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News for Friday, November 26, 2010

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 12:15

Our friend Ausir at The Vault provided us with another juicy round-up of quotes from developers of Fallout: New Vegas. This time it's almost only Josh Sawyer and it deals mainly with the upcoming patch and modding.

On Energy Weapons' balance:

As Lord Vukodlak suggested, it's difficult for the DAM readout to account for the interaction between DT and various ammo effects. We settled on the "order of operations" for ammo effects to ensure that hollow point rounds and armor piercing rounds behaved in a fashion that made sense. OC/MC ammunition doesn't use any DT bypass currently, so it winds up suffering from that order. I ruled out allowing for variable orders of operations because it would make testing/debugging (much) more of a pain.

For the upcoming patch, all energy weapon ammo types (including MF Breeder and including base types, but excluding Flamer Fuel) have built-in DT bypass. I have made other tweaks to individual Energy Weapons across the spectrum, but the modification to ammo effects is probably the most noticeable and significant.
On one of the many bugs, concerning Damage Threshold's value:
There is a known bug that DT added through effects/direct modification of the actor value are doubled. This is fixed in the next patch.
On dialogue depth compared to Fallout 1/2:
One of the depth problems is the fact that a lot of quest-related dialog options reside amongst first set of choices, negating any need for investigative approach. NPCs loose depth from their blind belief in PC and from PC having less incentive to explore

Forcing players to wade through dialogue they may not be interested in doesn't make that dialogue more compelling; it just makes it mandatory.

If you're interested in details and background information, explore the dialogue trees. If you're not, don't.

News for Thursday, November 25, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 20:24

Hullo all you non-American non-Thanksgivingers out there. Happy Thanksgiving! If you're done reading our review, GameBanshee's Brother None provides a meaty review of the title.

The game puts more emphasis on resolving quests to improve your character than on grinding in combat. You'll have a large variety of quests logged in your PipBoy fairly early in the game, with additional minor quests being logged as notes. Most quests have multiple ways of resolving them, and while combat remains an important part of the game, Obsidian does a great job in opening up the game to different builds, as a variety of stat and skill values open up specific dialogue options or quest paths. Speech is the most important skill here, but you'll bump into options to resolve quests or improve your chances tied to pretty much every skill. Furthermore, quests are filled with different choices depending on if you care more about caps than doing good, or who you wish to side with.

The usage of skills for multiple solutions are well done throughout the game, but do come with two drawbacks. The biggest one is that the options marked by skills like [speech] or [science] are always positive options, if not auto-win options, where by one speech check you "win" the conversation and convince someone. The writing doesn't always support that well enough as it is closely packed together, and it takes out a big part of my role as a player in convincing NPCs. The other drawback is that the game gives you full information on how many skill points you need to pass a test, making it easy to go back, use a skill-book and try again.

We'll discuss the factions in detail later, but it's worth noting here that Obsidian did an excellent job in offering many opportunities to choose to support or harm factions, while also allowing you to work for multiple factions for quite a long time. Faction reputation is much more important than the ill-used karma, which is sadly still present. Karma is as nonsensical as it was in Fallout 3, and still takes hits at completely illogical moments (killing gangers means a boost to karma, but then taking their stuff means you take a hit in karma). The game also tends to provide way too much information on when you take reputation and karma hits, or when actions close off certain quests. This means you can find out who a mysterious man is working for by killing him and then reloading, and it also means if you kill a certain NPC the game actually tells you what quests you just closed off, an overload of information that detracts from the significance of choice and consequence.

The game suffers from having an overly large amount of really tedious “courier” quests. Fetch, deliver, scout, whichever, all it generally consists of is going somewhere else on the world map, talking to an NPC or if you're lucky fighting some enemies. Every RPG has a few of these typical fetch-model quests, but I don't think I've ever seen a game that has quite as many extensive and tedious quests as Fallout: New Vegas, from Still in the Dark to Ada Daba Honeymoon. They're generally peripheral to the main quests, but even in the main quest you're likely to run into one where you're sent scurrying across the map carrying love notes.

News for Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:02

Gamasutra's press release confirms that New Vegas is doing well, actually, pretty damn well, considering that it's leading the digital sales for October 2010, with 308,000 units sold and snatched the record of fastest selling new title of the year too.

These numbers combined to the NPD numbers bring the PC sales to 415,000 units.

Bethesda sent out a press release to brag about its sales, as we already learned earlier.

We are pleased to announce that according to recently released NPD data for October, Fallout: New Vegas was recognized as the month’s best selling console title as well as the best-selling title for the PC. NPD reports that robust sales of Fallout: New Vegas made it the highest grossing title in October, measured by dollars, across all platforms.

“We recognize that there are many high-quality games that come out during this time of year,” said Vlatko Andonov. “We couldn’t be more pleased at how well the game has been received and we want to thank our fans for their overwhelming support of the game.”

Fallout: New Vegas, the follow-up to Fallout 3 – the 2008 Game of the Year – brings this beloved franchise to a location only Fallout could do justice: Vegas. Fallout: New Vegas takes all the action, humor and post-apocalyptic grime and grit of this legendary series, and raises the stakes.

Downloadable content that extends the New Vegas experience is due out for Xbox 360 on December 21, 2010. Dead Money will have you working alongside three other captured wastelanders to recover the legendary treasure of the Sierra Madre Casino. Your life hangs in the balance as you face new terrain, foes, and choices. It is up to you how you play your cards in the quest to survive.

Reviews of Fallout: New Vegas have called the game as “an utterly essential purchase” (MSN UK) and as “addictively, rambunctiously fun” (Entertainment Weekly). The Associated Press awarded it a 4 out of 4 stars and said “Bottom Line: It’s a Blast”, while GameSpy gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and called Fallout: New Vegas “one of the best games of the year.”

Fallout®: New Vegas, developed at Obsidian Entertainment, has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout: New Vegas, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com.

Posted by Brother None - at 1:27

The factsheet for the Dead Money DLC is up on the Fallout website. It lets us know the level cap will be raised to 35.

Description:
As the victim of a raw deal you must work alongside three other captured wastelanders to recover the legendary treasure of the Sierra Madre Casino. In Dead Money, your life hangs in the balance as you face new terrain, foes, and choices. It is up to you how you play your cards in the quest to survive.

Story:
Welcome to the Sierra Madre Casino! The casino’s mythical contents are lusted after by desperate wasteland scavengers, who tell stories of intact treasure of the old world buried deep within its vault. Lured here by a mysterious radio signal advertising the long-awaited grand opening of the casino, you are thrown into a high stakes game where you’ll have to work with three other lost souls if you want to survive.

