By nemt 45 Comments
For years I have been valiantly crusading against the aloofness gamers and gaming journalists all seem to embody when discussing games made by Obsidian Entertainment. Every game they release is a broken, buggy mess and rarely does anyone hold them accountable. I fully acknowledge Kotor 2 was rushed by LucasArts - but even that doesn't excuse the broken nature of many aspects of the game, though I don't fault Obsidian for the missing content or the ending. I still love Kotor 2 and when it came out I thought Obsidian would deliver me many years of quality games, oh man was I mistaken.
The first obvious chink in the armor was how easy it was for amateur programmers to fix most of the problems Obsidian and LA left in Kotor 2, concerning but not really alarming, there are obviously some really talented and dedicated people out there. Since then, though, we've had the absolutely unplayable Neverwinter Nights 2, the steaming pile that is Alpha Protocol (in development for over four years) and, most recently, Fallout: New Vegas.
I was actually surprised, no, amazed with how relatively stable and bug free NV was the first couple of days I played it. There was some AI wonkiness, some clipping issues, my male player character having a female voice for some reason, but nothing game breaking like in every other Obsidian game - until I was about twenty hours into the game. Little did I know my fate had already been sealed days earlier when I completed a seemingly benign request involving killing someone over a debt on the New Vegas Strip - seems like a pretty standard quest for a game about post apocalyptic Las Vegas. Or modern day Las Vegas for that matter. Attempting to reenter The Strip after killing this deadbeat cowboy left me with a black screen of death and a corrupted autosave. Upon further investigation it appeared everyone who had killed the guy in that location (instead of luring him to another zone) experienced the issue and some had success fixing it by dismissing companions. Not being terribly attached to mine I sent them on their way and journeyed further alone, content I had averted what seemed like a very serious bug.
How wrong I was.
After checking out the Lucky 38 casino I find myself with the same error attempting to leave the lobby of the building to walk back out onto The Strip - this time with no companions to dismiss. I've since learned this issue is related to the dead guy outside's cowboy hat, picked up and delivered to the creditor to complete the quest. If there is no "Old Cowboy Hat" outside on The Strip the area will black screen of death you ever time (unless you dismiss an NPC follower apparently). Some fans have figured out you can avoid any issue by getting another "Old Cowboy Hat" from a vendor or building and wearing it when entering or exiting The Strup, which is pretty clever. Unfortunately it doesn't help me since all my saves are in this damn Lucky 38. Yep I'm an idiot, oh well.
Here's hoping the next patch fixes it - and a PROTIP for Bethesda/Obsidian: a patch that requires people who've already experienced the glitch to retart or reload anyway is no patch at all. Get off your asses and stop releasing broken games. I am not your bug testing department - unless you want to start paying me; instead of the current arrangement where I pay retail price for games then throw them against the wall in rage because you just don't care.