Fallout: New Vegas, Old Obsidian

By Quintin Smith on October 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm.

I’m only about four hours into Fallout: New Vegas, and while I’m enjoying myself, I’ve already come to one saddening conclusion. It’s a bit broke.

Below you’ll find a list of all the mysterious happenings and straight-up bugs I’ve encountered so far, a list Jim suggests I call “Getting Glitched In Vegas”. He’s good, that Jim.

  • By far the most annoying and prevalent oddity is that the NPCs you encounter in towns and stationed around the wasteland have strange, hairpin senses of danger, and simply walking past them can be enough to trigger some kind of evasive AI routine. The result is that you’ll walk into a town, and four or five NPCs will abruptly start sprinting away from you in endless circles. “WELCOME, STRANGER,” they’ll shout while rubbing themselves against burnt-out trucks and walls. Sound annoying? Now imagine you have to talk to one of them for a quest, so you end up chasing them all around town. Yeah.
  • Above you can see a woman at a desk. She’s typing at a computer. You can see her fingers moving, and hear the noise of the keys clattering. There’s just… no computer. Call me a stickler for detail, but that’s, I mean, she should have a computer.
  • The Oblivion engine’s back! Now, the thing about the Oblivion engine is that it’s a bit of a charisma vacuum, and you have to work quite hard to make people not come across as stocky puppets. New Vegas doesn’t try very hard. In fact it tries so little that I’ve been having shootouts with people who maintain the same lazy smile or expression of doped boredom that they wear before the fighting starts.
  • In four hours, the game’s crashed on me twice.
  • I’ve also had a couple of encounters with that strange ragdoll rubberman glitch where somebody falls over, and their body elongates until it becomes an intangible sheet that divides the level. I later died when some enemies happened to ambush me by attacking from the other side of the glitch. True story.
  • The new “Hardcore” mode on offer that means your character has to eat, drink and sleep is a touch nonsensical. After 48 in-game hours where I did nothing but walk and fight, I checked my FOD, SLP and H20 meters in the nick of time, because they all showed that I only had about 50 points out of 1000 left. I drank some water, ate some fruit, and checked the meters again. They now read 0. As in, after 48 hours they hadn’t ticked from 1000 to 50. They’d ticked from 0 to 50. I could go without drinking or sleeping for weeks. Also, in Hardcore mode food still heals damage you’ve taken, it just takes a few seconds instead of being instantaneous. So you still have the ability to get shot, bring up the Pip Boy, devour 40 packets of instant mash, exit the Pip Boy and keep fighting.
  • I played Fallout 3 on my console toy so I’m not sure how bad Fallout 3′s controls were on PC, but I can tell you that New Vegas definitely does have the controls of a lazy port. It’s impossible to assign hotkeys for anything in the Pip Boy menu, so if you want to check your map, quests, inventory or even turn off the radio, you bring up the Pip Boy with tab and navigate to that specific submenu with a series of clicks. Clicking your way through multiple choice conversations is almost as bad- it’s just that so few buttons do what you’d expect them to, and masses of obvious shortcuts are ignored.

So, yeah. My time with New Vegas is off to a bit of a bad start. If you’re after a more full-bodied conclusion instead of just me whinging, fear not. I’ll be posting my Wot I Think in the next few days.

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394 Comments »

  1. Thiefsie says:

    It’s Barney – but with a dead-eyed stare!

    • Lord Byte says:

      And that’s why I didn’t pre-order it. Bethesda has ALWAYS released a bugged piece of crap and takes months to get it into some semblance of the game it’s supposed to be… I got burned on Fallout 3 too (and pretty much every release before that), didn’t want to go through it again.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Yeah, let’s ignore the fact that Bethesda didn’t make this one shall we?

      Let’s at least assign blame where due, the blame for this buggy mess rests on Obsidian’s shoulders.

    • Warskull says:

      Both of them are probably to blame, Bethesda’s engines are buggy piles of crap and Obsidian always lets massive amounts of bugs through. Together they obviously make buggy messes.

  2. Urael says:

    There can be no excuses for Obsidian this time, surely?

    • terry says:

      Other than “It’s an Obsidian game”.

    • malkav11 says:

      Other than, “Bugs or no, every single Obsidian game I’ve played has been made of pure awesome?” ’cause that’s been -my- experience. Also, FWIW, NWN2 shows a history of willingness to patch the crap out of the game if the publisher lets them. The instances where their games haven’t been fixed (KOTOR2, Alpha Protocol – not that AP is buggy for me) are the ones where the publisher abandoned ship pretty much immediately.

    • Gargantou says:

      Well, to be fair, Oblivion and Fallout 3 were both bug-riddled messes on release, crashed a lot and FO3 even had a bug that broke the main questline.

      So I guess one could use that as an excuse “Bethesda’s own games are just as buggy.”

    • Some person says:

      How about the fact the engine the game is built on is a glitchy, bug-ridden piece of shit?

      I’m sure that doesn’t play a part, no. It must be Obsidian. Embarrassing how this comments thread has morphed into such a hive mind. Look at what you’ve wrought, Keiron Gillen replacement.

    • Matt says:

      They haven’t had an excuse since KoTOR 2, that doesn’t stop the fanboys from trying to rationalize this stuff every time it happens.

