dkirschner's Fallout New Vegas (PC)
| [June 15, 2015 01:10:33 PM]
| Complete! I am the proud leader of an independent Vegas. I screwed over most of the factions to get here, including my favorite, nuking both the NCR and the Legion. That decision made the second battle for Hoover Dam a shooting gallery since the NCR and Legion were fighting one another and were also shooting at me. The end of the game is fantastic. I have no idea how many different endings there are or how many little character vignette endings there are. There were like 20 of them in my game. I really liked hearing about the effects my actions had on characters I'd helped and towns I'd passed through in the beginning of the game.
So, I did the final two DLC before completing the game. Old World Blues was my favorite of all of them mostly because it was very funny. You get abducted by 5 wacky scientists who are computers. One can't speak. One is obsessed with your biology in a sexual way. One yells all the time and reminded me of Will Ferrell's SNL skit about voice modulation disorder. One can't let go of being wronged by a girl he liked in high school. The other is flamboyant. They are at odds with a mad scientist type, who you find out later just takes a lot of drugs. They've removed your brain, spine, and heart, and you have to battle the mad scientist's army of robo-scorpions to confront him and retrieve your brain so you can leave. Very, very enjoyable DLC with a neat new gun that can power down force fields and mess up robots.
The last DLC, Lonesome Road, had the best ending of them all, and the eyebot is cute. I didn't care much for the other courier. I found him irritating and vague. He is mad at you for bringing a package that ended up blowing up some town or something at The Divide, and just has a lot of existential angst. He doesn't want revenge, but he's just...upset about things. It's worth playing for the choice of endings alone. Overall, I'd recommend all the DLC except Honest Hearts.
So yeah. Fallout: New Vegas. Excellent game. Skip Fallout 3 and just play this. I have no idea how Fallout 3 has a 91 on Metacritic, while New Vegas has an 84. New Vegas is miles ahead of Fallout 3. Oh, and if you do most of the side quests and unlock doors and computers and use speech skills and whatnot, you will hit the level cap of 50 without a problem. I hit it near the beginning of the 3rd DLC. I admit I started rushing a bit after that because, well, no experience for doing anything. I'd run past enemies to get to the next door, quit searching rooms, stuff like that. I would still get killed by Deathclaws though. Stupid strong Deathclaws!
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| [June 12, 2015 09:10:28 PM]
| SO. Almost done. The NCR and Caesar’s Legion are courting me to usher in an era of dominance of their respective armies—one modern military, the other Romanesque slavers. I betrayed Mr. House and aim to take The Strip for myself, if I didn’t screw it up. I noticed that when I destroyed his secret bunker, I failed the optional quest to “upgrade Mr. House’s robots so you can use them later on.” Does that mean I can’t use them later on? Or just that they won’t be upgraded? Because I really hope I didn’t ruin my chance of taking over The Strip.
I love the erroneous history references in this game. For example, Caesar’s Legion, including Caesar himself, pronounce Caesar with a hard “c” sound like in “car,” so it sounds like “ky-zar.” Throughout the game, I thought it was weird that some characters pronounced the “k” sound and others the “s” sound. Later on, I realized that it was all the Caesar’s Legion folks who had it wrong, and that they also mispronounced a lot of other sounds. Very funny. I did the Honest Hearts DLC the other day, and you are basically helping Mormons. Their leaders misquote scripture and refer back to the Mormon origin story. It makes sense. If the world ended and you were cut off from global knowledge, and had more or less local traditions for two hundred years, history would become a game of telephone. The Kings are another example, which I talked about in the last entry. They think Elvis was a religious figure and strive to emulate his teachings.
Like I mentioned, I’m about at the end of the main story. I took a break and have been going through the DLCs. I’ve done Honest Hearts and Dead Money. Dead Money was definitely the better of the two, and turns Fallout into a bit of a stealth/survival horror game that reminded me a lot of Thief. I liked Honest Hearts for expanding on the story of the Burned Man, but that was about the only interesting part of it. The tribes you help out are essentially Native Americans/Mormons. It was neat and all, and their home was beautiful, but there wasn’t anything different about it.
