There's one crucial element that's somehow gone missing from most modern RPGs: the actual ability to role-play. You can play as Commander Shepard, but you can't do anything a Spectre wouldn't do. You can play as Geralt of Rivia, but you can't do anything a Witcher wouldn't do. Developers have *developed* a nasty habit of creating games that force players into a role and then tell them that they're role-playing. Maybe you are, but in that case I think our definitions might differ.
The opening moments of FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS see you shot in the head and left buried in a shallow grave somewhere in the Mojave Desert. Somehow still clinging to life, you're rescued and brought to the town of Goodsprings, where the local doctor fixes you up and sends you on your way. This is where the magic of the game reveals itself, because you have a few options here: Investigate the reasons why you were shot; Set out to get revenge on the people who left you for dead; Stick around and help out the denizens of Goodsprings; Strike out into the Mojave Wasteland blindly and forget that this whole ordeal ever went down. What happened to you was unavoidable, but everything that happens now is completely up to you.
The fantastic thing about NEW VEGAS is that it allows for so much. You really can do almost anything that you feel like. Gamble in a casino/Rob a casino. Explore abandoned homes/Break into occupied homes. Retrieve a rare item for an NPC/Shoot him in the back, take the reward, and the rare item. Pick out a nice house or apartment somewhere in the Mojave Wasteland and decorate it with all of the neat items you've accumulated. Help out several different warring factions, and then betray them all. Or you can just explore at random, discovering powerful or rare items along the way, or a series of quests that you never would've found otherwise.
Obsidian Entertainment went into this project knowing full well what players want out of a game like this. A heavily branched main storyline with several different outcomes; warring factions that can be played against each other; emphasis on choice, immersion, and exploration. If you go out of your way to explore some lone compound, an abandoned apartment complex, or a cave system, there's always something to be found, whether it's a new questline or a rare item. The game does an excellent job of rewarding you for being a little adventurous.
That's the base game: a well-written, dialogue heavy, well-executed post-apocalyptic RPG that might never be truly appreciated for the freedom and immersion that it extravagantly imparts to its players. As is, it's still one of the best games I've ever played, and one that you can believe the creators of PLANESCAPE: TORMENT and the original FALLOUT games had a hand in. And like I said, that's the base game.
-DEAD MONEY (4/5 Stars): This was the first expansion to be released for NEW VEGAS, and although it's by far my favorite out of the bunch, there are a few elements that might put off a few players. For one, this is a survival game, through and through. You wake up in the shadow of a mythical casino, stripped of all your items, forced under penalty of death to break into a vault. It's a very stressful experience, compounded by the extreme rarity of life-saving items, weapons of any kind, and how your primary enemies have to be dismembered before they stay dead. That, and after you're finished, you can't go back and explore, so it all has to be done in one shot.
But that all kinda folds into the story of DEAD MONEY, which I'd go out on a limb and say has some of the best writing of any game of this generation. It's a story of greed; that you're essentially being punished for doing things that you always do in an RPG. It has a lot to say, which surprised the heck out of me. The characters you come into contact with are memorable, complex, and just plain fantastic to talk to. And the payoff to the entire thing is just brilliant. The path to the Sierra Madre is an uneven one, but wholly memorable. The words "Begin Again" will likely stick with you for some time.
-HONEST HEARTS (3/5 Stars): Out of the bunch, HONEST HEARTS is probably the weakest. It starts out with a bang, after a caravan you're tasked with protecting ends up biting the dust, leaving you stranded in the Zion National Park. Afterwards, you're quickly caught in the crossfire between several warring tribes, with you becoming the decider in the matter. The whole ordeal is painfully short - only two hours compared to the others which provide eight or more - and the characters that guide you along aren't the most interesting, which the exception of Joshua Graham. There's no shortage of places to explore, and you can come and go as you please when the story is completed, but I'd say Zion itself is the most valuable contribution this expansion makes.
-OLD WORLD BLUES (5/5 Stars): If I hadn't been so taken by the story of DEAD MONEY, this one would take top honors from me. Channeling the zany, nonsensical, nuclear-obsessed sci-fi of the '50s, OLD WORLD BLUES is definitely the most entertaining of the bunch and definitely provides the most distractions. After waking up in the Big Empty, you discover that you've lost your mind. Literally. Your brain is gone, and your mad scientist-cum-cyborg keepers have no idea where it is, or even how you're still alive. "Tesla coils!" is the typical answer here, and they don't get any less hilarious as the story progresses. While the tone is generally humorous, there are some genuinely sentimental (if not full blown sad) moments throughout, making this an A+ effort all around.
