NMA Fallout: New Vegas Review

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    After doing an excellent job on the Fallout 3 review, esteemed Fallout fan Vince D. Weller returns to review Fallout: New Vegas, covering its dialog and RPG systems while digging deep into the game's lack of difficulty and expansive quests and role-playing.<blockquote>You wake up in Goodsprings, a small Wild West-looking and -talking settlement. A local doc patches you up and sets you on your way. Fortunately (once again), you are not concerned with missing relatives past their prime. You want to know why you got shot and who did it. That’s a pretty good and very promising beginning. Such things are subjective, of course, but I prefer stories that revolve around you and your problems, not the world’s. The main quest will lead you to the aforementioned Strip and into the impending scrap between the three main factions.

    As mentioned before, it’s a huge game that dwarfs Fallout 3. Naturally, when it comes to 160+ quests, your mileage will vary and IF you insist on doing all of them, you’ll spend a lot of time delivering all kinda shit, from radio codes to love letters. However, the majority of quests are very well designed (probably reflecting the amount of time Avellone and Sawyer spent on Black Isle’s VATS-free Fallout 3 which, sadly, didn’t get to see the light of day) and will offer you a truckload of different options at every step. It’s a superb implementation of the “do whatever the hell you want” approach. In Bethesda games it means you can travel east or you can travel west. In New Vegas it means that you’re always given a choice and can shape both your own story and the future of the Mojave any way you want.

    Let me illustrate it with the first few quests:

    Goodsprings, the “starting” town, had offered refuge to Ringo, a Crimson Caravans’ trader who survived an attack by Powder Gangers, a gang of convicts who broke out of the NCR prison. The convicts have tracked him down and want the town to hand him over.

    You can side with the gang and kill Ringo for them. You can even talk them into raiding the town (they aren’t interested at first, because the town is poor and there isn’t much to take). I got this quest when I had already done a few jobs for the Gangers and I was planning to continue, so siding with them was fairly tempting. Alternatively, you can protect Ringo and convince the townsfolk to stand up to the convicts. It would be better if failing the skill checks and fighting the convicts without the town’s support was actually an almost impossible fight, but the low difficulty rears its ugly console-shaped head once again.

    Siding with the convicts destroys the town and gives you an appropriate ending – “Travelers continued to stop by Goodsprings Source for water on the Long 15, but rarely would anyone venture into the ruins of Goodsprings itself.” Siding with Ringo and the townsfolk isn’t enough to save the town. Various actions throughout the game will determine which of the four other endings you get for Goodsprings.

    The endings deserve a special mention. There are a LOT of them. Most locations and factions get 4-9 different endings that are determined by a mix of the outcomes from several key quests involving them. This is a huge step up from Fallout 3 where the individual locations were ignored and you were treated with a handy summary of your heroic adventures:

    “But it was not until the end of this long road that the Lone Wanderer learned the true meaning of that greatest of virtues – sacrifice. Stepping into the irradiated control chamber of Project Purity, the child followed the example of the [middle-aged] father sacrificing life itself for the greater good of mankind.”</blockquote>
     
  2. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    great review, agreed on just about every point. thanks Vince & Andy!
     
  3. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    Jun 11, 2008
    Yeah, I agree about everything. Finished the game yesterday, 81 hours, 78 quests done, 180 locations discovered. HUUUUUGE game.
    The amount of choices is incredible, I just wish the engine wasn't so bad.Although with Nevada Skies mod it did manage to draw some nice moments.
     
  4. CrzyFooL

    CrzyFooL First time out of the vault

    Oct 18, 2010
    Great review

    I agree with almost every point. I will more than likely state many of the same things in my upcoming video review - when I get around to finishing it :-)
     
  5. God is Dog backwards

    God is Dog backwards Mildly Dipped

    Jul 25, 2003
    Am I reading things right - does Vince conclude that FNV could possibly better the previous FO games were its combat better? Or does he mean in generic RPG terms, it might beat the first two games?

    Basically I'm wondering what his opinion of it as a FO game is.
     
  6. OakTable

    OakTable Vault Senior Citizen

    Nov 26, 2009
    Generic RPG terms, seeing as we don't have 10 or more Fallout series games.
     
  7. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I think it simply means that the game has its great moments which will remind you to Fallout in one way or another which is true and making it a game that is worth to have the name. What ever if it's a game that can be seen as a sequel, better/equal to a finished van buren project or a game that "should" have been Fallout 3 is probably something everyone has to deicde for himself. For me personaly it cant be simply cause I dont value the content we have with dialogues for example higher then the gameplay as it was always a symbiosis in my eyes but here the review very nicely explained what to expect from the game regarding that. I also dont see Vegas as a that big world at the end of the day. It packs a hell lot of content and comunities but the size of the Sandbox world doesnt give me that feeling nor do I get the wasteland feeling (with comunities 2 min from each other ?). But thats a personal oppinion and preference and I blame that mainly on the way how Obsidian worked with the limitations of the engine as I simply cant convince my self that an attack on a camp with 5 people inside is representing some kind of "epic battle" or how the Strip and its surounding comunities are seen as populated (not to mention the many smal details like runing steel mils without workers except for 2-3 robots ... or anyone using what is produced in there ...)
     
  8. Sicblades

    Sicblades Antediluvian as Feck
    Orderite

    Aug 28, 2008
    How is it that you can believe how 1 farmer can feed all of Shady Sands in FO1 but can't believe how this steel mill works in NV? Or how the the SAD was still operational... and many other things... Many of the towns in FO1 and FO2 required you to think that there was more to the areas you could walk in... why can't you think the same for this game?

