|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.
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 Caesars 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 Wastelands politics, and eventually, the decisions you make affect the future of the entire region. Various wacky details provide comic relief -- youll come across the Kings, a gang of Elvis-worshippers, for example.
The environment, meanwhile, is completely new. Primarily because it wasnt 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 arent 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 dont feel like pursuing a mission, its always a great experience to travel from place to place, taking in the sights and sounds.
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 thats 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 wouldnt 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. Were looking forward to spending more time in New Vegas, and checking out the DLC when it comes out.
CCC Free Writer