It’s time to come out of your vaults folks! The biggest game of the year is finally launching. Our five year wait is over! In celebration of such, I dusted off the most recent title in the Fallout series.
Most people I’ve spoken to either loved or hated Fallout, with the fire of a million Megaton bombs. Those who dislike it blame the difficulty, the steep learning curve, or the VATS combat system. They are of course entitled to that opinion, because we are all rational adults and they are surely not just a bunch of whiny wussy-pants who need to grow a pair. Actually, those were a few of the reasons I walked away from Fallout 3, after only 30 minutes of play. My apologies sissies, I was one of you.
Yes, I am getting into the game a little later than most. I have never been a fan of the lone-wolf survival type games, or even anything involving first person mode, and/or shooting. But after some urging from my friends, I grabbed a copy of Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition during the Steam Summer Sale, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I fired up the game and created a character worthy of the wasteland. She looked more like a methed up hooker, than a courier. I resisted the urge to call her Turd Ferguson, or something equally stupid/offensive. It was a surprisingly difficult choice to make. After struggling with that decision, I had to play along with Doc Mitchell’s mind games which were ultimately used to set my SPECIAL skills and traits. I told him that all his ink blots were inappropriate and made me uncomfortable in my nether regions. But he reasoned away my evident insanity, citing my recent cranial distress.
After he cleared me medically, he gave me his wife’s old vault suit and turned me loose on the small town of Goodsprings. The Mojave Music Radio via PipBoy was a great soundtrack to my first view of this post-apocalyptic desert community. But I pulled up spotify and put on a Bob Wills radio station instead. 10/10 would do again.
My next encounter was with a seriously shifty, but otherwise (overly) friendly cowboy-bot named Victor. The same one who supposedly saved me from my grave. I don’t trust that guy, so I went to his house and took all his shit. Everything that I could carry… That will show him.
- I wandered around town lost and confused, nobody would talk to me.
- I stumbled into an old schoolhouse and got rekt by a pack of murderous radioactive mantids.
- Doc Mitchell wouldn’t let me sleep in his bed, cuddle me, or even give me drugs.
- I found the saloon, and made friends with Cheyenne… and her owner.
- I killed some overgrown lizards and bonded with Cheyenne’s human over our badassery.
- I punched the saloon sign and was almost blown up by Easy Pete.
- RIP Easy Pete, I hope they find your head soon.
- I got the town caught in some sort of dispute between a guy and a local gang.
- I “saved” the town from the Powder Gang, but couldn’t save Cheyenne.
- I got hungry and tried to steal food from the garden of a local farmer. All I got was seeds.
- I had to defend myself against (kill) an angry local farmer. I couldn’t harvest his meat.
- I left the (remaining) people of Goodsprings and trudged down the road, not realizing I had a Fast Travel option.
That was just my first sit down. But that’s all it takes to get addicted.
Right off the bat you have choices that will impact your future dealings in the world. You have the choice to be a gentleman or a jerk. Do you make friends with NCR, or do you kill them all? Who do you want as an ally? As an enemy? Can you play both sides? There are many possibilities. Just keep in mind that karma’s a bitch, and the reputation system will ensure you see real consequences for destructive behavior.
It’s a little overwhelming knowing that the game will punish or reward based on how I act IN A GAME.
I did find the PipBoy a little overwhelming at first too. There was a ton of information to take in. Luckily, there were also tips popping up on screen to clearly explain how to use things.
The other slightly hard to learn system was VATS (Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System), I actually got halfway to Nipton before I used it. I didn’t find it to help or hinder, so take that as you will.
The bottom line is: I found this game insanely fun and challenging. I’ve spent days upon days (in my leisure time, not hardcore gamer style) leveling my wasteland warrior and hording EVERYTHING that isn’t nailed down… and some things that were.
A few pointers for those who are going to play New Vegas before Fallout 4 launches… It takes about 40 hours just to beat the main story line. You’re running out of time.
Also, Wild Wasteland is NOT a waste. You need to play with it at least once. It makes the whole experience slightly more twisted and adds hidden content you won’t find elsewhere.
Part of the experience of gaming for me is the exploration and adventures I wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. As well as the rush of being someone/something I am not. This game did not fail me. In this case I was a ass-kicking hero-type (my next play-through may see that change). I freed a town and infiltrated a prison. I took down the Powder Gangers, killed that damn annoying cowboy-bot, and fought Caesar’s Legion. And the most important part, I survived the fallout.
Author’s note: This review is intentionally light on screenshots and plot info past the first town. SPOILERS. Go play it for yourself.