Developer(s) – Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher(s) – Bethesda Softworks & Namco Bandai Games
Director – Josh Sawyer
Producer(s) – Mikey Dowling, Matt Singh & Jason Fader
Released in the holiday season of 2010, Fallout: New Vegas, like its predecessor Fallout 3, was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, with some critics calling it the best game in the series, and going on to bring in over $300 million in revenue. Since my introduction to the series with the third game, I’ve personally had a hard time trying to get into Fallout, and whilst people may have been extremely lukewarm to this game, I unfortunately feel very differently about it.
Graphics – 5/10
The visuals, depending on which system that game may be played on, can vary from being flawless to terrible. A piece of advice I would like to give anyone who may be reading would be to avoid the PlayStation 3 version at all costs, since it suffers with severe frame rate issues as it progresses; similar to Bethesda’s Skyrim on the same console. But aside from that, there isn’t much to look at conceptually either, I find. The music creates an appropriate vibe, but as far as presentation goes, it’s far below the standards that Bethesda are known for.
Gameplay – 3/10
The quality of gameplay is even worse in my opinion, since there is a huge open world, which would bode well for a game of its kind. Unfortunately, there’s hardly anything to do in it. Towns, points of interest and side quests far too spaced out, and it can become a case of wandering around far too much looking for things to do unless the fast travel system is used to the point of excess. The enemies also seem much less varied than in Fallout 3, with raiders and oversized geckos among a couple of other mutated animals.
Controls – 10/10
The control scheme is pretty much identical to Fallout 3, so there are no problems in this respect at least. VATS can be annoyingly inaccurate at first, but once the player levels up enough, that problem generally tends to sort itself out. The Pip Boy system, again like in Fallout 3, can take a little bit of getting used to at first, but like VATS, it doesn’t remain a persistent problem.
Lifespan – 6/10
For those who find it in them to soldier on through the mostly empty wasteland of the post-apocalyptic Nevada, there are quite a few hours of entertainment to be had; even more with the inclusion of all the DLC released for it. But as I alluded to, given the fact that everything is so spaced out, other players can also be made to feel very bored very quickly, as indeed I was.
Storyline – 6/10
Set four years after the events of Fallout 3, the story involves the struggle between two factions in Nevada; the North Californian Republic and Caesar’s Legion. The two military group are warring over control of the Hoover Dam, which provides power to key areas through Nevada. The player character is a courier working for the Mojave Express, tasked with delivering a platinum chip to New Vegas, when he is then ambushed and left for dead by a mobster named Benny, who also steals the package. Saved by a robot named Victor, and brought back to health by Doc Mitchell, the courier resolves to find the stolen package and uncover the truth behind the events, as well getting revenge on his ambushers. The story was fairly well conceived, with Matthew Perry in particular, who voiced Benny, delivering a cool and composed performance that I personally would never have guessed he’d be capable of delivering.
Originality – 5/10
There isn’t a great deal of uniqueness about this title, unfortunately, since it does ultimately play out like an extension to Fallout 3, except there’s considerably less to do. For fans of the series, this won’t be viewed as that much of a problem, but to newcomers, I’d say that this game isn’t the ideal introduction to the series; or at least an introduction to the point of where Bethesda took over as publishers after Interplay.
In summary, Fallout: New Vegas is one of the more tedious video games I played throughout the seventh generation of gaming. Fallout 3 can take some getting used to as well, in my opinion, but in this case, boredom can very easily outlast player’s patience.