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Fallout: New Vegas day 1 review roundup

Ausir October 19, 2010 User blog:Ausir

Now that the game is out and the embargo is lifted, here are the very first reviews of the game (wonder if, with the game being this huge, any of them actually managed to finish it already). If you find any that we've missed, post them here in the comments and we'll add them to the list! Expect quite a few updates to this post in the coming hours.

Joystiq gives the game 3.5/5:

New Vegas is perhaps best thought of as an alternate reality version of what Fallout 3 could have been, if set in the American Southwest. The Mojave is still horrifically beautiful like the D.C. Wasteland, but in a much more peaceful way. The songs beamed across the radio waves are still way retro, but with a distinctly country twinge. The urban crusader Three Dog has been replaced as host by the far slicker and more disconnected Mr. New Vegas (who is, no exaggeration, brilliantly played by Wayne Newton). Special note for those whom, like me, thought of the radio in Fallout 3 as a sort of constant companion: Don't expect the same connection here. It's not just that I didn't like the songs as much (I didn't) but there aren't nearly enough of them. After hearing "Big Iron" twice in a row (I had already memorized all the lyrics by this point) I finally had to relent and turn the thing off, something I never would have considered in Fallout 3.

The only other major overhaul is Obsidian's faction system, which lets you earn the respect or hatred of the Mojave's tribal clans. Did you help out soldiers from the overbearing New California Republic? Be careful, you might incur the wrath of the Kings, a gang solely devoted to the image of the long-dead Elvis. Did you off an explosives-toting Powder Gangers just to score some cheap dynamite? You better hope his gang doesn't hear about it (spoiler: they always do).

By presenting no clear "bad" or "good" clans, Obsidian really lets you figure out the groups you identify with and cast your lot with them, free of the constraints of traditional morality. Unfortunately, this can make things a little confusing, especially in the game's main quest line, which concerns the clans battling for control of New Vegas. A couple of times I completed a quest only to find out I'd ostracized a group I had no clue would care about my actions. Others, I'd see whole quest chains appear and then be instantly failed because I had no idea they existed, let alone that I was losing my chances at them.

Feed Your Console gives it 10/10:

I’m finding this story to be more and more compelling as I romp around the Mojave Desert and meet new factions and get to know them. Some of the missions that require attention may or may not help with some serious decision making as the game moves along. The number of missions is quite high once you really get into the game. When I tried to get into Vegas and was denied for various reasons, I found myself struggling with deciding what to do because the options open to me consisted of betraying a faction I was aligning myself with or going headlong into what would be a long gruelling bloody battle because I’d already pissed that group off to no end.

Planet Xbox 360 - 8.8/10:

Trying to play this game without V.A.T.S. is an exercise in reloading your last save. However V.A.T.S. is what sets Fallout apart from other games and is it's unique hook and works so well and is so fun, and that's really the key here. Only when you run out of action points, which isn't often, will you be faced with trying to survive with the clunky unmanageable FPS controls. If this critique is coming off as harsh and negative, I'm sorry, it shouldn't. I actually had a really good time playing through Fallout: New Vegas. During my time I couldn't set the controller down. It's fun and that is ultimately what a game should be about and New Vegas hits it on the head. It's eloquently and elaborately woven mission structure is something that should never be changed, and in fact I would like to see it in other games as well. The Mojave wasteland is packed with memorable locations and characters and is a worthy followup to Fallout 3. I just expected more from New Vegas but in the end it all feels like a giant expansion upon the premise laid out two years ago. Again, not a bad thing if that's what you're looking for, more of the same isn't bad with this formula.

Giantbomb - 4/5:

Let's talk about that engine. New Vegas runs on the same basic framework that powered Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and it brings a lot of technical weirdness up from those games. Less than an hour in, I was staring at a guard, pacing back and forth to guard his post... 20 feet off the ground. Enemies clip into the ground with an alarming frequency, often making them impossible to shoot. The game--a retail disc running on a new-model Xbox 360--crashed on me about a dozen times over the 33 hours I spent playing, often taking a significant amount of progress with it. The load times and frame rate seemed to get randomly worse as I continued to play the game, with some simple scene transitions taking 20 seconds or more. The technical hurdles you'll have to make to stay interested in New Vegas are meaner and more frustrating than any Deathclaw or Nightkin you'll face in the game. If you're the type of person who likes to watch for a patch or two before settling into a game, know this now: you probably don't want to play Fallout: New Vegas right away.