Key Features:
  • Take part in a suspenseful post-apocalyptic casino heist in which you’ll need to work with three companions, each of whom has their own motivation for helping you.
  • Add hours of extended gameplay where you’ll encounter the mysterious Ghost People, pre-war death traps and the holographic security system of the Sierra Madre.
  • Navigate your way through a challenging new storyline, with even tougher choices.
  • New perks, achievements, and a raised level cap to 35!

News for Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 20:56

After doing an excellent job on the Fallout 3 review, esteemed Fallout fan Vince D. Weller returns to review Fallout: New Vegas, covering its dialog and RPG systems while digging deep into the game's lack of difficulty and expansive quests and role-playing.

You wake up in Goodsprings, a small Wild West-looking and -talking settlement. A local doc patches you up and sets you on your way. Fortunately (once again), you are not concerned with missing relatives past their prime. You want to know why you got shot and who did it. That’s a pretty good and very promising beginning. Such things are subjective, of course, but I prefer stories that revolve around you and your problems, not the world’s. The main quest will lead you to the aforementioned Strip and into the impending scrap between the three main factions.

As mentioned before, it’s a huge game that dwarfs Fallout 3. Naturally, when it comes to 160+ quests, your mileage will vary and IF you insist on doing all of them, you’ll spend a lot of time delivering all kinda shit, from radio codes to love letters. However, the majority of quests are very well designed (probably reflecting the amount of time Avellone and Sawyer spent on Black Isle’s VATS-free Fallout 3 which, sadly, didn’t get to see the light of day) and will offer you a truckload of different options at every step. It’s a superb implementation of the “do whatever the hell you want” approach. In Bethesda games it means you can travel east or you can travel west. In New Vegas it means that you’re always given a choice and can shape both your own story and the future of the Mojave any way you want.

Let me illustrate it with the first few quests:

Goodsprings, the “starting” town, had offered refuge to Ringo, a Crimson Caravans’ trader who survived an attack by Powder Gangers, a gang of convicts who broke out of the NCR prison. The convicts have tracked him down and want the town to hand him over.

You can side with the gang and kill Ringo for them. You can even talk them into raiding the town (they aren’t interested at first, because the town is poor and there isn’t much to take). I got this quest when I had already done a few jobs for the Gangers and I was planning to continue, so siding with them was fairly tempting. Alternatively, you can protect Ringo and convince the townsfolk to stand up to the convicts. It would be better if failing the skill checks and fighting the convicts without the town’s support was actually an almost impossible fight, but the low difficulty rears its ugly console-shaped head once again.

Siding with the convicts destroys the town and gives you an appropriate ending – “Travelers continued to stop by Goodsprings Source for water on the Long 15, but rarely would anyone venture into the ruins of Goodsprings itself.” Siding with Ringo and the townsfolk isn’t enough to save the town. Various actions throughout the game will determine which of the four other endings you get for Goodsprings.

The endings deserve a special mention. There are a LOT of them. Most locations and factions get 4-9 different endings that are determined by a mix of the outcomes from several key quests involving them. This is a huge step up from Fallout 3 where the individual locations were ignored and you were treated with a handy summary of your heroic adventures:

“But it was not until the end of this long road that the Lone Wanderer learned the true meaning of that greatest of virtues – sacrifice. Stepping into the irradiated control chamber of Project Purity, the child followed the example of the [middle-aged] father sacrificing life itself for the greater good of mankind.”

Posted by Brother None - at 15:24

Remember Afterfall: Insanity? Well, if you don't, it's a post-apocalyptic third person survival horror that has seemingly been in development forever and is primarily famous for claiming really lofty design goals. ScrawlFX provides a 12 minute gameplay clip, as someone walks his badly animated walk around the streets and buildings of the game. It also features some Engrish.

News for Saturday, November 20, 2010

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 19:52

The Vault has a new round-up of developer quotes for Fallout Online.

Chris Taylor about the combat system:

We try to read as much as possible, but lately, it's been hard to keep up with everything! ^_^

Some things are pretty locked down, like the combat system. We had a strong concept for the combat system from the very beginning. It's not FO1/2, and it's not VATS. It's a SPECIAL based system that works in a MMO environment. You can say it's specially designed for us. We never intended for it to be a FPS or pure shooter. Character skill and stats are very important to the combat system. Probably 50% of the equation. Character gear, player skill, decision making and timing make up the other half.

Like I've said in the past, what gets said here does influence us, naturally, but we do have a very strong vision for the game, so we're not rewriting it based on what we read.

There have been more than a few moments where this forum has made us realize that there was something missing (hey, it's a big game design, there are gaps here and there) or we could tweak it one way or another because we hadn't fully fleshed out that particular feature.

We've got our own strong idea of what the game should be, and we're confident in our skills and experience as game developers. But that doesn't mean we don't listen to the community. Honestly, however, I'd say that it's very difficult for the community to understand the game as a whole at this stage. When we get to beta testing, and people have a chance to play the game instead of discussing it in theory, it will be better for everyone involved.
And guilds:
I saw a post or two about the naming of "Guilds", and hoping for something other than "Guild" as the name of a player-based social group.

Well, we tried. Internally, we called them something else. We set up wiki pages for the new name, all references in the design docs used the new name, etc... And we kept referring to them as guilds whenever we had a discussion.

Finally, we caved in. If people are going to call them guilds, we might as we support that.

So, our "guilds" are Guilds. Yar, it's not quite appropriate ("Faction" is reserved for something else, and "blankity-blank-blank", the name that we tried to get people to use, was stolen by another part of the design and co-opted to do something else), but it's what everybody uses.(1)

(1) Geek op-ed piece: It annoys me when a paper-and-pencil RPG calls the DM something besides DM, if fantasy, or GM if anything. A GM is a GM. It's not a keeper, or a storyteller, or a HPIC or whatever. It's a GM.
Thanks Ausir.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 8:54

We already put up the DLC announcement as soon as it went up, so it's only natural that the moment Bethesda published the first details on their newsletter we'd be on it. Here's what Senior Designer Chris Avellone has to say on the setting of the DLC:

Can you discuss the setting for Dead Money?
Dead Money is set in the Sierra Madre, an opulent and extravagant resort that was supposed to be the greatest casino in the west – except that it never opened. Bombs fell before the gala opening, and the Sierra Madre froze in time, its state of the art security system locking the place up tight. Nothing could get in, and none of the guests could escape. Years passed. The climate control and air conditioning system within the facility began to spit toxins into the surrounding city, causing a slow cloud and haze to form over the area - which proved lethal to anyone who tried to explore the city. Only a mysterious group called the Ghost People survived to call the city home, trapped inside what appeared to be hazmat suits and never speaking to their victims... only capturing them alive and dragging them away to the depths of the city deep within the Cloud.

