Lets talk about almost every gamer's favorite game series, Fallout. More specifically, Fallout: New Vegas, one of the latest, and most disputed game of all of Bethesda's history. This game has been argued to be the best, and has been argued to be the worst. Fallout 3 vs. New Vegas. This is still going on even today. Seems to me that people can't make up there mind, so I'm here to give a little insight on anyone who leans one way or another.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ALL PERSONAL OPINIONS BASED OFF OF EVIDENCE IN THE VANILLA GAME (NOT INCLUDING DLC). I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THIS GAME, NOR THE CODING.
MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS!!! MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS!!! MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS!!!
Without further-a-do, let's continue.
Lets start with the graphics, something people love talking about in this modern age of technology and gaming. The graphics in this game aren't top notch, compared to games such as Crysis 2 or Battlefield 3. It pales in comparison. But they're still physically appealing for anyone new to the Fallout games, and modern gamers. Though compared to Fallout 3, they're practically the same. The only difference, newer version of Havok engine. Though Bethesda was using the very same Havok engine for Fallout New Vegas as From Software was using for Dark Souls, Bethesda had to dumb down the textures a bit. Why though? Why dumb it down if they could have made an open world Dark Souls? Well that's the thing, New Vegas is completely open world. You can literally go everywhere in the game. With all of that data and memory, there was no way Bethesda could have made it as textured as Dark Souls and make it workable for the computers and consoles for the time. (Don't try to bring up Skyrim, which was made with the Creation Engine) Though the engine and graphics were good, there seemed to be a problem I see in BOTH New Vegas AND Fallout 3, is the sky. I know they purposely changed the sky to make the game themed but it's such an eye-sore. No one wants to look at a green or rusty orange sky for long periods of time. It just looks unnatural, and us as humans have a problem with what we find unnatural.
All in all, the graphics for Fallout: New Vegas were decent for its time, and understandable for with what they had to work with. Decent textures for the Mojave Wasteland if you ask me. (Fuck you sky)
Now onto the protagonist development. Through the Fallout series you were always a vault dweller. Vault 13, Vault 8, Vault 101. But it seemed to veer away from that course in Fallout: New Vegas. In this installation of Fallout, you're known as The Courier. You didn't come from a fancy vault, and you don't get an opening sequence in a vault. You're just some courier in the Mojave Wasteland, trying to make a living until you take a certain job involving a platinum chip and you get shot. Cliche when it comes to couriers, though very realistic. I applaud them for putting that realism in there. So there you are, starting off in Doc Mitchle's house/hospital. You see a fan and you sit up with that annoying white light Fallout loved to use at the start of Fallout 3. Talking about keeping precedence. So there you are, being talked to by a doctor, you create how you look, you tell him your name, you set up your S.P.E.C.I.A.L., and then you get asked questions? Now you got shot in the head and you're having your vengeance time wasted on questions? I know they're used as a formula to decide what to place your tags in for your skills, but it's rather unnecessary for the amount of questions you have. Yes Fallout 3 did the same thing using the G.O.A.T. but it didn't take very long because there weren't nearly as much questions being asked. You took it, got funny dialogue (which in New Vegas it's the same), and you got your tags in which you can change. The time New Vegas takes for the tags part is pointless, especially to the players who know what's going on already and just want to set up their tags. Anyways, after answering those questions and getting your tags, you're ready to venture out into the Mojave Wasteland! Hope you wore sunglasses because guess what, MORE BRIGHT LIGHTS! And that's all the protagonist gets story wise in the vanilla story. You're a courier out for revenge and since you're used to shooting guns you can shoot at a million rounds per minute now unlike the vault dwellers from previous games, which makes sense. From then on you decide who the courier is, you decide the courier's fate, and if you have a wide imagination, you could decide the courier's personality.
