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. Hold Reload to Holster says:

    “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?”
    You’re creating and ascribing a point to me that I didn’t actually make, and being unpleasant while doing it. Going to stop? Thanks.

    What’s that, Captcha? FU 8P? Who on earth is 8P and what nasty thing has he gone and said now?

  2. Terence says:

    What is it with old school gamers and worshiping at the altar of Obsidian?? They write kinda interesting stories but their grasp of the technical side of things is terrible! You cant blame the engine when they’ve had this long to work with it, either make a new damn engine or hash out the bugs. also do people really remember fallout 2? Like before Big bear dude fixed it up? it was also a buggy mess with so many lameass pop culture references it was almost vomit worthy. Making everything “grey” isnt compelling. Yes we get motive and consequences matter, some of us have gone to college and read John Dewey thanks for the refresher course! And for the people that keep mentioning KOTOR2, really, really! Kreia’s surprise was about as surprising as looking down and seeing my feet. OMG there they are again!

    This constant “at least they are trying!” is what we hear every time they make a game now. Along with blame everything and everyone other than Obsidian for bugs, missing parts of a story that leave giant gaping holes and other issues. They are a game company that cant figure out how to make a game that isnt a mess.

    What I would love is for Obsidian to merge with a small developer that can actually put together a decent code and realizes that sometimes a cool idea here and there have to be left out when you arent Blizzard and cant spend 15 years making a game. or even better I would love it if they can go back to Fallout 1 and realize what it was that made that game great. Which was *drumroll* treating a deadline like *gasp* a deadline and not like a conga line that will be really funny to cross with all this broken stuff in our pockets. ok that last line didnt make a lot of sense but I’m on my 3rd glass of wine and wish that obsidian would figure out how to make a game that doesnt need 5 major patches.

    • Terence says:

      I should stress that I didnt think Fallout 2 was vomit worth, just the obscene number of pop culture references

  3. Incognito says:

    So I played three hours of it now.

    *I do have the impression that Fallout 3 had a much tighter world design. In the beginning you get dropped of in the middle of the desert, and so far it´s a mixed variety of locations. The hotel built around a rollercoaster and the town with the big dinosaur are nice, but other than that it has so far been mostly desert and small shacks.
    *The third character I talked to talked about people saying prounoncing Ceasar differently. What´s the problem?
    *Dialogues are great so far. Quests are nice. They have a sense of purpose, and have different ways of being solved depending on playstyle.
    *And people actually respond differently to my offering to help. In some cases they are glad, but in other cases they question why I try to help them, or almost laugh at me when I at level 2 with just a small gun offer to help them take down a whole group of Death claws.
    *And you directly get to decide which sides to support..

    So after three hours I can already feel that the world in New Vegas is much more alive and convincing than in Fallout 3. I also wish that it would have had a tighter design on the locations already on the beginning but based on what I have seen so far, I would have to be pretty ignorant and a bit stupid to question Obsidians ambition with the title.

    I can´t really say that Quintin is “wrong” with so few hours put in it so far, but I´m not getting the feeling that him and I have been playing the same game.

  4. Blackberries says:

    Read the review, started reading the comments, realised there were quite a lot so scrolled back up to see how many.

    Currently retrieving my socks from the other side of the room.

    That is all.

  5. The Juice says:

    I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve played Fallout 3, so this type of game isn’t something new and exciting, or New Vegas simply isn’t that good. Overall I’d describe the game as being uneventful.

  6. Wang Lo says:

    That’s a good point but I really think the original fallout team members that went on to troika were the important ones. I don’t see how for example josh sawyer is more legitimate than any other developer, not due to any association with the originals I mean. He worked on jefferson but not fallout 1 or 2 I am pretty certain.

    • Volrath says:

      I guess you didn’t visit the old black isle forums. Sawyer was lead designer on Van Buren (you know the original fallout 3). Good times.

  7. Greg Wild says:

    I’m really, really liking NV myself to be honest. Easily the game FO3 should have been.

    Interestingly, I think the point Quinns makes about empty spaces is one of the reasons I like it. FO3 had way too much going on in too small an area. It needed far more empty regions.

    Though yes. The guards talking about Mojave being hot is now getting on my tits.

  8. Poly says:

    bold, bright reinvention that Fallout 3 was………

    AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    stupid review is stupid

  9. sammich says:

    i’m sorry to say it, but this guy’s a fucking idiot

    • patricij says:

      And I’m not sorry to say you’re an annoying fanboy and I don’t care about your opinion…
      -Frankie The Patrician[PF]

  10. Gareth says:

    I agree with the review. I Liked Bethesda’s re-imagine of Fallout, with its edgy Sci-Fi slant.

    New Vegas just plays feels like some incredibly bland Western. I don’t feel I’m in the future, I don’t particularly feel there’s anything post apocalyptic about it. Whole buildings have been cut-and paste from the original, terrible re-skinning in places, and the desert plants are a complete embarrassment.

    I’ve even found cut-and paste graffit on wall after wall…loli, no effort has been made to make things more beleivable. Also where’s all the humour? Even the long loading screens just contain “images” from the 1950s…ok where’s the punchline and wit?

    All the quest so far have been boring beyond belief. There’s nothing like Riley’s Ranger or the Android man, get your own slave, nuke a town…New Vegas is utterly bland and lacking in any real humour.

    • malkav11 says:

      Evidently you have blithely stumbled past the considerable amount of humor present in the game (and probably didn’t pick Wild Wasteland, either). From Black Mountain Radio to the Vikki & Vance Casino in Primm (make sure to talk to Primm Slim) to a scientist at a power plant to good ol’ No-Bark, there’s been plenty of humor in -my- Mojave wanderings, and my game is far from over.

      This is contrasted with a fair amount of brutal violence, of course, but that’s Fallout for you.

  11. Thirsty.professor says:

    I have to say that after spending 26 hours with this game it is much more like Fallout 1 and 2 than 3 ever was and there is tons of humor in the game that bring me back to the good old days. To be blunt I believe that Quinn either didn’t play the game for more than a couple of hours or didn’t play the game at all and went off of personal opinions and other reviews. Also, it’s a possibility that he wanted to hate the game from the start. I feel that this review is way off base and his skills as a reviewer are lacking at best. At the worst he is a liar or someone easily influenced by previous opinion. Play the game next time idiot and you would have seen the humor, heard the explanation of Kaiser, saw the snow/greenery compared to the desert, and basically wouldn’t have sounded like a moron. Thanks for giving me something to laugh at.

