Fallout New Vegas: Gambling with your life
In the wake of nuclear war, Las Vegas would be the city to survive. That’s the premise this game is built on, as well as the near flawless gameplay of its predecessor: Fallout 3. You take on the role of a courier but quickly find out that during the confusion of a nuclear war, thugs and miscreants make up a sizable portion of the Greater New Vegas population. Once you’re through the initial linear story driven piece, you walk your own path in Fallout New Vegas. Review the map, and you’ll discover a very wide expanse of open world which will allow you to traverse from point A to point….wherever the hell you want. And of course true to form you can either choose to hunt those aforementioned thugs down in the name of justice, or befriend them and hunt down the good guys.
Fallout New Vegas is an open world game, but at its core it’s a first person shooter. You have a string of buffs that can be earned through the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, both initially and when you level up. On section of upgrades related specifically to your proficiency with various weapon types, i.e. energy weapons, explosives or pistols. When you’re actually fighting these stats matter, as does your ability to harness the power of V.A.T.S., the time-freeze targeting system that lets you quite literally, shred enemies. The animations when you destroy an enemy with V.A.T.S. become a hallmark of this game.
The main quest moves along rather quickly and while the pacing is decent and the story full of surprises, it can be somewhat underwhelming. When combined the side quests and faction system, now we’re talking about something special. You have the NRC, the “good guys,” and the Legion who are the “bad guys.” You can join up with either of them; keep in mind though that the games Karma system will react to whichever path you choose. The NRC missions will raise your Karma and thus the Legion’s missions will lower it.
Another holdover from the predecessor is the currency system in Fallout: New Vegas. Sales are done with bottle caps, just like you dreamed of when you were 6 years old. That fantasy is finally a reality, because after the US is decimated by nuclear bombs, there isn’t much else left.
There’s really a lot to love here and Bethesda was smart to only tweak the formula. They took a tried and true formula and basically created a massive expansion available on a variety of platforms from Xbox 360 to STEAM. Key that in with some updated graphics, a new animal companion and more of the same gritty realism that defines Fallout, and you arrive at destination fun.
The only real complaints you can make are about the companion AI. At times it’s anything but intelligent; refusing to climb fences or getting lost and becoming completely irretrievable. Good thing the dog isn’t a golden retriever as that irony would be too much. But amidst the slight hiccups is something truly polished and refined. You can lose yourself in more than one way within the world of Fallout: New Vegas. Review your survival skills though; it’s easy to find yourself six feet under this nuclear desert.