Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas First Impressions - High Vault-age
Written Wednesday, May 05, 2010 By Richard Walker
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It's been more than a year since we last trawled the vast post-apocalyptic wasteland of Fallout 3 and after conquering all that the Washington wastelands has to offer, it's high time for more mutant slaying, wandering exploration and darkly humorous branching dialogue.

Fallout: New Vegas begins with your apparent death, which might not seem like the most promising of starts, but don't worry because even though you've been shot twice in the head(!) and left to rot in a shallow grave out in the Mojave desert, you're soon rescued by Vegas Vic – a mysterious robot – and taken to the kindly Doc Mitchell, who patches you up. This is where our hands-off demo lead by Senior Designer Chris Avellone commences, as your character awakens to the benevolent visage of the good Doc, who has selflessly reassembled your head for you.

This smartly introduces you to the character creation interface as Doc Mitchell makes sure he put everything back in the right place and that you remember your name, which you can input or use the default title of 'Courier' – your character's job role. After this you answer a few questions with the Doc and go through the Vit-O-Matic vigour test to assign your abilities, Then you're good and ready to embark upon a brand new quest, blinking out into the sunlight as you did when you first left Vault 101.

At this point, it's worth noting that New Vegas is a completely new story, with completely new characters and a fresh setting. Yes, it uses the same engine and much of the same assets as Fallout 3 and at this current stage in development it certainly looks no different, but then can you really blame Obsidian for playing it safe? Yes and no. It's perhaps surprising, given that Avellone was the lead designer on cancelled 'could-have-been-Fallout 3' project Van Buren, that Obsidian has decided to plough a familiar, well-worn furrow with New Vegas. Perhaps doing so is the path of least resistance for the developer. And let's not forget that this is a full-sized spin off and not a fully-fledged sequel.

So, upon leaving Doc Mitchell's humble abode, decked out in Vault 21 garb, a Pip-Boy 3000 (obviously) and armed with not very much at all, you venture to Goodsprings – a Wild West flavoured settlement inhabited by the usual menagerie of classic Fallout weirdos and deadbeats. Entering the Prospector Saloon, we first meet Sunny Smiles, who is anything but. After a chat, we go and help her dispatch a few pesky geckos with the 22. Varmint Rifle, which like many of New Vegas' weapons, grants a special combat bonus. This particular rifle does extra damage against limbs, but there's a greater emphasis overall on weapon effects and upgrades, giving you three different attachments to add to each of your guns.

Avellone proceeds to show us a pistol he's augmented with a scope, barrel and larger magazine, and it looks far meaner than its vanilla counterpart. This is preparation for the first main mission, which is to protect a weird guy called Ringo who lurks in the saloon toilets. A fellow called Joe Cobb is causing trouble in the town with a gang of so-called 'powder gangers', so the bar's owner, Trudy, calls upon you to round up a gang to go tackle Cobb and his cronies. After a quick talk with Ringo, Sunny, Chet from the general store and Easy Pete (who also gives us a few sticks of dynamite thanks to a dialogue option unlocked due to our 25 point explosive skill), we're good and ready to tackle the gang. Along the way, our hero gets hold of the game's new 9-iron and enters the trusty VATs mode showing that a press of Y now initiates a specialised weapon specific move, designed to add “spice” to melee combat. This one is called 'Fore!' and is – as you'd expect – a swift, (dis)graceful golf swing to the plums of your targeted victim. Tiger Woods, eat your heart out.

Incidentally, Cobb's head went flying off in classic VATs style outside of VATs, demonstrating the dynamic kill cam which can now be triggered at any moment. Upon completing this mission for the people of Goodsprings and taking out Joe Cobb, we earn the acceptance and trust of the townsfolk. This is part of the new reputation system that has overarching consequences across all of New Vegas, so incurring the wrath of one faction will delight another and vice-versa. So when we betray the loyalty of the New California Republic by activating the Helios One plant's generator to reroute power to the Archimedes II orbital laser, only to rain florescent laser death upon the NCR troops below, they'll remember it and will potentially never trust you ever again. But then again, it is easy to slip past the facility's idiotic custodian, Fantastic (who has a “theoretical degree in physics”), and once you get to the generator, you're presented with a variety of options that have a range of consequences. Remember, just because there's a big space laser at your fingertips, you don't have to use it to kill everyone in the vicinity.

Before our demo finishes, Avellone shows us Primm; a town surrounded by a rollercoaster and home to the besieged Bison Steve Casino; and Novac; a city so-called because the entrance is flanked by a broken 'No Vacancy' sign that reads, well, 'No Vac' obviously. There you'll find a huge motel sign that also happens to be a massive derelict dinosaur-shaped gift shop called Dinky, which doubles as a handy sniper nest. Here you'll also meet ex-NCR member Craig Boone, a crack shot sniper who can join you as a partner.