Dead Money was extremely engaging. It’s about a casino heist…sort of. You’re lured into a trap and forced into the heist with three other characters. They are all exceptional. The casino and the outlying Villa are characters too, providing oppressive atmosphere. The whole place is also covered by The Cloud, some sort of toxic air that seeps everywhere and kills you if you remain in it. You’ve also got a collar on, which is how the Old Man forces you and the other characters to work together, and it will detonate when you get near radios. That’s where the stealth element comes in. You’ve got to be careful running around because you’ll start to hear your collar beep. You get 10 seconds or so and unless you run back out of range or find the radio source, you die. I died a lot. I liked these elements for changing up the Fallout formula, although I will admit it got a little tedious toward the end. I just began sprinting past hologuards and ignoring hazards just to move on faster. There are also these creepy “ghost” enemies, which were surprisingly tough. I guess that’s partly because you lose your inventory before Dead Money begins and you have to scavenge anything you can use in the DLC (also fun and challenging to have a clean inventory). Even if you shoot them though, you have to score a decapitating headshot or hit them on the ground with a sharp melee weapon to kill them. If you don’t they get back up. The end of Dead Money was intense, and I am now very rich.
Two more DLCs to go and to finish the campaign. I’ll probably do 1/3 of those things for each of the next 3 days.
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| [June 10, 2015 01:50:59 PM]
| It is amazing how much more I am enjoying this than Fallout 3. I LOVE New Vegas. In reading over my first entry (I am much, much farther along), I note that I was curious over getting perks every 2 levels instead of every level. Well, you level up much faster, you get additional perks from followers, and you can buy SPECIAL points and some other stats like increased damage threshold and regeneration. I've got nothing negative to say about getting fewer perks.
The perks I have gotten are all of the +XP ones and many of the ones that boost VATS accuracy. I've also taken to specializing in energy weapons and guns, with some perks for those and both skills maxed at 100. Again, as with Fallout 3, I am an unstoppable killing machine, and my two companions make it even better. I'd been using the sniper and E-DE. I realized that they each had a quest line and that they got upgraded if you fulfilled it, so I am changing out the sniper for Cass, the Crimson Caravan girl who loves whiskey, and I will change out E-DE for The King's dog, Rex. I got a quest to take him somewhere (one of the only places on my map I haven't explored) and make him healthy again.
Other things I have noticed: I have far, far more money. It is much easier to come by. Maybe there are more merchants. Maybe it is due to having about 700 combined units of inventory space across me and my companions. Maybe I've gotten smarter about what I'm picking up. Anyway, I've got a lot of money, which I've spent on a 12,000 cap health regeneration upgrade, a damage threshold upgrade, and luck and speech upgrades. Those two stats are now at 4 (between 6am and noon) and 2 otherwise. My others are all at 10+. I have hardly used any health items or food in the field. This is in part because the towns and places are much closer together, I seem to be able to rest in more places, and now I have a health regen skill. Nice. All that food and crap is dead weight! Finally, either having more endurance makes a huge difference, and/or my companions soak a lot of damage. I do not die much at all.
I have been having a blast doing all the side quests. Some are quite involved. I finished a couple last session that I'd been on more or less since the beginning of the game. I finally figured out what was going on with all the NCR camps and bogus NCR radio transmissions. There is a long, long chat you can have with this old NCR guy at Camp Golf, and he provides such interesting history of the NCR and the Legion, of the Hoover Dam and Boulder City, and more. The writing is seriously 100x better than in Fallout 3. Did they have a different team working on this or what? I will always remember helping the ghouls blast off to the Far Beyond. Incredible stuff.
So last time I played, I finally made it to the main drag of New Vegas, Freetown. I haven't gone to the strip yet because there are a bajillion things to do in Freetown, but I'm almost ready. The best thing about Freetown is The Kings. The Kings is a gang of Elvis impersonators. Seriously. Of course they aren't exactly sure who Elvis was. They think he is some religious figure who people worshipped, who travelled around and taught everyone to be as cool as him. They all talk like Elvis and have Elvis's haircut and wear rock n roll clothes from the 50s. It's so great.
Part of what The Kings represents for me playing this is the sense of discovery. I've already mentioned in the last entry some of the crazy things I've stumbled upon, like a giant dinosaur statue, a freaking roller coaster, the beautiful overgrown Vault 22, etc., etc. Recently, the E-DE quest got me to a secret Brotherhood of Steel bunker, which opened up quests with them. They've ordered me, as a final act of allegiance, to murder these two gun suppliers in Freetown. But of course the gun suppliers also have quests and such for me. That's how New Vegas is. You can ally with pretty much any faction and piss off pretty much any faction. They intersect at moments like this and you have to choose. I did note that in the Brotherhood base, I can hack a computer and have the whole base self-destruct. While this would be highly amusing (and I have obliterated other factions and then reloaded to do things more civilly), I want to be a member because I think they'll train me in power armor.
