Fallout: New Vegas Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Fallout: New Vegas box art
System: X360, PS3, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Obsidian Entertainment 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Bethesda Softworks 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 19, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Also, you can now have two AI partners at once, and you can give them orders via the new command wheel. We had mixed results with the command wheel; it gives you a great deal of control, but your companions still do stupid things now and then. Still, your partners are helpful during combat, and they provide some extra inventory slots.

Fallout: New Vegas screenshot

Perhaps the most significant new elements, though, are the story and environment. The year is 2280 (just a few years after the events of Fallout 3), and the region looks like America looked in 1950s science fiction -- it has the aesthetics and music of the 1950s, but with futuristic technology and a little bit of a cowboy vibe. The two most important organizations are Caesar’s Legion (a slaver outfit) and the New California Republic (the closest thing the region has to a government), which are fighting over the Hoover Dam. As you set out to solve the mystery of your shooting, you become enmeshed in the Mojave Wasteland’s politics, and eventually, the decisions you make affect the future of the entire region. Various wacky details provide comic relief -- you’ll come across the Kings, a gang of Elvis-worshippers, for example.

The environment, meanwhile, is completely new. Primarily because it wasn’t hit with a nuke, New Vegas is more colorful and lively than the Capital Wasteland was, which makes up for the fact that the graphics aren’t any better from a technical standpoint. The facial animations are still a little off, and we noticed some pop-in and framerate issues. Even if you don’t feel like pursuing a mission, it’s always a great experience to travel from place to place, taking in the sights and sounds.

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We do have a few complaints about New Vegas. We encountered some significant glitches, including everything from ridiculous physics errors to full-on crashes; we imagine these will be fixed with an update, so those who plan to play on a machine that’s connected to the Internet might want to wait a bit before diving in. The enemy AI seems to have gotten worse, with your foes frequently moving in odd patterns and making themselves easy to kill. And overall, we wouldn’t have minded a little bit more of a departure from the Fallout 3 formula. Even with all the aforementioned tweaks, New Vegas still feels a lot like an expansion pack.

But is that such a bad thing? Fallout 3 is one of the best games of this generation, and fans should be thrilled to see a new story told in a similar fashion. We’re looking forward to spending more time in New Vegas, and checking out the DLC when it comes out.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Free Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.8
Graphics
There’s not much improvement over Fallout 3, but New Vegas is a little more colorful than the Capital Wasteland was.
4.6
Control
The FPS and VATS controls haven’t changed at all, and they were great in Fallout 3.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The radio stations are well-done, the voice acting is top-notch, and the sound effects work well.
3.8
Play Value
This is a long, meaty game with replay value galore, but it feels a whole lot like Fallout 3.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Feel the heat in New Vegas. Not even nuclear fallout could slow the hustle of Sin City. Explore the vast expanses of the desert wastelands - from the small towns dotting the Mojave Wasteland to the bright lights of the New Vegas strip.
  • Feuding factions, colorful characters, and a host of hostiles. A war is brewing between rival factions with consequences that will change the lives of all the inhabitants of New Vegas.
  • New systems. Enjoy new additions to Fallout; special melee combat moves have been added to bring new meaning to the phrase "up close and personal."
  • An arsenal of shiny new guns. With double the number of weapons found in Fallout 3, you'll have more than enough new and exciting ways to deal with the threats of the wasteland and the locals.
  • Let it ride. In a huge, open world with unlimited options, you can see the sights, choose sides, or go it alone. Peacemaker or hard case, house rules or the wild card -- it's all in how you play the game.


  • Screenshots / Images
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