    • Gareth says:

      @Professor,

      Nice to see you engaging in cheesy ad-hominem attacks against the reviewer. There are so many fanboys on here it’s unreal. If anything the reviewer went LIGHT on this game. On top of the IMO boringingness of the game, it is *chock* full of crashes and game breaking bugs, not just on PC, but also on xbox360.

      Ye, it’s closer to FO1 and 2, and that is also why a lot of people hate it. I prefer the edgy Sci-Fi re-imagining of Fallout 3, I *dont* want to go back to 1990s inspired vision of the game. I don’t care that some of the “originators” of the FO universe worked at Obsidian, the game still stinks, hell George Lucas worked on the original Star Wars, and look how a good “attack of the clones” was.

      On top of bugs and crashes, there loads of signs of *laziness* everywhere, whole re-used buildings., terrible looking graphics on elite “Rangers”, stupid looking plants sticking out everywhere.

      BTW there’s a HUGE thread of people in the official forums asking for a *complete refund* this buggy mess.

    • Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

      A lot of people are clearly having bug-related issues with this, which is a terrible shame because it’s an amazing PARP(g.) That’s post-apocalyptic role pl … oh whatever, I just wanted it to spell PARP(g).

      I wish both sides would tone it down in that regard though. I’ve played for about 25 hours now and experienced about two crashes and no other bugs whatsoever (unless you include the AI sometimes walking into inanimate objects but that’s rather churlish.) But I’m not about to wave my arms around and say IT’S BUG-FREE YOU LOONS because obviously that is not the case for some and I can quite understand why they feel the game is taunting them right now.

      New Vegas, then. It has quite a few bugs. Unless you’re one of the people who doesn’t experience any of them. Which is a difficult number to quantify.

  12. mrmud says:

    Having played the game for about 10 hours now I have to say I completely disagree with the review.
    While I do agree that the spaces are more open, I dont neccessarily think this is a bad thing. But thats the closest I come to actually agreeing with anything Quinns has to say.
    The characters are good, the dialogue is good, the amount of detail is good, I havent had a single bug or glitch and everything is working perfectly.

    Quinns is obviously allowed to think whatever he wants, its just that for me it has become obvious that I can never rely on what he has to say ever again.

  13. Bah says:

    Funny, I haven’t found anything wrong with the game so far that wasn’t present in Fallout 3.
    Everything so far has been improvement upon improvement.

  14. TariqOne says:

    Bought it and logged 11+ hours this weekend. Far more enjoyable and true to the spirit of the original Fallouts, which being an old man, were germinal gaming moments for me. Exploring and scavenging are far more engaging. Crafting is deeper. Factions and standings therewith play a more meaningful role. And while it’s not a rigorous overlay by any stretch, hardcore mode is a welcome addition to the overall RPG balancing act. The writing is improved, as are the quests and setpieces. The locations are more interesting and colorful (roller coasters, giant dinosaur-shaped gift shops, max-security prisons, solar power plants). They are a bit oddly devoid of life, but no more so than Fallout 3.

    And satellite lasers, OK? I’m just sayin’.

    The Gamebryo engine needs to be dragged out back and shot, however. The old girl does her best but it just isn’t what it used to be. Fair amount of chugging and slowdowns. New Vegas (and Fallout 3) would have been better served by state-of-the-art (or even 2005′s state-of-the-art) tech. I’m tired of the weird faces and odd textures and clunky performance this engine consistently delivers (and enough Unreal, while we’re at it — can someone develop a new industry standard?).

    In all, not only do I disagree with the tone of this piece, I don’t agree with the content. New Vegas is Fallout 3, now with 45% more Fallout! And satellite lasers. Enjoyable title.

  15. KR4 says:

    I can’t believe this piece on FNV. What happened to Quentin in the days leading up to the playthrough to give this game such a terrible review. I would surmise that the person who wrote this had something bad happened, or was lacking sleep, or hungry, or all of the above – making him overly crabby.

    New Vegas has been the most fun, the most enthralling Fallout to date for me. The landscape is more traversable, more vistas, more areas to find, or to see in the distance and go explore. The addition to weapon mods and an actual story line that contains some real parody, and real meaning are making this iteration of Fallout ‘unputdownable’.

    I can’t recommend this game enough.

  16. Seraph says:

    Hmm, what is this? I have to disagree completely. New vegas is what fallout 3 should have been, with almost everything better in it including main quest that isn’t a total joke. Really have to wonder if you even played the game this time.

  17. Incognito says:

    10 hous played now, and I just don´t think that Quintin has been playing the same game as I have. I have never come across any RPG that feels as alive as this. There are so much to do, and everything feels so convincing. The quests, the factions, the dialogues, etc. And despite being a really immersive dark RPG, it still manages to be hillarious at many points, without breaking the atmosphere.

    It was a bit slow in the beginning, but after just a couple of hours, and it really took off and haven´t lost any pace since then.

    It´s not perfect by any means. I will not question those screenshots, but I can easily post pictures of dozens of location that are extremely convincing.

    I feel no urge to trash Quintin, but I hope that he let other people review games like this on RPS from now on.

    • Mungrul says:

      Regarding pictures, Quintin’s picture illustrating the sparsity of the crops at Sharecroppers is incredibly misleading. The fields in-game are nothing like that, and as well as Sharecroppers itself, there are lots more fields outside of that are on the outskirts of Vegas.
      The rest is opinion, but that comment in particular is disingenuous and does more to damage my opinion of Quintin than anything else in the piece.
      In short, it’s a bare-faced lie.

  18. Wulf says:

    Also, I have to add that Fallout: New Vegas has some of the best written gay characters I’ve actually seen in a game, ever. I’m being completely honest with you, here, it’s really caught me off guard. The writing, how one flirts, and the actual characters themselves, is subtle and not over the top and cheesy. I’ll be honest with you, this is one thing that usually makes me twitch, as often gay relationships are often portrayed very poorly, in very cheesy and stereotypical ways. That they don’t go over-the-top with it is endlessly appealing, and it doesn’t lead to endless sex scenes, instead these instances come over as much more of a relationship.

    It’s also a bonus that one of the gay characters is a left-leaning idealist, a scientist (research in the field of medicine), and unusually witty is just a testament to this. Usually, in games like this, the gay relationships tend to come off as ‘prison buttsex’ if they’re there, it sounds more like desperation than anything else, and that’s always annoyed the snot out of me. But then you have New Vegas.

    And the writing overall, through and through, is amazing. It’s lead to some of the most affecting scenes I’ve ever seen in a game. The perversion of humanity when you first encounter the Legion, further shows of the evil of the Legion portraying itself as knights templar, out to save the world by killing it first, intermixed with elements of the dark side of humanity, the story behind the slavery of Boone’s wife, for example, was surprisingly well done. The writing in this game shines through. To be honest, I think Quinns review is criminal if he is serious… and I urge anyone who enjoys a bit of decent writing in the game to give it a look. I really must implore you to do so.

