habit to create multiple save slots.