Fallout: New Vegas
|Fallout: New Vegas|
European cover art
Bethesda Game Studios (patches)
|Publisher(s)||Bethesda Softworks (US, UK, JP, ROI)
Namco Bandai Games (EU, AU, NZ)
|Producer(s)||Mikey Dowling, Matt Singh, Jason Fader, Tess Treadwell (producers)
Lawrence Liberty (executive)
|Designer(s)||Josh Sawyer (lead designer/system designer)
John Gonzalez (creative lead)
Charles Staples (area design building lead)
Scott Everts (world building lead)
|Programmer(s)||Frank Kowalkowski (lead)|
|Artist(s)||Joseph A. Sanabria (lead)
Brian Menze (concept art lead and Vault Boy design)
Mark Bremerkamp (lead animator)
|Writer(s)||John Gonzalez (lead)
Chris Avellone, Eric Fenstermaker, Travis Stout
|Composer(s)||Inon Zur, Mark Morgan|
|Media/distribution||Blu-ray Disc, DVD|
Fallout: New Vegas is an action role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published in October 2010 by Bethesda Softworks for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Downloadable content and expanded re-editions followed in 2010-2012.
The game is based in a post-apocalyptic, open world environment around the Las Vegas, Nevada area. The player takes control of the character known as the Courier, who is hired by a delivery service to take an unknown package across the Mojave Desert to "The Strip" but is intercepted, shot in the head, and left for dead by a mysterious man who steals the package. After being found by a friendly local robot, Victor, and healed by a man named Doc Mitchell, the Courier is thrust back into the desert to seek revenge and recover the stolen package. By doing this, the player becomes caught between various factions competing for control over the desert and its most valuable asset, the Hoover Dam; ultimately coming to shape the future of its inhabitants.
Even though it directly succeeds Fallout 3 in order of Fallout game releases, offers a similar action role-playing experience, shares its engine and some legacy content with Fallout 3, New Vegas is not a direct sequel. It marks the return of many elements found in previous Fallout titles. Many employees of Obsidian Entertainment who helped develop New Vegas previously worked on Fallout and Fallout 2. The game was a critical and commercial success, shipping more than five million copies altogether.
Obsidian Entertainment presents new features and improvements in Fallout: New Vegas that are implemented upon the foundation of Fallout 3. For example, the original Fallout 3 version of the Gamebryo engine was reworked to accommodate the extra lights and effects of the New Vegas strip.
The game's combat is centered around the "Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System" feature, or "V.A.T.S.", which is from Fallout 3 with the addition of several new V.A.T.S.-specific attacks. Use of certain melee weapons trigger unique animations. Additions are new weapons, a weapon modification system, a better over-the-shoulder view for third-person combat and the ability to use the iron sights on almost all guns except several larger weapons that are shot from the hip. The game allows firearm modifications such as mounted telescopic sights, rate of fire modifiers and increased magazine size. Crafting also plays a role in weaponry, with the ability to make ammunition such as hand-loaded rounds. A plant-harvesting system similar to that of The Elder Scrolls series allows the player to use plants to create special meals, poisons, and medicines.
The quantity of factions prompted developers to reintroduce the reputation system that was absent in Fallout 3. The degree of faction loyalty influences the player's reputation with that faction, which affects the behavior of the faction's non-player characters (NPCs) toward the player and reflects the impact of selected choices in the world. Karma is also a factor and is independent of faction reputation. For example, the player can rob a faction member, lowering their karma, but leaving their reputation unchanged provided the faction does not learn of the robbery. Character attributes, skills, reputation and karma effect dialog options with NPCs. Skills have a larger effect on conversation choices. Whether a dialogue option will succeed or fail is shown up front, and entirely dependent on skill level, rather than both skill and chance as in Fallout 3.
Companion behavior and tasks are controlled using the new "companion wheel", removing the need to enter conversation to give commands. The new companion wheel offers command execution by selecting commands that are presented in a radial menu. Game director Josh Sawyer has stated that the companion wheel offers ease of companion interaction. Examples of companion commands include setting and changing combat tactics, default behavior towards foes and usage frequency of available resources. The player can have one humanoid and one non-humanoid companion at the same time, and receives a unique perk, or unique advantage, per companion. These companions can be upgraded if the player completes a special quest related to the companion.
In New Vegas, the player can visit casinos to participate in minigames, including blackjack, slots, and roulette. A card game called Caravan, which was designed specifically for the game, can be played outside of the casinos.
