Saturday, December 04, 2010

Fallout (with) New Vegas

Fallout 3 was a real grower for me. I'm a sucker for exploration games, that's why I've spent days playing Oblivion.

When Fallout 3 was released, I had to give it a go. I didn't rate it as highly as Oblivion, especially with the clearly money-grabbing artificial ceiling when levelling up. What, I can only get half these perks if I buy the add-on pack? Rubbish. The story was good though, and it was a game I played for many hours.

Fallout 3 - New Vegas seemed like an obvious buy having played Bethesda's other recent releases. It did look like an add-on to Fallout 3, so as a full-price game I felt wary. On playing it for the first time my fears were put aside as the story and size of the game revealed itself. A new hardcore mode where your character has to eat and drink to stay alive (water being scarce in some areas making this an excellent addition), also the fact slapping a stimpak on your broken arm won't help made the game more challenging and for me, much more fun.
All good so far.

Then things started happening. Bad things.

A few hours into the game, some conversations with characters seemed strange in a way that they've never been in previous Bethesda games haven't been. Being able to have the same conversation over and over for example. Walking into invisible walls. Getting stuck in the scenery and having to reload from the last save. Not really game spoilers, but things like this spoil the immersion.

What was utterly inexcusable was what happened next.

The loading screens were staying on for ages. Over a minute, and they got longer. Restarting the console seemed to cure this temporarily. It didn't cure the game freezes that were happening increasingly more often though.

After about 30 hours gameplay the autosave file became corrupted, meaning I lost a few hours play. I was really pissed off, but went back a couple of days later to play on.

Like an idiot would.

The quests seemed to become more and more bugged. I found myself having to use The Vault to find out whether I was missing something or whether the programmers were at fault. Christ, the 'bugs' section of the wiki articles there are longer than the main article for some quests. Unforgivable for a full price game.

Some quests require you to gather items for NPCs. When you've collected everything and the character tells you you haven't, you get annoyed. Really annoyed. It gets worse when the wiki tells you that the programmers fucked up and you actually need two of an item, not one as it says in the game. This is not a difficult thing to get right. There are tens of quests which have similar glitches.

The game also has a new addition in that you can have some characters team up with you. That works pretty well, the commands being clever, being able to use different tactics, share your weapons and armour and so on. The last straw was when one of my companions died, and the game didn't register it. This meant that I couldn't employ a new follower or complete the main quest - some areas require you to tell your companion to wait outside; this is difficult to do when their remains are two miles away rotting in the Mojavo desert.

So it's back to the shop with this. Sadly I won't get much in part-exchange as it's been reduced to £19.99 less than two months after release. I wonder why.

1 comment:

  1. Bethseda really have no excuse, considering how long it took to release - and it's essentially just an expansion pack for the original. I remember being quite excited by the promotional videos for it, and then it was released and just looked like the original.


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