But if you can accept a partially broken game, Fallout: New Vegas is well-worth the trip. It also streamlines some of the rougher aspects of Fallout 3. Dealing with companions, for example, can be done via a wheel of options that pop up when you approach that companion and hit A. This way, you can access their inventory or tell them to heal up without having to work through a bunch of dialogue options first. Some of the companions are pretty cool, too, such as a cyber-dog that can knock your enemies down or Veronica, a young Brotherhood of Steel scribe that offers up some terrific quips, should you ever stop to talk to her. The game also has "true iron sights," which lets you get an aiming view similar to that of Call of Duty, but the sights on most of the guns aren't very good, which just made me want to turn all that off and go back to a generic zoom view when aiming.

Game Informer - 8.5/10:

In just the missions and story, New Vegas offers a nearly unprecedented level of depth. When you throw in the weapon modifications, companion recruitment, and attribute sculpting for your character, it delivers a true sense of ownership over the experience and gives you thousands of reasons why you should come back and play it again and again.

Now, the bad news. I was never once blown away by a single moment. Sure, I laughed when I ran into a cross-dressing super mutant, and thought to myself “what have I done?” when I deployed an orbital laser directly above an NCR military base – but none of the missions or battles stand out as memorable. Most of the action and plot points are enjoyable, but I never once said "Wow. That was great." By comparison, this is a stark contrast to Fallout 3, a game that I felt delivered big moments all the way through.

RPG Fan - 85%"

There's lots to like in Fallout: New Vegas. There's a boatload of new content, with players looking at a minimum of 15 hours of gameplay, even if they just try to burn through the base story content. In doing so, they'd be missing out on some great content, though. I'm not a completionist by any means, but Fallout: New Vegas' sidequests and stories are absolutely worth playing through. There's no doubt that I was frustrated by the game's numerous bugs – especially when it barred my progress in the game – but, honestly, that seems to be par for the course for Obsidian. And for my part, I would choose to play a game that is an unpolished gem rather than a polished turd any day of the week. There's not a part of Fallout: New Vegas that could be called a turd, and if you're a fan at all of western-styled RPGs, there is no doubt that this game is worth picking up.

GamePro - 4.5/5:

This laundry list of complaints might seem like a game breaker, but that I could suffer through them repeatedly during my marathon New Vegas weekend and still walk away feeling not only satisfied but hungry for more says something about the power of the formula that Bethesda has crafted. I was initial skeptical about New Vegas because Obsidian’s last sequel to a high-profile RPG series--Knights of the Old Republic II--was a letdown and their recently released Alpha Protocol wasn’t exactly lauded for its quality, but they did a fantastic job of giving Fallout 3 fans more of what we love, so even if New Vegas doesn’t top Fallout 3, it closely shadows it in terms of quality and depth, making it a worthy sequel in almost every way.

The Charleston Gazette - 9.5/10:

At the end of the day, "Fallout: New Vegas" is everything I hoped it would be. It is every bit as engaging and entertaining as "Fallout 3," while still managing to break new ground with its reputation system, customizable weapons and ammo, and Hardcore Mode. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but you won't want to miss what happens in "New Vegas." This is a legitimate Game of the Year contender.

Just Push Start - 4.5/5:

While Fallout: New Vegas may feel like an expansion to Fallout 3, it offers something that fans of Fallout cannot resist. The lengthy adventure, epic story, and the plethora of quests give gamers more reasons to spend time on the game. It may not win a Game of the Year award but it’s one of those games that we are considering. Fallout fans that played Fallout 3 might feel like they’re just playing an expansion, but it’s still worth the purchase!

[Editor's Note: Fallout: New Vegas was reviewed on a Xbox 360 platform. Played the game for thirty hours and did three of the twenty story missions. The game was provided to us by the publisher.]

