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They say the sun don't rise in Vegas.
May 15, 2011 8:39 PM   Subscribe


 
This is wonderful.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:50 PM on May 15, 2011


I haven't played either modern Fallout game, but I've heard New Vegas is the one to get. Do I need to have played Fallout 3 first?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:53 PM on May 15, 2011


Awesome. Know if there's a DC equivalent to this for the original Fallout 3?

About a year and a half ago, I moved to DC, showing up with about half of my stuff in my car, and was planning to fetch the rest the next morning.

Instead, about an hour later, it started to snow. And snow. And snow. Two days later, it snowed again.

For 8 days, I was holed up in my now-halfway-furnished apartment, with a PS3, canned soup, no forks, no socks, and an unopened copy of Fallout 3 that I'd never gotten around to playing.

This complemented the atmosphere of the game quite well -- the literally unpassable (and abandoned) roads, trigger-happy law enforcement, no humans in sight for miles, food stores picked clean, and then abandoned, the mostly-nonfunctional (but still useful) Metro system, Northern Virginia a desolate wasteland where you have to walk for miles and miles to get anywhere interesting....
posted by schmod at 8:57 PM on May 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Undeniably, visiting Reno after playing Fallout was far more interesting, and made posing in front of the 'Reno: Biggest Little City in the World' sign feel somehow badass. No-one knows why I love that photo so much.

In other words, I much approve, and it is very, very cool to see these things in detail. I wish I would've thought of it/done it, but that would require money and the ability to focus on something seriously rather than run around making deathclaw and laser gun noises.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:00 PM on May 15, 2011


When I saw the first episode of this Doctor Who season where he goes to that desert bit I said "I've been there!". And my family looked at me and I added "er, in Red Dead Redemption".
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:02 PM on May 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


As someone who grew up in northern Virginia, going into the subways in Fallout 3 and looking at the ceiling gave me the chills. I've seen that pattern thousands of times.
posted by kafziel at 9:02 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very cool. Makes me feel a little guilty I never finished it. Dunno why but it was a little disapointing after the genius that was fallout 3.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:11 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I still watch out for feral ghouls every time I'm in the Metro.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:12 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Do I need to have played Fallout 3 first?"

No, they're pretty much stand-alone.

New Vegas is really buggy and on a console the load times are atrocious.

Still fun though.
posted by bardic at 9:16 PM on May 15, 2011


schmod, here's a brief comparison of various D.C. landmarks to their in-game counterparts.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:17 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't played either modern Fallout game, but I've heard New Vegas is the one to get.

I would play Fallout 3 if I were you. I actually put some effort into 100%ing it, I think I was 40+ hours in when I finally gave up and finished it.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:22 PM on May 15, 2011


As someone who grew up in northern Virginia, going into the subways in Fallout 3 and looking at the ceiling gave me the chills. I've seen that pattern thousands of times.

Frankly, I was a bit concerned that my initial reaction to that ceiling pattern in the game was that "It's wrong . There aren't enough coffers. Also, why are there public restrooms everywhere? That's totally unrealistic."

The decayed entrance canopies were a nice touch though, but also underline the core of my issue with the game's faux-1950s aesthetic. At its core, DC today is very much a child of the 1960s and 1970s. Those entrance canopies were only added in the past decade (which is very obvious from their design), and it always seemed a bit odd that weird bits of design were shoehorned into the game that obviously didn't fit into the 1950s aesthetic.

...and for some reason, I always just assumed that a game about a post-nuclear-apocalypse wasteland would have a 1970s aesthetic. The 70s were already dystopian, and the brutalist architecture would have fit in very nicely. They could even have used some artistic license, and modeled the Metro system after Harry Weese's original vision for it (which, among other things, included streamlined fire engine red trains -- the 50s-style trains in the game really bothered me, because trains were never built to look remotely like that.)

I really enjoyed Max Payne's faithful recreation of the NYC Subway, and wish that no-longer-actually-located-in-Bethesda Softworks would have made a game that was more consistent artistically, and had a more logical relationship to the actual city of Washington, given that they seem to have made a tremendous amount of effort on both of these fronts, but stopped short at 95% of where they really should have been.

