Gamescom 2010: Fallout: New Vegas Preview - Viva New Vegas!

Lee Abrahams
Fallout 3 is possibly the finest example of a western RPG as you are likely to find in recent years. With a massive open-ended world, intriguing characters and a wonderful mix of superb storytelling and sly humour, it pretty much has it all. A sequel was inevitable, though considering the gap between the last two games it's safe to say that no one expected it quite so soon.

Luckily we were allowed an hour of hands-on time at this year’s Gamescom in which to immerse ourselves in the game, hopefully to find out what makes it tick while at the same time, seeing if this title could step out of the shadow of its older brother. Considering the game world on offer, the real problem here was simply that an hour was nowhere near enough.

A lot of the voice cast from the last game make a welcome return, and hearing the gravelly tone of Ron Perlman during the intro brought fond memories of the last game flashing back. Gone is the Capital Wasteland though to be replaced with the Mojave Desert and sunny New Vegas, a town that still welcomes anyone with money as long as you steer clear of the seedier elements and don’t tangle with the local law droids. However, this time around you do not start cooped up in a Vault trying to figure out the world above as you go. Instead you begin as a courier who seemingly gets wound up in a spot of trouble and has to go looking for some payback. It does seem a trifle clichéd, but the opening sets things up perfectly and prepares you for the kind of open world experience that this series thrives on.

While the game looks a lot smoother than its predecessor, those looking for a total overhaul are going to be in for a bit of shock. The game still has vast swathes of open areas made of little more than rocks and shrubs, but thankfully, the real difference comes from the gaudy lights of Vegas itself which looks superb; not to mention a wide variety of friends and foes that you can tussle with. The character models seem like a vast improvement this time around, although you can still have some issues with questionable AI path finding.

This being Fallout, you can pretty much make anyone into a foe depending on how you approach the game. But the real change is the fact that every township now comes with a level of acceptance towards you depending on how you act. If you help out a town then your reputation in that area will increase, which in turn can lead to new dialogue, missions and the like. Obviously not every town thrives on good deeds, so some places may well be more welcoming if you stray into evil behaviour. Obviously it is impossible to keep everyone happy, but that has always been at the heart of Fallout: how every moral choice has a consequence. Only now those repercussions could be far more damaging in the long term.

Other little tweaks come in the form of the new ability to create beneficial items, which is something of an extension to the workbench areas from the last game. As well as being able to make new weapons and helpful equipment, you can now mix up health draughts and statistic boosting elixirs. Obviously you will be required to scour the wasteland for suitable ingredients, but the results are well worth it. On another note, the skill books seem to have been subtly changed. Now they give you much more of a boost but will actually wear off after a certain amount of time. Whether of not you can still get permanent boosts remains to be seen, but this way may well stop the creation of practically invincible player characters.

It was impossible to see everything in such a short amount of time, but the major addition we did see is a pretty intriguing one. Welcome to Hardcore mode, where your equipment deteriorates faster, Stimpacks and Rad-X only heal over time rather than instantly and ammo now weighs you down. Not to mention the fact you will need to eat, drink and sleep regularly or risk exhaustion. These may seem like small changes but trust me when I say they make a big difference. Now your weapons will break down during combat with alarming regularity, not to mention the fact that if you take too much damage, then you can’t rely on just a Stimpack to get you back on your feet, so you may have to flee or end up face down in the desert. It is also surprising how much you can take for granted the weightlessness of ammo – once it starts to become a burden you really have to pick and choose your equipment with care as you cannot possibly carry it all. Gone are the days of being a one man tank. This mode will truly separate the men from the boys and is the perfect addition to those that blitzed through Fallout 3 and wanted a bit more of a challenge.

Being an achievement site it was obvious that we would take a sneaky peek at what was on offer and the list is pretty much what you would expect. There were plenty of points on offer for story based missions, as well as tasks off the beaten path. There were also a lot of challenges that required you to dish out 10,000 points of damage with a variety of weapons and even your fists. The real reward though was a juicy 100G for polishing off the game on Hardcore mode – without once changing the difficulty during your entire playthrough – so good luck with that. Thankfully with so much going on the game has added a nice tracking system that pops up on screen when you are closing in on certain challenges and achievements.

Any minor quibbles aside, the real lure of Fallout is just how easily it draws you in. The second you step out into the desert you have a wealth of choices at your fingertips and every time you turn around there is a question of “What do I do next?” That is the brilliance of this game and one that will keep you coming back for more. The New Vegas desert offers a whole lot more to see and do, plus the varied storyline and interesting characters all combine to make this a vastly different experience to Fallout 3. Be prepared to step into New Vegas and lose yourself for months.