Ars Technica - Verdict: Buy

But really, for all of its grandeur and epic narrative, New Vegas is a game of small moments. Seeing a group of starving children chasing a giant rat and then eating it raw. Entering a town filled with charred corpses nailed to crosses. Or simply seeing the sunrise while listen to Johnny Cash and realizing you've been walking the entire night. These moments make the world feel real and are equally as satisfying as reaching a new experience level or surviving a close battle. If Fallout 3 left you thirsting for more wasteland exploration, New Vegas is just the thing. And since the story stands on its own quite well, it's also a great entry point for new players. However, it doesn't add enough new to entice players burnt out on the previous game.

Straight.com

In truth, most of the added gameplay features will be appealing only to hard-core RPG fans. Which may be why the game includes a Hardcore Mode. When playing with this setting activated, your character requires food, water, and rest on a regular basis. Ammunition has weight, so it factors into your inventory choices. Playing Hardcore means that you’ll have to carefully manage resources and be more strategic about moving from place to place. It’s not for everyone—it certainly isn’t for me—but there will be those who are up for the challenge.

Gaming Nexus - B

Combat’s similar to Fallout 3 with the addition of iron sights aiming added in. The addition though still makes it tough to play as a first person shooter and I found myself spending most of my time in VATS unless I was out of action points. It was just too hard to aim and I never felt comfortable playing this way. I just don’t think the engine is conducive to making combat through a first person view any fun. Those kill cams that were only present in VATS in Fallout 3 does appear randomly in Fallout: New Vegas on regular non-VAT kills so you can at least experience the carnage that can happen if you don’t go into VATs. Also, melee weapons get some special moves so this might entice you to use some more melee attacks.

WeTheGamerz video review - 9.5/10

Hooked Gamers - 9/10

Sure, Fallout 3 had a good amount of exploration and a good number of people to meet. But New Vegas takes it to a new level with all of its factions. You have the Great Khans, raiders that have adopted the nomadic lifestyle of Mongolians from the time of Genghis Khan even though they have nothing to herd. And then there are the Kings, a gang comprised of Elvis impersonators that runs Freeside, the poorer outskirts of the Vegas Strip. There are several more - some major, others minor - but they all have rich histories and cultures of their own.

TQCast - 4.5/5

Above is a picture of the new companion wheel, which is your new way of easily telling companions what to do. It takes a few minutes to get used to, but after the initial learning period, it works VERY nicely. Also, for those looking for a NIGHTMARE challenge, there’s HARDCORE mode. In Hardcore mode, EVERYTHING has weight, including all of your ammo. Add to that you have to eat and drink, or you die of starvation/dehydration. Oh yeah and you can’t fast travel far either, because you’d die of hunger/thirst. Brutal.

OXM UK - 9/10

Yet from Fallout 3 to New Vegas, the biggest stride forward isn't anything gameplay related but rather, it's the storyline. You play Courier, shot in the head by a gentleman in a dapper suit who is interested in a package you're delivering. Saved by a robot called Victor and patched up by Doc Mitchell, your initial goal is tracking down your attacker.

Then a criss-cross of allegiance offers, betrayals, revelations and twists kick in as your decisions and actions resonate across New Vegas. The amount of storyboard paper stretching across Obsidian's walls would make the Amazon cry tears of sadness. This is a sprawling storyline that's staggering in scope and consistent in quality.

Atomic Gamer - 9/10

The PC version of New Vegas is, from a technical standpoint, the best one you can get and it even costs $10 less, but it's got its fair share of problems as well. It's got built-in mod support, higher-resolution textures and better visuals (on a well-enough equipped PC - the system requirements haven't changed much since Fallout 3) and precise mouse-and-keyboard controls that free you up from leaning on the auto-aim found in VATS. It's also got most of the issues and crash bugs that the console versions do, but at least on the PC you have a quicksave key to make saving your progress at any time pretty much instant.

Gamer's Hell - 7/10

Hidden beneath the game's numerous bugs, to-and-fro pacing issues, and overall unattractiveness lays an intriguing adventure full of twisting and crisscrossing possibilities—but as you decide whom you'd like to be buddy-buddy with, in order to extrapolate your character's real contribution to the game, you're often forced to watch more than play. Like 2008's hit, New Vegas is an action-RPG, but most of your time is spent walking around: to NPCs to initiate a mission; to somewhere directed in order to flip a switch or talk to someone else; and to get back to the mission giver so you can reap your experience points. It's not an unusual formula, but the actual action part is lighter fare; there's more town crawling than dungeon. At times, you'll see more of the loading screens than enemies as you travel to your destination.

