Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fallout New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas Review

Kid Safe: Very Low                     Game Quality: Very High

Genre: First-Person Shooter / Open World RPG
-          The name makes this form of game sound more complicated than it really is. These games are characterized by the viewpoint and weapons used in the title. In a first person shooter, you are looking down the barrel of a gun as though you yourself are holding the weapon. Likewise, as the term "shooter" implies, the game specifically uses guns and firearms. On top of this, in an Open World RPG, players explore a place where choice is everything. Rather than providing a set story that a player has to follow, they are provided a world that they can explore. Finally, RPG means "Role Playing Game" and is characterized by the ability for a player to customize the appearance, weaponry, and special skills and abilities that are available to a character that they are playing.

Internet Requirements: Low
-          This game features a low amount of online content. At the time of this review, no online content is available. However, it should be noted that previous iterations of Fallout have offered extensive amounts of downloadable content that greatly increase the available play of the title. Developers have already announced plans for downloadable content to be offered for Fallout: New Vegas as well.

Story Summary: In Fallout: New Vegas you take the role of a courier living in the atomic wasteland of
   Nevada in 2077, after nuclear war has destroyed the world as we know it. You begin
   the game being intercepted by a group of hooligans on your way to deliver a package to
   Mr. House of New Vegas who proceed to rob you, shoot you in the head, and leave you
   for dead in a shallow grave in the desert. After being discovered by a roaming robot,
   you are taken to a small town and nursed back to health. With strength in your limbs
   again and will in your mind, you are off to find out who tried to kill you, who is Mr.
   House, what was in the package that was stolen from you, and what is the secret of
   New Vegas; one of the only cities in the world that was left untouched by nuclear
   disaster. With the whole of the Mojave desert spread out before you; what you do and
   how you choose to do it are completely in your hands.

Kid Safe: Very Low - Not Recommended for Children
-          Foul Language: High
o   Fallout: New Vegas contains a high amount of foul language including both written and verbal versions of the words a*s, b*tch,  s*it, f*ck, and p*ss. The usage of this foul language is not a universal occurrence in the game. The usage of this language is different from person to person and tends to be found in specific characters with which the player interacts with. Most often the individuals in question are of an unsavory nature; probably the worst culprit being "Caesar", a dictator who rules a nation of war-trained slaves.

-          Violence and Gore: Very High - Not Recommended for Children
o   Fallout: New Vegas features a truly gruesome amount of blood, gore, and violence. To begin, players have no limitations in who or what they are allowed to attack/kill and the game does not discriminate to whether you can attack a rabid dog, a band of raiders, or an innocent civilian. Also, whenever you attack something, they show very visible injury; with holes being blown out, slashes being left, heads exploding or being blown clean off, and limbs being torn off. Likewise, the gore is not limited to creatures that you yourself are fighting. Camps and towns that have been attacked by "Caesar's Legion" (A warring nation in the title) are littered with people that have been crucified and are either dead or dying. Aside from that, in your adventures you will also find such pleasantries as skeletons, scorched in place, rotted and skinned carcasses, both animal and human, and even people that have been murdered in their beds. Finally, if all of the above is not enough, you are able to turn on an option called "Bloody Mess" that graphically increases the gore from killing creatures; quite literally causing them to explode into a fountain of body parts and viscera. Fallout is dominated by gore of every possibility and caution is advised.
-          Sexually-Related Content: High
o   Fallout: New Vegas features a high amount of sexual content. Primarily, all sexual references and nudity that were found in game were located in New Vegas itself and are found in the form of prostitutes. To begin, you run into a gentleman before entering the Vegas Strip that gives you several warnings concerning the town and then identifies himself as a male prostitute. Later, also on the Strip, you find female prostitutes (aptly named "hookers") dancing infront of a hotel wearing nothing but lingerie and wearing black "X's" over their nipples and breasts.  Finally, you are able to engage in sexual activity with both male and female prostitutes as well as robots. While no graphics scenes are shown, the screen fades to black and suggestive dialogue can be heard in the background.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: High
o   Fallout: New Vegas features a high amount of drug and alcohol usage. Different drugs and alcohol are available scattered all throughout the games, each featuring different effects on your characters and having no limitation to the amount they may be used. Generally, certain drugs will have different benefits; increasing your speed, strength, overall perception, etc. However, any extended usage will also lead to addiction and mal-effects as well. Once a player becomes "addicted" they are forced to take the drug in question constantly or be forced to experience problems playing, illness, health loss, and even possibly death due to combined effects.

