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Fallout: New Vegas - Ultimate Edition (PC DVD)
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- Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition
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- Platform: Windows XP / Vista
- BBFC Rating: Suitable for 18 years and over. Not for sale to persons under age 18. By placing an order for this product, you declare that you are 18 years of age or over.
- Media: DVD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
Platform: PC | Edition: Ultimate Edition
Welcome back to New Vegas!
With the introduction of the Ultimate Edition Bethesda Softworks presents the definitive edition of the award-winning Fallout: New Vegas®. This complete package, which includes the Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road add-on packs, allows you to experience everything that New Vegas has to offer. To sweeten the pot, you’ll be armed with the latest cache of unique weapons, ammo types and recipes from the most recent add-on packs Courier’s Stash and Gun Runners Arsenal.
You’ll find there are more friends – and enemies – to make whether you’re a seasoned explorer of the Mojave, or playing the game for the first time. You’ll discover there are also more consequences to be responsible for, and more opportunities to live in glory – or infamy – throughout the Wasteland. The choices you make will be as influential as ever.
Enjoy your stay.
- The Definitive Compilation: The Ultimate Edition includes all four mission expansion add-on packs—Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road—along with two additional DLC packs—Courier’s Stash and Gun Runners Arsenal—that increase the range of unique weapons, weapon mods, ammo types and recipes waiting to be uncovered in the vast Mojave Wasteland.
- Beyond the Wasteland: New Vegas is more expansive than ever with the Sierra Madre Casino, Zion National Park, Big MT research crater and the treacherous Divide now open for exploring. Each distinct area presents a fresh set of branching quests, remarkable personalities and more chances to play the Savior or Pariah to the natives of New Vegas.
- Shiny New Toys: Each add-on pack adds to the mountain of armaments already at your disposal. Whether you’re an in-your-face brawler or a long-range gunner, unique ballistic fists like the Two-Step Goodbye or a handy 10mm Sub-Machinegun such as the Sleepytime will ensure that the warmonger in you will flex its ammo-filled muscles.
- Room to Grow: With each of the four main DLC packs, the maximum is increased by 5 levels, ultimately raising the ceiling to Level 50.
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Just like its predecessor, Fallout New Vegas comes with different difficulty levels that can be changed on the go - easy, normal, hard and very hard (my recommendation: hard). In addition to this, there is now a hardcore mode offered which can be turned on separately from the difficulty levels above, but once selected at the beginning of the game, cannot be turned off - it introduces hunger, thirst and sleep meters to your pipboy in addition to the radiation poisoning meter, as well as making your companions mortal. These new meters increase steadily and can be reduced by consuming respective items and going to sleep regularly. I'm very glad Obsidian introduced this as it adds a ton of realism to the game.
Something every Bethesda game player should do in the beginning is set the ingame time progress to a slower pace, which can be done by pressing the ^ key (to call the Gamebryo engine's console command line) and then type SET TIMESCALE TO [Minutes]. The [Minutes] parameter refers to how many minutes you want to pass in the game world for each real minute, so you have to replace that with a desired number. Fallout New Vegas brings numerous additions to the gameplay we have become familiar with since Fallout 3, some of which I will discuss below:
Skill books come in two types now. Those that permanently increase your skill by a couple of points when you read them (just like in Fallout 3), and those that give the relevant skill a +10 point increase, but only temporarily. The addition of the latter to the game is very useful, especially if you find yourself in front of a computer terminal or lock that requires a skill of 100 and you only have 90. As a seasoned TES IV: Oblivion player, I found it quite frustrating in Fallout 3 that there were places in the Capital Wasteland that were essentially inaccessible because your skill level in lockpicking or science wasn't high enough...like I'm actually going to remember that place and come back and unlock that door once my skill level is high enough, right? It just destroys the experience...
Cooking and crafting - a new addition to gameplay in Fallout New Vegas is that you can cook at any campfire in the wasteland; there is a mod over at NV Nexus that also allows you to cook on the various (otherwise useless) ovens found in buildings throughout the Mojave, many of them requiring fuel units or pilot lights to get repaired first. Cooking requires the Survival skill, and some of the more potent recipes require higher skill levels. This is just another of the many examples where the new skill books come in handy. You can create a plethora of things over the campfire, ranging from tasty meals and alcoholic beverages to lethal poisons for your close combat weapons, as well as healing items. Cooking comes in handy on hardcore mode as you can combine ordinary edible items into nutritious meals that help you keep your hunger and thirst levels under control - recipes for some of the best meals are only learned from talking to certain NPCs in the wasteland. Crafting has also been vastly improved. This is where you can recycle energy weapon ammo, create bombs, mines, tools, weapons and all sorts of other useful items. In comparison to Fallout 3, there are a lot more crafting recipes now. In combination with cooking, it now feels as if almost every item in Fallout New Vegas is useful, compared to the large amount of useless junk items in Fallout 3 which you never added to your inventory such as sensor modules, scrap metal, abraxo cleaners, boxes of detergent etc.
