First look at Fallout: New Vegas

Someone just tried to kill your face with bullets, which was bound to happen eventually to a courier in the post-apocalyptic frontier. If it weren’t for a meddling robot and charming local doc, you’d be something’s lunch. But you’re brought back from death (with the speedy application of a new face and SPECIAL stats), and your motivation is clear: find the dickheads who put holes in your brain. If you happen to be caught up in a large-scale conflict along the way, that’s only because it’s Fallout.

Above: Your new playground

We’d say that New Vegas is a lot like Las Vegas, only with more guns and mutants, but that might be a misrepresentation of Las Vegas. It is more post-apocalyptic, and may be a lot more fun than the real Sin City, where the bright lights are rarely the result of an itchy trigger finger and a grenade machinegun (with high-speed motor mod).

Above: This concept art is all we’ve seen of the famed Vegas strip in its Fallout form

If you’re new to the series, here’s the run-down: Nuclear bombs made everything go boom, a bunch of people survived in underground “Vaults,” and most-everyone else got all mutated and stuff. In Fallout’s alternate reality, Cold War era paranoia became static, and early-20th-century technology became high technology while maintaining its vacuum-tube aesthetic.

Above: CRT-cartoon-faced Robots patrol the wasteland

In New Vegas you don’t play as a vault-dweller who breached the darkness and met the harsh wasteland fresh-faced like you did in Fallout 3. You’re an experienced courier who ran into some unfriendly company during one of your excursions and are back on the scene and looking for vengeance (at least initially). Your Vault uniform and Pip Boy (a Fallout staple which acts as your in-game menu) come from the friendly doctor who rehabilitates you during character creation.

While the game takes place three years after Fallout 3, it doesn’t have any direct ties to that story, though it may drop hints, and will definitely feel familiar to players of Fallout 2. New Vegas’ plot revolves around a conflict between the New California Republic, a well-meaning-but-overly-bureaucratic-pro-government organization, and Caesar’s Legion, a slaving gang. Nightkin, elite cloaking Super Mutants, and other enemies, like Geckos, return in New Vegas.

Above: The New California Republic controls this solar plant, but doesn’t realize its true power…

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer