Wot I Think – Fallout: New Vegas

By Quintin Smith on October 21st, 2010 at 4:36 pm.

Why won't VATS let us shoot guys in the nipples? I don't understand.

Obsidian’s pseudo-sequel to Bethesda’s Fallout 3 hits the UK tomorrow, arriving amid a raft of positive reviews. But I see you there, perched atop that blasted rock, canteen in hand, waiting for the official RPS review. That wait is over. Here’s Wot I Think of New Vegas.

There’s a distant sound that can be heard throughout your time with New Vegas. Quieter than the cheery 1930s pop hits that warble from your radio, quieter even than the chirps of night-time insects, or the long gasps of wind blowing across the wasteland. It is the sound of Obsidian phoning this game in. I’m talking long distance, reversed charges, not-giving-a-fuck.

Now, if it’s purely size you care about, New Vegas has you covered. From the moment your character (a professional courier who gets attacked and left for dead in the intro movie) wakes up in a backwater town, you’re introduced to a sprawling wasteland even bigger than that of Fallout 3. There are dozens of settlements to find. There are (shh!) secrets to stumble across. There are four and a half shitloads of different weapons. There is a heaving mass of character perks, just waiting to be unlocked as you progress through the game’s wide array of quests.

But something Bethesda were very aware of when they turned Fallout into a first-person game is that the wasteland is potentially quite a boring setting for the player to be set free in. I mean, you think wasteland, you think deserts, charred ruins and grumpy survivors wearing faded, drab clothes.

So, Bethesda went to great lengths to infuse their D.C. wasteland with colour. It was populated by kooky, occasionally even cartoonish characters- it’s no accident that super mutants and the Brotherhood of Steel featured so prominently. Then you had the independant towns, which were all built in or around visually striking setpieces, and Bethesda even built a labyrinth out of the subway system. Whatever direction you walked in Fallout 3, you felt confident you’d find something interesting.

Whatever direction you walk in New Vegas, you might find something interesting, but it’s much more likely you’ll find something pretty uninteresting, like an empty shack or an NCR army outpost where you’ll hear two different potato-faced soldiers voiced by two different actors say the same line of dialogue about the Mojave being hot. There’s also a slim chance you’ll find nothing at all but a few irradiated creatures, since the game has entire acres of barren scrub and desert that you absolutely would not see in Fallout 3. In my whole time with New Vegas, I found nothing as architecturally entertaining as Megaton, and nothing as eerie or inventive as Little Lamplight. Hiking long distances felt like a chore.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that a more bleak and empty and therefore a more “realistic” vision of the wasteland would suit you just fine. Trouble is, it’s more than that. It can be hard to tell the difference between a lack of content and an authentically barren wasteland, but sometimes New Vegas is so impressively bold in its laziness that the distinction is clear.

Look, here’s a shot of the incredible NCR sharecropper farms, the “pride” of the state! One of the guards working here told me that they have to keep the place well-defended, just so every wastelander walking past doesn’t come in and stuff themselves. This isn’t actually a joke. It’s just a disconnect between the scriptwriter and the whoever designs the actual areas.

And here’s a bustling casino floor in crazy New Vegas!

I took those screenshots from quite far back to get a sense of space, but they’re not staged. Almost all of New Vegas simply has a quiet minimalism to it, which is probably for the best since there’s a pretty awful bug with Windows 64 bit that dropkicks your framerate if you’re standing close to several people at the same time.

More frustrating are the absences where you know there’s meant to be an actual feature, but it was evidently forgotten or abandoned somewhere along the brief road to getting this game on the shelves. I had a long conversation with a bartender about the etiquette for hiring one of her prostitutes, before discovering after three increasingly confused laps of the bar that there were no prostitutes in the building. Later, I encountered a man tied to a pole, begging to be cut down, but there was no way to do so. And in one awesomely surreal instance, I had a chat with a character about their impressive snowglobe collection when there wasn’t a snowglobe in sight.

This isn’t another Vampire: Bloodlines, where an ambitious game’s been left unfinished, because there is no ambition here. Imagine for a second that the above problems didn’t come about because of a lack of time, but because of carelessness, and apply that carelessness to the entire game- most importantly, to the quest design and the dialogue. Now you’re getting close to imagining New Vegas.

God, the dialogue in this game. I think there were several points where I was so bored my brain began rotating in my head like food in a microwave. Whatever voice acting agency or methadone rehabilitation clinic Bethesda used to voice the populace of Oblivion and Fallout 3 is back, and while I didn’t particularly like the writing in Fallout 3 either, the characters in that game were often interesting or disturbed enough that you were curious about what they had to say.