On top of this, another component has been added to the game, namely being able to break down ammunition into individual components (shell, powder, primer) that can then be used to manufacture ammo for other guns. There is a bucketload of different ammo types in Fallout New Vegas, and even seasoned players will often find themselves overwhelmed, as this amount can be overwhelming: .308, .357 mag, .44 mag, 20mm grenade, 40mm grenade, 12gauge, 20gauge, 22LR, 12.7mm, .45-.70G and nails just to name a few, next to the ones you might already be familiar with from Fallout 3 (10mm, 5mm, missile, microfusion cell, mini-nuke, electron charge pack etc.) Further complicating this is the addition of different types of the same ammo, such as hollow point shells or slug rounds which make your weapon more effective towards a particular type of enemy by compensating efficiency on other enemy types. I never found the latter useful, as the game is usually too easy and too fast paced to really make you rely on tactical choices like this, given that gunfights barely last a few seconds. If you play on harder difficulties, usually the only thing you have to worry about is medical supplies, as your health will drop extremely fast when being shot at and there is no real cover system in the game you could take advantage of.
Another nice addition to the game is that ammo now has weight. This prevents you from accumulating several thousand shotgun shells over the course of the game for example, something that was common in Fallout 3. While there were mods that gave ammo weight in Fallout 3, it somehow felt disheartening to download them in hindsight and give yourself an artificial limitation that didn't ship with the game, which thankfully IS the case when Bethesda made Fallout New Vegas. To compensate for this, you can always make your companions carry excess inventory. I have a mod that raises the amount of companions you can have depending on your - otherwise fairly useless - S.P.E.C.I.A.L. charisma skill, and now have six companions following me, two of which aren't bipedal. Definitely a different experience than travelling alone or just having merely one guy trailing behind you. Does it make the game easy? Perhaps. But the mod I am using also makes companions burn through ammo - so no more unlimited rounds for their gun - and companions can still die when overwhelmed thanks to hardcore mode. Another reason that justifies a mod like this is that there are quite a lot of different characters in the Mojave that can be convinced to follow you, and each one of them gives you a unique perk when they become your companion, such as Rose of Sharon Cassidy giving you the Whiskey Rose perk which removes all negative side effects from drinking alcohol and makes you immune to its addiction too, along with giving you a small damage threshold (DT) bonus. Each companion also has their unique quest, and since the vanilla game only allows you to have one at a time, you'd never manage to play through them all and would miss out on a lot.
Fallout New Vegas has definitely improved in the dialogue part of the game - which for a Bethesda game, is really one of its core gameplay elements. As with any other Bethsoft title, you have well over several dozen hours worth of non-stop voiced dialogue in this game (Fallout 3 had 30,000 lines of dialogue), but you don't get to hear most of it because the dialogue options you choose yield radically different lines of dialogue from the NPCs. It is no longer a "let's hear everything they have to say by clicking through all the dialogue options before moving on" method, but rather one where you have to reload your last save and go down a different dialogue path to hear the rest, if you have the interest without wanting to replay the entire game. This gives you a lot more mileage for several playthroughs of the game, but let's be honest - you can only afford that if this is the only game you play. Given that a single playthrough (without even playing the DLCs) nets you more than 100 hours worth of gameplay, people just don't have the time to play a huge game like this more than once, especially those who also actively play other games. And you somewhat feel robbed when you know that you can't hear everything by playing through the game once, but that's just me. Nevertheless, in the latter half of the game you are given some really tough choices as to who you would want to work for. Apart from the classic good/evil factions represented by the NCR and Caesar's Legion, you could also work for Mr. House or perhaps even try taking the Strip over by yourself, or work for the Followers of the Apocalypse - who, in terms of selflessness and benevolence, put both the NCR and the Brotherhood of Steel to shame and want an independent New Vegas (although House wants this too, but his take on an independent Vegas is somewhat different).
Fallout New Vegas is definitely closer to the lore established by Fallout and Fallout 2, and this can for example be seen in the way the Brotherhood of Steel is portrayed. While they were the heroes, liberators and protectors of the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3, they are selfish, isolationist hoarders of technology in Fallout New Vegas, which is more in line with their Fallout 1 & 2 background. There are also quite a few references in the game about the NCR being a corrupt, expansionist Old World bureaucracy that, if led to flourish, would lead to the same type of bloated, ambitious and foolhardy government that would trigger yet another atomic war by not having learned anything from the previous United States government, but the game still portrays them as good guys more than it does them as nepotic. At the same time, Caesar's Legion is almost always portrayed as a nation of evil slavers; I had wished for some more gray area kinda portrayal of these two main factions so that the choice to side with whom is made more difficult for the player, properly reflecting the self-serving nature of a post-apocalyptic world.
