“Fallout: New Vegas” is challenging, even on medium difficulty. Ammo is generally plentiful, but even though you have V.A.T.S on your side, it can still take several rounds to drop certain enemies. Combine this with the fact that you’re almost always outnumbered by bad guys who usually are better armed and can shoot straighter than you, death is a fairly routine occurrence.
“Fallout: New Vegas” also offers Hardcore mode where it essentially makes the game more realistic. For instance, you actually have to eat food and drink water and so on. There’s a special reward to be earned from playing the game from start to finish on Hardcore mode, but considering I spent the better part of my first play through watching my character’s head get ripped off by sniper fire over and over again, I have yet to dabble too much with it.
Unfortunately, while “Fallout: New Vegas” borrows the best parts of “Fallout 3” is also borrows the worst. The computer is still borderline retarded, and there are still an insane amount of glitches that cause everything from enemies and items to float in mid-air, to quest triggers not activating, to the game completely crashing. It’s worth noting that given “Fallout: New Vegas’” enormous scale, bugs would be inevitable. However, that doesn’t make them any less irritating, especially when it means having to reload an old save and praying that a game breaking glitch doesn’t pop up again.
Visually, “Fallout: New Vegas” is pretty underwhelming. While its environments are humongous in scale and do a superb job of entertaining the illusion that you’re actually traveling in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a lot of textures are really ugly up close and the character models look downright hideous. Again, it is understandable that a game as big and interactive as “Fallout: New Vegas” has to cut corners in order to do what it does best, but the graphics look untouched since “Fallout 3”, and they didn’t look all that great back in 2008 to begin with. If that wasn’t bad enough, frame rate issues are prevalent, particularly when you’re traveling through wide, open areas.
Still, as homely as the graphics might look at times, the sight of humongous, killer insects is more than enough to make your skin crawl. Toying with people’s inherent phobia for big bugs is still something “Fallout” excels at.
Some claim that “Fallout: New Vegas” is too much like “Fallout 3.” That sentiment is definitely true. Even with the new content it brings, the gameplay and the graphics are almost identical to that of its 2008 Game of the Year Award Winning predecessor. But wait. Stop and re-read that again, and then ask yourself if that really is such a bad thing.
“Fallout 3” was an amazing game, and so is “Fallout: New Vegas.” It doesn’t push the envelop or reinvent the “Fallout” franchise like “Fallout 3” did, but it delivers an incredibly long (30-80 hours depending on how many side quests you take on and how much time you spend exploring) adventure that fans will absolutely love.
Now if only they had fixed those damn technical problems…
If you were a big fan of “Fallout 3”, go buy “Fallout: New Vegas.” If you hated it, “Fallout: New Vegas” won’t change your mind in the slightest. If you’re brand new to the franchise?
Take a risk and put your money on Bethesda Softworks’ and Obsidian Entertainment’s latest. It’s a wager you won’t regret.
Final Grade: B+
“Fallout: New Vegas”
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Release Date: 10.19.2010
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