Published on May 30th, 2010 | by prime1
Fallout: New Vegas – Preview
Has it really been two years since Fallout 3? Bethesda’s epic RPG has regularly frequented our Blu-ray drives, offering literally hundreds of hour’s worth of enjoyment, supplemented by some excellent downloadable content.
Well it’s time to say goodbye to wily Washington and viva to Vegas, a wasteland which seems all together brighter and full of possibilities.
The campaign kicks off with your persona being forcefully ejected from a transporter by some mob bosses in the dead of night on the outskirts of the infamous Strip. Thankfully, you’re soon rescued by a charitable robot and are nursed back to health by a caring doctor. Once awakened, he asks you a host of personal questions to determine your character, even taking out some Rorschach cards to get a little more obtuse with the analysis. He then asks if you are happy with your appearance, sex and – a first for the Fallout series – age, before unleashing you into the wider world.
Fallout’s invaluable wrist apparatus has gone through a variety of improvements
Like before, as soon the create-a-character segment is over, you’re free to explore in whatever direction takes your fancy, offering players complete freedom, which only the Fallout games can provide.
Nevada is the main setting, populated by plenty of towns and strange sights which are all vying to dominate the horizon, whether it’s the needle-like Stratosphere or Dinky the Dinosaur and his fabulous motel. Obsidian are aiming for every location to have its own special visual cue, so when a player is high up, he or she can determine exactly where they are without switching on the Pip Boy 3000.
Speaking of which, Fallout’s invaluable wrist apparatus has gone through a variety of improvements, including the ability to mod weapons. Every gun in the universe is completely customizable, enabling players to add extended magazines, scopes, sights, stabilizers and even change ammo types. During our demo we were shown a grenade-spamming mini-gun which instead of firing bullets, laid waste to an entire legion of super mutants with fast-firing explosive ordinance.
The improved functionality also extends to the buddy system, where now a smart radial menu replaces manually talking to companions to order them around. The faction dynamic has also been tweaked offering players more visual indication of their deeds. If you help one gang, their competitors might not be as friendly next time to compensate for your actions. When you become favored, factions can offer bonuses like safehouses and reduced shop rates.
The main reasons to get engrossed in this apocalyptic universe are the characters and the fiction, which from what we saw, was just as strong as fans have seen before. This time the main power struggle is between the New Californian Republic (NCR), who wants to bring hope and prosperity to the region, whereas Caesar’s Legion (guess where they hail from) wants to preserve the status quo of humanity by selling slaves and other unspeakably nasty deeds.
While some choices are obvious, there’s that same moral greyness to some choices. Again, there will be multiple branching paths and populaces to either save, ignore or destroy. One particular quest we witnessed involved a sarcastic engineer named Mr Fantastic who was in control of a defunct energy center. After the blond-haired pretender stopped whining about his predicament, he asked us to get the plant working. Naturally we obliged, and had the choice of either distributing the power evenly throughout the wasteland, ferrying it to the Strip for the benefit of Caesar, or sending it exclusively to an orbital weaponry array. The moral lines are clear, but who can resist the most destructive path? It’s these choices which will have even greater impact than ever before.
New Vegas will pack in just as much content as Fallout 3, with an open world as big as the Washington Wasteland and with plenty of quests to get engrossed in.
It’s impossible to gain an accurate representation of the entire campaign from an hour long demo but from what we saw, Fallout: New Vegas is shaping up to be every bit as entertaining as its predecessor.