Fallout: New Vegas begins with a bang, leaving you shot in the head and left for dead in a shallow grave. But luck is on your side that night in the post-apocalyptic New West. You survive, thanks to a mysteriously chivalrous robot and a nearby town doctor. Tracking down the men who tried to kill you is just the beginning of the mystery. Before long, you'll find yourself drawn into a war over the future of the Mojave Desert and control over the Las Vegas strip.
There are several factions vying for control of the desert wasteland. Mr. House rules the Vegas strip. With his army of security robots, he calls the shots and maintains control over the casinos and dens of sin. The NCR (New California Republic) is a military faction, attempting to maintain law and order with their stockpile of pre-war weapons and supplies. And then, there's Ceasar's Legion, a powerful slaving organization that controls a vast army. They are assaulting the Hoover Dam in an attempt to wrest control over the largest source of electricity in the region from the NCR.
It'll be up to you to tip the scales to favor one of these factions as they wage war over the wasteland. Or you can decide to take everything and appoint yourself as leader of a better New Vegas. As you blaze trails through the game's main story, it's all too easy to get wrapped up in the side quests, but that's what makes Fallout: New Vegas so fun.
There are tons of smaller factions and tribes in the Mojave wasteland, and you can easily spend over a 100 hours playing the game as you discover all the gems tucked away in its expansive world. Do good deeds and earn the favor of various groups or be a villain and make the people fear your name. There are always new places to discover and new people to help (or kill).
Above: Gain favor with the NCR, for example, and you'll be able to call in support troops to aid you
The wasteland is a dangerous place, full of radioactive mutants, psychotic bandits, and feral ghouls. But this time around, Fallout: New Vegas lets you bring a companion along to share the burden. As you travel, you'll meet NPCs who will join you. Help them, and they'll help you with extra firepower and special perks that will make you stronger. You can also find non-human companions to help you fight, like an old Enclave battle droid or a mechanical guard dog.
The companion system works great and having someone watching your back in a fight makes wandering through the wasteland much less lonely. Each companion you meet comes with a set of side quests that reveal more about their back story and can change your standing with other factions in the game. Complete them, and you're companions will become more loyal and powerful. You can only bring one companion with you at a time. But later, when you settle down in the Vegas strip, you'll be able to have your spare companions wait for you in your hotel suite. It's pretty fun to visit your base and see everyone hanging out.
Above: When Cass is your companion, you'll get the Whiskey Rose perk, which will let you take extra damage when you drink whiskey