Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Fallout: New Vegas (PC)

Fallout New Vegas title screen
New Vegas is the sixth game in the Fallout franchise, released between Fallout 3 and a theoretical Fallout 4 that may or may not definitely be in development right now.

Though Bethesda are the current custodians of the series after buying it from Interplay, this game was passed on to Obsidian to make instead... which is a company founded by ex-Interplay employees. Annoyingly they haven't used their years of PC RPG developing experience to fix the issue where I have to disable my Xbox 360 controller to use the mouse in the menu though.

This is awesome theme music though, it's like a slightly wild west-tinged version of the Fallout 3 theme (youtube links, don't hate me if there's ads). I know people liked that the first two games began with classic songs by The Ink Spots, but I think its cool that the series has an original theme of its own now. One of their tunes will show up in the intro though, they always do.

(Click the images to see them at the original resolution.)

War. War never changes. But they've replaced the Ink Spots with Frank Sinatra singing Blue Moon! He must have just gotten the track released before the governments of the Fallout world banned all new music, or whatever happened to freeze culture in the 1950s.

With the song continuing in the background, the camera pans out of a casino, down the Vegas Strip, through drunken soldiers walking the streets, over a sniper picking off bandits outside the walls, past a group of men dressed as Romans...

...and stops here to show these gentlemen standing on a hill overlooking Vegas, getting ready to put a bullet into my character's brain. And then they do. Oh well.

Did I mention that Ron Perlman's back as the narrator by the way? He runs through the story so far, explaining that when atomic fire consumed the Earth, the survivors found refuge in underground Vaults. Decades later, the descendants of the remnants of humanity have formed tribes and cities, and the armies of two empires now face each other across the Colorado River: the New California Republic and Caesar's Legion.

Not much point me telling me about it though, seeing as my character's resting in a shallow grave right now. Oh, do you think I might get to play as their ghost?

4 Weapon Repair Kit(s) added? I thought I turned all the DLC content off. Oh never mind.

Hey, I've been rescued! I was worried for a moment that this guy's head was going to start rotating like in the videos, but it seems that particular bug has been crushed.

Doctor Colonel Tigh from Battlestar Galactica here explains that he's managed to remove the bullet and sew my head back together, but he'd like me to check to see if he's got my face looking right using his Reflectron electric mirror.

Not a bad job at all, there's no trace of a bullet wound there. Not even a scar.

Wow, look at all those 'mouth' options, so much choice! Seems that Obsidian decided to leave the face creator mostly as they found it in Fallout 3, aside from making the viewing screen half the size, which is a bit disappointing considering how limited it was.

Also don't think I didn't notice this Obsidian:

Only two textures for ten fins? Such a shameful lack of effort... for a screen that most people will only see once in the entire game.

This thing looks cool though. More informative than Fallout 3's baby book at least, giving me hints to what each attribute affects (though not by how much). So Charisma affects Companion huh? Is that how many I get to bring with me? How effective they are in combat? And what the fuck is Nerve?

Wait... it says 'Companion Nerve' doesn't it? Well, uh, never mind then. Moving on.

Traits are back! Bethesda dropped them for Fallout 3 as they couldn't see a good reason to limit them to initial character creation instead of putting them in the list of Perks to pick from on level up, but there is a certain amount of logic to having things like 'poor eyesight' and 'good nature' be the basis of a character build rather than possible later upgrades.

Also the idea of a Hoarder trait that gives bonuses for having a full pack all the time is genius. I'm going with Wild Wasteland though, to maximise the potential craziness and wacky fourth wall breaking references. Just for you.

Less than 10 minutes after starting a new game the doc is satisfied that my brain's running on all cylinders again and sets me free into the town of Goodsprings, Nevada to seek revenge or maybe grab a bite to eat. That's quite a bit of a change from the half an hour I was trapped in Fallout 3's intro level.

Speaking of the last game, this place is looking a lot healthier than the Capital Wasteland did. In fact this is pretty much what the Mojave desert looks like anyway. The buildings are even intact!

Here's a shot from near the start of Fallout 3 for reference and also because I felt like it.

Though seeing the two games next to each other does help clear up something I've been curious about: they did change the on-screen HUD between games. They added a few tiny notches to some of the corners.

Whoa, where the fuck did this thing come from! I take a second to blink and when I open my eyes I've got a cowboy robot all in my face. Though apparently he's the one who dug me up and took me to the doc, so I guess he's all right by me. Also he's got an awesome voice, though that's not a huge shock for a Fallout game. They've gotten together a fantastic cast in every game since even the first one back in '97. Though there's a lot more voice acting in them these days.


