Fallout: New Vegas Updated Hands-On

We spent an hour customizing our character, chasing geckos, and roaming the wasteland in Obsidian’s postapocalyptic role-playing game.

Picture the scene: An unknown assailant in a sharp checked suit is taunting you. You’re exhausted, tired from being beaten, and scared that the last thing you’ll hear is the smarmy voice of your assailant. You’re told to kneel on the ground while a gun is pointed at your head, realizing that your life will soon be coming to a tragic and lonesome end. Bang. You’re dead.

Or at least you think you are until you wake up in a strange old man’s house at the beginning of Fallout: New Vegas. Though the opening cutscene we saw in our hands-on at the beginning of the game told us little about who the shooter was, we were suitably pumped to get out there and exact some revenge. However, before we could do so, we had to customize our character. The whole process was done in the first-person, with our rescuer informing us that he had to patch up our head and inquiring if everything was in the right place.

This brought up a menu, which allowed us to completely alter our character’s characteristics. We could change every aspect of his face from skin tone to facial hair to age. Once we’d settled on a look, the old man revealed himself to be a doctor and told us to slowly walk to the other side of the room where there was a vigor-tester machine. He told us to use it and make sure we were still in good health. This allowed us to customize our character’s core attributes of strength, perception, endurance, agility, and luck. Most of them were already leveled up midway, and we had five bonus points which we could use to level up the attribute of our choice.

We then made our way through the doctor’s ramshackle old house to a sofa, where the doctor started asking us a series of questions. The questions were rather abstract, asking us what actions we would undertake in certain situations, or what our feelings would be if provoked. Our answers generated a recommended set of skills for our character, though we were free to change them if we wished. After identifying some ink blots, we were given a set of recommended agilities, which we could also customize. The doctor then handed us a PipBoy and sent us on out into the wasteland.

Not much more than sand greeted us outside, save for a few ramshackle huts and some cattle. We made our way over to the local saloon, where we met Sunny Smiles, a local sharpshooter. She took as around the back of the saloon, where she handed us a gun and taught us how to shoot. She then invited us with her to shoot some geckos, who had been terrorizing the surrounding area. Unlike real-life geckos, they were almost human-size, scuttling along the desert floor towards us, teeth bared. Fortunately, they were easily dispatched with a few shots of our decrepit-looking rifle.

We then made our way back to the saloon, passing by more grimy-looking huts and rocks. We ran inside to find the saloon owner in an argument with a local member of a chain gang. After telling him to leave the saloon owner alone, we learnt about how the gang had taken over the area and was chasing after someone who was held up in town. We could choose to help the gang or instead help the person being chased. This was disrupted by the saloon owner telling us about her now broken radio, which we kindly offered to fix for some karma points. Heading back out into the wasteland, we set off to find the man, the sun beating down on us, curious to know what connection if any the chain gangs had to our assailant.

This guy was never the belle of the ball.

Sadly, at this point, our time was up. We’d gotten a taste of life out in the wasteland, getting a feel for what the game has to offer. Though our time with it was short, Fallout: New Vegas is looking to be an interesting departure from its predecessor, with a different feel to the characters and environments. The classic Fallout touches are still there though, with old '50s-style music playing on the radio and retro graphics in the menus. Fallout: New Vegas is due out October 22 in Europe and October 19 in North America. Look out for more coverage from Cologne over on our Gamescom hub.

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99 comments
Tristen95gi
Tristen95gi

gq_cjc sorry must not of seen that. Just got exited for a new elders scrolls I gues

ste-g
ste-g

looks awesome not long too wait now

LT-Voltaire
LT-Voltaire

One word best describes Bethesda FPS-RPG. EPIC!!! Hopes for the game are better shooting mechanic's, VATS system with more gory kill cut scenes, better NPC stories with more depth. Better voice acting form NPC's. More realistic weapons like M4A16 assault rifle, I hope to see some better Sniper Rifles and a verity of them. I'm hoping for real bullet physics so you really have to try and aim not just point and shoot. A better more dramatic ending. Bigger larger towns with more NPC's and quest that really shape the towns. Example(If you kill a saloon owner id like to see the person you did it for become the owner of the saloon.) The return of 3 Dog radio host and front man for the good fight. More Towns and shanties in the waste land. More roads and under ground facilities and of course since your in Nevada they better have add Area 51 as either a minor or major plot point in the game. Fears- Same game with just a better paint job. No new improvements with quest's and missions. Shooting mechanics with very little improvements and crappy story line. AI that is as smart as a pet rock. What are your hopes and fears of Fall Out: New Vegas people tell us whats they are and let us all know whats on your mind.

