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Reviews Comments: Not as Good as Fallout 3 Fallout New Vegas game review by Spectre Agent

From the perspective of someone who absolutely fell in love exploring the world Bethesda created in Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas comes across as a hard pill to swallow. Though by no means a bad game, it truly is a lesser one. There's much less to see and do and what is available is a whole heck of a lot less interesting.

For me, one of the things that made F.O.3 so amazing was the care put into making the Capital Wasteland feel like a living breathing place. Whether it was encountering a band of Brotherhood of Steel outcasts on some lonely deserted road for the first time, following mysterious radio transmissions to the remains of a downed alien saucer, or chancing upon some unfortunate wastelander captive of the super mutants, the D.C. ruins were an explorer's paradise. Every location was memorable in at least some small way, even if it was only to help add to the overall mood of the environment. By contrast, Vegas feels gutted and empty. While this may seemingly be justified by the fact the Mojave Wasteland is located in a desert, and not a big east coast city, it still doesn't excuse the relative lack of creativity that permeates the game. See a cluster of buildings out there in the distance? Don't get too excited, they're most likely boarded up. Get used to that. The Mojave has no room for little gems like Andale (remember those quirky cannibals?)

Story-wise New Vegas is a lot less linear than its predecessor. That might sound like a good thing but, unfortunately, with no firm hand to keep it under control the plot ends up getting away from the developers. F.O.3 knew how to create and sustain momentum by parceling out its many great setpieces. The linear path guided the player to such highlights like an insane battle against a mutant juggernaut at Three Dog's and the horrors of a 1950s-style VR nightmare. But why bother with such things in a game like New Vegas where you can simply go up to any faction leader and blow their brains out, thereby bypassing a lot of quests?

To sum up my feelings with a useful example: (MINOR SPOILERS) A quest has you investigating reports about (among other promisingly cool things) mutant legionaries attacking an outpost. But when you arrive there you are simply told no such things exist. The obvious question then: BUT WHY THE HELL DON'T THEY, OBSIDIAN?!


  • 5th Dec 10
I disagree. As someone who liked Fallout 3, I felt New Vegas was by far superior. The less linear storyline of this game makes it a hell of a lot more original, and you truly feel you have an impact on the game world, rather than just railroaded into making a decision. Besides, Fallout 3 seems cool on the surface, but doesn't make any sense if you think about it for too long. For me, New Vegas, though not perfect, was by far a more satisfying game, especially with the ending.
  • ZerroDefex
  • 5th Dec 10
Fallout New Vegas allowed me to become much more engaged in the plot and I actually had some real effects on it's outcome, unlike the railroad plot of Fallout 3. Even the side-quests have an effect in Fallout New Vegas, while those in Fallout 3 were utterly inconsequential in the end.
  • SpectreAgent
  • 5th Dec 10
The side-quests in Fallout 3 were inconsequential? Well, for one thing you could wipe out the entire city of Megaton with a friggin nuke! Or let ghouls slaughter the human population of Tenpenny Towers (which was a tragic accident I swear). I think that counts as having a big effect on the world. But there was a lot more room for subtle quests too: finding an old lady's violin netted you a new radio station to listen to, for instance.
  • 5th Dec 10
But those quests have no effect on the ending of the game. You're either a good, bad, or neutral person, and you have to activate that stupid, unneccesary purifier at the end for no good reason other than the game saying so. Tenpenny' quests and a lot of others make no sense when you think about it. Go to Shamus Young's blog, Twenty Sided, for an explanation of all the things that suck in Fallout 3. I liked it, but New Vegas was such a more rewarding experience.
  • SpectreAgent
  • 5th Dec 10
You're absolutely right, those quests had no effect on the ending of the game and that's what makes them great! It's all about the journey and not the destination and with Fallout 3. You can take a break from the main quest for hours upon hours and the quests are nearly uniformly awesome, adding to the scope and (most importantly) fun of the game.
  • 6th Dec 10
Any RPG that forces you to take a break from the main plot to have fun is not a very good RPG. Admittedly, Fallout 1 and 2 are also guilty of this, but that is why I think New Vegas is the best Fallout game of all so far. The number of quests and things to do in the game is what makes it so big and expansive. Fallout 3's quests run out quickly, so you're forced to explore the game if you want to have fun seeing how stupid the main plot is. And since you're already the biggest badass the wasteland has to offer at that point, it's not so much fun anymore.

I never felt I had a lot of stuff do to in Fallout 3. In New Vegas, I'm constantly running back and forth between factions, playing both sides against one another, earning the favor of everyone so I can backstab them easily when the time comes. For me, both the journey and the destination are great in New Vegas. Sure Fallout 3 was pretty fun throughout the midsection, but the ending is just so stupid and unsatisfying that I feel a little bit cheated.

Furthermore, though FO 3 undoubtedly had cool bits, they worked against the game's favor when trying to form a world you could immerse yourself in. Why is there a town around a nuclear bomb? Why is there a town on top of a bridge with only a dozen people? Why is there a Lovecraftian building in a setting based around a post nuclear world? The "cool bits" detract from getting into the game's world and really enjoying the setting, because the setting is not a cohesive whole that you don't have to ignore if you want to have fun. I think that's why I'm not surprised there aren't mutant legionnaires in the game when you thought they would be cool: they don't fit into the world established by the previous games.

