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whatshot Fallout New Vegas PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 8.3
Sound 8.9
Value 9.5
Distributor: Bethesda
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
October 2010
Reviewer:
John Aldino

9.5


Fallout New Vegas

One of the world’s greatest and I’ll say it again greatest RPG titles returns to the world of gamers and more importantly, the PlayStation 3 in Fallout New Vegas. The original game was designed by Bethesda who licensed the franchise to Obsidian and before you cringe, some of the developers who helped create the original Fallout are part of Obsidian. With that said, you can actually see some of the similarities between New Vegas and the original which is definitely a tip of the hat to old school fans. And two years later, here we are again in Fallout New Vegas that promises an unparalleled freedom like Fallout and probably one of the world’s most in-depth RPG and combat systems, thanks to VAT.  

Set in a post apocalyptic future, mankind has finally destroyed the world thanks to the nuclear weapons and from the “fallout”, mankind has dragged itself out of the proverbial mud but just like the movie, The Book of Elijah, the world is no longer a safe place and in some places, nefarious individuals have set them up as the power brokers who generally get what they want. And with the fallout came the radiation which has caused both man and animals to become horribly mutated. However the biggest damn problem with the Fallout series is the addictive nature of the game and before you know, you are drawn into this game that requires you to play endless gaming sessions in this entertaining yet sometimes frustratingly challenging post apocalyptic world

The current game is setup in the Mojave desert and Las Vegas has definitely seem better days. Before venturing into the Mohave Wastelands of Las Vegas, players need to create their character which is reminiscent of the previous game. Once your character is created, you are thrown into the deep end and even though no Fallout knowledge is required to play Fallout New Vegas… it does help because there are quite a few links to the previous game. After your near death experience from being a courier, it’s time to investigate who attempted to pop you off, where you begin in the grubby town of Goodsprings. With that said, there are two power factions in Fallout New Vegas and you can either support one, both or play them off against each other.

The story also fills in a few blanks between Fallout 3 and the current story. The gameplay like the original requires you to embark on a variety of missions for both the factions in the game and your choice does affect the outcome of the story and how characters react to you. Exploring, combat, searching… more searching, then levelling is the soul of this game. The good thing about Fallout New Vegas is even after you have created your character, a few hours into the game, it will ask if you want to change it one more time. A very cool idea that's totally up to the player.

An additional interesting aspect of the game is the creation of ammunition and the ability to do minor repairs and modifications to your weaponry. There’s a new card game called Caravan which has been introduced into New Vegas that does give you a breather but just be warned, this game is quite complex. There are heaps of new traits and levelling options for your character and the NPC interaction is much more streamlined and solid. The menus of New Vegas are still a little cluttered and you’ll be spending many hours in those menus.  

Even though the gaming engine remains virtually intact, there are some impressive changes to challenge the player. The most significant aspect is the hardcore mode which allows you to play the game with total realism. This means that your character needs to eat, drink and be proficient in healing. Combat is also a hell of a lot harder and that’s an understatement. If you do manage to complete Fallout New Vegas in this mode, the gamer is awarded at the end but unfortunately due to the difficulty of this level, we gave up only after a few hours. We’ve already clocked up over 50 hours of gameplay and just like Fallout 3, there’s still so much more to do.

As mentioned, a key element of the game is VATS which allows you to target certain spots on your enemies such as body parts or specific weak areas in order to maximise your damage. Nothing is more fun than targeting a variety of spots on your enemies and then letting them all go, ala The Punisher from Marvel Comics. However in order to maximise your weapons, you need to specialise in certain weapon skills which is a tree system.

The areas that you explore contain all that post apocalyptic wastelands but unlike Fallout 3, New Vegas was actually spared from the bomb and there is actually foliage around. Although the city is quite deserted, it’s fun to explore with all these strange characters who have evolved since the nuclear bombs hit Earth. A good thing about New Vegas is if you mess up a quest, you can keep on playing that does make the gameplay more fluid and less controlling. 

Graphically, Fallout New Vegas is a little bit of a mixed bag at the moment. At some stages, the graphics look amazing as this 1950’s science fiction retro feel is so fitting for this game. Other areas look a little bland and make you think that this engine is beginning to get a little dated. There are a few bugs with the graphics with characters getting stuck in walls as they talk to you or floating in the air which is a shame that Obsidian didn’t iron these out as they were available in the last game. They did however improve the lip syncing of the characters which once again look great on a FULL HD TV.

The musical score of New Vegas is great and features a variety of 1950's themed songs to set the mood of the game and Wayne Newton (Las Vegas star) also stars in this game as a DJ. Sometimes listening to the music of Bing Crosby or Patsy Cline is quite creepy, especially with the artwork of the game but it’s all part of the classic Fallout experience.  The ambient music, voice acting and all the sound effects come together rather well with the gameplay as well.

Who would have thought that Obsidian would make the next Fallout game as good as Fallout 3 and at times, it is far superior. The story is quite engaging and not only pays homage to the original Fallout games but expands on it but again, the star of the game is the in-depth RPG system and the sandbox experience that makes this one of the biggest games we have played in quite some time. There are a few glitches but even so, these do not hamper the gaming experience and if you’re looking for value for money, than you have come to the right place my apocalyptic brothers and sister. Recommended!





 

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