    • fgf says:

      damn queers.

    • Wulf says:

      /slowclap

      A truly thrilling and stimulating riposte, there, “fgf”. Thanks for that. >_>

    • mlaskus says:

      See Wulf? This is a troll. Your implying, in some earlier comments, that Quinns was trolling us with the article was probably the worst thing I have ever seen you write.

      Thanks for this informative comment though, I hope the writing is as good as you say it is. :)

      @fgf
      Go back to 4chan or wherever you crawled out of, nobody wants you here

    • Wulf says:

      @mlaskus

      Actually, feeling factors into perceived trolling a lot. I don’t see fgf as trolling much, he’s just being an arse for the sake of it, but actual honest-to-goodness trolling takes more effort. To me, I usually see trolling in something that’s unnecessarily negative and aggressive, and something that makes either veiled or open attacks in a way that’s not relevant to the topic.

      Now, in my opinion, Quinns was unnecessarily negative and aggressive, there have been many reasons here as to why that is, it seems like he rushed through the game and played it with not liking it in mind, missing out on a lot of sidequests and things on purpose (as has been illustrated by other posters), all of this seems to be to justify a pre-formulated negative opinion. A lot of the elements of the review have been successfully countered in negative comments, and it does give the impression that Quinns didn’t actually play the game much, either that or he rushed through it, just skipping over the best parts (or not bothering to illustrate them). That’s why I consider it unnecessarily negative, because there are obvious high points that aren’t even considered. It’s unnecessarily aggressive because it concentrates on bugs and nitpicky things, things that would get overlooked in other reviews (and have been in past Wot I Thinks in the game is good enough). And in the opening paragraph, an unprofessional and very insulting attack was directed at Obsidian.

      For these reasons, I feel that to an extent Quinns actually is trolling. But trolling is a very subjective thing, it’s something that you perceive happening, and it’s hard to quantify just how fully the necessary tenets of trolling are fulfilled by an instance of trolling. Now, I think that yes, there was a lot of unnecessary aggression and negativity, to the point where the Wot I Think felt somewhat dishonest to me (TO ME, I stress), and the insult gave the idea that Quinns wanted to hate the game before he even started playing it. Now is that trolling? Honestly, I think it is. YMMV.

    • mlaskus says:

      I have to disagree with you Wulf, but as you pointed out, trolling can be perceived very subjectively. For me the intent to play on people’s emotions is what makes someone a troll.
      Quinns expressed his opinion, now he may have worded it more cautiously or make the article more balanced to also show the game’s strengths, but he wrote about what he felt was important about it.
      I sincerely doubt he wanted to spite anyone or cause a controversy.

      I understand your point of view though, thanks for the clarification.

    • TariqOne says:

      It’s not the first time. If you recall, Eurogamer pulled Smith’s slam of the Age of Conan expansion because of accuracy concerns. Not that Rise of the Godslayer was good. It apaprently just wasn’t bad in the ways he claimed.

      People are confusing good writing (one of his strengths) with factual rigor (one of his apparent weaknesses).

  19. Tengil says:

    I probably shouldn’t write anything as this whole thread has gotten rather histrionic, but to me (after 15 played hours) NV essentially feels like Fallout 3 done better in all important aspects. The fact that the game actually ties into the older Fallouts is also nice.

  20. fgf says:

    Hey stupid ass! the reason Caesar is pronounced Kaizer is because that is the correct Latin pronunciation. not only does “ae” make an “eye” sound, but there were no soft c’s in latin. so Kaizer is the actual pronunciation. douche.

  21. Felix says:

    blahblah, this addon is not a worthy sequel, blahblah, Fallout 1+2 were made by gods…

  22. T-Risty says:

    I’d just like to point out that the reviewer states that there are no prostitutes to be found in the Atomic Wrangler; that’s because you have to undertake a quest to find those prostitutes. After that, you can easily partake of their services.

    This review seems to hasty.

    Add me to the list of loving this game!!

  23. tka says:

    Now that I have played New Vegas several hours I can say that I wholeheartedly disagree with the review.
    Reads like Quinns had already decided he doesn’t like it before starting the game…

  24. geldonyetich says:

    After my experiences some 19-20 hours into Fallout New Vegas, I can sort of see where Quinns is coming from. There are some very rough patches in New Vegas, a lot (if not most) of the areas are little more than architecture with a few mobs and loot, and this is jarring after playing Fallout 3 where nearly every building has a story behind it. In these ways and others, Fallout 3 is a lot “tighter” than Fallout: New Vegas. Boot up one game, the boot up the other, and you can feel the difference almost immediately.

    However, to an extent, New Vegas makes up for it in other ways. There’s more everywhere to be found – more weapons, more enemies, and a full 30 levels supported out of the box (where Fallout 3 ends at level 20 until you expand it with Broken Steel). The writing is also a bit better in some ways, in between our copy-pasty nobodies there’s some characters whose dialogue is a lot more gripping than anything I heard in Fallout 3 somehow. Perhaps it’s no coincidence given that some of the original Fallout talent is behind New Vegas, but it feels more canon.

    So while the game takes a few steps back, it also takes a few steps forward. We’re in “worthy successor to Fallout 3″ territory despite the easy nit picks.

  25. lemonparty says:

    Allow me to join the chorus and proclaim that the reviewer is full of crap. This game is better than the original Fallout 3 in every way, and I’d go as far as to say better than Fallout 1 and 2. Sure there are occasional bugs… which you have to be a real Nazi to pay attenton to, considering how enormously big and full of stuff, quests and features the gameworld is. Remember when Fallout 2 came out, it was considered the buggiest release of all time? Now imagine Fallout 2, only 2-3 times bigger and in full 3D – yet there are still less bugs than in F2.

    • Latterman says:

      What reviewer, i don’t see no review.

      And if quinn really is a nazi your argument is invalid.

    • Bhazor says:

      You can’t see the review? Here let me help.

      “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.”

  26. Stitched says:

    I won’t comment for / against the review because I see them as opinion pieces.

    However, after 10 hours of playing, I am enjoying the game. While there are some bugs, which I also encountered in Fallout 3 (shredded creature meshes stuck in the ground, physics errors, etc.), it still feels like a Fallout game; vast wasteland to explore, weird stuff to see, the tension of trying to walk around a giant rad scorpion when you are horribly under level and carrying a 9mm pistol and single shot rifle.

    And of course, the surprise you get when you realize the old soundtrack from the classic Fallout game was playing.

