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Reviews Comments: The Next Best Thing Fallout New Vegas game review by They Killed Fritz

So, I'm going to come out and say something that won't make me any friends around here. You know those 'stupid trolls', those 'glittering gems of hatred', those people who have the unmitigated gall to be members of No Mutants Allowed and are pretty much universally hated by every single member of the gaming press and every game-related website on the Internet? Yeah, I'm one of those guys.

That said, I really enjoyed this game. I wasn't exactly happy with Fallout 3 for a number of reasons I won't go into here, but it did do a lot of things right, and all of those are carried over into this game, along with a lot of improvements. Most of the things FO 3 did wrong have been fixed here, and enough new features have been added that the game feels like its own product rather than just a standalone expansion pack. This is, in many ways, the real Fallout 3. It's not quite Van Buren, but it's the next best thing - we get to see characters and factions we thought we'd never get to meet again, and some we thought we'd never get to meet at all. The world is sensibly designed, with towns placed based on access to resources, strategic location or important natural features rather than just plopped down at random, and all the factions have understandable and realistic motivations for being where they are and doing what they are doing. The writing is a whole order of magnitude better than Fallout 3, and the story is far more engaging - it's also substantially less linear, with a wide number of potential paths and multiple options at each juncture. There is never a point where you're forced to take a certain action by the game, nor a certain skill you need to take to complete it. Speech is still a good all-around skill to take, but every speech check has an alternative means to complete it using a different skill, perk, or stat - often more than one such alternative.

I'm running out of words here, so in summary, although the game's not perfect and has its fair share of bugs, it's still a fantastic game. It combines all the best parts of Bethesda's entry to the series with quite a few improvements of its own. Whether you're a Bethesda fan, a Fallout fan, or new to the series altogether, there's a lot to love here.


  • IceCrystal
  • 2nd Nov 10
Great review! really spot on. I've heard it said by some that New Vegas is the "real" Fallout 3, and they've taken to calling F3 "Fallout: Washington DC". Heh, I rather agree. I'm sadly not awesome enough to be a member of No Mutants Allowed, but to me New Vegas "felt" a lot more like F1/F2 than F3 did.
  • JackMackerel
  • 4th Nov 10
I'm sadly not awesome enough to be a member of No Mutants Allowed


Anyway, I'd say I disagree. Just minor stuff, though - for example, you can't get the NCR to annex Primm without passing a Barter check, and a lot of speech checks boil down to "It's either Barter, Speech, or you shoot this guy in the face and get everyone angry at you". The Wild Card ending could have done with some better choices - can I get a third or fourth option to, say, blowing up the Brotherhood of Steel without having to murder Mr. House to avert this? Why did Obsidian slap in karma penalties for stealing from Fiends?

Then again, my character's not built for charisma, but I don't see the wide-open choices most NMA'ers say they see.
  • TheyKilledFritz
  • 5th Nov 10
As I said, the game's not perfect, but I have a limited wordcount in these reviews and if I pointed out every flaw I ran into in detail I'd run out of space before I even started talking about the things I liked. Flaws aside, my experience with the game has been almost overwhelmingly good, so I elected to write a positive review. Karma penalties from stealing is just bizarre, gotta agree with you there - the game continues to do that even after the item's owner is dead.
  • 5th Nov 10
Well, I have to admit. FO 3 had it's flaws. You must realize, however, that F1 and F2 haven't aged well, in today's time. I mean, I never would have heard of Fallout if it FO 3 had never been released. Sadly, my computer is not suitable to the original games, well, as in, it crashes repeatedly, but it seems good. However, hating on FO 3 just due to it being so is against me. I did not like Oblivion. Anyway, enough rambling.

Good game, indeed. Lots of glitches, bugs (Damnit ED-E, come back!), and the like, but, all in all, I enjoyed it.
  • TheyKilledFritz
  • 5th Nov 10
Well, it's Obsidian. Don't get me wrong, I love them to death, they're one of the last great RPG developers left, but they have a tendency to release games infested with more bugs than a Biblical plague of locusts. Hell, they did that even when they were back at Black Isle - Fallout 2 was so buggy on release it was quite literally unplayable. Of course, that didn't stop me from enjoying it, and it hasn't stopped me from enjoying this game either.

Incidentally, I didn't hate on FO 3, not in this review anyway. I have my beef with the game, sure, but I didn't feel this was the proper place or time to gripe, and it's been out for well over a year now, so I've pretty much moved on. If you really want to read a rant I suppose I could provide you one, but at the end of the day it just feels kind of pointless. Every valid complaint I have has already been said. And said, and said, and said, and said, and said, and said, and said, and said, and said, and said again for good measure.
  • 6th Nov 10
To be honest, I feel New Vegas had the strongest main plot of the entire trilogy.

Think about it. Mankind is struggling to get back on its feet after a nuclear war. Society has to start all over again, back from the Stone Age with a few pieces of technology. The entire fabric of civilization is up for grabs.

And the first three games have you go on this railroaded quest of "Save the world from Generic Evil Organization, even if you're a total jackass".

This is the only Fallout game so far where the main plot isn't some sort of cliched world saving quest in science fiction form. It's really exploring how humankind would pick up the pieces after nearly being wiped out in a nuclear armageddon. You're really allowed to change the nature of civilization in the wasteland, not just be another Chosen One out to stop the evil Big Bad from taking over the world.

Incidentally, I was puzzled at first about the bugs everyone reported about Obsidian, seeing as I played KOTOR 2 without any bugs whatsoever. Until I came to Novac, and then fell into the ocean because there was no ground. Oh well.
  • TheyKilledFritz
  • 6th Nov 10
To be fair, practically every game has that plot, even the truly well-written and compelling ones like Arcanum or Mass Effect. That's not a bad thing, per se, but it's not a good thing either. Personally, I agree with you totally - it's nice to see a game with a truly original plot. Having saved the world in basically every single video game I've ever played, I had grown kind of tired of it.
  • 6th Nov 10
Yeah, but I personally thought the setting of Fallout could be used as something other than a backdrop to a world-saving quest present in nearly every other story, and I'm glad its used here in New Vegas. I actually feel I have more of an impact on the world than in the other games, because the plot is based around what you decide civilization should be like, not just save what is already there.
  • Roarke
  • 13th Nov 10
The problem with sandbox games is that even an extremely good, dedicated writing team (like Obsidian's) can't account for everyone's tastes; they also have to work within programming limitations. That said, I' NMA-aligned and I approve this game. Fallout 3 wasn't terrible, but New Vegas really shines, in my opinion. The only game I've anticipated more has been FOOL, and that's looking more and more like vapor ware, though that's mostly Bethesda's fault to begin with.
  • ZerroDefex
  • 5th Dec 10
One of them things I liked most about New Vegas was that for once I am not explicitly a Vault Dweller or Chosen One. I like having a clean slate to come up with my own past. If only they had given us the option to play as a ghoul, though that would require a lot more writing and programming since NP Cs would generally respond differently to you as well as radiation no longer being an issue for you.

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