REViEWERS DETAiLS
Review by The Advocator
Based on 62 Hours of Playing

System
Platform PC
- Intel i7-860 CPU
- Gigabyte P55A-UD5 Motherboard
- 4GB (DDR3) 1600 Patriot Viper2 RAM
- ATI Radeon 1GB 5770 Video Card
- Seasonic M12D 850watt PSU
- Thermaltake V9 Case
- Corsair HD50 Water cooling
- Zalman ZM-MFC3 Controller
- 3 x 120mm Thermaltake ISGC Fans
      (thermal dynamic bearing)
- 1 x 230mm Fan
- 24" BenQ V2400eco LED Monitor
- Logitech G9 Mouse (3200dpi)
- Windows 7 Ultimate (32bit) OS

Created On : 20th of January, 2011
Modified On : 29th of January, 2011
 
RATiNG
This GAME Scored:
Graphics
  8/10
Game Play
  8/10
Game Design
  9/10
Plot/Story
  9/10
Level Design
  9/10
SFX
  8/10
Music
  9/10
Config
  7/10
Navigation
  7/10
Secrets / Rewards
  9/10

FINAL RATING
84.5 %
A-
( 8.5 / 10 )
 
POSSiBLE iMPROVEMENTS
Here is a list of some key areas that this GAME could be improved.

  • The Pitboy screens need enhancing to show more information such as when listing items in a section it should list ITEM NAME WEIGHT QTY VALUE then also (QTY Weight and QTY Value)
  • The Pitboy screens need the ability to sort by weight, value or Qty.
  • The Pitboy stats screen needs to show all status info on the one screen (H20, FOD, SLP, RAD) instead of forcing you to click on each one when it only displays a single line of info
  • Fix falling through the landscape
  • Enhance the pathfinding of the AI
  • Fix the issue of QUEST Failed.. even for quests you never accepted or even knew about!
  • Fix balance issue. Game is too easy even in hardcore mode after half way through.
  • Some Quests you can accept early in the game you can't complete due to lack of skills. So maybe assign a minimum character level for quests (just like the Perks upgrades) so you are aware of the challenge / complexity of the quest, such as kill all Deathclaws at the mine even though I discovered and accepted this quest while only a level 6 character and still carrying the default starting weapon..
 
 

Shooting - Role playing game (rpg) / adventure

A Realistic Review of FALLOUT NEW VEGAS

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
Fallout New Vegas
( FalloutNV )
This game provides an open map allowing you to travel in any direction and discover towns / settlements / enemy encampments / creatures / treasures and points of interest. You are rewarded for all your exploration by uncovering new territories (each of which provides you experience points for discovering).

You can custom design and upgrade your characters abilities through out the game by obtaining experience points. The upgrading system provides you the ability to choose any area of character development to enhance, so you can choose what type of character you want to be. This could range from creating a fast agile character, to highly intelligent that's good with repair and science, to a brute of a solider with high skills with heavy weapons, or you can simply go middle of the road and try to be average at each task.

There is literally an endless amount of things you can do and the re-playability of the game is high because of this. For example if your lock picking skills are low, then you will find areas you simply can not access, so you may want to play again and advance your characters ability with lock picking so you can see what new areas you can explore. Alternatively if your character has low strength then there's many weapons and armor you won't be able to use. Each trait has advantages and disadvantages. This makes the game quite interesting as finding a balance can be challenging.

The amount of items you can collect and then sell or trade is incredible. Virtually every item has either a weight or a value associated with it. As you can only carry a certain amount of weight, you will have to be selective in what you pickup. Early in the game you would be advised to only collect the valuable items until you can upgrade your characters strength or carry capacity. Thankfully the important items that you need to carry do not incur a weight penalty. These are things like simpaks and meds. If you play on Hardcode mode as I am doing then you will also find that ammo has weight, so it's important to only carry ammo for weapons that you want to use. The game also offers the ability to use workbench and reloading benches. These are scattered throughout the towns / buildings. You can use these items (if your skills are high enough) and breakdown ammo, or create new ammo. You can also create vital items too such as weapon repair kits. The beauty of this idea is if you breakdown ammo then it does not incur a weight penalty. So you can carry a huge amount of ingredients to make ammo with you, and then only make the ammo you need when you need it. There are also camp fires which you can use if your Survivor skills are high enough. This allows you to create a wide range of foods that will help keep you alive and in hardcore mode this skill is virtually essential. The food you can create is much more efficient at reducing your hunger level, reducing your dehydration level and in some instances can also reduce your tiredness, increase your strength, perception and stamina.

