Fallout: New Vegas Review

Fallout: New Vegas is a 2010 open world action role-playing video game, developed by Obsidian Entertainment, published by Bethesda Softworks, and released for the Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.  It is the fourth major installment of the Fallout video game series and follows Courier 6 who is ambushed and left for dead while transporting a package across the Mojave Desert to the city of New Vegas.  After surviving, the Courier begins a journey to find the would-be killer but becomes caught up in a bigger conflict.


Positives:

  • Lots of replayability
  • Interesting characters
  • Great score
  • Challenging combat system
  • Good, detailed graphics
  • Compelling story
  • Vast open world exploration

Negatives:

  • Game freezes during loading screens
  • Long loading screens
  • Occasional graphical glitches

Campaign:  New Vegas follows an extensive single player campaign in which players are given the option to engage in several different quests or exploration outside of the main quest. The story follows the Courier who seeks revenge against the man who left him for dead but ends up caught up in the war for control of the Mojave Desert.  The game features a lot of great characters with interesting stories.  Some memorable characters include Head of the Chairmen Benny, the leader of Caesar’s Legion Caesar, surgeon Doc Mitchell, and the mysterious owner of New Vegas Mr. House. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay:   New Vegas features a lot of gameplay similar to its predecessor. Players take control of a character known as the Courier and can switch between the first-person and third-person perspective. Players can customize their characters, level up with experience gain through game progression, the SPECIAL and VATS system, attaining companions, and repairing weapons and apparels.  Some gameplay elements are changed.  There are no Bobbleheads to find nor are players permitted a Perk every level, but every other level. There are magazines that offer temporary buffs as well as fewer comics. The companion system is handled differently also.  First, there is the Companion Wheel that allows for more innovative interactions with the Companions.  Second, players are capable of having two companions – one humanoid and one non-humanoid.  Three, Companions can be sent to the player’s home rather than returning to their original location (and gives a certain level of control like it’s a club).  And lastly, companions offer Perks upon joining the player and can be improved by completing a special quest related to them.

The Karma System is replaced by the reputation system, where a player’s standing with one faction can change the perception of the player by other NPCs.  This also affects how they interact with them, refusing to help them or make some quests easier. An awesome mechanic that has been expanded upon is the crafting system.  In FO3, players could craft unique items, however, New Vegas allows players to craft weapons, ammunition, and food, drink, and drugs.  New items can be crafted with the recipes/schematics.  In addition to crafting weapons, weapons can be modified, such as improved rate or fire or greater magazine size.  Weapons even have different types of ammo with spent shells and casings being able to be recycled.  Despite some of the fine tuning of the gameplay, the game does have its share of bugs.  It can be glitchy at times, have extremely long loading times, and sometimes even crash. (5 out of 5)

Graphics:  The graphics look good but have not really been improved upon.  Yes, there is a great look to the Mojave where it looks and feels like a desert.  A plus for me are the various creature designs.  Every creature has varying levels of growth (adolescent, adult, mother, father, legendary) to provide a sense of family structure.  There were more than a few moments where I left creatures alone when I realized they had “children” with them. (4 out of 5)

Score:  The music definitely sets a great western theme to the game and of course, there is the radio.  So in terms of soundtrack, it does a fantastic job. Good voice performances when it comes to the cast giving depth to the characters. Sound effects are on point.  The creature sounds feel well executed, the environmental noises give the setting depth. (4 out of 5)

Replay Value:  Like it’s predecessor, New Vegas features a ton of content that just keeps players coming back for more.  The Mojave Desert is actually pretty expansive and there are a lot of locations to discover.  There are Legendary versions of the creatures which players can choose to pursue and defeat.  There are these globes hidden across the map which players can collect.  There are also the various quests that can be embarked on, especially with the various factions.  The DLC definitely hits the mark, consisting of Honest Hearts, Lonesome Road, Old World Blues, and Dead Money.  There is a lot great content that comes with the DLC as well as new areas and new challenges.  There, of course, is enough content to make multiple playthroughs such as siding with Mr. House, the NCR, Caesar’s Legion or even being independent. (5 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Fallout: New Vegas is just an awesome game all around and even manages to improve on its predecessor.  Yeah, the bugs are still there but they hardly detract from the awesome gameplay, good graphics, good soundtrack, good voice performances, good crafting and customization, awesome DLC, large open-world, and tons of replayability.  Fallout: New Vegas gets 4 out of 5.

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