Fallout 3 was an insanely popular game and sold a ridiculous amount of copies. The beauty of the Fallout series (As done by Bethesda, not the original creators at Interplay.) is that people who don’t like RPG play the game because it’s a lot like a shooter. A brilliant way to structure a game that, at times, reads like a novel and has a cast and creative team the size of a motion picture. Fallout is a hybrid in every sense of the word and its sales record shows that mass appeal can lead to staggering amount of cash for the Rockville, Maryland based team.
Then we get to Fallout New Vegas and find that the formula is…exactly the same.
The first thing about New Vegas that you see is that it looks a lot like the previous game. Plays like the previous game. Sounds like the previous game. You get the idea, the game is a mechanical clone of Fallout 3. I don’t see that as a bad thing myself, since the engine in Fallout 3 was a “remix” of the game engine from the Elder Scrolls series and it fit the game incredibly well. Though some may want the sequel to be radically different from its predecessor, carrying over the mechanics fits the game well and makes the learning curve a lot less steep for returning fans.
The story revolves around the “political” situation in the desert in and around Las Vegas. With different factions vying for control of the trade routes and the limited supplies throughout the Mojave wasteland, you find yourself in a position to choose who you side with and how you play the game. Though the missions don’t vary as much from faction to faction, who you side with will alter mission chains and give you access to new and varied equipment and companions. Most of the tension surrounds ownership and control of the Hoover Dam and there are a handful of groups armed to the teeth and ready to slice, shoot and stomp out anyone who gets in the way of that conquest. There is no “real” right or wrong with each faction, the story is written from the perspective that each side has a claim to the wasteland and it’s up to you to find out which side you will fight for…or no side at all!
The game also features a few new gameplay mechanics that really add customization to the campaign. The ability to mod your weapons will allow you to alter most weapons to fit some specific needs. You can add scopes or various handles to certain guns and arm them with specific ammunition to help in certain battles. The roll of explosives and unarmed combat have been expanded also, as there are a lot more options for each one. Energy weapons have also been revamped to feel different than the bullet weapons and use ammunition differently. Personally im a fan of the bullet weapons and their “special” bullets!
Trust me, the armor piercing bullets come in handy!
This game is a true sequel in that it didn’t deviate much from the original and did add a few new gameplay improvements. The story is put together very well and the faction system adds a real depth to the game that Fallout 3 was missing. If you played Fallout3 and liked it, you’ll love this game. The beauty of New Vegas is that is familiar but still accessible to new players. If you’re looking for something to take up 30-40 hours, you will not go wrong with this one.