Covenant10885
Covenant10885

I am extremely excited for this one. After being severely disappointed with the recent re-hash of Medal of Honor last Tuesday (garbage people..), I am in desperate need of a good FPS. Yes, an FPS. Fallout 3 was the first game of this venerable series I've played and it was excellent. From what I've read they've refined the shooting mechanics to make the "VATS" system "optional". I was lucky the retailer took back my copy of MOH the next morning and gave me a full refund, which I happily paid this game off with. I'm hoping that this one lasts a bit longer than the 20-25 hours Fallout 3 lasted..

true_hurdler
true_hurdler

@Meluckycharms12: Yea hopefully, because seeing that guy's limbs still intact after that c4 was detonated right under him was pretty depressing ^_^

centuryslayer
centuryslayer

guertt: there are ladders in F3. mostly area transitions or cosmetic though.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I'd like to know - has the Pipboy changed? Do we have a more updated model? :)

Meluckycharms12
Meluckycharms12

@true_hurdler I noticed that too. I'm hoping the video is just showing gameplay that doesn't have the gore activated for showing purposes.

cuprashoe
cuprashoe

Not working next friday so three days without food water or any type of life and that will do me fineeeeeee!

true_hurdler
true_hurdler

Is it me or am I seeing less gore than in FO3? Hope it's just me...

Branden244
Branden244

@ southernmoney16 nether of them will be better the pc version will be better with its modding goodness. but ether way there all really the same.

guertt
guertt

@313striker I just tought it was cool to realise that. its the creator who said that in a video.

313striker
313striker

@guertt lol why you mentioned it at all, ladder isn't that important ^^

guertt
guertt

did anyone notice that there is no ladder in fallout3? its true, zero ladder! but the game is still the best game ever :)

southernmoney16
southernmoney16

i wonder which version of the game will be better the ps3 1 or the xbox 360 i want to get the best 1 so i wish they would have the review out before the game comes out but gamespot never does they suck i know ign will they always come through

sonu_likon
sonu_likon

fallout 3 was a great game...i pray that this game wud be as good as fallout3

gq_cjc
gq_cjc

This game looks to be even more promising than FO3. Bethesda keep up the good work. Changing the aspect of the game, while keeping the overall feel this close to the original. Not many companies could pull that off. Yet you guys make it look easy :D. Can't wait to get my hands on this!!!!!

gq_cjc
gq_cjc

@Tristen95gi I think you mean this http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/fullstory.php?id=162212 It was an april fools prank lol. Notice the date. They are in the works of a ES5 I'm sure though. But they wouldn't get a company like Armor Games to handle something of this magnitude. The new ES will be handled by Bethesda themselves.

MSres
MSres

OMG trying to shoot with a stick under your thumbs.... NIGHTMARE!

Tristen95gi
Tristen95gi

rolla020980 Bethesda anounced that they are making a new elder scrolls on some website go on google and tipe in Elder Scrolls 5 and it should come up. I found it a couple days ago

ashleni
ashleni

While I'm excited for this, I agree with madglee... I really miss the old Fallouts. I don't think there's anything close to old rpgs coming out anymore, and Fallout 2 was possibly the closest thing to a true rpg (by that I base it on table-tops) we ever got. I'd take strategic combat over FPS anyday. I also miss the music a lot. Fallout 1 and 2 had some awesome ambient music (different for each town) that I still remember to this day. Not to mention the hilarious black comedy, I guess Black Isle Studios took that with them. Anyway, I'm hoping the character creation is better than Fallout 3, and I understand why a lot of people like the new Fallout era.

WillyChong
WillyChong

I hope that this game is mod freindly. Looking foward man! Mod! Mod! Mod! XD

rolla020980
rolla020980

Look, I am really looking foreward to this, I mean I loved FO3. I would just rather see a new Elder Scrolls. It has been forever since Oblivion was released.

mattwill7
mattwill7

Fallout 3 was such an immense game... but I'm going to miss Three Dog... *sigh*

Lithos_
Lithos_

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

YummyMango
YummyMango

I loved Fallout 3 but now when I look back I think it was ok. Not my type I guess. I am not too excited about it as a lot of other games are coming out and I have already ordered collector's edition of GT5. Will play it for sure but on PC not ps3, I think on pc this game is more fun.

