Monday, May 30

Neon Wasteland: Returning to New Vegas

Thanks to the lovely people at Bitmob, I was afforded the latest expansion to Fallout: New Vegas on the condition that I write about my experience with the downloadable prize. While I can never pass up a free game (or an expansion as it were), I was somewhat hesitant to re-engage with Obsidian's buggy follow-up to what is one of the better role-playing games available on this generation of console hardware in Fallout 3.

You can read all of my initial impressions of New Vegas by clicking here, but to summarize for those bereft of spare time: the game featured underwhelming visuals and voice-acting, broken quest design as well as one of the most purposeless narratives in recent memory. There were also more than enough bugs to diffuse any attempt at an extended play session. It had been just over six months since I last played this mess; but with two new expansions and some major patches, I had hoped that this middling release would have been whipped into shape.

I'm afraid this was not the case.

The New Vegas Strip was just as ugly as I had remembered it to be. The inhabitants didn't fare much better either, with their marionette-like bodies brought clumsily to life with the press of a button. They would spout uninspired observations about the establishments they resided within, and rarely uttered more than a single phrase. The washed out brown and grey corridors of the various casinos, clubs and other establishments were also just as exhausting as they were when I had first wondered through them last year.

I wasn't here for the old though, I thought to myself. I'm here to experience the newest chapter in this(so far) disappointing adventure. But then I thought about it a little harder.

It was entirely likely that the characters and by extension, enemies that I would encounter in these recently-gifted environments would be of a higher level than those peppered across the standard questline; and they would therefore be able to brutalize my inexperienced character on a whim. Before I could play through the new, I would have to suffer the old; and suffer I did.

First I played through the painfully easy, yet undeniably broken quest "Bye Bye Love." On first attempt, I arranged to meet Joana and her fellow ladies of the night in the Gamorra club lobby. Upon some last minute preparations, we embarked upon our deadly journey. Being the gentleman that I am, I waited for the ladies to leave first and the proceeded to venture out on the Strip. Joana wasn't there, neither were her friends. I was then promptly advised that I had failed the quest because I allowed the ladies to venture off alone. A different approach was required: I ran out of the club as soon as I advised that we were right to go. Again I was met with failure. Upon five successive and unsuccessful attempts, I decided to load a save game I had created about ten minutes earlier, just as I had initiated the quest. Joana and her companions met me outside and we quickly proceeded to complete the quest.

War - and Fallout: New Vegas it seems - never changes. Just as broken as ever.

New Vegas is home to many different bug varieties 

All frustration aside, I'm now proceeding towards the end game. If all things go according to plan, I should be playing Honest Hearts by next week.

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