And so the Sierra Madre faded from the history books, only occasionally being seen in posters across the wastes, until it took on mythic ghost story status... a supposed "City of Gold" in the Mojave Wasteland where all the treasures of the Old World were rumored to be held. It was kept alive as a late-night saloon story by prospectors who'd claimed to have found maps leading there... and were willing to part with the "map" for a few caps. Or a drink. Or a warm place to sleep.
And a screenshot that should presumably set the tone of this DLC:

Posted by Brother None - at 0:29

The third newsletter for FOOL is here.

Ghouls are the first announced playable race in Fallout® Online. Like humans, there are many different types of Ghouls and not all are the sterotypical pacifist or weakling. Ghouls get bonuses to trade and engineering skills. They enjoy fixing broken technology more than most survivors in the wastelands but that doesn't prevent them from being dangerous opponents in combat. Ghouls have high radiation resistance and slightly better than normal Intelligence. Their gear tends to be in better condition than other races, but that's not always true.

Ghouls start with two racial abilities: Complaint Department and Geiger Counted. Ghouls have two unique racial Traits added to the available pool: Radiant One and Tech Wizard.
Thanks Ausir.

News for Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Posted by Sam Ecorners - at 17:58

Coming to Xbox near you on December 21st, says BethBlog:

“Dead Money” will tell the tale of a deal gone bad. After teaming up with three fellow wastelanders, players will need to pull off an intense heist to find and recover the treasure of the Sierra Madre Casino.

If you’re looking for a sneak peek at Dead Money, we might have something In The ‘Works.
And the official release:
BETHESDA SOFTWORKS REVEALS DETAILS FOR FIRST FALLOUT®: NEW VEGAS™ DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

‘Dead Money’ Available December 21st Exclusively on Xbox LIVE


November 17, 2010 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced that Dead Money, the first downloadable content for Fallout®: New Vegas™, will be available exclusively on Xbox LIVE® for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft beginning December 21, 2010.


“We’re pleased to give fans a chance to expand their experience in Fallout: New Vegas this December with Dead Money,” said Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing for Bethesda Softworks. “The release of Dead Money illustrates our commitment to creating entertaining add-on content for players to enjoy in already massive games like Fallout: New Vegas.”

As the victim of a raw deal you must work alongside three other captured wastelanders to recover the legendary treasure of the Sierra Madre Casino. In Dead Money, your life hangs in the balance as you face new terrain, foes, and choices. It is up to you how you play your cards in the quest to survive.

Fallout: New Vegas, the follow-up to Fallout 3 – the 2008 Game of the Year – brings this beloved franchise to a location only Fallout could do justice: Vegas. Fallout: New Vegas takes all the action, humor and post-apocalyptic grime and grit of this legendary series, and raises the stakes.

Reviews of Fallout: New Vegas have called the game as “an utterly essential purchase” (MSN UK) and as “addictively, rambunctiously fun” (Entertainment Weekly). The Associated Press awarded it a 4 out of 4 stars and said “Bottom Line: It’s a Blast”, while GameSpy gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and called Fallout: New Vegas “one of the best games of the year.”

Published by Bethesda Softworks and developed at Obsidian Entertainment, Dead Money, has not yet been rated by the ESRB. It will be available for 800 Microsoft points.

Fallout: New Vegas has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout: New Vegas, including the game’s downloadable content, please visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com.


About Bethesda Softworks

Bethesda Softworks, part of the ZeniMax Media Inc. family of companies, is a premier developer and worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Titles from five of the world’s top development studios – Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, Arkane Studios, Tango Gameworks, and MachineGames – are featured under the Bethesda Softworks label and include such blockbuster franchises as DOOM®, QUAKE®, The Elder Scrolls®, Fallout®, Wolfenstein™ and RAGE™. For more information on Bethesda Softworks’ products, visit www.bethsoft.com.

Fallout, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout: New Vegas Dead Money are trademarks or registered trademarks of Bethesda Softworks LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved.


About Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian Entertainment is an entertainment software development company passionately dedicated to making high quality, next generation games for Windows PC and console systems. Obsidian was founded in 2003 by five game development veterans who’ve produced, programmed, and/or designed award-winning role playing games for a variety of platforms over the last 15 years. The five founders are: Feargus Urquhart, Chris Parker, Darren Monahan, Chris Avellone and Chris Jones. Many of Obsidian’s talented employees have worked on award winning products for organizations such as Black Isle Studios, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Neversoft, and others. Obsidian Entertainment’s Web site is located at www.obsidian.net.
Thanks, Ausir

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 11:03

Do you remember that cool NCR t-shirt you could only get at events? I certainly do and so does Bethesda, since they put that, and other items related to the games they're publishing, on auction on eBay. All the proceeds of the auctions will go to the Brian Wood Memorial Trust.

Posted by Brother None - at 2:55

NPD - and here I always remind people their numbers are, at best, shitty guesstimates for US retail sales and usually lowballing it - puts New Vegas as the 2nd-most successful releases this month, right behind NBA 2K11, with the Xbox 360 version alone selling 679,000 copies.

News for Friday, November 12, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 23:06

The Vault has some solid roundups for us. First up, a collection of developers quotes from the forums and Formspring. J.E. Sawyer on energy weapons:

First, let me get this out of the way: I do not believe that it should be a design goal to make one skill better than another. While it's impossible to perfectly balance all skills, I don't think that Unarmed should be designed with the goal of being inferior to Guns, or that Energy Weapons should be designed with the goal of being inferior to Explosives. I believe the goal should be to make the weapon skills (specifically, in this case) distinct but comparable in overall utility. This means that I think Energy Weapons should not be inherently better than Guns and I don't think that someone who focuses in Unarmed should drop dead in every open fight because it would be realistic to do so.

