So what’s a poor RPG lover to do when he’s done slaying dragons in Skyrim? Mass Effect 3 isn’t coming out until spring. Rather than sitting on your couch and staring blankly into space, why not spend some quality time with a quality older title like Fallout: New Vegas? Yeah, it isn’t exactly new and it still has more bugs than a cheap motel, but there’s a damn fine game buried in there and one of its developers recently released a mod designed to make the game harder than ever before. There’s a catch, though.
This year, I'm trying to do something different with game of the year awards. You can find a full explanation in part one, but the gist is this: I'm eschewing a list – because, let's face it, you've already skimmed 10,000 top-10s – in favor of writing about how these games affected their players and the specific moment that made me realize how great each game really was. Needless to say, SPOILER WARNING. Now then, on with today's pick: Fallout: New Vegas.
I've seen some stuff, man. I've seen some stuff. Fallout: New Vegas is about as variety packed as videogame worlds come, fully capable of evoking every major emotion in the book: happiness, sadness, anger, “OH SH** DEATHCLAW” – you name it. Most impressive, though, is the game's masterful ability to manipulate players' curiosity like a big red button with the words “Do Not Press” printed on it.
It's like you're some kind of post-apocalyptic private eye. Why is this office full of bloodthirsty robots? What's a lush green forest doing in this underground vault? Uh, how is Elvis still alive? Each of the game's many, many, many areas hooks you with questions before carefully reeling you in with a slow stream of incomplete answers. You have to put all the pieces together and get the full picture, though. It's this compulsive, almost overwhelming urge. If curiosity killed the cat, then Fallout – perhaps fittingly – is a WMD.
But there are “typical” (read: not typical at all) New Vegas adventures, and then there's the time the game truly, profoundly, “so much for sleeping tonight” disturbed me.
Bethesda Softworks is sitting on cloud 9 following the launch of Fallout: New Vegas, which has earned record breaking sales for the publisher. There have been five million units of New Vegas shipped around the globe so far, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC flavors, all of which have generated over $300 million in sales.
"We are delighted by the reception Fallout: New Vegas has received from fans around the world," said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. "Despite the large launch quantities for this title, we have already received substantial re-orders from our retail partners, underscoring the tremendous popularity of this highly entertaining game. We believe Fallout: New Vegas will be the 'must buy' title for gamers throughout the holiday season."
Strong sales aside, the New Vegas launch hasn't been all smooth sailing. Bethesda recently blogged that it was working on a patch to address "Xbox 360 save issues folks are reporting, along with a number of other issues," as well as a comprehensive patch for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360, PS3). There's also "an incremental update for PC" that purportedly fixes "save corruption issues and problems with companions, as well as improve performance for Nvidia users and resolve some issues reported with Havok."
We suppose that – on some level – Fallout: New Vegas' ticking time bomb-like tendency to blow up in your face at the slightest provocation is fitting, given the subject matter. However, that doesn't make it any less annoying to have your ninth 26-hour marathon session derailed by a full-stop crash or a quest that requires you to speak with someone who's somehow managed to teleport into the core of the earth. Fortunately, Bethesda's announced that New Vegas' days as a glitchy, uninhabitable wasteland are numbered. Soon, it'll just be a normal uninhabitable wasteland.
“We’re currently running final testing and certification on a comprehensive patch for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), so we’ll have something available in the coming weeks. When we have more details, we’ll let you know,” the publisher wrote on its official blog.
“In the meantime, an incremental update for PC should be going up by early next week that will fix the save corruption issues and problems with companions, as well as improve performance for NVIDIA users and resolve some issues reported with Havok.”
So hooray and stuff. Still though, next time you make a game, Obsidian, do you think you could, you know, finish it? Perferably before you release it? This isn't the first time this has happened, after all, but we'd definitely like it to be the last.
How long has it been since last we talked? A week? 10 days?
It feels like forever.
It's time to remedy that situation, with a brand new episode of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast. This week, the Max PC gang talks about 3 terrabyte hard drives, the Sony Walkman (cut down in its prime), Fallout: New Vegas, and more.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
Our torrid love affair with Fallout 3 and its DLC is a matterofpublicrecord, so this is exactly the type of news we were never hoping to hear. Unfortunately, Bethesda appears to have taken our previous statement literally, so it's elected to hold off on any real details outside of a proverbial smack to PC gamers' hands every time they attempt to reach for some New Vegas DLC.
