...Yeah it's pretty epic.
Okay, okay, I cave. It's got a couple of flaws. So here's my thoughts on it so far.
The story and plot is well above par. I've only gone down one of the four advertised paths, and I have reason to believe there's even more than that lurking in there somewhere. The side quests are awesome. The follower quests are awesome...mostly. If I had to nitpick it at all I would say it can get a bit confusing at times. One quest had me going somewhere and the quest marker was, or so I thought, telling me to go through a door. In reality it wanted me to go around some rubble. The voice acting is brilliant, and I loved bumping into some famous Fallout 2 characters. Specifically, Marcus. I must say, on this front, Obsidian has set the bar for all other games.
Gameplay is excellent, as usual. I'm loving the ironsights, the weapons are varied, the ammo subtypes are nice if a bit tedious, and there's plenty of goodness on the chem side of things. Energy weapons, explosives and melee require a bit more character planning to work properly, but for the most part, they're worth a fair bit. There are invisible walls, which are VERY annoying, and there's the usual Gamebryo pathing/phyics issues present. I also fell through the world a couple of times. The AI is improved though. The weapon mods are pretty nice, too. I like being able to affix a scope to my trail carbine, or an extended mag and a choke to my pump shotgun. Lastly, I think they managed to make the player's collision model smaller when crouching. I've been able to duck under things that I could not in 3. All in all, bugs aside, it's improved above that of Fallout 3.
Graphics are improved, but only slightly. The models that Obsidian did make are better than 3, and most of the textures have been improved. Anything they reused, they did so verbatim. Still plenty of room to improve. I will say animations are miles better, though. They're still stiff, but they are somewhat believable. We also have a proper lever action animation and a pump action animation, so mod weapons using those actions won't look funny when they're reloaded anymore. There's improvements to be made by modders most certainly, but since this isn't a series that is played for graphics I'll let it slide. Somewhat. Someone remind Bethesda AND Obsidian that humans have toes and that females have smaller hands. Please.
DRM is good news all around. GFWL is out. Steam is in. No more SecuROM, either. I've always been a fan of Steam. This hasn't hampered modding at all, as Valve recently gave the green light for NVSE. NVSE, for those so inclined to know, is the port of FOSE. It forms the framework for a lot of the better mods.
Bugs...ahh yes, bugs. There's a few. There's been two patches released before Europe even got an unlock. One of those patches addressed Steam Cloud munching your saves. This affected me, but not that severely. I only lost my autosaves, I don't rely on those anyways. Some of my Steam friends had ALL their saves munched, though. That being said, Obsidian is patching away right now. Aside from that, the only real bugs worth noting are the pathing issues inherent to any Gamebryo game. Many bugs from 3 are MIA this time around. Those of you relying on that crutch called VATS should be pleased to know that it doesn't nearly freeze the game when you enter it. There is one other bug I ran into, and that's a massive slowdown in/near crowds. I installed a modded d3d9.dll into the game's main directory that fooled it into thinking I had a 7900GS and all was well. Here's hoping Obsidian fixes that one.
As far as the hardware reqs...suffice it to say that the only thing I don't have maxed out is shadows and anti-aliasing. Shadows because my GS doesn't like them, and AA because I simply don't need it. This game is incredibly easy to run.
Putting a final number rating on NV is difficult, if I'm honest. I will say that I've logged 62 hours in-game according to Steam and much closer to 70 according to the save/load menu. I say this game is worth the 49.99 I paid for it. I was not disappoint, that's for damn sure. So go out and have fun!
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