Delston
Delston

@ Cheesehead9099 WTF?

madglee
madglee

While I am all for trying first-person versus the original 2 Fallout's isometric perspective, the change seems to have turned this game into a FPS with RPG elements, rather than an actual RPG. Very unfortunate. I'm sure I'll be shouted down for a comment like that, but Fallout 3 in no way compared to the story/quests/depth of Fallout 2 or 1, and this looks to be no different. Sad, as they 1st two were some of my favorite games.

gamezduddy
gamezduddy

Honestly, I was reluctant when I saw the first screenshots. It looked exactly like Fallout 3. I just though "Hell, I'll just stick with F3. This is not worth my time". The previews here showed me how wrong I was. Many game mechanics are improved, and some are now added to vanilla (the standard F3 aim was a pain in the backside). Now it is possible to do many thing one would need a mod to do in F3, and this shows the developers learned what the gamer wants. And considering this is Gamebryo, it is supposed to be mod-friendly. Good for us, gamers. Probably Gamespot used a top-tier system, but I see no stuttering either. Gamebryo is awesome, but known to be very unstable, so the F3 gamer knows what this means. I am definitely going to buy this game. The first screenshots couldn't show how many improvements there are. Hopefully, Dogmeat will be on New Vegas too.

madlymelancholy
madlymelancholy

one thing i would love is if you could incorporate your own songs into the game...like your listening to the radio and they say something like "and now a recommendation by a special listener" would also add a bit of more variety in the music

Throssetto1
Throssetto1

The super mutant on the 2nd picture is marcus the super mutant(fallout 1 and 2).

mikeyc42087
mikeyc42087

Not sure if I'll be picking this up or not. I've played and beaten the first 3 (and even fallout tactics) but I went back and tried to play the GoTY edition of FO3 and got sick of it pretty quickly. And this looks pretty much like a different story and some different equipment.... not sure if that's worth the money. I wish they would add more RPG elements to FO rather than more FPS elements. I would love to see a skill tree and more ways to develop your party. I can understand why they are going in the direction that they are though, if it wasn't for the FPS of the game, I doubt it would have taken on so many new fans.

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

im going to buy it for sure! fallout 3 was one of my favorite games and i spent hours and hours playing it, really looking forward to a new installment to the previous great game

johnners2981
johnners2981

Think it prefer fallout without VATS and just better shooting, it'd make it more immersing, imo neway. Cause in fallout 3 I just kept using VATS cause the shootin was pretty inaccurate and I dont like wasting my ammo :)

nzmx121
nzmx121

OCTOBER 22 IS TOO FAR AWAY...

-Swifty-
-Swifty-

I liked fallout 3 but I really, really hate the engine/art design. Everything feels clunky and unfinished, and everyone looks like very slight variations of the same cartoon drawing, It just doesn't reflect the gritty atmosphere they're trying to portray. Although saying that I'll probably still play it eventually and see what secrets are hiding out in the wasteland.

Martyr_of_Wrath
Martyr_of_Wrath

i pre-ordered the collectors too. you're right when you say FTW! im gonna enjoy this game, just like i did the third. i hope they make some really kick-ass DLC for this one too! :P

luckyduke24
luckyduke24

Just preordered the collector's edition from walmart (caravan pack ftw!) and I'm going to take a few days off of work so I can enjoy it in peace. Sucks to be anyone who calls, because I won't answer :D

velcroboy
velcroboy

not that I haven't enjoyed this new generation of Fallout, but I really hope that at some point they put out another turn-based game. V.A.T.S. is cool and all but it's almost cheating. And there are sooooooooooo many 1st and 3rd person shooters out there. I think a 1st person, turn-based V.A.T.S. where each step forward/left/right/back would cost an A.P. would be sweet. It really would put the strategy element back into the game, which is the one thing I missed in FO3.

jr1809
jr1809

look am a fan of fallout ,but after looking at 1 post lower on the list, about level limits which remided how easy fallout 3 was a hope this is a little harder

lokier066
lokier066

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Jman4444
Jman4444

I loved Fallout.. i think ill love New Vegas also

RavensCall444
RavensCall444

Whoever is playing this is an very bad shot.....spraying at there feet like that, you should be shanked fool!!!!

xeis-net
xeis-net

The engine was ok in FO3, but not an RPG really, the big question is it going to have a level limit? If it limits my level I am not going to buy.