Fallout: New Vegas Previews

Sticking with the Obsidian Entertainment theme I started in the last newsbit, I'll go ahead and round up a few recent previews of Fallout: New Vegas.

However, Fallout: New Vegas isn't a carbon copy of its predecessor; Obsidian have offered quite a few tweaks and changes to Fallout 3's gameplay template. The first of these is the 'companion wheel', which offers players an array of commands they can issue to any companions they pick up. Players can make allies carry extra equipment, thus increasing the size of their own inventory exponentially. They can also command them to stay in one place or use only ranged attacks in battle. Not only is this useful in ensuring an ally never wanders into the player's firing line, but weaker allies can be prevented from automatically charging suicidally at a pack of Super Mutants.

Another new aspect deals with the different factions vying for supremacy in the New Vegas area. The game's story takes place three years after the events of Fallout 3, and sees the player plopped down in the centre of an armed conflict over Nevada's greatest asset: New Vegas. From the west coast comes the New California Republic, a military force sent to take control of New Vegas and bring its residents under the NCR Government's jurisdiction. The faction from the east coast is called Caesar's Legion, and while they want the same thing as the NCR, they're slightly more radical in their approach. Unlike the NCR, Legion members dress in ancient Roman military garb and want to turn the Vegas locals into slaves rather than citizens. Both the NCR and the Legion have a large obstacle standing in their way in the form of Mr House, an enigmatic character who currently controls New Vegas and its casinos. No one seems to know much about this individual apart from the fact that he takes a large percentage of the earnings of every business on the strip; his sentry robots - the Securitrons - who roam the town's streets are a constant reminder of his power.

Set just three years after the events of Fallout 3, Nevada is seems didn't really warrant a direct nuclear attack. Those planning the Great War of 2077 left Vegas to swallow itself, which for anyone that has visited the city is theoretically possible. Chaos and gang warfare now rule the streets and intact buildings with radiation mutations thin on the ground. As with each instalment of Fallout, a huge environment will be open for discovery allowing you to go beyond the city limits into the Mojave Wasteland, where you may just find a new companion. Back in Vegas it seems even the annoyance of a nuclear war doesn't stop business. The Strip seems as busy as ever with a huge selection of casinos, shows and hookers on display.

Bethesda Softworks will only publish this release, leaving the reigns to Obsidian Entertainment who have a mixed history of taking over a series, such as Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Yet members of Obsidian did work on the first two Fallout titles during their time at Black Isle Studios, so it bodes well.

And then The Vault shares some bullet points from PC Powerplay magazine:
'¢ New Wild Wasteland trait, which unlocks wackier variants of existing content.
'¢ From a design and technical point of view, it made sense not to continue the story of the Lone Wanderer.
'¢ New Vegas is a fortress.
'¢ Sidequests may be more rewarding than the main quest.
'¢ Critical path is only 20% of the main game.
'¢ Epic moments, like Liberty Primes trip through DC, will litter the critical path.
'¢ Unique dialog for low intelligence characters.
'¢ Survival skill, for cooking at a campfire.
'¢ Certain drinks will dehydrate you in hardcore mode.
'¢ Some areas may have vegetation
'¢ Converting a mod to work with the new tool kit will require some work, but is relatively simple.
'¢ This is the Fallout game that Chris Avellone and Josh Sawyer wanted to make.