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Review | Fallout: New Vegas

Vegas Baby!

Format: Xbox 360/ PS3/ PC | Genre: RPG | Publisher: Bethesda | Developer: Obsidian Entertainment | Release Date: 22/10/10 | RRP: £49.99


Fallout New Vegas does have some initial issues with pacing and difficulty, however. The first few hours are slow on story progression as it gradually introduces you to the region. It’s a good introduction for newcomers but for Fallout 3 veterans it can grate. You’re also restricted to following the path due to some vicious enemies beyond it. You need a good handful of levels under your belt and a decent weapon or two before the trademark exploration really becomes a viable option. Despite this however, they’re forgiveable design choices. It certainly creates a good impression about the hostility of the wasteland which plays to the intent of the fallout world, and once the story gets going the pace quickens and the world fully pulls you in.

If you’re looking for an even steeper challenge, Hardcore mode could well be what you’re looking for. The gimmick here is forcing you to juggle a more realistic set of equipment encumbrance, food and drink consumption, sleep, and healing requirements. It’s a brutal mode that is excellent for the role playing enthusiast and certainly adds a more strategic and thoughtful process to the experience.

You’re S.P.E.C.I.A.L

Regardless of the difficulty mode you can expect a decent challenge maintained through a strong and varied set of options in levelling. Much like Fallout 3, you can distribute points in a whole host of skills and New Vegas continues to grant you special traits on set levels. This time, traits are offered every two levels, and rather than them offering an unbalanced boost to your character you’re now presented with a majority of traits that boost one thing to the cost of something else. It’s a far more thoughtful setup that takes the RPG elements of the series to new heights.

The RPG elements aren’t the only mechanics to see improvements. The FPS style combat now includes iron sight aiming and it’s a welcome addition. New weapons also make an appearance and can now be modified with different ammo types for damage or armour penetration. Of course V.A.T.S returns allowing you to pause time and target specific areas on enemies, taking into account all your stats before firing, and it still remains the preferred combat option. As with the previous games, you can recruit a variety of A.I companions to tag along with you on your journey. They’re great company and certainly prove valuable and effective in combat.

Fallout New Vegas is an excellent game with only a few nits to pick. The visuals are looking a little dated now and the occasional bug can completely ruin the immersion, such as characters heads rolling off their necks and enemies getting stuck in the environment, but there’s nothing major getting in the way of all the fun. On our playthrough I experienced only a handful of bugs and in no instant did it prevent me from continuing. The improvements are welcome and in some cases – charisma and speech skill – game changing, and it all comes together to create an exceptionally immersive experience. Prepare to lose yourself once again to the wasteland.


What does this score mean?

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    Any word on all these glitches/bugs we’ve heard about?

  • The only ones I encountered were the ones I mention at the end of the review. One occurrence of a character’s head rolling off and two occurrences of enemies getting stuck in terrain. Other that those everything else seemed nice and stable.

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