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“Obsidian also points out its efforts to give skills more meaning in New Vegas than they had in Fallout 3. I'm shown how skill checks are built into the dialogue system as well. In one conversation, a doctor looking for assistance asks me if I can help him tend to injured soldiers. The response options in this situation are affected by the medical skill; the option I choose indicates the skill required for the task, and I'm able to offer assistance. (I'm told it's possible to lie, but you'll end up further injuring the soldiers and the doctor wouldn't be… pleased.) On the subject of skills, the skill book system of Fallout 3 has been replaced by "Skill Magazines." After accepting the task to treat the wounded soldiers, I found that one required assistance that was just out of my medical skill range. Instead of working on his anyhow (and causing more damage), I pulled a copy of "Today's Physician" from my inventory, which gave me a temporary skill boost necessary to perform a successful operation.”
“Given my general approach to RPGs, and the fact that I just watched someone play for the NCR, I then choose Caesar's Legion. It's as easy as going south instead of north (though, I had to dismiss my pro-NCR follower, since he would go crazy and shoot everyone if we walked into a Caesar's Legion camp), and there's definitely a different vibe to that faction. The NCR is pretty much what you'd expect: a bunch of government guys who have nobly intentions, but get tied up in bureaucracy. They speak like normal people. As for Caesar's Legion, these guys are all wearing furs and waving big knives around. They use lots of Latin words, like "decanus" in their speech. In fact, they use a quirky (to me) pronunciation of "Caesar," where it sounds more like "kaiser" than the usual soft-S-style "C" that you'd hear when people talk about the pizza chain. While the NCR will supply a bunch of busy work quests to help out the camp, the "Decanus" gives a straightforward quest: assassinate the three officers of the NCR camp up north.”
“I started out on the game's equivalent of the strip, and while I was disappointed to see that most of modern Vegas' landmarks aren't there, the dev explained that this is of course a fictional version of Vegas, set in the world of Fallout. To that end, they created all of their own casinos, from palaces like Tops and Gomorra to a dive called Vault 21 and the Lucky 38, a casino closed off to anyone but Ghouls. I stopped at the first one I saw, and headed in to do some gambling. I was forced to check my weapons in at the door, but of course, that was a choice -- it was possible, through the dialogue tree, for me to keep a concealed weapon, or even fight the bouncer, but I decided to try my luck at the table rather than in combat. Inside, I found three games to play in the form of blackjack, roulette, and the slot machines. It's all done as you'd expect -- that same retro font from the last game lets you place bets, and you try to hit it big along with all of the other poor schlubs with more money than sense.”
“One of my favorite new weapons is the throwing spear. This rare ranged weapon factors in your strength score, so it's actually a perfect long-range tool for someone who is normally a brawler. Target an enemy's head in VATS and give the spear a toss. With enough strength (and a bit of luck) you can decapitate an enemy and pin their head to a nearby wall. I tried pinning a rabid dog's tail with a spear, but lady luck wasn't with me on this one. Another fun weapon is the incendiary grenade. These are like normal grenades but set your enemy ablaze. The fun thing is that they can often knock enemies into the air. So with a fortunate throw, you can blast an enemy up ten or even fifteen feet in a trail of flames. And the best part? You can juggle them in the air with a second grenade explosion. If you can get a couple of grenades to juggle an enemy over the edge of a hillside, you may just have time to switch to your spear and take off their flaming head mid-air.”