Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360)

Oh boy, this game was a blast! There's nothing more enchanting then a what-if scenario where the civilization is brought to its knees and the Fallout franchise does it right with the believable story, compelling atmosphere, and absolute freedom to explore the remaining ruins of civilization. It was kind of awkward at first getting into the whole spaghetti-western theming, but from running it for the first time I dropped 12 hours in it before shutting the game off.

This time around, the game is set in the deserts of Nevada, with only a couple of small settlements, and rebuilt ruins of Las Vegas, still remaining. You are a courier working for Mojave Express, with an important delivery. You were ambushed by some gangsters led by Benny, a casino boss from New Vegas; they stole the package, shot you, and left you for dead in the shallow grave in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, a mysterious friendly robot, Victor, dug you up and took you to the nearest settlement. You regain consciousness in the home of Doctor Mitchell in Good springs, with a heavy amnesia, barely remembering anything, only having vague memory of what happened. Spoilers aside, while roaming the wastelands of Nevada, you encounter three fractions, Caesar's legion and autocratic laver society, the New California Republic, a federation that emphasizes pre-war, old world, values, and the enigmatic Mr. House, who's the secret leader of the city of New Vegas.

Although, at first glance, the game might seem like it should have been just an expansion pack for the Fallout 3, the mechanics in the game are greatly improved. The one that stands out the most is that aiming is not just a little zoom anymore, now you're looking down your sights when you play, and that's a major upgrade, since the majority of players I know, took the real-time approach playing the game. If you feel like taking it easy and let the numbers to the talking, there's still V.A.T.S., the Vault-Tec Advanced Targeting System, where the game pauses, and lets you spend action points on your assault, choosing weather to shoot the limbs, to disable the enemy NPC, or the weapon to gain advantage over the opponent, or just to go for the head, making quick and clean kills, if the conditions are right. This game knows it's target audience, and it's the veteran Fallout 3 players, aside from standard Slaver and Raiders, reoccurring enemy NPCs are the dreaded Chazadores, and the vicious Death Claws, now having an entire patch of the map, all for themselves, and I must admit, it was one of the best experiences in the game, taking on the challenge of completing the quests, where you're required to get into the Death Claw Valley, and plan your every move, one bad decision had an entire pack of Death Claws chase after you for some "Courier Salad". Because even the Hard game play setting in Fallout 3 was just stronger enemies, and flimsier weapons, the guys at Bethesda gave their fans the best present ever, the Hardcore difficulty, where you had to eat and sleep to survive, the ammo has weight, Stimpaks and RadAway heals you over time, making the game the closes to the nuclear-winter simulator so far, and I am looking forward to the next installment where they will refine that mechanic.

  • Fun Game play
  • Great Duration
  • Good writing
  • Replay value
  • A bit dated graphics
  • A few glitches
When compared to Fallout 3, this game is on par with it, but only because of the more polished mechanics, Fallout 3 still has a better vibe to it, it engrosses players more. This game still stands well on its own, and the apocalypse desert playground is ever so inviting, so be sure to pick this game up.

Rating:  8.5

-Peter Jovanchevic
 GameNTrade LTD.

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