The goal with Energy Weapons was ultimately to make them "outside the boundaries" of Guns. By that I mean that Laser Weapons would tend to be more accurate, faster firing, and lower DAM (usually, not not always) with higher DPS than its equivalent gun. Conversely, Plasma Weapons would tend to be slower firing and higher DAM. There are some cases where this isn't true, the most notable example being the Cowboy Repeater and Plasma Rifle, both of which are considered "tier 2" weapons for their classes. When balancing some of the Guns toward the end of the project, I did bump the Cowboy Repeater up relative to other Guns but did not bump up the Plasma Rifle, which is an oversight that I regret. The Plasma Rifle does have a much faster reload rate than the Cowboy Repeater, but it should also do a higher base damage. Ultimately I do think that I did tune some of the Energy Weapons too far out of "spec" compared to Guns, mostly at the low and mid-range. I did not intend to make Energy Weapons "bad" and I apologize if that is the perceived result.
There's another tidbit roundup with some junk at the edges, review-esque pieces from Planet Fallout and Zero Punctuation. Here's a Filefront piece on homosexuality in New Vegas.
Now, you may be asking what the big deal is, and why something so absolutely forgettable and easy to miss is fantastic and worthy of merit. That’s just the point though — Arcade Gannon’s sexuality isn’t a big deal, and that’s how videogames should play it. Not just videogames, in fact, but all media would do well to not make such a big deal out of homosexuality. Rarely is there a gay character whose identity doesn’t completely revolve around their sexuality. Maybe they have a gay crush on the main character, or are tastelessly camp, or have to struggle in a straight world full of homophobia. Often they tick all three of those boxes. In Fallout: New Vegas, gay characters just … are. Which is how most gay people exist in real life, too. If you’ve grown up watching too much television, you may think that gay people are all lisping, mincing crossdressers who constantly talk about how gay they are, and more often than not try to murder a heterosexual best friend who spurned their gay advances. Unfortunately for you, gay people generally aren’t like that in real life. They’re normal, and as boring as straight people are.

News for Thursday, November 11, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 23:46

Per this Game Business Review report, the company holding the rights to the Gamebryo engine, Emergent Game Technologies, has folded and is selling its assets. If anyone was seriously thinking Bethesda would continue using this engine for their next title, it's really time to stick a fork in it. id Tech 5 here we come!

News for Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 10:51

Apparently IGN has taken a liking to writing pieces dedicated to Fallout: New Vegas as they came out with another one titled 'Favorite Fallout: New Vegas Memories'. What is it? IGN editors sharing their favorite moments of the game apparently. Obviously, the article contains spoilers. Not so obviously, the article contains badly done pseudo-Vault Boys. Here's a "moment" that stood out according to IGN:

Bugging Out

So far I've lost multiple days of my life to Fallout: New Vegas over the past couple weeks. In that time I've encountered multiple characters, storylines, and gameplay moments that have made me glad I neglected my personal life. Really though, I have one memory in particular that truly stands out.

My moment was caused by a bug. We all know that there are bugs in this game... everywhere. But the first and biggest bug I saw had me laughing for quite a while. While charging Black Mountain in the Crazy, Crazy, Crazy mission, I found myself face to face with the Nightkin leader Tabitha. While this could have been a tense moment, instead what I got was Tabitha rocketing straight up into space when my first bullet hit her. What proceeded was me taking a sniper rifle to swat her out of her flight, with me laughing the whole time. Not all major bugs are bad!

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 9:47

As you've probably noted if you have the game on Steam, Fallout: New Vegas has received its promised incremental update for PC. Here's the changelog:

- Companions now show up as waypoints on the map
- Companions will always fast travel with you, unless told to wait or sent away
- Crafting menu should filter valid (bright) recipes to the top of the list
- Fix: DLC error/save corruption
- Fix: Stuttering with water effects
- Fix: Severe performance issues with DirectX.
- Fix: Controls temporarily disabled after reloading Cowboy Repeater while crouched
- Fixed crash using the Euclid C-Finder while having the Heave Ho perk
- Fix: Entering the strip after Debt Collector causes crash and autosave corruption
- Fix: Using Mojave Express dropbox can cause DLC warnings
- Fixed crash when buying duplicate caravan cards from a vendor in a single transaction
- Fix: Sitting down while looking down a weapon's ironsights leaves player control locked
- Fix: If a companion is knocked uncon. with broken limbs they stay broken on respawn
- Fix for varmint night scope effect persisting in kill cam.
- Fix for giving companions armor that adds STR does not increase their carry weight
- Fix NPC Repair menu displays DAM as DPS
- Having NPC repair service rifle with forged receiver decreases CND.
It should be noted that a proper patch for all three versions of the game is still coming.

News for Monday, November 8, 2010

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:04

According to VG247, Fallout: New Vegas is doing quite well, with 5 million units shipped worldwide and substantial re-orders by retailers. What does that mean for Bethesda? $300,000,000 apparently.

Also, of note, the Prima Official Guide, which boasted a word count superior to War & Peace, is among the top-sellers on Amazon.

Press release:

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF FALLOUT®: NEW VEGAS

Five Million Launch Units to Meet Worldwide Demand

November 8, 2010 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax Media company, announced today that its highly anticipated title, Fallout®: New VegasTM, has enjoyed record sales at launch, reflecting the huge consumer demand for the game. Five million units of Fallout: New Vegas were shipped worldwide for the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows®, with a heavy volume of digital downloads, representing well over $300 million in retail sales. In addition, the Fallout: New Vegas strategy guide was one of Amazon’s best sellers among all books.

“We are delighted by the reception Fallout: New Vegas has received from fans around the world,” said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks.” Despite the large launch quantities for this title, we have already received substantial re-orders from our retail partners, underscoring the tremendous popularity of this highly entertaining game. We believe Fallout: New Vegas will be the “must buy” title for gamers throughout the holiday season.”

Reviews of Fallout: New Vegas have called the game as “an utterly essential purchase” (MSN UK) and as “addictively, rambunctiously fun” (Entertainment Weekly). The Associated Press awarded it a 4 out of 4 stars and said “Bottom Line: It’s a Blast”, while GameSpy gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and called Fallout: New Vegas “one of the best games of the year.”

Fallout: New Vegas, the follow-up to Fallout 3 – the 2008 Game of the Year – brings this beloved franchise to a location only Fallout could do justice: Vegas. Fallout: New Vegas takes all the action, humor and post-apocalyptic grime and grit of this legendary series, and raises the stakes. Fallout®: New Vegas, developed at Obsidian Entertainment, has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout: New Vegas, visit http://fallout.bethsoft.com.

News for Saturday, November 6, 2010

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:33

And some more reviews!

Resolution Magazine, 9/10.