With an unforgivably small number of exceptions (and one character who does actually approach the cast of Bloodlines in his likeability), the characters in New Vegas are all tedious constructs, voiced by people who sound like they’re boring in real life, wandering around in the Oblivion engine, which as we all know is about as charismatic as a slow-motion seizure. The low point for me was probably these guys:

Caesar’s Legion are New Vegas’ big addition to the Fallout lore. They’re a huge, warlike tribe that attempt to embody the characteristics of a Roman legion, meaning leather tunics, little skirts and ferocious disciple- drugs, and as far as I can tell, jokes, are banned. There is just nothing interesting about them, except for the fact that they all pronounce Caesar “Kai-zar”, a mystery I never got to the bottom of.

New Vegas’ saving grace is really just the framework it fails to employ particularly well. While I won’t be returning to New Vegas after this review, I did have a fair amount of fun doing all the old Fallouty things- exploring the wasteland, looting bodies, solving problems with my skills instead of violence and, when I didn’t have the skills, blowing apart head after tender head with my favourite shotgun.

It’s just that this is absolutely not the classic that Fallout 1 and 2 unquestionably were, and it’s also not the bold, bright reinvention that Fallout 3 was. It’s just… here, offering more Fallout. Do you want some more Fallout? If so, New Vegas can provide, so long as you don’t mind your every hour with it being laced with some small amount of disappointment. That is, unless you haven’t played a Fallout game before, but in that case you’re better off with the Game of the Year edition of Fallout 3.

I want to finish by talking about the new Hardcore mode, because that’s what lured me into doing this Wot I Think in the first place. Hardcore mode means playing a version of New Vegas where you have to eat, drink and sleep, where ammo takes up weight allowance in your inventory, and where crippled limbs can only be healed by a doctor or with a one-shot Doctor’s Bag item.

In execution, Hardcore mode isn’t hardcore. At all. Playing as a big ol’ science nerd with no survival skill, no barter skill, average endurance and meagre strength, I breezed through all of the obstacles of Hardcore mode without having to think about them.

Just about every building in the game has a working sink somewhere, so water isn’t an issue, and the piñata-like presence of food in the bins and cupboards of New Vegas’ “wasteland” is bolstered by the fruit you find growing naturally everywhere you go. The most you ever end up thinking about Hardcore mode is when some landmine or mutant with a club breaks your leg out in the middle of nowhere, and there’s nothing for it but to fast travel back to a town and go limping the rest of the way to a doctor.

The way it sounded in previews, Hardcore mode was going to provide New Vegas with an additional, survivalist dimension. Instead, it’s just a handful of weak extra rules that have little impact on the rest of the game. Hardcore mode is, at least, ripe for a modder to come along and fix up, which I suppose describes a lot of New Vegas.

What a bummer I am. Look, let me make it all better- here’s a post onSavyGamer about how you can buy Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 3: Game Of The Year Edition for £30. At that price, I’d say this game is probably worth it.

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800 Comments »

  1. Matzerath says:

    Quinns is definitely not a team player, and will be missing out on some juicy ad-revenue with this tomfoolery. Get with the times, man! Pull this review until all the bugs are fixed, and THEN tell us your feelings! And if they are the correct feelings … well then we’ll all be a lot happier, won’t we?

  2. GGX_Justice says:

    I tend to take a global view of these things.

    When deciding whether or not a game is worth my purchase, I listen to my own common sense, instincts, hype dog and opinions of people on the internet whom I trust.

    These are few and far between – Tom Francis (www.pentadact.com), the Hivemind of RPS and a few others – I’ve liked Quintin Smith ever since he introduced me to Pathologic, and his position at RPS is very well deserved in my eyes.

    To cut this short: I’m going to see what he says, and take it on board. I’ll see what the folks at PC Gamer say too, and hopefully Tom Francis will make a post about New Vegas. I’ll then make up my own mind, from the supposition of all of these opinions.

    He’s reviewed the game and given his thoughts. Has Quintin committed thought-crime? Not at all.

  3. Dude says:

    What a shame.

    Needs a scientist salarian.

    Fire axe + sledgehammer = DEFILER.

    Fallout 3 + NV = pretty good deal!

  4. Fnerp says:

    It’s Kai-Zar because the C in caesar is actually a hard c, as in curriculum or cogent thought, coherent, etc.

    And latin ae sounds like ay / ai. So out comes Kai-Zar.
    And, not for nothing, the german “Kaiser” as in emperor came from this very word, caesar, and is pronounced the same way.

    But all of this was just dropped in favor of a little man saying “Pizza Pizza” and advertising the new cheese crust stuffing or similiar.

    Kinda related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhctidk9jIk&p

    So clearly a man without an understanding for language and culture MUST be unable to correctly judge the awesomeness of a vast, empty, sprawling desert wasteland to walk around in and swap bottle caps with peepz at.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    Thanks for the comments, gentlemen. Please keep the discussion civil and curb the trolling.

    • Shadram says:

      And ladies, surely? :P
      Hmm. Are there any women here? I don’t believe they’re allowed at stonings such as this.

    • Olivaw says:

      Heh.

