Fallout New Vegas

Screenshot from the game Fallout New Vegas. Photo from Creative Commons.

Fallout New Vegas is the latest addition to the Fallout series. In this new version of the game, players leave the DC area in their wake in favor of the west cost. The game has much of the familiar comedy and wit found in the previous installment. It opens with the main character digging his/her own grave. The game takes place four years after the events in the third game. Players are forced to work with different factions as they make their way in the waste and the city of New Vegas.

Game Play

Game play for Fallout New Vegas will seem very familiar to people who played Fallout 3. That being said, there have been some significant tweaks made to game play. These tweaks change a lot of aspects to game play, so for those just picking up the series, everyone is on level footing.

One of the major tweaks is with the Vault-Tech Assisted Targeting System (VATS). The system still works like in the previous installment of the game allowing you to target various parts of an enemy’s body. While activated, VATS not only allows you to target parts of an enemy’s body, but it also stops time allowing you to see the chance of hitting whatever part of the body you are targeting. The major change to the VATS system is it also now enables you to use special attacks. With certain melee weapons this means unlocking special cut scenes that would not normally appear during combat.

The companion system also received a major overhaul. In Fallout 3 to get a companion to do what you wanted in a combat situation could be a tad bit difficult to say the least. The old system required that you talk to your companion and go through several bits of dialog before being able to give them instructions. Now instructions work on a radial menu, meaning you can pop it up and give commands mid battle without having to stop and strike up a casual conversation.

Factions appeared in the previous incarnations of the game, but now they play an even more vital role. To reflect this importance, the developers brought back a system used in previous versions of the game that was cut from Fallout 3. This is the reputation system; the better your reputation with a certain faction, the better they treat you and the more options you get as far as missions and dialog. This also holds true vice versa. Players’ reputations are not effected by their karma; their karma can be horrible, but still have a very good reputation. Karma is a rating of your good and bad deeds and often influences how things in the game happen to players and how normal people view them.

The Good

The game is intense. The wastelands, while not as bad as in the previous game, still provide an unexpected level of challenge. The game has an option to make it more realistic for those who adapt to games extremely quickly or just want more of a challenge. This increases its replay value and while being more difficult, it is far from overbearing. There are still the odd and comedic characters people have come to expect from the Fallout franchise. The addition of guns modeled after real guns has added another level of depth to game play that was not there previously.

The Bad

Graphics could’ve been much better. Even though you know you are playing a new game, you still feel like you are playing Fallout 3 since the graphics aren’t a huge improvement. A lot changed in the game, but it did nothing to make the game play feel less stale. Overall, the game is extremely buggy with glitches appearing all over the place.

Final Thoughts

The game is a solid addition to any video game library. Not necessarily a must have if you are a fan of the series, but it is probably something you should pick up when you get the chance. It has a fun, in-depth cast of characters, but they may be the only thing that is all that different from Fallout 3. Even with new locations, too often I am left feeling like I have seen this or done that before.

Whim Rating 4/5