Fallout: New Vegas has just been released and, from what I can gather in the comments, has been getting a serious amount of play from you guys. So we thought we'd strike while the iron was hot, and throw up this Reader Review from none other than Fistbeard McTavish himself - who has spent a fair amount of time in the wasteland, waving that famouse fist of his around.
But I've always wondered: is the beard on the fist? Or is the first inside the beard...
Anyway. Onto the review!
Fallout: New Vegas New Vegas is the "spiritual successor" to Fallout 2, With various people who worked on the original 2 games returning to give us another dose of wasteland life. If you've played Fallout 3 you know about the core gameplay, so I'm not going to go into that here, just the main additions. The game casts you not in the role of a "Vault Dweller", but as a Courier in the Mojave wasteland. Shot in the head and left for dead by a man in a suit (It's always a guy in a suit!), you survive and set out on your quest for revenge. Does New Vegas win big, or does it lose all it's life savings and have its house repossessed?
Loved Reuniting with an old flame: Anyone who was a fan of Fallout 3 will remember that sense of awe and excitement when they left the Vault for the first time, and saw the vast DC wasteland stretching out in front of them. I had totally forgot about that feeling during multiple runthroughs of Fallout 3, but after exiting Doc Mitchel's house after creating my character, I got that same feeling as the overbright faded and I looked out across an entirely new landscape ahead of me.
Tightly Packed: One of the things I noticed in Fallout 3 was while the overworld was fairly large and filled with mutants, there was a fair bit of big, empty stretches of land, with maybe a few enemies. New Vegas seems to have much more interesting places packed closer to each other, which really allows you to get sidetracked easier. For example, walking from Megaton to Rivet City in Fallout 3 would have a few raiders, super mutants, and you pass by one sewer and a house on the way. The same length trip in new Vegas would have you pass by 2 towns, 2 military outposts, a deserted petrol station, and come across a camp of slavers. I've explored about 75% of the map with 2 characters, and it feels much more tightly packed, with very few stretches of land that doesn't serve a purpose other than walking.
Welcome Tweaks: Iron sights don't seem all that impressive, until you load up Fallout 3 again and realize how good they fit into the game. Guns feel solid and powerful, and fighting without VATS isn't a boring experience with the new Killcam. It gives you a cinematic VATS view when you stealth kill or Kill the last enemy of a group, which makes those low agility playthroughs more visceral. Hardcore mode adds a new dimension to the game, as dehydration and sleep deprivation alter your priorities in the wasteland, and making broken limbs something to be feared, even at higher levels.
Hated Game Engine: The gamebryo engine is obviously on life support, and Fallout: New Vegas might be its last outing. It doesn't handle many NPC's on screen before grinding down into the low FPS range (And my computer is more than capable of running this), Graphics are sub-par, animations are horrible, and it just doesn't feel as smooth as most games within the past 2 years feel.
Voice Acting: Now, don't get me wrong, the voice actors in this game are good - really good. The dialogue is great too. But the main problem I have is that there aren't enough voice actors. You thought the Bretons in Oblivion were bad, you haven't gone through a military base and had every single male character speak with the same voice. Scientists, Soldiers, Brotherhood of Steel, Raiders, everyone sounds the same, except for the named characters.
Radio: Fallout 3 has an awesome radio. New Vegas does not. It has half the songs of Fallout 3, but the worst thing is that I had a song play itself twice in a row. "Johnny Guitar" is pain to my ears. I actually turned the whole thing off and listened to the ambient music which is *much* better.
Overall, It's well worth the money. I've heard people complaining about it just being an expansion pack to Fallout 3, but the same could be said about Fallout 2 compared to the original Fallout. That's pretty much what New Vegas is compared to Fallout 3, and that isn't a bad thing in my book.