      Ladies.

      Riiiight.

    • Slaphead says:

      Isn’t it a bit disingenious to ask for civility at this point, when even the original article didn’t contain any?

    • bill says:

      RPS used a bad word??? Well, that’s a change…

  6. Jethro says:

    I’m surprised this review hasn’t been pulled yet. Some of his statements are bordering so close to objectively wrong it suggests that he didn’t actually play much of the game. The misleading screenshots don’t help his credibility either.

    • Shadow Aspect says:

      Misleading screenshots? That’s an odd comment, care to elaborate?

    • Wulf says:

      Well, the screenshots do seem to support the idea that Quinns is trolling, I think he’s a brilliant writer, but I also think he’s having a bit of fun with us in a Yahtzee sort of way. The thing is, no RPG ever has lots of NPCs, but the New Vegas casinos have quite a few providing you don’t take your screenshot in the middle of the bleeding night, when it’s obviously going to be a ghost town. That screenshot seemed to be taken very specifically to back up a fallacious point, I can’t honestly believe that Quinns would make a mistake like that.

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      @Wulf
      Well IIRC, Fallout 2′s New Reno was jam packed with NPC’s (at least in the Casinos). God forbid you got into combat there since you’d be waiting an hour to cycle through every NPC’s turn (I’m exaggerating, but it was quite long)

    • dhex says:

      Well, the screenshots do seem to support the idea that Quinns is trolling

      how? i disagree with mr. smith on most of his points, but the screenshots aren’t particularly humorous or ill-placed. they illustrate his talking points.

    • Jethro says:

      The sharecropper screenshot is framed so you see on small plot of plants. There are many, many more plots out of view because of the angle the reviewer took the screenshot from, as well as maybe a dozen greenhouses. The casino shot is misleading because the casinos are dead at night but have a crowd of people during the day.

    • Patrick says:

      @Jethro
      Wow, really? That’s kind of throws what little credence I gave to this review out of the window. The only valid complaints I’m willing to believe at this point are the bugs and the weakness of Hardcore mode.

  7. clownst0pper says:

    This may sound really shallow, but the graphics look so shit, it actually makes me want to cover my eyes.

    I think they need a new engine…

    • suibhne says:

      I always felt that way in FO3, too – it baffled me that many reviews praised the game’s graphics. Texturing especially was just an eyesore, and FO:NV really isn’t any better.

      That said, I got over it pretty quickly in FO3 once I got involved in the game, and I found the same thing to be true in FO:NV.

  8. Freud says:

    I went ahead and bought the damned thing. I had planned to wait a while but I had to see what all this barren wasteland drama was about.

    Damn you and your reverse psychology salesmanship, Mr Smith.

  9. Ruiner66 says:

    I’m trying to figure out how the reviewer is being so bored with the game. Reading this review, it’s almost like he is playing a different game than me.

  10. Lewie Procter says:

    The thing about Fallout 3 for me was that there was big open spaces with nothing in them.

    But, in my experience, a quick 360 degree turn would always reveal something interesting on the horizon, or some kind of unique derelict building.

    I’d be disappointed if the same wasn’t true of New Vegas.

  11. Danny says:

    Mr Smith is pure gold for RPS. Imagine the increase in advertisement revenue caused by the Holy Crusade when he puts a new article online.

  12. Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

    I think Quinns does super-fine work and the attacks against his character/dress-sense/taste in music in these here comments (fewer than you’d probably see elsewhere, thankfully) are totally uncalled for.

    But. Wait, that needs to be larger. BUT. This review feels like it came from opposite-world. I mean. I actually can’t wrap my head around how some of the conclusions in it were reached. That’s kind of new for me, because I can normally apply my EMPATHY POWERS and figure it out.

    Pretty much ever criticism here (tone of script at odds with reality of visuals, empty space, wonky dialogue) feels like it applies to Fallout 3 rather than New Vegas – which, I admit, I’m only about 4-5 hours into. From what I’ve seen so far though, it improves on FO3 in … well … everywhere.

    So, yes, this was a confusing piece. Welp.

  13. Incognito says:

    I think that it might be fair to actually say that this review is bring RPS down a bit. I´m buying the game today to test it. If it turns out that Quintin is right and everyone else is wrong when it comes to writing, dialogues and quests, then fine. If not, then we have an RPS writer than I will not trust when it comes to writing in games. And since RPS has been my absolute favorite site, than that is a problem for me.

    The problem is not that he dislikes it. I for one has always asked the question how the whole world seems to have the same opinion when it comes to games if you look at gamerankings.com. And F:NV is obviously an uneven game, which deserves varied ratings. No doubt. But what Quintin does here is codemning the one thing that other reviewers seem to agree on, and doing it a very arrogant way.

    If this is his opinion, then he should stand by it and publish the article like that. But I´m having my doubts that he is someone I will listen to from now on. When I get to play the game, I will now for sure.

