Two big roundups in and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight for Fallout: New Vegas' review stream. Here's another big batch. The oft excellent Canard PC magazine has no review yet, but the editor did share his impressions. NMA has a translation.
All characters, NPCs or companions, are believable and well-rounded.Destructoid, 9/10.
Very few characters or all white or all black. By talking with them, you understand their motives, their positions and their actions.
The most despicable ones are the most memorable : Vulves Inculta, the Desert Fox, Caesar's Lieutenant, is fascinating when he explains the precept which rules his life, and those of his slaves and troops.
A walking nightmare in the name of morality...
The essence of New Vegas is almost perfect. In fact, I want to say that this is the best roleplaying game you'll find all year. Unfortunately, however, it's let itself down with a number of unforgivable glitches that do their best to ruin the overall experience. Since it's using the same crummy engine from Fallout 3, New Vegas has the typical nonsense you expect in a Bethesda game, with AI bugs, scenery clipping, and general graphics issues cropping up from time to time. New Vegas manages to top those with regular crashes that freeze the entire game and require a system reset. Saving regularly is more crucial than ever, since these freezes will appear at any given moment. They're not so regular as to be a constant threat, but they will occur more than once over the course of your adventure. Eurogamer, 9/10.
Indeed, Fallout remains a procrastinator's dream. My idealistic intention was to plough through the main quests and then explore the margins until my deadline loomed. 50 game-clock hours and 38 quests later, I'd barely scratched the surface of the story, having spent my time being wonderfully distracted by interesting structures and enjoyable side-quests and ooh, what's that over there, let's go and see. I'd visited just under half the locations on the map, was two-thirds of my way towards the Level 30 cap and, according to the Achievements list, there were still at least 16 major quests to be completed. So, yeah: big. OXM UK, 9/10.
It's all incredibly intuitive if you played Fallout 3 since, on the surface, New Vegas looks, sounds and plays exactly the same. With only a few new creatures and a lot of familiar scenery items, it's initially easy to think of it as a really big expansion pack rather than a game in its own right.
This makes gauging the success of Fallout: New Vegas remarkably easy. All you have to do is listen to the post-game chatter of those that have played it and you'll learn that, sure enough, Obsidian has created something that's consistent yet unpredictable enough that everyone's adventure feels like it's something unique and worth sharing. CVG, 8.1/10.
The caravan girl you lied to so that she'd charge into an artillery bombardment area, just for your own sick amusement. Seducing someone into bed and then killing them while they sleep, feeling slightly dirty as you do so. Becoming a member of an Elvis-impersonating crime gang complete with spangly jacket and gelled hairdo. Hunting down disused sex robots... just because. How could you not want to talk about it?
How you interact with each faction determines your standing with them, from main players such as the NCR to small groups of mercenaries. Now Gamer, 9.3/10.
Betray them and you'll become their enemy, meaning they'll hunt you down or attack you when you enter their settlements. Help them and you'll curry their favour, opening up new quest opportunities.
The start of the game's a mixed experience, to say the very least. Your character, a courier, begins the game shot in the head and thrown into an open grave, and this feeling of a mystery to unravel in terms of who you are, who '˜killed' you and why they did it is an intriguing drive to proceed, with far more temptation to follow it than all the Dad-chasing vaguery of Fallout 3. What doesn't work so well is being presented with exactly the same character model and hairstyles as Fallout 3 offered, and stepping outside into a bland, brightly lit desert landscape that feels about as post-apocalyptic as, well, the contemporary Mojave Desert. Just with slightly larger scorpions. 1UP, early impressions piece.
At this point I believe I'm about half-way through the main quest of the game so I can't weigh in on how the rest of it plays out -- I've only had the game since Friday, and the PC version stopped working due to Steam not registering it correctly so I had to start over again on the PlayStation 3. It is safe to say that the story resonates much more than the "go find your Father" storyline from Fallout 3. Obsidian is known for their writing and story telling ability and it's showing in spades so far. The voice acting and characters are also top-notch, but the one character that stands out for me so far is the aforementioned securitron, Victor. Never have I felt a better kinship with a robot since HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He tends to pop in from time to time during my quest and probably has something left to contribute to the story.Rock, Paper, Shotgun editorializes on bugs.
By far the most annoying and prevalent oddity is that the NPCs you encounter in towns and stationed around the wasteland have strange, hairpin senses of danger, and simply walking past them can be enough to trigger some kind of evasive AI routine. The result is that you'll walk into a town, and four or five NPCs will abruptly start sprinting away from you in endless circles. (WELCOME, STRANGER,) they'll shout while rubbing themselves against burnt-out trucks and walls. Sound annoying? Now imagine you have to talk to one of them for a quest, so you end up chasing them all around town. Yeah. Strategy Informer, 8.8/10.
Still, Mass Effect taught us that a game shouldn't just rely on side quests to fill in the content, although the side-content in New Vegas is a lot meatier than Bioware's Sci-fi RPG. If we're being really honest though, the main storyline is a bit weak right up until you get to Vegas. Sure it's interesting trying to figure out who you are, but nothing of real value is learned until you get to the Vegas strip, and the first 30-40 hours (side-quests included) are just spent chasing your attackers across the Mojave desert. Still, it gets you out and about I guess. If we're being really picky, (although this is a personal thing) I kind of wish there were more references to Fallout 3, just for continuity's sake, but then it's been clear from the start that this is not a direct sequel. MSN Tech & Gadgets, 5/5.
There's more scope to the game than before, too, with more emphasis on crafting new items from the items you find lying around. Early in the game, for example, you're shown how to create your own health-giving concoctions by harvesting plants, while later you'll be able to customise your preferred weapons with scopes, or beef up their ammo capacity.
In fact, a greater sense of depth is everywhere, with the game mindful to school you in the nuances of different ammo types, and what situation to use them in.