Fallout: New Vegas Hands-On

We entered the Mojave wasteland for a new look at Obsidian's postapocalyptic role-playing game.

Talking to the team behind Fallout: New Vegas, it seems that it will have more in common with the first two games in the series, rather than 2008's Fallout 3. According to the creative team, the west coast setting means that it will have relatively little in common with the Washington-set Fallout 3, but it will feature some characters and locations from the original two games. We managed to score new hands-on time with the game to find out more.

The E3 demo starts out in Vegas itself, which has been left unspoiled by the nuclear apocalypse that ravaged much of the rest of the US. It's only age and a general lack of maintenance that has left Vegas slightly ruined, but the gambling business still continues apace. New Vegas is a mix of glamour and seediness, with one city dweller throwing up down the walls of a casino during our intro. However, you'll be able to go into casinos and play blackjack, roulette and slot machines--all of which allow you to win (or lose) in-game credits.

Our time in New Vegas also allowed us to meet some of the seedy characters that call it their home. You can't take normal weapons into casinos, but Mister Holdout wanders around on the streets, trying to sell concealed weapons that can help you avoid detection. Chairman Greeter is the man that introduces you to the Tops Hotel and Casino--the place that you're going to be staying during this section of the game. We were told that this bit was from around 20 to 30 percent through the main story.

After the casino demo, we moved out into the Californian desert and were met by a small group of New Californian Republic soldiers. We had the choice of fighting on the NCR side or turning against it, but we decided to ally up and help the soldiers take on Caesar's Legion. The mission was to take out a CL leader called Nelson, and we had the choice of taking two different routes to get to him. After fighting a little bit of resistance, we made it through to Nelson's hideout and took him down using the V.A.T.S. combat system. This should be familiar to players of Fallout 3, but for the uninitiated, it allows you to slow down time and pick off individual parts of an enemy's body, with frequently spectacular results.

New Vegas introduces a new command wheel that allows you to give direct orders to certain allies. In the demo, we were able to use the wheel to tell our man what weapon to carry, for example. New Vegas also allows you more customization over your weapons, including augmentations such as clip size, silencers, and scopes. The story will take place a few years after the events of Fallout 3, and your character is a courier who is left for dead before a doctor brings him back to life. The beginning of the game will be spent trying to find out who did this to you, as well as what you were carrying, but it will soon branch out into another multilayered storyline.

Fallout: New Vegas is shaping up well for its October 22, 2010, release date. Be sure to check out the new images that have been released for the game, as well as all of the other Bethesda show content, at e3.gamespot.com.

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Discussion

216 comments
Velvundrgnd
Velvundrgnd

@ magusat999 There are so many things wrong with what you posted, its insane.

McLarty
McLarty

sounds good.. think i am going to pre order it today

tomgallagher95
tomgallagher95

@skinnybodydown all he means is it is not a continuity of fallout 3 because the storys competely different

skinnybodydown
skinnybodydown

@magusat999: Have you played Fallout and Fallout 2? They both featured '40s music (in the opening movies; mp3 audio wasn't around in 1997) and laser rifles. It's called retro-futuristic, or Raygun Gothic alternatively. Look it up. You can get both games from gog.com, and they are well worth playing. "Continuity" means that the story is continuous and coherent, not that it is realistic. Star Trek has continuity. It's hardly realistic. Fallout 3 is different because technology is different. 3D gaming was in its infancy in 1997 and wasn't really an option for a large open world RPG. The way the game plays- the SPECIAL system, the weapons, even the enemies- are largely the same as the first two games. Super Mutants, ghouls, rad roaches, giant ants, radscorpions, deathclaws, slavers, raiders- all feature in the first two. They are Fallout's bad guys, just like Koopa Troopas and Goombas are Super Mario's. The NCR that features in New Vegas grew out of the Shady Sands community in Fallout, into the NCR in Fallout 2 and is now back in Fallout: New Vegas. How is this not continuity?

