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PAX 2010: Hands On - Fallout 3: New Vegas

by: Sean -
More On: Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout 3: New Vegas leaves this reporter less than impressed.

In my brief encounter with Fallout 3: New Vegas, I naturally wanted to put to the test all of Bethesda's claims about New Vegas having more of a shooter feel, so I picked a fight with the first NPCs I saw. Now, not only did I immediately get in trouble with whoever was manning the booth (apparently those are important characters), but I was immediately underwhelmed by the supposed "changes" to the shooting mechanic.

The only noticeable change was that, instead of zooming slightly closer onto the onscreen cursor, we now get an iron sight view. That's great! I love iron sight views! Good start! Here's the problem: my character was still so slow as to be a complete bullet sponge, and I died almost immediately after initiating combat. 

In all fairness, this is still an RPG, so maybe this character didn't have a lot invested into speed or whatever, but if you're gonna call yourself a "shooter," you have to be able to shoot and move. I have to be able to move into/behind cover, or at the very least away from danger, quickly. My experience was not quick, it was not effective, and it was not fun.

Until, that is, I stopped trying to play like a shooter and played the game like Fallout 3. Walk into a room and initiate V.A.T.S., and I wiped the floor with my opposition. This strikes me as a problem; I'm one of the vocal community of players who hates V.A.T.S., who thinks that V.A.T.S. is a boring game mechanic that makes combat a spectator sport rather than a thrilling experience and made me never want to play the original again, which is terrible, because the original had an awesome plot and tons of elements that made it a must-play game that i, frankly, didn't enjoy playing. I have high hopes for New Vegas, but if I have to use V.A.T.S. for every encounter again, I'm going to be very disappointed.

Hopefully, this was an issue that was specific to this character build and a unique experience. Otherwise, this is going to be an awesome game that many people might not enjoy playing when it drops on October 22nd, 2010.