Curse of the Backlog Part 3: The Game That Broke the Player - Mray901 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

Curse of the Backlog Part 3: The Game That Broke the Player

I should've expected it. That one game, that one game that I just could not bring myself finish. I definitely didn't know I'd run into that game so early in my quest. That game was Fallout: New Vegas.

(Bought: October 2010)

I bought Fallout: New Vegas wanting a sequel to Fallout 3, and I got Fallout 3 again, in a different setting with a few gameplay tweaks. While that wouldn't have been such a bad thing if it was executed properly, I feel as though it falls flat as both a Fallout 3 sequel, and a decent entry to the franchise as a whole.

One thing I found the game did correctly was Fallout's classic sense of dark, yet tongue-in-cheek humor. Slightly self-aware and very morbid, plenty of New Vegas's gags got a chuckle out of me. Nuked fridges anyone?

(Poor Indy.)

Other funny little easter eggs, like a gang full of Elvis Presley impersonators that believe he was an actual king, just add to the sense of humor this series is known for.

The soundtrack is also on par with the rest of the series, using plenty of swinging songs you would hear in 1950s Las Vegas. Songs like Blue Moon, Jingle Jangle Jingle, and Ain't That A Kick In The Head. The catch? There aren't enough songs. You'll hear every one of this songs at least five times each before you finish the game. The songs aren't bad by any means, but you hear them so many times that they start to take a toll on you.

The music wouldn't be so bad if it didn't have a terrible disc jockey. In Fallout 3, you never noticed the repetitive nature of the songs due to the hilarity of Three Dog's narration and stories. Here, with Mr. New Vegas, you always just want him to shut the heck up and get back to the music. Mr. New Vegas (voiced by Wayne Newton) just sounds like he's not trying, drunk, or a combination of the two.

The gameplay itself is perhaps the best part of the game. It takes everything that was good about Fallout 3's gameplay, and adds a bit of polish and a few tweaks to it. Here, unlike Fallout 3, you can aim down the sights, making V.A.T.S. a less-needed, though still useful mechanic.

And, honestly, that's about the most praise I can give New Vegas's gameplay. The rest is filled to the brim with glitches, bugs, and any other synonym for "glitch" you can think of. It's hard to go ten minutes without the game messing up on you, whether that mess-up is an unloaded texture, or a complete game crash.

I feel Obsidian didn't test the game enough, and instead rushed it out to meet their November deadline. Of course, the game is also extremely large and filled with items and NPCs, so it could be a matter of, well, in-game matter.

Speaking of which, this game is indeed very large, with dozens of quests and dozens of characters. However, I never really felt the urge to find all of these quests, due to the rest of the game not being up-to-snuf. That may just be me, I'm not entirely sure. If there's a game that's ever been too big for its own good, it's this one.

One of the most disappointing aspects of New Vegas is the story. At first, it's pretty interesting; you want to know why you were nearly killed. Once you near the end, however, it becomes a convoluted, uninteresting mess. When I reached a certain point in the game, I lost all knowledge of what I was doing, and just decided to roll with whatever dialogue choices I thought sounded good. At that point, I could care less about what happened to New Vegas and its characters, I just wanted to stop playing.

And then... I hit the final mission.

This mission, this last quest in the game, is what broke me. I could not, for the life of me, finish it. Even on the lowest difficulty, it became a frustrating experience that I couldn't bring myself to complete. I was forced into a boss fight, and I didn't have the supplies I needed. I couldn't fast travel from that area either, so I basically screwed myself over. While that is my fault, the game could have at least thrown me a bone.

I tried many, many times, and decided it wasn't worth the effort. I'd had enough New Vegas I could stand, and I'd be fine with not knowing how it ended.

Fallout New Vegas is ambitious, for sure, but it's poorly executed and feels very rushed.

Final Score: 5/10. Ain't that a kick in the head?

And now... I have a confession. I know I vowed to finish a game once every week, and to clear up my backlog... but then I got Skyrim.

(Scumbag Dovahkiin, making me stop playing my backlog games)

Technically, I'm still clearing my backlog since Skyrim would be in my backlog if I hadn't played it when I first bought it, but... yeah, I'm just making excuses. I sadly won't be finishing any other games anytime soon, but... I will get to it eventually! Until then, I'll be shouting at dragons and ripping off the wings of butterflies.

FUS ROH DAH!

comments
    1 2 Next