Fallout: New Vegas Previews

Of all the GamesCom-based previews we've seen, I'm pretty sure that Fallout: New Vegas has enjoyed the lion's share.

The Vault hits us with part two of their goliath:
Freeside is just outside the New Vegas Strip (with robots guarding the gates to the bigger city), and there are other populated places in the vincinity places like NCR's Camp McCarran, New Vegas Medical Clinic or Crimson Caravan Camp are all pretty close to each other, all around New Vegas proper. They are pretty small for the most part, e.g. the Crimson Caravan Camp, aside from a bunch of generic caravancers, consists only of one vendor and one quest giver, as far as I've seen, but they are close enough to each other for this not to feel jarring, like the disjointed and small locations with just two or three people in them in Fallout 3 did. If this were Fallout 1 or 2, they'd probably all make a Boneyard or Hub-sized area within one world map location.

On the audio side, I must say that the voice acting sounded pretty good. The King sounded like an old Elvis impersonator should, and while the other performances weren't that memorable, none of them sounded cringeworthy, like some of the Fallout 3 ones did. The minor characters probably still have mostly the same voice, but I didn't play the game long enough to hear it. I won't really comment on the music, as I had it turned down for the most part Gamescom tends to be a pretty loud place, so I maxed out the volume of the dialogue at the cost of everything else. In Freeside, I could listen to three different radio stations, one of them being New Vegas Radio, with Wayne Newton sounding like the old ghoul that he is, another being Black Mountain Radio and a third one I can't remember now.

As far as bugs and glitches go, I was fortunate to not encounter any during my playthroughs, although the framerate was pretty bad in some areas outside Freeside. Josh told me that they're working hard on squashing bugs and are constantly walking through the game's world in search for places in which the game performs badly. Hopefully, by the time the game ships, the framerate will be good in most locations.

And Hooked Gamers throws their hat into the ring, too:
In the opening cinematic, The Narrator (Ron Perlman) tells you about the area you'll be playing in. Ron Perlman also voiced the narrator in Fallout 3, and his performance in Fallout: New Vegas is equally superb. He also tells you how Las Vegas was virtually untouched by the nuclear blasts and how it's now under the control of a man called Mr. House. How a group of people restored the Hoover Dam to working condition and brought electricity back on for the city. How you are a messenger, sent to carry a small parcel to Las Vegas and then proceeds to tell you that the journey would not end well.

Benny, the leader of the Geckos, a New Vegas crime family, is standing in front of you holding a gun. He then proceeds to tell you that you've been set up and shoots you in the head. Benny is voiced by Matthew Perry, who's done a great job with the character. He manages to be a total prick, but a likeable one. A few days later, you wake up at Doc Mitchell's place. Doc Mitchell tells you that he's dug a bullet out of your head and that he's going to ask you a couple of questions to make sure your noggin is still in working order. That's when the character creation starts. The character creation process is pretty much the same as in Fallout 3 except for one minor thing. They've stuck a Rorschach test in there. What it does is unclear to me, but I'm assuming it has something to do with the basic score on the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skill tree. Once you're up and about and know who you are again, the Doc sends you on your merry way with his old Pip Boy, a pistol, and a razor blade.