And I suppose that can relate to the fundamental problem with all of Bethesda's games. They're carefully-crafted masterpieces with one or two minor flaws that completely get under your skin, and risk ruining the entire experience.
posted by schmod at 9:32 PM on May 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Replaying Tactics at the moment. A far better game than people give it credit for.

This is a fun little story.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:51 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked Fallout NV slightly better than Fallout 3.

NV for me was better characterized, from the motivations of the individual NPCs to the stated goals of the factions, and had better voice acting. Plus it had touches like Vault 11, which was just brilliantly realized, and the monsters felt more like genuine threats (Fucking Cazadors).

Of course all that said, I liked KotOR 2 better than KotOR 1. I may just be a sucker for buggy incomplete Obsidian games.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:56 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


True, in fallout 3 hunting rifle + vats was easy mode. Easiest combat this side of Fable.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:01 PM on May 15, 2011


Obsidian makes 80-90% of some pretty fantastic games, it's true.
posted by kafziel at 10:03 PM on May 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


This thread convinced me to pick NV back up after la noire.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:13 PM on May 15, 2011


Grimgrin: "and the monsters felt more like genuine threats (Fucking Cazadors). "

And the really dangerous monsters, like Cazadors and Deathclaws, are restricted to certain areas of the map. If you're careful and don't go in until you're levelled- and tooled-up, you won't get caught on the hop like you can in 3.

If you have the choice, btw, get the PC version. I played 3 on the 360 and NV on the PC, and even with the latter's initial performance problems (largely fixed now) it was a more satisfying experience. Even more so for my second playthrough now, with the plethora of mods and DLC just now coming out.

The photo tour is great.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:28 PM on May 15, 2011


Fallout NV is a considerably better game than Fallout 3. I don't think there is much of a comparison; I can't think of a single aspect of the game which is better in 3.
posted by Justinian at 11:19 PM on May 15, 2011


The music, Justinian. The music in F3 was much, much more enjoyable.
posted by coriolisdave at 11:31 PM on May 15, 2011


Possible. I downloaded one of the muisc mods which added a bunch of appropriate music to FNV so I wouldn't have noticed.
posted by Justinian at 11:46 PM on May 15, 2011


Also, if you aren't running one of the true night and atmosphere mods in FNV (and Fallout 3, I guess) you're doing yourself a disservice. There is nothing like it being really black out, coming over a hill, and seeing the bright neon glow of New Vegas in the distance. The default stuff is weak sauce. Night? It's daytime with a blue filter applied! What is this, an 80s movie?
posted by Justinian at 11:47 PM on May 15, 2011


I haven't played either modern Fallout game, but I've heard New Vegas is the one to get. Do I need to have played Fallout 3 first?

I'd pick up the Fallout 3 GOTY and play the hell out of that until the New Vegas GOTY comes out and goes on sale come December/January on Steam. If you're playing on a console the Fallout 3 GOTY should still tide you over until they knock the price down on New Vegas.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:48 PM on May 15, 2011


Definitely play 3 first.
posted by tremspeed at 12:05 AM on May 16, 2011


Fallout NV is a considerably better game than Fallout 3. I don't think there is much of a comparison; I can't think of a single aspect of the game which is better in 3.

Pretty much. I do think that F3 has a better "sandbox" feel, but that is mostly because it is a terribly empty game. FNV just has so many more quests; almost every location is connected to one, whereas in F3 it is just one cookie cutter cave/metro/office building after another.
posted by Theodore Sign at 12:23 AM on May 16, 2011


The benefit of FNV over F3 on consoles is that all the mods and hacks that people made for F3 for PC were at least partially implemented on the console FNV. I don't have the horsepower to run FNV on my current laptop so I bought it for 360 and I love it. Most of the mods I installed on F3 for PC are there - crafting ammo, weapon mod kits, making foods and so on - plus Hardcore mode (aka "The only way to play it").

I finally finished F3 on 360 after ~120hrs (including every single side quest, maxed out stats and skills and all DLCs complete and I'm guessing FNV is going to be around the same. I probably dedicated another ~70hrs to F3 on PC but probably around 40 of those hours was trying to get several dozen mods to load and work together without crashing to desktop everytime I entered a new cell.