    • Michael says:

      It must be said: If you expected a game made by Obsidian and published by Bethesda to not have bugs, you really haven’t been paying attention.

      That said, I am disappointed to hear that Obsidian didn’t put in more animation work on the character models. I’m a little tired of the eerie buggers.

      P.S. I know that there was a “holster” key in F3. IIRC it was defaulted as H for the PC version.

    • tomwaitsfornoman says:

      Bait!

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Holstering is the same as FO3, hold down the reload button.

    • Dave says:

      Has everyone forgotten Fallout 2? The fact that the initial release was a buggy mess? Disappearing trunk, anyone? Were you guys on the official forum back in ’98? I sure as hell was, and people were PISSED.

      And now, hey, it’s a classic.

      Not that I’m excusing this, I am simply commenting on the cyclical nature of all things.

    • sfury says:

      I specifically remember them claiming they’ve revamped most of the character animations and what not. But oh, la la. New Fail.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      “Obsidianized”.

      But seriously, what the hell guys? If you can’t even find the talent or energy to polish the games you make… please stop making games. This industry isn’t exactly a charity and half-hearted games do nothing to help the image of PC gaming.

    • Dhatz says:

      look at STALKER, it idn’t suck at the 3rd installment! Now tell me why would I ever want to play some FO rather than for example STALKER?

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Yes, STALKER is pretty much THE spiritual successor to Fallout 1 and 2.

    • Nick says:

      Most of those are related to the godawful engine, no? I mean I had several of those issues with Fallout 3 as well.

    • Lukasz says:

      Bugginess of AP has no excuse. None. They had the money, they had the time.

      that being said

      I don’t give a f—

      AP was brilliant
      KOTOR 2 was too. Even with the content butchered it is superior to K1 and is still one of the best games (not only RPG) i had ever played
      Loved NWN2 too (had to give back my copy to friend so never finished)
      and ofcourse
      bloodlines, arcanum, Fallout 2 are the best games i ever played and they were bug ridden too.

      Unfortunately i am at the moment flooded with games i haven’t played (over 15 of them sitting in my library ready to be played) so im giving FNV a pass till next year. buy GOTY edition?

  3. sana says:

    Welcome to Fallout 3! Enjoy your stay.

  4. taikonaut says:

    Maybe she´s writing it down on her invisible typewriter. ;)

    • Temple to Tei says:

      The Noise!
      Where does the noise come from”
      Somebody stop the noise!
      The clattering of keys in my head!
      Someon- ok I’ll stop now.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      You know, maybe that person is a quest starter to some Cthulhu horror craziness.

    • Farkeman says:

      maybe she gives quest to find her computer , and she shows what her computer was like , what sound keyboard buttons made when they were press and how she pressed them ^^

      its an RPG for God sake !
      so think rpg …

  5. ALJA says:

    massively disappointing considering all obsidian had to do, was cobble together a story and bug test it.

    • Michael says:

      To be fair, Obsidian is an independent developer which mostly does work-for-hire. I doubt they have the resources to maintain a dedicated QA team. Generally, it’s the publishers, in this case Bethesda, that are responsible for providing the resources necessary to release the game, including but not limited to QA.

    • sfury says:

      Well can’t say it’s unexpected coming from either Obsidian or Bethesbla. Still, if they’ve delivered on their strong sides, I’d play it with way more enthusiasm than FO3.

  6. Xeon06 says:

    Ah damn, just when I was about to buy it. Looks like I’ll wait a bit more :(

  7. W Main says:

    Obisidian? A broken game?! SURELY NOT!

    I reckon they just don’t have QA Testers.

    • Archonsod says:

      No, they do. They just made the mistake of hiring people like me to Q&A test, to whom a woman typing on an invisible typewriter would be so awesomely funny I’d demand it was left in.

    • Temple to Tei says:

      I’m mildly autistic so expressionless faces would pass me by as something to fix.

      Hence Civ 5 ‘you can tell what they are thinking by looking at their expression’ …. DOES NOT REALLY WORK FOR ME!
      What is wrong with words! We invented ‘em let us them to convey information.

    • Xercies says:

      Same i didn’t notice anything was wrong in Oblivion or fallout 3 until someone actually said look at the face properly and really stare at it.

      Also another problem I don’t pick up on is bad voice acting. I seriously don’t notice it unless its like Tommy Wausau’s The Room bad. There are many games that apparently have bad voice acting that I really don’t notice. Like The witcher for example.

    • Dave says:

      One person’s bad voice acting is another person’s… not bad voice acting.

      Usually it takes a combination of bad dialog and bad voice acting to get my attention. Unless it’s Robot Alchemic Drive bad. That game featured a TV news announcer who was trying really hard (sometimes) to read her English lines, despite not knowing the language or being told what any of it meant. Luckily for her, she had no idea how bad the dialog was. While giant robots duked it out in the streets, “What will become of Senjo? The city’s fate seems to grow dimmer than a candle in the wind!”

    • Heliocentric says:

      @Temple just assume they hate you, stockpile more nukes.

      Or play a good game, civ4?

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Bad voice acting? Call of Pripyat. Seriously. The Witcher is actually music to your ears by comparison.

