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Thread: NMA Fallout: New Vegas Review

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    NMA Fallout: New Vegas Review

    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.”

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    I should set a custom title Testament to the ghoul lifespan

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    great review, agreed on just about every point. thanks Vince & Andy!

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    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped

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    Yeah, I agree about everything. Finished the game yesterday, 81 hours, 78 quests done, 180 locations discovered. HUUUUUGE game.
    The amount of choices is incredible, I just wish the engine wasn't so bad.Although with Nevada Skies mod it did manage to draw some nice moments.

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    Great review

    I agree with almost every point. I will more than likely state many of the same things in my upcoming video review - when I get around to finishing it

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    I should set a custom title Mildly Dipped

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    Am I reading things right - does Vince conclude that FNV could possibly better the previous FO games were its combat better? Or does he mean in generic RPG terms, it might beat the first two games?

    Basically I'm wondering what his opinion of it as a FO game is.

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    I should set a custom title Vault Senior Citizen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Teatime
    Am I reading things right - does Vince conclude that FNV could possibly better the previous FO games were its combat better? Or does he mean in generic RPG terms, it might beat the first two games?

    Basically I'm wondering what his opinion of it as a FO game is.
    Generic RPG terms, seeing as we don't have 10 or more Fallout series games.
    Now my avatar makes even less sense.

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    I think it simply means that the game has its great moments which will remind you to Fallout in one way or another which is true and making it a game that is worth to have the name. What ever if it's a game that can be seen as a sequel, better/equal to a finished van buren project or a game that "should" have been Fallout 3 is probably something everyone has to deicde for himself. For me personaly it cant be simply cause I dont value the content we have with dialogues for example higher then the gameplay as it was always a symbiosis in my eyes but here the review very nicely explained what to expect from the game regarding that. I also dont see Vegas as a that big world at the end of the day. It packs a hell lot of content and comunities but the size of the Sandbox world doesnt give me that feeling nor do I get the wasteland feeling (with comunities 2 min from each other ?). But thats a personal oppinion and preference and I blame that mainly on the way how Obsidian worked with the limitations of the engine as I simply cant convince my self that an attack on a camp with 5 people inside is representing some kind of "epic battle" or how the Strip and its surounding comunities are seen as populated (not to mention the many smal details like runing steel mils without workers except for 2-3 robots ... or anyone using what is produced in there ...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crni Vuk
    I think it simply means that the game has its great moments which will remind you to Fallout in one way or another which is true and making it a game that is worth to have the name. What ever if it's a game that can be seen as a sequel, better/equal to a finished van buren project or a game that "should" have been Fallout 3 is probably something everyone has to deicde for himself. For me personaly it cant be simply cause I dont value the content we have with dialogues for example higher then the gameplay as it was always a symbiosis in my eyes but here the review very nicely explained what to expect from the game regarding that. I also dont see Vegas as a that big world at the end of the day. It packs a hell lot of content and comunities but the size of the Sandbox world doesnt give me that feeling nor do I get the wasteland feeling (with comunities 2 min from each other ?). But thats a personal oppinion and preference and I blame that mainly on the way how Obsidian worked with the limitations of the engine as I simply cant convince my self that an attack on a camp with 5 people inside is representing some kind of "epic battle" or how the Strip and its surounding comunities are seen as populated (not to mention the many smal details like runing steel mils without workers except for 2-3 robots ... or anyone using what is produced in there ...)
    How is it that you can believe how 1 farmer can feed all of Shady Sands in FO1 but can't believe how this steel mill works in NV? Or how the the SAD was still operational... and many other things... Many of the towns in FO1 and FO2 required you to think that there was more to the areas you could walk in... why can't you think the same for this game?

    I'm not really asking you a question though, I'm not really interested in your answer, but areas in this game require the same approach, imo, and if you can't think of it that way because of the perspective it's presented in, then w/e, your loss.

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    Administrator Brother None's Avatar
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    Has nothing to do with perspective. Fallout 3/NV is a continuous world that purports to show you everything within the world map. Fallout 1/2 makes no such claim. That's not a matter of perspective, it's a matter of how you present the world.

    Also the Steel Mill isn't comparable to Shady Sands. The Steel Mill is, as far as I know, completely unexplained. Who is running it? Where's the steel going? What the hell?

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    cool review, and what an amazing game. I can't stop to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Teatime
    Am I reading things right - does Vince conclude that FNV could possibly better the previous FO games were its combat better?
    The quest design is much better (which makes NV a lot more replayable (if you can tolerate the combat and the engine)). If the game had challenging combat, preferably not real time (similar to Wiz 8, maybe?) and better character system? Maybe it would have been a better game, but that's a big IF.

    Basically I'm wondering what his opinion of it as a FO game is.
    What the review says. Excellent quest design, good writing, consistent setting, poor character system, bad combat. It's definitely a Fallout game, but the character system and combat bring the overall quality down (compared to Fallout 1 and 2).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sicblades
    Sichblade beeing Sichblade
    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Brother None
    Has nothing to do with perspective. Fallout 3/NV is a continuous world that purports to show you everything within the world map. Fallout 1/2 makes no such claim. That's not a matter of perspective, it's a matter of how you present the world.

    Also the Steel Mill isn't comparable to Shady Sands. The Steel Mill is, as far as I know, completely unexplained. Who is running it? Where's the steel going? What the hell?
    Its a difference if a game requires from me to use my imagination because there was some limitation at some point so I have to eventually think "there might be more behind the curtain" or if I have to tourn of my brain completely just so I doesnt bother me anymore. ~ By the way the farming didnt bothered me in Vegas that was somewhat within the limitation of the world quite nicely explained. So I do can look over some details.