One of my favourite runs of F3 on PC was using Fellout with a winter mod that changed the entire capital wasteland into a snow covered beauty. Someone had even gone to the trouble of making "crunchy snow" sounds for the vault-dweller's footfalls. It was epically pretty but using mods for properly dark nights which Justinian mentions above along with a mod that made the street lights work in certain locations taxed my system to the limits. If I ever had the time and money I'd build a system worthy of the game but by then the new engine used in Skyrim will probably be the basis of F4...
posted by longbaugh at 5:34 AM on May 16, 2011


The problem I had with NV was sort of the same I had with Oblivion: nothing pushing me forward, just a big old world. I had a lot of fun at the beginning, until my character was so powerful I wasn't scared of cazadors anymore.

Re: playing it on the PC, I had decent framerates with an i5-750 and my old Radeon 4770 at 1920x1200. With the same CPU and a Radeon 5870, I was able to max out everything at 2560x1440 and still get 60 fps at pretty much all times.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:41 AM on May 16, 2011


Likewise, my PC, which was mid-range a couple of years ago (a 2.5ghz intel dual core oc'd to 3.1, with an 8800GT heavily oc'd), runs NV perfectly well at 1680x1050 with some of the settings turned down, or 40+ at 720p on my TV with everything maxed. PS3 pads are wonderful things :)

tabs back into dead money
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:16 AM on May 16, 2011


Reminds me of the comparisons of New York City to GTA IV's version of Liberty City. Very nice.
posted by grubi at 7:16 AM on May 16, 2011


...the really dangerous monsters, like Cazadors and Deathclaws...

Deathclaws remain one of the few video-game monsters that actually scare me. Even in fully leveled up and armored, if you aren't paying attention, they can cut you to ribbons, and the fact that they can be a distant dot and on you moments later certainly doesn't help.

They are also the primary reason that I've decided not to ever go to Las Vegas. Sure, it's unlikely that I'll get attacked by a fictional creature, but that's what they said about SuperMario Brothers, and I can't tell you the number of times I ate some mushrooms, got big and ended up in the sewers fighting flying turtles.

Some threats just aren't worth the risk.
posted by quin at 7:41 AM on May 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is great! I was hoping to do something similar later this year after I finally finish NV.
posted by gofargogo at 7:56 AM on May 16, 2011


The biggest problem with Fallout:NV is you can't pin feral ghouls heads to the wall with a spike from your railway gun.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:58 AM on May 16, 2011


Plus, no Fisto.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:19 AM on May 16, 2011


Plus, no Fisto.

There is a Fisto, he's a sexbot from Cerulean Blue (I'm doing that quest right now as it happens).
posted by longbaugh at 9:04 AM on May 16, 2011


Pfft, if you can't put your hand inside and use it to pummel people to... uh... I'm ending this sentence right now.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:14 AM on May 16, 2011


I've logged over 700 hours between Fo3 and FNV, on PC of course. In both, the endings of the main conflict are some of the weakest points of the games (for different reasons) but these games are all about the journeys, not the destinations.

I think one way FNV succeeds better than Fo3 is in generating that sense of mystery. If you really pay attention to what characters say, there are all sorts of odd things going on in FNV, and it's not (merely) because of poor video game writing, it's because subplots and characters are rich and complicated. For spoiler free example, just who was the original Courier Six? What was the ultimate outcome of Vault 11? There was one odd, out-of-the-way location that literally changed my entire attitude in an instant from "Herp-derp, playin' vidya game" to "There's something really odd and scary going on that's out to get me personally."

On the downside, a lot of the mysteries I uncover turn out to be hooks for upcoming DLC, but it's still cool to try to dig deeper into the gameworld. In that respect Fo3 seems a bit more of a straight-shooting, less subtly-nefarious RPG than FNV.

The factional endgame of FNV is really a mess though. I really don't like that part. Didn't care much for the strip, either.

