05 November, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas

Coming back to the world of Fallout was an incredible experience. Being an avid fan of Fallout 3 & all the associated DLC, I was ecstatic when I heard about Fallout: New Vegas. With hundreds of hours & all of the many achievements for Fallout 3 under my belt, I felt confidant that I could experience Fallout: New Vegas with a full story of the Wastelands. A lot of people have been saying, in a most complaining form, that New Vegas is too much like 3 was. Too much the same & more like an expansion than a new game. Have you guys even played the game yet? Yea, it's very much the same in graphics & play, but the story is different, it's set several years past Fallout 3's story, & has so many new quests & areas to explore. Not to mention it's on the other side of the continent. It's definitely not expansion material. It deserved being it's own game & I think it works very well like that. In that it's so much like Fallout 3... I don't see a problem with this? My obsessive love for Fallout 3 has already been touched upon; another game in that vein cannot fail. That being said, there were some little things about the game which punched me in the stomach, but, thankfully, nowhere near as many as some people have reported. The game would freeze up a little, but I didn't experience this until I was something like 25 hours into the game? And one time I fell into a tree & couldn't get out, so I had to keep reloading & jumping as the game reloaded to get out of the tree... it worked eventually. OK then, I spent about 48 hours on my first play-through. This isn't being the actual main storyline is 48 hours long. I think a friend of mine finished it in 20-something hours, but he concentrated mainly on the primary storyline. For my first play-through I did everything I could the first time through. And though hundreds of quests, almost all the companions, over 100 locations discovered... I didn't even get through 75% of the content. So there's more out there. I have a rule that I never check achievements or guides the first time through a game unless I have been stuck on one particular thing for over three hours. I do this to preserve natural game-play for me. Surprises, exploration, game-play.

My first play-through was a Normal mode game, not using Hardcore as I wanted to get to know the game before I went through it in a more realistic way. The graphics in FO NV were very much the same as FO3... not bad at all, but not the best in the world. Regardless of that, they are very enjoyable. I love seeing all the weapons, armour, & terrains. They are, perhaps, better than I have said, even, due to that we are used to graphics making everything gorgeous & lovely, but the world of Fallout is not a gorgeous or lovely place. It's a murky, desolate, ruined world & the graphics do a very good job of portraying that. Things look genuinely grimy & grim. I would have liked better character creation, though. Sound & voice acting was wow.The world of Fallout has given us so many great Voice Acting that it demands it. There were some quite big names grappled for this game. Personal favourites like Liam O'Brien, Michael Dorn, Yuri Lowenthal, Fred Tatasciore, Wil Wheaton, Sam Riegel & Ron Perlman as well as more flashy favourites like Matthew Perry, Wayne Newton, Kris Kristofferson, Felicia Day, Jason Spisak, & James Marsden. The whole cast list can be found HERE. It was epic to say the least! The radio music is always great; I love those old 20-60's old time music so it's fantastic to hear those getting 'play' again. Aside from that, the actual ambient musics, which are hearable when the radio isn't on, are so nice. I had the radio off about half the time, just to hear the ambient music in different areas.

Combat is the same as FO3. You are in first person, unless for some god-awful reason you switch to 3rd, & you have melee or range weapons which you hack away at your enemies with. VATS is back & wonderful as ever, but it seems to act a little quicker this time. I found myself going in & out of VATS better & choosing which portion of my enemy to shoot off first was a little smoother. You can have two companions at any one time who help you out with some combat... on hardcore mode, though, if that companion dies, you're fucked as there is no way to bring them back. However, in a normal style game, your companions will just get up when all other enemies are eradicated. I ended up favouring Rex & Cass... How I got Cass is a funny tale actually, but that's another story, full of spoilers. I found that either fist weapons as melee or a Anti-Material gun were my favourites. Melee is so devastating! Just run at your enemies & bam, one or two shots to the kidneys. Woo.

I had such a great time playing FO NV & I am going to play it again as well. Not just for Hardcore mode, but I want to finish all things possible in the game, as I did with FO3. I finished my first play with 24/50 achievements knocked out. When looking through all the achievements, it's a nice bit, almost half. Most of the achievements are for doing 10k damage with certain weapons or finishing specific quest lines, so I will have a good time kicking those around in another play-through When I finished & checked out what the actual achievements were, I was a little surprised at them as they weren't so diverse as in FO3, but it's fine.

These achievements aren't BAD, but they could have been better I think. It's a great game & to be honest, even if you didn't play FO3 for some reason, give it a go! Buy it even, there's so much to do & so much time to put into it. I wholly recommend this game for those who enjoy FPS & RPG's as it combines a little of both. I do have a few friends who dislike FPS games who didn't get into it, & that's fine. I guess it does cater to a specific audience, but I do think those people will enjoy it a lot.

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