  8. JohnH says:

    Ugh. Now I’m not looking forward to the launch with the same enthusiasm anymore. You know, I keep wondering how Obsidian keep surviving even though they drop the ball all the time. While other, imho better, developers have gone tits up.

    • Astatine says:

      All the old Black Isle fanboys like me are still hanging around, helplessly buying every game Obsidian put out and thinking to ourselves “maybe this one will be okay, and not bug-ridden”

      Maybe at some point we’ll give up…

    • Archonsod says:

      Probably because Obsidian have a knack with the writing that keeps you playing in spite of the bugs. Or a knack with the bugs that actually enhance the game. People having deep and meaningful conversations on the nature of loyalty and betrayal with what, if their positioning during the cutscene is anything to go by, appears to be a household plant for example. I find myself caring a lot more for characters who insist on philosophical debates with inanimate household objects than I do for those who think sending the chosen one to deliver some gubbins to the next village is some kind of heroic quest worthy of melodrama.

    • perilisk says:

      But wouldn’t it make more sense for Obsidian to fire all their (apparently worthless) technical people and just hire themselves out as a writing/design studio to technically competent teams that produce bland garbage?

    • ohnoabear says:

      @perilisk,
      Teams that produce bland garbage like, say, Bethesda? They’re not the most technically competent bunch, but other than that, I’d say that’s exactly what they’re doing.

  9. Jonathan says:

    It’s just Fallout with bugs.

    Wait.

    • Markachy says:

      Here is a man who knows what hes talking about.

      Bugs are a pain, but it didn’t stop Fallout 1 and 2 and KOTOR2 and Vampire Bloodlines (Troika are kind of Obsidian) being phenomenal games, so much better than templated COD remakes.

      Even with version 7.1 (SEVEN POINT ONE??!!) of the Vampire fan patch, its hilarious how people just fly about the streets, teleport to places, and are simply not there during cutscenes.

      But the story and dialogue and world make up for it in so many ways. Beats a bugless sterile “AAA” title any day.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Actually I think it was a clever remark on the ‘Oblivion with guns’ joke that did the rounds at Fallout 3′s release.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Also, comparing Obsidian’s games to CoD and going “well, they’re more imaginative than that!” is saying very little, and isn’t particularly useful as a defence.

      Also also, it just isn’t the case that a game is either buggy and imaginative or bugless and boring, and you know it.

    • Markachy says:

      I’m pretty sure its a reference to the fact that Fallout 1, 2, Tactics and 3 (Brotherhood of Steel isn’t worthy of inclusion) have all been buggy as hell, and thus is should be no surprise that this is buggy.

      And about the AAA titles, I wish all games were bug-free, but more often than not the super-polished games nowadays are the mass-market-aimed games like modern-day COD etc, more traditional games like RPGs etc that have a much smaller market tend to get pushed out the door quicker and thus are buggier, but thats a price I am willing to pay if it means we continue to get the more traditional games than aren’t sterilised for the masses

  10. Duffin says:

    I still maintain Fallout 3 is vastly overrated, and is infact not that far from being a steaming pile of pigshit.

    • Lobotomist says:

      As a Fallout (old ones) fan. I can tell you that for all shortcomings of F3 , it was simply fun game to play.

      Which is a merit in its own right

    • Fox says:

      While I wouldn’t say F3 was complete shit, it was certainly mediocre at best. Oblivion with guns, truly – and if you like that, lucky you. However beyond the backdrop it didn’t feel like a Fallout game to me and so I was dismayed over how well it was received as the next installment of the franchise. Alas the bulk of its audience likely never even heard of F1 and F2, much less played them, so they don’t know any better.

      I had some hope for New Vegas being in old hands, despite my ever-growing distaste for most things Obsidian. This certainly paints a bleak picture. I guess with any luck they’ll have at least gotten the feel right and it might be worth slogging through with a number of mods in tow.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Well here, Fox, let me slap my own credentials up on the table.

      I still have the discs for the original two games (three, technically, if you include FO:T). I bought and played them when they first came out, finished them, and have occasionally replayed them in the intervening years.

      And settingwise, FO3 feels exactly like what those two games promised, but couldn’t quite deliver due to the technical limitations of the time.

      Don’t get me wrong: the first two (primarily the first) had great stories associated with them. But beyond the occasional weapon design, billboard, or piece of map art, we never really got to explore the “future fifties” that the title sequences gave us a glimpse of. There was no evocative pop music once you were in-game. The fashions could’ve come from any generic wasteland setting. And don’t even get me started on Fallout 2′s “let’s drop in some modern day pop culture references and call it humor”.

      FO3 took everything that was great about the title sequences from those first two games, and distilled it into pure in-game atmosphere. That may sound like it’s damning with faint praise, but let’s face it: the FO1/FO2 title sequences are legendary for their sense of setting.

      Even going beyond that, many of the quests in FO3 were just dripping with Cold War-era themes of paranoia, isolation, and groupthink. For me, the Tranquility Lane quest was probably a high point in this regard.

      Overall, the writing was mediocre. If you didn’t facepalm yourself over the original ending, then you have an incredibly high tolerance for lazy plot railroading.

      But did it feel like a Fallout game? I say, ‘Yes.’