Okay I've got two objectives:
  1. I've still got to complete that last job I was on before I was so rudely shot to death. I was hired as a courier to deliver a Platinum Chip to Vegas, so I need to track down the people who tried to kill me and get the thing back. Funnily enough, despite the bullet in the brain, my character does not actually suffer from amnesia in this.
  2. I should probably go into town and say hi.
  3. Also a bunch of DLC missions but I'm pretending they're not there for now.
By the way, if you were to drive up to Goodsprings, Nevada right now you'd be able to visit these two buildings for real. Although you'd be looking for the Pioneer Saloon and it doesn't have that cool salvaged sign on it in reality.

Seems like there's a bit of commotion going on at the old Prospector Saloon. Joe Cobb here is part of the Powder Gangers and he's looking for a trader who refused to pay a toll to his gang when passing through their territory. He thinks the townsfolk are secretly sheltering him and he promises that bad things are going to happen if they don't give him up. Now all kinds of options are opening up for me, most of them probably leading to a good old western shoot out. It's a bit of a shame that I built my character for fist fighting really.

I'm going to keep this gang leader thinking I'm on his side for now, then go and find where the townsfolk have got the trader stashed to get his side of the story.


SOON.


This isn't going exactly as planned. First the trader nearly shot me, then he offered to take some money off my hands in a friendly game of Caravan as an apology. Apparently the rules have been uploaded to my Pip-Boy PDA, but I didn't get a chance to look at them yet.

Well at least I've figured out how to put cards down now. I discarded most of my deck because it was the only button that seemed to work, without realising that I could just select a card instead. Not that it helped me much as I have no bloody idea what determines what cards can go on each stack or what I'm even trying to achieve.

I'll just call it a draw and move on to saving this guy's sorry ass from Cobb.

First though I'm going to need to round up a bunch of helpful townsfolk to watch my pathetic level 1 back. Sunny Smiles here is not named ironically, but she's up for a bit of gunplay if the situation calls for it, and she's as sick of these Powder Gangers threatening the town as anyone.

Now I've got a few options to improve my chances in the shoot out, each relying on a different skill.
  • Talk an old ex-prospector (scavenger) into giving me dynamite by demonstrating my Explosives skill.
  • Explore an old school and open up the safe with my Lockpicking skill.
  • Convince the shopkeeper into giving us some combat gear with my Barter skill.
  • Have a chat with the saloon owner and see if I can win her over with my Speech skill.
  • Ask ol' Doc Colonel Tigh from Battlestar to give me some medical supplies with my... actually he just hands me them with no strings attached, because he's a really nice bloke.
The quest seems like a pretty good demonstration of how these skills are going to come into play during the rest of the game. Shame that it comes after I picked my stats really.

Wow, they're back to using caps again on this side of the US? I though they moved past that and onto paper currency in Fallout 2.

I don't have the Barter skills to talk the shopkeeper around, but fortunately he's selling a magazine that'll boost them by 10 which should hopefully do the job. Annoyingly it's only temporary and they'll have worn off by the next time I go shopping. I guess being shot in the head isn't good for the long term memory.

The place also sells guns, armour, stimpaks, ammo... all kinds of things. Food too, which seems pretty pointless to me right now, but if I was playing on Hardcore mode I'd probably think differently. Hardcore mode tweaks the game a little to make it more challenging, giving ammo a weight, making each stimpak's healing effect a whole lot less immediate, and shackling me to the mortal needs of hunger and thirst. Not really my kind of thing to be honest.

Here's a screenshot of me raiding the school safe for the treasure within, because I feel compelled to show off the lockpicking system even though it hasn't changed one bit since Fallout 3, even down to the scratches on the lock. Even down to the colour of the bloody screwdriver!

This is how it works: I turn the screwdriver carefully until the hair clip starts begins to break, then I release the pressure a bit, adjust the angle of the clip, and try again. Eventually I'll get it in generally the right location and the lock will open, or the clip will snap. I can also force the lock, but with an 11% chance of success I think I'll pass on that.

Well it's high noon and the Powder Gangers have finally lost their patience and come to town and kill the poor trader (mostly because I selected the option to trigger it), but we seem to be holding our own so far. It's one of those 'stand in the open' kinds of gunfights I guess, so I decided to run out into the street and join in.