We meet another partner character, Raul the ghoul later on, in the central Black Mountain location where a mental, aggressive breed of super mutants from previous Fallouts reside. Joining up with him, we take on the band of Nightkin super mutants who have been driven insane by an over exposure to Stealth Boy technology. Using the grenade machinegun – which spits out grenades at an alarming rate – the Nightkins and their cross-dressing, peroxide-wigged leader, Tabitha, soon fall under the duress of so many explosive projectiles that our super mutant killing spree antics are sure to make Raul and the Brotherhood of Steel happy.

There are two breeds of super mutant in New Vegas, the smart kind who can talk and articulate and the self-explanatory 'dumb-dumbs'. As one breed naturally hates the other, you can play them off against one another and sit back and watch as they fight. Fallout: New Vegas reputation system is perhaps the most significant change to the formula, enabling you to orchestrate devious machinations behind the scenes while hopefully maintaining enough favour with the communities and factions that matter.

It might look like Fallout 3 with bluer skies (the bombs didn't fall as hard on New Vegas' townships and settlements) and few, if any visual additions, but it's the subtle differences that should make it worth revisiting Fallout. A smattering of old creatures and familiar names from previous Fallout titles will delight the purists, and the optional hardcore mode (complete with achievement for completion) with ammo weight, slow-effect stimpaks and a demand on gathering water to avoid dehydration will satisfy Fallout 3 veterans thirsting for a challenge. Simply put, if you liked Fallout 3, it's highly likely that you'll love New Vegas.

Fallout: New Vegas is hitting the wastes this autumn 2010.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 43
Comment #1 by jpbever
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 06:32:58 PM
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I can't wait fot vegas!

Forum Posts: 158
Comment #2 by SGTquig
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 06:45:39 PM
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I'd have to play it first. It sounds pretty good though...

Forum Posts: 4484
Comment #3 by OnceFallen
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 06:52:28 PM
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Can not wait for this to come out!!! Looking better and better each time they release new info/pics!!

Forum Posts: 233
Comment #4 by xBino
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 07:04:43 PM
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bring on the bugs and system crashes! while i loved the original fallout 3, i never finished it. the stupid robot never went down the ramp, crashing over and over.

Forum Posts: 190
Comment #5 by XBOTS SUZORX
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 07:12:30 PM
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cant wair to download psn demo!

Forum Posts: 1233
Comment #6 by luxxx
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 07:43:27 PM
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Uses the same system? Does that mean it will have the same glitches that Bethsada never bothered to address?

Forum Posts: 220
Comment #7 by rickz
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 08:32:51 PM
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Comment #6 by luxxx
i wish you are right

Forum Posts: 1093
Comment #8 by 1galactus1
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 08:36:49 PM
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I'm gonna buy ;)

Forum Posts: 3437
Comment #9 by guillermo
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 08:41:53 PM
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those it have lag? if the DLC bring the lag and freezes like fallout 3 , uh its going to suck!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #10 by FU4K-U
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 08:50:33 PM
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i can not wait for mutant killing

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #11 by Nicker
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 09:01:50 PM
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I really, REALLY hope they're gonna improve the engine and the stability of the game. Seriously you guys, at this very moment I'm trying to get 100% in Fallout 3 (2 trophies left) and the constant DLC framerate drops and freezes are breaking my balls. I hope they fix their engine or else. Or else what? Exactly.

Forum Posts: 407
Comment #12 by fize4ever
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 09:37:08 PM
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haha i loved the way i became a supreme overlord in fallout where i'm all badass and evil :P

Forum Posts: 67
Comment #13 by Bloody Sky
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 11:15:31 PM
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I just hope Obsidian does not shaft the PS3 owners with this version of Fallout. I am sure they will try to iron out all the bugs and stuff, but you never know.

I have Fallout 3 for both PS3 and the 360. While the bugs are still there, the 360 version is defiantly more stable as far as crashes and framrate drops go.

Oh well, I still loved Fallout 3. So I will hopefully enjoy this one, as well.

Forum Posts: 6773
Comment #14 by T_l_M_B_0
Wednesday, May 05, 2010 @ 11:20:15 PM
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If Dogmeat makes a return i shall buy this day 1.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #15 by gtaguy95
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 01:15:35 AM
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cant wait, lets hope for the trophy list to arrive soon

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #16 by The_R_
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 01:16:14 AM
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Lets be truthful, this looks like the same old shit. Can't wait though!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #17 by oshi
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 01:44:20 AM
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I agree with 16 looks just like another Fallout 3 expansion really, are they wanting $60 for this? If it's cheap I may get it I enjoyed Fallout 3 but the gameplay gets old after awhile.

