I’d not been this excited about a game’s release since Sonic 2 for the Megadrive was announced. I’ve been looking forward to it since it was announced two years ago. I’ve had it on pre-order for months. I even broke the £20 Rule to get the Special Edition.
But was it worth it? By hell, yes it was.
At first glance, it seems to just been like an expansion pack for Fallout 3. It’s not, but even if it was, I’d have been more than happy with that. As it turns out, it’s much more than just a new setting with new quests – it has a new, different feel. Vegas was less affected by the war that tore apart Washington D.C., so although places are still in ruin, they’re not as badly destroyed. Vegas itself still has several fully working, pretty well furnished, casinos, complete with neon lights, shows and gambling halls. Even the wasteland is different, and not just in the orange sand compared to Fallout 3’s grey, well, everything – the sky is blue and there are plants and greenery. Not a lot of greenery, but enough so that it appears life is returning to some sort of normality in the Mojave.
It isn’t just that which makes it different, though. New game mechanics, such as the ammo, food and weapon “recipes” make New Vegas play more like Oblivion. The “karma” meter from Fallout 3 returns, but is mostly replaced by the way you are now seen as friend or foe by each of the factions across the wasteland. It’s not just the Enclave vs the Brotherhood here – many more groups are involved and at odds.
There also seems to be so much more to do this time around. Certainly, I have many more quests open to me currently than I ever had in the previous game. Many of them have multiple methods of completing them too – some obvious, some dangerous, some rewarding, some unexpected, and some just plain bizarre. In Fallout 3 you’d be lucky if there were two possible resolutions; in Primm, here, the sheriff quest has at least 4 that I can make out!
So far, I’ve played 11 hours, reached the Vegas Strip, completed mainly only story quests (but did complete a couple of side quests, and have certainly opened many more), and have done very little off-road exploring. And I’m loving it, despite my initial apprehension that I wasn’t going to come out of a vault at the start. Coming out of a grave is much more dramatic!