My character seems to have an absolutely terrible pistol skill, but it doesn't seem to be hurting my accuracy any this time around. Also I can aim down the sights now! Not that I'm that bothered either way, but it's nice to have options. It doesn't feel much different to Fallout 3 overall to be honest, but it seems that ranged combat has definitely seen a few improvements..

Hey, we won!

For some reason the kind townsfolk of Goodsprings haven't rushed over to strip their fallen prey bare like vultures, so I get first pick of the treasure. I can even take their clothes, so like in Fallout 3 I'm going to be leaving a trail of naked dead assholes across the wasteland wherever I go. Stitch up the bulletholes and get the blood out of them and they'll be as good as new.

Speaking of assholes, I've been told that the trio who shot me in the intro were headed back to New Vegas the long way, taking the road south instead of the direct route so that they don't end up getting torn apart by mutated predators.

As I understand it, the safest route in the game is basically a big loop around the whole map. The road to the north is marked with warning signs and people have implored me not to go that way if I have any sense. It definitely seems that if I want to get to the bottom of this mystery, I'll need to go south.

So I'm going north.

Hey I've been given a second chance to change my appearance and alter my skills! I guess the town counts as a tutorial dungeon like in Oblivion or Fallout 3, except it's one I can leave at any time. Well now I've learned a bit more about how the game works I think I'm going to... leave my tagged skills exactly as they were. Well okay I'm going to select 'Unarmed' instead of 'Melee Weapons', but that's just correcting a mistake. I didn't realise they were two separate skills!

One thing that isn't two separate skills anymore is the Guns skill, as someone's finally decided that splitting up Small Guns and Big Guns was a bit cruel. I believe that Big Rocket Launchers etc. have been put in the Explosives skill and Big Flamethrowers now go under Energy Weapons, which is a bit weird but whatever.

Seems like the path ahead is being guarded by giant evil files. I don't have much hope of hitting them at this range using the VATS, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I'm sticking with guns by the way until I find a nice set of knuckle dusters or whatever.

VATS is making a return from Fallout 3 pretty much unchanged. It's an assisted targeting system that freezes time to let me select enemies body parts to aim for. Once I've spent all my action points planning my shots or reloading, I reach over and hit the E key (because letting me redefine that would be crazy) and let the battle play out in cinematic camera shots. Or I can just shoot things in first person myself normally, it's up to me.

Oh shit, the cazadors aren't flies, they're a cross between mutated wasps and the fucking Terminator! They're bloody fast too; this thing was barely a dot in the distance a second ago and even up close my bullets are hardly scratching it.

Also I'm 'a little woozy' now, apparently. Whatever that means.

Crap, my health bar's draining away, I've been poisoned! I need to get my inventory opened and inject some stimpaks.

There you go, I actually got one of the bastards, shown here in glorious VATS-vision. I'd celebrate, but I've got like four hit points left and that wasp wasn't alone. In fact, where has the other one gone?

Thank fuck for Victor the friendly cowboy robot! That's twice he's saved me now, though he's going off back to town now so I think I'm on my own from now on.

Oh by the way, see that fence up there on the hill? That's the sign warning people not to go north. This is as far as I've managed to get so far and I'm already barely hanging on to life. The moral of the story: don't go north.


LATER.


Well I carried on up north, barely surviving another fight with a few more cazadors along the way, and I found a Great Khan Camp. There's not much here, but it's enough to count as a destination on my Pip-Boy map, meaning that I can fast travel back here now. Which to me right now feels like 'checkpoint reached'.

That location on the bottom of the map is Goodsprings by the way and the one just south of me is the graveyard I was buried in, so I've barely travelled anywhere yet. New Vegas is right up on the top edge of the map screen, so I've got a bit of a walk left ahead of me.

I found a small town along the way and thought 'awesome, I can stop for some supplies, maybe have a rest to get my health back'. It was only when I got inside that I realised it was a camp for high level bandits. Well okay, I don't know their level, but it sure didn't take them long to cut through my health.

I've got a bit of a problem here, seeing as Fallout: New Vegas has a slightly different armour system to Fallout 3. Weapon damage is now measured in DAM and DPS (damage per second) and armour has a damage threshold. Even if my gun is putting out a crazy amount of DPS, if the enemy's DT is higher that my weapon's DAM, then most of my hurt ain't getting through to them.

Luckily for me I just so happened to get a free grenade launcher at the start, courtesy of the Courier's Stash DLC, and I have a theory that 59 DAM is going to make an impression no matter how good this guy's armour is. Assuming I can still fire it with my arm and head hanging off.

