Release Date: October 19, 2010
Systems: PS3, Xbox 360, OS
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Metacrtic Score: 82 (PS3)
The main issue a lot of critics had when “New Vegas” was that it came out so soon after the last game and might as well have been an expatiation pack instead of a game in it’s own right. That may be true, but it has been a few years since I last played “Fallout 3”, so how does they game hold up when the fog of memory has lifted.
You play as a courier in post-apocalypse Nevada. While delivering a package you are intercepted and robbed. Your assailant then shoots you in the head and leaves you for dead. Luckily for you, a robot digs you out of the hole they left you in and beings you to a doctor. And thus the game begins. Here you choose your look, your skills and perks and then you’re off to find the man who shot you. Your quest leads you to the New Vegas strip and to the mysterious “Mr. House” who owns and operates the strip.
The story is…simply isn’t as good as it was in “Fallout 3”. It’s not even as good as the story in “Skyrim”. In both of those games it felt like you were a man or woman becoming a legend that will be remembered throughout history. Here, you just feel like some idiot. There is no reason for you to chase after the man who shot you. There is no punishment for losing the package and no need to get it back. There really is no reason for any of this games story to happen.
The most irritating part of the game is the length of the story. It some how manages to feel both too long and too short simultaneously. Playing through the main campaign I played through one mission that took so many detours that I couldn’t tell if I was still playing a main mission or if it had gone into a side mission. Yet, by the time the main story was over, I was only at level 10 (note: I was only playing through the story and not doing side mission).
The fact is, there are no real stakes to the story, and the stakes there are really aren’t interesting. There are some interesting moments (i.e. sending ghouls into space) and it never bad, just uninteresting. At no point did this grand adventure ever feel…well..grand.
Not very much has changed between this and “Fallout 3”. In fact, I can only think of two. The first is the ability to use iron sights. This…did not change the overall feel of the game play. I still used the V.A.T.S.( Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) in most combat situations, but the iron sights did help quite a bit when my A.P. Ran out. As the hit ratio is still dictated by your skill points, the iron sights don’t do that much, but it still feels like a nice addition.
The other big change is…much less fun. In “Fallout 3” and “Skyrim” the simple act of traveling the world could open up any number of adventures. Here there’s just less of…everything. I found myself fighting much less random attackers, there was much less random radiation much less…everything. Sure, there are still towns and landmarks to discover and gambling at the strip, but this really felt more like a bunch of isolated incidents instead of one great journey.
Then there are the normal Bethesda issues. When ever you talk to some one they stand completely still and never stop making eye contact with you. The game froze a couple of times forcing me to restart the game. And once or twice the person I was attacking wasn’t really there. I’d like to say that they were using stealth boys to hide themselves but…i don’t think the A.I. is that good unless it’s scripted.
When everything was working the way it should have it was great. It really was just as good as any of Bethesda’s other games, but it did not reach that level nearly enough. And it has to be said: when people complained so much about not being able to continue post story that they added a patch to fix this in “Fallout 3” and it was never an issue in “Skyrim” (released between the two games), it simply doesn’t make since to have this issue here. There are so many dumb issues here that it feels like they copy and pasted most of the game play from “Fallout 3”, but with half the code missing.
Game Play: 2/5
Music and Sound:
For the most part they did really well here. The 1940’s/1950’s score is really nice and the voice acting is…passable. The guns all sound nice as well, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard better in any other shooter you’ve played. But that music really makes up for a lot. My only critic is that the radio personality that is replacing “3 Dog” is god awfully boring. But I can’t express how good the music is.
Music and Sound: 4/5
Overall Score: 2.8/5
Who is this game for:
People who like RPG’s, who have a lot of time to sink into the game and who haven’t played Fallout 3 in a long time. Or at all. That would work best as you couldn’t compare this to a much better game. But if you haven’t played “Fallout 3”, you’d be better off playing that.