    The one thing I like with this review though is the same as all others on RPS – it´s a review without a score. Thumbs up for that. :)

    • clownst0pper says:

      So because Quintin doesn’t like it, but mainstream media do (there’s a suprise) you won’t trust Quintin again?

      Get down from your high horse you imbocile. Your coming across as a disgruntled fan boy.

      Vegas has scored well in other reviews because the magazines they are written in are shit. To put it politely.

    • suibhne says:

      You totally missed his point, clown. Wrt the specific case he cited, Incognito seems to be saying that he has a problem with Quinns’ reasoning – particularly the fact that Quinns thinks FO3′s writing is considerably better than FO:NV’s. That judgment is leading Incognito to think that Quinns might not be someone whose opinion he should trust in the future – particularly on the question of the quality of writing in games.

    • suibhne says:

      Also, clown, your insults and ad hominems don’t do much for your credibility.

      Why is it that, every time people perceive there to be an anti-RPS backlash, they put together an anti-backlash backlash that’s at least as abusive as the behavior they’re criticizing?

    • Incognito says:

      suibhne: Exactly. Thank you for that. :)

    • LoveIsGood says:

      I’m sorry, but I have to defend Vegas here, I played it and I found its pretty good and that I’m agreeing a bit with the mainstream media that I never read. I have no idea what the heck game he was playing. It does have a lot of bugs though, but I’m hopeful they will be fixed seeing the track records we have here. Bethseda gets about a B and Obsidian has a great bug fixing track record as long as the publisher doesn’t stop them and I don’t think Bethseda plans on stopping them.

  14. Wang Lo says:

    Ignore the haters. You make a good case for your criticism unlike the people who seem to like this game so much, especially ones who say stupid things like obsidian made the original fallouts. Fallout 1+2 were great but obsidian has never made a game that was truly good to date so I doubt this one is any different. Some people have riled themselves up that this is somehow a more legitimate fallout but if caesar’s legion and some of the other crap weren’t in the jefferson design I can’t imagine them grabbing anyone very much.

    • LoveIsGood says:

      Pretty much all of Black Isle Studios went to Obsidian when Black Isle folded. Hence why me and others are talking about Obsidian as if it was involved because quite a bit of the company was involved in the originals.

  15. bill says:

    Well, everyone loved the writing for fallout 1, but i found it dull and characterless… so i guess it’s all about personal taste…

  16. Unaco says:

    Honest review Quinns. Well done… it obviously takes a brave games journalist to do it, especially for such a big game. Also, maybe expanding the RPS readership quite so much wasn’t the best idea… it may have brought in some ‘undesirables’. As long as we only lose the comments though, I’ll be happy… don’t let it change the writing and the articles!!

  17. HexagonalBolts says:

    RPS, for the love of god, close this comments thread! And don’t worry we all still love you and your writing.

  18. clownst0pper says:

    Everyone banging on about the writing is waaaay better than FO3 is crackers. Anything above dogshit is an improvement, so FO:V probably is…

    • Tycho says:

      Wow, and you accused someone of being on a high horse earlier…

  19. hoverdog says:

    Yes, bethesda used to make good games. What they are doing now is disturbingly bad.
    However, this one’s content was made by Obsidian.

  20. GenuineEntropy says:

    “Jim Rossignol says: October 21, 2010 at 9:31 pm
    I’d have delivered a similar review, I think. Not a fan.”

    Just thought I’d repeat that for the benefit of those claiming they’d have been happier if someone other than the new guy had done this W.I.T.
    See, Rossignol agrees and he’s been around for ages, not to mention he’s written proper grown up, published books and everything!

    That said, I still went ahead with my steam purchase of the game having read this article and the initial 3 pages of comments last night.

    Allow me to explain:
    I have been coming to RPS since the start (and before that Eurogamer and PCG mag), to help inform my opinions, not to have them dictated to me.
    I have continue to follow these writers around because I respect and trust their opinions and find their writing styles engaging and entertaining.
    This absolutely applies to the newly arrived Q. Smith too, (sorry reactionary drama queens).

    In this case however, Q.Smiths slightly angry/ insulting tone just left me feeling cold.
    It felt rather lazily mean spirited, in the way that some shock journos trying to seem withering and caustic can be (I don’t mean the good ones like Brooker or Croshaw, more their poor imitators).

    I suppose it could be down to the the raft of ‘comedy angry reviewers’ we’ve gotten since Zero Punctuation popularised the ‘Angry Gaming Nerd’ thing? I’m all for journalism that runs contrary to popular opinion and with things like with ZP, the angry insulting stuff is just as much a part of ZP’s schtick as badly animated, hilarious visual aids.
    With RPS however, I have come to to expect the snark to be subtle, the insults to be justifiable and everything inbetween to be either insightful, puerile, slightly daft or both. And that;s why I keep coming back.

