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Rude Awakening: Why Fallout: New Vegas felt incomplete

Ramallah September 26, 2011 User blog:Ramallah

The Flaming Mac blog has posted a cool opinion piece on Fallout: New Vegas and its odd place in the Fallout franchise. He makes great points about the game's overly straight linearity in some cases and offers interesting opinions on the games as well as the New Vegas DLC (except Lonesome Road because this was written before its release). Anyway here is an excerpt:

The NCR-Legion war is one of the best and strongest story elements in New Vegas, as well as being closer to previous Fallout narratives than other parts of the game. Fallout games have a strong motif of examining how societies are formed and run, and New Vegas may actually exceed previous games in this respect. However, the gradual progression of pursuing a personal conflict that turns to a regional one is warped and shortened in New Vegas. The player is made aware of the NCR-Legion conflict in the game’s prologue, and the PC hears about it from nearly everyone they meet. There is no surprise turn, no twist that preys on the emotional drive developed on the fear and love compelling the PC’s first ventures in to the wastes. The PC is aware of the conflict and its significance very early on, so all that’s left is to find out how you’ll get involved.

Even the vengeful, personal pursuit of Benny is paralleled by the mystery and importance of the Platinum Chip. There is simply no surprise here: you know that you’ve got to be in a fairly important game from the get-go if you’re being pawned around by casino owners grappling over a valuable object. The only surprise is what the Platinum Chip does – which doesn’t actually re-define the conflict, it just moves the odds around.

The strangest shift in New Vegas is the strikingly linear feel to the game’s beginning. Literally linear, in that you’re pointed down a road where a hundred yards from either edge lie men or beasts that will kill you in seconds, so you’d damn well better stay on that road. (Perhaps they were a little too enamored with Cormac McCarthy, which I can’t entirely blame them for: The Road was superb.) All the previous Fallout maps had an almost agoraphobic, shelter-less, panic-inducing openness: you really can go in any direction. There were safer directions to go in, and more obvious paths, but nothing felt imposed. The Lone Wanderer of Fallout 3 could, completely by chance, stumble in to Smith Casey’s Garage and emerge with his father, skipping the whole first act. That is truly Fallout-style open-world storytelling.

This article has been GhostAvatar approved for your reading pleasure. Enjoy

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