-LONESOME ROAD (4/5 Stars): If you pay close attention through the base game and the expansions, you'll know that *all of it* has been building to this ending, but even if you miss all of the little visual/story cues, this is still a worthy conclusion. You'll learn about a man named Ulysses, and how he's the reason you were shot in the head in the first place. The man wants you dead, and he's wanted it for a very long time. But Ulysses is not content with telling you; he wants to show you, and the only way to do that is by following him through the dust-swept ruins of the Divide. The level design is a tad linear (intentional, I know), and since Ulysses is one of two NPCs available to talk to, the expansion might feel like one big running-and-gunning sequence. But this is an add-on that really wanted to drive home the RPG mantra that your decisions matter, and it does so in a powerful way.
-COURIER'S STASH/GUN RUNNERS' ARSENAL: These aren't really story expansions or anything. When the game was released, there was dealer specific DLC that's pretty much been bundled up and placed into these add-ons. In addition to providing a ton of new and unique weapons, it also adds new achievements and challenges (and crafting recipes, I believe). Not amazing or anything, but very nice to have in the package.
In closing, I think your enjoyment of this game will be depend on what you want out of an RPG. This Ultimate Edition of FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS provides hundreds of hours of content, a plethora of very compelling storylines, memorable characters, tons of weapons, and maintains the illusion of choice so well it'll be hard to imagine other players could possibly play the same game you have. FALLOUT 3 might have brought the series/formula to the new generation, but FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS takes that formula, perfects it and somehow manages to create one of the best RPGs in a very long time.
If Obsidian Entertainment hasn't taken a bow already, they're about due for one now.
on March 30, 2012
Now is the time to get this. Well almost. Since F3 GOTY edition is $20 retail, one would think this price will drop also. There will be a never ending argument as to which game is better, this or F3. Everyone has their opinion, but I can assure you this is a true sequel and not simply an expansion. As for the bugs, most of them have been worked out by now. (It's best to turn off auto-save in the system settings, if your system is always freezing up.) If you are familiar with Bethesda, then you're familiar with the pros and cons of their products. I've spent 70 hours on one character in NV, and it's been less glitchy for me than Skyrim.
The graphics and play mechanics are very similar to F3, but the game is very different. Instead of meandering through complete destruction, this game actually has scenery. The central Vegas area is operational and looks new. There are mountains, lakes, and even some trees. It's not lush, like Skyrim, but many complain that it's not the desolate wasteland of F3. There are a few true improvements however. NV has quite an involved story and set of side quests. There is significantly more dialog than F3, more weapons, and a better variety of places to call home. And most importantly, it's fun.
I feel that F3 quests were tedious, uneventful, and unrewarding. Most of the map areas felt barren and uninteresting. There was too much time wasted in subways, building rubble, and Rivet City. I feel like more creativity went into creating the world of NV. It's more of what I was expecting to get with F3. I even like the DLC better. Those areas are well designed and full of bonuses. Many F3 fans miss the post-apocalyptic setting, but I don't. I'd rather spend time in this world. The Lonesome Road expansion alone is better than any area of F3. The varied opinions and debates will live on, but FV seems bigger and better than F3, to me. Definitely give it a try.
on June 29, 2012
Every single time I played this game, I experienced some sort of game halting glitch, whether it be the game freezing, an endless loading screen, or falling through the ground. And after every glitch, I would haul myself off the couch, restart my console, and enjoy another 3-4 hours of gaming nirvana. That's right, I don't care in the least that this game glitches more than any game I have ever owned. It doesn't matter that the graphics may actually look worse than Fallout 3's. It is irrelevant to me that on two separate occasions my auto save file was corrupted, forcing me to replay as much as 5 hours of gameplay. Fallout New Vegas is that much fun.
For all of this games many technical faults, it is still one of my favorite gaming experiences, ever. The story is excellent and engaging. I found myself playing hours more than I had originally intended just so I could learn more about one of my many interesting companions. I lost even more hours promising myself that the hill that I was cresting in pursuit of the unknown was the last one for the day, knowing that I had to know what was beyond the next hill.
There are hundreds of hours worth of gameplay in this game, and that is before you even get to the DLC. You will feel a connection to the character you make in this game that is hard to match because it isn't what you say that defines your experience in this game as much as it is what you do. Your gameplay experience will be unique to you, and the way the Mojave Wasteland reacts to your presence is up to you to decide. The freedom the game offers is staggering, and early on, almost overwhelming. The amount of replay value is almost frightening.