Forum Posts: 148
Comment #18 by neon_knight_666
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 01:55:15 AM
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Hopefully it'll retail @ a lower price. I'll buy anyway, love Fallout.

Forum Posts: 2014
Comment #19 by Jimbo76
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 02:49:48 AM
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Day 1 buy for me. completed fallout 3 + dlc's on ps3 and 360 because I loved the game so much. and if it doesn't freeze every half an hour I will be a happy chappy.

Forum Posts: 278
Comment #20 by Bobbob
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 03:02:37 AM
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Wow looks good, like the idea of weapon augments and orchestrating stuff from behind the scenes. Bring it on

Forum Posts: 124
Comment #21 by Verace666
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 03:30:09 AM
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@ 19 Same for me. I loved Fallout 3. Put c100 hours into it.

Forum Posts: 48471
Comment #22 by Terminator
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 05:09:03 AM
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I'll be getting this though probably not untill a few months later as I want to see just how buggy it is 1st! I just hope that there is better psot launch patch support this time!!!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #23 by Badcompany87
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 06:15:49 AM
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I didnt play fallout3 so can any1 tell me if it was good and what is it like?

Forum Posts: 232
Comment #24 by TheChronicSmoker
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 08:00:04 AM
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^^it's a FPS free roaming type game, similar in a way to Far Cry 2 but better in every way! so i'm not very clear sorry.

I'm buzzing for this

Forum Posts: 210
Comment #25 by Timoleague_duck
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 12:00:57 PM
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@23 it is a fps set in 2027 i think but ppl set out to be safe from a war and went into a valt 50 - 60 years ago. you try to find your father and try to rescue him so you leave the vault. on the way you meet characters and either help or be a nuisance to them. thats pretty much it. also you can go anywhere and have a lot of guns

Forum Posts: 220
Comment #26 by DanDx
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 12:11:24 PM
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Golf bat?

Im speechless

Forum Posts: 37
Comment #27 by Mode47
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 01:36:54 PM
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Love fallout so much, but the averagenumber of crashes a night was rediculous! ive 2 DLC's to play through still. Been putting them off cause i like knowing i have more fallout 3 to go back to :)

Forum Posts: 65
Comment #28 by Ryasis
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 02:12:16 PM
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i want it now

Forum Posts: 66
Comment #29 by zalikffmeelopen
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 02:46:29 PM
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best game 2010

Forum Posts: 192
Comment #30 by gramreaper
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 03:23:20 PM
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@5..... demo??? soz but the system run of the game is undemo for consoles as high harddrive space is required just for download pluss runoff HDD.

vegas has new laws, inc stimpacks wont full help this time also other info later this june.

Brink/FNV 2010...Rage 2011
sep oct ???

Forum Posts: 96
Comment #31 by ScottCroft
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 05:00:17 PM
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Wow some of you guys have really been burned by the bugs. Thankfully I had no trouble with my copy. Except the Mothership DLC it was unplayable.

Will be buying this one for sure. Considering the time they have spent on it I expect it to be bigger than DLC sized.

I just hope that it turns out to be as good as the first. When Obsidian made KOTOR2 it wasn't the same, so I'm worried this will be the just as disappointing...

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #32 by Chaosflare
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 05:13:25 PM
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Reserved this last April. xP

Forum Posts: 33
Comment #33 by tylergarrett
Thursday, May 06, 2010 @ 06:25:12 PM
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I agree with #16, this does look the same and I will still buy it and play every bit of it! Can't wait!!!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #34 by Rawger
Friday, May 07, 2010 @ 12:14:51 AM
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Sneaking one faction on the other? Does that actually mean that speech will have some usefullness (:

Forum Posts: 190
Comment #35 by XBOTS SUZORX
Sunday, May 09, 2010 @ 07:49:24 PM
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nothing new to hype on bethesda gamers day,eh?

Forum Posts: 99
Comment #36 by KingSigy
Sunday, May 09, 2010 @ 11:22:14 PM
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I like the sound of that Hardcore mode. It may make the game way more difficult than it should be, but at least it will be challenging.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #37 by TedMani
Monday, June 14, 2010 @ 03:39:02 PM
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Pre ordered it :D

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Game Info


US October 19, 2010
Europe October 22, 2010
Japan November 04, 2010

Resolution: 480p, 720p
Sound: Dolby 5.1
Players: 1
ESRB: Mature
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