Fallout: New Vegas Review

The wasteland just got alot more dangerous.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 22nd October 2010

Fallout: New Vegas

  • Developer: Bethesda
  • Publisher: Bethesda
  • Release Date: 22nd October 2010

It always, slightly perturbs me when your character dies at the beginning of a game. As it seems to make the whole experience of it a little pointless! So, being a huge fan of Fallout 3 when this happened at the beginning of New Vegas, I was a little disappointed. But, as it turns out, this is not the end, but a mere demonstration of just how dangerous the Mojave Wasteland can be. After all it was a simple courier assignment that led to your untimely death and with it starts the story of Fallout: New Vegas.

After being rescued from your early desert grave, you are given the opportunity to create your character in the guise of under going surgery in a small town doctors residence. After this off you go to settle the score with the mysterious man who tried to blow your face off. Following his vague trail across the Mojave Wasteland. Of course, nothing comes for free in the Wasteland and everyone you meet that could offer you some information to his location will want something in return. It maybe a simple case of supplying them with some caps or taking care of some nuisance mutated wildlife. But many requests will lead you to other characters who will require there own “favour” making it at times quite complicated to gather the information you need. However, how you solve these tasks is completely up to you! You can be as bad or good as you want to be. I would even go as far as to say that the game offers even more freedom then Fallout 3, as it never pushes you to go a certain way to solve “problems” is completely down to you!

What ever action you take to complete the quest, will affect your reputation and in New Vegas this plays a much bigger role. If you continually make decisions that affect one faction in a negative way then they may be unwilling to deal with you, that or greet you with guns blazing. Making decisions that are positive towards one faction, will of course make them ally themselves and even idolise you. Whilst this isn’t new to Vegas its much more prominent and whilst a decision may have a positive affect one faction it may make another shun you, making balancing the politics of New Vegas quite complicated.

Just like in Fallout 3, New Vegas offers plenty of distractions from the main quest, with plenty of opportunities for you to earn caps and rewards and these jobs send you all other the wasteland, which itself brings with it the games biggest distraction. Resisting the urge to explore the many abandoned buildings and installations that litter the landscape. So tempting is the urge to go digging around the various ruins to search for anything that might aid your survival, that it’s very easy to actually forget what you actually intended to do. But when you couple this with the length and number of quests and the number of locations for you to discover the size of the game dawns on you. It’s massive and it will consume your life as you simply can’t help investigating what exactly the strange structure in the distance is.

The Mojave Wasteland is a much less desolate place than the Capital of Fallout 3. People and wildlife are much wider spread and there are even plants you can pick and use here and there. Despite this though, it’s a much tougher place to survive. Firstly you’re dealing with a lot more wildlife, factions and communities. But it’s not only that as A.I has been upped, enemies are much better shots and they frequently land more crippling shots than in Fallout 3, and if you wound them they will either run and hide or try and get the attention of their friends. So before you set-off across the wasteland it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re well equipped.

Fallout: New Vegas introduces a lot of tweaks that improve the gameplay, however the biggest single addition is that of the hardcore option. When turned on, the game goes survival crazy and just as in the real world you need to eat drink and sleep. Ignore these basic needs and you get ill, keep ignoring them and you’ll simply drop dead and become an easy meal for the Mojave wildlife. To take things further in hardcore mode requires much more inventory management as ammo now has weight and of course affects what else you can carry at one time. Also as you can’t simply standout blasting away at enemies, using Stimpaks to heal your wounds, as aid items replenish your hit points overtime rather then straight away. Simple aid items will also no longer heal crippled limbs, so you’ll have to find your way back to a doctor, or find a doctors bag in order to reset your limbs. This new hardcore option may seem a little too far for those who struggled with Fallout 3, but for the true wasteland survivalist it’s the most notable addition that fits in perfectly with the feel of the game giving it an extra dimension as you struggle to survive in this unforgiving land.

To further push this feeling of complete survival, New Vegas has a much bigger focus on crafting with campfire for cooking rejuvenating meals, and reloading benches that allow you to make you own ammo should supplies dry up. There are even chemistry sets that allow you to make your own Stimpaks and Chems for when you need a boost during a fight.

Fallout: New Vegas looks to expand on how companions are handled, with the addition of a command wheel and whilst this serves to make it easier to get them to do what you want. Very little has been done to improve their A.I and they often prove less useful than you would hope.

Fallout: New Vegas, looks and plays exactly the same as Fallout 3. But the additions that Obsidian have made push the survival angle even further to provide a much more immersive and authentic experience, and just like its predecessor New Vegas proves to be a role-playing masterpiece.

Review Score: 9.5/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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