Oh, one more funny thing that happened was the sexbot. I was telling my girlfriend about this because it cracked me up, and I remember I need to go view the other scenario online. There is this quest to go find some...special objects of sexual desire...for some casino clients. One is a sexbot. After some sleuthing to figure out where to get a robot and to get a sexbot program, you go upload the program and activate the sexbot. Upon activation, it says something like "Hello, I am programmed to fulfill your every sexual desire." Then you click continue, and it says, "Assume the position." I chose to respond "What?! NO!" because that's how I felt. But the other option was "Well, maybe I should test out the product before returning it to James." Haha. I do wonder what happens...
So, as I sit here, perhaps approaching the end of the game, with several skills at 100 and several others approaching maximum, with loads of badass weapons and my choice of useful companions, I am looking forward to the DLC. I've discovered most of it on the map, and always at the time I was too low a level. I'm level 28 or 29 or something now, so I can definitely tackle most of it. I hope it is exciting and pushes New Vegas in fun directions!
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| [June 4, 2015 09:04:46 AM]
| I will update this more than once, unlike Fallout 3. I'm 4 hours in. Impressions so far are summed up by "this is an improvement."
The first thing I notice is that the NPCs are more unique and there are less "filler" NPCs, that is, NPCs who have all the same dialogue options as the other NPCs. Most of them have something interesting to tell you, some problem, some other way to interact and learn more about them or the world. For example, I've already fixed a woman's radio (I received Fame with her faction), repaired a man's robot (it is now my companion), rallied a whole town around protecting a man against slavers (but he died in the fighting, and I got Fame with the town), and reprogrammed a robot to serve as sheriff (which was funny). Like, I've had more meaningful interactions with NPCs in this game in 4 hours than I did in 20 with Fallout 3. The writing is so much better.
The world is also more diverse. It's still The Wasteland, but there is more to see. After 4 hours of Fallout 3, I had seen the inside of a vault, Megaton, and a whole lot of ruined buildings. After 4 hours of New Vegas, I've seen several towns, each with great little stories about them. One has a freakin roller coaster! It's a casino town, so it makes sense. Another one had recently been annihilated by The Legion, who were quite brutal in their tactics of "cleansing" it. I've encountered some New California Republic troops trying to take back a town taken previously by some other group of slavers. There is so much more going on. Also, unless there are multiple world maps, the world map is much smaller. This is a good thing because it eliminates such wide expanses of absolutely nothing featured in Fallout 3.
There are plenty of differences. The first I thought was a bug and I had to look it up. You get a perk every 2 levels instead of every level, yet there are like twice as many perks. I guess this makes them more valuable and makes you think about your character build more. I was pretty much an unstoppable badass by the end of Fallout 3, although I don't feel at all fragile yet in New Vegas. I did build my character differently. My Fallout 3 character spread his SPECIAL points evenly. Now, I maxed out Strength, Perception, Intelligence, and put a lot into Agility and Endurance. Luck and Speech are at 1! I am unlucky and a poor communicator, haha.
In Fallout 3, I started by making a thief-type character, with high sneaking, lockpicking, and...something. I wound up using laser weapons and, yeah, stealing a lot. I swore I would put less emphasis on taking items in New Vegas, so I only skilled my lockpicking up to 25. My science is 50, because often times you can hack a computer to open locks, and because science is useful for working with robots. It's already gained me a companion, E-DE. Oddly, my carrying capacity is now about twice what it was at the end of Fallout 3 since I have such strength plus a companion.
It's good I have more carrying capacity because there is even more crap to pick up in this game. I'm not even attempting to make money. My barter skill is 5. But there is a new "survival" skill that lets you cook food and combine ingredients over campfires, as well as deconstruct and build weapon ammo, of which there are many new types (hollow point, etc.). There are also weapon modifications, so you can scope or silence guns, for example. Neat. I foresee getting some weapon mods, but I don't foresee getting into crafting. So far it is a pointless system for me.
Finally, all the DLC came preloaded, so I think I have some more advanced weaponry than I normally would. Woops! There are also about 4 radio signals and map markers for DLC, one of which I am right next to and I guess I will explore. It is some sci-fi drive-in movie I'm supposed to check out.
So yeah, this is looking bright. I've been much more immersed in the world and less distracted by carrying capacity and micromanaging inventory.
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dkirschner's Fallout New Vegas (PC)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Wednesday 3 June, 2015
GameLog closed on: Monday 15 June, 2015