In my last post about Fallout: New Vegas, I think I made a comment that implied I felt the quest lines were shallow and weren’t as compelling as I’d liked. Well, I take that back. I think it’s safe to say everything I experienced in the first 10 hours or so was just a small taste of what the game has to offer. Just a tiny little morsel to whet your appetite, so to speak, because the real fun happens when you hit The Strip.
Here’s what I think really makes the game: Factions, factions, factions. There are a ton of them in New Vegas, each having their own rich culture and stories. Some are big, some are small. A couple of them are so scummy it makes your skin crawl. Others are really bizarre like that gang of Elvis impersonators. Many of them have cool names like the Followers of the Apocalypse and the White Glove Society. Would that I could please them all.
Once Mogsy the Courier reached the bright lights of New Vegas proper, however, it became clear that all the factions have these complex relationships between themselves. They’re all eager enough to get you to do things for them, of course, but please one and you risk pissing off another. I had a very difficult time choosing which factions I should get in bed with (just a turn of phrase…or is it? With Mogsy, you never know!) but in the end, I remembered how I wanted to play — no more goody-two-shoes and running around being somebody else’s errand girl. I was going to try to be mean and mercenary for once, and I figured if I’m going to have any chance of taking over New Vegas, I’d do well to ally myself with like-minded people…at least for now.
What I didn’t foresee was how things could get so complicated. Yes, you can lie, con, manipulate and exploit your way into and out of favor with your factions of choice, but every decision you make can affect your relationship with other factions in ways you can’t even imagine. I went as far as to vaporize one of my pretty little companions to prove my loyalty to a psychopath in an organized crime syndicate, thinking I’d made a true friend, only to have him turn around later and forge an alliance with a “good guy” faction I’d made every effort to ignore. Then I find out even the good guys can ask you to do some pretty sick and unsavory things too, wow.
I like how the lines are so blurry. To me, these dynamic relationships give the game depth and really take the experience to a whole new level, not to mention they also greatly increase the fun factor. Meanwhile, I’ve also been amusing myself with shooting old ladies for their sarsaparilla star caps and special unique weapons, plus testing out sexbots on the side, but that’s a whole other story.