All right, calm down, people. We all knew this was coming.
Fallout: New Vegas arrives today, and the news is that it’s… well… it’s from Obsidian.
“What does that mean, Steerpike?” I hear you ask.
It means it’s buggy, youngster. Well-written but buggy.
I’ve been hearing of problems with Steam authentication since review code went out last week; now that civilians are playing we’re getting tell of more in-game stuff that ranges from annoying to outright busted.
Now, New Vegas is not likely to suffer the same fate as Alpha Protocol, Obsidian’s well-meaning but ruinously buggy spy RPG. Gamers are still waiting for a patch for Alpha Protocol, and they’ll likely still be waiting when the sun goes out. Well, I mean, they’d be dead because that’s not happening for like five billion years and the sun would be out anyway, but what I’m saying is that there’s no patch coming. SEGA dropped Alpha Protocol like the roach-covered McNugget it was the instant the game shipped. I, like many gamers, really enjoyed what we saw of Alpha Protocol, but in the end I had to abandon it halfway through because it became unplayable for me.
New Vegas is unlikely to experience the same end. Supported by Bethesda and ZeniMax, part of one of the biggest recent franchise reboots we’ve seen in the past few years, there will be patches. Patches aplenty. Patches will fall out of the sky like fallout. But this may not be a day zero purchase unless you’re willing to suffer the Obsidian-ness that’s become par for the course.
I love Obsidian. I’m friends with guys there. Like, personal drinking-buddy friends. But god damn, someone had better crack the whip on that team before they Troika themselves.
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The reviews seem allover the place for this, not just from a final score perspective. I’ve read 9 out of 10’s, 7 out of 10’s and 3 and a half stars out of 5 stars. I’ve read reviews that praise what new stuff it brings to the table and reviews that slate the fact it still looks and feels like a 2 year old product. Reviews that praise it for being exactly the same as Fallout 3, and reviews that criticise it for being exactly the same as Fallout 3..
Not sure who to trust. Long term I wouldn’t mind playing this but at the moment I can’t justify the time investment required. This time of year was too busy for me when Fallout 3 launched and New Vegas offers no exception to that. I had a blast (you could say a Nuclear Blast.. tee-hee!) with Fallout 3 when I did get around to playing it, though.
Steerpike, did you play The Sith Lords? Would you say New Vegas contains more or fewer bugs than KotOR II?
If it’s no worse than that, I could definitely handle it. (Was your snippet here speaking from firsthand experience?)
No, not firsthand experience, chiefly info from a journalists message group I’m on and an RPS post. From what I gather, it’s around Sith Lords level; certainly nowhere near as bad as Alpha Protocol. But it’s early to say – this is Day Zero and many of the more serious AP problems didn’t start materializing until people had played a few hours.
I recommend caution, but not run-the-other-way caution. It WILL be patched.
I don’t think some bugs will stop me. They could throw in the Mortal Kombat “Toasty!” guy every 5 minutes … Chris f*****g Avellone was involved. I will tolerate some shit for the Goodness of the Wasteland.
Thanks, as usual, Steerpike. I have been working on the addons for Fallout 3 and waiting for Fallout New Vegas, which I thought I would buy immediately.
I think I will keep on going with Fallout addons and wait for some cleanup with New Vegas before I buy it. And, of course, I still have so many other games to play.
Why am I not surprised. Heck FO3 still crashes regularly for me (big sigh).
Chris Avellone is ninety-eight times the writer that anyone at Bethesda will ever dream of being. Actually he’s ninety-eight times the writer that most writers dream of being, but I feel sad when he’s tied to these broken games again and again. As much recognition as he (and the team, he’s not alone there) gets for their narrative gifts, they’re always kicked in the teeth for their technical flaws. I hope they find a way to bring the one up to par with the other.
Once had a fantasy, Obsidian doing story but no tech and id doing the tech but not allowed to ever touch story or art. When they ended up in the same company my nerd heart grew three sizes.
Pity there was no payoff; all I got was congestive heart failure.
After about 5.5 hours of New Vegas this evening I can confidently say I’m enjoying it as much as I enjoyed its predecessor.
