FORGET the wasteland from Fallout 3 – Bethesda is taking gamers on a gambling-centric trip down an alternate version of Las Vegas.
Fallout: New Vegas offers the same single-player FPS gameplay and RPG dynamics that made Fallout 3 such a success, and is again set in the post-apocalyptic US, but adds a variety of new quests, weapons and skills.
In October 2008, Fallout 3 debuted at No.1 in the All Formats Top 40 chart with a whopping 4.7m copies shipped worldwide in its first week. It outstripped the combined sales of all previous Fallout games in just two days.
Fallout 3 also won several Game of the Year awards from the likes of IGN, GameSpot and the Golden
Bethesda is confident that New Vegas will eclipse these figures thanks to a whole host of new features and the Las Vegas setting.
While Fallout 3 was originally described by many as ‘Oblivion with guns’, the franchise has now firmly established itself as shooter RPG in its own right.
In fact, the title blew away the sales of its predecessor – the aforementioned Oblivion – with the 360 version selling 57 per cent more than the fantasy epic.
Anticipation among the established fanbase is high for New Vegas, setting the sequel in good stead for a strong sales performance at retail.
WAKING UP IN VEGAS
Players begin the game as a courier in the wastes of Nevada, who is promptly attacked and left for dead. After being shot at and narrowly escaping, gamers will then have to make a name for themselves in New Vegas before finding out who attempted to murder them.
The nearby desert oasis town is a mix of desperados all trying to follow the American dream in their own factions. Players have the option to side up with whom they choose – whether it’s the New California Republic or the slave-driving Caesar’s Legion.
This will affect how difficult quests become later in the game. For example, if the user is tasked with looting an object from a faction’s stronghold, it will be easier to obtain if they are already friendly with them.
Then there’s the mutants, giant scorpions and other ravaged beasts to deal with, all reeling from the effects of a nuclear blast made several centuries before the events of Fallout 3.
But it’s the flashing casinos and luxurious hotels in New Vegas that bring welcome contrast to the grim colours and dark setting that featured heavily in Fallout 3. Players are even able to play poker and bet on slot machines to gain extra in-game money.
Fallout 3’s popular ‘V.A.T.S.’ system returns, allowing gamers to pause combat and target specific enemy body parts, then watch their gunfire rip through their opponents in slow motion.
New Vegas also retains the series’ renowned customisation options. Gamers can set themselves up as a stealthy sniper, a kung-fu warrior or a Rambo-style machine gunner. These class and combat systems position New Vegas as an RPG shooter similar to its predecessor.
There is also an upgraded reputation system that tracks the consequences of players’ actions, which have a knock-on effect on faction loyalties.
But it’s the introduction of a ‘hardcore’ mode that will please dedicated fans of the series. Start a new game on this difficulty and players will have to regularly maintain their hydration levels with less contaminated water. Bullets and items will affect their weight, while being shot at will cause much more damage than usual.
With its classic gameplay, established fanbase and star-studded voice acting from Matthew Perry, Wayne Newton and more, Fallout: New Vegas will be one of this year’s biggest shooters when it’s released in October.
PLAYING ITS CARDS RIGHT
Bethesda is offering Fallout fans a Collector’s Edition of New Vegas, exclusively available in GAME stores nationwide.
Bearing a price tag of £69.99, the bundle includes:
- ‘Lucky 7’ poker chips. Each of these faithfully recreated chips represents a major casino found on the New Vegas strip.
- A deck of Fallout: New Vegas-themed playing cards depicting the game’s different factions.
- The Making of Fallout: New Vegas DVD including video content and developer interviews.
- Hardcover graphic novel entitled All Roads that tells the story of the events leading up to New Vegas.
- Other in-game DLC extras include special guns, binoculars, armour and health kits. These are available when pre-ordering Fallout: New Vegas from either GAME, Gamestation, Play.com or Amazon.