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Review of Fallout: New Vegas

Damon says: Fallout: New Vegas is definitely the most fun I've had wasting away in front of the Xbox for days at a time. I'm new to the series, but I'll be picking up the next installment and possibly some of the previous ones.

Usually I play games in fairly short bursts. When I do play for several hours at a time, the game is usually finished in a few days. New Vegas was different in both respects. I found myself playing all day for weeks.

What's even more surprising is how difficult it is to say exactly what was so fun about the game. Some specific things I enjoyed were:
  • the complexity of leveling (lots of options),
  • weapon modding and equipment managing (again, lots of options),
  • creeping around and sniping (BOOM HEADSHOT!),
  • perks associated with leveling,
  • and story depth.

I spent a lot of time optimizing and upgrading my gear while exploring the vast dystopian wasteland, helping random strangers, and shooting people or radioactive creatures that looked at me funny. Perks are a neat way to enhance leveling because they tell you exactly what you get out of them. For example:
  • entomologist gives you an additional 50% damage against mutant insects, and
  • splash damage gives your explosions a 25% larger area of effect.

The story is long and twisted, especially with all the side quests. Each side quest builds your reputation with a particular tribe and often deteriorates your reputation with another. I found myself making alliances early but wanting to break them later. It's nice that the right thing isn't always obvious. Most of the time you're left with deciding between death and taxes.

It's also interesting how much conversations and story paths change depending on your actions, your speech selection, and your companions. I was a bit disappointed toward the end though when I discovered that there are essentially three different endings. I was hoping for something a bit less cut and dry.

Aside from the technical problems, this is a fun play and highly recommended.
Xbox 360
Damon played: ~80 hours
Laura played: 0 hours
Damon says: Lots of immersive fun that makes time melt away. Highly recommended.
Laura says: It's too violent for my tastes.
Replay Value
Damon says: Probably too long to play through again, but I'm considering doing so on hardcore mode since that is reportedly a completely different and entertaining experience.
Favorite Part
Damon says: Creeping around and sniping people in the vast wasteland.
Fun Factor
Damon says: The gaus rifle and power armor make you nearly unstoppable.
Damon says: Buggy, slow, and outdated graphics.
Laura says: I don't need to see people's heads being blown off!

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