Fallout New Vegas – The First Impression.

War, war never changes.

My first sense of self was staring down at my tied hands. Pumpkin gloves as I know them. Thick leather gloves that you can use on a farm or ranch. My hands are tied and when I look up there are three men around me. One of them’s shifty, the other cold eyed and the last one dressed in a fancy suit. I look up at him as he smiles at me, draws out his gun, tells me it’s not personal and that the game was fixed and then… Then he shoots me. My vision goes white and I lose consciousness.

Or die, depending on how you look at it.

These are the opening moments of Bethesda’s fourth Fallout game, Fallout New Vegas. It’s not a sequel to Fallout 3, standing alone with its story line but the game play and graphics are very similar. It’s a role playing game/first person shooter, set in a future 270 years from now when the world’s basically been destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse. You are a character, a courier, intercepted when delivering a package and shot in the head for your effort. A good doctor, Doc Mitchell, patches you up in the first few minutes of the game, which helps you to set up your character’s attributes and sets you off on a short tutorial to familiarise you with certain elements of the game play.

The emphasis is on short.

I left the good town of Goodsprings with a wild sense of: “What the hell just happened? Where am I? And why the hell is everybody talking so much? I have no idea what’s going on… And it’s not because I was shot in the head.”

Let me take a step back.

I loved Fallout 3, FNV’s predecessor. I had bought the game at a second hand game store for a ridiculously, dirt cheap price. I didn’t know what it was at the stage but I was in the mood for something different with a little bit more game play than Mirror’s Edge offered me. Fallout 3 proved to be everything that I wanted and more. The basic story line took about 8 to 12 hours to complete, but if you allowed yourself to be distracted by all the other requests that the Wastelanders offered you and some downright dirty exploring you could set down over 50 to 80 hours of saved game play (and by this I do not count the COUNTLESS times you might die and start something over). I felt that it was great value for my money and game definitively had a WOW factor to it. More often than not you found yourself stuck on some desolate rooftop in the middle of downtown DC, looking out over the destroyed city and going: Dude, this is a site you don’t see everyday…

The character’s story was also very compelling and very engrossing. Your character starts of new to the world, which puts both of you on common ground. People’s requests are simple, plain: Please deliver this message for me. Please find a violin. Please go kill that monster…
It’s doable, and you can remember it without taking notes.

Not so with Fallout New Vegas.

I feel lost, and it’s got nothing to do with my Pip Boy not showing me in the right direction. I find myself overwhelmed by the people’s requests. “Talk to So and So, she’ll give you this and this which you’ll need for this so that you can accomplish this and then when it’s all over you must remember to take out the garbage…”

This is a made up line naturally, but the effect is the same. I find myself staring at these helpless wasteland folk and I can’t help but wonder if I hadn’t made my Intelligence score too low because I couldn’t follow what they wanted me to do. What happened to the good old fashioned: Oh, please go find me a mine… Moira Brown kind of requests?

I’m more than willing to accept that I might not be in the right mood for this game right now. So, I’m not making any judgements on it as yet but at the moment, I don’t have as high hopes for it as I had two months ago.

It’s too complicated. I can’t keep track (without making some serious notes) what kind of Ammo I must buy, what ingredients I must collect to make medicine with, who I must alight myself with and who that will piss off. Heck, I can’t even remember my original mission, save for that I want to do some serious dirty business with the dude who had shot me.

Now don’t get me wrong, the reviews for this game have been good. But, so far – I’m just not that into it. I rather find myself thinking about revisiting my Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3 and restarting the game there (I have logged over 130hours in total in it). There I know what the people want of me.

And I have my trusty dog Dogmeat as a companion…

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10 thoughts on “Fallout New Vegas – The First Impression.

  1. Somecthemes December 8, 2010 / 9:48 pm

    The game is a little like fallout 3 in that the real goal of the game isn’t revealed until your almost halfway through. In F3, you finally realize that the purifier is the final goal once you’ve gone through megaton, visited three dog and finally found daddy. In new vegas, you essentially have the singular goal of finding the man who shot you, but the path to him will lead you to meet the main factions of the game and explore roughly 1/3 of the major highways. If you haven’t reached the strip, I’d recommend that you mostly ignore the other quests and book it there. Hopefully, once you’ve met Mr. House and begin to understand the dynamic struggle of the three armies fighting for control, your interest will return. Just be aware that, like in F3, you won’t really know the scope of the game until your well into it and might have to just keep grinding until you reach enlightenment. Hope this helps..

