Review: Fallout: New Vegas
Welcome to New Vegas. It’s a city untouched by nuclear attack and inhabited by warring factions. In New Vegas, you’ll meet a variety of characters who have a story to tell, and you’ll explore hundreds of locations across the desert. You’ll choose your own path and play how you want to play. You can either be a saint, a sinner or someone who falls in-between. There is so much to be said about Fallout: New Vegas that it really cannot be summed down into a few small little paragraphs.
Down on your luck while out on the Vegas strip, and left for dead in the Wasteland by a well-dressed man and his haggard-looking crew of mishaps. All hope seems to be lost until you wake up at Doc Mitchell’s place in a town called Goodsprings. The Doc decides he needs to run a few tests on you to make sure that you are in tip-top shape. These series of tests will seem oddly familiar to you as they are like the “G.O.A.T.” and the book from when you were a child in the vault from Fallout 3. This is obviously the moment in the game where you create your characters skill sets and attributes, whether it be lock-picking, stealth, speech, barter, survival and much more. At this point, you will also select your characters gender, sex, age and appearance.
Once outside of Doc Mitchell’s, it’s time to jump aboard the exploration train. Throughout your adventures across the Wastelands, you’ll find yourself completing an array of challenges to gain experience points. You’ll gain XP for just about anything within New Vegas; from completing speech challenges to finding new locations to completing missions (obviously). Additionally, you’ll find a new feature where you can complete challenges for things like killing bugs, making a certain amount of stimpaks or weapon modifications, and even how much damage you cause to an enemy with a specific weapon.
If you’re planning on completing the trophy or achievement list for New Vegas, I suggest using the challenges screen on your Pip-Boy to keep track of everything except for the ones that deal with missions. All trophies and achievements that pertain to damage caused with certain weapons, finding specific locations or eating food to boost your health can easily be tracked from this page. Use it, it’ll help you.
You’ll find all sorts of interesting and crazy stuff out there in the desert. Unique weapons, dangerous locations, mutated creatures, bottle caps, snow globes, gangs and ghouls, and the list continues. There is never a dull moment. Right from the beginning, you know that you are in for an intense ride.
Fallout: New Vegas can be summed up into one word, a gem. Any high hopes that you may have had about New Vegas will probably still be there by the third or fourth day of gameplay, simply because you will most likely still be exploring. That in my book is money well spent! It’s easy to put well over 100-plus hours into this game without blinking an eye. It took me about 75-hours just to complete the story, and that is excluding all of the side missions there are to do.
Throughout the desert, you will meet a lot of friendly characters, but then you will also run into factions (local gangs) of the land; the Great Khans, Boomers, White Glove Society, the Legion, Powder Gangs, the NRC and we can’t forget about everybody’s favorite, Brotherhood of Steel. The majority of these factions are fairly friendly to you at first, unless you do something that ticks them off like stealing or murdering. They look down on you for that. You’ll have a reputation to uphold out there, so I suggest being on your best behavior… who am I kidding? That doesn’t sound like fun. Go be sadistic, go pillage towns, steal and kill everything and everyone you see. Go be a happy-go-lucky traveler out on the desert who is constantly hopped up on liquor you’ve collected while out on your travels. But remember, too much booze drinking (although is great for charisma and strength) leads to addiction and even out there in a world of smooth-skins like yourself, nobody likes a booze hound. Conquering the Wastelands will allow you to make a name for yourself as the baddest monster-basher that this side of the Western Hemisphere has ever seen.
On a side note: I just wanted to add in here that I did happen to take notice while venturing through the vast open-world that I had the opportunity to spend Halloween in the Mojave Wasteland during the year of 2281. Yes, I did end up having a few drinks at the local pub in Goodsprings by the way.
I’m sure that many of you may be wondering what the map of New Vegas is like. Is it big? Is it small? Well honestly, it’s about the same size as the map from Fallout 3. You’ll come across torn down drive-in theaters, abandoned gas stations, ghost towns, caves, an airport, Hoover Dam, casinos and yes, it wouldn’t be a Fallout game if there weren’t any vaults to explore.
I enjoyed the new features that were brought to the table, including the ability to make recipes for health remedies by accessing campfire pits and using items that you’ve collected as well as being able to modify practically every weapon in the game. Obsidian sure made it a point throughout the game to tell us to use the workbenches, campfires and reloading benches as much as possible as they are spread all over the towns in the Wastelands.
The new companion wheel is a definite convenience as it gives extra options to use with companions met while traveling, such as having them wait, follow or become aggressive (if needed). Usually the companions will just start shooting at the enemy if there is one in close range and by the time you can even get a pop off, your companion takes the kill. Don’t worry though; XP is granted this time around.
Hardcore mode is another new feature that gives you a little more of a challenge. If you’re up for it that is. You’ll have to keep yourself hydrated, eat plenty of food and sleep to avoid any physical ailments. Ammunition will have weight and any healing from stimpaks that you’ll need will only gradually replenish your health bar. Crippled limbs will also need to be taken care of by visiting a doctor in one of the local towns or using a doctor’s bag, but it will require a high medicine skill and medical equipment. This game mode will take a lot of patience and strategy, so take your time. Completing hardcore mode from start to finish gives you the only gold trophy for this game on PlayStation 3 and the top achievement for Xbox 360.
In New Vegas, there is always so much going on. Many quests fill your Pip-Boy screen that there is never a moment where nothing is happening, because that just wouldn’t be Fallout. The overall plot for New Vegas was great, and it ties itself into all of the side-missions too. I felt that the writing staff had made a concrete story with so many different scenarios and outcomes that could go any way you choose, but the bigger picture is that it wasn’t getting meshed together. And you can’t go wrong with having an all-star cast line-up. Ron Perlman returns as the Narrator, Wayne Newton plagues the airwaves as Mr. New Vegas himself, Danny Trejo, Michael Dorn returns voicing the character Marcus (who returns from Fallout 2), Felicia Day is on board, Zachary Levi, Kris Kristofferson, Wil Wheaton, Matthew Perry and William Sadler are just a few of the people that you’ll run across out there in the beating sun.
By this point in the review, I’m sure you can tell what my verdict for Fallout: New Vegas is going to be. Despite the crashing and freezing that I experienced at times, my overall reaction was that this was a solid game. It looked, felt and played well. The massive open-world was great to explore. Fans of the series will love it. Newcomers, you’ll dig it too, and you’ll be entertained for hours upon end because whatever happens in New Vegas stays in New Vegas.
- Title: Fallout: New Vegas
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- MSRP: $59.99
- Release Date: Available Now
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this game was provided to DualShockers Inc, by the publisher for purposes of this review. The game was played for approximately 75 hours.