By some miracle I actually managed to kill a whole town full of these guys, though it took a fair few quick loads to scrape through with any health left. Things definitely started to turn in my favour when I looted that guy's awesome armour (still in decent condition!) I guess I'm still a little dizzy though. Maybe I injected something I shouldn't have, or maybe it's all these explosions going on around me.

Speaking of condition, items in this deteriorate over time with use which I think is a terrible terrible idea... in most games. I have to regretfully concede that it actually suits this game, as it means I can combine my half-ruined gear into one item with a better condition and a higher sale price, clearing up a bit of inventory space while I'm at it.

It also means that I can find awesome weapons right from the start, like these Love and Hate knuckle-dusters for instance, which are nerfed due to their condition. Then when I continue through the game I'll eventually get the money or repair skill to get them fixed back up to max damage and have a super weapon on my hands.

Hang on, these things are in good condition. 61 DPS with my fists? I... have just become a god.


SOON.


Well this isn't going quite as I imagined. I've just reached another landmark, but I can't fast travel back home to to heal while I've got hounds biting at my ankles.

Oh come on leave me alone, I don't have any food for you! I don't have any stimpaks left either, I'm fresh out of healing items. Though I guess I could at least use a doctor's bag to fix my leg, that'd definitely make this getaway go a little faster.

Oh now you're just taking the piss. Do I look rich or something? Why is every bandit in south New Vegas crawling out of the ruins to take a shot at me with their expensive energy weapons?

Also, why am I running from them?

How about I just take that thing off you until you've proven you can be trusted not to point it at me, okay? This Fiend should consider himself lucky I merely beat him to death with my fists really, as I took the last guy's head clean off with my first punch.

If I was going to describe unarmed combat in this with three words beginning with 'v', I'd say it was violent, visceral and viable. I have to run into gunfire to get my punches to connect, but once I'm up close fights tend go in my favour. It's just a shame that running up to enemies and hitting punch over and over makes for pretty boring gameplay.

It's also a shame that none of these bastards ever seem to have any stimpaks on them.


EVENTUALLY.


Well it doesn't look like I'm getting in to the city via the sewers. This is actually some kind of fighting arena called The Thorn. Honestly, I'm grateful as one of the worst things about Fallout 3 was having to use the subway tunnels to get around Washington DC.

I set up a fight against a couple of radscorpions, punched them to death before they'd even left their little cage area, then limped back out to street level with my pitiful winnings. I was kind of hoping for a free health refill afterwards like in Oblivion's Arena, but nope.

New Vegas at last! It took a while, but I finally made it. I'm level three in case you were wondering.

Hey, there's that tower I saw in the distance from back in Goodsprings. I guess it's the equivalent of Oblivion's White Gold Tower in that it's visible from all over the map. Except in this case it's a big roulette spinner. I can't get over there yet though, as I need to have 2000 caps in my pocket to even step foot on the Vegas Strip.

I'm not a big fan of Elvis to be honest and I didn't plan to stay long (I'm supposed to be looking for revenge), but I get the feeling someone's going to complain if I don't go over and check out that building with the guitar on it.

Well it's a gang of Elvis impersonators. I suppose that makes sense, seeing as there's an army of Roman impersonators out there as well, waiting across the river for their chance to invade and claim the city. It's a Vegas thing I guess.

Anyway forget Elvis, take a look at this dog! He's got a cyber-backside and his brain glows! I'd do a few missions for The King and see if he asks me to take the dog for a walk, but I've got that revenge to do.


MUCH LATER.


I was following a lead down to a town south of Goodsprings, the long way around, when I ran into Felicia Day hanging out in the middle of nowhere! Well actually she claims to be someone called Veronica, but I recognise that voice.

She offered to join up with me so that she can see the Mojave for herself and I didn't see a reason to say no. There's always room in my team for more people armed with pneumatic gauntlets. Except I can only have one human sidekick, so there actually isn't after this.

Hey this thing wasn't in Fallout 3! In that I had to order my companions around through dialogue, but this companion commands wheel is way more convenient. Though whenever I try to give Veronica stuff to hold on to, she keeps jokingly asking if it's going to be a dress. Somehow I don't think actually giving her a dress is going to resolve this.

By the way, the reason I'm going to this town the long way instead of fast travelling, is because I want to fill in some of the locations along the east side of the map to make it easier to get around later. Fallout 3 is similar to Oblivion in that you can pretty much pick a direction and keep walking until you hit the end of the map or a mountain, but New Vegas's map is more like Morrowind's, with paths cutting through the harsh landscape. There's still a lot of room to go off the track and explore though.