    • empty_other says:

      Yes, Corporate Dog is right, it did feel like Fallout. Until you had tried a mission. It felt railroaded, and without many options. And the dialogs was also without options. Nor did your stats have barely anything to say other than in combat. Not to mention a moral system devoid of any logically moral (giving you karma for doing questionable stuff, taking away karma for no reason at all).

      I fell in love with Fallout because of the overwhelming choices, just as i fell in love with games like Deus Ex and Morrowind, and when they suddenly remove what i remember as the key feature of the game, something dies a bit inside me.

      Hrmf.. Still two days left until Fallout: Las Vegas release on my Steam. :(

  11. Astatine says:

    Oh no!

    I’ve been really looking forward to this. Fallout 3 had lots of potential but was let down by the shallow nature of most of the quests and characters. FO3 + the depth of characterisation the Obsidian folks are capable of sounds like it should be wonderful.

    Immersion breaking glitches for the lose in a game like this.

    Ars Technica also reports random freezes, necessitating saving every minute. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Haven’t seen any freezes yet. Just crashes to desktop.

    • UW says:

      Oh, well that’s alright then.

      :(

    • Mr_Day says:

      @Quinns

      So, Fear of Crashing in Las Vegas?

      Ahaha. Ahem. I’ll stop.

    • Zogtee says:

      I’m not surprised, but still gutted about this. FO3 is still a buggy mess for a lot of people and Bethe… You know, I’m not even going to rant, because what’s the fucking point? We all know the drill by now. Bethesda games are about as stable as a one-legged scottish drunk on a ladder. Their animation and character design are sub-standard. Throw the remains of Obsidian into the mix and it can only end like this. Fuck the lot of them.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >Throw the remains of Obsidian into the mix and it can only end like this.

      What, with a game that is lauded for its writing and is currently at 85% on Metacritic? Oh noes!

    • DrGonzo says:

      On my PC it’ll be more like Fear and Loading in Las Vegas. HO!

    • Matt says:

      Don’t worry guys, when the next Bethesda first person RPG romp comes out in 2014 it’ll be using some decent tech… why do you think they bought id Software?

  12. Inigo says:

    Obsidian releasing a heavily bugged game based upon another company’s IP? Say it ain’t so!

  13. Torqual says:

    Oh noes, Obsidian did it again. Releasing a bug infested game. So who is to blame. I presume Atari was pressing too much on release date again. Oh what a shame this time Atari was not the publisher. Obsidian will never get their perfect game released achievement.

    Have a nice day.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Surely they used up that line of excuses with Alpha Protocol.

      They really need to hire new, better project managers that reign in their projects and stop them getting too ambitious. If they still can’t get the small projects right, then publishers need to stop using them as gotos for jobs that nobody else wants.

      As much as I hate to say it, maybe once they fold, their actual talent can go to more technically competent studios?

    • bob_d says:

      @Optimaximal: The entire industry is about making over-ambitious games with not enough time and money. (Unless you’re making under-ambitious Facebook games, or similar.) Can’t really fault them for that.

  14. Oozo says:

    That’s just what I was thinking after having read the review on Giant Bomb: Horrible bugs? An interesting world, characters and writing that have you keep playing nevertheless? Now, that sounds like an Obsidian/Avellone-game to me.

    Strangely, the bugs were not mentioned that much in the Eurogamer review I checked out as well – which made me think loony things like: “Maybe the console version is more broken than the PC one?”

    Anyway, pre-ordered it, so there’s no stepping back now. Even though it might be sitting a bit on the shelf, waiting for the dear old modders and patchers to do their work. It’s not as if we couldn’t have seen that coming. Still, how Obsidian even managed to fuck up a game in a year-old engine is a question worth asking…

    • Temple to Tei says:

      Nobody shouting at Quinn for playing on a tv-extender?
      As I read his review I though, oh at least he xbox version will be better.
      Wait he’s on a consoulless?

  15. Simon Dufour says:

    Well. To their defense, Bethesda was never good at bug testing either. Fallout 3 was also full of bug. More work for the community I guess.

    • Rich says:

      True. But this this basically a mod, so you’d think less time building your own engine would mean more time polishing.

    • perilisk says:

      Well, you’d also think it would be harder to introduce bugs into core engine stuff in the first place, if all you’re doing is modding the game.

    • Ateius says:

      @perilisk – Yet somehow, Obsidian found a way.

    • Carra says:

      I’m not sure why people call Fallout 3 bug ridden.

      I don’t remember any (serious) bugs. Maybe a quest or two that I couldn’t finish. Certainly no crashes or guys typing in the air.

    • malkav11 says:

      People typing on air? No. (I don’t remember characters even using computers.) Hard locking sometimes five times in an evening? Yes. Objects, people, enemies getting stuck in the level geometry? Yup. People spontaneously dying while you’re not around? Yup (to be fair, this isn’t necessarily a bug – it’s just that in this case people were clipping through the world and falling to their deaths). The whole Lincoln Memorial quest being uncompletable for several in-game months because the escaped slaves I helped simply disappeared? Yup. I could go on.

  16. Mr Chug says:

    Haven’t you heard of the invisi-computers in the the Fallout universe? Part of the whole alternate universe thing is that they invented invisible computers when the Chinese invaded so they could post on their blogs about massive stompy robots without fear of observation.

    You don’t even have to look at them to check what you’re typing. You just know.

