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Fallout 3 vs Fallout: New Vegas
Loved both games equally when they came out. If you haven't played either then buy Fallout 3 first and complete that, then go play New Vegas. New Vegas of course has some additions and improvements but F3 was out first.
Both however, are terrible with glitches.
a knock, a thud, a tiny...zwoosh, where?
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This one always splits opinion, though like someone said, exploration is a lot better in F3 and the story is better In F:NV.
If you can I'd get both.
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This topic makes me want to start up New Vegas, since I've only played 3 so far.
I preferred a lot of the scenarios in 3 over NV, taking on the Enclave was always more satisfying than fighting the NCR or Caesers Legions. Though trying to rid the map of a faction was always very enjoyable in NV. FO3 had better pacing and the world was more interesting as it seemed more desolate, I'll never forget my first time going through the Capital.
In terms of the three aspects you mentioned (gameplay, story and replay value), I have to say that New Vegas is better.
Gameplay - The differences here aren't huge (NV basically takes 3's gameplay and adds a few extras on), but they do make things more enjoyable. You can now aim down the sights (IIRC) and add attachments to weapons. There is also an extensive crafting system and a "hardcore" mode in which you have to deal with fatigue, hunger and thirst, manually heal injuries, etc. (I personally don't care for it). Oh, and there's a faction system too, which makes things more interesting as you have to think about the consequences of your actions in terms of who you please or piss off (I guess that could be seen as more of a story thing than a gameplay thing, but it's probably a bit of both). And one other thing I forgot: NV overhauled the companion system also, giving you a "companion wheel" that allows you to more easily control them.
Story - New Vegas tends to have a lot more detail put into its story, and more intelligent writing. There are a lot more things in 3 that don't add up or are just downright stupid (e.g. people building a town around an undetonated nuclear warhead and worshiping it). Of the three aspects you mentioned, this is probably the one that's mostly a matter of taste though, so your mileage may vary.
Replay value - Again, NV wins. Obviously there's the hardcore mode which can be worth a playthrough if you're into that sort of thing, but the game as a whole is really more conducive to replaying in my opinion. The main reason I say that is that the quests in NV are typically more open-ended than 3's. You also have a bunch of different endings that you can play around with (way more than in 3 if you count all the little things you can influence).
In terms of the aspects you didn't mention, people seem to prefer 3's world from the point of view of exploration. 3's random encounters seem to be a well liked aspect also (NV isn't as extensive in this regard).
Both games are very buggy on the PS3. Really, you should play the games on the PC if you can. They have quite low requirements, so you might be surprised about what kind of computer can play them. I think even (modern) integrated graphics chipsets can handle them (not 100% sure on this).
If not, it's not a *huge* deal honestly. While the games can implode quite dramatically, I personally still managed to get through NV on the PS3 without any major issues. I've only played 3 on the PC, however, so I can't comment on that one (I hear NV is meant to be even more buggy on the PS3, so 3 should be OK also).
If you like one, you'll probably like both (unless you're a die-hard fan of Fallout 1 and/or 2).
the PS3 versions of both games are glitchy trash that doesn't even run properly
Really? I only froze a few times in point lookout, and a handful of times in NV (with a saved game 20mb+) other than that they ran fine....
But anyway Nv was a improvement in almost every way except for the fact in fo3 you can still play after you complete the campaign - with the dlc tho -
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For me Fallout 3 was the much better game. Even though I played FO3Vegas for the most part I wasn't as in to the game. When I actually go in to the Vegas gambling area I became so bored I quit playing.
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FO3, by a long shot. The world was completely nonlinear and free roaming enemies and random encounters kept treks through the wilderness exciting. Sure, you can customize guns in NV, but eventually you're going to run out of stuff to shoot at. I stopped playing my high level, endgame characters on NV because very few enemies actually respawn (aside from giant ants and those fire lizard things). Because of this I much preferred to walk from location to location in FO3 as opposed to just fast travelling whenever I could in NV. Not only that, but something like 1/4th of the actual map in NV is just impassable terrain that you can't set foot on in order to keep players on a stict linear path for the first section of the game.
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FO3. NV never really hooked me in.
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