Fallout: New Vegas Previews

Today isn't just Star Wars Day - it's also the day that we get to check out some more hands-on previews of Fallout: New Vegas.

First in line is Shacknews, where they've even sprinkled in some commentary from Bethesda's Pete Hines and Obsidian's Feargus Urquhart and Josh Sawyer.
Another one of Obsidian's changes comes in the form of the Companion Wheel, which provides players with an easier way to manage the behavior and equipment of their computer-controlled companions, such as the ghastly fellow you see below.

"One of the things that we're trying to do is make sure that the companions feel like they're helpful without basically replacing the player," Sawyer reveals. "We don't want to make it so that if you give them a weapon, suddenly they're as good as you. We want the player to feel like, "Hey, I'm really glad I have this companion" but they shouldn't feel like they have to constantly babysit them. You shouldn't be able to kind of sit back and be like "Oh, I'm so glad that Boone and Raoul are just murdering everything for me."

Then we have GameSpot:
Using a varmint rifle, we watched several overgrown geckos' heads explode with a few quick shots. There's a kill cam that can be set, which slows down the final shot and makes your kills feel more cinematic, but this can be turned off if you don't like seeing limbs fly in slow motion. Sawyer said that geckos were a favorite from Fallout 2 and that there will be tougher versions to fire at later in the game. The core controls, as well as the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (VATS), remains mostly the same, and we later found out that special skill options have been added for melee attacks. Sawyer explained that there wasn't a lot of development time for New Vegas, and because a lot of people played Fallout 3, the developers didn't want to make any drastic changes--just improvements to the existing controls. He also said that aiming should be more responsive, reactive, and predictable. To discourage players from always aiming for the head, certain weapons will be more effective against limbs. At times, a red shield icon will appear to let you know that you're dealing less damage per shot and that it might be a good idea to switch targets to conserve precious bullets.

Followed by Eurogamer:
A new entry in the Pip-Boy gives you a perk for a particular location or faction if your reputation with a faction changes. Defeat Cobb and you earn "Accepted" with Good Springs - "folks have come to accept you for your helpful nature". Ultimately, this system plays into the game's principal narrative struggle between the New Californian Republic (NCR) militia, based at McCarran, and a group of slavers called Caesar's legion. If you know Vegas, you can probably guess where you'll find their HQ. Whichever you side with, the other will be your principal enemy in the game.

Other factions like the Brotherhood of Steel and the Super Mutants are around, naturally, and can be played against, for or even toyed with. Avellone shows us an assault on the stronghold of the Super Mutant Tabetha, a mentally unstable, hulking brute in a blonde bob wig and love-heart glasses. It's possible to pave the way to her death by turning two generations of mutants - the tough first generation and the "dum dums" from the military base in Fallout 2 - against each other, exploiting their paranoia in radio transmissions.

And a little something from GameInformer:
One of the advantages of having the game based in the desert wastelands of Nevada is how the setting immediately lends itself to certain missions. Washington D.C. is home to some of the planet's most famous landmarks, but aside from those it's tough to think of anything else the setting evokes. The wild west is a completely different beast.

That element manifests itself in myriad ways. When you start the game in the outskirts of Goodsprings, Nevada, you'll hear old-school country music on the jukeboxes of the town's saloon. An early mission has you hunting critters out near the well. You can also help the town band together in a battle against some opportunistic bandits. This being Fallout, though, it's not a straight Western. The town prospector pokes around in irradiated ruins for treasure instead of picking away in dark mineshafts. And those critters aren't pesky gophers, but man-sized mutant geckos.