Friday, October 29, 2010

Jingle, Jangle, Jingle

With high hopes of an open, exciting world, catchy music, intriguing quests and fun combat I picked up my copy of Fallout: New Vegas day one and eagerly jumped back into the irradiated wasteland I’d missed so much.

This game had a lot to live up to and let’s just say that I wasn’t terribly optimistic when it was revealed that Obsidian Entertainment (the developers behind the ultra glitchy Alpha Protocol) would be releasing it. Still, I remained very enthusiastic and optimistic about this game.

Now, approximately 15 hours in, I want to share my thoughts so far.

Fallout: New Vegas begins in a very different way than Fallout 3. Instead of beginning your life within the safety of a vault you are instead captured and shot in the head for a platinum chip you’ve been tasked with delivering to the New Vegas strip. When you recover, you set out to find your assailants and, wouldn’t you know it, an entire complicated world soon envelops you.

Well, maybe not “soon”.

While the plot to Fallout 3 gripped me from the very beginning, I would say it was a good 8 hours – when I finally reached The Strip - before I really started to get into the groove of New Vegas. I think before I got to The Strip I’d done maybe 6 mundane quests and found a few locations but once I made it to Sin City all of a sudden I had dozens of options. So many in fact that at times it was a bit overwhelming.

Who do I work with? How will this affect my relationship with the other bigwigs in New Vegas?

There are three major factions who you have the option of allying yourself with: Mr. House, Caesar’s Legion and The New California Republic. In a massive quest called “Wildcard” you pick your side and once you’ve completed 4 quests or so for that one side you’re considered enemies of the other. Unless of course you decided to do small missions for them all but never really align yourself with one.

And that’s one of the greatest things about New Vegas: your impact on the world.

This game takes the karma system from Fallout 3 and gives it a little oomph. No longer are you just “good” or “evil” but rather feared, hated, and honored. It’s certainly a great case for re-playing the game since you will literally get locked out of certain quests once you declare your allegiance.

Now, for the only bad remarks I have which all goes back to my initial concern with Obsidian taking this project over: Fallout: New Vegas is glitchy as hell.

In the first few hours I fell through the world, had my gun repeatedly pull itself out of its holster, had VATS target objects instead of enemies and several lock-ups. It was never enough to make me want to stop playing but it was certainly bad enough to irritate me at times. I feel that had this game been delayed it could have been noticeably more smooth.

There has however already been a patch for the 360 and the game does seem to be performing better. Or I could just be getting used to it.

Either way, I am very much enjoying my time in New Vegas and hope you all are too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All Good Things Don't Always Flow Into The City

Yesterday I received an automated call from Gamestop telling me that because I'd pre-ordered "Dead Space 2" I could stop in and pick up a code which would entitle me to a free download of a new arcade game called, "Dead Space: Ignition".

The mini-game based, comic book style DLC is meant to bridge the gap between "Dead Space" and "Dead Space 2" specifically by showing how the Necromorphs ended up in Sprawl.

Sounds really interesting.

Too bad the only way I'll find out about it is to read the story on-line.

You see, after sitting through the first poorly animated panel I was presented with a mini-game which consisted of me attempting to maneuver a red beam of light through a panel of obstacles faster than the blue beams of light trying to get ahead of me:

Not exactly as fun as strategically dismembering a Slasher with a line gun now, is it?

After failing the race twice, I said, "Nope. Dumb" and exited out to the dashboard.

It's really a shame that a neat idea like this had to be ruined with such an ill-thought out, elementary design. No one wants to sit through irritating mini-games but especially not those who are attempting to play it to feed their excitement for what's bound to be an incredible and exciting release come early next year.

Hurry up and get here, Isaac. I miss you.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Going Out Like a BAMF

In three mere days Left 4 Dead players (ME ME ME!!) will have "The Sacrifice" - the DLC that details how the original survivors made it down South and how they lost one of their own. If you've been reading the comic (or played "The Passing") then you know which survivor will be one no longer but this DLC is still bound to be full of surprises.

In addition to both "The Sacrifice" and "No Mercy" coming with the Left 4 Dead 2 version, we'll also be getting 5 new mutations with this download. Including one where apparently in versus everyone on the infected side plays as a Tank.

I think part of me likes that - the part of me that hates life.

Anyway, for now, head on over to the official site for "The Sacrifice" and check out the new trailer!