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Is It Good? – Fallout : New Vegas – Video Game Review


Jalena Roberts, Reporter

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The Fallout series, originally made by Black Isle Studios in 1997, takes place inside of a ruined, wrecked, post-apocalyptic wasteland. The wasteland in Fallout is the byproduct of nuclear bombs being launched toward the United States in the year 2077. Inhabiting it are many of the creatures that we know and love today except they’ve evolved into irradiated, hostile monsters with force being the only way they can be dealt with. At the same time, humans also live out in the wasteland, however, they also have the possibility of changing and either becoming the extremely radiation resistant ghouls or the strong, and very unintelligent supermutants. All of the games take place in different parts of post-apocalyptic America, but they’ve only either taken place on the west or east coast so far. Fallout : New Vegas, the fourth game in the Fallout series, takes place on the Mojave desert and New Vegas is the game we’ll be talking about today.


Developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks, in New Vegas, you, a Courier, have your package stolen from you and are shot point-blank in the face by a mysterious man wearing a checkered suit before being left to die inside a shallow grave just outside of the small town of Goodsprings. However, you soon awake only to find that you’ve been fixed up by the town’s resident doctor, Doc Mitchell. If asked, the good doctor will tell all of what he knows about the man in the checkered suit as well as his lackeys (he doesn’t know that much, by the way). And, in order to get some more info on the group of men, you must travel the Mojave wasteland in order to get your answers from the desert’s residents.

“… They Went That-a-Way?”

Once you’re out of Doc Mitchell’s house, you are allowed to go anywhere you want on the map. However, the developers put their game designing skills to work and if you attempt to go straight north from Goodsprings you’re going to have a hard time getting to where you want to go. Straight north are incredibly tough enemies that are near impossible to deal with on lower levels. Some have criticized the game for this fact, however, I wouldn’t call it a weakness. If anything, Fallout : New Vegas’ open world is worthy of praise for this reason.

Praise it for …

Many open worlds allow the player to go anywhere they want right from the get go without really thinking about what it’ll be like once the player has made it further into the game. If you allow a player to go to every place right from the start without adding even a little difficulty, you are hurting any sense of growth they could have had while playing your game. However, it seems that New Vegas’ developers understood this completely and, by not allowing a low level player to go north and easily kill the enemies in that direction at first, they’ve successfully allowed that player to feel true growth once they finally are able to go north with little difficulty.

Another thing that Fallout:New Vegas should be 100% praised for is it’s excellent writing. The world has so much thought put into it and the main quest is engaging with many twists and turns along its path. However, two things that make this game really shine are the writing in, both, it’s side quests and it’s companions.

New Vegas’ side quests are what make this game stand out from within the sea of other roleplay games, even seven years after its release. If you look at the list of side quests on the Fallout wiki, most of them have more than one stage, more than one outcome and even if some of the quests come off as a little simple at first, the writers kept adding more and more to the quests until they were something special. For example, here are a few summaries from what I’d consider to be some of the game’s best side quests. ‘A brahmin rancher’s son has gone missing during their stay at the Ultra Lux Hotel and the Courier is tasked to finding him’, ‘Help two separated lovers escape the clutches of the Omertas so they can be together once again’, ‘Help a group of ghouls achieve their goal of making it to the ‘great beyond’’, and that’s only just a few of the great quests this game has.

Now, as well as the side quests, I said that Fallout : New Vegas’ companions are good examples of writing too; and they honestly are. Each of them have at least one special, unmarked quest that is related to their personal life and these quests can either be unlocked after you’ve traveled with them to certain places, talked to certain people in front of them or changed the political climate in a certain way. Now, they aren’t as in-depth as the companions in some other roleplaying games that I know of, but New Vegas’ developers did well with all of the resources they had at the time.

Criticize it for …

And now that I’ve fawned over this game for most of the article, it’s time I expose some of Fallout : New Vegas’ flaws.

The game is glitchy, very glitchy. And even though some of the glitches have been solved and corrected after release, many of them remain unfixed and the only people working to make them better are the modders. The glitches are practically glued to the game if you don’t try using mods. However, if you’ve ever played any other games published or developed by Bethesda Softworks, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you.

Another issue I have with the game is the fact that it has so much untapped potential that it’s almost heartbreaking. Now, what I’m referring to when I say that is the fact that Obsidian’s work on New Vegas was cut short by the publisher, Bethesda. There were so many more things planned for this game and it makes me sad that those ideas never got to see the light of day. More Legion content, more companions, more quests, all those ideas were stopped from ever being fully implemented into the game and it’s just sad.


However, even if some of its ideas were never implemented as I said before, New Vegas is still something great; and if you’re fine with glitches every now and again and you enjoy post-apocalyptic narratives, you need to get out there and get your hands on a copy of this game. I will literally pay you to do so!

About the Writer
Jalena Roberts, Reporter

★ Sophomore | Writer | Artist | Nerd ★

Hello, my name is Jalena Roberts and I work on the Mead High School Newspaper with my peers! I'm very interested...

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Is It Good? – Fallout : New Vegas – Video Game Review