Game Quality: Very High
-          Graphics / Visuals: High
o   The graphics and visuals for Fallout: New Vegas are generally impressive compared to most games out that due to their sheer scope of the title itself. Fallout features a fully realized open world setting that allows players absolute freedom to go anywhere that they might desire. If you can see it, you can go there. This is no small feat either as the game features a truly massive, sprawling landscape that spreads out in every direction and features every range of possible landscape. From burnt and scarred wasteland to a sharp and craggy mountain range, from a rolling hillside and shimmering lake to a towering city of lights and buildings, and from a dusty road in the desert to a dark, underground tech facility; this game has it all. Realistic physics also cause wind to blow, making tumbleweeds go by and signs to creak in the wind, or cause gravity to work realistically. Finally, this world is populated by creatures and people of every make and design with each one featuring realistic graphics and representations.
o   Sadly, the graphics and visuals of this title are not without fault. Several glitches and problems were experienced while playing. In one instance, we found a dog simply floating several feet in the air for no reason. Another time, we found a man that is normally sitting AT the bar instead stuck IN the bar with only half of his body visible and endlessly walking towards us. Finally, there was one bug that seems to be very common in which, while on the road to a place called "Cottonwood Cove" players experience a dimming of their graphics for an undetermined period of time.
-          Audio: Very High
o   Fallout: New Vegas boasts very impressive audio quality and quite a few fascinating options. To begin, the player always has radio channels available to them in-game that they may listen to. Each of these channels have their own programming, songs, and even DJs that will announce the news and talk about events occurring in the world. Amazingly, these news reels will provides hints of different missions that players may undertake or even take about missions that players have already completed and how their actions are affecting the world. On top of this is the fact that when you explore the world, you will find people listening to the radio and, based on what channel they are listening to, you may be receiving the same programming or something different that you can ALSO hear in the open world. Aside from that, the game has excellent ambient sound and surround sound. Hearing a metal building softly creaking around you or hearing the soft growling as a creature sneaks up behind you never gets old.

-          Gameplay / Playability: Very High
o   Fallout: New Vegas has, by far, some of the best available gameplay so far. Unlike the earlier iterations of Fallout, Fallout: New Vegas features a very solid first-person shooter mechanic and thus has controls very akin to the accepted controls for this genre. It also features a full, in-depth explanation of absolutely every feature in game that you will ever run into; popping up, obviously, when you run into them. These explanations can also be pulled up at anytime should you forget something or just want to refresh on how a certain mechanic works in game. Finally, and probably one of the best available features for such a massive open world design, is the ability to fast-travel at anytime to any location that you have already been by simply looking at your map and clicking the location that you would like to go to. The game will then simply fast forward to your arrival; this being so you don't spend needless hours walking back and forth across the world.
-          Dollar-Value: Very High
o   Fallout: New Vegas, quite simply, is worth every penny spent. To start, the reviewer spent over 30 hours of combined gameplay and didn't even do everything that was available in the story. This is not even to mention that the game changes based on how you play the game and the moral choices that you make; we decided to be generally helpful and side with the Democratic "National California Republic" to try and restore democracy to the land...the game would have been phenomenally different if I decided to help "Caesar's Legion" take over New Vegas or even if I had tried to rule the world myself. Likewise, Fallout features a mode of gameplay called "Hardcore mode" that drastically increases the realism and thus the difficulty by requiring your character to eat, drink, sleep, heal if they are injured, and removing the fast-travel option. For those players looking for a challenge, this could easily double the amount of gameplay. And, should players suddenly tire of exploring, they are welcome to sit down and enjoy a multitude of mini-games including poker, blackjack, roulette, and a new card game called "Caravan". We will stop here as we could probably write a full length review solely on the available features in Fallout: New Vegas.

-          Very few games can stand up to the experience of Fallout: New Vegas; however it is admittedly
      gruesome and not recommended for younger audiences. However, probably the best game to recommend that is similar in design is Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This title is an earlier game from the makers of Fallout that takes place in Medieval times and features an equally impressive open world and a far less gruesome and more magical adventure. It should be noted that this game was
     originally Teen rated however is currently Mature rated due to a specific mission in game. 

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