  17. Luomu says:

    Well, in F3 you hold reload key to holster a weapon. Assigining hotkeys was possible by going to the weapon selection and pressing a number key.

    • Archonsod says:

      IIRC you could also bring up the map et al with hotkeys, albeit still in the Pipboy, but at least it took you straight to the relevant screen.

    • MadMinstrel says:

      Yup. The interface was meant to work with a gamepad. And it does – you can get to any pipboy screen you want in less than a second. Granted, they could have made an enhanced, less clicky, more-information-at-once pipboy for the PC version. But hey, if you just connect a gamepad, it instantly makes sense. So do it.

  18. bluebottle says:

    Sounds like a polished masterpiece, by Obsidian standards.

    (In their defence, 3 and 5 were not of their making)

  19. muki says:

    so, a bethesda game, then.

    • muki says:

      whoops, my bad, obsidian

    • blargh says:

      You got it right both times, actually.

      Bethesda + Obsidian = Buggy Bugfest… and the obligatory trademark crappy animations (Yes, I have to mention that every time someone mentions Bethesda).

    • Matt says:

      Come on now, the player animations in Fallout 3 were some of the best I’ve seen in a 3rd person skating sim

  20. W Main says:

    “Above you can see a woman at a desk. She’s typing at a computer. You can see her fingers moving, and hear the noise of the keys clattering. There’s just… no computer. Call me a stickler for detail, but that’s, I mean, she should have a computer.”

    Now hey, wait a minute, that might just be a game feature! You’ve found the mad woman of New Vegas who does the accounting on an invisible PC.

    • derf says:

      Who is inexplicably capable of reproducing keyboard sounds.

    • The Hammer says:

      ‘You’re… you’re making the sounds yourself…’
      ‘…no I’m no- *click click click*’-t.’

    • blargh says:

      That got a laugh out of me! :D

  21. JohnArr says:

    Unless they broke the F3 system, you should be able to hold down a number key (1-8) in your inventory and then click on an item to assign it to that number.

    Shame Hardcore Mode isn’t. Bring on the modders!

    • Quintin Smith says:

      Really? Man. I’m all for figuring out controls myself, but that’s some cheat code-level secrecy, right there.

    • Cael says:

      for some reason that is beyond me, 2 is hardcoded to be switch weapon ammo type. It’s pretty bizarre considering 1, 3-8 are bindable.

    • Cael says:

      also f1-f4 correspond to different tabs of your pipboy

    • DrGonzo says:

      Why do console ports never support your mouse scroll wheel for weapon selection?

  22. AndrewC says:

    Is it noticeably more buggy than Oblivion or Fallout 3?

    Just, and do please forgive me Master Quinns, many People-On-The Internets’ ideas of game breaking bugs are barely noticeable glitches to philistines like me.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      As I mention in the article, I’m enjoying myself. None of this stuff is game-breaking. Just disappointing.

    • AndrewC says:

      OK, cool beans. I kind of have some PTSD responses to the word ‘broke’, as it is usually followed by comparing a game to the holocaust for having clipping issues. I am sensitive, and need holding.

    • Temple to Tei says:

      Your face is expressionless and we cannot tell

  23. Jp1138 says:

    Well, Fallout 2 was fairly broken on launch too, so they are just going on with the tradition. I think it had an invisible car, not computer…

    • Archonsod says:

      Yep, or if you were really lucky the trunk would detach itself from the rest of the car and follow you around.

    • JKjoker says:

      But Fallout 2 got patched eliminating most bugs after a few months, Alpha Protocol, the previous Obsidian game, has been screaming for a patch since release and nothing, in fact this is true for a lot of games lately, you cant even count on patches anymore

    • Archonsod says:

      I’ve not seen any serious bugs in Alpha Protocol worth patching out to be honest. As for FO2, the patch largely stopped the game breaking bugs, like certain quests sending you crashing to the desktop. It was the unofficial patches which sorted out the less gamebreaking stuff.

    • Jp1138 says:

      The problem is in 1998 it wasn´t too easy to get patches with the crappy conections back then… asuming you had a connection, because at least here, they were quite pricey for what they gave.

  24. bitbot says:

    Bethesda, isn’t it about time you fix your broken game engine? You have full access to id tech 5 so what’s holding you back? If TESV is still using the same old engine…

  25. Tei says:

    I hope the controls thing are fixed for the PC. I can live with bad hilarious bugs, and a few CTD if the game have a autosave or quicksave system. But bad controls may make any second of the game painfull.

  26. Jhoosier says:

    This makes me sad. Yet also happy that I didn’t buy it when it was on pre-order a while back. What’s the point of special raider armor with all these bugs?

  27. Lars Westergren says:

    Boo. Again RPS chooses to fire away an article focusing only on bugs and nothing else for an Obsidian game on release day.

    Reviews so far have been pretty excellent.
    http://www.vg247.com/2010/10/19/fallout-new-vegas-reviews-go-for-broke-round-up/

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Another 9/10 review, by someone who obviously played Fallout 1 & 2. Can’t wait to play this game to be honest.
      http://www.destructoid.com/review-fallout-new-vegas

    • Huggster says:

      I think there is already a patch out for some of the bugs as well.
      This looks like what I was expecting Fallout 3 to be in the first place.
      - No more dull dungeons which are pointless
      - More interesting NPCs
      - No more awful subways and capital city

      I will be playing a high speech character as supposedly it really has an effect this time.

