Fallout: New Vegas in surprise reveal by Ben Parfitt | Email a friend | Print
Fallout: New Vegas in surprise reveal
Obsidian developing brand new Fallout title for release in 2010
Bethesda has surprised one and all this afternoon with the shock announcement of a brand new Fallout title for PC and next-consoles next year.
Dubbed Fallout: New Vegas, the game is not a sequel to last year’s massively popular Fallout 3, and will instead be a standalone title 'set in the Fallout universe'.
It will, however, be based on the Fallout 3 engine, and no doubt be very familiar to those accustomed to the recent post-nuclear outing.
Most interestingly the title is not being developed by Bethesda, and is instead being handled by Obsidian, the studio behind the likes of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, Never Winter Nights 2 and Sega’s Alpha Protocol.
Obsidian is currently headed up by Chris Avellone, who was one of the major names behind Fallout 2.
An interview with J. E. Sawyer, the lead designer of Fallout: New Vegas, has been made available on Xbox Live. However, us untermenschen without a subscription have to settle for an overview:
1. New areas will open up for the player depending on your reputation 2. Not all weapons have mods 3. "You only buy mods from stores" - once bought you highlight the weapon you want to add it to in your inventory and apply it 4. They will cost you a lot of money 5. Hardcore is seperate to difficulty 6. Hardcore is more of a mechanical shift as opposed to just bumping up hp - he compares it to Ninja Gaiden 7. There is a dehydration meter 8. Dehydration meter will have impact o the player (most likely drop in stats) 9. Being out in the desert in the day, as opposed to night, will have a greater effect on your need for food and water
The new issue of PC Gamer US, with what they call "world exclusive" preview of Fallout: New Vegas, despite all the other ones we've already seen, has already reached the subscribers. Here's a summary of some interesting info (most of the article repeats what we already know from the British and German magazines):
* The box on the first page of the preview names Bethesda as both the publisher and the developer, while the article text itself gives due credit to Obsidian and discusses the devs' work on Fallout, Fallout 2 and Van Buren. * New California Rangers wear modified LAPD riot armor. The trenchcoat guy from the teaser is identified as one in the article. * Gun modifications will increase damage, ammo capacity, accuracy, rate of fire and more * The player will be able to have two or three companions in their party * With Raul the ghoul in your party, you'll start to pick up clues that he's more than just a simple mechanic * Unsurprisingly, deathclaws and radscorpions are mentioned * From the screenshot, Fore! indeed looks like an attack on the head, not groin, as mentioned in an earlier preview * The dinosaur casino is identified as Dinky the Dinosaur * NCR is described as large and powerful but bureaucratic. * Chris Avellone: "It's a very amusing location design-wise. Vegas is like a whole city-wide amusement park. We can play on different themes, different styles. It's fun for the artists, it's fun for the designers... I don't know how much fun it's going to be for the programmers" * J.E. Sawyer: "The Karma system is mostly the same as in Fallout 3, but checked less often. Mostly we rely on reputation, because that's what people know. Karma is just a general indicator of how much of a sonofa[Censored] you are. If you murder people in secret, your reputation doesn't go down because no on knows you did anything, so you can maintain a good reputation but your karma has tanked really heavily. Karma does influence some things, but reputation is usually what most people in the world base their opinions of you on." * Avellone: "We recognized that one of the strengths of Fallout 3 was that so much of the game revolved everything around Washington, D.C. That's your signature city. And to be honest, adventuring in post-apocalyptic D.C. is interesting. You're like, OK, I get it. I know what D.C. is like in the real world, I'd like to see what it's like in the real world when mutants are running around in the streets. So, if we have a western version of Fallout 3, what's a key signature city that people will immediately gt when they hear the title. And also, what's interesting to us? So individually, Vegas came up for a number of people without a community discussion about it. That kept coming up. So we said, OK, if within this small sample group that city keeps coming up, and we understand why, that's the city to use."
Set three years after the events of Fallout 3, New Vegas puts you in the shoes of an unnamed courier making a delivery to someone in the Mojave Wasteland. Along the way, you’re intercepted by persons unknown, shot in the head, and left to die in a ditch. You’re found by Victor, a kindly robot with a cowboy-monitor-head, and rushed to the surgery at nearby town, Goodsprings, where the local doctor patches you up.
This smarter, more natural way of dealing with the world is one of the small but significant changes Obsidian is bringing to the table. It also means that the game will have several different endings too, instead of the single, potentially anachronistic, ‘man/woman saves the Wasteland’ finale. The overall aim of the game is for you to find out who tried to kill you, and why, so it’s safe to expect plenty of plot twists and ‘big revelations’ along the way. After all, this is the same developer who created the mighty, labyrinthine Knights of the Old Republic 2.
There are other tweaks too, which make this new Fallout more of a refined, deeper experience, like the ability to modify weapons with custom parts, or use all your core skills to influence conversations.
The weapon mods make for a slightly deeper experience too, and they add an extra element of strategy to the VATS combat. Some of the examples we saw were obvious things like ammo and shot-power boosts on pistols, mixed with more unusual, but very thoughtful, upgrades like reduced spooling time on the Mini-Gun weapon. Mods will also increase the value of your weapons too – handy when you’re flogging all your 9mms in the second half of the game to make way for more powerful fare.
Special Attacks in VATS For Certain Weapons
Inside VATS, there’s also a special attack for each weapon you use. During the very first mission, we were shown how this works with the Nine Iron – in this case, it’s a vicious swing straight at the target’s nuts. We’re not sure how this particular strike works on non-human enemies with questionable genitals, such as Radscorpions (yes, they’re back along with a few new creatures like giant Geckos), and we’re also left wondering what the Fat Man’s special strike is… Still, it’s nice to have the (pretty painful) option, anyway.