If you can look past the dated graphics, constant glitches, and considerable load times, you will find one of the deepest and most rewarding gaming experiences you can find anywhere. An instant classic and a must buy.
on July 24, 2012
Here is my review of the ultimate edition Fallout:New Vegas pack. I purchased this game after having played through the regular New Vegas missions, and started the new content with a player that was already about level 30. It was fun to revisit the Fallout world after a year and a few months of not having played the game.
This one was fun. The story is good and as the player you are forced to make some moral decisions about where to go next.
1911's and Tommy Guns! Hell yes! About time.
The maps are really well done, beautiful really.
8 out of 10 stars. It would have been 10 out of 10 but it was a bit on the easy and quick side for a high level player. Once the main campaign missions are done the map gets very peaceful and quiet, which makes going back there for any reason kind of pointless.
The ending prize contains what is probably the best pistol in the game.
-Old World Blues
I was mixed about this one. Some of the quests were fun and compelling, others were not. I did like the plethora of new equipment, and the back story was a good one. Despite being a high level character I got the beatdown quite a few times, so tactics were important.
7 out of 10 stars.
This brings some new elements to the story, and you finally get to meet the 'other' courier that is alluded to in the main New Vegas campaign. The end battle is epic, in fact I never legitimately beat it - a bug of some sort launched the main bad guy up in to the air right when the fighting started on my 8th or 9th attempt to kill him, and he 'kersplatted' when he hit the ground. Fine by me.
Some decent loot in this mission, hours of difficult gameplay, and lots of shooting.
I played this DLC mission last, which is good, because I absolutely hated it and if I would have played it first it is likely I would have skipped the others.
It's simply just not fun, or compelling, or interesting enough to make the running around in the dark recesses of the town outside the casino, or inside the casino itself, worth it. The most prominant bad guys will literally absorb 20 or so shots before they die, which gets old. I basically had to resort to stirring one or two up and then running away while shooting at them. Boring and tedious.
The final 'boss fight' is a big letdown too. Veteran Fallout 3/NV players will key in to the fact that there are automated turrets to do their bidding, so it's a matter of just switching them on and watching the antagonist die. But, that's not all...then there is a final frustrating run for life from the recesses of the casino. It took me several tries to get it right and at the end I was literally swearing at the screen because I just wanted this awful mission to be over.
4 out of 10 stars. Not even a pile of money made it worth the hours of frustration and boredom. The weapons you take away are weak, the loot is only okay, very skippable.
Gun Runners' Arsenal and Courier's Stash
New weapons, mods, armor, locations, etc. Cool stuff most of it, some of it is just a retread of what was already in the game.
Overall the ultimate edition DLC stuff is worth it. Yes, some bugginess remains but it only comes up infrequently. Bringing new life in to a game I haven't played in a long while makes the purchase a good one in my eyes.
on September 7, 2013
I've been a fan of the Fallout Franchise since it's first installment, In 97. I have finished all of them more than once. I gotta say this one is the best installment so far, due to its complexity and density.
Let me start with the flaws: A lot, lot, lot of bugs, and glitched DLCs. They caused me to lose equipment, companions, and restart quest many times.
Apart from those, this game is perfect for gamers who love action, RPG, open scenarios, and ethical dilemas.
First, if you want to explore it as much as possible, it will take you approx 300 hours to finish it.
Second, The quests are varied and extremely appealing. They range from finding a Teddy bear to rescuing an airplane.
Third, the scenario is huge, and you can explore pretty much everything. By the way, your whole experience changes depending on the direction you first take when you begin the game.
Also, at one point, you'll have to decide which faction you'll want to join. There are many, and it's almost impossible to be in good terms with all of them.
Last, the sense of humor you find here is hilarious and creative.
As a bonus (remember, it's in Las Vegas), you can play roulette, Black Jack, and an exclusive card game called Caravan, which I became addicted to.
If you like games such as Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim or Rage, this game will definitely awe you. Just remember to save your game every 5 minutes.
on March 16, 2012
This game seems to divert from what made Fallout 3 so revolotionary as far as level design... instead of a predominantly urban environment, you'll find yourself basically in a desert. This in of itself isn't bad, cause with the 'Hardcore' setting and how it encuorages you to play, it really comes together in a completely different experience then it's predecessor, with equal to greater merit! I have gotten the first 3 DLC at launch (I'll be getting the last one soon enough), and what justifies their cost is a priceless surrealist experience that can't simply be described... I played the first DLC under the influence and I would say didn't so much as 'played' the game as opposed to having 'lived' it. This game for it become enjoyable requires your investment in time and emotional involvement... some of the places I saw and gotten to experience in this game preside happily as one of the most enjoyable and serene moments of my gaming life.
