Bethesda Softworks have been producing some great RPGs through the years and the revival of the Fallout series has been no different. The next installment in the series, entitled Fallout: New Vegas, is no different. It looks like a great game from the time I spent testing it out—even though they only had it available on the 360 rather than the PC that I will be playing it on. The game is still based on the same engine used in Fallout 3, so graphically it is very similar. The story takes place in and around Las Vegas (fairly obvious from the title) but this area of the country was untouched by the nuclear war so you still see blue skies and vegetation (as much as can be expected in the middle of the Mojave Desert) and the enemies you are fighting are all human.
Storywise, New Vegas ties more closely into the stories from the first few Fallout games rather than what went on in Fallout 3. Communication on opposite sides of the country are non-existent as you can expect in the aftermath of the nuclear war that decimated much of the USA. The main faction in the story is the New California Republic while their opposition is the Caesar’s Alliance, which controls the city of New Vegas and some of the areas surrounding that. As you could in Fallout 3, you can choose which side to follow and do different missions based on who you have the most favor with. Factions definitely play a much bigger part in New Vegas than they did in Fallout 3. If you start killing off members of one faction they start to hate you (even to the point where they will eventually just start shooting you on sight) while you’ll gain favor with the other faction. This mechanic reminded me a lot of how the different gangs worked in GTA 2.
The two main differences that I saw in the game from Fallout 3 was the control you have over your companions and new melee moves depending on your melee skill. If you have a high enough melee skill you can do customized moves in VATS based on the weapon. The one that they mentioned was a move called Fore! using the golf club— you basically line up like a normal golf shot and swing your club at them. If it hits it pops the enemy into the air and they fall down on the ground and are stunned for a short time.
The second main different between the two games was the new companion wheel. Using this wheel you can more closely command your followers. You can set things like their follow distance, their aggresiveness, whether they use ranged or melee, when they can heal themselves, and more.
Fallout: New Vegas is not an expansion to Fallout 3—there is enough new content and changes that it definitely stands on its own, although using the same engine as Fallout 3, you can see many similarities. They basically improved on certain aspects while still keeping the things that were great about Fallout 3 largely unchanged. If you enjoyed Fallout 3 and look foward to many cues from the orginal Fallout games then you’ll definitely enjoy the new Fallout: New Vegas.
Fallout 3 will be released on PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on October 19 in the United States and October 22 in Europe. One change from Fallout 3 is that New Vegas will be using the Steam platform for achievements and such rather than Games for Windows live that was used for Fallout 3.
There will be a few different versions of the game available at release. The top of the line super premium edition includes the game and also includes the game-inspired items below:
- “Lucky 7” poker chips. Each of the seven poker chips was designed to represent chips from the major casinos found on the New Vegas strip and throughout the Mojave Wasteland.
- A fully customised Fallout: New Vegas deck of cards. Each card in the pack has been uniquely illustrated to depict characters and factions found within the game. Use the cards to play poker, blackjack or Caravan, an original card game that was created by Obsidian especially for Fallout: New Vegas!
- A recreation of the game’s highly coveted “Lucky 38” platinum chip.
- A hardcover graphic novel “All Roads”, that tells the story of some of the characters and events that lead up to Fallout: New Vegas. “All Roads” was written by Chris Avellone, the game’s creative director, and created in conjunction with Dark Horse Comics.
- ‘The Making of Fallout: New Vegas’ DVD. This documentary DVD will contain exclusive video content, including interviews with the developers in which they take you from concept to creation and discuss topics such as story, setting, legacy of the Fallout franchise and more.
Fallout: New Vegas digital pre-order packs are now available in North America through participating retailers and will be available worldwide soon. The Classic, Tribal, Caravan, and Mercenary packs each contain in-game items offered exclusively through GameStop, Amazon, Steam, Walmart and Best Buy.
The Classic Pack, available when you pre-order through GameStop, contains:
- Armored Vault 13 Suit – Extensively patched up and dotted with piecemeal armor, this outfit is an homage to the classic ending of the original Fallout.
- Vault 13 Canteen – This handy device is useful for staving off dehydration and providing a small amount of healing in the Mojave Wasteland.
- Weathered 10mm Pistol – A well-worn 10mm pistol that packs an extra punch despite its modest size.
- 5 Stimpaks – Food and water are good for long-term healing, but when the fighting is fierce, Stimpaks help keep Wastelanders upright.
The Tribal Pack, available when you pre-order through Amazon, contains:
- Tribal Raiding Armor – Pieced together from scraps of armor, this outfit provides protection without impacting mobility.
- Broad Machete – This heavy-bladed melee weapon does high damage against limbs and can quickly deal out a flurry of attacks.
- 5 Bleak Venom doses – Useful on any Melee Weapon, Bleak Venom makes short of work of most living targets.
- 10 Throwing Spears – If you would like to silently pin an enemy’s head to a wall, Throwing Spears are the way to do it.
The Caravan Pack, available when you pre-order through Steam and Walmart, contains:
- Lightweight Leather Armor – This hand-modified suit of leather armor reduces its overall weight without impacting its ability to protect.
- Sturdy Caravan Shotgun – Despite its rough appearance, this Caravan Shotgun will reliably fire 20 gauge shells until the Brahmin come home.
- 4 Repair Kits – Useful for repairing any outfit or weapon, Repair Kits are a valuable tool for any caravaner.
- Binoculars – The Mojave Wasteland is a dangerous place, but with these trusty Binoculars you’ll be able to spot trouble coming.
The Mercenary Pack, available when you pre-order through Best Buy, contains:
- Lightweight Metal Armor – Modified for long-range travel, this Metal Armor sacrifices some protection for mobility and overall weight.
- Mercenary’s Grenade Rifle – Though similar to other 40mm Grenade Rifles in the Mojave Wasteland, this model has a faster reload cycle.
- 3 Super Stimpaks – When you absolutely, positively, need to keep your blood inside your body, Super Stimpaks fix you up in no time.
- 3 Doctors Bags – Mercenaries and broken limbs go together like Iguana-on-a-Stick and Nuka Cola. Thankfully, these Doctors Bags take a bit of sting out of the inevitable crushed skull.