The introduction sequence and how you pick your SPECIAL traits is somewhat clumsier, but at the core this is the same great game. Maybe that’s why it will take a lot of flak, but sometimes more of the same is just what some people are looking for.
Loading times seem about identical to FO3’s, and graphics, AI, all that stuff is the same. Some comments/reviews are making this game out to be a regression from Fallout 3, and it certainly is not. If you play Fallout 3 and don’t think it’s a broken game then I have no proof thus far to tell you that you would find New Vegas to be a broken game.
As far as game breakers or immersion breaking bugs, OK– I’ve encountered one so far, and I suppose you could call it immersion breaking though it’s nothing more retarded than what might have occurred in Fallout 3: I entered a gas station to have a chat with a fellow named Ringo. Before I approached him it looked like he was trying to sit/lean on a shelf, and he kept repeating the same motion over and over as though he were stuck. As soon as I opened dialogue with him it went away.
You can’t tell me that sort of stuff never happened in Bethesda’s game. Maybe there were no invisible typewriters, but even if I do come across that glitch I don’t think I’ll care. Minor details like that are meaningless to me when such a massive world like Fallout demands some imagination to fill in the blanks.
The faces are still on par with a game circa 2000, the characters run around like slabs of cardboard, and so on and so forth, but the truth is this: if you’ve played and loved Fallout 3 then I think New Vegas will not disappoint you. This is my opinion, formed after my half dozen hours experience. If the game completely breaks down and implodes at the 7-hour mark, you have my sincere apologies.
A few notes of clarification: I’ve run into no broken AI, characters, or conversation trees. No broken quests thus far. My game hasn’t crashed once. I’m playing the PS3 version.
Yeah, same here. Been playing the Xbox 360 version for 5 or so hours and it’s exactly what I expected. It’s expanded and deepened Fallout 3 with good design and so far solid but unspectacular writing (kinda like Alpha Protocol) (that I had managed to complete unlike Steerpike) (because I am hardcore… or a hardcore masochist). I love the freedom that he game offers alongside the focus that it also offers and I love the additions. Been playing in hardcore mode so far and it works well.
But the fucker IS buggy even on Xbox 360. Clipping through furniture I don’t even consider bugs any more, because the game chugs like a sandbuggy driven by a drunken hobo, the lo-res textures are everywhere a lot of the time, before the game remembers you actually paid for hi-res stuff and loads it and I had one complete lock up that needed a hard reset…
As for the PC version, I don’t know about Steam authentication because I plan to buy this on disc as soon as it’s available here. The cracked version that bypasses the need for Steam seems to be working fine but I’ve only downloaded it for research purposes – to count the bugs basically and decide whether the PC version is a waste of money at this point in time – and have only played around a few minutes to see if there are any crippling bugs right at the start. Will report later if any revelations hit.
I get practically everything over Steam now, and we all know I’m weak when it comes to new releases, so maybe if my self-discipline fails me I’ll check it out today. Then we’ll have all platforms covered!
Quintin Smith aka “Quinns” over at RPS adds this comment today:
“My own experience of New Vegas has become a lot more stable after my outburst yesterday. Seems I had a run of bad luck, compounded by the game not telling me about several different and VERY IMPORTANT controls. Hopefully I’ll have my review up by tomorrow afternoon.”
I’ve spent well over 15 hours with the game so far and can happily report I haven’t had any problems. I’ve seen some of the videos online, but I’m getting the feeling they are overstating the bugginess on the heels of Alpha Protocol.
I haven’t reached the end of the main quest line, so I don’t know if my game will be unbeatable when I reach it (as one person has complained.) Also, Fallout 3 released much buggier than this one. That game would crash every couple of hours until the 5th or 6th patch. No crashes yet with New Vegas.
I’m playing the PC version mind you. The Steam part of it was a very disheartening surprise. I like Steam, but I purchased this game in a store with the explicit intent of NOT playing it on Steam. So when I finally installed it and found I HAD to use Steam, I was pretty upset. Again, I like Steam, but I really don’t want it to be the new must use DRM for PCs.
Hey Meho, concerning your comments on the writing. The first time I felt it got really good was my first real encounter with Ceaser’s Legion. Not just the writing, but the whole scene and mood of it were actually creepy! Something I never felt in FO3.
Have you made it to that point yet? You know what I’m talking about?
