Hours played: 1000+

Platform played on: PS3, Xbox One X’s backwards compatibility, and PC (with mods of course).

Did I like this game? (i.e. is it fun?): Absolutely. I have loved this game since its release in 2010. I’ve beaten the game as many ways as possible, and maybe. . . Juuust maybe, have I tried to kill everyone I could possibly find. From a twelve year old boy to a twenty-one year old man (boy), I’ve enjoyed this game over and over and over again. So yes, Fallout: New Vegas is a very fun game.

Buzz Words”: Open-World, RPG, Player Choice, Post-Apocalypse, Sandbox.

Description: Fallout: New Vegas is a post-apocalyptic, retro-futuristic RPG developed by bits and pieces of the teams behind the two original Fallout titles, Interplay and Black Isle Studios. Now known as Obsidian Entertainment, on a one time deal with Bethesda Softworks so that BGS (Bethesda Game Studios) could work on the eventual titles The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. The game puts the player in the role of a courier delivering the most important of packages. A shot in the head later and you’re up and at em’ to do whatever you want. The Mohave Wasteland spans a trimmed down Las Vegas strip and a lot of its surrounding areas. You can join factions like the NCR, Caesar’s Legion, the Brotherhood of Steel, the Kings, or none of them! The four major story DLCs delve into the weird and wacky side of Obsidian’s story-telling, and round out the player character’s backstory all while adding more creatures to take down and different areas to explore.

What I liked about the game: The first thing I have to mention is the freedom to do whatever you want to do. The perk system from Fallout 3 returns (and so does everything else), along with a few new perks to spice up the gameplay (my personal favorite is the Wild Wasteland perk). This allows you to play however you choose, from a well-spoken wasteland messiah to a melee specialist who craves chaos and evil-doing. This plays into the dialog and the storytelling. Thanks to the writing prowess at Obsidian, the dialog is varied with dark and humorous overtones. In fact, it is so well crafted, you can barely notice that so many characters have the same voice actor. Another thing I’m fond of is the game world. Possibly the most noticeable thing about the world is the yellowish-brown tint, opposed to the green and grey tone of Fallout 3. This, to me, works in the games favor. Though I’m sure it’s due to technical limitations of the PS3 and the Xbox 360 (as well as the nine month work window and the god awful engine framework Bethesda gave Obsidian to work with, but I won’t speak on that). Anyhow, this gave the game a certain flavor, and even in the more colorful parts of the world like the conserved part of old Las Vegas’ main attraction The Strip, that yellow shade bled through to remind you of how desolate the world really is. The DLC in the game is also some of the best story-wise from all of Bethesda’s catalog. The game’s fourth and final DLC, Lonesome Road, brought a mysterious backstory to the player character that makes you feel like the importance of your character’s life didn’t start when the game started, but years before. I can’t review this game without mentioning the music. The ambient music is dark, atmospheric, and perfect for the world it inhabits (Also it was produced by Inon Zur!). The music presented from the radio stations is some of the most memorable from any game you’ll play. Classic hits from Dean Martin, Marty Robbins, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole breathe life into this game. The music’s stark contrast from the game’s desolate feel is so opposite that it makes sense. Killing Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls to The Ink Spots works so well with the dark humor littered throughout the game. It fits the feel that even though the world is destroyed, there’s so much humanity left (to save or to torture). The last thing I want to touch on is the list of companions you can have follow you into battle. There are eight in total, all with their own special abilities. They aren’t able to be killed (by NPCs at least), and you can have two of them at a time (one humanoid and one non-humanoid). Different actions you take can change their behaviors towards you, and even make them turn on you (Goodness the memories). As you can tell, I’m quite fond of this game, so of course (for me) there’s a lot to like, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

(P.S. Play this game on hardcore, thank me later.)

What I disliked about the game: My largest gripe for this game is the gunplay. It’s clunky, unresponsive, and downright annoying at times. The VATS system is the saving-grace of the combat. It’s time-stopping mechanic slows down the pace to let you pick apart your enemies one shot at a time, and is a nostalgic reminder of the turn-based combat of older titles. Bethesda Game StudiosCreation Engine (then Gamebryo) isn’t too kind to gunplay. 2015’s sequel Fallout 4 has twice as good gunplay as F:NV, which isn’t saying much; for Fallout 4’s gunplay is only a tenth of the gunplay id Software’s DOOM (2016) has. When the game first released, it was a buggy mess (as all Bethesda titles start off as). Game-breaking bugs popped up 24/7, and though most of them were fixed, after nine years they still show up. If I were reviewing this game nine years ago, I’d rant about those pesky load times when entering and exiting buildings (on consoles at least). But man oh man, the Xbox One X‘s processing power eliminates those down to five seconds tops.

Recap: So yeah, this review is a few years late, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want a twelve year old telling you about his favorite game. Nevertheless, Bethesda handed off the franchise to some of its original creators; including famed story-writer and level designer (and lead writer on Fallout 2) Chris Avellone, who helped develop side quests and DLCs. The few that survived Interplay and Black Isle’s downfall grouped together to create Obsidian Entertainment. With nine months and a then modified thirteen year old engine, Obsidian created what is still considered to be the definitive Fallout experience. With its amazing storytelling, deep and varied player-choices, and long-awaited continuation of the two original games, Fallout: New Vegas perfectly crafts a true sandbox with a ton of weapons that might not work the best, great NPCs to live in a great story and world, and the right amount of jankiness to make the game lovable. There’s no wonder IGN ranked it at 28 on its list of the greatest RPG’s of all time. With Microsoft’s acquisition of Obsidian Entertainment, I’m more excited than ever for their Fallout: New Vegas spiritual successor The Outer Worlds, which releases this Fall.

Should YOU buy this game?: Nine years ago, I would have told you to buy this game immediately if you liked Fallout 3, even at $60. Even today I’d say purchase this game right now for full price, but I am biased. It’s well deserved bias, the game is so good that Bethesda got jealous and refused to give Obsidian a contractual pay bonus simply based off of a technicality (don’t quote me, I still love Bethesda). Anyways, should you buy this game now? It’s $10 for the base game and $20 for the Ultimate Edition. If you haven’t bought this game by now it might not be up your alley, or you’ve lived under a rock for ten years. With about 40 hours of just main story quests, and well over 100 hours of DLC, side quests, and exploration, $20 is a steal (and easy on your wallet); especially for those looking to buy a game with enough meat to keep them busy for weeks.

Fallout: New Vegas is available for PS3, Xbox 360, PlayStation’s PS Now streaming service, Xbox One’s/X’s backward compatibility, and Steam.

If you happen to read this, let me know if you’ve played this game before. Give me some feedback on how I reviewed it, whether you think I did a good job or if you absolutely hated my collection of words trying to convince you to buy a nine year old game. I’ll take whatever you say into consideration and try to incorporate it into my next review.

Thanks for reading!

-Taylor E.