REVIEW: Fallout: New Vegas
By David Desautels, Staff Gaming Critic
Nearly two years ago, Bethesda Softworks introduced to the videogame world one of the greatest role-playing games of all time. Winning multiple Game of the Year awards and praise from critics, the expectations were high for a sequel. How do you top creating one of the greatest games with open-world environments and role-playing elements in our nation’s capital? You take the same thing, and put it all in Las Vegas.
The game’s world takes place in a future where a world war ended in a nuclear holocaust. In the first game, the story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. area. Exploring parts of a desecrated capital was one of the most appealing and exciting parts of the first game. Living in the D.C. area, I felt connected to the game exploring the ruins of the old metro system and seeing the remains of a city I frequent quite a bit, Silver Spring. Bethesda’s interpretation of humankind after such a catastrophic was quite interesting as well. Even after the world ending, humankind can still be plagued with the same problems such as greed and violence yet still holding on to the will to survive. I was really excited to see how all these elements would show themselves in Fallout: New Vegas.
New Vegas feels more like an expansion to Fallout 3 keeping a lot of the same elements while making its own story. Taking place in Las Vegas, it was left largely intact after the nuclear war. During the course of the main story, it works just like its predecessor, with quests to finish, alliances to make, and enemies to kill. The faction system works the same. Pick a faction, kill their enemies, and watch your karma rise. While the primary quest line is short, the game really shines with its open-world gameplay. The great thing about Fallout is there are very few limits to keep you from exploring and what makes the game so fun. Just when you think you have explored everything, there’s some sector that contains a new quest. Expect to spend hours upon hours finishing quests and earning achievements. The leveling system is the exact same from Fallout 3, making it very easy to use but forcing you to think carefully as to how the skill set on your character will impact on your abilities in the game. I major problem I did notice was that there are still a lot of bugs in the game. I had problems completing quests, long load times at parts that shouldn’t have required it, parts of the game that kept freezing. Hopefully these can all be fixed in future patches.
Fallout 3 will always have a place in my heart. Not only did it put Bethesda Softworks on the map, but also it was a game based on my home. I was consistently exploring in the game just to see how Bethesda created different areas to look. While Fallout: New Vegas felt like it played exactly like its prequel, it didn’t have the connection that pulled me into the pervious game. With violence, drugs, sexual references, and even cannibalism, this game is rated “M” for mature for a reason. While not for children, anyone who enjoyed the first game should be content with a pleasurable sequel. It is available for the Xbox360 and the PS3 at a current retail price of $19.99. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.