G4TV - 4/5

The game starts abruptly, however, lacking the measured process of your birth and childhood in Fallout 3’s Vault 101. As a consequence, you’re thrust into the desert with no real sense of purpose or connection other than to find the man who put the bullet so gingerly in your dome. Some players will no doubt appreciate this expedience while others, such as myself, will feel a lack of emotional development or discovery. There’s no emerging moment. There’s no point when you climb up from the darkness into a massive, sun-baked landscape with a single, emotional goal. In Fallout 3, it was finding your father. Rather, New Vegas starts with a literal bang, pats you carelessly on the backside and says, “You’re on your own.”

AVault 5/5


Fallout: New Vegas hails from the philosophy: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” From my perspective, this works extremely well here, as the game retains everything that was interesting about its predecessor, and only makes updates that add either depth or breadth. For example, there are new variables that must be considered, such as one’s reputation among different groups of people and choice of attire. The weapon choices and variation are also more expansive, with players having the ability to literally break down their inventory into core materials in order to build new items. The graphics, music, and storyline are all at the level of exceptional we’ve come expect in this franchise.

Filefront - 91/100:

For a title called ‘New Vegas,’ a surprising amount of the action takes place outside Vegas, in the Mojave Wasteland itself. That’s not a bad thing, as the Mojave, much like the Capital Wasteland, is a weirdly beautiful place to hang out. Yes, the graphics engine looks a lot like Fallout 3, albeit with some upgraded textures. Even so, the landscape retains the same strange allure that Fallout 3 possessed.

PC Gamer - 84/100

The central story is a big improvement on the dad-quest of Fallout 3. You’re following the trail of the man who shot you, as it snakes across the Mojave through the major urban areas, drip-feeding you tasks that vary from sorting out a town’s escaped prisoner problem to a ghoul infestation with a brilliantly overthe- top ending. Scenarios and characters that I’m loath to go into detail over, as their tricky little problems should be experienced first-hand. Twisty moral conundrums are laid at your feet as you pick and choose who to piss off (and you’ll always piss someone off). When a game asks you to lead someone into a sniper’s line of fire, but doesn’t specify who, you definitely have to confront your id.

[...]

There are things to see, sure, but the rewards aren’t nearly as interesting in New Vegas. I didn’t get as much out of heading for intriguing things on the horizon as I did in the previous game. With some new technology and the ambition to create a full world as compelling as the previous game’s, it could have been wonderful.

IGN UK - 9/10

Playing Fallout: New Vegas in hardcore mode is a revolution. You become a true wastelander, collapsing onto whatever roadside mattress you can find to stave off sleep deprivation, lapping dirty water from toilet bowls to hydrate yourself, going through every bin and abandoned building you can find for morsels of irradiated food and dying almost every time you venture off the beaten path. Skills that otherwise lurk at the bottom of your priorities, like Unarmed and Survival, become absolutely essential. Perks that you'd otherwise skip over become lifesavers.

It doesn't just make things harder – it's not a wasteland Hard mode that artificially gives mangy raiders thousands of hit points. It changes the whole way you play the game, completely altering your worldview. Ammunition has weight, so there's more of a reason to explore Fallout: New Vegas' vastly improved melee weapons. Instead of obsessing over your next quest goal, you're scouring the horizon for buildings that might have water, or a settlement that might have a doctor to heal your crippled limbs.

CVG - 8.1/10

Have you played Fallout 3? If so, then you've played Fallout: New Vegas.

The writing is better, there's more to do and a lot has been improved, but the actual minute-to-minute experience of playing it is identical - flaws and all.

So while there are more weapons and ways to customise your character, combat is still flimsy and inconsistent. The story and dialogue are better, but the characters remain impossibly ugly and stiffly animated.

