Observatory: Fallout: New Vegas – Now and then

I was looking through the post list of an old deactivated blog I used to have some years ago, and I found an interesting review about a game: Fallout: New Vegas. The year was 2012 and, back then I was crazy about it. It was one of the first open world games I have ever played, and the amazing story and huge number of playing possibilities amazed me. But, was it really that awesome? In this post, I’ll make an analysis of some parts my old review, contrasting with my current opinions about the game.

1. “The story is an old cliche: the world enters in a nuclear war and humanity is almost destroyed.”
Well, this hasn’t changed. Post-apocalyptic scenarios have been the background for a bunch of movies and games: Mad Max, 12 Monkeys, the Wasteland and Metro series. Fallout was no different. However, this is not necessarily bad. Cliches are bad when they bring no more than dull repetition, but if you throw in the right elements on the mix, it can sure become a cool new version of a well known concept. I think New Vegas deals with cliches very well. Joining diesel-punk aesthetics with some cowboy adventure is quite stylish and full of storytelling possibilities, and apparently most fans seem to agree with me: the game is rated 10/10 on Steam.

2. “It is undoubtedly, one of the most realistic games I ever played. You really feel like being in the desert.”
We can’t actually call New Vegas’ graphics “realistic”, not even for 2010, year of the game’s release. However, it really feels realistic in the sense of the attention given to the environment that you are able to explore. You can see crows flying around, sandstorms coming and going, a day-night cycle, radioactive fumes coming out of craters and toxic swamps. The Mojave wasteland feels alive, and it’s not just visual, it’s interactive: you can hunt critters, collect items hidden in caves, ponds and abandoned shacks, and, of course, follow the game’s quests. There’s a feeling of discovery around every corner. There are bugs, of course, but the general feeling of the wasteland builds a realism atmosphere around the game.

3. “The gameplay is also great. You can choose between playing in first or third person, which is a very interesting option for the player.”
Recently, the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 declared on an interview they have made the game on first-person perspective because “it could provide more than just the immersion, it could provide the tools for you to perceive the world and make decisions that were proper within that world”. That makes perfect sense, and specially for Fallout, it helps a lot on the process of making you feel like you were there. But a third-person view helps you to have a more systemic and general view of the situation, and that’s specially useful when you are trying to find the best way to infiltrate a place or approach enemies the right way. It might sacrifice realism a bit, but it can also be a lot of fun.

4. “I spent 81 hours to play all the storyline in the normal mode, however I ignored some side missions, and didn’t visit more than 50 places in game.”
According to the website How Long to Beat, the main story of Fallout: New Vegas can be completed in 28 hours, and if we consider extras, this time raises to 66 hours. I took at least 20 hours more than that to do the same amount of progress, and I’m not really sure why. I remember I really enjoyed hunting in the game, and perhaps this made me wonder the wasteland for far longer than most people. Also, I tried to collect all the unique weapons, and even though I quickly got tired of this quest, this added some more time to my first gameplay. What would I recommend? Well, it’s a huge game, so, take your time!

5. “And to complete the experience on this excellent game, there is also a Hardcore Mode.”
Turns out Hardcore mode was too hardcore for me, because you have to care about a lot of stuff: you need to conserve your health, hunger, thirst, all while trying to survive the loads of enemies you will find along the way. I wouldn’t say this COMPLETES the experience, because I think you can have a good idea of the core values of Fallout and also have a lot of fun without playing Hardcore. But don’t take my word for it. If you really want to test your strategist skills and your patience, this mode might be a good call (just don’t blame me if you keep dying all the time).

6. “I will try the Hardcore [mode] soon, when I have some time.”
I never did. But, never say never 🙂


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