Fallout New Vegas - Xbox 360

Released just a few short years after the critically acclaimed Fallout 3 and taking place a similar amount of time after those events, this new entry into the Fallout series is set on the opposite end of the United States in the Mojave wasteland rather than D.C. where the last game took place.  Despite the radical change in location and atmosphere Fallout New Vegas uses many of the same attributes as its predecessor.  The skill and perk system both return with new options and a few adjustments, such as special traits that players can take to further customize their character and the addition of a brand new skill which focuses on survival.

The plot kicks off a lot more quickly than the last Fallout did with a man in a suit capturing the player character (dubbed "The Courier" by most sources) and shooting him twice in the head at near point blank range.  Normally, that is where the story would end, but a guardian angel of sorts is quick to dig you out of a shallow grave and get your barely alive body to a doctor.  After a brief tutorial and attribute assignment the good doctor hands you a pip boy and sends you on your way.  From there the player is given free reign to explore the world and find clues as to who the mysterious man in a suit was and why he shot you and stole the package you were to deliver.

The gameplay of New Vegas is almost identical to Fallout 3, but nearly everything has been expanded in some way.  There are more perks to select upon level up and combat mechanics have been improved and updated along with the dialogue trees players use to communicate with NPCs.  The map is also of similar size to the previous game, but with tons of diverse and interesting areas to explore from small town settlements to the neon paradise of the New Vegas strip itself.

I was disappointed by a few things, such as how small the actual city of New Vegas is compared to Washington D.C. as well as the lack of atmosphere that the third game did so well.  The radio is also pretty hit or miss with some of the songs being fantastic and others slightly annoying, though Mr. New Vegas (the radio host) keeps things entertaining.  The difficultly of the game has also been bumped up a couple of notches which may be a good or bad thing depending on who you ask.  It isn't frustrating, but many enemies have increased health and heavily armed human enemies are fairly common once the player gets out of the earlier regions of the game.


One thing I absolutely love about New Vegas is how it continues with the tradition set by previous games in discouraging sexism against both genders.  Perks in particular are more balanced now that Black Widow and Ladykiller have counterparts that give similar options to NPCs of the same sex as the player which eliminates a slight advantage female players had in Fallout 3.  Also of note is the villainous Ceaser's Legion faction, a massive band of raiders styled after the roman empire.  They enslave women to use as breeding machines and men as cannon fodder in the actual legion itself.  It has been noted that both genders are Ceaser's slaves and that the sexism isn't limited to women.  It's even possible to join their faction as either gender and help them take over the Mojave if the player wants to.

There are a few things I don't like about the game, but it is a solid addition to the franchise and offers the same strong writing and gameplay that made Fallout 3 such a hit.  To anyone who enjoyed a previous Fallout game or even someone completely new to the franchise I highly recommend that you at least try it out.  For only twenty bucks you can pick up a special edition of the game with all DLC included right on the disk, quite a bargain for any fan of the RPG and/or post apocalyptic genre.
                      - Reviewed by MidnightUndead

Rating: M (Blood and Gore, intense violence, sexual content, strong language, use of drugs)

fair & honest