Hardcore mode 
An optional Hardcore mode delivers more realism and intensity to the gaming environment. This mode differs from the game's adjustable difficulty level settings that change only the combat difficulty; it adds new statistics and encourages the player to make careful consideration of resource management and combat tactics. Gameplay difficulty is increased in several ways. Stimpaks and other healing items, including food and water, do not heal the player instantly, but work over a short period of time. RadAway also decreases radiation poisoning gradually, rather than instantly. Stimpaks cannot heal crippled limbs; a Doctor's Bag, sleep on an owned or rented bed, a chem called Hydra or a doctor's visit is required. Ammunition has a weight value. The player's character must eat, drink and sleep to avoid starvation, dehydration and exhaustion. Skills decrease in four stages with each illness until the fifth stage results in death; When companions are reduced to zero hit points, they are killed, rather than losing consciousness.
Sawyer stated that the mode was inspired by several different Fallout 3 mods. An achievement (Xbox 360/Steam) or trophy (PlayStation 3) is awarded for completing the game on Hardcore mode.
Fallout: New Vegas takes place during the year 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3, and 204 years after the Great War of 2077. However, it is not a direct sequel to Fallout three. The city and its surroundings are divided between various factions, but there are three major powers competing for control of the region: The New California Republic (NCR), Caesar's Legion, and Mr. House. The NCR's military, returning from Fallout 2, is now overextended and mismanaged, but controls the majority of territories in the Mojave. The slave-driving, Roman army-styled Caesar's Legion, formed by its leader, Caesar, conquered and united 86 tribes and now plans to conquer New Vegas. Mr. House, the mysterious businessman, controls New Vegas with an army of "Securitron" security robots. There are other factions and groups: they are the Boomers, a tribe of heavily armed vault dwellers who have taken shelter at Nellis Air Force Base; the Powder Gangers, violent groups of escaped convicts; the Great Khans, a tribe of drug dealers and raiders; and the Brotherhood of Steel, the technology-craving remnants of the U.S. military who are attempting to secure any heavy weapons that could cause signifigant harm. Landmarks featured in Fallout: New Vegas are the Hoover Dam, which supplies power to the city, Nellis Air Force Base and the HELIOS One solar energy plant.
The game places the player in the role of a courier working for the Mojave Express, known simply as "the Courier". While delivering a package known only as "the Platinum Chip" to New Vegas, the Courier is ambushed by Benny (voiced by Matthew Perry), leader of one of the casinos in New Vegas, who steals the package, shoots the player in the head, and leaves the body in a shallow grave. A robot named Victor witnesses the shooting and brings the courier to Doctor Mitchell in Goodsprings. At this point, the player enters into character creation and defines the Courier's skills, attributes, name, gender, age and appearance. Although traumatized, the player begins their journey, tracking Benny to avenge the attack and recover the stolen package, all while exploring the Mojave Wasteland.
The game proceeds according to the player's decisions and involves many different events, factions, and characters, but the main storyline follows the player's pursuit of Benny to both settle the score and retrieve the Platinum Chip. Eventually, after finding Benny and the Chip, the Courier finds themself in the middle of a conflict between three factions: Caesar's Legion, a group of Roman-esque slavers, the New Californian Republic (NCR), an expansionist militia government, and Mr. House, the enigmatic de facto ruler of New Vegas in command of an army of Securitron robots. Each of the three sides aim to control Hoover Dam, which is still operational and supplying the South West with power and clean, non-irradiated water, and thus control of the dam means effective control of the region. It is revealed that Mr. House, a human from before the Great War and surviving via a contained life support chamber, ordered the Platinum Chip's delivery before the war. The Chip is a data storage device with a program that can upgrade the Securitrons to a greater level of combat effectiveness, and was stolen by Benny as part of a scheme to take over House's security and claim New Vegas for himself with the help of a reprogrammed Securitron: Yes Man.
The player has the option to pursue one of four paths: fighting for Caesar, NCR, Mr. House, or taking up Benny's plans to take New Vegas for their own with Yes Man's assistance. After a line of quests where the player deals with outsider factions to determine their role in a looming battle, the player is notified that Caesar's Legion is attacking Hoover Dam and they must take part to decide the outcome. As the Legion strikes the Dam, led by the fearsome Legate Lanius (who becomes leader of Caesar's Legion if Caesar has died prior to the battle), the NCR protects its position under General Lee Oliver. Depending on the faction sided with up to the battle the player will either conquer the Dam for Caesar, defend it for the NCR, or connect the Dam's systems to House's network so he or Yes Man can take control. The game concludes with a slideshow showing the results of the player's actions, the battle for Hoover Dam deciding the faction that comes to power over New Vegas and the Mojave, and the fates of the various other factions based on how the player negotiated with them and which of the major factions emerged dominant.
The game was developed for Bethesda Softworks by Obsidian Entertainment, many employees of which had previously worked for Black Isle Studios on the original Fallout and Fallout 2. Senior producer Jason Bergman revealed that Fallout: New Vegas would use Steamworks for functionality, such as achievements and cloud save storage, with retail PC copies being activated via Steam. The game's story concepts take heavy inspiration from the defunct Van Buren project begun by Black Isle which was intended to be Fallout 3, particularly the presence of Caesar's Legion and Hoover Dam, and the idea that no single faction was entirely good or evil.
