The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
I'm a pretty big fan of Bethesda's work. Yeah, they're known for their game-breaking glitches, but the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series continue to impress me as new titles are released. Counting the number of hours I've put into Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, FO3, and New Vegas would be an exercise in frustration and any answer I could possibly come up with would be an estimate at best. They create compelling worlds with an absurd amount of content and I find myself continuing to come back to their titles when nothing current catches my interest. That said, not all things are created equal and even in the case of venerated series like these people will have their favorites.
In regards to the Fallout games I have a clear favorite between the two current-generation releases. Fallout 3 is a vastly superior game to New Vegas. Given the amount of 'improvements' made to the formula with the release of New Vegas on paper you would think that it would trump Bethesda's efforts with 3 with ease but this isn't the case.
Entering the Capitol Wasteland after emerging from the vault in Fallout 3 is a profound moment. Between the near blinding light, your first level up, and the expanse opened up before you, few games have managed to stoke my inner nerd's fire like the world of Fallout 3. With varied locations and a near constant influx of new quests to tackle, the content is almost overwhelming at first. Trailing after your father in his efforts to 'save the world' created a realistic reason for your customized character to roam the waste and some of the set-piece moments were handled exceptionally well. I've played through the main quest of Fallout 3 three times to get all of the endings and got nearly all of the trophies (although my new account doesn't reflect them) collecting bobbleheads and exploring nearly every inch of the DC area. It still gets played on occasion although I've got little reason to go back even with the added content it's gotten over the years.
New Vegas should have bettered Fallout 3 in nearly every aspect. Between changing up the leveling and combat in small ways and improving both the story and the variety-less world of the first one they should have added up to a much better game. While attempts were made to make the story more compelling, I found the delivery boy theme boring and disliked that the world was set up as a much more linear affair than in the original. While styled as an open-world adventure, the way the enemies are leveled in New Vegas makes only one path actually viable when playing the game. Follow these guys south, then east, and then north to the strip or you'll be ripped to shreds by deathclaws or wildly overpowered ghouls.
Some of the the big, set-piece moments in New Vegas were pretty awesome (the above pic in particular), but most felt thrown in just for content's sake. The narrative itself never really clicked for me and the 'additions' made to the combat and gameplay failed to improve the series in any genuine way. Hand-to-hand combat felt forced and was relatively useless as keeping the enemies at bay with a ranged weapon is clearly the way to go. The addition of more characters to follow you around should have made for more compelling combat but all it really did was ruin my efforts at stealth every time Ed-E or Boone started shooting people up from 300+ yards away. Even the leveling felt silly when compared to Fallout 3 and I couldn't help but hate the way skill-based conversations were handled. Being one skill point shy of success should mean less than perfect odds of victory, not a complete inability to handle something.
I never finished New Vegas despite starting it at least four times. Somewhere after the first couple of missions for Yes Man I always get bored with the title and just move on to something else. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about the game that ends up boring me but for my money Fallout 3 is a much better game and my favorite Bethesda game so far. They've got a lot to live up to when designing the inevitable Fallout 4 for next-generation systems and I hope they look to Fallout 3 while avoiding the missteps of New Vegas when designing the world and systems for what will probably be their first PS4/Nextbox game.
At least until the next generation 3's gonna have to be my favorite.
What other semi-(or not at all) announced games are you looking forward to?
Anyone out there like New Vegas more than 3?
Why, what's wrong with you? It was terrible! ;)
Thanks for reading everyone!