Fallout: New Vegas
In honor of Bethesda recently announcing its new games, Dishonored (YAY!) and the Elder Scrolls MMORPG (BOO!), I went back and played New Vegas again. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Big Boy, Bethesda didn’t make New Vegas!”, and this is where I reply with a hearty “Shut the fuck up”, because there’s no way I can go back and play Fallout 3 again and watch Liam Neeson die in front of me for the 500th time.
First up, New Vegas looks just like Fallout 3. No graphical improvements were made, the same engine is still used, but a lot of the animations were fleshed out or just plain don’t look awkward anymore. The biggest improvement, though, is the scenery: Majestic views of a vast and homicidal desert, the eerie disquiet of abandoned underground vaults, and the awe of seeing Las Vegas in the distance at night like a shining beacon of safety and civilization. All of these beat the shit out of the gray of Fallout 3 (everything in that game was gray).
Gameplay-wise, a few things have been improved. The iron sights on your guns are useful. This, in turn, means you are not relying on the V.A.T.S as much. Don’t get me wrong, V.A.T.S is still very useful, but I find I use it more for tight situations rather than every situation. You also gain Perks at a much slower rate: one every other level versus Fallout 3′s get-a-perk-every-level-and-become-a-god-that-shoots-missiles-out-of-your-asshole-while-firing-lasers-from-your-eyes. Another welcome gameplay change is called hardcore mode. Basically, on top of every living thing trying to kill you, you need to eat, sleep, and drink at regular intervals or die due to not taking care of yourself. It adds another layer of difficulty that is very welcomed in the post apocalyptic genre.
The story reminds me of Last Man Standing or even Yojimbo (movies for those that aren’t familiar with these names.), in which a nameless wanderer strolls into town and plays two major opposing factions against each other, and the success of either faction relies on the protagonist. You can progress through the story any way you see fit: as a pacifist looking for a peaceful resolution to the conflict or as the harbinger of the apocalypse and leave everything in the Mojave destroyed and in chaos. This is one of the most open-ended games I’ve played, ever. Supported by an amazing voice acting cast, it is easy to get lost in this game for hours at a time.
- -Big Boy