    Whatever the case, Q.Smiths tone seemed to have a very odd effect on me, as usually I adjust my expectations/ commitment to buy things based on RPS’es utterings (something very few sites or mags can now claim).
    This time, the combination of pointy, sweary and seemingly mean spirited words, as well as the contrary opinions being spoken by veteran RPS commenters who have actually played the game and whose names I’ve come to recognise, led me in the opposite direction.

    The last comment I read before purchasing was the one quote above from Rossignol.
    While I’ve only had a few hours with the game, I am very glad that I picked it up.
    I will report back in if that opinion changes as I spend more time with it.

    • GenuineEntropy says:

      Typed out on my mobile… So many typos…. No edit button… The horror… DON’T JUDGE ME!

    • bill says:

      I don’t think one can really say that the writing style is pointy, swearing or mean spirited. Or at least, no more so than any other RPS article… they are often pointy and sweary, and i didn’t find this article mean spirited or badly written.

      I haven’t played Fallout 3 or New Vegas, and i doubt i’ll have time for either. So i feel a little like an impartial observer. I think people’s feelings, or the responses of others are coloring people’s views.

      When i first read the article there was nothing in it that struck me as unusual, sweary or mean – but when you read lots of comments claiming that kind of thing you start to believe it.

      I do agree that there are a lot of RPS commentors who’s opinions i agree with, but then i often agree with the RPS guys too… but everyone has their own opinion and no-one will agree on everything.

      Er… lost my train of thought.. be careful of reading too much into the article due to the comments, i guess.

    • GenuineEntropy says:

      Hmm, well Bill I would never claim to be infallible so it’s certainly feasible that the comments I read coloured my perception.

      While RPS certainly isn’t above amusing snark and even out and out name callery, it just struck me (immediately and prior to comment reading) as a little unnecessarily harsh:
      “You’re obviously lazy, don’t care and I feel your game is terrible”
      Rather than:
      “Well, you tried, but I feel your game is terrible”.

      Being rational about it, that’s probably just me projecting my own personality onto the words of a writer/ group of writers whose work I enjoy.

      I certainly giggle along like a simpleton with everyone else when reading/ listening to comedic vitriol from the likes of the previously mentioned Brookes or Croshaw… Dirty little enabler that I am…

  21. Furius says:

    Controversial Review? 5 pages of comments? When did Jim Sterling start writing for RPS?

  22. Nallen says:

    I think what I’ll be doing is waiting for patch or two. What with running W7x64 and all.

  23. Dudefella says:

    Quintin Smith: The new Jim Sterling?

  24. Daniel Carvalho says:

    I read this review, and it just reminds me of what I thought about Fallout 3 itself, and why I stopped playing such an unpolished and overwhelmingly boring game.

  25. Halfthought says:

    oh hush, you stupid idiots are why the game journalism industry is such utter crap.

    OH A REVIEW DISAGREES WITH MY OPINION IT MUST BE BAD.

  26. the_fanciest_of_pants says:

    Woah, enormous shitstorm or what?

    I’m still looking forward to playing it, but I’m sure I’ll come to much the same conclusion as quinns.

    At least with mods it may become something.

  27. Jethro Bunnwacketwalrustitty says:

    Lies, you didnt play it, you just want to be like a NMA fanboy and bash it.

    Good for you, heres a cookie.

    • Kevin says:

      You want scary? There’s actually a lot of positive talk about NV on NMA.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Nah. That’s about par-for-the-course.

      If Bethesda takes a stab at Fallout, they’re producing Oblivion With Guns, and pissing on the fans.

      If Obsidian (née Black Isle, which is less an aside, and more my main point) builds a game on that same engine, the piss magically transforms into mana from heaven.

    • Nick says:

      Um.. well. yes. That’s like being surprised that people would be happy if Ridley Scott did another Alien film after AvP/AvP2 were made.

    • sfury says:

      Good comparison!

    • TCM says:

      It’s closer to being happy that Ridley Scott is making AvP: The Spinoff.

      In terms of analogy.

    • Bret says:

      But, he is making one.

      And it looks bad.

  28. Unaco says:

    Ooooh!! This one just came to me…

    There seems to be quite a lot of Fallout from this WIT.

  29. Komus says:

    Can we please delete every comment except this one? Far too much teenage angst flying about for a friday afternoon. See you all in the pub.

  30. Danda says:

    Wow, this review is wrong on so many levels… But then again, like with the Alpha Protocol review, thankfully the people commenting here know better :)

  31. ezeleolos says:

    “God I miss Morrowwind.”

    QFT.

  32. CrazyBaldhead says:

    @Wulf: STFU at last man. He wrote what he thinks about the game and just because you disagree with him doesn’t mean he’s trolling. Jesus, take it easy.

  33. king kong says:

    The quests are more interesting in New Vegas, but I agree that the locations are much worse. The strip was a huge disappointment, considering it’s such a huge part of the game, and the tribes I visited, like the Boomers, were not visually interesting or unique either.