    The writing is better, as is the voice acting, in most places. The factions idea, while not a new idea (STALKER says hello) , it is new to THIS universe and it’s better for it.

    I am sure, with time, the bugs will slowly be fixed. I am playing the Steam version so I have only encounter really small bugs and no crash bugs so far (*knock on wood*).

    I wasn’t expecting to get this game because of the polarized reviews and many bug threads over the game. I have to say, in the end, I am happy to have picked up this game and glad that it feels and plays like a Fallout game.

    • Coillscath says:

      Not being critical, but the faction reputation system was present in Fallout 2 as well. I don’t remember if it was in the first game but I’m pretty certain it was in Fallout 2.

  27. patricij says:

    Boring fanboys are boring…that is all

    -Frankie

  28. Lulz says:

    What a lol review, man, you better dedicate to another thing.

    • mlaskus says:

      Quintin is one of the best games journalists around.
      Wot I Think is very subjective and opinionated by design, it is not supposed to be a review.
      If you have a different opinion on the game, write about it eloquently and without resorting to ad hominems or stay silent and begone from this splendid website.

    • TariqOne says:

      From the opening paragraph:

      But I see you there, perched atop that blasted rock, canteen in hand, waiting for the official RPS review. That wait is over.

      Just sayin’.

    • mlaskus says:

      Yeah, that’s a bit confusing. Poor choice of words on Quinns’ part there, I guess. For as long as I remember, Wot I Think was being clearly distinguished from a typical review by the Hivemind.

    • Seraph says:

      If Quintin himself can’t write eloquently and without resorting to ad hominen attacks towards whole Obsidian entertainment, why should anyone else do this. Not to mention that his “review” is full of misdirections and outright lies. It is funny how he says those two screenshots aren’t staged because that is exactly what those are.

      If quintin can’t do professional reviews about games then he shouldn’t do them at all. It is one thing not liking the game and saying that and one thing telling audience how game developer apparently don’t give-a-fuck.

  29. Lulz says:

    patricij, you are the boring one here, is obiously that the game is much better tha Fallout 3, so this is a shame.

  30. Mister Adequate says:

    Hmmm, I don’t particularly want to wade into the thick of this, especially as I’m rather a neophyte of RPS and deliberately pay little attention to things like writers coming and going. And yet, it is the Internet, and so I am compelled to stick my oar in nonetheless!

    The major thing about this review that I can’t quite wrap my head around is less the talk about NV and more the talk about FO3. It had some good ideas, no doubt; the Pentagon was a particularly nifty place, for instance, but overall it felt like an incredibly bland, cut-and-paste world. I can see why someone would dislike NV or not feel able to give it a good report; I am at a loss to understand how they could give NV a bad review in comparison to FO3.

    The comments about the writing are especially at odds with my own experiences. Where FO3 was sophomoric at best (With a couple of admitted exceptions) and downright insulting at worst (As anyone who reached pre-Broken Steel endgame with Fawkes in their party can attest), NV seems to be sophomoric at worst and at best? Well at best it’s some of the finer writing I’ve come across in games. The pacing of the story is excellent, as it ramps up gradually and you realize you’re caught up in something huge, but the various side quests on the way are slotted sensibly and seemlessly into the overall experience and they feel both organic and as though your choices have impact. I’ve got more doubt and second-guessing about Primm’s law enforcement than I ever did about blowing up Megaton. I care overwhelmingly more about people in Goodsprings than I ever did about Vault 101. A skill or stat check when talking to someone makes sense and is well matched with the relevant skill needed. Characters, except the nobodies who you can’t actually talk to, give a sense of being developed and motivated even if they’re just a trader in some nowhere pit stop.

    “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” This is a statement I have particular issues with. If Quinn honestly feels this way then I’m not going to say he’s lying or trolling or anything – that’s his opinion and I respect it. But it is a stretch for me to see what this could possibly be based on.

    Whilst this is all disagreement (and some measure of befuddlement), I’ll admit I’m a bit skeptical about whether Quinn’s opening paragraph struck a fair tone. And I can categorically say that the picture and comment on the sharecropper farms is misleading; it’s fair to say that it is not an overwhelmingly extensive complex and if a reviewer feels this is serious enough to impress the point that is entirely their prerogative, but nonetheless the area is quite a bit more developed and dense than this review makes it out to be. I’m not saying that it’s necessarily enough, but I do think – regardless of other areas where I disagree – that this issue is disingenuous and, in so being, harms the whole of the review. There are plenty of things to criticize in NV, the bugs being foremost among them, and I would expect any honest review to be critical. I am disappointed to see something which is frankly false to go out, however, as I tend to find RPS one of the fairest rags around even when taste means I don’t agree with what is said.

    • Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

      Thanks for writing this out, it echoes a lot of what I felt about the review (wait it’s not a review .. wait, yes it is .. etc) and tried to articulate somewhere up there in Mt. Comments Thread.

      I’d love Quinns to do a followup that expands on his reasoning regarding the writing and dialogue and, well, creative bits of New Vegas vs FO3. I genuinely want to know why he prefers how it’s presented in the latter. Help me understaaaaaand, man.

  31. Skubby says:

    I actually think this review is interesting, while I don’t agree with everything and I feel like he asks just a LITTLE too much.. he is critical, and I enjoy that about a review instead of ZOMG THIS IS TEH BEST GAME EVAR!

    But he needs a little splash of positive back in, which he fails to do. Look at it this way, the modders CAN fix the stuff wrong with it because they built a good engine and ALREADY released a SDK (I think, right?) and good mods are already coming out! I know I know.. they should of maybe fixed it in the first place.. but in this day and age we are learning that it just doesn’t happen like it should! BUT THAT’S WHAT PC GAMES ARE FOR! MODS! Im proud to start up my $1500 godlike watercooled machine and tinker with mods for the most enhanced and uber custom game play, that’s what its ALL ABOUT. Sure the game should be complete, but I for one am happy something can be done about it!

    I didnt like FALLOUT 3, but I feel like NV is refined and adds the DEPTH back in that was so missing from F3. Im looking for mods that will fix the survivalist problem because the only thing I enjoy about the game is to feel the bleakness at all times.

  32. derpa says:

    So is this one of those “yahtzee” like reviewers? Who gives a poor angry review for entainment?

    • mlaskus says:

      No, read some of his other stuff, Quinns’ writing is exceptional.

    • Nick says:

      Yup, normally top quality stuff, not sure what happened with all the blatantly innacurate sniping and uncalled for attacks on the Dev team.

