Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Fallout: New Vegas is the sequel to Fallout 3, build upon the same graphical engine as Fallout 3, players of the previous will be able to quickly get into the game with not much trouble. In my humble opinion, Fallout 3 had a pretty good leveling system, so it's not a bad thing that New Vegas continues using this system. It does feel somewhat aged, after all, the system is already a few years old.
It's been reported that Fallout New Vegas is plagued with technical problems from the get-go. It is particularly stinging because these are the same sort of bugs which have plagued Bethesda's games such as Elder Scrolls IV and Fallout 3, and these had been subsequently eliminated or at least lessened to an acceptable level after a few patches. So why are these same bugs and glitches back again in a new game?
Still, I consider myself lucky, because so far the game hasn't crashed on me except for the first time I started it up. Maybe it's because I don't play for very long stretches. But there are a lot of silly glitches such as:
1) Flickering of certain objects in the background.
2) Borders of entryways, such as doors, have a particularly bright outlines at times.
3) Killed enemies stuttering and flickering about on the ground.
4) Objects or bodies being thrown in the air when you enter an area.
5) NPCs popping out from behind you and suddenly speaking to you when you are sneak mode. (That's a bit freaky and breaks the atmosphere.)
6) Enemies not responding to you even though you are in plain sight and sometimes, they don't even respond to you shooting at them.
The game feels unpolished as a result of these technical glitches, odd NPC behaviors and other misc. strangeness.
It is quite noticeable that character graphics are not improved and imho, it's a little worse. NPCs have rubber faces with eyes that have whites that seem all too white and bright -- it makes them look like zombies.
New Vegas' vast open desert is mostly empty compared to Fallout 3's post apocalyptic Washington DC. It's very different with the lack of cover, you just have to make do. It's unnerving to have to track through that openness when there are lots of dangers like wandering enemies and rad scorpions.
Gun combat is much improved. Now when you look down the sight of a gun, it feels like you are playing a proper FPS. I found that I didn't need to rely on VATS as much because of this. The new character traits feature seems pretty interesting for further customization of your character.
There is now a hardcore mode for those who find the game too easy and it's one I'll try after I finish the game once in normal mode. In this mode, ammo will have weight, stimpacks don't fix broken limbs, and you have to eat and drink to sustain yourself.
About the main story and missions -- there isn't a great sense of urgency and the game starts out a little slow. At certain dialogue points, I felt that the game becomes way too scripted and doesn't give you enough ways to solve a problem. And now, with the probabilty of success based on the required skill plainly displayed, you wouldn't even have the urge to give it a try at all. (Whose dumb idea was it to have that displayed?)
In conclusion, open world rpg fans will still be pleased with the huge space to explore but if they have played Oblivion and Fallout 3, it's likely they will feel a little disappointed by this bug ridden release.