Hearing the perspective of a non-RPG-lover on a role-playing game has become increasingly common lately - and quite infuriating when it comes in the form of a review - but it's still interesting to read this piece from Gaming Lives titled "Falling for Fallout?". In the article the writer describes her experience with Fallout: New Vegas as a role-playing newbie, and how she ended up considering the title one of her "favourite game experiences" and decided to play Fallout 3 thanks to it.<blockquote>I struggled with the combat side of things for quite a while and was regularly fleeing from feral ghouls or a lone Radscorpion. It was only in my panicked state one time that I hit a random button and ended up in VATS mode. It truly was a lightbulb moment. Where I was trying to empty dozens of bullets into a creature while running away, suddenly I could freeze time and BOOM, headshot. I’m sure this must have been covered in the tutorial somewhere and I’d missed it, or perhaps it’s simply karma for me being a moron and not reading the manual. Either way, that and Veronica – my arse-kicking first companion – made my travels across the Mojave much easier. Slowly, I found myself starting to care about some of the characters I met. I ditched Veronica for Cass as I felt bad for her, stuck drinking all alone everyday. She’d be running in and picking off enemies before I even saw them and that’s always a good way of winning my affections. I also loved Lily the mutant and felt genuine concern over her storyline; I hoped none of the choices I was making would be detrimental to her already… ‘fragile’ state. Local gang The Kings were also a highlight. Maybe for the humour involved with such a group or because they reminded me a little of the Elvis impersonators in Grand Theft Auto 2. Either way it’s fueling my new imaginary campaign to get a bunch of Elvis-a-likes into all games, let’s make it the new ‘zombies’! However, one character I never warmed to was the friendly cowboy robot. He creeped me out and even at the very start of the game I didn’t trust him one iota. As the hours I was pouring into the game quickly melted away I found myself getting more and more into it. Instead of turning on the Xbox and spamming friends to come and play Halo with me, I was burying myself in Fallout: New Vegas. Most things came to me quickly, I realised the error of my ways regarding clipboards and I sold my collection of burnt books. I focused on levelling up in lockpick, speech and science, which I found most enjoyable. Once I figured out how hacking a computer terminal worked I couldn’t get enough and I found speech to be one of the most useful skills when progressing through the storyline dialogue options. For once in a game I wasn’t focused on simply shooting the crap out of things and other acts of sadistic violence; I preferred the satisfaction gained from sneaking through a previously locked door or diffusing a tricky situation using words alone. I was in love with the game. What made it such a joy to play was the open world nature. I could roam virtually anywhere and discover little shacks or caves that could have been so easy to miss. Most hours were spent ignoring the main story and, instead, wandering away from the roads and investigating a lone farm to piece together what happened there, thanks to notes scattered about or a grave in the back yard. As I neared the end I could use my skills to enter buildings that were full of raiders or booby-trapped with turrets and be rewarded at the end with a fantastic weapon.</blockquote> One can hope she'll play Fallout 1 and 2 too and enjoy them in the future.