Hey, bros!  It’s been a while since we did a video game review, but I had to mention my favorite new thing ever, Fallout New Vegas.  I know, I know, I gushed on and on about Fallout 3.  Did the makers at Bethesda and Obsidian Entertainment make it better?  Hell ya.

Fallout New Vegas is set in the post-apocalyptic world of the United States in the year 2281, four years after the previous game.  The setting is a piece of art all on its own.  Picture an alternate retro-future where there were atomic cars, robots and computers, but a culture of the 1950’s.  The US was sort of a hyper power and went to war with China.  The resulting nukes create the wasteland and its many years after.

Roaming the waste again are mutant monsters, radioactive ghouls (some friendly, some not), mutants, gangs, political groups, military groups and many, many factions.  This sequel adds a kind of Wild West feel.  Water is an important resource in the game.

I played it on Xbox and the controls are basically the same.  Combat relies on a system where you can target an opponent’s weak points.  But quite frankly, the special mode isn’t needed.  The game is pretty intuitive.  Just shoot an opponent in the legs (especially if he’s unarmored there) and keep backing up.  Once you’ve crippled the leg, you’re pretty much set.  Also, the sniper rifle works great.  You can pick off targets from far away or at least soften them up.

The map is bigger in this one and the plot more complex.  The role-playing portion allows for several different outcomes.  Not just good and bad like the last one.  If you are liked by a “good” group, you will probably be hated by their enemy.  (Especially if you wipe out one of their important locations.)  Enemies can also return, which is both good and bad.  In the previous game, I had nearly cleared the map and when I ran out of bullets and money, I found it hard to restock.  Here, it’s not a problem.  The world is incredible immersive.

The downside?  Well, there are a lot of bugs.  I got stuck in a casino mission and had to go online to the wiki to get around my problem.  Another problem with the game is that if you make a mistake and shoot the wrong target, the whole town can turn against you.  Fortunately, I had a save point when it happened to me, but still, it’s something the makers should address.  Maybe there should be a “reset” mode on all the characters so you can start your conversation over or a “surrender” option that would allow you to stop fighting.

I did like the missions.  They were complex and interesting.  I guess if I had to nitpick, I’d say I really wish the game would allow you to drive around like Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Revolver.  That might take too much code, but it would sure be cool.  They do have a fast travel mode that makes things quick.  Still, I wouldn’t mind running over some mutants.

I’d say, despite some problems, Fallout New Vegas has me hooked.  I’m playing the good guy the first time around, but I look forward to returning and trying the missions again as a badass!  I give Fallout New Vegas 8.5 keggers out of 10.  Totally worth picking up, bros.