It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine…again. Welcome back to the stinky barren wasteland we first came to love in 2008’s Game of the Year, Fallout 3. This time around we drag our battered dusty selves up from the smoldering wreckage of the Capital Wasteland and out onto the sandy highways of New Vegas. Expect all the great (and gory) features you love, while also offering a fistful of well-deserved upgrades. With enough content to choke a free-range mutant cow, Fallout: New Vegas offers reward after reward for those brave enough to venture the beautifully dilapidated landscape that our dark atomic future offers.
Allowing fans the chance to start the game’s campaign with their previous Fallout 3 adventurer, our latest chapter picks up shortly after where we last left off. You play as a courier for one of the world’s last post offices (kind of like that movie The Postman only with less Kevin Costner now), who while attempting to deliver a seemingly regular package you find yourself knocked unconscious, only to awake in a shallow desert grave where you are shot and left for dead. After being nursed back to health by on of the Wasteland’s few remaining doctors, it’s then up to you to find out the “who” and “what’s” of what the hell happened to you. Fallout: New Vegas offers players the chance to side and work with a number of separate factions within the game, offering players (yet again) hours of replay value and alternate content. It’s an interactive Choose Your Own Adventure book, if you will, where every action has a reaction.
Welcome to Vegas. New Vegas.
It’s the kind of town where you dig your own grave prior to being shot in the head and left for dead…and that’s before things really get ugly. It’s a town of dreamers and desperados being torn apart by warring factions vying for complete control of this desert oasis. It’s a place where the right kind of person with the right kind of weaponry can really make a name for themselves, and make more than an enemy or two along the way. [OfficialSite]
Right away one of the most obvious things you notice in, developer Obsidian Entertainments’, New Vegas are its vibrant visuals -a noticeable improvement from our previous Wasteland trek. If you’re familiar enough with the look of Fallout, you’ll find yourself amongst familiar friends with new tricks. The improved graphics also make for a much more headshot-friendly aiming capability while entered in the first-person view. You can practically finger the polish and shine on your weapons, they look that good. Controls perform in the same familiar fashion as Fallout 3, still relishing in the awesomeness that is our games VATS combat system; a programmable RPG-esque combat schematic that, when activated, displays an in-game cut scene of the kill you’re performing -a both enjoyable and equally graphic reward for sighting in your weapon.
Graphic VATS kill:
And possibly the coolest new addition to the Fallout universe is the insanely sobering experience that is Fallout: New Vegas’ Hardcore Mode. At any point in the game players can switch on/off the Hardcore Mode, upping the anti significantly when enabled. In Hardcore Mode, players truly act the part of the desperate Wastelander as ammunition now takes on weight, rest and dehydration become a constant challenge, as well as a number of other “realistic” factors to make you really appreciate your stimpacks. I’ll be honest, I’m far too much of a wuss to handle playing with this feature enabled for longer than ten minutes. I’m a fragile flower both in this real world and the digital fictitious one.
When push comes to shove, Fallout: New Vegas offers more of the same from what you’ve come to expect from this franchise. If you were a fan of Fallout 3’s design and charm, than you will no doubt be satisfied with its latest lovechild. The game unfolds in a way that new and old fans alike can play -the story exists on its own, while still playing into the Fallout mythology for the diehards. Basically we’re talking about a solid friend-with-benefits gaming relationship here: New Vegas always offers a constant and enjoyable experience, while at the same time remembering to wear her hair up every once in a while.