Bergman announced the involvement of several celebrities, including Ron Perlman as the game's ever-present narrator and Wayne Newton as radio DJ "Mr. New Vegas". He also confirmed that the game would include voice acting from Matthew Perry, Zachary Levi, Kris Kristofferson, Danny Trejo, Michael Dorn and Felicia Day. The game established the new record for the most lines of dialogue in a single-player action role-playing game. The game contains around 65,000 lines of dialogue, beating its predecessor and previous record holder Fallout 3 which contained 40,000 lines of dialogue.
Fallout 3 composer Inon Zur composed the score for the game. The game features three major in-game radio stations, spanning several genres of music in the radio waves: сountry, popular music from the 1940s and 1950s, jazz and classical. Each station has a set tracklist which repeats randomly. Music from the first two Fallout games, composed by Mark Morgan, is used in the game as well.
The Collector's Edition was revealed on May 11, 2010. It was distributed worldwide and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Its enclosed contents include 7 real clay poker chips from the Fallout: New Vegas casinos, a deck of cards each with a character on them with information on that person, a graphic novel leading up to the events of New Vegas, a Lucky 38 large platinum chip replica, and a making-of documentary DVD (the PS3 version comes in Blu-ray Disc format).
On November 3, 2011, Bethesda announced Fallout: New Vegas - Ultimate Edition, which includes the game, all of its downloadable content and the Gun Runners' Arsenal/Courier's Stash content. It was released on February 7, 2012, in North America, February 10 for Germany, Australia, and Scandinavia, and on February 24 in the UK, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands for Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Downloadable content 
On October 18, 2010 Bethesda Softworks announced that downloadable content (DLC) or add-ons would be available for New Vegas, in keeping with its predecessor Fallout 3. Four add-on packs, Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road, have been released.
Dead Money 
In the first add-on pack, named Dead Money, the Courier is captured by an insane ex-Brotherhood of Steel leader known as "Father" Elijah and must work alongside three other captives to find the fabled treasure of the Sierra Madre Casino. The pack adds new achievements/trophies, perks, terrain, enemies and decisions for the player, as well as raising the level cap by 5. Dead Money was released for the Xbox 360 on December 21, 2010 and for PlayStation 3 and PC (via Steam) on February 22, 2011.
Honest Hearts 
The second, named Honest Hearts, was released on May 17, 2011 on Xbox Live and Steam and June 2, 2011 on the PlayStation Network due to the April—May outage. In Honest Hearts, the Courier is part of an expedition to Utah's Zion National Park, when they are attacked by tribal raiders. While trying to return to the Mojave, the player becomes involved in conflicts between the tribes and between a "New Canaanite" missionary and an individual known as the "Burned Man", Caesar's former Legate, who, after losing the first battle of Hoover Dam, was covered in pitch, set on fire, and thrown into the Grand Canyon.
The pack adds new achievements/trophies, perks, terrain, enemies and decisions for the player, as well as raising the level cap by 5. Chris Avellone has confirmed that the locations in Honest Hearts and all add-ons following it will still be accessible even after completing that add-on (in contrast to Dead Money, which is closed off after completing it). The "companion bug", which prevented players from entering Zion, was fixed in the 1.7 update. Players are now able to use an in-game console to dismiss all companions.
Old World Blues 
In Old World Blues, the Courier unwittingly becomes a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry and discovers how some of the Mojave's mutated creatures came to exist. Old World Blues takes place in the Pre-War research centers of Big Mountain, known colloquially as "the Big Empty" or "Big MT" (where Father Elijah had found most of his equipment prior to Dead Money, such as the bomb collars and the holorifle, along with Christine also from Dead Money). The player can also choose to either turn on their kidnappers or join with them to fight an even greater threat. This pack offers new achievements/trophies, perks, a vast area to explore, and raises the level cap by 5 like the previous two packs. The player can only explore in the area until the main storyline of the DLC has been completed, but after completing it, can return back to the area at will. Old World Blues was released on July 19, 2011.
Lonesome Road 
In Lonesome Road, the Courier is contacted by a man named Ulysses, who refused to deliver the Platinum Chip at the beginning of the main game. Initially, Lonesome Road was planned to be released in August 2011; however, the add-on was delayed for unspecified reasons, with Bergman stating "This isn't due to any major issue with the code or content, but there are lots of factors involved in releasing these things, and one of those is causing us to slip past our intended release date." Bethesda were unable to provide a new release date for the DLC, but did state that it would be released as soon as possible. On August 25, 2011, Bethesda announced that the DLC will be released on September 20, 2011. Lonesome Road concludes the story of the Courier.