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.
Square Go, 5/5.
Fallout New Vegas manages to keep all that was great about Fallout 3 and blow it away with even more depth and gameplay modes to enjoy.
Wired provides no score.
You can beat the entire main story of Fallout: New Vegas in less than 20 hours, but that would be giving the game short shrift. It is really about savoring every little detail and side quest until you’ve seen everything there is to see. It’s about customizing your character in order to tackle quests in new ways. And it’s about diving into a world that allows for complete, unadulterated immersion.
TenTonHammer, A.
With its wide open world and multiple possible outcomes, this is as close to a ‘choose your own adventure’ book as there is. Will you be a people’s champion or a walking nightmare? Will you ally with a brutal dictator, an egotistical autocrat or a harsh military regime? Will you subvert all the players and install yourself as the leader of a (relatively) free New Vegas? All of these choices and tons more are available to you and with hundreds of locations to explore and a bevy of quests and tasks to undertake, no two players will ever have exactly the same experience
Bits 'n' Bytes, 9/10.
Fallout: New Vegas is just about everything that fans expected, and then some. It seems like there is a little bit more freedom this time around with how the player decides their fate. While the world may not as be as immense as the Capital Wasteland, there are more locations, which means more quests and more chances to make your character stronger. Combat is more fun and challenging and exploration of the wasteland is less strenuous this time due to the closeness of each area to another because of the electricity provided by the Hoover Dam.
Extreme Gamer, 8.3/10.
Fallout: New Vegas is an epic journey that matches the magnitude of Fallout 3. New Vegas will take away your social life and breed a new game addicted wasteland crawling creature. While it might not be the prettiest game on the market, you can't deny the substance and bang for your buck. Sure, I would have liked New Vegas to be more like what I expect out of Fallout 4. However, Obsidian did a good job improving the core mechanics while deepening both the RPG and FPS elements. Fallout: New Vegas will appeal to anyone who loves blowing heads off a super-mutant and exploring strange new lands. This is adventure on the grandest scale and we love it.
GameSlave, 8.0/10.
So, to throw the dice one last time, Fallout: New Vegas, is a slightly enhanced Fallout 3 set in a new location with a more succinct plot, more weapons, perks, ammo, enemies and bad decisions waiting to be made. If you loved Fallout 3, you'll love this, but be prepared to overlook the numerous bugs if you want to make it big in Sin City. Viva New Vegas.
PS3 MMGN, 9.0/10.
Fallout New Vegas is another sequel that is marginally better than its predecessor, and yet not quite deserving of the same accolades. Fallout 3 revolutionized the series and was a true unique experience. New Vegas expands that with much better writing and improved quests. The Mojave Wasteland is a joy to explore and the improved RPG elements take Fallout closer to its roots. It’s the true re-boot of the Fallout series, but wouldn’t be here without the groundwork of Fallout 3. The aging technology and ridiculous amount of glitches hold it back to an extent; however, the recent patch has fixed most of the pressing issues in what is a highly immersive action RPG.
GameFocus, 7.9/10.
From the new crafting and weapon options to the massive amount of quests, the game turned into a Jack of all Trades, but master of none. There’s a lot within the package, but none of it was done particularly well. The story was a bit lackluster, the environments, while somewhat new, had a ‘been there, done that’ feel to them. And the glitches were difficult to turn a blind eye to because of it. Is New Vegas bad? No, not really. It just doesn’t reach the same heights as it’s predecessor. If you loved Fallout 3 and are looking for more 23rd century action, then New Vegas should satisfy you to no end. If not, then you might want to pass since the new variances implemented here are not enough to change anyone’s mind.
PS3 Vault, 7/10.
New Vegas never forces choices on you, it only gives you all the options and advice you need to take whatever moral stance you feel will best fit your game play. And hey, if you get completely bored of all the fighting going on around you, why not just go to the Vegas strip and gamble your caps away in the casinos! If you’re ready to commit to the epic undertaking of this task, Fallout: New Vegas is definitely worth your time and effort. Though many bugs still crop up now and then, I can guarantee that fans of the series will not be disappointed with it.
Thumbpad, 9/10.
Overall, this game was a joy to play, and I found it to be more deserving the title of Fallout 3 than the actual Fallout 3 was. Outdated engine and bugs aside, I'd love to see Obsidian develop further Fallout games, they know exactly how to handle the franchise and do it perfect justice.
BadassPanda, 8.5/10.
Obsidian Entertainments have done a great job with not only keeping up with the standard of Fallout 3, but also bringing back some of the sparkle from the classic Fallout games. The game is very enjoyable, but it is still very buggy, but that is something that can be fixed in time. Despite its problems, New Vegas is a brilliant return to the world of Fallout.
The Register, 75%.
Fallout New Vegas was lots of fun, but isn’t really the major step up from Fallout 3 that I was expecting. I did like the fact that I couldn’t predict where the game was leading me, and to all intents and purposes I was free to wander at will. Plenty of players have moaned that they liked various earlier installments of the game better than this one, for a variety of reasons, but I think their main disappointment was that this didn’t seem like a standalone game. Has over-familiarity bred contempt?
FZ.se, 5/5.
Fallout: New Vegas hasn't changed the winning concept very much, but plays out roughly the same as Fallout 3.
Early on you meet strange, charming, dumb, bright, mean and most of all believable characters. Sure, you still need to put up with the "Dead-eyes-syndrome" all modern 3D-RPG's have. But if you can look past that you find characters that make the world come alive, a world full of adventure to discover and details to stumble upon.


Thanks GameBanshee, mettle and kuzma.

Posted by Brother None - at 20:04

Notice my clever use of the news title to grab your attention? Do I have it? Good. Because this is New Vegas: The Short Movie. Can you believe it? Well, when I tell you it doesn't seem to be related to Fallout at all you'll probably start believing me.

This post-apocalyptic C&D-waiting-to-happen short was shown at IndieCan on October 2nd, 2010, and it has an exceedingly crappy trailer available on IMDb.

Anyone know anything of this mysterious coincidentally-named short or its awesomely-named director, Rusiko Lomtatidze? Share your tales around the campfire.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 15:20

The guys at DeltaAttack have cooked up a short interview with Tech Producer Jason Fader. Here's a snippet:

What was your favorite aspect of working on Fallout: New Vegas?
I had an insane amount of fun doing the temp VO for about 20 characters. None of it made it into the actual game, but it was in our internal builds for a long while to the point where coworkers would ask me to perform certain voices for them.

Oh, another really cool thing about working on a Fallout game is… working on a Fallout game! I’ve played all of the Fallouts and loved them all. To be part of a game in the series is an honor.