There are two main radio stations in Fallout New Vegas - Mojave Music Radio and Radio New Vegas, but I never actually found myself listening to the radio as much as I did while playing Fallout 3, probably because the novelty has somewhat worn off (and Mr. Vegas just cannot compare to THREE DAWG!!!), but more likely because enough buildings in the wasteland have radios playing in them already that you memorize most songs without even having to turn on your own radio. Perhaps it is also because the atmospheric music of the wasteland is beautifully eerie and includes many classic pieces from Fallout 1 and 2 such as "Metallic Monks" or "City of Lost Angels" - the former very fitting while exploring an abandoned industrial area in the afternoon sunlight and the latter while you are in Caesar's Legion territory at night. Fallout New Vegas also comes with a fine selection of additional music from the 1940s and 1950s, this time more focussed on the country genre. Songs such as Big Iron or Blue Moon get stuck in your head, whether you like it or not!
The Mojave - encompassing the three states California, Nevada and Arizona - seems to be smaller than the Capital Wasteland, in fact I feel somewhat cheated as 33% of the map is inaccessible: the land east of the Colorado river, Caesar's Land, is framed by unscalable heights, while the Mojave's west is bordered by a mountain range running from North to South, leaving lands further west (until you hit the actual edge of the map) inaccessible. While the Mojave has a lot more locations than the Capital Wasteland does, many of them are utterly pointless, such as mere shacks or dried up lakebeds getting their own label, while in Fallout 3 usually only bigger buildings and interesting places got theirs. At the same time, there are also many unmarked locations in the Mojave that would have deserved their own marker.
Ultimately, the debate remains: which game is better? Fallout 3 or Fallout New Vegas? It is too early for me to make a decision, given that I have bought both Game of the Year Editions but still haven't managed to play through all their DLCs yet (you know...real life and all). Fallout 3's flaw was that the main quest, despite being gripping and having a Hollywood vibe to it, was over very quickly, and you had to purposefully avoid completion and explore other parts of the Capital Wasteland to get more gameplay. The main quest also only took you across a fraction of the Capital Wasteland, not giving you enough incentive to explore the other areas. Also, the Capital Wasteland barely had any remarkable cities (as an Oblivion player, I remember how Cyrodiil had 9 distinct cities, most of them part of the main quest). The only ones I can think of in Fallout 3 are (apart from the somewhat lengthy tutorial-induced stay at Vault 101) Megaton, the Citadel, Tenpenny Tower and Rivet City. In Fallout New Vegas, unique and interesting locations and pockmarked all across the Mojave, with the main quest taking you through most of them - Goodsprings, Primm, Novac, Nellis Air Force Base, Freeside, The Thorn, Camp McCarran, Camp Forlorn Hope, Red Rock Canyon, Hidden Valley,... not to mention the Strip itself, where you will spend a considerable amount of time doing quests in the various casinos. There are also many other locations where you will spend a lot of time fighting, such as REPCONN HQ, REPCONN Test site, NCRCF, and just like in Fallout 3, inside the various vaults, but New Vegas still offers more unique locations than its precedessor did.
However, I do miss the green tint of the Capital Wasteland - Fallout 3 always looked and felt like a grim, post-apocalyptic, depressing, irradiated wasteland where people are scratching a living off bare rock and rusted metal debris, while in Fallout New Vegas I never really felt like I was the survivor of a nuclear apocalypse. In fact, they could have called this game: "Sunny Mojave Adventure" and it would have done the game justice. Fallout New Vegas feels more like a fun desert adventure than the survival among the ruins of a bleak, irradiated wasteland. I remember how I spent hours finding my way through the D.C. metro tunnels and then some more exploring along the desolate Mall, with all of its familiar landmarks and such. In New Vegas, you have the Strip, which admittedly looks awesome, and travelling the Mojave at night with the distant glow of New Vegas always accompanying you does feel romantic, but wholly different to the Fallout 3 experience - it has a somewhat melancholic Wild West vibe to it (in fact, the theme songs for the movies "A Fistfull of Dollars" or "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" would make for great theme songs to Fallout New Vegas as well). One point where Fallout New Vegas takes the spotlight is of course the casino theme - you really do get amazed the first time you step into the Strip, and playing mini games at the various casinos can be fun, but there are only three: the slot machine, blackjack and roulette. Another card game is thrown in, but only caravaneers play it, and it is optly called "Caravan". I had wished for more card games to be present in the game, since that's one of the main themes of the game after all, such as Poker or Texas Hold 'Em.