Final tip: It's called New VEGAS. Take 9 Luck to start at least once.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:36 AM on May 16, 2011


You don't need 9 Luck, though. You can break the casinos at blackjack with 5 luck if you actually know how to play.
posted by Justinian at 9:44 AM on May 16, 2011


No, you don't need 9 Luck. I'm saying it's fun to play with 9(+1) Luck at least once. That with a few well-selected traits and perks and the right weapon and your crits are just insane. The Legate tried to flee from me.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:06 AM on May 16, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn -- While I wouldn't say that playing Fallout 3 is required to understand what's going on in Fallout: New Vegas, I would suggest playing it first if you're planning on playing both -- mainly because after F:NV, the difficulties in F3 will be more obvious. They made a lot of small corrections to the gameplay which, overall, make the whole game much more enjoyable. Like people have said, the makers took a lot of the user-created mods from F3 and implemented them. I especially like the "hardcore" mode which requires the player to eat, drink, and sleep (it's not for everybody, but don't worry, you can turn it off).

Does anybody know of any expansion packs coming out for New Vegas? The expansion packs for 3 were pretty good.
posted by hypotheticole at 10:14 AM on May 16, 2011


Dead Money is already out (after a limited-time exclusivity thingie) and Honest Hearts is imminent.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:19 AM on May 16, 2011


Dead Money came out in February, and Honest Hearts drops tomorrow!
posted by BeerFilter at 10:20 AM on May 16, 2011


*shoots ArmyOfKittens in the back, steals her Star bottle caps*
posted by BeerFilter at 10:23 AM on May 16, 2011


Please take them! They fuck the framerate for some reason!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:25 AM on May 16, 2011


I can't believe they still haven't patched the infinite XP glitch in FNV yet. Still, it allows me to piss around with various character builds including my 34-perk-having motherlover with more .45-70 SWC Hand Loads than you'd care to shake a bush rifle at.
posted by longbaugh at 10:28 AM on May 16, 2011


The 70s were already dystopian, and the brutalist architecture would have fit in very nicely.

IIRC there were some nicely "brutalistic" buildings in FO3 (near the Arlington Library area, for instance). I've played both FO3 and New Vegas, and while the writing and companions in NV are better in general, I like the setting in FO3 much more. This is probably because I live and work in the DC Metro region and it's just so much fun seeing areas and Metro stations I visit every day appear in a video game. (Particularly the Metro Stations: I'll forgive the ones that don't exist, like Bailey's Crossroads, because I live in Bailey's Crossroads and there's no chance in hell that we'll ever get a WMATA station here.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:42 AM on May 16, 2011


FNV is a great game but I'd be far more interested in DLC if there wasnt already more content than you can play and still be under the level cap. I skipped whole swatches of content in FNV because I wasnt gaining any experience anymore and at max level it becomes easy enough that it isn't a lot of fun just mowing down enemies.

My one complaint with FNV is the difficulty. It was absolutely better than FO3 in that regard but it still became trivial near the end. I was a one-man wrecking machine marching straight across the (spoiler deleted) and blowing away anyone who dared to impede my glorious progress.
posted by Justinian at 10:44 AM on May 16, 2011


Although it occurs to me that they likely raise the level cap with the DLC. SO IM IN. As soon as can get a deal on a 4-pack as with the Borderlands DLC. I picked all 4 up for $7.50.
posted by Justinian at 10:46 AM on May 16, 2011


Beautiful site. I love how realistic videogames are getting. I had my first real experience with that with one of the older Spiderman games (the good one), where I was flying around for awhile and then I suddenly stopped and said "wait, this is Manhattan!". Recognizable. GTA IV's Liberty City feels very much like New York, too. And I just gave my nephew a copy of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood specifically because he's going to be visiting Italy this summer and I want him to have a preview of the architecture.

There's been a bunch of sites that have done image comparisons like this; it'd be fun to collect them.
posted by Nelson at 11:01 AM on May 16, 2011


like Bailey's Crossroads, because I live in Bailey's Crossroads and there's no chance in hell that we'll ever get a WMATA station here.

Actually, that was in the original plans as a proposed future extension (along with the Silver Line) to be built some time after the original planned system was built. There are even two stub tunnels off of the Yellow/Blue line between Pentagon and Pentagon City that would allow that extension to be built without severely disrupting existing service. But I digress...

posted by schmod at 11:06 AM on May 16, 2011


First time I visited Miami I had the eeriest feeling of deja vu... then realized it was cos of GTA VC!
posted by jcruelty at 11:31 AM on May 16, 2011


Actually, that was in the original plans...