Finally what you do impacts on your characters Karma level. You can choose to be good or evil, and the consequences of either will be felt as you move into certain towns and settlements. If you attack certain groups then you will find that they and their allies will Revile you meaning they will shoot on sight. For those groups that you help and complete quests for they will accept and welcome you. Completing some quests will also grant you favours with that community. This could be cheaper prices when bartering.

CONCLUSiON
This game is brilliant. There is so much to do that you will never be bored. There are so many quests to uncover and so many items you can create, plus the amount of places you can explore is just incredible. I'm 40 hours into this game already and the end is no where near in sight. You can accept many quests at the same time, and you can choose which quest appears on your map (guiding you to the direction you must travel), or you can simply roam around the open landscape and uncover things as you go.

There are many annoyances with this game and quite frankly for a game this size and complexity it is to be expected, however there are so many other enjoyable aspects that they easily overshadow these annoying issues.

A great game if you like Role Playing Games (RPG) and spending time investigating and upgrading your character, plus uncovering all the interesting things offered by this game.

Addendum Now that I have progressed further into the game, it has become a little too easy, even when playing on hardcore mode. Usually games increase in difficulty as you progress (by introducing more challenging opponents, more complex puzzles or more demanding quests), but with this game the threats that could kill you in a split second at the start of the game are now easy targets. So it seems that you can enhance your characters abilities but the enemies do not increase in complexity / strength or skill at all. This is a bit of a shame as reduces the atmosphere, intensity and challenge of the game.

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS Fallout New Vegas FalloutNV
AVAILABLE PiCTURES
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PiCTURE DESCRiPTiON
 



A More Indepth Analysis of each Section.
Click on each "Tab" to read about that section.

Graphics
Game Play
Game Design
Plot/Story
Level Design
SFX
Music
Config
Navigation
Secrets / Rewards

(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Graphics

The Good

They are not brilliant or highly detailed like some other games (such as farcry or Just Cause 2), however they are certainly better than games like Grand Theft Auto IV. There are so many objects in this game which have detail and that you can kick around, pickup or move that there's always something to look at. The enemies all looking interesting and those which are based on real life animals, such as dogs, scorpions and lizards all look good and are easily recognizable for what they represent.

The game environment includes time, so you will experience day / night and all ranges inbetween (sunrise, sunset etc). Dark is pretty dark in certain locations making travel quite difficult. The light you are provided with is not very bright and is not very effective outdoors.

You have two camera angles available. Third person mode is great for when you are exploring because you can use the free camera mode and pan around. You can also use the wheelmouse to set the distance for the camera . When you need to have a closer look you can tap the wheel mouse button and drop back to first person mode. FPS is best for combat and examining items or locations.

You also have a small zoom mode which you activate with your right mouse button. If you have a weapon selected then this will raise the weapon and allow you to look down it. The game allows real iron sights view mode which is great.

Frame rate was consistent pretty much the whole time.

The Bad

There are many issues with graphics and the landscape where you will fall through the terrain and get stuck. Now clearly this really isn't a graphics issue but a game engine issue, however I've placed it in here because when it happens it looks stupid. Also you will find many enemies and creatures also getting stuck in the environment.



(This Section equates to 20% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Game Play

The Good

There are many AI characters that you can interact with and the AI screen for your team mates is very well developed. A great improvement from Fallout 3 (which this game is based on).

A game that provides such open map design is always going to run into scripting issues, because you can do things in any order, or approach a location from any direction. It's often funny at times to see the AI react to you based on the direction you enter their camp. Most of the time when entering a friendly location for the first time you will be greeted by one of the AI stationed at that location.

Overall you know the scripting is there but it's not too blatant. Monster spawning is a little more inconsistent and at times can be right in your face.

For helping you aim and to help pause the combat action, you have a system called VATS. This allows you to specifically target a section of an enemy (such as head, arm etc). Depending on how much AP you have will determine how many times you can fire. Using VATS can reward you with additional benefits depending on your Skill and Perk selections.

