E3 2010: Fallout: New Vegas Hands-On Impressions

e3 2010 fallout new vegas hands on impressions vegas2

If you are a gamer, then you probably already know all about Fallout: New Vegas. The game is neither a sequel, nor an expansion to Fallout 3. It is its own game, using the same engine. The setting and story are different, and there have been some tweaks to the gameplay, but as the old saying goes, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” was definitely on the minds of developers Obsidian here. And from the looks of the demo, that was a very smart move.

Fallout: New Vegas is set in well, Vegas, of course. It takes place three years after Fallout 3, and with the exception of a few groups you may have heard of from the prequel that make an appearance, the two games are not related in terms of plot. The VATS system returns, as does the karma system. So too does theme of the 1950s America, but this time, unlike a warped view of a post-apocalyptic Washington DC that reached its pinnacle in the 1950s, the world expands on the Rat Pack days of Vegas through a twisted mirror of an alternate Earth that essentially ended in nuclear destruction.

e3 2010 fallout new vegas hands on impressionsThe playable demo offered a look at a few aspects of the game. The first was the combat, which is similar in gameplay to its predecessor, but there is a much greater emphasis on factions. While there is an overall plot to the game, the choice of factions is entirely up to you, and it will affect, but not hamper, your progress through the game regardless of who you side with. There is no good or bad side in New Vegas, just different groups. When you side with one, you alienate another, and vice-versa. Each rival faction has its own branching storylines, and your decisions will affect the ending you receive when you beat the game- and there are apparently a LOT of endings, based on your karma, your actions, your affiliations, etc.

The next thing the demo showed off was the Strip in Vegas. Compared to DC in Fallout 3, Vegas is a paradise, with electricity and streets patrolled by robots with televisions for faces. It is a surreal view of Sin City, but an engrossing one as well. Our first trip took us into a casino, where we had a chance to drop a little cash on games of roulette, blackjack, and slots. The choices you make in the game don’t matter to the casino, so you are always welcome to spend your money there, but it is possible to break the bank which will cause them to close up shop.

As for the world of New Vegas, developer Obsidian promises that it is almost identical to Fallout 3 in terms of both square footage, and hours of gameplay.  The reps from Bethesda could not comment on any potential downloadable expansions (Fallout 3 had 5), so it is likely we will see them in the future although perhaps the questions is which console will see them first…

We’ll have to wait until October 19 to get our hands on the full game, but from what we saw, Fallout: New Vegas is a worthy successor to the Fallout franchise.

Warning: This trailer may not be suitable for all ages.