    • tomwaitsfornoman says:

      Eurogamer gave it a 9/10 as well. Call me crazy, but I trust those guys.

    • Gritz says:

      Far be it for anyone to have a substantive criticsim about a game when its review numbers are so high!

  28. noobnob says:

    Do not preorder, do not buy at launch, do wait for a patch/mods to fix things. Avoid disappointment.

    On another note, I really, REALLY hope the next Fallout game is on id tech 5. They really have to dump Gamebryo, they’ve been using it for far too long.

    • Jad says:

      Do not preorder, do not buy at launch, do wait for a patch/mods to fix things. Avoid disappointment.

      This has been my approach to PC games for … well, forever. Or at least since the internet made patches possible.

  29. Cooper says:

    The Oblivion has not aged well. They still haven’t introduced dynamic shadows which, even when they were developing the engine, were becoming the norm.

    One of the reasons I stopped playing Oblivion after picking it up last year was how flat the world looks. It’s amazing the change that environmental and object shadows bring.

  30. Frozenbyte says:

    I’m noy surprised. Glitches are Obsidian’s trademark, after all.

  31. Dlarit says:

    A- quinns what has happened to onionbog? I can’t go on without finding out!!!
    B – I was lookin forward to this game on Friday and now you dash my hopes… Is there any chance yours is a pre-release copy and such massive bugs have been squashed in final version? Please say yes…

    *goes into fetal position*

  32. derf says:

    @ OP – Is anyone surprised?

  33. UW says:

    I’m not all that surprised. I know a lot of people who love Fallout 3 and are totally psyched about New Vegas. I enjoyed Fallout 3 but have been generally quite skeptical about this title. When asked why I can only say “It’s being developed by Obsidian”, which is utterly meaningless to most of my friends.

    I only recently learned of Obsidian when I made the mistake of getting excited about Alpha Protocol. As a guy who loves spies and RPGs, this seemed like a match made in heaven. I starting reading up on Obsidian, which tempered my excitement somewhat, but not enough. Somehow I couldn’t accept that the game was going to be anything except fantastic.

    Well, we all know it wasn’t. Since then I decided when it comes to Obsidian I will keep a cautious eye on the games. If it turns out to be good, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. If not, I’ll nod solemnly to myself and move on.

    • malkav11 says:

      No, I’m sorry, we do not “all know that”. Alpha Protocol was (and is) fantastic in my book. Do I find a few of the design choices a tad frustrating? Sure. And I wish they’d fix hacking to be a little less wonky controlwise. But in terms of the meat of the game, I love it. The conversations, the intel gathering, the little bonuses from everything you do, the way the narrative reacts to seemingly minor actions…

      I mean, I grant you I’ve only run into one of the many bugs other people have reported (reloading repeatedly hangs the game), so that stuff hasn’t gotten in the way of my appreciation for it. But I really don’t feel like it deserved a lot of the negative reviews it got.

    • UW says:

      I wish I could agree. I appreciate your perspective but I tried so hard to like the game, but all that I got was disappointment. The things it does well, it does really well, but not well enough to outshine all the flaws in my eyes.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to call the game unplayable and I’m all for overlooking flaws in favour of the “greater good”, but to have to struggle through the tedious missions and ridiculous hacking mini-games (One of which forced me to use a controller as it simply was not working properly with a mouse) to get to the admittedly well thought-out and implemented story parts just wasn’t a worthwhile trade off.

      It’s not like I wrote off the game without giving it a chance, I tried so hard to like it. I read all the reviews and decided that it’s probably just a game that isn’t for certain types of people, but that I would fall in love with. That’s not strictly untrue, either. I don’t care about the fact that accuracy is a calculation, and that your character is supposedly an experienced spy yet initially cannot seem to even fire a pistol properly. They’re just RPG staples.

      Despite the reviews, I still bought the game expecting to like it, I still gave it a chance and I tried to fight through the bugs and tedium to find something worthwhile. Ultimately all I was left with was disappointment. A completely average game that could have been something really special. That should probably be Obsidian’s tagline or something.

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, I dunno. I just finished it and loved every bit of it aside from a few niggling things like the hacking minigame (easily circumvented, not -that- hard either, just a bit annoying), Thornton standing up to use sniper rifles (thus making sure everyone in the area sees him), and one or two forced battle sequences that are a tad frustrating when using a stealth-built character. Which is not to say that stealth has nothing in its toolbox for such sequences – a full Shadow Operative charge can allow you to subdue several guys while they can’t see you. And if you’re also wielding a pistol, well… it’s not the best stand-up-and-brawl weapon but maxed critical hits to the head from cover drop guys nice and fast, to say nothing of the tactical-nuke-vs-bosses that is Chain Shot.

      I thought the missions had a nice mix of variety and settings, enough twists to keep things going, some alternative routes for getting the drop on enemies, and I never really got tired of sneaking up on guys and brutalizing them (or headshotting from cover, then shooting the next guy as he runs to check on his friend). I do wish there’d been a bit more variety in gear, but ah well.

    • UW says:

      You might be quite interested in This retrospective. The author shares quite a lot of my current views of the game but ultimately goes on to say that he’s really enjoying it.