  33. spacebeets says:

    This may be the most comments I’ve ever seen on a gaming blog. Haven’t read all 715, but the first 200 seemed to be written by intelligent people, which is mind boggling for the interwebs. Well done RPS, love this site.
    Anyway, On Topic: Totally disagree with this WoT. 30 hours into NV and loving every minute. Will probably end up with 100+ hours played and I’ve only put that kinda time into maybe 2 games, FO:3 and Diablo 2.

  34. Rane2k says:

    Didn´t play this game, or any of the Fallout´s, but it seems like Quinns is in good company with his “Obsidian-phoned-it-in” opinion:

    Shamus Young on Obsidian & New Vegas:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/8241-Experienced-Points-Obsidian-Does-it-Again

    Russ Pits open letter to game makers:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/writersroom/8252-Open-Letter-to-People-Who-Make-Games
    (“unplayable”)

    • TariqOne says:

      It’s funny you cite Russ Pitts as a detractor, when his proper FONV review for the Escapist is almost glowing. He, like Tom Chick, primarily if not solely takes issue with the bugs, many of which are endemic to the Gamebryo engine and the FO3 architecture (in Pitts’s words, “years-old bugs,” “the exact same bugs [as in FO3]“).

      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/8229-Review-Fallout-New-Vegas

    • Wulf says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, TariqOne, if you hadn’t then I would have.

      Some people will do anything to further an agenda, and the agenda at this point seems to be ‘herpderp’, if I’m not mistaken.

      The thing is is that I’ve been a modder, I’m known in some circles, and because of that I follow mod scenes. The interesting thing about New Vegas is that there’s one thing I hear said a lot amongst people who’re working to compile bug fixes for that game, and that is, almost invariably; “This game isn’t that bad, and it’s definitely nowhere near as buggy as Fallout 3 was on release!”

      Either some people are comparing the release of New Vegas to Fallout 3 GOTY with the Unofficial Patch, or there’s just this distinct air of ‘herpderp’ to the whole bloody agenda.

    • Rane2k says:

      True, he seemed to quite like the game, but even subtracted 1 star from the final score, solely because of the bugfest.
      You don´t take away 1 out of 5 stars because of a few minor glitches.
      And the open letter sounds really depressed about these kind of things, though i can´t quite figure out which other games he meant (Microsoft and 2K, maybe console stuff?)

      Again, I have not played any of the Fallout games, I´m just very interested in the “developer delivers a semi-finished/unpolished game” aspect of this entire story.

      The fact that these are “year-old bugs” just makes this even more depressing, as it means there was plenty of time to fix them, or maybe even just ask the engine developer for support.

    • TariqOne says:

      @Ranek2K: I agree wholeheartedly. I excuse some bugginess on the part of PC titles. It’s less prevalent (and much more bewildering) when titles present bugs on closed console systems. PC is always going to be something of a crapshoot.

      But you, me and others such as Pitts are right to be interested in and looking aksance at how developers take that inch and make it a mile. It’s not a license to engage in this continuing release-then-patch approach that has taken root.

      Really, I question the entire decision to go with Gamebryo for these titles. DAoC used Gamebryo. It’s just old and very bad.

      I’m not giving Obsidian a pass on that, but by the same token this is one of the most enjoyable titles I’ve played in some while. It treats me like a smart adult and immerses me in a clever and subtly artful world and it’s a shame to see people turned away from it in droves because of what really are limitations/defects inherent to this generation of the title. We should be rooting for games with this level of craft and wit.

  35. skavenhorde says:

    I never experienced anything like what “this reviewer” experienced. I’m 20+ hours in and loving every moment of this game.

    This is the Fallout I’ve been waiting for since Fallout 2 hands down. The writing, setting and characters are excellent.

    I’ve liked Quin’s stuff in the past, but he needs to get rid of his “Kill Obsidian” attitude and actually try playing the game.

  36. TallTroll says:

    I’m in the “what game was he playing?” camp. I’ll freely acknowledge that I have seen a couple of glitches with the engine (creatures and items sinking into the floor or other background items, for instance), that I have found a couple of issues with slightly bugged quests and companions, but for me the inconveniences have been slight, and way outweighed by the good points.

    If you’ve been getting horrible stuttering and / or crashes, I can understand that that would suck, but I haven’t really experienced it. I’ve had one crash, during a visual heavy cutscene, and such events are hardly unique to any genre or developer. I wish it didn’t happen, but then I remember loading Ocean games, from tape for 5 to 10 minutes on the Spectrum 48k, and *then* having them crash to the reset screen, so I guess I’m just a bit more tolerant.

    The writing is far superior to FO3, if you take the time to actually talk to people, and find out about them, with more of a sense that the things you do, and the decisions you make really can make a difference. The sequence in Nipton, for example, where you find most of the populace has been massacred by the Legion, was well handled. If you just want to get the damn quest activated and move on, you can (handy for subsequent playthroughs), but if you ask Wolfy some actual questions, you can find out why they have done it, and yeah, Nipton kind of deserved what happened (if you can find the Mayors journals, you’ll be quite pleased he got thrown on a pile of burning tyres, alive), even if the Legions’ response is a bit harsh.

    I’m also playing with Hardcore mode active, and actually I’m quite pleased it doesn’t make the game a survival simulator. The food / water / sleep aspect stops you from wandering the wastes for a straight week of gametime without ever attending to your needs, you do actually have to devote some space to carrying food and water, you can’t just susbsist on Stimpacks like you could in FO3. Ammo having weight makes me think more about what I carry, and having different weapons for different tactical roles.

    Biggest change is probably how hard it is to regenerate limb damage. Yes, if you make your own doctors bags, it’s a non-issue fairly quickly, but then you need to get Medicine to 40 (skill points that could have gone elsewhere), and find 4 “ingredients” which aren’t super common – and if you just charge headlong into combat all the time, you can end up using quite a lot of them. Stepping on a mine often cripples one or two limbs instantly too

    The weapons are just a massive improvement in *every* way. Even the very basic 9mm pistol you get given right at the start can have it’s useful life extended by using specialist ammo types to take on tougher enemies, and adding a scope and extended mags makes it handy for taking on critters and lighlty armoured humans quite a way into the game – but woe betide you if you try to kill a giant radscorpion with one

  37. MaulYoda says:

    The snowglobe collection is in the presidential suite of the Lucky 38, just saying. Furthermore, I think you mixed up Fallout 3 and New Vegas: Fallout 3 is the bleak one, and New Vegas is the populated one. I’m not going to comment on the BOS and super mutant thing in Fallout 3 and why it was a mistake because that’d be several paragraphs long. Caesar’s Legion came out of Black Isle’s Fallout 3, and they all pronounce Caesar differently because it’s the Latin pronounciation (not that this makes much sense either, but just stating the reason). If by the heavily guarded thing, you mean that you can waltz in and take food, you can if you’re on good terms with the NCR; besides, Fallout 3 had that exact same problem (a BOS Outcast would call me a “primitive” while I’m dressed in power armor and carrying around a plasma rifle). You seemingly ignored the ammo thing about hardcore mode I guess, and frankly, considering that your character in that screenshot has all but two of his limbs crippled, it’s just a disconnect between the writer and the whoever picks the screenshots. Maybe I’m just being a fanboy, or maybe I don’t think you grasp Fallout canon all that well, or maybe I just disagree with a lot of what you say in this review; probably a combination of all three. Anyway, that’s all I have to say

  38. Dan Bolivar says:

    Did you actually PLAY the game before reviewing it?