Until you try to climb a hill and hit one of those bloody invisible walls that is.


EVENTUALLY.


Later, at the bottom of the oval road that circles the map, I found the town of Nipton, looking a bit worse for wear. This is another real location by the way, sitting near the border between California and Nevada.

I figured I should go down there and see if I could punch the fire out or something and found myself face to face with an atrocity I wasn't prepared to see: Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru from Star Wars were amongst the victims. Now this on its own was pretty tame, it's just a dumb little reference added by the Wild Wasteland Trait, but it had to go and play a little jingle and show an icon on screen as well, just to make absolute certain that I acknowledged it and knew why it was there. It's the kind of thing that tends to kill a harmless joke dead in my opinion.

Oh it was Caesar's Legion that massacred the town, led by Vulpes Inculta here with a fox on his head (don't ask where he found a fox in this post-apocalyptic craphole). I'd been wondering if these guys were ever going to show up in the story, seeing as they're one of the main factions. Of course if I'd been following the main quest I probably would've been here much sooner. Plus I probably would've thought twice before taking on an entire squad of faux-Romans to express my distaste at their horrific actions here, but right now I'm feeling like I could take 'em.

Veronica get your ass over here, I'm trying to take a screenshot. Veronica. Veronica. VERONICA! Oh forget it.

Unfortunately for Vulpes, Veronica and I were apparently quite a bit beyond his level at this point, considering how easy it was to beat the crap out of him and steal his hat. The game does have level scaling I believe, but the difficulty isn't quite as flat as in Fallout 3 across the map.

Oh Vulpes died by the way, he wasn't just knocked unconscious, which is interesting considering that he seemed like he'd be a relatively important character later. Especially if I'd decided to work with the Legion instead of antagonising their entire faction.

I think I'll give Veronica his custom headgear as I've grown too attached to my cowboy hat now. The thing gives me +1 perception by keeping the sun out of my eyes, which is a great benefit to me somehow I'm sure of it.

You know, I should probably talk about this hacking minigame before I run out of screenshots. It's exactly the same as it was in Fallout 3, enough said.


Okay fine, it's pretty much a version of the board game Mastermind, with potential answers hidden in the raw data. I make a guess, it tells me how many letters are right (though not which ones), then I make another guess and so on until I get it right or run out of attempts. To mix things up, clicking on a matching set of brackets will either remove a dud or refill my attempts. As hacking games go, it ain't so bad.

These computer terminals are often linked to a locked door, to allow players to use their science skill to unlock them if their lockpicking is too low, and vice-versa. Though I don't think there's anything stopping me from picking the lock first, then doing the computer as well and collecting double XP.


MUCH LATER.


Following the clues from town to town eventually led here to a walled off town guarded by the New Californian Republic. A gang of Great Khans has taken a pair of NCR soldiers hostage and of course their commander is willing to let me, a complete and total stranger, inside the town to negotiate for their return. This has been a running theme throughout the game, everyone is just willing to let me have a try at anything no matter the risks to their men, property, life etc.

I'm pretty sure that the pair of Great Khans from the intro are in here as well though, so I've got a good reason to get involved, considering that their friend in the checkered coat shot me in the head and took the Platinum Chip I was tasked with delivering.

I'm still a little bit annoyed about that actually, but I'm going to put my thirst for vengeance aside for now to ensure the safety of these soldiers, and work to resolve this without bloodshed.

Yeah, that wasn't ever going to happen. Sorry Great Khans, I'll forgive a lot of things, but when someone shoots me and dumps me into a shallow grave, well that's the point where I have to draw the line.

Oh don't worry, I crept over using a Stealth Boy cloaking device I'd acquired earlier and secretly rescued the hostages before I even came into this shop to 'negotiate' with the Khan leaders for their release. They should be quite safe, assuming they don't accidentally walk into all those bullets flying around outside now.

Fortunately I managed to get the information I was after as well, so now I know exactly where I have to go to get my Platinum Chip back...


EVENTUALLY.


Actually forget about revenge, I've finally scraped together enough cash to get entry to the Vegas Strip and how could I show off New Vegas properly without taking part in a little gambling?

I gotta say it's nice to visit somewhere clean for a change. The city of New Vegas was spared from the nuclear onslaught that blasted most US cities in rubble, so it's only 200 years of wear and tear that's taken the shine off this casino.

Sure would be great if there was a fast travel marker on the Vegas Strip though, so I didn't have to walk here from the outside gates each time.

