Fallout: New Vegas Previews

Those of you who can't stifle your anticipation for Fallout: New Vegas will want to check out these latest two previews for Obsidian's return to the post-nuclear wasteland.

Eurogamer starts things off:
The interplay between factions is a key gameplay element in FNV. Aligning yourself with one group will engender the wrath of others. The more you attack a faction, the more aggressive its members will become towards you - to the point where certain quests will end up locked off, as they involve encountering characters who will simply shoot you on sight.

Alternatively you can play the factions off against each other, switching allegiances as and when it suits you. A brand new reputation system has been implemented to keep track of your actions. It's said to be much more complex than the old good and evil karma system, and your choices will have many more and greater effects than they did in the previous game. They will also, of course, determine which of the multiple endings you see.

And then we drop by CVG for a bit more:
There are three main groups here: the New California Republic, Caesar's Legion and (although not yet confirmed) the Brotherhood of Steel. During one part of our demo, we visited an NCR power-plant/research lab called Helios One. It's run by a chancer called 'Fantastic' who seems to have blagged his way up the New California food-chain. After some amusing dialogue (something painfully missing from the po-faced Fallout 3) you agree to help Fantastic increase the output of the factory (currently running at 3% efficiency under his leadership) and divert the power to the NCR's interests in New Vegas. Well, that's what you tell him.

Once into the central control room you have a number of options that will either cement your relationship with the NCR, or damage it. We go for damage. Big damage. Our man reroutes the power to an orbital laser, which he then uses to incinerate the NCR troops stationed outside the power plant. It's spectacular as the giant beam sweeps over the baked floor, evaporating the opposition. Later on in the game, we're told, that orbital laser can become part of your arsenal as you develop a portable control device for it. Like the Hammer of Dawn from Gears of War, only far more powerful.