    I couldn’t DISAGREE more! Fallout New Vegas is the PERFECT GAME man.
    The dialogue IS FINE.
    The stories ARE FINE.
    The characters ARE FINE.

    The world is teeming with challenges. You have to struggle and count bullets when you start.
    In Fallout New Vegas I nearly peed my pants when confronted against the first DeathClaw in the game… it took me quite a few levels, skills and upgraded (repaired) weapons before I would venture out to where the DeathClaws had camped out.

    I’ve been playing for roughly 50 hours… tentatively everyone says this game is roughly 100 hours… I would say triple that if you REALLY want to RPG it.

    I plan on completing it, really slow, taking it all in and enjoying myself, because I’VE NEVER enjoyed a game as much as New Vegas, and I’ve been playing computer games since the TRS-80.

    This reviewer need to not quit his day-job.. because as far as reviewing goes, HE SUCKS.

    • Wulf says:

      This reminds me of my first encounter with fire-ants. I actually think this is where a lot of my growing dislike of Fallout 3 comes from, and how different New Vegas is. Fallout 3 is a sledgehammer to the head in subtlety, whereas New Vegas is more of a slap with a silk glove.

      In Fallout 3, the first fire-ants I encountered were in a town, that had been ravaged.

      “There might be fire-ants there.”
      “I saw big insects breathing fire.”
      “There might be evil insects there.”
      “Beware stranger, evil insects.”
      “DID WE MENTION THE GIANT FIRE BREATHING INSECTS YET? WE’RE SO PROUD OF THOSE!”

      x_x

      So I went to that town and, yes, lo and behold, giant, fire-breathing insects. Yawn.

      My experiences in New Vegas with fire-ants were a little different.

      “Hm, this area is interesting, dry lake… whole place is a sand storm, I wonder what I’ll find here–”
      *CHIRRP CLIK CLIK FWOOOOOSH!*
      “AAAAHHH, DO NOT WANT!”
      (I leg it back to Helios One, ON FIRE. Thankfully I’m in good standing with the NCR, so they save my sorry arse.)

      [Later]

      “So…. that’s why it’s called dry lake, huh? I guess that would be the perfect place for fire-ants.”

      And the whole world feels like that, everything fits, everything makes sense, but at the same time you don’t know what you’re going to find, because the game doesn’t cram it down your throat. Instead you start looking for clues as to what to expect, but sometimes things still catch you off guard, sometimes they’re brilliant, sometimes they’re just disturbing, and there are some brilliant set pieces that catch you off guard, but when you think about it, everything makes sense within the context of the area and what happened.

      And as for the game feeling organic (as mentioned elsewhere), I have an example of that, too: I had a quest at one point to uncover the corruption of the Van-Graffs and the Crimson Caravan, I tried my best to actually do it by the letter of the law, this is because I had quests with them, but the more I learned about them, the more I actually felt that the wasteland was better off without them. So I did acquire one piece of evidence, but when I got to the Van-Graffs, I decided to finish them off the old fashioned way , with a laser-bolt to the head. What was interesting is that I’d convinced one of my companions (who had a stake in this) to wait for me to gather evidence to put them down with the power of the law. And she chewed me out (quite a lot) for changing the plan without telling her.

      Of course, I lost my quests with the Van-Graffs and Crimson Caravan, but those people I didn’t exactly want to work for, anyway. It felt good to get rid of them. Now all of the possibilities there were scripted, they actually accounted for me changing my mind half-way through. That sort of shit would’ve probably broken Fallout 3 and lead to a quest that wasn’t sure what it was supposed to do (I had that happen to me twice in Fallout 3).

      New Vegas is a far, FAR more complex and subtle game than Fallout 3. New Vegas is like Fallout 3 but not for idiots/children.

  39. Dan Bolivar says:

    @ TallTroll

    Once you get the insect killing perk, and a couple more, you can kill a rad scorpion with two shots.
    I love playing the silent sneaky sniper type with that pistol.

    • TallTroll says:

      @ Dan Bolivar

      I, personally, don’t have problems killing Radscorpions, but I’ve seen a lot of people moaning about how “overpowered” they are. Well, yeah, if you try and shoot a dinky little subsonic pistol round at a giant, rad-mutated, armoured arachnid, you aren’t going to do well. I think a lot of people haven’t cottoned on to how the change from DR to DT *really* canges the dynamics of combat.

      In FO3, it didn’t really matter what you used, even a powered armoured opponent went down if you put enough shots into them, just having a good CND rating, and decent skill for the weapon meant you’d do it soon enough, but in FO : NV, you’ll pay for not suiting your attack to your opponents defences. High DT ratings just stop small stuff working at all, really

  40. Sid says:

    I’ve been playing this for 3 or 4 days now, so I finally feel qualified to comment.

    The game is good. Not ‘great’, but good. But then, the original Fallout 3 was good for different reasons. Where FO3 had a near-antiseptic level of polish, this feels more organic. The NPCs in FO3 were glorified quest givers; the NPCs in NV feel like real people. And so on.

    I think part of the problem is that us older bastards who were old enough to play RPGs when FO1 came out like to remember video games past with seriously rose-tinted lenses. BY THE STANDARDS OF ITS DAY, Fallout was the best post-apocalyptic RPG ever released. It had, for 1997, deep characters, a handful of voice acting, and an engaging story. It also had a time limit, that thing was harsh.

    If you released a video game with Fallout 1 levels of immersion, dialogue, area design, etc. today, I suspect people would find it a bit lacking. I replayed it a year or so ago, and everything was a lot… worse… than I remembered it being (save the turn-based combat, that shit is ace.)

    So, where to in 2008? People are trying to reinvent this game. Bethesda release one, and completely Oblivionize it. It was a fun enough game, but it was, ultimately, Oblivion with Guns. No meaningful consequences or NPC interactions, maybe four unique voice actors, etc. Fallout 3 was to the originals what Oblivion was to Morrowind (another game which revisited loses some of its nostalgic shine, but that’s ok, cos you can mod it to shit and back.)

