Fallout: New Vegas Previews

A little Saturday morning web crawling has turned up a couple more hands-on previews for Bethesda and Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas.

First in line is Techland:
Whereas in Fallout 3 character creation was done through re-enacting childhood, New Vegas puts layers through a battery of physical and psychological tests. You control a courier who was ambushed for his cargo, shot in the head and dumped in the desert. So, the questions you answer from a good Samaritan doctor literally help you get a sense of your self before you quest for vengeance starts. Responding to Doc Mitchell's tests will determine your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. abilities which stand for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.

Once you get underway, there'll be twice as many weapons as in Fallout 3, including a new 9-iron golf club. This melee weapon can whack somebody's head off and send it sailing clear across the screen. Another big change will be the weapon mods, which will let you change barrel sizes for more damage, add sights for better accuracy and use specialized ammo for unique strategies. Among the new weapons we got to see, the plasma caster and grenade machinegun will probably become favorites.

And then we have another piece at Player Affinity:
According to Josh Sawyer, the lead designer for Fallout: New Vegas, there's a greater focus on weapons only being used in specific situations, with greater weapon variety. For example, the Varmint Rifle is not powerful in the slightest, but it can shoot over long ranges as well as have a silencer and scope later in the game. The exact opposite of that would be the .357 revolver, which is powerful and slow, meant to be used at close ranges. Obsidian is also working on making the weapons more satisfying to use, "So we do want people, when they pick something up, we want the weapon to feel good to use, but we also want it to feel like it has a very specific role, and that the player should have to make a tactical choice about which weapon they want to use in any given circumstance."

The companion system from Fallout 3 has been ditched in favor of a new UI called "the companion wheel", which is used to manage all of your friends throughout the game. Josh Sawyer said that each companion will have their own miniature plot-line, and the player can choose to help them work through these issues or not. Companions will play a similar role to weapons, with different combat strengths and weaknesses that are good for specific situations. Companions will have their own perks that aid the player, and the AI is stated to not be incompetent.