Also, I too am playing on Hardcore mode. Have mixed feeling about it, but love that it’s an option.
Hardcore sounds fascinating but I think I’ll save that for a second play-through.
Has anyone seen the Colonel Tigh head twirling video yet? It was posted on RPS this morning but I don’t know where it originated. It’s a priceless laugh, and sadly a bug I did not experience. (There are no spoilers in the video for those currently on the sidelines of the Wasteland; it’s just some boring conversation during your character building at the start.)
Video is here if you don’t want to look for it yourself!
Hey, Armand: no, haven’t played further. The game is coming out on Friday over here and I want to start over playing a legit version rather than a pirate copy. As I said, I merely sampled pirate copies so that I know how buggy the game actually is and is it worth purchasing a console or PC version. I am going with PS3 version now and I guess when all the DLC is done I’ll probably be buying GOTY edition for PC…
The hardcore mode is pretty fine for me so far but it might turn frustrating when I face some bigger enemies of course. And having chosen wild wasteland trait I imagine the enemies might be even weirder than normal… We’ll see… I’ll start a PS3 version on Saturday and that’s the one I plan to play through…. With a female avatar no less!!!
Female avatars FTW! Didn’t realize it hadn’t come out in your area yet. And you don’t have to explain yourself for “sampling” the game to me. I know you aren’t evil. : )
I saw the twisty head video. That was downright creepy.
GOD DAMN YOU STEAM I just bought the game. Curse them for making it so easy! Curse my weak clicking finger!
What would our fearless leader be if he weren’t human.
You need to play a bit and then report back if it is safe to buy for someone like me.
Kay et al, I’ve played for about 2.5 hours and found the game crashless. It has a few interface quirks – took me a minute to remember how to reprogram the mouse, fr’example. And it did drop oddly in frames (to 9, according to FRAPS) for several seconds in a major firefight early in the game, which it shouldn’t have given my PC (Core2 Quad 9450, GTX 460, 8GB).
But all in all it’s very Fallout, which is a good thing. I haven’t left the first town yet, but I’ve completed a few quests and, aside from one man embedded in a bar stool, not seen much in the way of breaks.
It is amazing how the engine – a version of GameBryo that in my Oblivion review years ago I called “quite simply the most beautiful game on the market today,” has aged. There’s ugliness. But you know, it didn’t bother me.
Also, as promised in an earlier article, I decided to play a girl this time, and I’m going to try to act differently than my traditional RPG trope.
Just 2.5 hours in I’m impressed and willing to say that it does not have the flaws of Alpha Protocol, and, if you’re a Fallout fan, is probably worth grabbing. We should also note that Obsidian has already patched the game once, with more surely to come.
That makes three of us. I’ve already taken the Black Widow perk. Watch out, gentlemen of the Wasteland.
This game is nuts. The number of directions you can take the main story… I’m not even sure, but it begs for multiple play-throughs.
Out of nitpicking curiosity: PC players, are you noticing that the mouse pointer is almost uncontrollably zippy in menus?
I turned down Mouse Sensitivity but it only seemed to affect the gameplay (so I had to turn it back up).
A minor issue, but annoying. The only other complaint I’ve got so far is the fact that some of the Pip-Boy controls are unmappable.
Beyond that I’m eager to see what the writing team at Obsidian can do with the world of Fallout.
I haven’t had that sort of trouble Steerpike. The only thing close to that was in one specific portion of the game. When you get your player house, you can use a computer to buy furnishing for your place. Once you access the computer, it opens up a conversation box on top of the computer screen. I don’t know why they used this kind of redundant feature, but it seems to mess with my mouse and cause it to get “sticky,” almost like too much was happening for my PC to handle and thus causing slow-downs.
Not sure if it relates to your issue though. Overall, the mouse has been fine for me.
One incredibly annoying bug I’ve had actually is that my auto-save and quick-saves don’t seem to stick if I restart the game. Somewhere at level 6, the game decided that it really liked a particular quick-save, and now every time I restart, it will revert to that earlier point. My regular saves work fine, but when my game crashed (yeah, it happened,) I lost a bunch of progress due to losing my quick-saves.
Now I save through the menu every time, which is kind of annoying.
