During the course of this weekend (when I wasn’t with friends) I ended up completing my first playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas. Now, despite the amount of accolades this game has had heaped on it since its release, I was feeling less than satisfied by the end of the game:
Apart from the horrendous number of times the game crashed on me, including at least three times when Lady Luck was activated during the heat of battle, the game failed to satisfy my gaming needs on several levels. Most of this revolves around story, and the extreme lack of exposition for the character you play as (compared to Fallout 3, which I adore).
Sure, the rest of the world seemed to have a back story. Yet when it came to you, other than being a courier who had the bad luck of being shot in the head twice, you never learnt much about yourself. The struggle in the game rarely seemed personal (except for the vengeance I wrought against the Brotherhood of Steel, because they truly managed to piss me off), and most of the time (as I was playing good to neutral) I was kind of wondering, “Why should I care about me?”
Yeah, I get that back in the day you would have to create the story yourself, but my point is that the world here had a pretty well developed story, but that of your character was non-existent. (In case you haven’t realised already, I play a great many games down to how much they focus on story.)
The third game saw you with a truly fleshed out background that wasn’t dished out into too huge a lump, but was pretty neatly spread out through the game’s main story and one particular optional quest. Here Obsidian, who took over the development reigns from Bethesda, painted a reasonable level of detail for the world they were trying to convey, but truly fell short in explaining the existence of your character.
So, once I sided with the people I sided with for the finale, I was less than satisfied once the dust had settled. I admit I went with the NCR, but the ending was still “meh”. Nothing really happened. It was a pat on the back and off to the credits.
Other aspects of the game that infuriated me was the demise of bobble heads and the slimming down of the book collection in favour of the magazines. Some people really like to work at finding items to power-up their characters, and I’m one of them.
Something I did like? I liked the new companion system and the perks they brought with them. ED-E for the win.
I have since moved on to playing Deadly Premonition, which has so far been adequately satisfying my story starved needs.