Fallout New Vegas also has a lot more distinct factions (NCR, Caesar's Legion, Powder Gangers, Boomers, Great Khans, Followers of the Apocalypse,...) compared to Fallout 3 (where it was really just the Brotherhood of Steel vs. the Enclave, with the Slavers from Paradise Falls thrown in for evil characters almost as a mere afterthought), as well as improved gameplay mechanics, so in my opinion it is worth playing both games to experience both sides of the coin although it will cost you dearly (in terms of social and/or academic life) - I sacrificed 3 years' worth of summer vacations to play Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas and I'm still not through with all their DLC.
Now, before we conclude the review, let me adress the final thing that should always be addressed regarding any Bethesda game - mods. I continue to love Bethesda for making their, admittedly old engine, so moddable that we can tailor/enhance our own gameplay experience to suit our needs for FREE by downloading various user created modifications from NV Nexus. Here is a list of some of the mods I play the game with; I am a fan of mods that make the game look better - whether that means replacing weapon textures with high resolution ones, or adding shaders and filters to the game, or simply fixing certain things that needed fixing. I am not a fan of complete gameplay overhauls/rebalances.
274 NEW Atomic Loading Screens NON-REPLACER - more loading screens without replacing the default ones.
Mojave Tin Pip Boy - a must have that replaces your ugly pip boy with a shiny metal one perfectly suited to New Vegas' casino/cowboy lifestyle
Enclave Radio - more radio stations
Wave Radio - more radio stations
Mojave NightSky - turns your night sky into a fantastic display of constellations
New Vegas Uncut A Thorny Situation - restores content that was cut from the game, including voiced dialogue and characters
New Vegas Uncut A Wilder Wasteland - restores content that was cut from the game, including voiced dialogue and characters
New Vegas Uncut Rotface to Riches - restores content that was cut from the game, including voiced dialogue and characters
Electrocity - brings light to the Wasteland
ImprovedCompanions - companions burn through ammo and wear armor you give them
Interior Lighting Overhaul - makes the game more realistic by only allowing light sources to generate light
MiscItemIconsNV - replaces a lot of the junk icons with ones matching the relevant item.
Jacobstown Expanded - more interiors
tyfaster walk - increases walk speed
And for those of you who have really powerful PCs, I highly recommend you download the "Enhanced Shaders - ENB 161" mod, which introducts true HDR sunglare, SSAO, dynamic shadows, dynamic depth of field etc. into your game, making an old, ugly game engine into quite a pretty looking one. You can make the experience perfect by additionally downloading the popular NMC's texture pack, which retextures the entire game.
Overall, Fallout New Vegas gives you A LOT for your money and probably ruins your social life, school life, college grades and career. A 5, out of 5 stars.
The first thing that hits you in the Mojave desert is how...familiar this new world looks like. The graphics, which were excellent two years ago, are still very good - but they are no longer cutting edge. Besides some richer shadowing and somewhat more vivid colors, if there are any major graphical improvements since FALLOUT-3 I failed to notice them. Having said that, I must admit that I loved the desert skies, especially during sunrises and sunsets!
Although both the story and the location are different from FALLOUT-3, I was happy to meet old friends: the handy PIPBOY-3000, the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skill system and the V.A.T.S. targeting aid. The gameplay seems to fit like a favorite old pair of jeans.
Character development has both acquired more depth (with the return of Traits which offer advantages but at a price) but also made easier. There are new guns and more explosive kill-shot sequences as well as more skills and perks but I felt far less pressure to complete quests to gain experience points and translate them into perks, skills and traits as the game is generous in offering different ways to accomplish this.
Notably, with all the conflicting groups and factions angling for an edge in controlling New Vegas, the story seems more byzantine than FALLOUT-3 and the choices one has to make now cut deeper. Note also that this is a longer game than FALLOUT-3.
Now some bad news. Whereas FALLOUT 3 had a simple disk-check, FALLOUT:NEW VEGAS comes with mandatory OnLine STEAM registration and activation. If you are wondering, the game lost its fifth star neither because of its somewhat dated graphics, nor its numerous bugs or occasional crash but rather its anti-customer DRM scheme. (That was a serious misstep BETHESDA, I was disappointed). Having to activate your game OnLine means that you never actually own the game you paid for at full price. Just try to sell or gift your original version in order to replace it with the Ultimate edition and see what happens. If this does not concern you, well, you can now make an informed decision either way.
This ULTIMATE EDITION includes all of the DLCs, namely DEAD MONEY, HONEST HEARTS, OLD WORLD BLUES, LONESOME ROAD, GUNRUNNER's ARSENAL and COURIER's STASH (consisting of the CARAVAN, CLASSIC, MERCENARY & TRIBAL Packs).
I almost never buy individual DLCs. If I like a game enough, I wait for such an Ultimate or GOTY edition to pick them all up at a reasonable price. And here lies the irony: the game requires STEAM anyway - and yet it was available at a much lower price on STEAM some months ago. I would advise waiting for the price to drop again.
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