    Fallout 3 had its problems, but it definitely had a better looking and more memorable world

  34. GenuineEntropy says:

    Also.

    “Obslivian”

    Problem solved. :-)

  35. UK_John says:

    Like so many ‘console orientated’ PC games, this, like Fallout 3, seemed ‘phoned in’. the antitheses of, say, The Witcher. So much of the quests, the conversations and even the code is buggy. Worse than many companies that have to build a new engine to boot!

    It also seemed immediately unimmersive to me that there was an army of men that found a way to have Roman garb on – who made it? Where did all the metal and cloth come from? Every time I saw a member of this ‘Roman army’ it took me out of the game. the same as hearing the voice of the Dark Brotherhood recruiter when speaking to exactly the same evil type character who wanted me to blow up Megaton!

    I wait for European titles now. Like Two Worlds II and The Witcher 2. American companies just don’t have a clue about PC gaming anymore!

    It will be very interesting to see where this title appears in the chart!

  36. Jonp says:

    Good thing people aren’t sperging over this or anything. Just a healthy 600 posts.

  37. laikapants says:

    @UK_John: While I get what you’re saying, wasn’t the Witcher similarly buggy as hell on release? And for that matter aren’t most of the ambitious Eastern European games swimming in bug soup (at the very least on release, if not perpetually so)?

    • countingdown7 says:

      I played Witcher early on and I can say it was pretty damn buggy and saving/loading/area transitions took forever. But they did fix it eventually. I guess Obsidian doesn’t get that chance.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah I thought that was part of the reason they made the Enhanced edition. It fixed a lot of stuff.

  38. Hold Reload to Holster says:

    I certainly appreciate Jim saying he would have given a similar review, and if he’d constructed one in the same way I’d have had much the same reaction. I’m not sure he would’ve though, as Jim’s always struck me as a polite fellow. And because I’ve been reading his stuff for years, I would doubt that he’d blame a game rather than his own ignorance, or pick screenies to illustrate his opinion that didn’t in fact objectively meet the facts of the matter.

    Because I don’t have experience of Quinn’s writing, he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt.

    So all I have to go on is a deliberately tryhard review with a “insert games developer are a bunch of lazy fucks” lead paragraph and several instances of the reviewer either apparently not understanding things, exaggerating/making things up and more deliberate contrary/provactive opinion (as well as some points that I don’t object to).

    Bad article. RPS doesn’t normally run bad articles. I am disappoint.

    • Heynes says:

      I think it’s quite a good article. Even if Quintin may seem to be overcritical in his review, most of his points still stand and many of them are as much a critique of the game as they are for the genre as a whole – persistent flaws that are minor enough we’re starting to get desensitize to them, but valid flaws nevertheless (“Do you want some more Fallout? If so, New Vegas can provide, so long as you don’t mind your every hour with it being laced with some small amount of disappointment.” is to me the most poignant sentence to take away here).
      Personally, I am enjoying the game moreso than not, but it’s mainly because I didn’t hop on the hype-train and had very tempered expectations based on the framework it’s being built on and Obsidian’s track record.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “pick screenies to illustrate his opinion that didn’t in fact objectively meet the facts of the matter.”

      How did this become consensus?

      There is no ‘objective fact of the matter.’ Are the casinos well populated enough to not break the player’s immersion? Quinns says no. I say no, after actually having a look. They’re awful. Obsidian were, of course, limited by the engine, so fair enough.

      You say yes, I suppose? Fair enough. But this isn’t something that can be quantified. A consensus can’t be reached with respect to evidence. Whether or not Quinns finds the casinos convincing is not something you can doubt. Do you understand?

  39. Richard says:

    The reviewer is really short a couple of bricks isn’t he.

    If you think subway system in FO3 was good design, and that Rivet City was good, you deserve your hopeless, meaningless, bland lifeless existence you already have.

    Fire this guy from your magazine.

    New Vegas is much better for RPG fans, not console munchkins who are as intellectually and creatively engaging as a dismembered radscorpion.

  40. Hélder Pinto says:

    Yeah whatever! I loved f3 with all my heart, I really did. But this is purely someone trying to milk the ip in a horrible way.

  41. TariqOne says:

    @MD, re the Mr. Inclusion-blah-blah being a massive assumption, I’m glad you caught that. It was solely intended to highlight your own assumption that I “disagree” with Mr. Smith and therefore criticize him. Again, much as I have no idea who your favorite RPS writer is, you had no idea what my stance on FONV is. And as I said, I haven’t played it.

    It’s Mr. Smith’s TONE that perturbs me, and it has been a constant in his writing here, potshots and general volume-raising and judgment-snapping (Elemental controversy, anyone?) and nasty snark.

