Fallout New Vegas – PC
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date (NA): October 19, 2010
Nerd Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
I was directed to play this game by a fellow Elder Scrolls fan from school, I have seen it many times at the Game Stop but I hate trying new games if there’s a good chance I won’t like it. I read allot of reviews before I try anything, so being drawn to NerdBacon.com as a gamer is only rational. Fallout New Vegas is the 4th game in the series, and the only one I have played all the way through(twice in this case). Imagine Oblivion or Morrowind in the future, after the Earth is destroyed by WMDs, with only Humans and a giant empty wasteland, this is Fallout.
Don’t let my intro get you down, I played this all the way through, including side quests, twice, so it was definitely addicting. What gets me sucked in is all the different paths you can take in this futuristic game. Robots, mutants and handheld nuke launchers, whether you like machetes or laser guns, there is always an interesting direction to go. Unlike Fallout 3 there is actually multiple factions to join and quests for each of them, now get this, when you choose your side, you will make enemies, quickly, so be conscience about every decision you make…it could be your last.
Unlike Bethesda’s previous endeavors, the player does not start in prison, but you do start off dead… I won’t spoil it for you. I can’t say there is a main bad guy in this game, because who’s bad and who’s good depends on the sides you choose to be affiliated with. This leads you decide what kind of person you want to be, morally, whether small towns deserve to thrive or die, or whether traveling traders are worth trading with or just killing. Every decision made will have an effect on the way certain groups of people or even towns and cities think of and ultimately treat you. For every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.
After the extremely detailed character customization screen(one of my favorite parts of any RPG), there is a menu for distributing points to favorite attributes: Strength, Perception, Agility and of course Luck, etc., then skills: Guns, Explosives, Energy Weapons, Science, Repair, etc. On top of the difficult decisions here at the beginning, there is also 88 regular perks to choose from every other time the character levels up.
Perks are “active effect” options that can be selected and sometimes upgraded upon every other level increase, these include but are definitely not limited to: Swift Learner; this allow the player to gain an additional 10% in experience points, Hunter; which allows the player to deal 75% more critical damage towards all kinds of animals, Bloody Mess; adds 5% to overall damage and makes deaths more violent, Here and Now; allows you to instantly level up again, and Sniper; gives the player +25% chance of hitting an enemy in the head in V.A.T.S. mode. I haven’t even scratched the surface here, but it at least gives you an idea of the perk abilities available.
V.A.T.S. mode is a unique kind of “bullet time” for combat, you don’t ever have to use it if you don’t want to, but I loved it, especially with the correctly associated perks to go along with it. When activated it zooms in(and slows time to a halt) on the targeted enemy(which can be cycled) and allows you to pick points of attack on the enemies body, for example the head or the right leg. These body parts, if hit, can be disembodied, it gets really graphic at this point. The player has an allotment of “action points”, or AP, that govern how many attacks can be executed per mode activation, once the AP is exhausted and the attack is complete, the AP bar will begin to regenerate on it’s own, although there are drugs or chems(watch your chem use, they are addicting and the results are nasty) that can be used to increase or refill the AP bar. The success of a V.A.T.S attack depends greatly on the current skill level of the weapon being used, the current active perks and the characters ability to wield the weapon he/she is using(some weapons require more strength to use successfully than others). Personally I really enjoyed being a Sniper in this game, there is nothing like a V.A.T.S shot to the head in slow motion, and seeing the eyeballs of your enemy literally come flying out of the skull.
Like most RPGs of the Bethesda nature, there is lock picking, the mini-game for lock picking is actually the same one from Skyrim so I didn’t have to learn it, it is really identical, to bad I can’t bring that Skeleton Key from the thieves guild in Skyrim to Fallout. Anyhow, unlike these past exploits, in Fallout there are computers, everywhere, and accessing them requires a whole new skill, Science(computer hacking). I have only successfully hacked a computer on my own a few times, and it was really just a matter of lucky guesses and a high Science skill. The mini-game for hacking gives the player 4 chances to pick the correct word out of a slew of words differing in length(determined by difficulty of hack, Easy, Hard, Very Hard, etc). When a word is selected the computer will tell you how many of the letters in that word are correct, this is supposed to be used with the real world science of deduction and you are expected to do this correctly the first time, as you will be permanently locked out of the computer upon failing a hack. I resorted to cheating, yes cheating, I pride myself on never stooping to this until I have completed a game, but in this case the frustration was enough for me to break my rule. Hackboy is the site I used, it is always right and I never had to fail a hack again.
Since the world essentially ended and this is the left overs, the scenery is pretty much what you’d expect…wasteland. Lots of open land and dead stuff. Abandon homes, buildings and even towns. The peoples that remain are often affiliated with a specific group, whether it be a town or a faction, so the way to treat everyone matters here. Some towns consist of a bar with a few houses around or maybe a crappy desert motel with a souvenir shop, there’s usually more than meets the eye in these places, I suggest talking to everyone you meet, as side-quests are in ample supply in this game.
As for creatures and animals, it’s not going to come as a big shock that after a bunch of nuclear warheads destroyed the planet, the remaining animals and insects grew, really big. Giant scorpions, rats, bugs whatever it’s all huge. There is also an extremely dangerous group of people called Super Mutants, large blue monsters that usually carry mini-guns, flame throwers or missile launchers. They have a close relative called Night Kin, a group of super mutants addicted to Stealth Boys( arm attachments that allow full invisibility), these creatures are often schizophrenic and completely crazy.
The weapon selection in FNV is extravagant, after playing all the way through this game twice I have probably not used all of them yet. Depending on what weapon skill is chosen, here are some examples: Energy Weapons; Gauss Rifle, Pulse Gun, Sonic Emitter, Plasma Pistol, Guns; The Rat Slayer, Brush Gun, Anti-Material Rifle, Marksmen Carbine, Explosives; Dynamite, Fat Man, Grenade Launcher, Rocket Launcher, Melee; Machete, Baseball Bat, Bumper Sword, Chainsaw, Protonic Inversal Axe, Unarmed Combat; Ballistic Fist, Boxing Tape, Mantis Gauntlet, Spiked Knuckles, and this is just naming a small few out of each category, there are piles and piles of weapons for all of them. Actually after writing this list, makes me realize how many weapons I’ve never even seen in this game, I will have to do it again.
The factions include Caesars Legion, The NCR(New California Republic), Mr. House, Yes Man, The Great Kahns, The Boomers, The Brotherhood of Steel, The Followers of the Apocalypse and the Kings. No that is not all of them, but it is a few of the more important ones. Not knowing the relationships between these groups leaves the player to find out for his/herself the hard way. You may complete a slew of missions for one faction then later realize that it caused you to be hated and feared or worse villified by another. There is no Liked or Disliked bar that moves up or down, in fact it’s much more intricate than that. I at one point was idolized by one faction, then to complete a side quest I had to kill one of the members, this move was forgiven because I was liked so much, but my title went from Idolized to Sneering Punk. There are other mixed reputations like Smiling Troublemaker and Dark Hero as well that can be obtained.
There is so much time and so little to do, wait reverse that. I would love to see more of this series and I intend to check out some of the earlier titles soon, but this specific one is amazing, and I was deeply absorbed for weeks. FNV is an open world type, first person RPG, so again if you like the Elder Scrolls games, you will love this one. The armor choices are vast and the weapons innumerable, I played this on Steam so I took allot of screenshots and really had allot of fun with this. I will be playing this again, yes for a third time, and I would suggest this title for anyone who likes to blow stuff up(yes you get a hand held Nuke Launcher), have fun and watch your radiation intake, it gets scary out there.
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