Living in a Shadow. - User Reviews -
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Living in a Shadow.

New Vegas as an experience is looked upon like the kid brother of its stellar sibling Fallout 3.  It shares innumerable similarities including, but not limited to, the graphics, the gameplay, the RPG elements, and the sound design.  For all intents and purposes this game is a continuation of the world Fallout 3 has created in a similar manner to that of The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned were for Grand Theft Auto: IV.  It took a foundation on which a masterpiece was crafted and replicated what made it successful while still expanding to encompass it's own story.  But this comparison isn't entirely appropriate for a few reasons: New Vegas is not a downloadable title, nor was it's creation intended to parallel the story of Fallout 3 as it was in the case of Grand Theft Auto.

That being said, the similarities between the existence of Fallout: New Vegas and downloadable content of the past is a striking one.  As stated previously New Vegas was built on the foundation of Fallout 3.  It separates itself from most annual releases, however, by the fact that it is more or less Fallout 3.  A good criticism levied at games such as this is that they don't expand on traditional formulas out of either fear, or lack of creativity.  This criticism is the foundation of the argument against Fallout: New Vegas, in my opinion.  But, if a wheel isn't broke don't fix it.  Hence, the five Downloadable titles made for Fallout 3, and the four for New Vegas. 

I believe the fact that New Vegas is too similar to Fallout 3 isn't an issue with the game.  The way I look at it is in order for this to stand on it's own it shouldn't have to be judged based on how similar it is to one of the best games of 2008.  For instance, imagine that this had come out in 2008 as Fallout 3, and Fallout 3 was instead something along the lines of "Fallout: Ruins of Washington".  Would the same problems be attributed to the game?  Of course not.  But could it likewise fill in the footsteps left by Fallout 3 in 2008?  I don't think so.

As it stands by itself the game is an immersive world filled with debauched characters, a tale that is dictated by your actions, and three feuding factions butting heads for control with you in the middle.  Visuals in the game aren't entirely impressive, but they get the job done.  What is more impressive than the technical aspects of the game is how they are presented.  This world was created as a dark shadow, much like the shadows of Hiroshima, to the greed and excess that dominated American culture in the 1950's.  All of it covered with varnish and spit shine to boot.  The goal of this world was to create a place that is as flawed and corrupt as it's values, like a weed growing from the ruins in the desert. 

But, the world of the game is nothing if not for the game itself being enjoyable.  It is, and the primary joy of that is where you come in.  Everything is dependent upon you.  if you want to play the sniper, you aren't shoe horned into picking a class at the start, or letting weapon usage dictate your gamelpay, you just do it. Tying in with the Role playing elements that make the game so customizable is the gameplay that is, at the least, servicable to fans of shooters.  FPS' in particular.

Unfortunately for Fallout: New Vegas, it cannot escape the shadow that Fallout 3 has cast on it and the rest of the gaming community.  In the gaming community the simplest way to make judgments on a game is to compare it others that are contemporary, of a similar genre, or of a shared series.  The curse of New Vegas is that it cannot stand on it's own.  But, more Fallout is never a bad thing, whether or not you consider New Vegas to be derivative, an homage, or a cash-out for Bethesda, the entertainment value is still palpable in the world of New Vegas.  As for it and Fallout 3, well, I prefer to think of it as the Fallout 3 that never was, and not necessarily as a simple add on priced at retail.

  • Yes, very well written, dude. I think people often forget New Vegas was never meant to be taken as a complete direct sequel, the game is just a spin-off, more content and hours of the same thing we loved back in Fallout 3.

    I guess people want Fallout 4 REALLY bad.
    (ahem, me)
  • Nice review. I had followed New Vegas in passing up until its release and I have to admit some of the points against it was the fact that it didn't try to set itself apart from Fallout 3. When I read and listened to other reviews most of the docked points came from the crippling and sometime unplayable bugs. One reviewer I heard said the game would constantly freeze in the middle of a quest or just shutdown in the main menu on boot up. I know most of these are fixed in patches now, but there really wasn't a good excuse to sell a game that broken. Now that all the bugs and faults are fixed, however, it's nice to see a review whose score and content reflect how the game was meant to be (how it is now) rather than it's buggy release.
  • Love/Hate relationship. It's a depressing environment. Did enjoy quests but even taking 'sides' with one faction did nothing really good for me. Not enough reward. Still it's got enough to keep you playing. Biggest complaints: Constant going around picking up apocalyptic garbage and going to someone to sell it. Constant problems instead of quests being overweight so have to drop and sell again. Too many buildings you have to explore are horrible. You can't get out once you are in without going to Youtube and following someone else step-by-step. Needs more shooting. Another big problem is going back into buildings and caves you have to and DON'T WANT TO! Like a bad nightmare. Yucch. Can't defeat claw beings due to numbers, damage they incur, speed, and seemingly the highest AI in this game. Big disappointment in endings. This is a weakness in a number of video games.
  • You're old reviews are better...