      I admit I still intend to play the game more, though when I don’t know, and I think it will have a place in my heart. But all I will ever think of when I hear the words “Alpha Protocol” is wasted potential.

  34. undead dolphin hacker says:

    I was going to say “Well I’ll just get it on console,” but then find it’s just as bad there? Microsoft has pretty stringent QA. Big, game-breaking bugs or imbalances make it through QA all the time, but they’re typically behind-the-scenes ones, not glaring obvious stuff like invisible objects or floating sheriffs.

    I’ll probably get it on the PC. Patches come faster, fans can mod fixes, etc. It’s telling that, even with all these nutty bugs, the game’s landing good reviews, score- and text-wise. I think a bunch of people want a Fallout 3 with personality and character that better matched the Fallouts (especially 2 in this case) before it, and Obsidian seemed to have delivered that.

    In other words, god bless Obsidian for making interesting stories, even if they essentially make expansion packs to other peoples’ work and yet still manage to completely bug things out. Gaming needed Troika, and I’m glad someone stepped up to the plate to fill the role.

    Also, Obsidian gets like 20 free passes from me due to Mask of the Betrayer. Best RPG, story wise, since Torment? Without a doubt.

    • blargh says:

      Telling? Not really.

      Fallout 3 got rave reviews.

      Fallout 3 was not very good.

  35. Pijama says:

    Now THAT wasn’t expected, surely?

    And worse, Obsidian is just that. They don’t have the balls to do something epic such as Planescape: Torment again… So we end up with this crap.

    (And I agree with an above poster who said FO3 was a vastly overrated piece of steaming bullshit)

    • Some person says:

      You should probably go play Mask of the Betrayer.

    • Pijama says:

      Indeed, I checked it out briefly… But nah, it doesn’t get near it, if even. If I wasn’t clear enough, I was talking about something seriously original and with a certain amount of designer lunacy, hehe :D

    • Some person says:

      lol @ you thinking you’ll ever see a game like Planescape: Torment again. No wonder you can’t seem to enjoy good things.

    • Bhazor says:

      Wait… Planescape was epic? I’m sorry but no it wasn’t. Well written, funny and engaging? Yes. But epic? Compared to Baldurs and the Ultima games Planescape was tiny, linear and with a lot of missing voice work all running on a 2 year old engine.

    • tomwaitsfornoman says:

      @Pijama

      Weren’t we all complaining the other day that the first couple hours of P:T was hardly bearable? And now you won’t give MotB a second chance? Is your thinking cap correctly fastened? MotB is a beautiful game.

    • Jad says:

      Question, since people are talking about Mask of the Betrayer:

      I’ve never played any of the Neverwinter games. MotB is an expansion pack. I don’t really care enough to play through the vanilla campaigns as I have way too much too play anyway. Can I jump right into MotB? Will I not be leveled up enough? More importantly, will parts of the plot make no sense without the backstory? (I also am fairly unfamiliar with D&D backstory in general)

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @jad

      > Can I jump right into MotB? Will I not be leveled up enough?

      Yes, you can jump right in. Your new character will be given enough XP that you can level them up exaktly like you want them before start.

      >More importantly, will parts of the plot make no sense without the backstory?

      There are a few references to you being the same character as in the main campaign, the Captain of the Keep or whatever the title was, and one or two faces that pop up again, but you are free to ignore it and them completely if you want to. “Nope, don’t remember you, I must have gotten amnesia from a bump on the head!”

      > (I also am fairly unfamiliar with D&D backstory in general)

      All the necessary lore will be explained to you. Having played D&D titles before (like Baldur’s Gate, Planescape, NWN 1) will help you a little bit in combat. You will know which spells and powers are strong against a certain monster type and so on, but it is not rocket science.

      I really recommend it, for story, characters and conversations it is almost as good as Planescape, Vampire:Bloodlines and suchlike.

  36. Some person says:

    It’s mystifying why people are placing the blame on Obsidian when it clearly lies with the horribly creaky Gamebryo engine. Fallout 3 had identical issues to this which had to eventually be remedied by mods.

    • AdrianWerner says:

      I’m sorry, but that’s just nonsense. None of the other Gamebryo games have those problems. So it’s either Obsidian’s fault or fault of the changes Bethsoft made. Propably both. Altough honestly…Unreal 3.0 is very nice to work it and yet look how bad Alpha Protocol was. I wouldn’t go blaming the engines, Obsidian just plain sucks when it comes to doing anything but writing scripts.

    • Some person says:

      Are you insane? Fallout 3 and Oblivion were both notoriously, infamously buggy.

    • DMA says:

      Fallout 3 had identical issues to this which had to eventually be remedied by mods.

      If these issues were eventually remedied by mods then, surely, the developers themselves could have get rid of them in the first place, no? Just means that they didn’t have the necessary resources (time, testers, volition?) to address all the bugs.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >None of the other Gamebryo games have those problems.

      As Some Person says said, they were, and are, very buggy. I’ve experienced the infinite stretchy rubberman, crash to desktop, and disappearing objects bugs on these games, so they are part of the engine.

      >look how bad Alpha Protocol was

      Alpha Protocol is a pretty good game, and I’ll challenge anyone who disagrees with me to fisticuffs.

