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Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas

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 area of Nevada, California, and Arizona. 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 Las Vegas 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, and 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.

Fallout: New Vegas Plot

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 the Tops casino in New Vegas, who steals the package and leaves the character unconscious. 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 (voiced by René Auberjonois), 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, 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's Legion, defend it for the NCR, connect the Dam's systems to House's network so he or Yes Man can take control, or destroy the dam for good to bring an end to the war over it. 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.

Fallout: New Vegas Gameplay

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 Las 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 affect 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 to win currency, including blackjack, slots, and roulette. A card game called Caravan, which was designed specifically for the game, can be played outside of the casinos.

ReceptionFallout: 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 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."


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