I continue to listen to all of you in facination. I still haven’t decided when to buy this game but I know I eventually will. Nothing I have read here makes me think, no no no no. Eventually I will buy it (probably sooner than I think) and love playing it.
But to be sensible I still have Point Lookout and Broken Steel to play in Fallout 3. And I am enjoying myself a lot with these addons. So I will continue. And in the time it takes me to do that, I expect many of the glitches will get taken care of in New Vegas. And then I will give it a try. kay
A second patch has been released, and I hear this one will fix Armand’s save problem. Steam Cloud saving is offline, so maybe that was the cause.
4 hours in, Kay. The only Very Serious Complaint I have is that the game does drop to single-digit frame rates during certain scenes, especially combat with many people, or in an area with many people. I just don’t feel that, given my PC, it should be doing this unless the engine is poorly optimized. Still, it’s an annoyance, not a dealbreaker.
With all your Fallout 3 content to play, it sounds like you might be able to wait until the holidays and possibly grab this one during one of those great Steam sales. It’ll be past its tail by then, so heck, you could see it for $9.99 or something.
I don’t seem to be getting any of these Steam updates. Pretty frustrating at this point!
RPS absolutely hammered this in their review. It’s a must read just for the reactions.
It honestly does look awful.
The thing that strikes me about the RPS review is Quintin’s dislike for the the dialogue. Some sections of Fallout 3’s various dialogue arcs bored me to absolute tears.. I’m a little concerned that New Vegas seems more dull than that, even if there are conflicting reports elsewhere.
Meh. Inevitably this is a game I will pick up at some point. Like many I think I’ll wait for the GOTY edition.
Read the comments on the RPS review. Probably the single most explosive comments thread I’ve ever seen there. Honestly, maybe some of them are “willing” the game into greatness because they’ve spent a good chunk of change on it, but I think it’s legitimate to say that this is One Of Those Games that some people may find unacceptable, while others revere it.
No exaggerations though, at least 80% of comments remark that they find his review quite surprising, and that they’ve either found F:NV to be a better game than FO3, while others are saying “it’s what FO3 should have been.”
Me? At 10 hours, it’s too early to say, but I did find Quinns’ review a tad harsh, especially where he said there was no originality and horrible writing. The writing is just fine so far, and a lot of proponents are saying it brings back that Fallout 1 & 2 humour that was just a little off in Fallout 3 (though personally I admired FO3’s attempts).
One comment on RPS summed up the whole debate with this simple sentence: “It’s an Obsidian game. It should be expected to be divisive.”
This is one of the better reviews I have read; quite fair, honest and balanced.
Here’s my early summation/prediction: New Vegas is to Fallout 3 what Fallout 2 was to Fallout: more or the same, bigger world, more challenge, more zany, same bugs, more Fallout.
The writing in Oblivion was horrendous and what I’ve played of FO3 it was equally as boring. I can’t imagine FO:V being any different.
I’m not buying it just because it puts me right off looking at characters who all look or sound the same. It just breaks it for me…
Quinns’ review does seem kinda harsh, but then I’m only four hours into the game. I was interested to discover that my frame drop is a Win7/64 bug that occurs when you’re standing near several people.
Armand, if you’re online in Steam, your game has probably been patched. It doesn’t alert you or anything, just does the download and returns to “100% – Ready.”
I will complain that Obsidian did the same damn thing Bethsoft did – licensed like three songs for the radio and called it a day. Moreover they seem to have used all of three actors to voice all the roles, something Bethsoft did in both Fallout 3 and Oblivion.
I just got my update this morning. I get the feeling Steam dishes out this sort of thing in different tiers to not overload their servers. I must have been at the ass end of it.
“The writing in Oblivion was horrendous and what I’ve played of FO3 it was equally as boring. I can’t imagine FO:V being any different.”
But…. F:NV is written by Chris Avellone. The guy who wrote Planescape Torment and KOTOR2. It SHOULD be notably better. So far – five or six hours in, I can’t say I’ve seen much difference, but as Armand reports, it presumably does get better later.
I just want to say, this game gets better and better. There is some real quality content here!
i lol at you bloggers that hold fantasy conversations with yourself. hahahaha
And we lol right back at you elijah.