Rude awakening: Why Fallout: New Vegas felt incomplete

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    The Flaming Mac blog has a pretty nice opinion piece on New Vegas' odd place in the Fallout franchise. It weirdly obsesses over the PC not being from a vault (and how often can we do that before it gets gimmicky) and apparently not knowing the Courier is not, in fact, native to the Mojave area you play the game in. But he makes good points about the game's overly straight good-guy-bad-guy plot and linearity.<blockquote>The NCR-Legion war is one of the best and strongest story elements in New Vegas, as well as being closer to previous Fallout narratives than other parts of the game. Fallout games have a strong motif of examining how societies are formed and run, and New Vegas may actually exceed previous games in this respect. However, the gradual progression of pursuing a personal conflict that turns to a regional one is warped and shortened in New Vegas. The player is made aware of the NCR-Legion conflict in the game’s prologue, and the PC hears about it from nearly everyone they meet. There is no surprise turn, no twist that preys on the emotional drive developed on the fear and love compelling the PC’s first ventures in to the wastes. The PC is aware of the conflict and its significance very early on, so all that’s left is to find out how you’ll get involved.

    Even the vengeful, personal pursuit of Benny is paralleled by the mystery and importance of the Platinum Chip. There is simply no surprise here: you know that you’ve got to be in a fairly important game from the get-go if you’re being pawned around by casino owners grappling over a valuable object. The only surprise is what the Platinum Chip does – which doesn’t actually re-define the conflict, it just moves the odds around.

    The strangest shift in New Vegas is the strikingly linear feel to the game’s beginning. Literally linear, in that you’re pointed down a road where a hundred yards from either edge lie men or beasts that will kill you in seconds, so you’d damn well better stay on that road. (Perhaps they were a little too enamored with Cormac McCarthy, which I can’t entirely blame them for: The Road was superb.) All the previous Fallout maps had an almost agoraphobic, shelter-less, panic-inducing openness: you really can go in any direction. There were safer directions to go in, and more obvious paths, but nothing felt imposed. The Lone Wanderer of Fallout 3 could, completely by chance, stumble in to Smith Casey’s Garage and emerge with his father, skipping the whole first act. That is truly Fallout-style open-world storytelling.</blockquote>
  2. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    Also, the Creation Engine, from what we've learned, isn't actually a new engine. Of course it'll be used for Fallout 4 because Bethesda ridiculously keeps getting away with using outdated tech, but that doesn't mean it's a good engine.
  3. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    That part about being pointed down the road kinda bugs me. It bugs me because this was the same formula used in a game called Fallout, and Fallout 2. In both of those games you are told where to go at first, while giving you the option to stray from your path, and in to areas with deadly enemies.

    Fallout 3 didn't have this element of danger because the game scales with your level, a very lazy way to design an RPG.

    So my conclusion. This is written by yet another person who thinks the series started with Part 3...
  4. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    I complained about the same thing, to be honest. The world design was atrocious, with invisible walls dotted over mountainslopes to keep you on the path, and then you could go north (DEAAAAAATH) or south (A WINNAR IS YOU).
  5. WorstUsernameEver

    WorstUsernameEver But best title ever!

    May 28, 2010
    Actually I think the reason there are so many invisible walls is because they wanted to hide some unfinished geometry/bad sights. Still a bad call and bad map design overall, and something they backtracked on (luckily) in the downloadable content.
  6. PainlessDocM

    PainlessDocM Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 5, 2010
    Isn't that just because all FNV DLC takes place in relatively small separate maps?
  7. brfritos

    brfritos Humma Kavulaaaaaaa

    Sep 8, 2009
    Until you reach Boulder City the game is linear, but after that you are free to roam and do whatever you want.
    In the beginning of F1 I was also told what to do and where to go, so why the complain?

    The big thing that contributes to the incomplete or rushed feeling of the game - at least for me - is called Caesar's Legion. Take CL out the equation and you have NCR, Khans, Followers, House and Yes Man, all in a complete and interconected system.
    Except CL, with their "crush, kill, destroy" behaviour and the lack of a more deeper faction.

    BTW, why the hell people continue obssessed with radiation, Vaults and barbaric states?
    It's two hundred fucking years after the war!
    Or humanity should stayed frozen in time? :?
  8. C2B

    C2B Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Aug 17, 2010
    For some reason people hate to see certain settings evolve (logically)
  9. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    I get the man's logic, and the beginning of the game was a bit too linear, for sure (although it can be circumvented with the right knowledge). That said, I don't feel the game was incomplete because it didn't have a ming-boggling plot twist. The story evolved naturally for me; you learn about each faction, find out about their strenght and weaknesses, meet their leaders, and finally choose who you work for (or none). The whole Platinum Chip deal was solely the plot device it was meant to be. I am far more interested in Wasteland politics than in saving daddy and giving free water to everyone because I am a designated good guy.
  10. Janmanden

    Janmanden First time out of the vault

    Jan 7, 2008
    Interesting title, but what's the conclusion?

    "You don’t spend the game evolving the player character, you spend the game recovering them."