    I also take issue with your “the rest of us” dichotomy. I’ve read RPS multiple times every day for many moons. I’ve commented in threads from time to time. I’m one of “us” as much as you are. Because I have less tolerance for the addition of Mr. Smith’s polarizing tone than you, it does not place me on the outside of some group of officially sanctioned RPSheads with my lonely face pressed against the clubhouse window, watching “us” slapping each others’ backs over self-congratulatory snifters of brandy.

    Mr. Smith is a writer. He has posted his writing in a public forum. A forum with comments enabled. Just as I reserve the write to make a disapproving comment about a painting in a museum, I reserve the right to say that Mr. Smith’s overall tonal quality isn’t up to the usual RPS snuff. Just as he reserves the right to keep writing whatever he wants in whatever tone he chooses.

    I suppose you reserve the right to tell me to “piss off” as well. I do appreciate the apology, however. And I extend my own regarding my sideswipe at you. We’re all just folks.

    • MD says:

      The thing is, you didn’t say “I don’t like this review; here’s why…”, or “I don’t like Quinns’ writing in general; here’s why, and here are some examples…”. You said:

      “It has long been apparent from his insistent trolling that Quintin Smith is simply not up to snuff. Another in his oh-so-cool-contrarian series.

      Please replace this gentleman. His credibility is shot and he does an otherwise fine site a disservice.”

      Later, you accused him of an “inability to handle nuance… color-blindness to shades of grey… [making him] uniquely unsuited to review subjective material.”

      You also criticised him for failing to provide “an inventory of pluses and minuses”, claiming that his reviews are “either hagiography or a chop-job and therefore wholly without utility”.

      You also said that these failings rendered the quality of his writing all but irrelevant.

      Frankly, the “inability to handle nuance” and “hagiography or chop-job” comments seem like bullshit to me. I pointed to a strong counter-example (which didn’t take any searching; it was an article I remembered well which was written only a few days ago), but you ignored this, as well as my implied request for examples of previous hatchet jobs.

      The ‘rest of us’ thing wasn’t about the RPS readership being some cosy little club in which you’re not welcome. RPS fills a niche in the gaming press which is otherwise close to empty. The ‘rest of us’ are those who like RPS for what it is, and wouldn’t have many alternatives if it lost the qualities and/or writers that make it special. From what you’ve written, you seem like someone whose tastes and preferences would be well-served by most of the other major gaming websites and magazines.

      You criticise Quinns for failing to provide “an inventory of pluses and minuses”, call what could well have been an entirely honest negative review an example of him being an “oh-so-cool-contrarian”, and (given these ‘faults’) see the quality of his writing as irrelevant.

      If you want buyer’s guide-style reviews and can live with mediocre writing, you are already well-served by many other major sites. Those of us who can’t stand much of the gaming media, and enjoy the current mix of writers at RPS, would not have an easy replacement if your complaints and preferences were acted on.

    • nmute says:

      @MD you don’t appear to understand nuance or shades of grey. you sound like someone who’d be better off with some other radio shock-jock style publication, where the top-down style hierarchy of guy-who-tells-it-like-it-is disseminated through red-blooded-guy-who-parrots without analysis or doubt drives off everyone with a shred of reason.

      please leave RPS for the rest of us.

      festivus.

    • TariqOne says:

      @MD: If I wanted struthious ideological wagon-circling I’d join the Tea Party and chase liberals out of America. Happily for me, I just like games and writing.

      And thus, sadly for you, I’m stayin’. You can have my RPS when you pry it outta my cold, dead hands, hippie.

    • MD says:

      That’s just a complete cop-out, from both of you. You’ve ignored every actual point I made, and opted for empty parody and calling me an ostrich.

  42. dhex says:

    jeeeeeeze louise guys. grab the pill marked chill and follow the directions on the bottle.

    more interesting, i think, is this:

    http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Vault_13_canteen

    that’s kinda insulting to the xbox crowd, no?

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Can you, err, give me a rundown of what that link says?

      My work firewall blocks it (and yet, not RPS).

      Shamed as I am to admit it, I opted to move to one of them thar console thingamabobs for all the latest games in the Fallout series.

    • laikapants says:

      @Corporate Dog: Here’s the text in full (I have no idea what dhex is on about): “The canteen essentially stores an infinite source of water, automatically lowering the player’s H2O meter on a regular basis, and is useful primarily to ward off dehydration in hardcore mode, as well as restore a very small amount of health, even when not in hardcore mode. The canteen can also help with the Achievement/Trophy “Hardcore”.

      In both hardcore and casual mode, as long as the canteen is in the player’s inventory, the player will periodically receive a message at the top left corner, “You take a sip from your trusty Vault 13 canteen”, and the H2O meter will drop. Since H2O is not important in casual, non-hardcore mode, this may become more annoying than useful.