What game projects have you worked on besides New Vegas?
I started out in the game industry as QA at Blizzard working on Diablo 2. After a few months, I started programming tools for projects like Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft. I eventually left Blizzard to form my own company, Iocaine Studios, where I was the lead designer on ThreadSpace: Hyperbol. After that I came to Obsidian and worked on the Aliens RPG. After that, I started working on New Vegas.
Meanwhile Bethesda Blog brings us some news about forthcoming patches for the game:
We wanted to give you guys a heads-up regarding the latest progress on Fallout: New Vegas updates.

We’ve come up with solutions for the Xbox 360 save issue folks are reporting, along with a number of other issues being reported. We’re currently running final testing and certification on a comprehensive patch for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), so we’ll have something available in the coming weeks. When we have more details, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, an incremental update for PC should be going up by early next week that will fix the save corruption issues and problems with companions, as well as improve performance for NVIDIA users and resolve some issues reported with Havok.

News for Thursday, November 4, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 16:05

If anyone was wondering why NMA isn't rushing to offer Fallout: New Vegas guidance, well, when you have a wiki with 475,000 manhours poured into it, it's kind of hard to compete, info-wise.

According to the magic of traffic-measurement tools, it seems that the unofficial Fallout: New Vegas wiki logged over 475,000 man-hours work within less than a week of the game's release. Traffic spikes hit Wikia's servers harder than a ground zero detonation, registering some 2.5 million visitors over that period - seven times the normal amount for the network. Fans created and edited hundreds upon hundreds of pages of information full of everything from quest walkthroughs and item locations to obscure trivia and bug reports.

Oh, internet. I love you and your pro-bono strategy guidance, especially since I play the PC version of New Vegas and can thus keep a browser window open on that page at all times. Then again, before folks go and crow about never needing a paper guide ever again, I've a distinct feeling that a lot of that early info came straight from the half-million word-long print guide.
A base and vile and probably true accusation! Still, can't beat our favorite wiki for info.

On other random topics: Something Awful has a Mojave Wasteland Classifieds bit with injokes for New Vegas players.

Meanwhile, Duck and Cover reminds us there's only a few days left to their contest, so get writing/triviaing.

Posted by Brother None - at 0:00

GameBanshee's Brother None interviews art director Joe Sanabria and lead concept artist Brian Menze about New Vegas' art direction. The interview was sent in before the game's release so some relevance is lost, but it's a good read.

GB: Fallout: New Vegas' backstory tells us Vegas was not hit as hard as other places, which explains how so much of the city was left standing. However, with the bright architecture and pristine interiors, how do you keep the game from veering away from retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic into retro-futuristic science fiction?

Brian: The answer is found partially in the question. The concept of "not hit as hard" gave us a lot of freedom to lighten up on destruction without completely doing away with it. In other words, even Fallout's most pristine areas still have a gritty aesthetic.

Joe: It was important to use color because it gives the game character and mood. It allows us to make areas more memorable. When used correctly color can enhance an experience and ultimately that's why it was so important that we stay away from muddy colors.

GB: When I think 50's world-of-the-future architecture, art deco and googie come to mind. We've seen both throughout the Fallout franchise, but titles like Fallout 1 and Fallout 3 had more art deco than they did googie. Am I right in thinking The Strip will feature primarily googie architecture? Is that Vegas heritage showing?

Brian: FNV does indeed have a Googie-style influence. We wanted to give the audience a real sense of Vegas and the time period, so we felt it was important to go that route and partially it's what anyone would expect Vegas to be. We pulled (just a little) from the 60's here and there as well, but Googie is what influenced us most.

Joe: The Art Deco movement started in the early 20's, during a period when many of the eastern cities were prosperous and growing. As a result it really influenced the skylines and the design movement moved to other areas, vehicles, furniture and appliances. So in many ways it captures the optimistic 50's period for which the Fallout franchise is known for, it nicely contrasts against the dystopian wasteland.

The west coast development really expanded during the automobile revolution and so not only was it a different time period, the nuclear age, but cities where now designed for folks traveling by car rather than by foot.

Since the real strip didn't really get fully developed until the early 50's, most of the hotels where designed in the Googie architecture style, a futuristic "Meet the Jetsons" type of architecture. In older cities, buildings are the visual focal point and building signs are small in comparison and more aesthetic then functional in their purpose. On the strip, the sign is the focal point and in many cases is as big if not bigger than the building itself. With folks now moving at fast speeds it was important for casino operators to catch people's attention well in advance to lure them in.

This is what we based all of our visual designs on for the hotels, so yes the heritage of Vegas is indeed reflected in the Strip of New Vegas.

News for Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 20:29

Remember Fallout? Ripten has a retrograde review for "one of the best PC games ever made" (9/10), though it's not so much a review as an...image-heavy stream-of-consciousness look at the game.

The dialog is one of the strongest points of the game. Fallout brings the wit as well as Wu-Tang brings the ruckus. It’s so hard to resist picking some of the more ridiculous options even though you know they are going to get you into trouble. It makes it easier if you tend to roleplay as a raging asshole though.

Posted by Brother None - at 18:30

PC Gamer provides a top 25 New Vegas mods list.

1. Centred third person camera
Why did Bethesda give us the weird over-the-shoulder cam in Fallout 3? Why didn’t Obsidian get rid of it for New Vegas? We may never know. Probably because they imagined players actually trying to take aim and fire in third person mode, which is insane. Third person is for screenshots and lightsaber fights – we’ve known that since Jedi Knight 2! Fortunately, every time a developer does this, one of the lovely modder people undoes it.

This mod also lets you zoom all the way out. How far? All of the far, that’s how far.

14. Lethal headshots
Another fantastic mod, this makes headshots deadly. “Headshot” is the medical term for the condition where a bullet breaks open your skull and rattles through your brains, scrambling your grey matter and rocketing out of the other side. So yeah, that should really kill you.

That’s what this mod does, while preserving the shakey-aim of lower Guns skill and thus maintaining game balance. Wear a helmet, people! It also decreases your chance of scoring a headshot in VATS, which is a welcome balance tweak, and the damage buff doesn’t apply to all creatures – Deathclaws are made of sterner stuff, and robots don’t always have brains where you’d expect them to.

I’d also like to give a special mention to the commenter on the Fallout: New Vegas Nexus who suggested that this mod should cause the game to end after the first cinematic (where you get shot in the face).

