Sunday, November 28, 2010

Game Review: Fallout New Vegas

In my Force Unleashed 2 review I complained about the game being far too short. Well, irony decided to guest-star this week because now I get to complain about a game being way too long.

If you haven't heard of Fallout 3 by now you must be really living in a vault preaching about the Alpha and the Omega, but here's a quick summary anyway: Fallout 3 won numerous awards (and rightfully so) and was an interesting look at civilization after a hypothetic nuclear attack from the Chinese. It was a perfect blend of realism, science fiction and horror, dealing with ghouls, aliens, buying weapons with bottle caps, but also dealing with some very down-to-earth problems such as daddy issues, debt collecting, and helping to fix an irridiated water problem. Fallout 3 is probably the best RPG game I've ever seen.

Two years later Fallout 3 New Vegas came out. The game starts off with a bang, literally, as the player is shot in the head and buried in a grave. Why? Because he's a postal worker and the antagonist wanted a package he had or something like that-believe me, after the thirty-hour mark I stopped caring. Not letting an insignificant thing like a bullet in his brain stop him, our protagonist sets off into the wasteland and tracks down his lost package, fighting dozens of monsters and ghouls along the way. Because, you know, that is a more sensible plan than, say, going back to your employer and telling him that you lost the package. (If only this guy would try and find my lost mail the same way)

There are three problems with Fallout New Vegas. One is that this is the most glitchiest game I have ever played on the PS3. You have the standard game crashing and freezing of course, but there are dozens of bugs to pick from. They range from hilarious (some people looking like skeletons with lipstick) to mildly annoying (enemies' healthbar disappearing) to making the game unplayable (companions disappearing, vital quest items disappearing). Seriously, how could this have been missed in the beta-testing? Was there beta-testing at all?

The second probem is that this game is looong. While the geometric size might be the same as Fallout 3, this game is far more packed with missions and towns, whereas the original had a barren wasteland that could be easily skipped over. I'll give it some credit for trying not to be repetitive, but when I have one mission where I have to keep going back and forth between two towns speaking to the same two people, yeah, it's still repetitive.

Lastly, it's a real nitpick, but there is very little opportunity to be evil in this game and join the horrible faction, notably because said faction is tucked away in a corner of the map in an unitainable area. So what if I did want to wear the toga and join the horrible murderers? Well, I only have five quests I can do with them and about twenty with the good guys, so I have to go with the one that's going to give me more experience.

That being said, there are plenty of good points to give to Fallout New Vegas. The gameplay (when it's not buggy) is good, and there are plenty of interesting characters with some really solid voice acting. All I can say is get the patches right away after you buy this game.

FINAL GRADE: 3 out of 5. The game I love is in here but it's buried underneath a sea of glitches, and even then my fondness wore out after forty hours. In fact, when I reached that point I badly needed to play a first-person shooter.

So up next, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare!

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