Games TM - 9/10

If Fallout 3 was just ‘Oblivion with guns’, what are we to make of New Vegas? Fallout 3 with lightbulbs? The only certainty is that some bright, self-important spark is working day and night in a musty forum thread, dreaming up a new reductive phrase to denigrate Obsidian Entertainment’s new entry into the Fallout franchise in the same way they did Bethesda’s. But they were wrong then and they will be wrong now, because while New Vegas is unmistakably built upon the fundamental gameplay and structure laid out in Fallout 3, it’s a formula that any student of that game will be happy to see repeated, and Obsidian’s numerous embellishments result in what is, in many respects, a deeper and more compelling experience.

Nowgamer - 9.3/10

It may not be quite as philosophically accomplished, and may suffer from scrubbier textures, more than its fair share of bugs (which we’re sure will be fixed after a month or so on the market) and just a sense that we’ve seen many of its key features – the VATS targeting, even the HUD – before, but New Vegas manages to beat all the odds and, drawing on the masterful experience of its creators, manages to truly push the boundaries of what we ever thought could be achieved with Bethesda’s system.

The Escapist - 4/5:

Still, as remarkable as all of the changes to the formula may be, they don't quite mask the fact that some of Fallout 3's most aggravating problems still exist in New Vegas. You will still, just as in Fallout 3, encounter enemies who have lodged themselves into mountains, or become trapped under railroad tracks. You will still, occasionally, find that your arms have become invisible. And certain missions will randomly crash and become unfinishable. During my playthrough, for example, I was initially unable to complete the Jason Bright storyline due to his failing to appear at a key location.

It's disappointing to see such an otherwise brilliant and polished game suffer from years-old bugs, and unfortunately our review score for the game has to reflect that. Reviewing 2008's Fallout, I felt inclined to give a certain amount of visual glitchiness a pass because that game covered so much ground, from a development point of view, and was simply awe-inspiring in many respects. Seeing the exact same bugs in a new game, two years later, is harder to excuse. Truth be told, I enjoyed New Vegas a lot more than Fallout 3, but I can't give it a full score on the basis of the bugs alone.

Destructoid - 9/10

The essence of New Vegas is almost perfect. In fact, I want to say that this is the best roleplaying game you'll find all year. Unfortunately, however, it's let itself down with a number of unforgivable glitches that do their best to ruin the overall experience. Since it's using the same crummy engine from Fallout 3, New Vegas has the typical nonsense you expect in a Bethesda game, with AI bugs, scenery clipping, and general graphics issues cropping up from time to time. New Vegas manages to top those with regular crashes that freeze the entire game and require a system reset. Saving regularly is more crucial than ever, since these freezes will appear at any given moment. They're not so regular as to be a constant threat, but they will occur more than once over the course of your adventure.

Front Towards Gamer - 9/10:

Fallout: New Vegas features a better story in a brand new open world. It includes new factions and settlements, all with a reputation the player must keep up with. The game includes new weapons, items, enemies, and everything else you’d expect. The game’s biggest city features the usual casino games, and they work just as you’d expect. Additions to combat add a new challenge, but weapon mods are an even tradeoff. The new Hardcore Mode paves the way for more bragging rights if you’re willing to take up the challenge. Finally, this otherwise excellent game has few technical issues that need to (and probably will be) ironed out.

Incgamers - 9.1/10

Due to the similarities between the two games, New Vegas lacks that initial wow-factor but, once you get more involved in proceedings and begin proper interactions with the game’s various warring factions, you soon begin to appreciate the numerous differences and how they work together to create a very different narrative experience from our last outing in the nuclear war torn Wasteland.

New Vegas is packed full of bickering groups, each with their own view on how the Mojave Wasteland should operate and who should be in control. From a gang of Elvis impersonators to a religious cult of Ghouls there are plenty of weird and wonderful characters for you to meet on your travels.

Eurogamer - 9/10:

Fallout: New Vegas is still a fantastic game, only slightly held back by its increasingly outdated tech. Obsidian has created a totally compelling world and its frustrations pale into insignificance compared to the immersive, obsessive experience on offer. Just like the scorched scenery that provides its epic backdrop, New Vegas is huge and sprawling, sometimes gaudy, even downright ugly at times – but always effortlessly, shamelessly entertaining.