Fallout: New Vegas is scheduled for an October 19th and October 22nd release in North America and Europe respectively.
  • Looks pretty good :).
  • i wonder how hardcore mode will be, that the only thing bothering me. i wonder if that achievement will prevent me from 100% it.
  • 100G for hardcore? Jeebus! I'll take it though.
  • Really looking forward to this game. Fallout 3 was excellent ! But ouch. Beating the game on Hardcore mode. Will. Take. Time.
  • To me this game is going to SUCK i liked Fallout 3 but this one is just not that appealing to me. It looks like a s**t version of Fallout 3. This game is going to BLOW!!
  • better just start on hardcore mode I think :S
  • I usually like things easy but i'm gonna have to try that harcore mode out.
  • @5 wtf? why? it looks mostly the same, just in a different place, with more weapons and new things to do. sooooo..... not sure how it could possibly look worse. OT: looks sweet, can't wait for it to come out. although hardcore 100Gs? a little high. i would have gone for 50. but still fallout 3 was too easy, could be a good challenge.
  • @8 i dont no for some reason no games look good to me that are coming out this year. maby i am just broken!
  • @9 Really? Dead Rising 2? New Vegas? Halo Reach? Fable 3? CoD Black Ops? AC: Brotherhood? I think you're crazy man..
  • @9 Yes. Yes you are.
  • @10 on ur list Fable 3/ AC:Brotherhood barely look tolerable and i might just be crazy.
  • Looks like I may be 100G short on this game!
  • #9 Wow!!! You my friend have some amazing standards. The next year has the best line up I have ever seen. I would have to say I have the EXACT opposite opinion of you.
  • I say bring on hardcore mode. I'm more in it for the challenge than the achievement itself.
  • @9 you absolutly are there is a huge amount of epic releases this year
  • Cannot wait for this game!!
  • @5 come on man, you haven't even played the game yet and we haven't seen much gameplay yet. I also loved fallout 3 and am very excited for fallout new vegas. Don't judge games by just looking at screen shots and 5 minute gameplay videos from e3.
  • I hope there are more houses to get on this one, the house in Megaton or the suite in Tenpenny Tower didn't really feel like enough, I liked it on Oblivion how there was a house for sale in each city. 9@ Crazy bastard! How dare you!
  • @ 9 I agree with you slightly. Screw that hyped up list # 10 listed because by my views most of those games have the potential to be just..ok. If I look back at my past experiences with games from those series I'm really not jumping for excitement to play those games, excluding Vegas. Vegas I have faith in. Vegas looks good though. Obsidian did a good job on KOTOR 2 which I view this game kinda being in the same vein as that. They take everything that was good about the previous but expand on it and make it better.
  • As a fallout 1 veteran, that's no problem to me. I used mods in fallout 3 to simulate this effect anyway, nice to see it in the vanilla game by standard.
  • WOW can't believe all the panzies talking about how hard this game is going to be. Damn everyone just wants a lot of gamerpoints and are not willing to work for them. Stop whining, and its true that this hardcore mode will separate men from the little kids who are going to be playing halo anyway.
  • My main question about the hardcore is is it a difficulty level or a mode? What I mean is can you play on hardcore mode but with the difficulty turned down as low as possible? If so that wont be bad at all, little irksome, but easy nontheless. Regardless its going to be a great game. I loved Fallout 3 and this looks like its going to be more of the same.
  • I adored Fallout 3 but I don't know what it is about this I just cannot get excited from New Vegas, might force myself into a purchase if it's gets great reviews
  • Only me then that wanted to start it on Hardcore mode straight away to make it more challenging even if the achievement wasn't in the list, y'know bullets have weight and you have to keep hydrated sounds great! (no sarcasm)
  • another hard difficulty achievement... bring it.
  • Must be the hiatus on good games during the summers. Don't worry. Things will always be better after you get over the summertime blues. LOL.
  • I'm waaaaay too excited for NV. Been replaying FO3 to get the feel of it again. Roll on October . . .
  • hardcore sounds like fun. after about 10 hours into fallout 3 you have like 3000 bullets for every gun and u were pretty much invincible. this looks like a fun challenge. and the main story is probably like fallout 3, pretty short so u should be able to blitz through it
  • The oly thing i dont like the look of is Hardcore mode. And why assign a 100G achievement to it? looks like i'll have to do a 2nd playthrough just for hardcore mode
  • I just preordered collector's edition^^ So can't wait!
  • Pansy ass people complaining about hardcore mode.. Am I one of the few that doesn't think hardcore mode won't be bad at all? I'm welcoming the extra challenge. Sounds more enjoyable than playing Mass Effect 2 on insain I can tell you that. Also, from what I remember reading in the past, hardcore mode is separate from the difficulty of the game. You could play hardcore mode on easy technically.