One slight problem though: I'm terrible at all card games. I can't even remember the rules of blackjack and I'm pretty sure it only has like three of them. Something something, get cards that are lower than 21... uh... you know I should probably turn the game off now before I piss away the rest of my cash.


Here's my controversial opinion about the first few hours of Fallout: New Vegas: I don't think it's actually that much better than Fallout 3. But then I love the shit out of Fallout 3, so that's not exactly a criticism. Sure the game does a lot of things better: it's got a greater variety of weapons, ranged combat has been tweaked, you can craft things, it was scripted by some of the top RPG writers in the business, companions don't die in combat, there's the new armour system... lots of things. But on the other hand at the core this is very much just more of Fallout 3, in the same way that Fallout 2 was more of Fallout 1. It builds upon the work that Bethesda did in the last game and has very similar gameplay and familiar issues.

Speaking of issues, holy shit the bugs in this game man, those bugs man, you wouldn't believe them. Let me tell you about all the insane bugs I found in my hours of play...

Well, it crashed a couple of times. Uh... sorry, nothing else is jumping to mind. I guess VATS sometimes took a while to start up, plus it looks a little wonky when you take something from a shelf and the other items on there raise up slightly as their physics kick in. Also once I was attacked by Legion assassins while inside a secure NCR held facility, which seems a little unlikely. Other than that it's been running fine for me.

Honestly my biggest problem with the game so far has been that it takes forever to walk anywhere. C'mon Bethesda, throw in a motorbike or a buggy for Fallout 4 please? You can borrow one from Rage, I'm sure id won't be needing them anymore.

    

It's very possible that you just experienced a whole lot of words about Fallout: New Vegas, and for that I apologise, but now's your chance to get your own back on me by leaving an epic comment. You could talk about the game, the Fallout franchise in general, my site in general, why I'm entirely wrong for liking a first person Fallout game etc.

7 comments:

  1. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are my favourite games on Xbox360.
    And I also prefer Fallout 3 over New vegas, maybe because it was there first. I discovered the gameplay with it and NV only looks like a mod. Both are excellent games anyway.
    Games were you really feel like you're playing a role in the scenario. I played RPG were the hero has a developped personnality and so I can't identify myself trhough the character. On the other hand you have games like Fallout were the hero is silent and your actions have effect. That's the kind of gameplay where Role Playing has a real meaning.

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  2. Absolutely loved this game, even if I liked Fallout 3 more.

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  3. I was eagerly anticipating and I am totally digging the new logo. Now in 3D*!

    *just prt of it.

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    1. Thanks man.

      I was thinking of making it 4 dimensional at one point, but that seemed like way too much work in the end. At least it's proper authentic pixel art this time around.

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  4. Finally got around to playing this with bUseThreadedAI so it doesn't crash every 45 minutes like clockwork. Wish I hadn't bothered.

    Like you said, the game is a huge open world with one linear path through it, hemmed in by extreme difficulty or invisible walls on every path except where the creators want you to go.

    Compared to the sprawling go-anywhere do-anything world of Fallout 3, I found New Vegas to be a huge disappointment. I lived in Capital Wasteland for 6 months. I lasted 4 days in Mojave before getting fed up and ragequitting.

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    1. I found New Vegas to be plenty 'go-anywhere do-anything', it's just that I occasionally had to go around the long way to get there. And sometimes when I got there I was torn apart by a family of deathclaws.

      Extreme difficulty I personally wasn't that bothered by, because it can be gotten around with perseverance or stealth boys, and it gives me something to aim for. Levelling up is more satisfying I reckon when there's an tougher enemy around for me to get stronger than. The rad scorpion areas north of Goodsprings gave me a lot of trouble at first for instance, but I was able to come back an hour or so later with the strength to punch them to death. Plus the tougher the area, the better the treasure.

      Invisible walls on the other hand... well I know WHY they're there (to stop the playing seeing empty areas of the map and prevent the deathclaws roaming out of their zone and wiping out humanity if I recall), but it's not exactly an ideal fix. I had the same problem with Fallout 3, and it annoyed me there as well. Bloody impassable walls of debris I could climb up but never over.

      It definitely does seem though like Fallout 3 is more for people who like to pick a direction and go see what's out there, and Fallout: New Vegas is more for people who like to get into the quest lines, and be sent around.

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  5. One time I started a new character, and a giant radscorpion spawned in goodsprings. That was tough as hell to beat. I couldn't outrun him at all. I ended up standing on top of a rock where he couldn't reach me, and lobbing tnt at him.

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