Strategy Informer - 8.5/10:

To say that there's plenty to do would be an understatement - Even after 35 odd hours, we'd only just made it to New Vegas itself, and that was after an executive decision was made to stop faffing about and get on with the main story. New Vegas is reportedly the same size, if not bigger, than Fallout 3's Capital Wasteland . While we've not tried to verify that claim, we can certainly believe it. The map is a decent size, and it's crammed with nooks, crannies and side-quests that can easily distract you from your main objective.

Still, Mass Effect taught us that a game shouldn't just rely on side quests to fill in the content, although the side-content in New Vegas is a lot meatier than Bioware's Sci-fi RPG. If we're being really honest though, the main storyline is a bit weak right up until you get to Vegas. Sure it's interesting trying to figure out who you are, but nothing of real value is learned until you get to the Vegas strip, and the first 30-40 hours (side-quests included) are just spent chasing your attackers across the Mojave desert. Still, it gets you out and about I guess. If we're being really picky, (although this is a personal thing) I kind of wish there were more references to Fallout 3, just for continuity's sake, but then it's been clear from the start that this is not a direct sequel.

Gamezone - 6.5/10

Despite Obsidian’s fan-service, Fallout: New Vegas is a heaping pile of bugs. Common sights are characters falling through the world, single-digit framerates, frozen enemies, sound effects cutting out, and characters that change voices mid-conversation. I’ve had reputations reversed and weapons disappear from my inventory, only to go back to normal an hour later, and my two companions are currently stuck inside a room in New Vegas. The latter might be for the best anyway, as they kept shooting up the joint.

I have also come across a handful of broken quest-lines that have no requirements for reputations, and all parties involved are still alive. Quite simply, no dialogue options are given to finish the quests. Worse, is the constant freezing. The game has now frozen nine times and turned me into an obsessive saver, since one of these freezes happened during an auto-save and corrupted my data.

Looking purely at the new features of Fallout: New Vegas, I want to entrench myself in the Mojave wasteland and never return. Obsidian Entertainment has bolstered the series with an array of fantastic additions, including crafting and Hardcore mode, but it’s hard to appreciate them in light of incessant bugs and unfulfilling quests. Fallout: New Vegas was a valiant effort, but it’s back to the vaults for me.

1Up first impressions:

At this point I believe I'm about half-way through the main quest of the game so I can't weigh in on how the rest of it plays out -- I've only had the game since Friday, and the PC version stopped working due to Steam not registering it correctly so I had to start over again on the PlayStation 3. It is safe to say that the story resonates much more than the "go find your Father" storyline from Fallout 3. Obsidian is known for their writing and story telling ability and it's showing in spades so far. The voice acting and characters are also top-notch, but the one character that stands out for me so far is the aforementioned securitron, Victor. Never have I felt a better kinship with a robot since HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He tends to pop in from time to time during my quest and probably has something left to contribute to the story.

The game's structure is also paced really well (so far), starting players off in the city of Goodsprings a fair distance from the city lights of New Vegas proper. Since your main goal is to seek out information regarding the men responsible for leaving you for dead, the story takes you south as you begin to meet the other inhabitants and learn about some of the many other factions, particularly the New California Republic and Caesar's Legion who are both vying for control of the Mojave Wasteland. While my encounters with both have been limited thus far, I've decided to side with the NCR on every occasion helping my Reputation with them while turning me into a marked man for Caesar's Legion. The Legion, for you Fallout aficionados, was originally going to appear in Black Isle's Fallout 3 but that project was canceled. It's nice to see some of the plans they drafted up a number of years ago finally make it into a Fallout game.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun first impressions:

I’m only about four hours into Fallout: New Vegas, and while I’m enjoying myself, I’ve already come to one saddening conclusion. It’s a bit broke.

Bit-tech - 8/10

What really makes Hardcore mode so important though is it complements the world as a whole, which flicks alternately – almost schizophrenically – between being brutal and deadly or colourful and alive. Even the area itself expresses that mix, with the bleak Mojave desert contrasting brilliantly with the fully-functioning New Vegas strip where players can play cards. Much of the humour is derived from these contradictions – the futuristic cowboy robots in a world of such inhumanity is proof of that. Hardcore mode fits perfectly with that, bringing micromanagement to a game otherwise about epic scale and creating a breeding ground for those previously mentioned moments where Obsidian's vision shines through the limits of what they have to work with.