magusat999
magusat999

@skinnybodydown: We are talking about Fallout 3, which is vastly different from the rest of the series. My comments refer to Fallout 3, obviously (speaking of continuity...). When I said people didn't care or notice continuity in the 90's it was obvious - all we wanted in the 90's was games that had great story and visuals. It's only been in the past few years that gamers have been looking for "accuracy" and flow in games, which has a lot to do with the "realistic gaming" trend. And I still maintain that there is no continuity when you have laser rifles and 40' music in the same.game...

the-wayward
the-wayward

and also .... alot of people out there are saying that rage is a better game .... will....rage does have better graphic , shooting engine and enteractions .. but fallout offers a lot more freedom of choice and _ thought it's an RPG _ a lot lot more character costomisation .. but the biggest advanteges that fallout has over rage are the ability to sneak " personal opinion " and the extremly enjoyable exploratin ... so .... for those who ar looking for the looks ,rage is the target . but I and a bunch of other gamers will stick to the fun offered by fallout NV .. "by the way that deosen't mean that I'm not buy'en rage ... "

the-wayward
the-wayward

this game is still better played on 3rd person shoulder view ..... textures will look better , the shooting mechanism will also look better " even with the weapon costomisation "

skinnybodydown
skinnybodydown

@magusat999: People didn't notice or care about continuity in the 1990s? Huh? Gamers have always taken such things seriously, RPG gamers doubly so. How old were you in 1997? Fallout came out way back in 1997, with a retro-futuristic theme that the series has carried ever since. Fallout 2 came out in 1998 and continued the story from the first Fallout, through a descendant of the PC in the first game. Many of the same NPCs appeared, suitably aged, and the political scene had developed tremendously. Continuity much? Claiming that Fallout somehow plagiarized Bioshock is like claiming that Command and Conquer plagiarized Total Annihilation. Fallout has always had the same retro-futuristic theme, with the same iconography and even the same music, although technical limitations back in the day limited the tunes to the opening movie. "Maaaaybe.... you'll think of me..." A gamer not knowing the Fallout series is akin to a professor of literature never having read Dante and then fumblingly accusing Dante of plagiarizing Milton.

dono14
dono14

"It looks like a shooter but it has alot of RPG elements..." I HATE when people say that about fallout. What he should have said, was; "It looks like a shooter, but it is an RPG." Saying Fallout has rpg "elements" is ridiculous...you can't get much more rpg than fallout. You could say it has FPS elements though.

dono14
dono14

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Salmanw
Salmanw

Can't wait..! Fallout is one of the most powerful games out there...!

JM_MUFC
JM_MUFC

Cant wait for new vegas, fallout 3 was probably the best game i have ever played! Am i right in assuming that if it's going to be using the same engine/graphics then the system requirements are going to be the same too? People need to stop judging this game before they play it, ok so dehydration is only on hardcore it wasn't on Fallout 3 but no-one seemed to complain about it. Im just hoping for a stack of new weapons and this time a lot more schematics. Searching for the schematics and parts added easily 10 hours of gameplay to fallout 3 if not more. I also think that the ability to customise the weapons would be a nice touch, for example lets take the shishkebab. It would have been cool if you could have but in like a car battery instead of a gas tank so that it was electrically charged instead or being on fire.

chris10218
chris10218

cant wait for this game all you people need to stop winging because unless you have actually played it you don't really know what its gonna be like and by the looks of it its gonna be awesome

Mentalnutter
Mentalnutter

If this is half as good as fallout 3 was its going to be awsum tbh i dont see how they can top fallout 3.

gorygorefest45
gorygorefest45

@ all f@gs who cares. your opinions are stupid. if your like me and liked fallout 3 a lot then just buy the new one. stop freakin out bout crap that dont matter like graphics. and its not an expansion either thats just retarded. f@gs.

irishdude199210
irishdude199210

i dont see the point of getting this. i mean, i love fallout 3, but buying this wud be pretty much buying the same game twice. you cant argue that u buy it for the story, i mean come on, fallout 3's story really sucked. so cud someone please explain the difference den?! oh wow its in vegas! who cares. u can customize weapons! just like a ton of other games. dyhydration? its pathetic thats only in hardcore mode, they didn't even mention possibly starving! sorry bethesda, WASTE OF MONEY!!

