A brief preview of Fallout: New Vegas has surfaced at VideoGamer, and once again it's based on the one-hour demonstration being shown at this week's GamesCom.
Most of the significant gameplay additions pop up under the optional Hardcore mode, which seems to be aimed at the long-time Fallout fans who took umbrage with a few of Bethesda's design choices. Under this setting your stimpacks will no longer instantly heal, but rather slowly replenish your health over a period of time; they also lose their strange, magic ability to fix crippled limbs - forcing you to visit a doctor if you come a cropper. Ammunition has a physical weight, so it's now harder to walk around like an amateur arms dealer. Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, playing a Hardcore game forces you to deal with the threat of dehydration. If you don't drink clean water on a regular basis, you'll be thinner than a.
Another nod to the original games is to be found on the character creation screen, where you can now pick optional traits that offer some form of bonus strength and weakness trade-off: If you pick 'Four Eyes', for example, you'll gain +1 Perception while wearing glasses, but suffer -1 Perception when you're not. The biggest nostalgia kick stems from the return of Mark Morgan, composer on Fallout 1 and 2. When one of his eerie tribal tunes kicks in during a close battle, accompanied by the familiar whirring and bleep of the combat interface, it almost feels like the old days. Almost. New Vegas may not win over the bitterest of Fallout 3's critics, but it seems to be doing a lot of things right - particularly in the mystery that surrounds the hero's initial near-death.