Maybe I'm a bit biased, since I like Obsidian a lot. KOTOR 2 was in my opinion, a far superior game to KOTOR 1. But the fact remains that good storytelling, someone needed for an RPG, is present in New Vegas, but not in FO 3. And there's just so much do to outside exploring a world that makes no sense.
  • 6th Dec 10
I rate this review a gay out of 10
  • 6th Dec 10
^ Whoa, dude, back off. He's entitled to his own opinion, whether or not you agree with it.
  • UltimateZ
  • 18th Dec 10
^ And he's entitled to his own opinion as well.

Anyways, I disagreed with pretty much all of this review. Super Mutant Legionnaries would be a novelty at best, a one-time thing that doesn't even make sense in the logic of the story itself. (The Legion's racist as hell against mutants...)The Capital Wasteland's about as populated as the Mojave Wasteland as well, most of the Capital Wasteland was empty desert as well. Enemies are also more varied, Deathclaws are more dangerous, Super Mutants don't feel like Raiders with more health, and the Nightkin were one of the best additions to the game. I did like 3's plot better though, especially with Liam Neeson's role in the story. Another thing I'll hand to 3, however, it's crashed on me a whole lot less than New Vegas has...
  • 22nd Dec 10
You mean the plot filled with more holes than Swiss cheese? The generic "save the world" plot done 50 million times by now, and with all the skill of a 1000 monkeys on typewriters? Yeah, that's a great plot...
  • System32
  • 22nd Dec 10
Truthfully, as much as the main plot is fun, I missed all the random traps and rube goldberg machines everywhere...
  • 23rd Dec 10

  • DracoDracul
  • 23rd May 11
For me, the best thing about New Vegas is that it feels much more like a cohesive world than that of Fallout 3, which while a fun game, takes place in a world that makes no sense.
  • Zaptech
  • 5th Jun 11
In my observation, New Vegas is better than FO 3 in all but one respect: New Vegas lacks the Rock-It Launcher.

Other than that, New Vegas is to FO 3 what Assassins Creed II was to Assassins Creed - a vast and general improvement in all regards.
  • JoePeake
  • 15th Jul 11
I have had similar discussions amongst my fallout-playing friends, and have often found myself trying to defend New Vegas from those who A: Think it's just Fallout 3 revamped. B: Don't like the 'stupidity' of it or C: Went through the whole 'main quest' and didn't find any of the sidequests or quirky bits. In some respects, I can see where they're coming from.

Fallout 3 was a better game. The atmosphere was more engrossing (ie: Tranquility Lane, standing on those cliffs at the top left corner of the map while the atmospheric music plays over the top) and the world felt just felt real (random encounters such as Uncle Leo or Sam Warrick which were annoyingly absent from New Vegas). Of course the sheer amount of dingy subway tunnels filled with paper mache raiders and generic super mutants did get on my nerves, as did the irritatingly 'heroic' plotline (same problem as with the original Fable - you can never be the bad guy, only a petty thug). There were a few stand-out characters (Moira, James) but not many. The Capital Wasteland was the main character in itself. Despite its many faults though, the setting and characters of New Vegas just appeal to me a lot more:

A gang of Elvis Impersonators, so wonderfully crafted and made believable rather than as a one off joke like the hockey players in fallout 3.

The companions. Lovable, flawed, above all interesting enough that I always resort to save-scumming in case any harm comes to them.

John Doman's portrayal of Caesar makes President Eden look like a pantomime, which is saying something since Caesar's the one wearing the costume. And don't get me started on Yes-Man. Or No-Bark.

In summary, Post-Nuke Mojave was never going to be the masterpiece that was the Capital Wasteland. But the quirky characters and satire that popped up every now and then in Fallout 3 appear by the bucketload in New Vegas - it's an interactive story rather than a game. That's why I love it so much though I know that as a game, it's nothing special compared to 3.
  • eveil
  • 15th Jul 11
Not a single comment on the gameplay, so I'm going to assume Fallout New Vegas is exactly the same as Fallout 3 but with a different story and place.
  • g17
  • 9th Aug 11
No eveil it's different, it has a different krama system based on different groups, like you can kill one group but another will love for because they didn't like those guys

weapons can use mods and ammo types

the DT system makes mooks form FO 3 into things you really don't want to fight

cook food and make drugs and other stuff.

@Joe Peake so in other words FO 3 is about the Capital Wasteland while FONV is about the people living in it (because let's fast it the West cost hasn't been a Wasteland since fallout 2)
  • maninahat
  • 9th Aug 11
It does feel very familiar to Fallout3 gameplay wise though, as though you were playing the same game but with some clever mods added to spice up the gameplay (ironsights, cooking, factions etc.)

I think New Vegas trumps Fallout 3 in most respects, but the one thing it lacks is the impact 3 had. The setting of 3, was more impressive and poigniant, even if the story was inferior. Just that first image of the ruined wasteland, stretching for miles, or the sight of a ruined capitol building: New Vegas just doesn't have the culturally significant landmarks or iconic imagery of 3 to play with. It is sad, but it inevitably comes as a consequence of it being a sequel, and in that specific setting.

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