THE COMPANIONS! Dear Lord I could go on about them for days but I don't want to waste your time with that. How Bethesda went on with the companions was amazing. Their design, their stories, their drives for doing what they do. Now I'm not going to involve Rex or ED-E in this section for Rex doesn't have much of a character, and ED-E gets his character development from Lonesome Road, which I won't be covering in this review. And I won't go on with ALL of the companions since they will take too long to grade and talk about. So lets stick with the main one people get and love. Boone. He is a humanoid companion so you can't have the other humanoids on your party unless you're a PC user and you mod it (though I suggest modding the game AFTER you beat the story once or twice). Let's start with Boone. When you meet him at Novac at 9 p.m. he tells you about how he can only trust you since you're not from that town. Makes sense, considering whatever he's after the town would greatly disapprove of it. Then when you proceed to ask questions he briefly tells you about his dead wife who was sold into slavery and wants you to find the person who sold her. He knows its someone in the town because how else would Legion slavers get her, unless they're ninjas. After you do his first quest you get him as a companion. YAY! When you talk to him he tells you briefly of his past and how he hates Legion. But that's not all. Later on the road, when you get more buddy buddy with Boone, he tells you deeper things about himself. Now let's stop there. Just from ALL of that about Boone, it's clear to say that Bethesda did a solid job at character development with companions and NPCs. Making the game's lore and their lore solid, fluid, and connecting to the player
Story time! Dear lord the story. Its plain and simple, just like the others, but that's not all! Just due to precedence, New Vegas makes a simple story into a complex story line of the whole Mojave Wasteland. Yes, a courier looking for vengeance, very simple right? Wrong to the sense that EVERYTHING you do in the wasteland affects the future of it and who you side yourself with in the story and how it will end. Pretty neat, a game literally based off of character choice. A gamer's wet dream. Though with it's large variety of choice, there seems to be the same outcome sometimes no matter what, just different rewards, most of which aren't really worth it. And quest advancement if you just follow the story is rather too quick compared to the stories from Fallout 1, 2, and 3.
Variety. . . Ugh don't get me started. (these are main weapons/guns, no melee) Fallout 1, first wasteland survival of the series, hardly any weapons. About fourteen of them. Fallout 2, more but still stands at 21. Fallout 3, again more but at 28. New Vegas stands at the high of 44! That's a little too much for a wasteland that's supposed to be dead don't ya think? Yes consumers like variety, but keep it lore friendly at least. I know there's the Gun Runners, but a majority of the guns in New Vegas aren't even made by them. For everything being "dead", there's quite a bit of guns. And don't get me started on armor. Let's just say New Vegas has THE MOST armor out of all the other games.
Last but not least, game-play and replay-ability. It has the same precedence as the other games. V.A.T.S, aim and shoot, lockpick, hack, so on and so forth. Though they added something I oh so longed for. True iron sights. I've always wanted iron sights in games and I was so glad when New Vegas came out with it. Bethesda even made sure to have an option to turn it on and off for those players who loved Fallout 3 and wanted to keep the old zoom feature. The iron sights made it where the player would be more immersed in actual accuracy instead of using VATS all of the time. Though the leveling system kind of changed the game-play all together. It made it a lot easier to raise your skills, making you a super bad ass by the time you're level 10, which isn't much fun. BUT, the wildlife is more deadly than the people now. The Radscorpions are harder to kill, they poison you, and knock you back. The Deathclaws are 10x's harder. Going against those at level 10 on normal in New Vegas would be like facing them as a level 5 on the hardest difficulty on Fallout 3. And welcome the new addition to the family, Cazadors. These bloatfly like animals are the second hardest to kill, second fastest, but yet the most annoying. One sting, you're poisoned, and they attack in packs so make sure you have Boone or Veronica with you. The change in difficulty of the enemies enhances the game-play, though you still feel pretty bad ass at level 10, which is kind of boring. And the "dungeons" all look pretty much the same so it gets really monotonous. Bethesda did add a new mode though called Hardcore mode. Which is essentially a S.T.A.L.K.E.R and New Vegas love child. You have a thirst meter, a hunger meter, a sleep meter, and EVERYTHING weighs something. Bullets and all. So keep track of what you grab and make sure you have plenty of water and snack cakes with you when going out for long journeys. This new mode adds a lot of forms of actual wasteland survival game-play, AND adds replay-ability. How? By giving the player a new intense game-play and different way to go about things, which is really clever.
Fallout New Vegas isn't terrible, but gets monotonous rather quickly with all of the same type of quests with endless running back and forth and doesn't bring the survival wasteland feel like Fallout 3 did, and Fallout 3 didn't even have a Hardcore mode. So for me, they're both equal. I'm in the middle of both games. I like ALL of the Fallout games due to their uniqueness of story and game-play.
MATHEMATICAL VERDICT: 42.5/100
PERSONAL VERDICT: 73/100