  11. lmao

    lmao It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 29, 2005
    It doesn't feel incomplete to me, just a little boring at the beginning.

    I strongly dislike the linear path of FO:NV's first 5 or so hours (assuming you stop and do side quests along the way, that is) not necessarily because it is linear, but because it isn't even that interesting. From the time you leave Goodsprings to when you hit Novac you don't meet anyone or do anything that is terribly fascinating. There's not a whole lot there at all. I recently replayed FO:NV for the second time (I'm not the kind of person who can replay a game I just finished, it usually takes me about 6 months or so to feel up to replaying a game) and I was surprised at how DULL the first bit was. I don't think I noticed during my first time with the game, because I was so delighted just to have it at all.

    There are people who have managed to go north from Goodsprings into Red Rock Canyon, through getting the absolute max amount of items/experience in Goodsprings and then sneaking as much as possible. But that's not really viable for everyone as not everyone is a stealth character who uses guns. A melee character could never do it.

    Goodsprings is WAY better than Vault 101 as an opening setting, but Fallout 3's first few hours is vastly superior to NV's, and not because FO3 is easier (the last two playthroughs of FO3, I had various mods that increased limb damage, removed healing while waiting, amped up doctor costs and took out all stimpacks the player normally finds lying around the game world. Actually, that probably biases me as I like challenges.)

    I'm glad NV wasn't about an epic clash between the hero and a psychotic organization bent on destroying everything. How many times can that possibly happen in one world before it all starts feeling ridiculous? The plot of NV was at least realistic.

    Also, NV DLCs were excellent.
  12. Zumbs

    Zumbs Lurking Swamp Thing

    Oct 11, 2008
    It is fully possible for a first level character to take the back road and get to New Vegas, skipping right to the showdown with Benny. The player is not pointed in that direction, but it is a very visible road from Goodspings. Only difficult part is getting past the group of Cazadores, but the stealth boy in the schoolhouse should be enough.

    Ceasar's Legion is basically an organized army of raiders. That sort of army has been showcased in multiple post apocalyptic books and movies. The Postman springs to mind. With a focus on conquest, not trade and diplomacy, they sort of end up in their own camp.
  13. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    It's not a question of "whether" Fallout 1 did the same thing, but a question of HOW.

    Fallout 1 was created with knowledge of storytelling. You were told to go to Vault 15, but "accidentally" stumbled upon Shady Sands, and though it was really no accident, the player was made to feel like it was a discovery they made on their own.

    The difference lies in the cumulative sum of many such little details. What was absent in FO:NV from the start is a sense of adventure, mystery, purpose, and there were many reasons for that.

    Purely human ones.
  14. RRBM

    RRBM First time out of the vault

    Jul 28, 2011
    On the topic of the Creation Engine and the future of the Fallout franchise, I know it's a bit early to speculate, but I wonder if Fallout 4 will feature the regenerating health system Bethesda is using in Skyrim?
  15. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    I don't really get why one could say the game feels completely unfinished, aside from the lack of things to do for the legion (wish someone would've told Sawyer to letgo of his terrible roman-guys idea though) the game felt as if it had thrice the content of Fallout 3 and much stuff to do.

    The beginning of the game I enjoyed the most, the atmospheric westerny-desert setting with its rather slow pacing, wildlife and such - also - very important - it instantly begins and doesn't have retarded Vault-Childhood intros or Temple of Trials stuff. For me it was the most enjoyable part of the game, although I agree with shihonage that at no poin of the game I felt as if I am going to unknown dangers, or some adventure. The fact that this game has a really strong focus on "politics", armies and all that stuff doesn't help either. Yes, I am one of those people who is bored by the development the wasteland takes, I'd rather the game jumps back in the timeline to its roots.

    What I also don't get is why people can say that the beginning is linear. What ? You can just go wherever you want... Or are people too dumb to try to sneak around dangerous enemies and blindly rush in them to later say "omfg path blocked can't reach it gaem is shit??!!!11". The same goes to those scenery blockers around cliffs etc. The mapdesign in New Vegas was really really good and felt more natural, with unpassable cliffs etc. Ofcourse they don't want you to climb up even the most impassable mountain just to take a shortcut, it also allows to build more traditional "paths" and blocks players from ugly vistas if they are by any chance on some high mountain. The scenery blockers are fine.
  16. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Wait, SKyrim is gonna have self regenerating health? What's up with that shit, why developers suddenly decided to all use that mechanic, it robes the game of any challenge and makes it even more hit and run,
  17. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    But don't you see that it helps spending as less time as possible with that boring rpg stuff so you can spend more time hiking some mountains or admiring your installed nude mods??!! Truely those games are ahead of their time and you are just not next-gen enough to get it!
  18. Beelzebud

    Beelzebud A Smooth-Skin

    Mar 6, 2008
    Health regeneration is probably the laziest game development fad that has caught on pretty steadily since Halo. Who needs to worry about pacing, item placement, or any situations which might stress the player, when you can just stop and refill at any moment.
  19. Threepwood

    Threepwood Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 4, 2010
  20. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Maybe they use it so Wolverine feels more immurshed when playing games?