Unfortunately, while there are rays of light that manage to break through, the clouds still make up the majority if the view. Tonally and conceptually New Vegas feels like a return to form, but the tone isn't always consistent and the execution is sadly lacking, grounding New Vegas closer to Fallout 3 than the Fallout 4 it could have been.

Xbox 360 Achievements:

The story, sadly, just does not seem as gripping this time around and this is mainly down to the fact that it can play out in a number of ways depending on which faction you choose to shack up with. Last time out you were tracing your father and, although you could choose a good or evil slant on events, you still had that as your overriding goal. Here, things seem a little less focused and the lack of a central character to act as your main objective harms things somewhat. Luckily you can still have plenty of fun along the way and the people you do run across - from the slightly menacing Caesar to the enigmatic Mr House and everyone in between - power events forward depending on your own personal tastes. Whether you choose to side with slavers, powder gangers, the NCR or anyone else is entirely up to you and you can improve your standing with each faction independently of your karma level, which results in new quests, store discounts or even instant attacks if you are uniquely hated.

The Guardian - 5/5:

Familiar problems, such as regular crashes – I've had to switch my Xbox off using the power button roughly once every two hours so far – and a lack of signposting for irrevocably game-altering decisions can be frustrating, though perhaps understandable given the huge scope of the game. Getting into the habit of regular saving is more important than ever.

These however are small niggles in a overwhelmingly impressive - and simply huge - gaming experience. The map, though similar-sized to Fallout 3's, seems more jam-packed than ever – New Vegas is less a sandbox game than whole beach to play around in.

That "just one more mission" feeling that lead to entire evenings and weekends lost exploring the last wasteland is more apparent than ever. The simple thrill of finding an abandoned shack in the middle of nowhere packed with exciting new gear is hard to match.

MTV Multiplayer:

If it weren't for the bugs, I'd say that I enjoyed "Fallout: New Vegas" more than its predecessor. It's an incredible journey and one that I can't seem to stop playing, even after I finished working on this review. My sincere hope is that Bethesda and Obsidian work quickly on patching the larger bugs in the game, because once those are fixed, players will be treated to one extraordinarily fun gem of a game.

MSN - 5/5:

Rather than spreading settlements out miles apart, there's a greater concentration of things to go and check out. As a result, you waste less time pointlessly traipsing around, and focus more on the mission-based meat of the game.

[...]

Yes, the character visuals are starting to look a little dated now, and yes, the need to painstakingly forage for supplies can sometimes be irksome. But the payback is the fantastic array of tense, involving quests awaiting you, and the embattled combat encounters that punctuate the action. It's a grim struggle, but in the most satisfying sense.

Videogamer - 9/10:

For everything it did right, Fallout 3 did a lot of needless tinkering with the universe that Black Isle so carefully established. Aside from a few minor references, New Vegas almost completely ignores Bethesda's approach to the license; on the other hand, it's also packed with nods and winks to the plots of Fallouts 1 and 2. There's mention of The Hub, Modoc, Navarro and countless other locations from the California-based parts of the universe. You'll encounter branches of organisations and descendants of characters from the earlier games, and all of these appearances are handled with intelligence and care. Super Mutants are no longer depicted as mindless monsters, and the Brotherhood of Steel are correctly portrayed as self-important isolationists, rather than the Goody Two-Shoes they were in Fallout 3. Most touchingly of all, there are sly references to things that were planned for the cancelled Van Buren. It's amazing to spot these details, especially when you know they'll go unnoticed by the majority.

And now some French reviews:

Gameblog - 4/5:

New Fallout Vegas is everything that Fallout 3 would have been.

Jeux Video Network - 18/20:

New Vegas is a huge surprise and surpass Fallout 3 in many ways: the script is better written, the quests are more interesting, the dialogue are good ...

NMA has a translation of the impressions of an editor of French Canard PC magazine:

Everything is subtile, elegant and well written. If a quest seems rubbish, you may have missed a part of it... It happened to me more than once. You kill an endless stream of monsters, learn rubbish information, do your report and leave, disappointed. But there is this door over there, you can't open it, because you'd need 75% in Lockpick and it's only the beginning... You'll come back later. You come back, and blam! You had missed a third of the quest, and now it shows its real value and originality.

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