Fallout: New Vegas Review

Posted: November 28, 2010 by ryanlecocq in Reviews

And the swiftness of the ranger is still talked about TODAAAAAYYYY

So here it is, finally, my Fallout:NV review.  It took me a while to feel truly finished with this game as it is massive, like all the others before.  This was both a blessing and a curse though.  Although this is the game Fallout 3 should have been, it’s also a bit too little too late.  Obsidian has added most of the features that were in Fallout 2 but missing in 3, like realistic injuries, weapon customization and special V.A.T.S. attacks.  As great as it is for the game to finally play like a real Fallout game instead of an Elder Scrolls game, the last game should have had these features.  So in the end, although the game is tweaked and improved in every way, if you’ve played all of F3’s content, this is another couple dozen hours of the same basic gameplay.

As far as improvements go, all the right choices were made.  As members of the original Fallout team worked on this game, it isn’t surprising that this game has more of a Fallout feel than 3.  It’s not just the survival mode and the increased depth of scavenging, the quest design and dialogue also hearken back to Interplay’s Fallout games.  That gritty, devil-may-care style that was somehow missing from Fallout 3 has been brought back in spades.  The faction quests now actually opposes each other, forcing you to pick sides and you often have to do so in side quests as well.  A cornerstone of Fallout games past has always been living in a moral gray area you constantly redefine.

The new gameplay tweaks are major, although small.  You can now modify weapons for added effect, craft a much larger variety of items and craft special ammo.  You also have the special V.A.T.S. attacks from Fallout 2 for melee weapons and some guns.  The survival mode adds an injury system nearly identical to Fallout 2, where you must use doctor’s bags to repair broken limbs and serious injuries.  It also adds thirst, hunger and more depth to radiation poisoning and addiction as well as weight for ammo, which is minimal.  I can’t imagine playing with this off as it makes the game actually play like Fallout should.

The last component that makes this game great is the Wild West setting.  Although New Vegas itself is a gambling den, most of the rest of the Nevada desert has reverted to it’s 1880s state.  The Marty Robbins tune “Big Iron’ featured in the soundtrack pretty much describes the game.  You go from town to town dispensing your justice and everywhere you go people insist on proving they are tougher than you.  You shoot them, justice done.  The plot varies from this a bit, but the western U.S. Marshall feeling permeates the entire plot.  I never would have guessed, but Post Nuclear Role Playing-Western is the best idea Obsidian has had in years.

In closing I am sad to say that as great as this is the game is, it’s the game that needed to be released as Fallout3 two years ago.  Just as I would give that game a less than perfect score for lacking these features, I have to dock this game for tacking them on 2 years late to a game design I’ve already spent dozens of hours with.  As much as the changes improve the game, it’s still pretty much the same game and most of the features are just ones that were removed since Fallout 2 anyway.  An outstanding game from Obsidian, that objectively outdoes it’s predecessor in every way, but still has to stand in it’s shadow.  So great, but just barely too little, too late to be the perfect Fallout game.

9/10

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Comments
  1. lagunawsu2 says:

    Yeah 3 always felt like a cold robot clone of 2 to me, glad to see they could breath life into it, even if it was too late.

    As of this posting the newest add-on just came out, so maybe that will help its content freshen up some.

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