    I'm not really asking you a question though, I'm not really interested in your answer, but areas in this game require the same approach, imo, and if you can't think of it that way because of the perspective it's presented in, then w/e, your loss.
     
  9. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Has nothing to do with perspective. Fallout 3/NV is a continuous world that purports to show you everything within the world map. Fallout 1/2 makes no such claim. That's not a matter of perspective, it's a matter of how you present the world.

    Also the Steel Mill isn't comparable to Shady Sands. The Steel Mill is, as far as I know, completely unexplained. Who is running it? Where's the steel going? What the hell?
     
  10. Axl

    Axl First time out of the vault

    Oct 20, 2003
    cool review, and what an amazing game. I can't stop to play.
     
  11. VDweller

    VDweller Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 31, 2005
    The quest design is much better (which makes NV a lot more replayable (if you can tolerate the combat and the engine)). If the game had challenging combat, preferably not real time (similar to Wiz 8, maybe?) and better character system? Maybe it would have been a better game, but that's a big IF.

    What the review says. Excellent quest design, good writing, consistent setting, poor character system, bad combat. It's definitely a Fallout game, but the character system and combat bring the overall quality down (compared to Fallout 1 and 2).
     
  12. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    This:
    Its a difference if a game requires from me to use my imagination because there was some limitation at some point so I have to eventually think "there might be more behind the curtain" or if I have to tourn of my brain completely just so I doesnt bother me anymore. ~ By the way the farming didnt bothered me in Vegas that was somewhat within the limitation of the world quite nicely explained. So I do can look over some details.

    For example in Fallout you might have a situation where you encounter a rusty and shabby place with a bed so dirty that the game tells you with its text "here you will not spend the night alone" as it has lices all over it and your imagination is doing the job while that would not work the same way in a Sandbox game like either Fallout 3 or Oblivion tries to be and you have to represent the same situation somehow visualy as well or its not believable. I think you know what I mean. Or I hope at least you understand me.

    One complaining about Shady Sands in F1 though might as well complain about that Fallout has shown the distance of several 1000 miles in just a few "squares" over your map as you could literaly move from square to square (if you want so), but one should bear in mind that between Fallout 1 and letz say Fallout 3 you have completely different principles and gameplay behind with the one trying to emulate (somewhat) a pnp experience while the other is trying to create a believable sandbox world and here both Fallout 3 AND Vegas fall short in my eyes Vegas mainly because its trying to please both crowds those which love RPG mechanics (dialogue, choices etc.) and those which love the exploring as it was present in Bethesdas F3. But creating such a world believable sandbox world is visualy a hard job. Though doesnt mean Vegas is a bad game ... it is pretty good in many things.

    How comes anyone who comes up with criticism (I do sound harsh sometimes I admit) thinks that you either have to "love" or "hate" a game ...
     
  13. Nark

    Nark Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 6, 2008
    Very nice review, I agree with pretty much everything on there. :wink:
     
  14. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    Well, I don't agree with Vince's perspective on the Legion. Other than that, nice review indeed.
     
  15. Nark

    Nark Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Dec 6, 2008
    Though the Roman cosplaying is still pretty stupid, I sorta liked the story about how Caesar united all those tribes for his legion.
     
  16. VDweller

    VDweller Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 31, 2005
    @Ausir:

    More specifically? Just curious.
     
  17. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    Well, I think that 200 years after the Great War, a democratic government isn't really that strange. And a lot of things about Caesar's Legion make the faction silly, including their clothing, their shunning of advanced technology and their pretty much universal evilness - I don't really see much of the promised greyness in them, unlike with NCR or House. I guess the Legion isn't that bad in theory, but, like Brother None said in another thread, they are not any more gray than the Fallout 3 Enclave.
     
  18. Faceless Stranger

    Faceless Stranger Board Drifter

    Aug 19, 2010
    Well Autumn was pretty reasonable, but where in FNV do the remnants say they lost because of the Mk II PA?
     
  19. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    I'm pretty sure it was a joke.
     
  20. VDweller

    VDweller Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Oct 31, 2005
    Not really. The Roman armor (segmentata) is fairly easy to manufacture, especially in a post-apocalyptic environment. Basically, it's just a bunch of stripes, leather or metal. I think it's much easier to string several overlapping leather stripes together than make a proper leather armor.

    I think that more advanced forms of government require pre-requisites that simply wouldn't exist in a post-apocalyptic world. For example, a certain level of living standards (which instantly disqualifies any PA world), development/re-discovery of social values and self-expression/participation in the political process (which, too, has its own pre-requisites).

    In a PA world where people are too busy trying to survive in every possible way, the feudal system makes a lot more sense. People would seek protection of strong individuals, then strong groups capable of keeping raiders at bay, then strong settlements/towns/kingdoms.

    These people would be happy to feel safe and have a place to raise their families/do business. The last thing they would want to do is rock the boat and demand to have a shot at running things. Those who would end up on top would enjoy their status and wouldn't want to give it up and give turns just because it's fair. At least I don't recall any medieval lords asking anyone if they want to run things for awhile.

    See above about the clothing. Shunning of the advanced tech? Didn't they try to buy energy weapons from Van Graffs? Maybe their position would have been more jarring if the energy weapons were too powerful. I favored guns in the game (9mm and 10mm smg), so it's hard for me to complain about them using guns when I did the same thing.