15. No RPG bullet bending
This has the same goals as the above mod – make the guns work more realistically – but it goes about it in a totally different way. Rather than touch the damage that guns do, this mod makes them super accurate. It’s not for me, personally – I found that with a Guns skill of 20 I could kill anyone from an enormous distance just by waiting for my shot and killing them with a sneak bonus. If you’re not a fan of RPG elements, though, this can help turn Fallout: New Vegas into a pure FPS.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 11:41

Taking a break from the reviews and impressions for a minute, we bring to you this fine interview with Obsidian's found and senior designer on Fallout: New Vegas Chris Avellone, done by the guys at Lightspeed Magazine. The interview deals with Chris's career and projects and obviously a fair chunk of questions are dedicated to the Fallout franchise. Here's a couple of interesting bits:

New Reno is a section of Fallout 2 that is totally non-linear, allowing the player to pit the town’s criminal factions against each other. What was your inspiration for this concept?

I got a 1.5 page summary of the location left over from the previous team: four crime families, a list of events that needed to happen (get Myron, find source of Jet, exposure to Enclave, etc.), and then I just started designing. I wanted to make sure each character build, skill set, and stat-build had something fun to do in town, and that was a lot of work.

[...]

Have you ever written a quest or character that you loved but for whatever reason could not implement in the final game?

Yep, it happened in Fallout: New Vegas. There’s a character on one of the trading cards, Ulysses, who was supposed to be a companion. Oddly enough, tearing him out of the game was almost as hard as putting him in because companion scripts touch almost everything (and he also was a complicated character in terms of some of the hooks into the storyline). Maybe he’ll come back at some point. I miss him.
...could you be any more blatant when you hint at future DLC Chris?

News for Monday, November 1, 2010

Posted by Brother None - at 20:27

Our review, once again penned by esteemed guest writer Vince D. Weller is still some weeks off. But we've all been playing New Vegas, and a number of NMA staff members (WorstUsernameEver, Incognito, The Dutch Ghost, Tagaziel, 13pm and Brother None) have teamed up to write an impression piece covering different topics. A few random quotes from different authors.

The companions vary from interesting to not-so-interesting. Most of them have triggers spread throughout the game unlocking more dialog and background information. Thing is, you can’t always figure out where the triggers are. As you can take only one human and one non-human follower, discovering all their backgrounds will probably take more than one playthrough. The most annoying issues with the companions are the AI and bugs. They easily get lost somewhere, die and sometimes turn into immobile dummies. Nevertheless, taking companions with you makes the game more interesting.
(...)
Unlike Fallout 3, the returning factions are provided with logical, comprehensive explanations as to why they are in the Mojave and what they've been doing for the past forty years. For example, the Brotherhood has lost a bloody war over technology with the NCR, and is now dying a slow death, while the Republic grows stronger above. Other returning factions include the Followers of the Apocalypse and Crimson Caravans and, admirably, none feel arbitrarily added to the game for the sake of fan service.

When compared to returning factions, new ones don't feel out of place or insignificant. Even the biggest and most controversial one - the Caesar's Legion - fits right in, thanks to the fact that its leader explains in detail why he chose to emulate ancient Rome and what his motivations are. This is true for others as well. From the Van Graffs to Powder Gangers, new factions are provided with adequate context for their presence in the Mojave and a backstory explaining how they came to be.
(...)
There is something very odd about the way Fallout: New Vegas' world is designed. Odd, but easy to explain. Unlike its Oblivion engine predecessors, New Vegas doesn't really try to get away with presenting “large” settlements in disproportionally tiny maps. This is good in that it provides a much more convincing game world, but it is bad in that this is the wrong engine to do it in. With its limitations, noticeably on how many NPCs can be present on the map, New Vegas ends up giving us large but eerily empty towns and areas. It makes some sense for a post-apocalyptic game to do so, but as mentioned, this is more of a post-post-apocalyptic game. Furthermore, it is a deterrent to gameplay.
(...)
As a Fallout fan, you'll mostly notice New Vegas combines a less nonsensical take on Fallout lore with a kind of light-hearted post-post-apocalypse similar to Fallout 2. The writing is miles beyond Fallout 3 and that's a saving grace for many fans, as is its increased dedication to RPG mechanics. I feel the mechanics and engine's shortcomings keep it from being “the Fallout 3 that was supposed to be”, but it's certainly a lot better than Fallout 3, and quite probably the best thing that could happen to the franchise after Bethesda purchased it.

Posted by cunningandvalor - at 17:01

IGN lists off 8 things in New Vegas that would make BIS proud.

The New Vegas Strip

Fallout 3 had nothing to rival Fallout 2's New Reno, but the New Vegas Strip is perhaps the most effective encapsulation of the Fallout aesthetic and ethos to be found in any of the games. The Lucky 38's Presidential Suite, made of faded leather and velvet and full of battered closets stocked with dirty pre-war apparel, is the physical embodiment of Fallout's decaying American dream. The strip itself, meanwhile, it a glitzy hellhole, full of desperate individuals with so little to live for that this strangled, neon-cast shadow of a once-great city is worth killing over. Shame you can't take a job as a fluffer, Reno-style. That's still probably the most degrading thing in videogames.

Drinking out of toilet bowls

Pretty much everything about Hardcore mode recalls Black Isle's Fallout games: the way your companions die, leaving you all alone out there in the wastes; the way a crippled limb or radiation poisoning can lead to a slow and inevitable death; the way everything in the entire wasteland, from the wildlife to the water, is trying to murder you. But there's nothing that depresses us quite so much as lapping irradiated liquid from a toilet bowl to stave off death by dehydration.

Posted by Brother None - at 15:16

Time for some more Fallout: New Vegas reviews. Gaming Blend, 4.5/5.

