February 2011 Archives

Fallout: New Vegas

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Fallout: New Vegas

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Shock! Horror! I've updated my blog for the first time in over a year. I've a theory that being on twitter has pretty much killed my blog, but I digress...

I recently completed Fallout: New Vegas, spending 50 hours playing (according to Steam). I'd definitely put it up there with my favourite games of all time, despite the well publicised technical flaws. However, my issue with the game is of a different nature. Spoilers inbound!

The ending (or at least the ending I chose) was deeply unsatisfying. In Fallout 3, I chose the sacrificial ending that left my character dead, but with a limitless supply of clean, and most importantly, radiation free water for the whole of the Capital Wasteland. This felt like the right thing to do and was a satisfying end to the narrative as a result.

In New Vegas however, I couldn't resist the lure of the Wild Card ending, whereby I took out the sinister Mr House, destroyed the horrible Caesar's Legion and turned New Vegas into an independent nation. This all sounds awesome, but my dissatifaction came from the treatment of the New California Republic (NCR) the game then forced upon me.

As the leader of a new independent New Vegas, my preference would have been to create a strong alliance with the NCR. I'd played their quest line as far as I could take it without sabotaging the Wild Card ending and was quite happy to work with them, but the game did not offer this as an option (in fact I was humorously surprised, and a little shocked when Yes Man took me literally when I asked him to throw the NCR general off the Hoover Dam). The game forced my hand - my only option was to send the NCR fleeing west again, or to tell my Securitron army to wipe them out, neither of which I wanted to do.

This was surprising to me in a game in which a major feature was the alliances between the various factions. Getting into Nellis Airforce Base and helping the isolationist Boomers onto on my side by floating an old bomber plane from the bottom of Lake Mead led to a Crowning Moment of Awesome when the very same bomber blew the Legion to hell as I was crossing the Hoover Dam in the final battle. I persuaded the Vault 19 Powder Gangers to join up with The Great Khans, who in turn I persuaded to leave the Legion and become independent themselves. Why in this case was there no option to ally with the NCR after my choice to make New Vegas independent?

Perhaps the game's writers were making the point that great power demands a great cost. I became the leader of New Vegas and as a result lost the group of people I'd been helping throughout most of the game. I think I'm going to have to change the canon of my playthrough and do the ending again, but this time play for the NCR. The Dead Money DLC is out on PC in a couple of days, so it's a good excuse to continue with the game.
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This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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