Also... there's a overall thematic effect that this game seems allow you to indulge in, and that's the feeling of being on the verge of discovering something new if you simply pursue the horizon for just long enough.
on June 19, 2014
I will admit, I am a relative newcomer to the Fallout series. Fallout 3 was my first and emerging from Vault 101 and exploring the Capital Wasteland was an amazing experience. FONV definitely has a different flavor to it and has its own unique gameplay aspects, some of which I love, and others....not so much.
- Two companions at a time? and they have their own storyilines and quests and are upgradable? Awesome!!
- Foods and healing works over time, makes gameplay a little more strategic when you can't just switch to your PipBoy and hit ten StimPaks.
- Way more items to build and ammo to make. And being able to craft foods, awesome. I was getting sick of just Cram and Pork N'Beans
- I feel like there were just so many more places to explore and unmarked quests in FO3. Just think of the Dunwich Building. I never quite got that experience in FONV.
- Unlike FO3, the game early on is a bit too linear. Damn it, I just want to go to New Vegas first!
- No RockIt Launcher!
- Temporary skill books. Meh...not a fan.
Overall I still prefer FO3 although maybe that's just because it was my first introduction to the series.
on October 13, 2013
If you liked any of the following it is in your interest to give this game a try: Oblivion, Skyrim, and Fallout 3. That is to say, if an open world RPG (in first or third person) wherein your choices in action and conversation meaningfully affect the game-play is appealing to you, play this game.
If you are purchasing this title, or any other three I mentioned, make certain to get the "game of the year" or "platinum hits" edition, so that the downloadable content (DLC) add-ons are all included. These add-on provide a dramatically improved playing experience and add tens of hours to the game-play of each game.
on June 25, 2012
If you haven't played many role playing games or aren't familiar with the current generation Elder Scrolls titles, you might want to look further into the game play of this title. There is quite a lot of wondering and dungeon crawling in this game, that might not be immediately apparent from the action facade on this very complex and involved RPG.
I played the regular version (non-ultimate) a while back and was super impressed with the story, characters, and shear variety of plot altering choices in the game. At first it seemed like a copy and paste job of the Fallout 3, but if you give it a chance the writing and art are way above and beyond it's direct predecessor. After Bioware's wholesale rape of their own franchises and Bethesda's consistently poor writing performance, Obsidian is the best western RPG developer out there in my opinion. Don't get me wrong Bethesda can make a very imaginative and engrossing world, with excellent action RPG game play, but once your 40-50hr into a game, that all fades away if its not supported by good writing and compellingly interactive plot. This was where Bioware excelled but now it seems they would rather convert Gears of War and WoW fans than keep the ones they've got.
This is why I decided to pick up the ultimate edition as well as write this favorable review. It just makes sense to support a company that seems to give a damn about the quality of their product, while so many others do not. The story is slow starting but once you get going it's the best since Fallout 2. From me that's very high praise. The add-ons that come with the ultimate edition surpassed my expectations, and trust me they were quite formidable. I didn't care much for Honest Heart, but you can tell they put way more time into making the area than the story. Overall it was well worth the price and I plan on picking up a copy of Alpha Protocol to further support Obsidian Entertainment.
For those of you that haven't played this generations Elder Scrolls or Fallout 3, a word of warning. These games are quite buggy, despite the fact that they've had several games on the same engines. They are resource hogs and really best suited for a beastly gaming PC. As for console gamers, like myself, I suggest installing it on the hard disk, creating many save files of strategic value, save often, and try not to let these technical issues ruin your experience. It's clear that we have a developer more concerned with setting up a awesome, expansive environment to tell a very unique story, than one concerned with stream line performance and technical prowess. If only the two went hand in hand. Where's the Kojima of the RPG world?
P.S. Bethesda was contracted to handle post release patching of this game, so don't blame Obsidian!
on November 17, 2013
This game has an amazing tone. I have been a fan of the Fallout series for a long time, and this one takes the franchise to a new level.
As usually with the fallout games the story is top notch. Interesting stories, just enough clues to keep you headed in the right direction but also a ton of side quests that provide a break from time to time. The voice acting is also well done. A lot of games don't give that part of the process enough attention, and bad voice acting can really hurt my enjoyment of a game, especial an RPG like this one.
Most of the combat mechanics carry over from the last installment in the franchise, which is fine because they did a great job walking the line between a shooter and an RPG, although it has always leaned more to RPG. The weapon upgrades were a nice touch and allowed a little more feeling of customization and being able to play the game how you want to.
This is a great game, hours of fun, and a must for fans of any of the other Fallout titles or RPGs in general.