New flavor of the apocalypse: New Vegas impressions

Aside from this bit about your character getting shot in the head and left for dead, the opening cinematic for Fallout: New Vegas feels like a documentary–but I suppose that’s the way Obsidian decided to set the (very) slow pace of a Bethesda-style Fallout game. It does feel like it goes on too long, but maybe that’s because I knew every piece of information it gave me already. For someone who hadn’t kept up with the pre-launch coverage, it probably was quite interesting. I can only offer my own opinion: meh.

Of course, any game can have an interesting (or awful) opening. It could have been worse. I actually did like the character creation sequence, though it’s not as unique as the one in Fallout 3. I wish more games would do a contextual creator rather than slap a bunch of menus in front of you as soon as the movie finishes.

And then the game starts. Instead of the dramatic opening of Fallout 3, you’re basically thrown out into a hick settlement that functions very differently from the major hub that Megaton was. Sure, there’s a couple quests, but I didn’t get to experience those. See, the character that’s integral to the initial questline died in my tutorial. Yes, because I sucked that badly at the combat tutorial, the NPC died.

Quest failed. Quest failed. Quest failed. Quest failed. Okay then. . . .

I even tried to figure out a “creative” resolution to the questline. Nope, there’s one whole tree that still can’t be resolved. Because I have to talk to the dead character to advance it.

This is a worrisome start.

It also doesn’t help that your first clue along the central story involves asking someone at the town of Primm. Obsidian, however, neglects to tell you where Primm is. No map marker, no general direction, nothing. I found it (by accident) pretty quickly, but to me it’s sloppy development work. Fallout 3 at least put the major settlements on your map to give a general layout. An open world RPG works, but only if there are clear indicators of how a quest starts when you get that itch.

I’m excited to see the different faction branching–I’ve seen some already–but I’m also more than a bit skeptical.

Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S. Aiming down the sights is a great addition. Say goodbye to our dear friend, the Dunning-Kruger reticle.


  1. You do get told where Primm is. I’m assuming that the character who tells you died, though. 😛 Less funny alternative is that you may not have talked to people as much because you felt you ‘already knew’ the stuff they’re talking about. I’m pretty sure that either the Doctor or the lady at the saloon tell you, though.

    • David

      Probably the case. I still find it odd–though not necessarily bad–that they don’t include a single location on the map. Not even New Vegas itself.

      It’s growing on me, despite the creaky code it’s built with.

    • Tom

      Sunny does, in fact, tell you where Primm is. Which would be awkward if she died.

  2. TC

    Ummm… Why not just load from a point before Sunny dies, then lower the difficulty (this is an easy quest so if you’re struggling this early on in the game you probably want to drop the difficulty level) and then play that quest again.

    • David

      I could have, but by the time I’d realized that Sunny was needed for that quest line, I’d already put a couple hours into free exploring.

      Also, she died not because I suck, but because I lost track of her when she ran to the next group of enemies.

      • Turtle

        No offense but if you can’t even keep track of one npc you kinda suck.,..

        also there is no pre placed points because you are exploring trying to figure out where everything is the whole point of the game is your free roaming

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