Just like many of the gamers living in this world, I am a huge fan of the Fallout franchise, playing each of the games in the series multiple times, trying to get the best out of the bucks spent – and always I was more than pleased with the outcome. You can imagine, therefore, that when Fallout New Vegas came out I had to take a couple of days off and enjoy nothing by the Mojave Desert. So put on a jumpsuit, ‘cuz it’s time to party in Vegas!
New Vegas, to be precise. A place that wasn’t affected that much by the war – which doesn’t really makes sense in the first place and really doesn’t fit my need for completely destroyed post-apocalyptic settings, but life’s unfair sometimes – a place that still tries to keep alive that glam and freedom of the real Vegas, even if it’s bottle caps you use for currency right now, even though mutants are just as bad as the factions fighting for supremacy and even though the ice cubes for your whiskey are made of radioactive water. As I said – life’s unfair sometimes!
And you get to see that on your own skin: Fallout New Vegas begins with you getting shot in the head (after digging your own grave) and the main story of the game revolves around this strange happening and a specific golden chip that seems to have drawn all the hell on you. A pretty interesting story to say the least, but not just as strong as the one in which you had to search for your father in Fallout 3. I personally expected a lot more depth in here from Fallout New Vegas.
But you’ll soon forget the fact that the story itself in the game is not that breathtaking: there are tons of side quests for you to complete and that Fallout amazingness is present everywhere: from random encounters that simply happen in one game and never in another to tons of multiple choices or ways to complete missions or achieve your goal (more than a generic “being bad” vs. “being good” type of play) and a huge Mojave desert to explore, Fallout New Vegas has everything a solid RPG should have and will keep the most hardcore players busy for a lot of time trying to battle all the enemies, explore all the locations and finish all the quests. Which, in my terms, is value for your money!
Unfortunately, it’s not all sugar and honey (or big-breasted blond chicks, as you wish to put it): in terms of everything but the story and of course many of the settings, Fallout New Vegas is actually Fallout 3 in a different place: the graphics are the same and therefore feel a bit outdated, the character customization remains the same, characters you encounter seem to have the same faces and voices as ones you’ve already met in the Wastelands and generally, you will have the feeling that you’ve been there and done that already. Which is not really a nice thing, even for those who loved Fallout 3, like myself: I certainly wanted a lot more new elements and unfortunately, they are not here.
However, there are a few goodies in Fallout New Vegas to keep you hooked and make you keep playing. Even though we no longer have Bobbleheads to improve our stats (which is a shame), but we do have companions that bring us different and really, really useful perks. Also our character seems to be a lot better at aiming and shooting when out of VATS (something that in Fallout 3 was really frustrating) and you will know when the time comes how did your actions influenced the entire game world! You also have a few bling blings out there that you might or might not enjoy: you can craft items and make your own food or you can add mods to your existing weapons (like silencers or extra ammo holders) – but you can easily play the game without any of these!
Probably one of the biggest additions to Fallout New Vegas is the new game mode, the Hardcore mode which is only suitable for the most hardcore survivalists since it has a lot of things that make life in the Mojave Desert a lot harder: dehydration, hunger and lack of sleep are taken into account when you play, broken limbs can only be healed by doctors and effects of the items you have wear off or require time to be given. I haven’t played with this mode turned on, to be honest, but it certainly sounds like the ultimate experience!
All in all, Fallout New Vegas, even though with outdated graphics and too much of a “Fallout 3 younger brother” feeling has enough to keep us busy for a long time: a new story, a huge new world to explore and tons of characters to meet. It’s not revolutionary as Fallout 3 was compared to the previous games in the series, but it gives a lot of value for the money spent on purchasing it and especially if you’re a fan of the franchise (or just Fallout 3), you’ll love this game!