Fallout New Vegas

December 14th, 2010
I still can’t decide whether or not Fallout New Vegas was one of the greatest games I have ever played or a soul destroying experience from start to finish.

After Fallout 3 last year I had been really looking forward to playing this. Though that’s not to say I was a great fan of Fallout 3. I found it a really strange experience. The world it created was thoroughly depressing, complicated and well written but overall depressing. The feeling of the post apocalypse was realised through a stunning attention to detail but I was really pleased to get the thing finished.

I noticed over the months after I’d finished Fallout 3 that it was an experience that really stuck with me. Unfortunately the additional content for Fallout 3 was originally licensed as an XBox exclusive so it was some time before I got the chance to get back into playing it.
As an aside I’m very dubious of the value of licensing additional content as an exclusive. Do people really make their purchasing decisions for an entire platform on additional content? I would think the number of people aware of the exclusivity is marginal.

Anyway, once I did begin some of the additional content it was over a year after I’d finished the original game and I didn’t have a clue how to play the game, what decisions I’d made or why I seemed to have a collection of broken gnomes. Then my PS3 died and took all my game saves with it. This left me with having to start Fallout 3 from the beginning. I didn’t really fancy that.

With the release of Fallout New Vegas I thought this was a real opportunity to sort of start again.  Much has been written about how Fallout New Vegas isn’t really a proper sequel.  It’s essentially the same game engine with a different story.

The graphics haven’t developed, with the same building and car models that will be very familiar to anyone who ventured into the Capital wasteland.

This didn’t bother me as Fallout did the job, actually it also did the job in Oblivion so at least it should be dependable.

Apparently I had  a bit of a fortunate experience with Fallout 3. I didn’t have many problems with the game crashing or weird things happening. Fallout New Vegas on the other hand was a disaster. On average I could only get through 30 to 45 minutes before it crashed. This meant constant saving and a complete failure of any sort of immersion.

There are also horrendous bugs in some of the quests. I like the idea of games forcing you to give due consideration for your decisions. If you make a decision with one character then it has an impact on the you later in the game. What shouldn’t happen is that a decision you make has an impact because in the future characters simply just vanish from the world or characters lock up so they can’t move to correct locations. This is shoddy programming and Fallout Vegas is littered with it.

I spent an entire hour trying to push one character through a door because he refused to go into the only room where he was allowed to talk to me. I failed an entire quest chain because a seemingly important character vanished from the game.

What I have found, this week, is that the game has had a massive patch on the PS3 that seemingly fixes all of these problems. Too late for me now.

Having said all that something made me carry on with it and put over seventy hours into completing it. Even exploring until I was certain I had found every location. That has to say something about the quality of what is hiding in there.

The story itself doesn’t have the weight of  Fallout 3, I was never convinced I was saving the world. I wasn’t really convinced I was involved in anything other than a local squabble but the could be entirely down to the path I chose and the ending I got. The variety of side quests seems to be enormous. They also provide excellent detail of everyone you meet, and you meet a lot of people.

You do get the impression that there is a history that underlies everything, you can find all of this detail in the notes that are found in houses, in the dialogue and the email trails on abandoned computers. I love the sheer scale of all of this.

I know it is probably down to the limited graphical options but I still wonder why everything in this world is so dirty. Alright I accept there was an apocalypse. I accept that this probably had a bit of a knock on effect on the wider economy but it does not explain why basic hygiene appears to have gone out of the window.

As you navigate the hundreds of locations you will notice one overwhelming consistency, all of the bathrooms are filthy. There is clearly a hygiene penalty to Armageddon that has previously been ignored. I fear this more than the flames of hell themselves.

It is a great game and deserves much more recognition than the likes of Call of Duty. I just hope that it comes to a point where it is actually playable.


Posted in Finished Games, Games | Comments (1)

One Response to “Fallout New Vegas”

  1. Daz Wright’s Blog » Blog Archive » 2010 My Year in Games Says:

    […] Fallout: New Vegas: I went into some detail about this a few weeks ago. It is a good game that could have been great. I understand that most of the problems have been […]

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