    For example in Fallout you might have a situation where you encounter a rusty and shabby place with a bed so dirty that the game tells you with its text "here you will not spend the night alone" as it has lices all over it and your imagination is doing the job while that would not work the same way in a Sandbox game like either Fallout 3 or Oblivion tries to be and you have to represent the same situation somehow visualy as well or its not believable. I think you know what I mean. Or I hope at least you understand me.

    One complaining about Shady Sands in F1 though might as well complain about that Fallout has shown the distance of several 1000 miles in just a few "squares" over your map as you could literaly move from square to square (if you want so), but one should bear in mind that between Fallout 1 and letz say Fallout 3 you have completely different principles and gameplay behind with the one trying to emulate (somewhat) a pnp experience while the other is trying to create a believable sandbox world and here both Fallout 3 AND Vegas fall short in my eyes Vegas mainly because its trying to please both crowds those which love RPG mechanics (dialogue, choices etc.) and those which love the exploring as it was present in Bethesdas F3. But creating such a world believable sandbox world is visualy a hard job. Though doesnt mean Vegas is a bad game ... it is pretty good in many things.

    How comes anyone who comes up with criticism (I do sound harsh sometimes I admit) thinks that you either have to "love" or "hate" a game ...

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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

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    Very nice review, I agree with pretty much everything on there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ausir
    The Enclave should ditch their power armor project and just make armor out of hillbilly hides.

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    I should set a custom title Venerable Relic of the Wastes

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    Well, I don't agree with Vince's perspective on the Legion. Other than that, nice review indeed.

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    I should set a custom title Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausir
    Well, I don't agree with Vince's perspective on the Legion. Other than that, nice review indeed.
    Though the Roman cosplaying is still pretty stupid, I sorta liked the story about how Caesar united all those tribes for his legion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ausir
    The Enclave should ditch their power armor project and just make armor out of hillbilly hides.

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    I should set a custom title Look, Ma! Two Heads!

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    @Ausir:

    More specifically? Just curious.

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    I should set a custom title Venerable Relic of the Wastes

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    This time-tested approach makes a lot more sense and fits the post-apocalyptic world much better than the democratically elected presidents of the NCR.
    Well, I think that 200 years after the Great War, a democratic government isn't really that strange. And a lot of things about Caesar's Legion make the faction silly, including their clothing, their shunning of advanced technology and their pretty much universal evilness - I don't really see much of the promised greyness in them, unlike with NCR or House. I guess the Legion isn't that bad in theory, but, like Brother None said in another thread, they are not any more gray than the Fallout 3 Enclave.

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    Well Autumn was pretty reasonable, but where in FNV do the remnants say they lost because of the Mk II PA?
    At the end of the day, after the blood's been spilled and the pay's changed hands, I drift away into the wastes to seek my fortune elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard Bumner
    The reputation was thrust upon NMA, rather than deserved. And it was mainly thrust upon the site by lazy individuals who couldn't distinguish between individual post-ers and some notional monolithic NMA-monster which apparently eats dissenters and throws intellectual faeces at innocent software developers.

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    I should set a custom title Venerable Relic of the Wastes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faceless_Stranger
    Well Autumn was pretty reasonable, but where in FNV do the remnants say they lost because of the Mk II PA?
    I'm pretty sure it was a joke.

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    I should set a custom title Look, Ma! Two Heads!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reconite
    Quote Originally Posted by Ausir
    Well, I don't agree with Vince's perspective on the Legion. Other than that, nice review indeed.
    Though the Roman cosplaying is still pretty stupid...
    Not really. The Roman armor (segmentata) is fairly easy to manufacture, especially in a post-apocalyptic environment. Basically, it's just a bunch of stripes, leather or metal. I think it's much easier to string several overlapping leather stripes together than make a proper leather armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ausir
    This time-tested approach makes a lot more sense and fits the post-apocalyptic world much better than the democratically elected presidents of the NCR.
    Well, I think that 200 years after the Great War, a democratic government isn't really that strange.
    I think that more advanced forms of government require pre-requisites that simply wouldn't exist in a post-apocalyptic world. For example, a certain level of living standards (which instantly disqualifies any PA world), development/re-discovery of social values and self-expression/participation in the political process (which, too, has its own pre-requisites).

    In a PA world where people are too busy trying to survive in every possible way, the feudal system makes a lot more sense. People would seek protection of strong individuals, then strong groups capable of keeping raiders at bay, then strong settlements/towns/kingdoms.

    These people would be happy to feel safe and have a place to raise their families/do business. The last thing they would want to do is rock the boat and demand to have a shot at running things. Those who would end up on top would enjoy their status and wouldn't want to give it up and give turns just because it's fair. At least I don't recall any medieval lords asking anyone if they want to run things for awhile.

    And a lot of things about Caesar's Legion make the faction silly, including their clothing, their shunning of advanced technology and their pretty much universal evilness - I don't really see much of the promised greyness in them, unlike with NCR or House.
    See above about the clothing. Shunning of the advanced tech? Didn't they try to buy energy weapons from Van Graffs? Maybe their position would have been more jarring if the energy weapons were too powerful. I favored guns in the game (9mm and 10mm smg), so it's hard for me to complain about them using guns when I did the same thing.

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