Naturally, the main Factions of the NCR and Caesar’s Legion have a number of shock troops you might not wish to get on the wrong side of. If you’re at Hoover Dam to watch the arrival of Bear Force One (NCR President Aaron Kimball’s Vertibird), expect the security to be tight, and the President’s guard to be comprised of veteran Rangers with armor you’d almost give a companion up for. Or if you’ve been summoned by Caesar, and are visiting his sprawling Fort in Arizona, you’ll be sizing up the guards to see whether wrestling the ornate breastplate off his corpse is worth a declaration of hostilities. But for the real horrors that inhabit the lonely stretches of the Long 15 highway — the mutated, shrieking deviants shunned by Mother Nature, ready to devour and mutilate — the dank caverns and blasted heaths are where your mettle is truly tested.
Wilder foes are classified as “Abominations,” creations abhorrent to the natural order of things, and “Mutated Animals,” wildlife with a taste for human flesh. At the top of the “crap your pants in fear” chart are the Alpha Male, Female, and Legendary Deathclaws — taller, bigger, and sharper than their east-coast brethren. Geckos also dash around the countryside, bigger than a man, and skedaddling faster than you can run. Venture into an old Vault in the northwestern mountains, and expect encounters with atrocities that merge the line between plant and animal. Fight off the slithery and furry advances of the Nightstalker, then save some of your ammunition for the scatterings of Feral Ghoul settlements and encampments of blue Nightkin Super Mutants — and their lunatic leaders, Tabitha and Davison.”