Release Date: October 19, 2010
ESRB Rating: Mature
Although Fallout: New Vegas might be a sequel taking place in the same universe as its predecessor, those of you who have not played Fallout III have nothing to worry about when it comes to understanding the game’s narrative. Simply put, the bomb has dropped on the United States, and the survivors of the tragedy are left to pick up the pieces. The only difference, however, is that since New Vegas takes place a few years after the events of Fallout III, the world has had more time to recover. So much time has passed that Las Vegas is rebuilt into the brightly-lit, crime-infested, sin-encouraging cesspool that everyone loves today. Don’t worry, though, because outside of the walls of reconstructed cities, the United States is still an open-world apocalyptic wasteland for you to investigate, dissect and control with an iron fist.
Where Fallout: New Vegas really excels is in retaining the atmosphere of the apocalypse. The world of New Vegas feels real, as if this is a probable prediction of our nation’s future. As an added bonus, players who pay attention to detail are blessed with extra jokes, narratives and a greater appreciation for this world Bethesda has created. My personal favorites include the small-talk banter between characters: “So I says, ‘Well then, we got a chupacabra with an automatic weapon on our hands.’ And thats when they got real quiet, cause then they saw the predicament we was in.”
Even though much of New Vegas plays just like Fallout III, many subtle improvements keep the game interesting. Although players can still stop time and target specific areas on enemies using the “VATS” system, it is also possible to aim straight down the sights of your gun as if you were playing some sort of futuristic first-person shooter. This simple addition adds a lot to gameplay; exploring caves and clearing out abandoned houses while aiming down the sights gives the game a greater sense of tension and realism. At times, it can even feel as scary and tense as playing a DOOM video game.
Unfortunately, the only things that might turn some people off to this game are its bugs and glitches. New Vegas will freeze fairly frequently, which requires players to save their games more often as a reassurance that their hard work won’t ever be erased. These glitches are slightly more frequent on the XBOX 360 system but are still commonplace with PS3 systems. However, downloadable patches have fixed many of the problems and are, of course, free of charge online.
Overall, Fallout: New Vegas provides such an amazing and lengthy experience that its glitches should be overlooked by those looking for a genuinely entertaining video game.