You can target specific parts of an enemy for different effects. For a fast running enemy targeting their legs can cripple that leg which will slow them down. For targeting gun turrents if you shoot out their aiming chip they will fire at anything in the room (including your enemies).

The Bad

AI path finding is a bit strange at times. If you have a team mate with you and you simply drop down off what looks like a 2 foot rock edge, your team mate will not follow, instead they will run a considerable distance looking for another route that is flat. Now this may not pose as a problem, but more often than not they will run into enemies along their path causing them great trouble. Especially considering the way you have configured their combat tactics. If they are set to only attack when you do, then they are in for a world of hurt.

Enemies (especially those reliant on melee weapons, or any animal) will have difficulty attacking you if you're standing on a rock. Yep a rock. Say you come across a Giant Radscorpion it spots you so you run onto a rock that's about 3 or 4 feet high, more often than not the scorpion will run in the opposite direction, clearly confused because you're standing on a rock. If you jump off the rock on to the ground, the scorpion will turn around and rush / attack you. As it gets near simply jump back on the rock and the scorpion will once again turn around and run away. Quite strange and quite annoying at times. However also a major benefit if you need to take quick refuge from a dangerous enemy. Death Claws are not always fooled by this approach though because they can themselves jump and they have an incredible reach, so if you run into one of these, find a bigger rock to climb onto ...

Even though the Companion Wheel is a big improvement (this is where you assign and manage your team mates), there is however one large problem and that is you must be facing your companion and within action range (ie close enough to touch). So once your companion runs off to battle an enemy there is NO way you can command that companion other than run after them and get in close to initiate the action key. Not very good if your companion has decided to attack 4 Deathclaws. So you can't change their tactics, you can't change their weapon and you can't tell them to retreat. This is a great let down because quite frankly the team mates are pretty brain dead at the best of times. I think the best option is to simply implement a squad management system like the game Mass Effect 2 did.




(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Game Design

The Good

This game is huge. The amount of things you can do is so vast I'm not sure I'm going to do the game justice by trying to document it all here in this review, so I'll break it down into sections.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
There are so many aspects you can adjust and enhance with your character that you'll always be looking to upgrade / level up. You are also rewarded with the ability of certain perks. Each perk is unique and quite interesting, but alas you won't be able to select them all, so you'll have to work out which ones will work the best based on the way you wish to play, or how you have created your character. Also the way you play will effect your karma and that in itself will change the way characters in the game interact with you.

Another major factor is your characters condition. You don't just have a simple hitpoints (health counter) but you also have specific areas of your body that can be crippled during a fight. In hardcore mode you need special equipment (doctors bag), or find a local doctor to restore limbs back to health. Hardcore mode also offers you additional challenges, by having your character suffer from starvation, dehydration and sleep deprivation, so you will have to keep food and drink with you to help keep these effects low or your character will suffer and eventually die. Your PitBoy screen will show you what you are suffering from and how that suffering is effecting your characters performance. Radiation is another major issue that needs to be managed carefully. Many things give off radiation or are irradiated so eating/drinking them is not going to be good.

INVENTORY
There are so many items that you can collect, not just weapons and ammo, but food items (even picked from bushes as they flower / fruit) through to tin cans, buckets, wrenches plus you can scavenge from dead bodies and dead animals. Each item usually has a weight associated with it, and you can only carry a certain amount at any one time. Once you exceed that weight you will be unable to run, walk fast or even jump. This can be devastating if you run into enemies, so keeping below the weight at all times is a major factor. You can also use items from your inventory to temporarily increase your strength (or many other aspects of your characters skills) such as some food items or meds (chemicals). These provide you additional bonus points for a specific period of time.

You can pickup virtually anything in the game and you can put it down / sell it / store it in a container or consume it if it's food or drink. Also many items can be used at other locations (as ingredients) to create other items. This idea just adds another interesting aspect to the game because many of the items you can create will be of great benefit to you, or save you having to purchase those items. The food you can create is considerably better than what you can buy.