magusat999
magusat999

@saphon I am familiar with the Fallout series - it's just that this one is supposed to be set in the future so they should have considered that when they peppered it with 1940 thematics; as well as consider that there are other games using the same themes and graphics. I mentioned Bioshock - but if you played Red Dead Redemption, as another example, the movies have the same style. Its all over the place and it's getting monotonous - if I want to see Monopoly icons I'll play Monopoly...

magusat999
magusat999

@:KingAmeboid - sorry, I tend to be long winded... @Micanthropyre - Yes, perhaps it did have that theme back in the 90's, but that was at a time when people just played games and didn't really care or notice what's called in the film industry "continuity". You don't have a futuristic game and then slap old iconotry on it. Games are getting more accurate now in those respects. And regardless of whether Bioshock was made first or second, it was so heavily laden and infused with the theme that Fallot 3 should have strayed away from it just to show some originality.

KingAmeboid
KingAmeboid

Magusat999, Dude your comment was longer than the gamespot preview.

Tentaculat
Tentaculat

Looks lazy...oh right...Obsidian.

Micanthropyre
Micanthropyre

@magusat999 The Fallout series was established in the mid to late 90's, and it already had that theme from the 40's. The reason? WWII and the atomic bomb. You talk about Bioshock having that theme, well, the Fallout franchise had it first! The music, the signage, the art-deco style is what the entire Fallout series is based on, and to change it because of Bioshock would be dumb. Man, I can't believe you actually think that Fallout should change its theme, the one it has had for over a decade.

magusat999
magusat999

Okay - to all you people who didn't like my comment about the music in Fallout 3 - and the upcoming Fallout New Vegas: I compared it to Bioshock because it's the same kind of music. We already had that theme in a game - I just expected something fresh. ALSO - the icons all around are the same types of "Art Deco" 40's icons - just like Bioshock. The music is from the 40s - not the fifties, btw (has anyone heard "Rock Around the Clock"? They could have been more original and bumped the music up a decade or two - but they just kept it in the same era as Bioshock, and that doesn't even fit the futuristic atmosphere of the game. You cannot really get technical and try to create an arguement that supports the music / theme choice - because as I recall we didn't have, for example, laser pistols in the 40's, 50's or even now. Do you not think they would have some newer genres of music - being that it is set in an apocalyptic future??? I'm not downing the whole game - I love the gameplay - it's just that music that is flowing through too many other games (well at least Bioshock / Bioshock 2), and those 40's icons (the signage, in the Pipboy). They can do better there, and I think it's a minor annoyance - at least to me, because I constantly think "wouldn't they be listening to something more modern???" as I am playing the game.

big-boss-91
big-boss-91

i would buy this game if it were a expansion pack to Fallout 3 since it the same graphics engine, or i would buy it if they updated the graphics and have a new look and feel. but as a stand alone game with the same controls and the same graphics, you will have to count me out because i don't think it worth the cost

baltim123
baltim123

I hope they fix the bugs , cause I don't really care about graphics , as long as it has smooth edges it's playable , after al the gameplay is the most important.

GematriaTKN
GematriaTKN

@ag_04 Yeah i spose i wouldnt mind it if a group of raiders or something walked past without trying to kill me, but majority of the people might be a little jerk-like but they dont tend to kill you... and i agree with grandma, as if anyone is going to be really nice, the whole fallout out world pretty much revolves around getting everything for yourself, whatever the cost to others. the whole feeling is done quite well in fallout 3

ag_04
ag_04

@y0ur_grandma I surely wouldn't tell a person who comes to help me (aka the PC) to "GTFO you lowlife" or "Mungo Mungo..". You know what I mean. I know some NPCs are nice, but overall you feel like killing everybody sometimes.

y0ur_grandma
y0ur_grandma

@ ag_04 Well, would you be a nice person in the middle of an apocalypse?