I know. :( Curiously, the fact that these plans/stub tunnels exist makes the at-least-in-my-lifetime reality that these extensions will never be built worse. So close, and yet so far. (Are there any recent photos of the stubs, I wonder? Most people don't know they exist. It would be interesting to see what a little public information campaign might do to raise the chances that we would see an extension of Blue/Yellow in NOVA. There's no way it'll happen now, of course, what with the Tysons/Dulles extension sucking all the money out of the room.)
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:32 AM on May 16, 2011


Also: Venices I Have Known
posted by jcruelty at 11:33 AM on May 16, 2011


I like to show my 11 year old youtube videos of C64 and NES games from my youth because the idea that in just 30 years I've gone from playing Pole Position to something like Forza 3 or Test Drive Unlimited 2 (you mean I can drive around an entire island, without loading screens?) makes me wonder what I'll get to play with in another 30 years.
posted by longbaugh at 11:37 AM on May 16, 2011


And I suppose that can relate to the fundamental problem with all of Bethesda's games. They're carefully-crafted masterpieces with one or two minor flaws that completely get under your skin, and risk ruining the entire experience.

Which should be paired with the fundamental strength of Bethesda games (on PC), which is that they release robust modding tools that allow the community to fix those flaws.

There are so many almost-great games that could be made fantastic if they only had Bethesda's modding capability (Far Cry 2, Mirror's Edge, Bioshock, Assasins Creed...)
posted by straight at 11:55 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cue Faith from Mirror's Edge in random 3rd-person perspective prostution mods. There's one thing you can rely on the PC mod community for: they will Rule 34 the shit out of any game you might happen to enjoy. For those who played Fallout 3 on PC with mods I shall just ask how many of you used the Dimonized Type 3 body and leave it at that...
posted by longbaugh at 12:00 PM on May 16, 2011


longbaugh, I guess that's also why we shouldn't let people post pictures to the internet, because some of them might be naughty.
posted by straight at 12:15 PM on May 16, 2011


You're damned straight.
posted by longbaugh at 12:44 PM on May 16, 2011


For those who played Fallout 3 on PC with mods I shall just ask how many of you used the Dimonized Type 3 body and leave it at that...

I run 58 mods but a bitch ain't one.
posted by BeerFilter at 12:55 PM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


longbaugh: "There's one thing you can rely on the PC mod community for: they will Rule 34 the shit out of any game you might happen to enjoy."

Seen the Fakefactory version of Alyx Vance? I don't know whether to laugh or to cry, I really don't.

But I kinda do want to make a Half Life mod where the models for Kleiner and Eli are replaced with naked, toned 20yo doods just so I can watch the world burn watch the internet explode.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:19 PM on May 16, 2011


It just seems like mo' caps, mo' problems.
posted by longbaugh at 1:20 PM on May 16, 2011


I've not seen HL2 mods as I've only got that on the 360 but there were some Fallout 3 mods for male characters that let you change into "regular" or "happy" skins depending on your preference. I think off the top of my head it was Robert's Male Body - my memory is fuzzy on that one but I remember being quite concerned about the author of that mod's sense of scale.
posted by longbaugh at 1:24 PM on May 16, 2011


the fact that they can be a distant dot and on you moments later certainly doesn't help.

I won't go near Old Olney until I've gotten the schematic for the dart gun and enough parts to make a few dozen. Crippling all their limbs slows the Deathclaws down. A little.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:46 PM on May 16, 2011


I wonder how much the art team got to travel out to the actual locations versus just seeing pictures and detailed pictures of the more iconic stuff...

Still, great project. Like gofargogo I wish I got (time, money) to do stuff like this.

longbaugh - haha! I remember playing Pole Position and C64/Atari era games. My classic driving game was Test Drive III, though, right at the cusp between EGA and VGA - I'm pretty certain that there were a lot more high-end programing cleverness in those old games to coax the visual effects out of the available hardware than happens now.

You just got a ticket, :20 penalty. I clocked you at over 93 mph back there
posted by porpoise at 9:05 PM on May 16, 2011


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