WEAPONS
Weapons are managed from the PitBoy / inventory. You will have to keep an eye on the condition for each weapon and armor that you have, plus you can carry out repairs if you have the required skills. You repair a weapon by using a similar weapon as parts. So if you have two Hunting Rifles, you can use one to repair the other one. A fully repaired weapon will deliver greater damage and be worth a higher value when you go to sell it. You can also assign which weapon you wish to assign to any number key from 1 through to 8, to allow for quick weapon change. There is a range of different weapon ammo for most traditional guns, plus there are a range of exotic energy weapons and some weapons that you can create yourself.

YOUR PITBOY
This device is strapped to your wrist and provides all the information about your character, information about all your quests, your in game map and allows you to manage your inventory. The map is good because you can select which quest you wish to focus on and it will be marked on your map and on your compass. The compass is great because it's always available bottom left of your screen, unlike the PitBoy which you need to activate.

QUEST
There are so many quests that you can perform, you'll never be bored. Many quests also have optional solutions or alternative outcomes which forces you to make a decision.

Quests are shown in your PitBoy and will be different colours indicating if you've completed that quest or not, it will also show what you need to do and where you need to travel (on the map).

Karma determines if your character is good or evil. You can lose karma from stealing from people, even pick pocketing is available.

SAVING
You can save at any time in the game simply by selecting save on the menu. You can choose to replace an existing save game or create a new one. The game limits you to 1000 saved games. You can not type in a name or a description for a saved game, however the game does provide you with a screen capture which is your current view in the game at the time of saving. Still without a save description or filename you can't really make any comments as to why you saved. Also you can enable auto saving, which saves the game each time you enter or exit an area. You can load any saved game at any time.

The Bad

The PitBoy requires too many clicks in order to see all the information. Your characters status for example you have to click on FOD, H2O, SLP, RAD to see the status of each, yet the status is but a single line of information leaving most of the screen blank. Surely all of these could have been incorporated into a single screen which would only then require a single click to view.

The Inventory management is cumbersome and as you can carry numerous items, there really needs a way to sort by weight, value or quantity on hand. The default sorting is alphabetical, and that's just not good enough because it does not group like type objects together. It does allow display of some classes, such as Weapons, Ammo, Apparel, Aids and Misc, however in Aids are all books, food, meds and chems. Unfortunately books all have different names, so Lockpicking book and People Skills book require you to scroll through L and then through P. There is no way to group all books together. Same with Food or Chems it would be good if you could sort by type within the Aids category. This category usually has the most amount of items as many of these have no weight associated, so you can carry lots of different items, or many items (like nuts and herbs) that you collect are very light. Having to constantly scroll through the large list all the time becomes a major drag.

When you scavenge from a body, you click A for All and E to Exit. (alas you can not rebind those keys to something else grrr.) so using the mouse to click on their associated icon, both are close together and it's quite easy to click A instead of E. This means you've now picked up everything from that body. Many items you may not want. Launching the PitBoy and going into your inventory section there is NO WAY to see what the items were that you just picked up. This games needs a "last item collected displayed first" feature because now having to hunt through every screen looking for items you don't want (like spoons, empty tins) becomes very time consuming.

Also when scavenging you will find some items have a higher quantity. Example 9mm ammo (20) bottlecaps (20). when you want to take an item you click on it. So say I click on 9mm ammo, the game now asks me how many do I wish to take, giving me a slider with two options A for All and E for Exit. So I click on A. Now I click on bottlecaps and even though it has the same quantity, I get no option to select how many, it simply takes all automatically. This has one draw back, if you're trying to navigate these screen quickly you'll often click on an item get the how many prompt and simply hit A, then you click on the next item and automatically hit A because that item also had a high quantity, EXCEPT the game did not preset you with the "How Many" prompt for that item. What you have now done by hitting A is take ALL items! ARGH.. see above paragraph about the annoyance of this issue. Also some screens say E for exit and other are X for exit. consistency please. I would also like the option to remap these keys. A and E are totally out of the way for a left handed mouse user.

When using Work Bench, you will often find yourself in the situation that the list does not work correctly. If you see an object that requires numerous ingredients you need to use the mini scroll bar on the right to see all ingredients required, in doing so when you return to the list on the left and select another item it will not update the ingredients list on the right. You will have to exit this screen and re-enter in order to correct this. Also on this issue you can't click to select an item, if you move your mouse over it you need to hit A to accept, if you move your mouse down to the A icon, you must make sure you don't move over any other item else that item will be selected instead. This is quite a stupid feature. It should be click to select and/or click to accept. We should not have to click A to accept!