"We're excited to continue the partnership between Bethesda and Microsoft, and build on the success of the game add-ons released for Fallout 3 on Xbox LIVE," said Bethesda VP of marketing and PR Pete Hines. "Fans will once again be able to continue their experience in the Fallout universe with the add-on packs planned for after the launch of the game."
But what kind of content are we looking at here? And is this merely a period of timed exclusivity? Surely the DLC's not gonna pull a BioShock 2 and skip PCs altogether, right? Unfortunately, we shook Bethesda's magic eight ball and all we got was a non-committal “ask again later.” More details, however, are planned for “the coming weeks,” so here's hoping we get some good news sooner rather than later.
Fallout 3 for the PC had a few technical issues that kept it from earning our coveted kick-ass award last year, but it was still a favorite around the office. With the sequel only slightly over a month away many of us can’t wait to get our hands on a new Bethesda open world, but those with an iPad/iPhone can get an early taste of the post apocalyptic world of New Vegas.
Bethesda has teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to release a free 12 page graphic novel created by senior designer Chris Avellone to give curious Fallout fans a taste of what is to come.
I’m not sure if Fabio (pictured above) is actually going to be a playable character, but this free offering is great for Fallout fans who are hungry for more. I would hope that this eventually gets released to the web (especially considering its free), but only time will tell.
Obsidian's taking Fallout to the wild, untamed (or “tamed but then subsequently re-untamed thanks to a nuclear holocaust,” if we're being technical about it) west, so we're doing the same with our preview. Well, kind of. In the spirit of classic Sergio Leone spaghetti western “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” we're breaking down Fallout: New Vegas' opening hour – which we had the privilege of taking for a test run during QuakeCon – into thematically appropriate, self-explanatory categories.
Before we dive into the meat of things, though, let's set the scene. You're... a person. We can say that with a fair deal of certainty. You come to in a doctor's office, which – thanks to wasteland sanitation standards – is about as sterile as your average convenience store toilet, but you've got bigger things to worry about. Apparently, you nearly bit the big one at the hands of some pretty shady customers, but you don't know why. The doc, thankfully, patched up that pesky organ leak that tends to come as the result of bullet wounds, but unfortunately, he can't fill the gaping hole in your memory. He does know this, however: the bastards who did their darnedest to turn you into Swiss cheese were headed toward New Vegas. Well, there are certainly worse places to go for a vengeance-fueled vacation, eh?
Asyoumayhavenoticed, we developed something of a healthy, foaming-at-the-mouth appreciation for Bethesda’s modernized take on the Fallout universe. But that doesn’t mean we’re not equally stoked for Obsidian’s turn in the driver’s seat – especially considering that they’ve essentially reunited the original Fallout team for another shot at post-apocalyptic perfection.
But enough intro-based dilly-dallying. It’s time for you to wait on something else, instead. That thing being Fallout: New Vegas itself, which is now officially scheduled for a “fall 2010” release. It’s the fall of Fallout, or something. Hopefully, it’ll rock, or else it’ll kick-off the winter of our discontent.
…Yeah, okay, that was awful. Moving on. Bethesda and Obsidian have passed along a teaser trailer to whet our appetites for more irradiated fun in the dry, unpleasant sun. Check it out here. Then tell us what you thought after the break. Or don’t! It’s not like we’re lonely or anything.
Fallout 3 not your irradiated cup of tea inexplicably hidden in a filing cabinet? Do you pine for the days when Black Isle Studios headed up the post-apocalyptic RPG series? Well then, it’d seem the fates have aligned in your favor, because Bethesda has decided to entrust its precious license with Obsidian Studios, a team founded by Black Isle cast-offs.
The result of their partnership, titled Fallout: New Vegas, will apparently not stray too far from Fallout 3’s critically acclaimed path, though Bethesda wouldn’t spill when asked about the game’s engine.
Ostensibly taking place among Sin City’s radroach-infested ruins, New Vegas isn’t a sequel to Fallout 3. Rather, it’s a spin-off that – knowing Obsidian’s track record – will probably take a large number of cues from its source material.
"It is not a sequel to Fallout 3," said Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines. "It was just a great opportunity we thought to work with some guys who very clearly know Fallout--Feargus [Urquhart] and those guys were there in the early days of Fallout."
This unexpected gamble on the Fallout franchise is currently targeted for a 2010 release date. We can’t wait, really. We’ve always wanted to visit Vegas without cowering in fear of being shot at all times, and thanks to all the radiation and mutated wildlife, we’re sure Fallout: New Vegas will be our safest bet.
(Dear Vegas people, we kid. Please don't yell at us.)