    • Alyssa December 8, 2010 / 9:54 pm

      Yes! You have given me hope. i’ve been thinking that I should’ve bought Sims 3 instead (can you say desperate?). I have to add that I was very involved in the Fallout 3 story line (especially with saving James and his dramatic… conclusion). I think it had to do with the fact that I had not known what to expect from the Wasteland so when little miss vault 101 stepped out of the vault I coudl feel how lost she was because I felt the same. 🙂 That was a great element in my whole game play.
      but, as I’ve said – you’ve given me hope. 🙂 Thank you very much and thank you for commenting.
      I think that I’m going to just charge through the main quest, and then later on my second time round do the side quests. At this stage I really couldn’t be bothered about Primm’s Sherriff less state… 😉

      Thank you again and welcome to my blog,
      Alyssa

  2. jenella13 December 9, 2010 / 6:03 pm

    I watched my husband play Fallout 3 and he hated it. There was much grumbling from him and controller slamming. In the end he gave up on it saying it reminded him too much of Bethesda Elder Scroll series which work off the same game engine. I don’t think he was expecting that type of game style of picking up quests and running around with guns. I was mildly interested in trying it out but then again, I’m not one for shooters. Our copy of Fallout was given to a work buddy of his who loved the game but from all I heard about New Vegas, the game was really glitchy. Good but glitchy.

    • Alyssa December 9, 2010 / 7:57 pm

      I have to say, I loved Fallout 3. It was the first Bethesda game that I played. But, then again – I played it directly after I played Mirror’s Edge and tried to play Lair. Mirror’s Edge was great, but very short. Lair was just plain sad.
      So, anything was an improvement.
      But, I loved the roleplaying aspect of it.
      Thank you for commenting! 🙂

  3. Ris December 13, 2010 / 8:48 pm

    I would suggest playing Elder Scrolls Oblivion if you liked Fallout 3. It’s the same engine but with actual scenery to experience (just don’t make your character a Monk – fighting barehanded is broken in the game and gets you killed).

    I think FLV was supposed to be the ‘fix’ to all that was broken in Fallout 3 and just ended up being the broken… It’s fun walking around in the world, but Vegas post-nuclear has nothing on Washington DC. Walking through the Lincoln-memorial, looking up at the obelisk… it felt like one was actually there… wow-worthy.

    Elder Scrolls Oblivion is a fantasy game, it’s the fourth in a series of very successful games – each raising the bar. It was Oblivion that made me take a look at Fallout 3 and visually the latter simply does not come close. I’d highly recommend it. But it would depend on whether you are one who needs a fantasy kick.

    • Alyssa December 13, 2010 / 9:50 pm

      I’ve been keeping an eye out for it in the gaming stores.

      I have to say, I returned to FNV and it’s a little bit better now that I’ve taken some advice and just go for the main quests (Bugger off all of you, I’m NOT going to help any of you! Even you you Super Mutant! Or you! Doctor who ever you are! I’m just going to avenge my almost death!). But I’ve yet to experience the wow factor. I loved walking around the ruins of DC. Vegas is too… Scenic? I don’t know how to describe it. Same old bush. Same old stone. *shrugs* No wow factor, cetainly not like the Museum of History.
      I don’t feel the tragedy of the apocalypse as much as I did in FO3.

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂 Survived NaNoWriMo?

      • Ris December 14, 2010 / 7:32 am

        It’ll be in the old “classics” by now. It has been quite a few years since it has come out (DAMN YOU BETHESDA!!! WHERE IS MY SEQUEL!!!!!*rages*). I’ll keep an eye out here as well, being backwater, we should still have it. Otherwise, BT Games is awesome when it comes to ordering both new and second-hand. I’d highly recommend you use them.

        Nano unfortunately killed me this year… well no, that’s not true. My life killed me, nano just died in the process. But there’s always next year. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more of a story idea by then. 🙂

      • Alyssa December 14, 2010 / 8:42 am

        I love BT Games, it’s where most of my adventures are bought…

        Sorry about the NaNo. I have to admit, I’m suffereing from a bit of NaNo burn out. I’m trying to get myself back into writing gear but so far it’s not working. No quite. o_o But, I’m getting there. I’ve set goals for myself and my chocolate eating habit is dependent on it!!

  4. Ris January 3, 2011 / 11:32 pm

    So how’s your latest attempt at Fallout Las Vegas going? Mine’s not so well, I have to say. They should get off their butts and do another Elder Scrolls as well. Until then I’ll eagerly await BioWare’s Dragon Age 2 instead.

    • Alyssa January 6, 2011 / 6:14 pm

      its… Not going a lot actually, lol. I got Army of Two for R80 and am enjoying having my but saved by an AI. I’ll return to Vegas shortly when I’m done with it. 😉 yours? what platform are you playing?

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