Bethesda and Obsidian took note of many gamers’ complaints about FO3’s difficulty, and so they have now added a brand-new gaming mode: Hardcore Mode. And when they say Hardcore, they’re not kidding around. The biggest difference here is that you MUST eat, drink and sleep in order to keep your character healthy and up-to-par. You also cannot fast travel if your character would need to eat or drink within the time it would take to fast travel there. Limbs also cannot be healed by sleeping or applying a Stimpak to them and can only be fixed by either using a Doctor’s Bag or by seeing a doctor yourself. If you’re like me, then you probably enjoy carrying a large assortment of weapons and armor on you at all times, because certain situations call for a particular gear set. This, however, will simply not work in Hardcore. Ammo also adds weight to your backpack so a lot more strategy is needed in order to survive. Also, if your companions fall in battle don’t expect them to pull a “Great J.C.” and rise on the third day. Once they’re dead, consider them Bighorn grub. With only a few hours of gaming with the Hardcore Mode, I can tell you it’s not for the meek. While it’s frustrating, it does offer up a great opportunity to really challenge yourself after your initial play-through in Normal Mode to see if you can survive the Wasteland with limited resources.
Big Download, Wait.
At first glance, the game has everything it needs: a fantastic open world with a multilayered story where the players free to determine how they fit into the grand scheme of things. However, as one might expect from a game with this content, New Vegas is plagued by some very serious bugs - and we're not just talking about the giant mutant variety. We experienced frequent game crashes in the course of playing, which made hitting the quicksave button every few minutes an absolute necessity. Furthermore, there were severe performance drops at different points of the game, and it didn't seem to matter if we was high action, or if we were indoors or out. Companions that vanish after being dismissed to a common meeting place, sometimes they don't follow you on quick travel, and some locations don't show up as discovered despite walking into the area and talking to the characters. Less game breaking problems include creatures that seem to walk on their heads, companions that suddenly start unprovoked attacks against neutral characters, and a few minor missions that don't show up in the quest journal or Pip-Boy notes. In one instance, we were given a hotel room to keep to thank us for all the favors, but taking any of the items from the room counted as stealing.
Gaming Age, B.
Character interactions still works out by approaching characters, pressing A, and then cycling through the dialogue options. It feels like the dialogue offers up more options for people that pour points into Speech and Barter for their skills, which was nice to see (I love manipulating quests through Speech). Another big change for New Vegas comes in the form of the reputation system, something that's probably a bit more familiar to old school Fallout fans. There are a number of different factions in New Vegas, none of which are completely clear cut as just being "the good guys", which you can do quests for and build up your reputation. Some factions will pit you against others, and there's some definite risk and reward involved depending on who you side with. Most of these faction associations come into play during the end game, so it makes it worthwhile to see how different scenarios can play out.
Brutal Gamer, 8/10.
But where most RPGs offer choices, New Vegas betters that. The moral ambiguities loaded in conversation options are never clear cut. Caesars Legion are a ruthless gaggle of bloodthirsty slavers, but are they any worse than the domineering New Californian Republic? Often life affirming decisions have to made, do you take into account a few lives or make sacrifices for the greater good? Obsidian understand that a thin line blurs the boundaries between good and evil, and New Vegas implements this with finesse thanks to the excellent gang based morality system. The simple Fallout 3 karma system has been fragmented so that karma is assigned to individual gangs, your standing with one gang may make members of a different community hostile towards you, meaning alliances have to be forged or destroyed.
NXT Gamer, 9/10.
But you’ll take your time doing so. The Mojave Wasteland, like Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland before it, is dense with places to go, people to meet and things to do. Getting anywhere can take hours. Not because movement is slow – you can teleport to any visited location. It’s because you’ll be struggling to resist the urge to step away from your path to investigate that unusual building in the distance, or because your compass is showing an undiscovered location nearby. Visiting these locations often results in a new quest or some valuable loot – few games make exploration as exciting and gratifying as Fallout: New Vegas.
God Is A Geek, 8/10.
Morality is another grey area in New Vegas. A quest might require you to do something that will give you negative Karma, but serves the greater good. Whilst this sounds sensible, it doesn’t really work quite as well in practice and being given negative Karma for looting someone you’ve been instructed to kill feels a bit silly. It’s only a minor niggle in the grand scheme of things though as morality doesn’t really seem to play much of a part in the game most of the time, giving way to the factions instead, which makes you wonder why it wasn’t dropped altogether.

The AI leaves a little to be desired at times as well. The enemy seems to have very few ideas that don’t involve rushing and attacking you. It can be funny at times to be running backwards reloading whilst they run at you swinging or shooting, but it does feel a bit silly and at times you might expect the Benny Hill theme to start playing. Worse still, the difficulty seems rather unbalanced at times and you can expect high difficulty spikes at times that may frustrate you, but you can always drop the overall difficuly level via the options menu if need be.
Pixel Jumpers, 4.5/5.
Taking post war nuclear limitations and adding the elements of big city and big money making, sounds good but in a way it ends up breaking the game. You are given way too many opportunities to make money in New Vegas. During the early game, if you learn how to play caravan well, it is very easy to make a few thousands caps in a very short amount of time. In a post apocalyptic world of desolation and shortage, supplies are supposed to be hard to come by, but when you have the ability to easily make money, it ends up not being the case. You will quickly fill your inventory with stimpacks, ammo and a variety of guns without even worrying about your wallet.
GameOn, 4.5/5.
While the majority of these tweaks seem largely minor there are two new inclusions which are much better and have a real impact on gameplay. The first is a series of background challenges, which upon completion grant you a boost of experience depending on the size of the task. For example, when you kill 500 enemies you are granted some experience and a special perk which boosts your damage. There are hundreds of these available ranging from killing a certain amount of enemies with weapons, dealing set amounts of damage, discovering a number of locations. It's a brilliant idea which naturally sits alongside the levelling system and encourages you to use a variety of playing styles in order to collect different perks. In a game as large and varied as Fallout: New Vegas this is certainly a welcome addition especially given that the default level cap has been raised to 30, rather than 20. However, perks are only awarded every other level you gain which is a shame as you can only choose half as many as Fallout 3.

The second major change is the introduction of factions in the game world, which was notably absent from Fallout 3. At first this is a daunting prospect given the numerous groups found in the Mojave, but introduces some complex new game mechanics. Your actions in quests and the world will yield different responses from different groups. So, if you elect to help the town at the start of the game, you'll anger a local rival group The Powder Gangers. However, if you choose to help these escaped criminals instead, you will earn their favour and anger the locals. Throughout the game, this forces a careful juggling act as you have to balance these factions against what you personally believe to be right, wrong and profitable.
Me Gamers, 8.6/10.
The characters at times look like they are saying something completely different from the text you see. This might not be a huge issue that will certainly not limit how much you enjoy this game, but a little more attention to these things would have made this game better. The final problem we had with Fallout: NW is the ending. Right after you finish the game you will not be allowed to continue with your quests and missions. That is a big disappointment considering Fallout 3 had the same issue early on. Fallout 3 even got a patch later on to fix this problem and allowed gamers to play on. Hopefully New Vegas will get a similar patch in the very near future.

Graphically this game follows Fallout 3 too. Those very same graphics that impressed only a couple years ago are not that good enough this time around. Everything surrounding you is still highly detailed but the graphics will let you down when coming across a town or a site for example. I came across an interview with one of the developers of this game and he mentioned how the graphics power had to be limited to allow such a big world to run smoothly. First of all, the world is not running as smoothly as you would want, and secondly games like Just Cause 2 thrived in great graphics and a massive world to explore. No excuses here.