  • @30 because its hard. There is no satiafaction for finishing hardcore mode and getting 10gs. And if the main story is anything like FO3, it will take about 5-6 hours for a speedrun of the game. God what is with no one wanting to actually work for achievements anymore. On topic though, this game is looking amazing. So happy i got the CE :D
  • There's gotta be some kind of super powered weapon hidden somewhere near the beginning of the game and a good armor suit you can steal or something, being Fallout. :D
  • Cant wait... this will be the game I play the most this year... like f3 was the one i most spend on it on 09 =D
  • comment removed by chuck norris
  • FPS = FAIL
  • Just reading the last few threads here and cannot understand why people are only playing the main quest missions of course they are short but both my files in Fallout 3 went well over the 120 hour playing mark. Thats why people say games are shit because they do not play them fully and appreciate all the work the developers put into making an Epic classic. Enough said.
  • I don't mind a hardcore mode, but I'm curious if there are going to be achievements attached to lower modes, and if there are... will they be stackable?
  • i swear to fucking god if they mess this game up i will kill them all
  • i only hope it dosent get set back to christmas i cant wait to play this, and ghost recon and deadrising 2. i wont have money left for christmas:(
  • Nice hardcore mode can't wait to try it.
  • I've been planning on playing hardcore mode anyways. It sounds like an awesome challenge. Bring it on!
  • #10 i agree with you about Fable 3 but all the others - meh.
  • I wish you could pick and chosse the difficulty depending on how you want to play... I know I don't make sense Almost like 'design your own difficulty'' So you could have the gradual stim-pack healling instead of instant and have the need to eat,drink and sleep. But ammo will remain weightless and and guns deteriate normally.
  • amazing...but my biggest question is, did you happen to see the achievement tiles? Does the Vault Boy make in appearance in all of them? I liked that the most out of fallout 3's achievements
  • @46 oh yeah, I forgot about that... I hope he does reappear in tiles or at least some kind replacement....
  • @9 i sort of agree with you. the games coming out are good enough. but there ALL sequels and im sick of them. we need an amazing original game.
  • i cant wait till this comes out. gunna be a kick ass game
  • this is gonna kick ass, finally got some money put down on the CE at gamestop, cant wait
  • i plan on making this game a true experience... hardcore mode is what ive been waiting for, and im going to hopefully dedicate 48 hours straight towards hardcore mode... initially of coarse, then il go from there. i really hope i can do it first run on hardcore, as i think thats the way to experience it, second playthru on hardcore isn't full hardcore, because you know a bit of what to expect, but i think hardcore mode is really going to make this game last even longer for me... ah, but i will admit i am intimidated
  • @5 You are a retard! Stop trying to get attention and trying to proke and get a rise out of people! All the main Fallout's have been epic, I seriously don't think New Vegas will be any different, especially since Obsidian are making it and a majority of their employees made the original '97 Fallout.
  • I'm worried about this one with Obsidan developing it instead of Bethesda. I'll be surprised if it ends up being better then Fallout 3.
  • @52 I was not trying to get a rise out of people i was just stating MY opinion! Anyways no one has even heard of Fallout when Obsidian made the game!!!!! It only became popular once Bethesda started making the game!
  • I'm not sure about this game. I loved Fallout 3, but Bethesda is the only studio that I trust with my RPGs, and Obsidian is making this one. I'll probably rent it at least.
  • ill probably play through normally and switch to hardcore randomly throughout the game to experience it. Having to find a bed and ammo weighing me down are the only things stopping me from playing only on hardcore
  • @37 you can go into third person you muppet
  • @9 Wow!!! Fallout 3 by far is one of the most amazing games ever and New Vegas will kick ass as well. For anyone who wants one hell of an euphoric feeling, try sex then Fallout or Fallout then sex....or both at the same time lol ^_^
  • hardcore mode sounds good. i usually only use 1 or 2 weapons anyway so ammo shouldn't be a problem, plus if you've got VATS again, that usually helps save ammo. probably require a more stealth/range based character to avoid fights, kill everyone before they get to you. silencers would be nice here. they should have made it 200G for completing hardcore mode. then it'd be a real achievement
  • I'm definatly gonna play this one on hardcore straight off the bat. Fallout 3 was great but once you got near the end and into DLC it just started to get easy, so this should be heaps more enjoyable :)
