Review by glaphanking
"Getting back to the grittiness that is the Wasteland"
First off, if you are a newcomer to the series, you really should play fallout 1-3 in that order. Second, there are a lot of people around here too quick to judge how this should be an expansion pack rather than a stand alone game. I beg to differ because there are a ton of new things and stories that tie in the first 2 games as well as make some references to the second one.
A lot of races are returning including the super mutants, ghouls, Deathclaws, etc. The setting takes place in the Mojave Wasteland or the outskirts of Post War Las Vegas. You are not a vault dweller at all but a mail courier hired by a casino to deliver a package which will change your life forever. For the first part of the game, it's like a who-dunnit mystery and why they did it, but as the game goes on you will be able to shape the future of New Vegas forever.
There are a number of additions to this game that add upon the old one. One being disguises. Should you kill a raider, now called Fiends, you can take their armor and in some cases dress like them to safely pass among them. This can and will come in handy if you have to diffuse a diplomatic situation if a group is already mad at you. In addition to overall Karma, each faction has fame/reputation you can build or destroy which can be a blessing or a nightmare.
There are almost three times as may places to go in New Vegas and finding them all on your first run may be impossible. With so many factions and races in the game, there are multiple endings that will go either way depending on what you did in the game. I remember in my first run that I missed so many things, so those particular situations ended badly and made me want to play again to see what I did wrong. I could go on for a long time about why the game is better than Fallout 3. Even though there is no DLC yet, it really stands on its own. I for one cannot wait until they start cranking out some expansions.
So let's break down the game bit by bit and judge for yourself
Graphics : 9/10 - Not a lot of changes to the graphics other than its a lot brighter than the dull capital wasteland. New Vegas lights up the night for miles when the sun goes down. There are a lot of neon signs and such to lead the way to the city. As far as I can tell they only removed the Yao Guai creature. Some other creatures have been added like a mutated fly/bee thing and some others. Even though things are still gritty, it's a little more tidier and that is still a stretch.
Sound : 10/10 - Still has the sound effects from the last game, but the music is fantastic. Mojave Radio has mostly old time country music and some 40s style music. New Vegas Radio is hosted by the bot Mr. New Vegas voiced by the awesome Wayne Newton. A number of celebrities lend their voices such as Rene Auberjonois from Deep Space 9, Michael Dorn from Star Trek, Matthew Perry from Friends to name a few. There are a host of others that you will discover as you make your way to New Vegas.
Gameplay : 8/10 - Mostly the same as F3 but the VATS is supposedly upgraded, you can craft your own bullets and make new ones. Upgrading your weapons is awesome like putting a scope on a plasma rifle or a suppressor on a sniper rifle. Only 3 mods are allowed per gun, but it's more than enough to suffice. There are at least over 70 quests both main and side. Some are short and some are very long. Also the gambling system is a much needed addition since it was in F1 and F2. Caps are still the norm for currency but NCR and Caesar's Legion have money you can trade for chips in the casino as well.
Replay : 9/10 - You will be playing through the game multiple times to see all the different ending the game has to offer. Some are nice and some will make you just hang your head that you were part of something like that. All in all, this game has high replay and will keep you glued to your console or pc for hours.
Final thought: Even if you didn't like F3 you will still enjoy this new game. It had elements that should have been in F3 as well as other elements never seen before. It's worth a look and a must for your collection should you be a die hard fan like myself. Judge for yourself before reading everything on it. You won't be disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/10
Game Release: Fallout: New Vegas (US, 10/19/10)
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