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#2: Fallout New Vegas
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to call Fallout: New Vegas a mere expansion of the Fallout universe. It’s not a sequel in the truest sense of the word and it far exceeds the amount of content for a simple DLC (since Fallout 3 was shipped to market five expansions have been released for that game: Operation: Anchorage, The Pitt, Broken Steel, Point Lookout, and Mothership Zeta). Is it an original engrossing experience worthy of being released as its own separate game? A resounding yes! But let’s be clear, the additions to the actual gameplay in this title are few and far between and in the two years since Fallout 3‘s release not much has been upgraded in terms of the game’s graphics engine, however to die-hard fans of the franchise this comes across as unnecessary nitpicking.
Bethesda Game Studios transports us from the barren desolation of the Capital Wasteland to the deserted remoteness of the Mojave Desert. The game takes place four years after the events of Fallout 3 and nearly three centuries after the nuclear apocalypse left the city of Las Vegas virtually unscathed. You start the game as a courier found buried in a shallow grave having been double-crossed and robbed of a mysterious package. Suffering from a venerable bout of amnesia due to a gunshot wound to the head, your character begins a journey that’ll take you from the Hoover Dam to the New Vegas Strip vowing revenge on those that betrayed you.
On paper New Vegas is a bigger game than its predecessor. There are seventeen main quests and 78 side missions in New Vegas when compared to fourteen main quests and 17 side missions in Fallout 3. There are also roughly 350 locations in New Vegas for the player to explore when compared to the 187 in Fallout 3. In addition, there’s a newly added “hardcore mode” which skews the difficulty to an insane degree. But rest assured Bethesda gives us a fully-fledged gaming experience with an immersive storyline, stunning locales, and non-stop action that delivers a solid 60-80 hours of gameplay depending on your play style.
But New Vegas is a game that depends on the gamer playing it just as much as it does the game itself. If you’re a die-hard fan of the series (as this reviewer is) you’ll overlook the occasional glitch or disappearing companion, however if you approach the game with a cynical, more critical eye than your proto-typical gamer you’ll be looking at a very different game. New Vegas is one of those anomalies in gaming that you play more for the enjoyment and experience and less for the finer details. It’s the story and the adventures that keeps fans coming back to this series again and again. Similarly, the voice acting is excellent, the sound design is top-notch, and the musical score for the game only adds to the neon-clad, retro-futuristic aesthetic that Bethesda manages to capture so well.
Three expansions for the game have been released so far (Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road respectively) so there’s plenty of additional content to be had with this title. In the end Fallout: New Vegas is to Fallout 3 as GTA: Vice City was to Grand Theft Auto 3, a colorful, enjoyable addition to a franchise that still has some kick to it.
Click Here to Purchase Fallout: New Vegas