    Then Bethesda throw the assets at Obsidian for their take (including the engine which might as well still date to 2002, just with shaders that can handle specularity and some slightly higher poly models. Christ, it doesn’t even support full shadowing.) While arguably not having the same focuses as Bethesda, Obsidian have released a game. A game which, working within the constraints of the art and the awful engine, could not be any more different to the original Fallout 3.

    Yeah, it’s got some rough corners, but the dialogue, the quests, the NPCs, etc contribute to the feeling that you’re actually hanging the fuck out in post-apocalyptic Vegas. You’ll go somewhere to do something, and wind up talking to somebody about something completely unrelated and then haring off in that direction for 3 or 4 hours. The quest and world design is fantastic. Contrast this with Fallout 3, which at (most) times felt like you were playing a FPS set in the desert with ‘pause’ mode.

    Simply put, Fallout 3 and Fallout NV are both good games. One’s a polished, Oblivionized attempt to reboot the universe in DC as a shooter, the other’s an RPGish sequel to Fallout 2 using the same engine.

    I hope Fallout 4 has proper shadowing support. It’s not like it’s HARD.

  41. JacknPoke says:

    While i do think that the review is valid. there are some just plain sparse things about New Vegas.

    I gotta admit that over all while ruff fallout New Vegas has been entertaining. I’ve enjoyed my 20+ hours in the wastes so far.

    besides *SPOILERS*
    how can you not love a game that gives super-mutants stealth boys before you’ve reached level 10.
    I mean that sh** is just f***ing evil. Awesome… but Evil.

  42. Chupacabra says:

    “Kai-zar” is actually the good pronunciation for Caesar, “Ce-zar” is also good, though.
    But it’s not wrong to pronounce it “Kai-zar”.

    So now you know.

    I agree with your view on the game, though, seems that a lot of content is indeed missing due to getting the game out on time.
    A shame.

    • Nick says:

      what content is missing exactly?

    • Wulf says:

      No content is, it’s just some people being used to content being placed just two pixels away from other content in Fallout 3, and when they’re actually shown a more believable world, when they encounter something that was created with love and care, so that the environment actually feels like what it’s portraying, you have people saying stuff is ‘missing’. This ‘missing’ feeling comes from the game not having content every single step like Fallout 3, all in a cramped, tiny ‘wasteland’ that didn’t feel big at all. Stuff is more spaced out in New Vegas, and this leads to people scratching their heads confusedly.

      This is why we can’t have nice things, because people are hacked into thinking that game mechanics are more important than having a beautifully constructed, believable world, that if you don’t put all your content in exactly the same, cramped, enclosed space then things will be ‘missing’ because there’s empty space. This really is why we can’t have nice things. I swear, of all the people I’ve encountered on my travels, gamers really are the most hacked. If most gamers could get over being hacked, then perhaps we’d actually appreciate games which are trying to pull us up and out of our anti-intellectual quagmire. Games like New Vegas, games where morality isn’t black & white, and where all the content isn’t stacked up against the rest of the content for the sake of convenience.

      Yes, there’s a lot of empty space in New Vegas, and there are even interesting places to see and hang out in which quests don’t lead to, that were put there just to be seen. I do believe that was the point, more to create a believable world than the perfect game. Explore the wasteland as a wasteland, rather than just the ‘content zone’ of another game, and you’ll have a lot more fun with it.

  43. Cyanyde says:

    Yup. I personally thought while reading this that I must be retarded.. I’m glad the majority disagree with this review cuz I sure do. I felt that the side quests in this game were more epic than most games’ main quest lines. *everything* you do feels like it’s going to affect something, and even the most useless character usually has something important to offer in some way. I was around back when the original fallout games were released and I absolutely loved them. I was looking forward to Fallout 3 literally since it was announced and I did like it, but when I heard New Vegas was on the same engine, I was dissapointed. Guess what, I don’t remember being impressed by a game in a looooong time but New Vegas actually managed to be better than I expected.. That doesn’t happen very often.

    • Stitched says:

      Fallout 3 was the same. A lot of the side quests were more interesting than the main one. Same thing with Oblivion, for that matter.

      I’m still playing, now with some mods installed (the extra radio station, better lighting conditions, etc) and now I remember why I like the PC version so much.

  44. Dustin says:

    I’ve never seen a more objectively wrong opinion in my life. Fallout 3 is lifeless, derivative, soulless and shallow. I’ve never seen someone positively mention Little Lamplight and the DC metro system before; those things were abominations of game design.

    New Vegas is a bit higher brow and I guess that’s where it tripped you up. It’s really hard not to go with the douchey sentiment of “you didn’t get it.” Maybe having characters written like real people with genuine wit and emotion isn’t preferable to people who are randomly vampires and superheroes fighting when it comes to your tastes, but I prefer it.

    Fallout 3 also literally only had 20 sidequests and a far more sparsely populated world with fewer landmarks and no real visual variety aside from “urban” and “rocky grey desert.”

    • Wulf says:

      I think it must be the high brow aspect that’s just throwing some people off. I mean, the Little Lamplight thing was an unbelievable Never Never Land. “Let’s put some kids here, have them act like gnarled veterans who aren’t emotionally unbalanced or mentally scarred in the least, because that’d be clever and just like Peter Pan! I know, let’s add a kid named Pann Peterson!”

      I found Little Lamplight jarringly unbelievable, I could accept that the kids would be slightly competent, but they had a life’s worth of training in gun use, engineering, and medicine, not only that but despite their situation they showed no psychological scarring whatsoever. It really was just Peter Pan in the wastes, it was cheap, nasty, and horrible, and it was one of my least favourite parts of the game.

      Compared to that, I’ve been having a blast in New Vegas as an intelligent sciency character, who’s playing all sides against the middle to create the most interesting outcome, like one giant experiment. No one really knows where they stand with me, and if most games had given me the level of sheer choice that New Vegas did, they’d be broken many times over by now. But New Vegas is somehow still accounting for all of my scheming, and it amazes me.

  45. Dustin says:

    “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.”

    Also, all 3 of these examples are wrong. The bar has no prostitutes because you need to hire them yourself. It’s a quest you get right at that same spot, so what the hell? The man tied to the pole, begging to be cut down can be cut down later, but doing so earlier would break a quest. Also, why would you need Mr. House’s snowglobe collection to be in sight? Why would he put it in his abandoned casino? You can see your own collection in your Lucky 38 suite.

  46. Matt says:

    After finishing one playthrough and having started another, I have to say I couldn’t disagree more with this poorly written review. I think this guy would be much happier playing a game which didn’t require thinking on his part; may I suggest Halo: Reach?

