One of the premier titles of 2008, Fallout 3, was well received for its large game world, memorable denizens and its slow-motion auto-targeting system, VATS. Knowing that a game this popular deserved a follow up, Bethesda studios, creators of the popular Elder Scrolls series, enlisted Obsidian Entertainment to take players back to the Fallout universes’ post-apocalyptic setting. What’s being changed from the 2008 title, and what can fans expect to return?
The first thing wasteland-aficionados will notice is that the setting of the game has changed from Washington DC in Fallout 3 to, rather obviously, the areas around Las Vegas. While previewers weren’t given the option to travel to the titular gambling town, they were allowed to try out the reformatted VATS system and fool around with the new weapon customization options.
For PC Fallout 3 players, the weapon modification system will be an old hat; there are several mods available which allows gamers to tool up their weapons with all sorts of custom parts. New Vegas takes this an implements it smoothly with the existing firearms. Players can add scopes and extended magazines to their armaments in addition to different ammo types.
VATS combat also gets a bit of refresher for the game, adding a new type of move to the lineup. By pressing a certain button, a weapon-specific attack can be queued up such as the “Fore!” move for the game’s nine-iron. The slow-motion cinematic kills can also be triggered outside of VATS, adding a new flair to the combat.
Gamers who also bemoaned the lack of in-depth command for Fallout 3’s companion characters will welcome the addition of the “Companion Wheel”, a pop-up radial menu that will allow wasteland wanderers to issue specific orders to their comrades in arms. Players looking for a more of a challenge in the deserts of Nevada will be given the option to choose “Hardcore Mode” from the game’s outset, adding in factors like hunger, dehydration and giving weight to ammunition.
Fallout 3 was a very strong title, but not without its faults. There were a fair amount of bugs and graphical glitches and the combat, which started off strong, tended to ware a bit thin by the endgame thanks to a savvy player’s ability to amass large quantities of bullets and stim packs. Hopefully New Vegas will breath life back into Fallout and provide gamers another opportunity to venture back into the wastes.
What do you guys think of New Vegas? Is it on your list for this year? I know that it’s on my radar, but after my less than overwhelming reception of the Mark & Execute system from Splinter Cell: Conviction, will I still enjoy using VATS? Do any of you have a take on this? Let us know in the comments!