Posted in Retro Gaming

Fallout New Vegas: From Goodsprings to Primm

(This is part of my journey going playing through 2010’s Fallout New Vegas. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

Continuing on with the tutorial section of Fallout New Vegas, I explore the starting town of Goodsprings. It’s a quaint little Western dive that is making its way in the post-apocalyptic world, and it even has a mascot — a roving robot named Victor. Who’s a cowboy. Because of course he is. Apparently, Victor is the one who saw the Caesars dump me into a shallow grave and rescued me, even though — according to the townspeople — he’s never done anything helpful in the past.

I have to say that the tutorial section is fairly well integrated into the game. Doesn’t really feel like you’re playing a tutorial, for the most part. Some easy quests, some light crafting, a bit of combat, all while I familiarize myself with the controls. It’s pretty familiar, coming from the other modern Fallout games, and I rejoice to have proper VATS working once more.

Another thing that the game does well at the onset is hitting you with the surrounding backstory from multiple angles. Various NPCs talk about what’s going on until I have a good sense of the larger situation — that the New California Republic has moved into the area to take the Hoover Dam, the evil slaver Caesars are pushing back, and New Vegas is a plum prize with its electricity and modern amenities.

There’s Vegas itself in the distance. I hope we’re not going there too soon; I don’t especially like the bigger cities in these post-apoc RPGs.

One thing that is hitting me hard about this game is how similar New Vegas and Fallen Earth are in feel. Both have that broken up desert southwestern setting, so I guess that makes sense, but in any case it makes me really glad to be exploring this game world.

With everything done in Goodsprings that I can see, I head down to the next major town and quest destination: Primm. It’s less cozy than where I came from, as the small village (which includes a couple of casinos and a broken-down rollercoaster) has been overrun by criminal elements and the NCR refuses to step in to help.

At least I’m starting to fill in the blanks as to my weird backstory. I am Courier Six, the last of a group of couriers sent out to deliver a package. I was the only one waylaid and left for dead, although a guy in Primm hints that there was something special about me that triggered this event. So to speak.

At least I get my first real dungeon crawl here. I’m not fully equipped for a heavy slog, but I have enough armor and weapons to make my way through. I find that with my large AP pool, it’s best to run up quick to a bad guy, trigger VATS, and then line up about six attacks in slow-motion.

VATS is what makes this a lot more enjoyable than it has a right to be. I’d hate for this to be a twitch-based shooter with murky rooms and hard-to-see mobs, but with this combat system, it’s a lot of fun to plan out attacks and then see how they unfold.

5 thoughts on “Fallout New Vegas: From Goodsprings to Primm

  1. Hmm. Interestingly enough, the VATS for me was the “oh biowaste” button. When things happened too fast and i needed a moment, it was my “pause” key. But outside of a few fights, i didn’t really like or use it that much.

    Guess tastes just differ. I generally enjoy the FPS style of Fallout 3 / Fallout New Vegas.

    Outside of that, yes. In a way, this game is what Fallen Earth could have been, but somehow never was. I still feel a bit of pitty for that game. It had so much potential. But potential alone isn’t enough for a game. It was not enough to keep me playing after the beta.

    I had over 700 bug reports to my name during that beta. Some of those bugs were rather severe. And we testers never reached the later areas of the game, due to frequent character resets. I couldn’t tell in which state the was now, when it was shut down, but when it launched only the first zone was actually well tested, after that, the further you got, the more bug ridden it became. It’s hard to tell what could’ve become of the game if the quality would’ve been better at launch and a few odd design decissions would’ve not been made. But i believe that a bit more quality would’ve helped it a lot.

  2. I somehow missed your post in Sept. where you started this play through. I will not spoil anything but will just say I have played through this game + all the DLC multiple times and it’s an amazingly fun and quality game with choices that really do make a difference on the ending. You have barely scratched the surface so if you have enjoyed it so far then you are in for a real treat.I really, really liked the Old World Blues DLC especially.

    This is probably my favorite game out of Fallout 3, New Vegas, and Fallout 4 although I enjoyed all three of them. I took a pass on 76 as it was not the game I was wanting. Still waiting on Fallout 5 …

  3. Following on from Sylow, yes, Fallen Earth was buggy around launch but I didn’t find it all that much more so than most MMORPGs of the period. Also, I always find bugs add some charm to the whole affair, provided they aren’t game-breaking, which I don’t remember Fallen Earth’s being. As for the zones being untested or unfinished, Guild Wars 2, which had orders of magnitude more money and people behind it, was every bit as buggy as Fallen Earth at launch – the zones above Level 50 barely seemed to have been tested at all. Dark Age of Camelot launched with the zones above Level 30 in at least one realm entirely unpopulated.

    I also think that “potential” is about as much as you can ever expect from an MMORPG that doesn’t have tens of millions of dollars behind it and a development team into three figures and often even then. These things are just too overwhelming for smaller teams with limited funding to get on top of. Fallen Earth was plenty good enough to go the Early Access route and build from there but it was unfortunate to launch before Early Access was a thing. It had to sell a $30 box and claim to be complete.

    I hope it gets another run. It deserves it.

  4. BTW: Anyone here play ‘Atom’ a post-apocalyptic rpg from the Soviet side? It’s listed on GOG but I’ve got so many games already I keep putting off buying it.

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