Gun Runners' Arsenal and Courier's Stash 
On September 27, 2011, Bethesda released two content packs titled Gun Runners' Arsenal and Courier's Stash. Gun Runners' Arsenal adds various new weapons and weapon mods (along with new ammo types) to the game, which can be found throughout the game world. Courier's Stash contains all bonus content that was previously only available for pre-ordering the game (the "Caravan Pack", "Classic Pack", "Mercenary Pack" and "Tribal Pack").
J.E. Sawyer's mod 
On December 29, 2011, Sawyer released an unofficial mod for the PC version of Fallout: New Vegas. The mod adjusts the maximum level to 35, halves the rate of increase in player experience points, reduces base player health, reduces the base weight a player can carry, defines certain characters as good or evil rather than neutral, and makes various other adjustments. These are changes that Sawyer wanted included in the game, but they were not released as an official update. This mod requires the Mod Manager, all add-on packs, and all pre-order bonus packs to work.
|Fallout: New Vegas|
|Game Informer||8.5/10 (Xbox 360)|
|IGN||8.5/10 (US) (360/PS3)
9/10 (PC; US/UK)
|Official Xbox Magazine||9.5/10|
|Official Xbox Magazine (UK)||9/10|
|PC Gamer (UK)||84%|
Fallout: New Vegas has received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the gameplay improvements and expanded content over Fallout 3, while criticizing familiarity and technical issues. As of November 8, 2010, the game has shipped 5 million copies worldwide, achieving revenue of $300 million.
IGN's Keza MacDonald praised the game's script, but criticized the character models and facial animation as "wooden and unbelievable". Eurogamer commented that "Obsidian has created a totally compelling world and its frustrations pale into insignificance compared to the immersive, obsessive experience on offer. Just like the scorched scenery that provides its epic backdrop, New Vegas is huge and sprawling, sometimes gaudy, even downright ugly at times – but always effortlessly, shamelessly entertaining." According to GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd, the game's "familiar rhythm will delight fans of the series, and the huge world, expansive quests, and hidden pleasures will have [the players] itching to see what other joys you might uncover. However, as time wears on, the constant glitches invade almost every element of the game and eventually grow wearisome."
Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann reviewed Fallout: New Vegas for the Xbox 360 positively, despite its many crash bugs and glitches. Gerstmann wrote: "When I reflect on the experience, I'll probably think about the times the game locked up on me or broke in a dozen other crazy ways first, before thinking about the great world and the objectives that fill it. If you were able to look past the issues that plagued Fallout 3 and Oblivion before it, New Vegas will eventually show you a real good time." 1UP.com's Mike Nelson wrote "On one hand, it feels like I can recommend this to any fan of the Fallout series. I single these fans out because they're willing to forgive silly bugs like meeting characters who walk into walls or occasionally float in mid-air. These fans realize that the game as a whole is greater than the sum of minor graphical anomalies. On the other hand, I simply can't ignore or forgive the game for crashing on me when I walk around the Mojave Wasteland; or for quests that simply can't be completed because of a game glitch; or for making my companions disappear when I need them the most during a battle. These are some of the most frustrating bugs I have ever encountered with any game, especially when attached to a series that I deeply enjoy."
Technical issues 
Within hours of the game's release, players of Fallout: New Vegas began reporting a variety of technical issues (saved games becoming corrupted, the game freezing, players becoming stuck within the terrain, and random NPCs appearing behind the player, initiating combat out of context). Bethesda Game Studios stated that they, in conjunction with Obsidian, were actively working on an update for release "as soon as possible" to address in-game issues. They also urged customers to keep their copies of New Vegas rather than return them to stores, stating that providing the best possible experience to their users was a priority.
Within a week of the original release, a patch was available for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, which contained over 200 quest and scripting-related fixes. The update released on December 14, 2010, has fixed further glitches and save game problems, including companion related bugs. Subsequent updates were released in February and April that corrected numerous bugs and gameplay issues. A patch was released on July 5, 2011, that included a provision that automatically creates a save prior to the endgame sequence. After credits, the user is prompted to load this save game, allowing single save players to play DLC without creating a new game.
The game engine has had major performance issues on the PlayStation 3. These issues have led to unplayable frame-rates when the save game file gets too big or when DLC is installed. Due to the nature of the game, the longer the player plays, the larger the save file becomes. These same issues plagued Skyrim, but a performance patch to improve New Vegas seems unlikely. Sawyer said that it is a core-engine issue that can not be so easily patched. Regardless, the vanilla and ultimate editions of New Vegas are not best enjoyed or even playable at a certain point on the PS3, and Bethesda's lack of support has left PS3 owners disappointed and angry.
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- Official website
- Fallout: New Vegas at Moby Games
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- Fallout: New Vegas at the Internet Movie Database