Yet another batch of E3 previews of Fallout: New Vegas. Does anyone bother to read them all?


My favorite new feature however, is the hardcore mode. If you find the game a bit to easy for a seasoned campaigner like yourself, simply turn on this mode and things will be made much harder for you. Ammo will now add to the weight you carry. Food and drink are required to stay alive and you must be sure to get enough sleep every night. This lends the gameplay a much more realistic feel.


Our time in New Vegas also allowed us to meet some of the seedy characters that call it their home. You can't take normal weapons into casinos, but Mister Holdout wanders around on the streets, trying to sell concealed weapons that can help you avoid detection. Chairman Greeter is the man that introduces you to the Tops Hotel and Casino--the place that you're going to be staying during this section of the game. We were told that this bit was from around 20-30 percent through the main story.

G4 TV.

Leaving the neon confines of Vegas provides a much more hardcore experience. Out in the Nevada countryside, life isn’t about card games and show girls. There’s a grim war in progress. Two factions are fighting over the Hoover Dam and the control of the power it provides. I don't know for sure, but I imagine you're going to be in the middle of that conflict. If that wasn't enough, there's a whole slew of radiation mutations onhand to ruin your day. The demo featured fearsome fire geckos -- gigantic lizards who will char you to cinders if you're not careful -- and super-mutants, ghouls and raiders will be around to fill you full of lead.

The 8th Circuit.

The environment is probably the biggest difference between New Vegas and 3 though, and it is a very noticable difference. While 3 was certainly big, it didn't quite have the feel of vast openness that the desert setting in Vegas has. There seems to be a greater focus on natural landmarks in the desert, as opposed to man-mande landmarks in 3. Overall, the map is purported to be the same size, if not a little bit bigger; which means that this vast openness is fitting, and players will certainly be doing a lot of exploring. Last, but most certainly not least, V.A.T.S. is, of course, back. Remember those sweet kill-cam shots you used to get in V.A.T.S. though? Well they're still there, but you'll also get them even if your awesome kill happens outside of V.A.T.S.

Digital Chumps.

Thankfully there was much more to the demo, as I was then transported to a different section of the game that focused more on combat. Currently allied with the New California Republic, I was tasked with infiltrating a stronghold of Caesar’s Legion and executing their leader. I was also presented with the option of a companion, Boone, who arrived with far more options this time around. Use of the command wheel, which offered moderate degrees of control over Boone’s behavior, was put to the task. We were supposed to be doing a sniper/rifle assault, but he failed to object when I suggest he go completely melee. It didn’t make any sense, but my very ability to actually do that was what mattered.


Ryan Scott: So is this game gonna be more in line with what the previous ones were? I know some folks were up-in-arms about how drastically Fallout 3 was changed from the first two games, in terms of its presentation. Is this game going to make those people happier, you think?

Will Tuttle: Yes and no. Fallout: New Vegas is still a first-person role-playing game like Fallout 3, and many of the game mechanics are nearly identical to those found in Fallout 3. You still bring up and peruse your Pip-Boy page by page to change your weapon or set waypoints on the map, and the VATS system seems to be just about the same. The developers even said that they improved the first-person controls, so that players would have more fun playing it as a straight-up first-person shooter (that is, not using VATS).

However, if you're a longtime fan that hated the direction Bethesda went with Fallout 3, you'll be happy to hear that Obsidian hasn't turned its back on you. The development team is actually looking at New Vegas as the spiritual successor to the beloved Fallout 2, so old school fans can expect to see a ton of in-jokes and possibly even some old friends.


Having the ability to bring along two companions on missions (one robotic and the other humanoid), players are able to give their new found friends commands to go initiate combat, attack from afar, get the jump on enemies up close and much more. If they are unsatisfied with the player’s decision, they’ll provide negative feedback and showcase their opinion.


The first - for the New California Republic - was a simple fetch and carry mission. A military camp is short of supplies, there are some supplies inconvieniently located near a load of tough enemies, and you volunteer to go and get them. The mission was really run of the mill stuff, but it dod show off New Vegas' new companion control wheel. With the wheel (activated by talking to a companion) you are able to issue more varied commands quickly and easily. It should avoid those annoying moments in Fallout 3 where a companion dies becasue of bad AI and not your tactics.
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