Escolizer
Escolizer

this game looks good fallout 3 was just getting good for me then the worst thing happened. go to my blog to see what happened and see if you could help me .I cant wait for this game!!!

gideonkain
gideonkain

It was probably just my setup but I played Fallout 3 and all 5 DLCs and the only bug I ever encountered was not receiving the radio transmission that started The Pitt, but even that was taken care of with a patch. I run a AMD/ATI rig.

ag_04
ag_04

I wonder if in "New Vegas" every NPC in the game will be a complete jerk like in fallout 3... Geez that was annoying.

RipVanWallace1
RipVanWallace1

God you people are stupid. How much better do you think the graphics are gonna be on the same engine? FO3 was probably the best game this gen so far even with all the glitches. These guys need to ask them if they figured out how to keep this one from bugging out like the first one did.

Erroneous_Snake
Erroneous_Snake

why am I still looking at the same terrible outdated animations and shooter mechanics ?!?! Those were the only things keeping FO3 form being perfect and somehow noone in development thought these were areas that needed to be brought to standard?? Nearly everyone complained about this it's ridiculous that in 2010 we have games with mechanics that were used in 2003

NathanDrake22
NathanDrake22

This will be great. I just hope that they will tweak it to where there are less frame rate issues than FO3. Even though they are different genres, Fallout is better than CoD.

doodeeman
doodeeman

I'm sure Obsidian would love to change the engine (well, they -might-) but because they are contracted out to make it instead of owning the rights, they'd have strict guidelines set in how they go about making it. Still reakon its going to be fun though :)

skrotzki
skrotzki

this sounds like it will be a slight bit better than fallout 3

skateLEGEND828
skateLEGEND828

cool even if i havent played any Fallout games this looks AWESOME !

Carvertown
Carvertown

I personally think that Rage has a lot more upside then New Vegas. I'll buy New Vegas...but at this point I'm more excited about Rage.

tobelight
tobelight

Dont fix whats not broken ..

tobelight
tobelight

Cant wait for Oct. Day 1 purchase without a doubt.

HT89488
HT89488

I think most consumers these days are so far off there rocker, when it comes to demands. Complain complain complain about everything, no wonder no one cares about what you think, ungrateful people.

Leir_Bag
Leir_Bag

All right. The graphics engine is still the same. This sucks. It will be more like fallout 1, this is great. Fallout 1 was really the best in it's story and morality (the ending that they took out of the game right before launch was the best. A shame they had to change it.). Fallout 3 had a perfect gameplay for it's genre, and had Fallout's "face". So, no disapointments to me, 'cause they had to use the same engine for gameplay, i would do the same, would be a shame to discard it and mess with the game by trying to make another great gameplay engine. Making the gameplay like the first games would be a mistake too, a step back. i will buy this, no chance to miss it. I hope that The Glow and JunkTown will be in New Vegas.

DeliriumLP16
DeliriumLP16

This is pretty much a complete letdown compared to the first short preview a few months ago.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

Can't wait for this. I seem to be one of the few that loves Fallout 1 through 3, not just the new one or the old ones. I do think the original is the best in the series, but this should be great regardless. Obsidian is really underrated imo.

Jeebes007
Jeebes007

I like the graphics in FO3, post-apocalyptic games are not meant to be pretty and colourful. FO3's graphics shows brilliantly that it isn't a beuatiful and bright place after someone nukes it.

CatAtomic999
CatAtomic999

Gotta say, I'm disappointed. This looks like a beefy expansion, not a sequel. They're using the same stiff, sub-par animations and the same old graphics engine. Fallout 3 was awesome, but I was hoping for a smoother presentation this time.

loggens
loggens

Well see..more like a expansion..

8symbols
8symbols

This has to be one of the most poorly written articles I've ever read. How much longer is this going to be front page news?

Ashwinscreed
Ashwinscreed

Fall out has an awesome gameplay but has not so impressive graphics engine i hope they change that.....