  • this will be a great game, don't like the hardcore idea though it just sounds like it would make the game stressful rather than enjoyable, who wants to be concerned with all that shit just to make it a challenge, that's not a challenge it's just aggro
  • Hardcore seems interesting, might leave that for playthrough 2 and just mess around for playthrough one.
  • Hardcore is the real way to play this game.
  • only downside to fallout 3 was that there wasnt more to play vegas solves that game of the year contender right there
  • Special Edition already pre-orderd! Hardcore mode just means more time to spend on the game, and if new vegas is going to be half as good as fallout 3 then thats fine with me.
  • Man, I see myself playing through this game a lot of times. I'll have to do the obligatory Good playthrough and Evil playthrough, then a Hardcore playthrough, then probably some reputation related playthroughs too. Not to mention playthroughs for DLC.
  • Just to answer a few questions here: The vault boy does indeed appear in the achievement tiles as with the last game. I only snaged the first few achievements obviously but he is there in all of his glory. Also, you can switch Hardcore mode on/off at any time on ANY difficulty. However, you get the option to turn it on when you start and if you change it at any time after that it will nullify the achievement. So Hardcore mode stands apart from the regular difficulty options. Plus the other achievements are just for completing the game/story missions so no others are linked to difficulty.
  • Hey guys, is the gameplay for Fallout3 just like Oblivion where you randomly go talk to a person then a quest starts or is it just straight forward. One more thing i wanted to know is that does Fallout 3 have hard Quests or are they easy or just like Oblivion?(like the first level where you have to escape ) didnt like that quest. :[
  • OMG! CAN'T WAIT!!! The new changes look good and the fact that you can make even more items, not just weapons sounds awesome. Hardcore mode has sounded good since the start. And @9 YOU CRAZY!!!, but I can see where you coming from, just give it a chance!!!
  • If they don't change too much it should be fine. Playing it safe is acceptable here in my opinion I loved Fallout 3 and every DLC they made so it wont to hard for this to be another epic game.
  • This game has been on my Wishlist even before it was called Fallout: New Vegas. @54 Really?? No one has heard of Fallout before Obsidian?? I guess they added the number 3 because it looked cool then. Or maybe it was because there were 2 other games before that (both classics in their time, btw). And Fallout: Tactics (this one... not so classic), and Brotherhood of Steel for the old XBox. Maybe you haven't been fortunate enough to have known about them. @68 In my opinion, the first quest in Oblivion is very good. It's supposed to be the tutorial of the game and plays that part very well. It teaches you how to move, interact with the environment, how to fight with melee, ranged and using magic. All that mixed with a character creation method immersed in the story. What's not to like? Fallout 3 does indeed have some hard quests. Just finding your way through a ghoul and mutant infested city is hard enough, believe me.
  • Really dont wanna start on hardcore mode, but if it has to be done, it has to be done.
  • Fallout 3 = Best Gamer Ever! Fallout: New Vegas Beat Hardcore Mode for 100G Here i come!
  • I really like the way they are going on about the hardcore, see if everyone thinks of playing hardcore in fallout 3 it wouldn't have worked because of the design of the game. However, now in new vegas they made it more like a fps where u can aim down the sights a lot easier i think just because of this improvment raiders and enemies alike are going down that much quicker.
  • Sorry out of topic but just reading the first sentence at the top of this article isn't red dead redemption a western style rpg in some way shape or form, you grow as a character, there are multiple quests and a shit load of free roam with a shitload of stuff to sell and buy from merchants. Just because it doesn't have some guy moving his lips to the wrong words with dumb dialogue doesn't make it an rpg experience. My opinion.
  • @75 Red Dead is a sand box game - in that it allows you to roam pretty much where you like and tackle missions in any order. Not to mention the fact you cannot level up as such and gain new stats and abilities which is pretty much a given in any RPG.
  • @#75 - A lot of games have RPG elements these days, but that doesn't make them an RPG.
  • I agree, the whole character customization is always the best part about role players and this game as far as I know will also have those awesome perks after you level up your caharcter right?
  • Fuck ya. Preordered this long ago. Fallout 3 was damn good. Looking forward to the new additions and Hardcore.
  • Hardcore gives you the real 'surviving' experience. You gotta collect food, and have to remember where you can sleep. It's gonna be awesome.
  • I am going for the Hardcore Achievement!! can't wait
  • Amazing. I am looking forward to this game!!!
  • The second I get this, I'm gonna jump straight into hardcore.
