The Gaming Guru review of Fallout: New Vegas

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by TRACY-MARK GORGAS / Special contributor to NWCN.com

KING5.com

Posted on May 20, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 10:11 AM

“War, war never changes…” Today I will be reviewing Fallout: New Vegas, the latest in the Fallout series.  Does it measure up to the rest of the series?   Are you collecting bobble-heads again?  Can you still get tickets to see Wayne Newton in post-apocalyptic Las Vegas?  Place your bets folks and let’s play.

Story

You start the game as a courier who has been ambushed by thugs.  They steal your package and their leader, Benny Gecko, shoots you in the head.
 
Sometime later you wake in Doctor Mitchell’s home.  He explains that a robot named Victor found you alive still in a shallow grave.  He explains that you should ask around town about information on Benny and also that you may find some work around town that help you too.

From there the story is very open to what you want to do.  You can continue to try and chase down Benny, help out the town of Goodsprings, the town you start in, wander off  into the desert or whatever.  The world is wide open for you to play through it as you want.  There is no defined or linear path you have to follow.  Though I would suggest doing some of the early quests to get your experience up before you wander too far.

Controls and Gameplay

The controls for Fallout: New Vegas are pretty much the same as any other first person shooter out there and work just fine.  On the console it may take a bit of getting used to with the jump button being in the “Y” (Xbox 360) or “Triangle” (PlayStation 3) position, but that’s the only problem control-wise I found.

The gameplay is a lot like its predecessor, Fallout 3, a first person shooter game set in a sandbox world.  V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) returns making targeting specific body parts easier.  Also back is your P.I.P.-boy interface for keeping track of everything from quests to your health, to the items you are carrying.  One new thing is a reputation system.  There are a large number of factions in the world of New Vegas, from the New California Republic, to the citizens of certain towns, to the Powder Gangers to Caesars Legion.  Depending on what you do in the game will reflect how each faction will interact with you.  This reputation system will also affect dialog choices with members of those factions.

Since it is set in Vegas there are mini-games for blackjack, slots and roulette, that you can win or lose money in.  There is also the fun of looking for collectibles.  In Fallout 3 it was bobble-heads of Pip-Boy.  This time it’s snow-globes of Pip-Boy. 

Graphics and Sound

Graphically it looks a lot like Fallout 3 which itself looked very good.
 
Sound is also very good.  The voice cast is like something out of a movie.  Ron Perlman, Matthew Perry, Zachary Levi, Kris Kristofferson, Danny Trejo, Michael Dorn, and Felicia Day all contribute their voices to the game.  They even got "Mr. Vegas" himself Wayne Newton to be the voice of a radio DJ, calling himself appropriately enough, "Mr. New Vegas."

Overall

Full disclosure here, I have not finished the game yet.  I keep getting caught up in side quests and the occasional searching for parts for things to repair them with.  What I have played so far has been great and I’m looking forward to finishing someday.  I think the funny thing is I haven’t even made it to Vegas yet.  There is that much to do outside of Vegas and the main storyline.

So far I have been lucky enough to not have run into any glitches or problems with the game, but they are out there.  A number of my friends have run into them.  Some are bad enough to make you have to start over.  Luckily most have been fixed by this point.
 
A very cool little factoid about this game is that it was developed by Obsidian Entertainment.  They have not only made some very good games in the past (Neverwinter Nights 2), but a good number of their employees used to be part of Black Isle Studios, who worked on the original Fallout and Fallout 2.  So they bring a connection of the old Fallout to Bethesda’s new Fallout.  It’s a very nice touch.

As it stands now without finishing the game, I am enjoying it.  It’s a great FPS sandbox game with lots to do.  For now I am giving it a 4 out 5 with the caveat of changing my mind if the ending is bad.
 
Fallout: New Vegas is rated M for Mature for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Drugs.  It is available now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

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