E3 2010: Fallout New Vegas Hands-On Preview

By Alex on June 29, 2010, 12:18PM EDT

The eagerly anticipated 'sequel' to 2008's Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas was showcased at Bethesda's booth at E3 2010. It isn't exactly a sequel per se, as the story has no correlation to Fallout 3's, taking place three years after the events in Fallout 3, and 39 years after those in Fallout 2. Fallout 3 changed a lot about the Fallout universe, and New Vegas will still reflect many of those changes, though Obsidian is bringing us back to the west coast. Can they strike gold in the Mojave desert?

Prospects are looking good for New Vegas. As it uses the same engine as Fallout 3, not too much has changed, though a few changes have been added, such as the ability to aim down the iron sights on many guns. Another addition is the Reputation system, which functions similar to Karma in FO3, although the Karma system will return, it won't affect relations with NPCs, that job is left to Reputation. Plenty of new guns have been added as well, along with new reloading animations too. Some weapons have extra modes in VATS, although the only ones seen firsthand were a golf club with the ability called "Fore!", which hits the opponent in the groin, and your fists, with an uppercut ability.

The demo showed off one of the casinos in New Vegas called Tops, which has a more mob-controlled feel to it, but none of the other casinos like the Ultra-Lux, a flashy place but probably too expensive for my character, or Vault 21, a Vault-themed casino. The gambling fare inside is pretty standard, with blackjack, roulette, slots, and a new game called Caravan which wasn't available to try just yet. Afterwards we went out into the wastes to help out the NCR (a returning faction from Fallout 2) in a small outpost outside of town. Just after heading out we met up with one of the companions, Boon. Obsidian has added a new way to give orders to your NPC followers called the Companion Wheel. All you need to do is select the action on there and they do it, and it incorporates all the actions present in FO3 without having to keep hearing that opening line of dialog.

After arriving at the NCR outpost and getting to know each and every soldier there, we eventually got into some combat. It feels very much like Fallout 3, although the addition of the iron sights doesn't require you to rely on VATS as much and makes the combat feel much more FPS-like. Somehow, the NCR captain fell down and died. (Possibly because I shot him in the face) But this lead me to discover that there won't be any unkillable characters in New Vegas! Naturally, children are still exempt from this.

New Vegas certainly improves on Fallout 3's formula, and adds its own extra bits in here and there. Granted, it's not perfect, they haven't changed much to the third-person view, and there were a few other animation glitches but there is still some time until release. Of course, anyone who even remotely enjoyed Fallout 3 should love New Vegas, and it's looking like October 19th can't come soon enough.

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