  37. Riotpoll says:

    I thought the game crashing to desktop was a feature of the Oblivion engine, as both Oblivion and FO3 both did it all the time.

  38. Pianosaurus says:

    @W Main: She’s so mad that you can hear the keys clattering? That’s impressive. Actually, if you look real close, you can probably see her lips moving.

  39. Langman says:

    Word on the street is it’s buggy, but not *that* buggy. Certainly not enough to seriously diminish the game’s overall quality.

  40. muki says:

    Even though FO3 was buggy as all hell, I still spent more hours on it than any other singleplayer games in the last 3 years. I had my money’s worth and it was still possible to bend your imagination a bit to immerse yourself.
    If NV bugs/wooden characters are on a FO3 level (after a couple patches I guess), they can be tolerated.

  41. Amasius says:

    Well, bugs can be fixed a bland story and boring quests not so much. I don’t blame devs for releasing buggy games – I just keep my money until a game is patched enough. Most of the time it’s much cheaper already too. Patience hooray!

    • derf says:

      That’s an approach that I’ve now sworn to employ. I’ve had enough of buying unfinished light crap on release.

  42. Nick C says:

    I believe bugs and glitches are canon in the Fallout universe. Something about radiation and FEV…

  43. Nimic says:

    Ah, for fucks sake… I was looking forward to playing this game on friday, and now you’ve ruined it. That is, they’ve ruined it, but you’re the messenger.

  44. Some person says:

    “Oh, and there’s no button to put your weapon away. If you want to be anything more than an accidental left click away from shooting someone, you need to go into the menu and unequip it.”

    Oh, and this is wrong. You hold R to sheathe your weapon. A bit more fact-checking, a little less of the “throw shit at the wall and see what sticks” method of criticism.

    • phlebas says:

      Fact checking? Is it in the manual or something?

    • Quasar says:

      Actually, I remember reading a piece on Fallout 3 – I think it was the PC Gamer review – in which the author stated that there weren’t hotkeys to select weapons… I was confused, because I knew there WERE hotkeys for this.

      I think my Oblivion instincts made me do it automatically, but they’re not actually mentioned in-game at any point.

    • wengart says:

      I only realized there were hotkeys on my second Oblivion play through, and boy was it a godsend.

  45. Ted says:

    ohh, it’s buggy, eh?
    well, forget buying this game anytime soon, back to STALKER CoP for me!

  46. CMaster says:

    Doesn’t actually sounds and more glitchy than plain old Fallout 3, honestly.

  47. chokoladenudlen says:

    Mmmm! Instant mash!

  48. Meat Circus says:

    Obsidian in “RELEASING BROKEN GAME” Shocker.

  49. Quasar says:

    What’s with the crazy colour saturation? Looks like somebody just gave a child some crayons and said ‘go nuts’

    • Cael says:

      Yeah it looks pretty weird, especially in game. Hopefully there’ll be a mod to change the way it looks (like fellout does for fallout 3). A bigger problem is the nights, they are almost as bright as the day is.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      Maybe they have used the American color scheme from Arcania. The LSD-induced one.

  50. Anonymouse says:

    So I’m playing New Vegas on my XBOX at the moment, I got a pre-release copy (don’t ask how) and you can actually holster your weapon by holding the reload button, X. You can also assign different weapons to different directions on the D-Pad, as hot keys. In fact this game is so similar to F3 I couldn’t believe it at first. They even have a big sewer system under Vegas full of samey steel walls, the same you’d have seen in the Metro area of Washington in F3. It’s almost a shame, but I loved the last game so much that I am happy just to have a huge add-on pack for it.
    I have noticed one or two bugs, but… nothing I don’t remember being in F3 as well?
    I think the NPC’s are running away from you Quintin because you’re aiming your gun at them. If you learn to holster your weapon (hold the reload key) then you’d be all good.
    Anyway, I don’t think it’s quite as buggy as you let on and I’ve had no crashes on the console version. Sure there’s bound to be differences with the PC version but chances are they’ll patch those issues within a month of it being released anyway and it’s bound to be totally playable in that time.
    So yeah, those people being dissuaded from a purchase can calm down, it’s really not that bad. In fact I’m enjoying it as much as I enjoyed any part of Fallout 3.

    • Huggster says:

      Fallout 3 I just ran out of steam with though.
      I had a bunch of quests I did not really care about about half way though, so really got bored and gave up.
      I cleared out the Dunwich Building and found …. nothing. Pretty pointless.
      That pretty much summed up my FO3 experience. A nagging “this is pretty pointless”.

      the writing in this is supposed to be far, far better.

    • malkav11 says:

      The Dunwich Building has a) a fair few audio recordings scattered about and b) ties into a quest you get in Point Lookout. If you have Point Lookout, which you should because it’s great.

    • Huggster says:

      I gave away my FO3 copy yonks ago ….
      I never felt compelled to pump hours upon hours into FO3 though.
      I completed Risen.
      I got to the Lake area on Witcher then got bored.
      Not sure what that means. Perhaps I just burn out after 20 hrs or something?
      Its frustrating.

    • Joshua says:

      @huggster.
      Nothing wrong with that. Happens to me too. I just go off playing something else. Do that. Get bored. Return to previous game, which then feels good and fresh again, and finish it. Then return to the other game to finish that one too.