After taking a decade off between Fallout 2 and 3, the fourth iteration of the game, Fallout: New Vegas hit just two years after its predecessor. It takes a lot from Fallout 3 and maximizes what that game originally set up. But is Fallout: New Vegas as well done and epic as Fallout 3? Could Obsidian live up to their high standards set in Fallout 2 or did they fall on their face like with Knights of the Old Republic 2? Read on to find out!
Fallout New Vegas takes place in what appears to be a different part of the Wasteland, the Mojave area, as opposed to just the generic version in the last game. You're thrown right into the post-apocalyptic universe and right into the story as the game begins with some guy in a checkered suit literally shooting you in the face. The story goes from there and requires you to track that guy down, figure out what's going on in New Vegas and settle disputes between the rival factions, the New California Republic and Caesar's Legion. Or you can just side with Yes Man and be an anarchist. Either way.
As opposed to Fallout 3, where the game really immerses you in the universe of the Wasteland by starting you out in a Vault and dealing with the issues of living in an environment like that, New Vegas sends you in a world where those problems seem to be solved to some degree, except for a lack of vegitation which apparently can grown killer plants, but that's another story. You work your way into a conflict between two factions, or Yes Man, to see who will control the Wasteland with the Hoover Dam and New Vegas being important cogs and locales in that war.
But Fallout 3's story, while not involving as large a scope, still seemed like it was more important than the one that decides the fate of the country and Wasteland. They started you in the Vault and made you see first hand how things were through Liam Neeson's efforts to clean up the water supply and it all added some kind of gravitas to the storyline. This just seems like a parody of itself. It's not a bad story. It just seems like Obsidian decided to thrown in a huge city and build some kind of Fallout-esque story around it.
The combat is still exactly the same as the last game using real time fighting mixed with V.A.T.S. that allow you to freeze time to aim where the greatest odds allow. There aren't really any new weapons in this game but the fun of hitting someone with a pool cue when it's the only weapon available or hitting people with a tire iron is a Fallout staple. They focused purely on quests and the still intricate story instead of adding weapons for the sake of adding weapons. They got rid of the Big Guns attribute too but just filed it under other categories so it's even easier to build up your weapons.
The perks are also still there with some changes but not many. They can be fun or serious. Or sometimes both as with Confirmed Bachelor which basically allows you to hit on characters you're talking to while also getting you an in with them. The Speech attribute will do the same thing, but it's not nearly as fun or uncomfortable based on your point of view.
But as was the case with Fallout 3, the quests are the stars of this game. Following only the main storyline can be fun and has the most intricacies and setup for the side missions, but when you can do something straightforward like that or try to recruit prostitutes for a sleazy bar, which one are you gonna do? You can seriously get fisted by a sexbot in this game. I'm not kidding. There are just endless amounts of things you can do that aren't found in other games. You can just go to New Vegas and gamble the whole time. You can do anything you want in a casino in New Vegas. Or you could just play Caravan. Or you could go talk to Caesar, as voiced by Bill Rawls. You really can't go wrong.
There are an endless amount of things to do in Fallout: New Vegas and that's what separates it from other free world games out there. The only thing that comes close is KOTOR and even that was murdered by Obsidian. But this game is still one of the best out there and while it's not as epic as Fallout 3 and doesn't involve going into dreamworlds or having giant robots, crucifying people, talking to Rawls and seeing McCarran International Airport as a military camp are more than enough to keep you occupied. This is probably one of the best games of 2010 and you should run out and buy it as fast as you can. After all, it's already on sale.