      The canteen seems to trigger the player’s drink and subsequent notification when the H2O meter reaches a certain level (something just under 200 where dehydration would set in). However, under certain circumstances – such assleeping or fast travelling right before the hydration level reaches the trigger point – the player can “jump past” the trigger point and become dehydrated. The canteen will not work again until the player lowers their hydration level below the trigger point using some other means.

      There is no way to deliberately force a drink from the canteen. It only works as an automatic hydration source.

      There is no player animation associated with drinking from the canteen; the screen notice and H2O meter drop are the only indications it is working. Location: The Vault 13 Canteen is acquired exclusively from the Classic Pack”

    • dhex says:

      what i meant was that a canteen that handholds against what’s not really a particularly onerous kind of “realism” (or particularly realistic, i.e. the larger beef against hardcore mode) struck me as something akin to a joke you’d see at the rpgcodex. i.e. “consoletards”

    • laikapants says:

      @dhex: I squinty eyed nod in acceptance of your reasoning. Having no experience with RPGCodex (and the comments here give me the idea that I should keep that up) it flew over my head.

  43. Severian says:

    I’m not sure if anyone has linked to this yet, but Tom Chick has given FONV an F in his recent review:

    http://www.gameroni.com/posts/298.html

    I would like to note that I have not played the game, but Tom’s review does give additional credence to Quinn’s claim that the developers “phoned this one in” – or at least, failed miserably in QA.

    • Nick says:

      Who the fuck is Tom Chick?

      (please note: rhetorical)

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Tom’s issue was entirely that he ran into a game-breaking bug that he could not solve by any means. The entire tone of his review is much more reserved, and his harsh score much better justified than Quintin’s.

    • tariqone says:

      Chisk’s review is excellent. Tells you the good, tells you the bad, and that the 360 version is deeply, unplayably, and inexcusably broken at this time. Perfectly reasoned, supported, and well-written F for New Vegas. Very helpful.

  44. NotGodot says:

    I tried to post this earlier, but:

    Most of the legion metal armor is scavenged. The concept art actually has references. For instance one suit has combat armor boots, shoulder armor from the armored vault suit, shoulder and arm pieces from T-45d armor and a chest piece from Supermutant Brute armor. Plus belts and pouches from NCR Ranger Armor.

    That said, mining and stuff happens in Fallout. FO3 is kind of the exception but FO2 had multiple mining towns, one of which was highly important because the NCR Dollar was pegged to gold in FO2.

  45. countingdown7 says:

    Boy this review feels phoned in. It’s like they stopped caring about quality at RPS. They just don’t give a fuck.

    But seriously, anyone that tells me the originals weren’t terribly broken, buggy games either doesn’t know anything about them or is lying. Speaking of which, Daggerfall is still the buggiest game I have ever played in my life. I literally would fall thru the graphics on average 3 times in every dungeon/castle. It was abysmal. As for Fallout 3 being well written… you are either insane or trolling. I actually kinda liked Fallout 3 but it was poorly written, poorly voiced and paced badly. No one remembers villagers REGULARLY disappearing from towns FOREVER? I mean, unless you checked every town before saving you could be 20 hours in before knowing a key questgiver is gone forever. Everyone has ADD and damaged long term memory.

  46. simpleton says:

    Hell, I want to play this game just to see what all the fuss is about. Frankly I’m intrigued by the idea that any game could possibly be more boring than Fallout 3. Needless hyperbole? Perhaps.

  47. 1984 says:

    Gotta agree as well. DC was just about perfect while Vegas is kind of a bore.

  48. Sunjammer says:

    New Vegas is good because I love playing it. New Vegas is bad because you hated it. Many worlds theory!

    The game taps into a primal mechanism in my brain that causes me to completely forget about time and space. It takes me to a space where my brain is at ease and enjoying itself.

    That’s the vibe i get from a lot of Fallout players. SPECIFICALLY Fallout. I think the franchise hits a vein in society that causes some people to utterly cave in on themselves when a new chunk of it is made available. I don’t know of a game that unifies more of my gaming friends in the desire to call in sick for days just to play. RPGs like Dragon Age or KOTOR even in all their brilliance don’t inspire that kind of mindlessness. They are GAMES. Fallout feels like an ESCAPE.

    I’m 100% behind this game, bugs and all. I love it to death and it would be a huge shame for anyone who enjoyed Fallout 3 not to pick this up, because it’s the Bioshock 2 of Fallout; It improves the mechanics and tightens the plot and gives a better drive forwards. It’s the same, but sounder.

    And it uses the fucking Fallout 2 soundtrack, which i still think is fantastic.

  49. dhex says:

    laikapants: ahh, well, they are passionate, to be sure.

  50. Ruiner66 says:

    I dunno, I find myself entertained by Fallout New Vegas. Then again, I’m the odd one that likes FO3 and despises FO1 and 2.

    So, either I’m easily entertained or you are easily bored. Or some combination of both. Then again, I find several games to be downright boring.But not FNV