A whole lot rides on a game’s premise. The close-to-home leading into grand scale danger in Dragon Age, the whimsical mystery of FEZ, the princess being captured in Mario! How you setup your game can determine the flow of the entire flow of the story. The setup for Fallout New Vegas is that you are a mailman, somebody shot you and stole your package and so now you’re going to go hunt that motherfucker down and finish your job because you are a PROFESSIONAL.
Along the way you single-handedly determine the ruling system of post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. What a setup, what a game.
The Hype: Fallout New Vegas was released in 2010 alongside Fallout 3, featuring a fairly wide open world, a follower system and all the Fallout goodies we know and love: V.A.T.S., vaults, perks, and customizable characters made this a welcome addition to a thriving franchise. The writing was an excellent mix of funny but not irreverent and the world was right in the sweet spot of expansive but still player-centered.
Fallout New Vegas’ game play is hard only if you want it to be, even within the game proper you have the ability to select various difficultly modes and that’s completely ignoring my favorite decompress pastime, logging on to my laptop, booting up New Vegas, and console commanding good ol’ god mode to start up. Escapism and power fantasy I HAVE arrived.
The Anti-Hype: Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas debates are still a matter of message board debate to this day. Is New Vegas’ writing fun or simplistic? Is the world more personal or just small? Are the antagonists cool and colorful or just flat? Having two games come out so close together was just asking for discourse to arise over their comparison and while it is a vocal minority that feel anything too intense regarding which is “superior” most players will still find themselves favoring one over the other.
Me Spilling MY Tea: I love fallout new vegas’ plot and characters with all my heart and soul. My courier is me and she’s best friends with Arcade and she owns a dog and fixes a robot and has a persuasion of like a hundred or something and can barely shoot a gun. I am forever and always saddened by the Fallout setting however. I have no beef with post-apocalyptic but sepia toned “real is brown and grey” is just not that fun for me to look at. Bethesda has recently started to move away from that old habit (thank god) but at the time it was still in full force and as such the only color in the game is metaphysical at best (because of its colorful cast! gettit?)
I get a huge amount of playtime out of this game too, delving into the sidequests and playing them through is where the game shines, and multiple playthroughs do give a sense that even if your smaller choices don’t necessarily have different long reaching consequences they at the very least all have a pretty wide array of NPCs responses that make the world feel all more alive.
Any returning Fallout fans will probably enjoy this game plenty, the game brings what you like and leaves judgment at the door: you want to nuke a town and ruin the lives of everyone inside, murdering all quest givers and breaking several plot lines? Go nuts kid, this is New Vegas and you’re just in time for the party because the party? is you.