Posts Tagged ‘ Fallout ’

Fallout: New Vegas-A Review (WITH SPOILERS!!!)

So I finished Fallout: New Vegas.

My verdict?

It’s okay.

Not great, at least by the standards of what came before, but it does the job.

For this installment Bethesda takes the players back to the West Coast or at least as close as they dare without retreading the steps of the Vault Dweller (Fallout) and The Chosen One (Fallout 2).

The Good: The wasteland is far more colorful, the characters are more engaging and even if your not playing in hardcore mode, it’s will remain challenging for most players through out. And for fans of the franchise (I’m taking Fallout and Fallout 2 devotees), the call backs and references to earlier games abound.

The Interesting: You have faction based reputation, so as you play you build up your reputation (good or bad) with a vast variety of factions. Towns, governments, gangs and movements all form an opinion of you depending on how your actions affect them. Like I said above the Mojave Wasteland is far more colorful, with red rock lined canyons, actual trees and even snow caped mountains.  And there is more variety of critters as well, which makes for more interesting combat.

The Bad: (HERE BE SPOILERS!) Here is where things take a downturn, especially if your a fan of Fallout 3. The storyline fails to immerse you the way past games did. While the story in Fallout 3 literally kicked you out of the womb here you wake up after being shot in head. Fine you want to get revenge on the SOB who did it, but besides that, what happens in the wasteland is of little concern to you. In Fallout 3, the world seemed to revolve on your every move, your actions either sung or vilified by Three Dog on the radio.  Not so in this game. In fact, it seems that whatever you do, you have very little real impact on the game.

Not only that, but you will see the twist a mile away.  It suffers from the inevitable sandbox shrinkage far to early in the game (when you realize that the game world is not as big as you thought it was). The reputation system is a bit broken as well, as doing things that are beneficial for some factions will still garner you a loss of karma/reputation with them. It even has the annoying feature of telling you you failed quests you didn’t even knew you were a part off. And you suffer from ending fatigue (as I did while playing Morrowind) because while you know how the game is going to end, you have to run around and do a bunch of quests that simply streech the game play further.

This game is then an adequate continuation of the Fallout franchise, but one I consider could have been delivered via DLC rather than packaging in an entire new game. Lets see how New Vegas own DLC packs deal with the flaws above, and I hope that Bethesda has not abandoned the East Coast completel


Countdown to New Vegas

If you been hiding under a rock somewhere, you might not know that Fallout: New Vegas comes out tomorrow.

Fallout 3 exceeded all my expectations and this installment promises to be better.

See you on the wasteland!

The (Gaming) Sequels of Fall

Fall is upon us and that means new game releases. October is D-Month for games as they want to make an early splash on the retail shores and coast inland all the way to D+24 (Xmas Eve). This is the gaming industry equivalent of the summer blockbuster season.

And like Hollywood producers, game designers can’t fight the allure of the sequel. If the first game sold 1m+ copies, why no make a second? Or a third?

Examples of upcoming sequels are Halo 3 ODST and Grant Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony.

They represent the latest installments (although technically these are notstraight sequels) of two of the most successful game franchises of the decade.

GTA defined the decade with it’s innovative (although not entirely new) sandbox game design, twisted vision of America and great soundtracks. Halo was (and still is) the Xbox’s flagship game, the game that put the Xbox (and it’s successor the 360) on the map.

No wonder the gamezines and gaming websites are abuzz with talk of Mass Effect 2, Fable 3 and the like. Sequels offer more of what the player wants, good gameplay, improved graphics and more storylines. That certainly is what pushed the success of the GTA sequels (Vice City, San Andreas and the Stories Series). Northstar stayed with what worked and tweaked what could be improved. So did the folks at Bungie with Halo.

However, “more of the same” is not always good. Far too many times sequels feel more like clones that instead of expanding what was already there instead play the same. Core fans of a franchise may not mind, but it certainly won’t attract new gamers. Plus a developer always runs the risk that by not concentrating on new game engines and upcoming graphic/console technology they will get stuck behind the curve. It certainly happened to the folks who made Command and Conquer (although they still spitting them out).

And if you wait too long between installments your fans will move on to different fare. So while sequels are a comfortable strategy, marketing wise, they do have their pitfalls. So expect to see more of them, especially through the magic of downloadable content. Instead of releasing an entire new game, they can release a patch/upgrade/episode online. Has worked well for the folks who made Fallout 3 (itself a spiritual successor to Fallout 1-2 which in turn was a spiritual successor to the old C-64/PC game Wasteland).

So get out your wallets, plop your plastic on the counter and get ready for another sequel.

And better way to usher this season of sequels than with a trailer for Assassins Creed 2: