Game Review: Fallout: New Vegas
Release: October 19, 2010
Genre: Action Adventure/Role Playing
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
ESRB Rating: Mature
After two years of waiting for the sequel to what I feel has been one of the best games this generation, Fallout: New Vegas has finally come out and hopefully we can help your decision process for the game with our review. Fallout: New Vegas is suppose to be taking place around 3 years after Fallout 3’s story concluded but this time in the Las Vegas area, hence the title. You play as a courier who gets shot in the head by this mysterious man and you’re left to die in a shallow grave, that is until you are found by a robot named Victor and that is where the game begins.
Now if you have played the previous Fallout 3 then you know what you are going into, if you are new to the franchise, welcome! I hope you are ready for one long and indepth game because that is what this is. According to Raptr I spent 36 hours on this game, just a single play-through. I’d say I did probably about a third of the total quests (all of the main one) and explored about a third of all the locations in New Vegas, that’s a whole lot of gaming for those that love those types of games. Back to those that might be new to the franchise, Fallout is a serious RPG type of game but with a lot of action adventure elements added into it. What you do and get rewarded for in the game is you explore and you do quests for people in all the towns and factions around New Vegas. In doing so you will find all sorts of situations where you have to use your skills that you build to help on your adventures throughout the game and you upgrade them as the game goes on based off of the experience that you receive from playing the game.
Obsidian Entertainment brought several new things to the table with Fallout: New Vegas, we have gambling, the companion wheel, a reputation system, weapon modding, and of course, hardcore mode. All these are new features in the series. The coolest of those has to be the hardcore mode, I was too scared to try it, plus I was under a deadline to get this done so I didn’t dive into that but if you are one of those types of players that wants to simulate everything, with hardcore mode you force yourself to change the way you would normally play a game like this. You have to stay hydrated at all times, eat food, get your sleep and the changes you have to apply to yourself when it comes to using Stimpaks, doctor’s bags and RadAway.
Fallout: New Vegas has several great things for it, first being that if you love exploring the world, this game is for you. Just like Fallout 3, the wold is huge and then there is so much you can do all over. Just trying to find all of the over 200 locations can take days. The weapons are another great part of the game as well as an improvement over Fallout 3, not only are there a huge amount, a whole lot unique weapons, but now you can even mod your weapons with new features that you can buy or find on your adventure. The graphics had a nice boost as well, partly because of the fact that there is less of that Fallout 3 brown all around this time. Everything else was very similar to Fallout 3 so you Fallout players should know exactly what to expect, and those of you that might not have played it, expect a game of the year type of game.
I’ve been talking pretty highly of New Vegas so far and this is where that is going to take a turn to the other side, Fallout: New Vegas has some issues, and I feel some pretty serious ones. Bugs! As of right now this game has many bugs in it. I had enemies get stuck on nothing, my companions disappearing for several hours and even falling through floors to a great abyss. I know that some bugs will slip through testing but all this was happening too much, too much to just overlook but that still wasn’t my biggest issue with the game.
I don’t think I’ve ever stared so much at loading/black/frozen screens in my life on a game. For the record, I did a hard drive install on my not slim Xbox 360. I don’t have the exact amount of time I looked at these but I know that at one point I had enough time to get up, go to grab a glass of water from the kitchen, grab a snack, come back to my TV and it was still at a black screen. While this might not seem like to bad of a deal, it was how often it was happening that was the problem. There are parts of the game that you will have to hit two of those to talk to a person, hit two more to depart that building and then fast travel to a new location where you might even have to hit one or two more to continue a quest. This is absurd that a gamer should have to sit through five to seven minutes of loading for five to how many ever minutes of gameplay. I guess this could be to your advantage if you pick up the 448 page Prima game guide, but if you don’t have that, well, you better find something else to do during all that wasted time. Oh, and if you start playing the game and at first you don’t mind the load times, don’t worry, they will get worse. The longer and longer I played the game, the longer and longer the loads became. I seriously don’t know how they could have let this ship like this, I can only hope that if there isn’t an opening day patch out tomorrow that they are working their asses off to improve this and hopefully this is taking a higher priority then the DLC that they already have in the pipeline for their Xbox 360 owners. I also had some freezing issues at times, but I think those had to do more with loading rather then crashing the Xbox 360 because if I let it sit for a minute or so it would continue.
Steve’s final say: Fallout: New Vegas was my most anticipated game this year and it would have fulfilled all my expectations but the bugs and load times killed it. The load times had to be the single biggest issue I had with the game, so much so that can’t say this is a must have. (I can’t say that PlayStation 3 or PC owners will have that issue because I didn’t play it on those systems, but I do know that on the Xbox 360 it was terrible) It really pains me to say it because this game has so many great things going for it, but until they fix the loading I can’t really say it’s a must have. I’d still tell, and have been telling my friends to check it out and all but until the loading and bugs are fixed, you will be investing $60 into a game that you will literally stare at a loading screen for hours, that’s just not right nor fair to gamers so I can’t yet recommend buying this game.