  47. Andrew says:

    I just finished my ‘neutral’ play through and liked I could beat the game as a talker and not have to fire a shot in the finale and got a satisfying ending for my trouble.

    I was really engaged with ‘the house always wins’ main quest and appreciated that the game let me double cross the NCR who I was ‘accepted’ with and that Mr. House even knew that fact and instructed me in how to act as a double agent.

    I haven’t had this much fun in an RPG since morrowind, most games I beat and take a break from. I beat new vegas and made a new game again to experience all the factions I had murdered in my first play through, just because I was curious about their story. For me, this game is better than mass effect and dragon age as an RPG simply because you are in the driver’s seat from start to finish.

    I think most of the PC bugs have to do with the new line of video cards on such an old engine, my nvidia 9800 has zero issues.

  48. ravaged says:

    I find myself agreeing with this review more and more. While there was a certain amount of charm in the first ten hours as I explored and enjoyed the world, I inevitably ran head on into the paper thin construct that is the games plot and quest system. A handful of quests here, a handful of quests there and people magically adore your character. While this can sometimes be an engaging experience when tied to fantastic voice acting and storytelling, New Vegas has neither and suffers greatly for it. Ultimately I didn’t care about anyone or anything in New Vegas because none of them are very memorable.

    • Wulf says:

      And yet more trolling.

      “A handful of quests here, a handful of quests there and people magically adore your character.”

      This is, of course, complete nonsense. Anyone who’s actually played the game knows that, so I have to ask, did you? There’s a faction system in the game, and what you do, be it quests, simply helping out, being nice, or such, raises or lowers your karma with that faction, this, in turn, can lower your karma with other factions. Now, in Fallout 3, you had a Universal karma rating, and if you were good, then you were good to everyone, and everyone adored your character. This is not so in New Vegas. Are you sure you’re not getting the two confused?

      But yes, what you do in Goodsprings, the people of Novac couldn’t care less about, and so on. The system in New Vegas is much more fleshed out, and every action you take could have reactions across various factions, even choosing to make New Vegas independent can make factions you were previously friendly with more hostile, as you step on their toes since they’re all vying for power and control over New Vegas. So it’s a careful juggling act to get a large amount of people to like you, and if you aren’t good at speechcraft, the majority are likely going to end up hating you.

      “While this can sometimes be an engaging experience when tied to fantastic voice acting and storytelling, New Vegas has neither and suffers greatly for it.”

      What’s your idea of good voice-acting? Having Nolan North voice 50% of the game’s cast? New Vegas has been spoken of highly around the Internet and of by critics for actually not falling prey to the Nolan North issue, since everyone sounds different and the standard of voice acting is actually really good. Either you’re just trolling here, or you’re hacked, and you really do believe that having every human male you encounter sound the same qualifies as good voice acting.

      Honestly…

      And as for the writing? Vault 11 (see below) counters that.

      Trololololol I suppose.

  49. Dance on Numbers says:

    I’ve been reading this site for a long long time, and never felt the need to register because the review and couple first posts really give a good impression of the game they’re reviewing as a whole, but this review is the worst review I’ve ever read on this site. I mean this literally, not only do I disagree with the verdict, but the actual review transcends the spectrum of opinions that reviews are entitled to and into plain personal attacks. ” the sound of Obsidian phoning this game in. I’m talking long distance, reversed
    charges, not-giving-a-fuck” is not criticism because he did not go through the developmental phase.
    If he wants to say the game blows, that’s his prerogative. However, he attacks the developers without any kind of understanding of what they were trying to do then he’s an amateur blow hard, period. That’s hard for me to write because I’ve trusted him up until now, but there’s no other way to describe it. Anyone who reads these posts, remember, this review is as bad as you can get in gaming journalism and you should ignore it. New Vegas is the only old school CRPG that has been made in the last 10 years, if you liked Fallout 1 or 2 or Baldus Gate, or plane scape: Torment, or Vampire Bloodlines you’ll like this game.

    • Nick says:

      “New Vegas is the only old school CRPG that has been made in the last 10 years, if you liked Fallout 1 or 2 or Baldus Gate, or plane scape: Torment, or Vampire Bloodlines you’ll like this game.”

      Vampire was released 6 years ago, BG2 10 years ago (throne of bhall 9 years ago).

      But yeah, other than that I tend to agree.

    • Wulf says:

      Precisely. I mean, how could this happen… ? I’ve always liked Quinns, but the last thing I expected from him was to slam this game, a game with the best writing I’ve seen in years, and slam it with more personal insults and fallacious representations than anything else. The review reads like he’s trying to make it look bad, you don’t even have to have played the game to see that, it’s right there in the first insult. It’s like he was determined to hate this game, for whatever reason, and just picked out the worst parts of the game to review them, whilst completely ignoring the rest of the game. And Gods damn it, I’m going to be insistent and call trolling.

      Want proof of that writing?

      http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Nothin%27_But_a_Hound_Dog

      That was an unsettling quest, where I had to find a canine brain to fix up a bionic dog, a dog that had likely been converted by Mr. House to keep him company over the long years he was alive, I really felt so sorry for that dog, it’s odd that a dog could be a tragic character, but this one is. That poor mutt’s been alive for 209 years now, going from owner to owner, Caesar’s hound, the loyal pet of an Elvis Presley impersonator… and now he wanders with me.

      Then there’s this…

      http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Vault_11

      Please read that before you make your mind up on the game. It was honestly very disturbing to blunder into the sacrificial chamber at the end of that, and I felt really angry at how seriously messed up the Enclave are, which is probably the first time I’ve felt that. None of the prior Vault experiments got a rise out of me, this one did.

      Also, progressing through the game, I’ve only had one bugged quest, which I managed to fix after some tinkering in the GECK. One funny thing I spotted in the GECK was how Obsidian’s own coders were amused at how broken the Gamebryo engine is, and how they had to work their way around some of Beth’s lazy hackjobs, which only really backs up the claim that Obsidian went out of their way to try and fix up some of the shortcomings of the Gamebryo engine. It’s all there in the scripts, open up the GECK and read them.

      So really, considering all this, I’m at a loss as to how anyone could pan this game and praise Fallout 3, it seems the exact opposite of what any old RPG fan would do, anyone who values story, or a believable environment should like New Vegas. Sure, it doesn’t have the instant gratification of Fallout 3, it doesn’t have the carrot-on-a-stick grind-to-reward mentality, it doesn’t have content set pieces spaced mere pixels away from each other… but isn’t all of that a good thing? I suppose it has to be down to taste, but if you disliked Fallout 3 for those reasons, you’ll love New Vegas.

  50. Eric says:

    I disagree with this review.