  • Cannot wait, m$ got $110 dollars out of me one the last one 60 for the game and 50 for all dlc. But after 200 hours of gameplay, I can say it was worth every penny. If it's half as good as fallout 3, its a day one buy.
  • this game looks lame :(
  • @#85 that's because you hate single player how wonderful, now please go back to COD. can't wait to play this game, so many quest.
  • @67 Jackanape.... thanks a ton!!! Now I can sleep at night knowing the Vault Boy is back in his epic tile achievements shenanigans!
  • Hardcore mode.... Bethesda I love you
  • Oh goodie, hardcore... Jeeze, I'm really gonna have to change my play style... It was fun up close an personal while it lasted.
  • Lets just hope we don't need to find some kind of a bubblehead, and if we need to find a bubblehead that you can come back for them. Not like the one in the Vault 101 and the Enclave base bubbleheads.
  • Another game to make me that much deeper in the hole... oh well this game will be EPIC
  • Bring on the hardcore mode!!
  • I played Fallout 3 and I did not like it at all. I mean Oblivion was much better than it. Well now I might give Fallout another chance, if this one is good then I will 100% it, if not then it's going straight to the shops.
  • @33 & 92 Thank you. Between Hardcore mode and the new legendary achievement in Halo Reach, everyone's complaining and I'm tired of seeing it. This is exactly what I wanted from the last game, challenge without just boosting enemy health. I'd like it even more if it made everything die more easily (both me and enemies), so every bullet dodged feels like a lifesaver.
  • Oh man I cannot wait to jump into hardcore mode. Fallout 3 got a little too easy for me after a bit (Took out 3 Death-claws at once on very hard mode)so hopefully hardcore mode will give me that challenging experience like I really am a survivor just trying to make it every day. Thanks Webb.
  • Sorry lol I should have looked first. Thanks Lee.
  • i hope this game has awesome DLC like fallout 3. except "mothership zeta" eventhough there was a crashed alien space ship, that DLC didnt fit the fallout story.
  • can't wait for this game
  • @86 if he doesn't like fps then why would he go back to cod? ot: I personally didn't really like fallout 3 but I guess that is just my opinion. Although what ive seen of new vegas actually makes me really want it may ask for it for christmas if it turns out as good as it looks. Cause if its good I like games that last forever. Please they had better announce elder scrolls 5 I can't wait! I heard there would be something about it in the october edition of gameinformer magazine.
  • The major addition to New Vegas that I'm looking forward to has gotta be the ADS. That zoom thing from Fallout 3 kinda sucked...
  • Gotta finish Fallout 3 quick.
  • My problem is whats up with the appareal, hardly seen or heard of anything new.
  • Its competition between this and Cod Black Ops relase date wize this would be a nice change from the typical FPS and it comes out earlier i might just get this.
  • As 15 said, I'm totally down for the challenge. I loved Fallout 3 (one of my favourite games ever) but I didn't like eventually becoming a tank.
  • I can't wait to pickpocket ghouls and blow them to the whole karma thing won't be affected by stealing something so small. My character is going to be bad-ass.
  • I cant wait! Fallout 3 wa very very easy, so i am looking for a bit of a challenge with hardcore mode, and i think i will thorouly enjoy the challange as long as it isnt impossibly and unconceivably hard like some games can be. Already have it pre-ordered on amazon XD and i even have a countdown widget on my desktop :D
  • come on new vegas
  • I think 100gp will be a satisfactory amount for the hardcore achievement, obviously if its that much, your in for a big surprise on the difficulty. I have finished mass effect 2 on insanity and it was like playing on easy after you invest a couple hours into it. I am curious on the length of the story and how gambling at the casinos participates in the game. Were at post 108 now and I seen the post about someone only having on house per town in oblivion and one house in fallout 3. Are you serious, Ive killed the owners of the homes and made stashes in the houses i newly and casually just started to own. This game is going to hard to put down and to play my fable 3 and CoD black ops. Bring on these chieves for this chieve killer. Peace ~ Amatsukami78 signing out.
  • awsome game, cant agree with theses idiots saying its shit its coz there all used to playing pokemon on gba lol, i cant stress to all u guys how much i want this game, its hardcore from the start "bring it" haha. the best games ive played have to be fallout 3, fable 2 (cant fukin wait for fable 3) n elder scrolls oblivion, cod 6, gears 1-2, n i hope to see another elder scrolls sometime in the future, they need to get on with making a new en'. And i am officially saying any1 who disagrees with what ive said take a look at the games ur playin first n see if they even compare n dont say gears n cod there sik games aswel, and any1 who as never tried these rpg games dont know WHAT THE FUK UR MISSING haha
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