excellr8's Fallout: New Vegas (PC) review

Great New Fallout

I won't lie... when Fallout 3 dropped in late 2008 I wasted hours upon hours exploring the vast Capital Wasteland and it's DC counterparts, and earning the ever-so-rewarding XP points that chimed in after every kill. Needless to say I've been following New Vegas ever since its debut and was exited to give a western wasteland a go. I was very pleased with what the Obsidian developers did with the game franchise....
 
Unlike Fallout 3, New Vegas gets right into the action after a short and sweet intro and character setup. No vault this time around but close to it. Without giving much of the storyline away, the game drops you right into the hearty town of "Goodsprings" where you meet the first somewhat important characters. The first few quests are merely primers for the real deal but spark your interest and get you going. The environment is familiar (if you've played FO3) but different at the same time so it's like playing a new game, at least to some degree. It's basically the same engine as Fallout 3 with a few tweaks and from what I've experienced it's somewhat more stable, though there are the occasional glitches.
 
The combat in the game is nearly identical to that of Fallout 3, and the VATS combat is still amazing, but there is one very important addition... iron sights! Not all guns have them but most do which really helps you out in non-VATS combat and when you're AP level is low. Some weapons are better than others of course but for the most part it's a great improvement over the standard hip firing and slightly closer hip firing that was featured in Fallout 3. There is a HUGE amount of weapons in New Vegas which include rehashes of some old favorites like the Hunting Rifle and Fat Man. The game claims to have twice the amount of guns, which is really cool, and the game also offers weapons modification and the crafting of custom ammo! 
 
The Mojave Wasteland is vast and features a variety of small settlements and urban districts, much like the world in Fallout 3; although there are less metro tunnels to explore, New Vegas offers players with an almost unparalleled experience in trekking around the desert wastes. While it may not be as interesting as a play world compared to the Capital Wasteland, the Mojave is plenty big for even the most experienced of travelers. Upon first look it doesn't look all that diverse, but that quickly changes as you move about. You'll, of course, be greeted with all sorts of hostile wildlife and the occasional band of misfits but what would Fallout be without them? If you're like me (and you should be) then you'll want to lay waste to nearly everything and New Vegas will allow you to do so... continuing the series' trademarked crime-and-punishment system. Of course you'll need to be smart about what you do because your decisions may just come back to haunt you!
 
At the end of the day New Vegas is a great addition to the post-apocalyptic franchise and, at the same time, a great follow-up to Fallout 3. Needless to say if you've played FO3 then there isn't much reason not to pick up New Vegas. There are some technical hurdles to overcome but getting past them is very rewarding and the game offers a huge amount of playtime depending on the difficulty and which quest routes you choose. The addition of Hardcore mode may also extent the play time significantly by applying a more realistic wasteland survival factors to the difficulty of your choice. However you choose to play the game, Fallout: New Vegas offers hours and hours of fantastic game play, much like Fallout 3 and will keep you seated for a very long time. Buy this game!

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