QUESTS are not handled correctly. If you perform a task that effects a Quest you will be shown a QUEST FAILED message (which on another point does not display long enough, nor is it documented in your pitboy !!!!!!). I was often left thinking Geepers did I just fail my current Quest? The answer is no. What has happened is I have killed a person that was integral to another quest. The game alerts me that Quest has now Failed, but this is wrong because A) I had not accepted that specific quest and B) I did not even know that quest existed. There is no way this quest could be identified as Failed. If the game needs to tell me anything it should say bla bla quest now unavailable. You will most certainly encounter this issue constantly because if you play as a good character then many of the bad character quests will become unavailable.

KARMA This is a good aspect of the game but its implementation is a little strange. I can go into someones house and kill them (karma is not effected). now they lay dead on the floor, but if I go to take anything from their house I lose Karma ?.. Also even if they have something in their trash can, I can lose karma for taking it? If it's in the trash doesn't that mean they threw it away?




(This Section equates to 12.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Plot/Story

The Good

The plot is good and the amount of stories that you will encounter by interacting with characters is great. Even some characters you will need numerous interaction events to uncover all the conversation dialogue, so that adds another benefit to the game.

Your actions have consequences, so depending on how you want to play, you can be down right evil or a saint, or more realistically something inbetween. I've chosen to steal at times but at other times donate. It does depend on how important the item is, or equally how important the character is.

If you wish to steal make sure you are not spotted else the surround AI will go bonkers and challenge or even attack you.

You have the opportunity to wear uniforms for any group or faction and that will help you pass as one of them. This is great if you need to cross enemy territory quickly, simply wear one of their uniforms and they will not attack on sight. Don't get too close though as they can still identify who you are.

The Bad

The Karma aspect is another level of complexity in the game but it is considerably inconsistent. Killing someone (such as a raider) doesn't effect Karma, yet from that same raiders camp I can't take anything without losing Karma.

Also on this aspect if I join a group and wear their uniform, so I am considered one of them I can not use or take anything from their camp. I can't even buy things from their vending machines. I can only buy things from their trader.




(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Level Design

The Good

The levels are all quite good. You start off in an open map terrain (sand box) allowing you free travel anywhere you choose. Each location has numerous buildings that you can enter which result in a quick loading sequence. Now you're primarily in a linear level like any normal FPS game would include. Sometimes there are alternative routes or alternative ways in, but mostly it's a drain pipe. Many levels are interesting depending on the type of area you're exploring, from caves, to underground bunkers to old houses. Some buildings are multiple levels requiring you to explore many floors.

There are many traps that you can fall victim to, so you'll always have to keep an eye out for land mines, trip wires or booby traps.

Talking to all the character will provide you with quests.

The Bad

There are virtually no puzzles. Most quests are travel to this location - kill enemies or mutants - return to quest giver for reward.

While in the open map you'll find many instances where you simply get stuck and can't move as if you've fallen through a crack.




(This Section equates to 10% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about SFX

The sound effects are all quite good. Nothing too intricate but all are fitting to what they are related to.


(This Section equates to 5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Music

There's no real music in the game, mainly atmosphere. When you get into a battle the music will change to a more upbeat tune. Overall it adds good atmosphere to the game. There are a few radio stations that you can tune into, but I have not spent much time listening to them. Primarily they appear to be more talk back than music.


(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Config

The Good

Nothing noteworthy to mention. The game is smart enough that when playing it will display help prompts that show the key you have assigned to the required action rather than the original default key.
The Bad

You will be using A and E keys a lot in this game and there is no way for you to reconfigure them.

When binding keys if a key you choose to bind has already been assigned the game does not alert you to this fact.




(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Navigation

The Good

Mouse usage is available and you'll be using it lots. The menu is easy to use and pretty basic
The Bad

A and E keys can't be rebound. Also when in trading screens the mouse cursor is constant reset to center of the screen. So expect to do a lot of mouse travel with every screen.



(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Secrets / Rewards

You will be rewarded for virtually everything you do. The more exploration you do the more experience you'll be given and the higher possibility you'll have for uncovering other locations. There are many items in the game that you can collect and the possibility for additional reward for collecting these may be available.

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This Review was Last Modified on : 29th of January, 2011