Fallout: New Vegas – Options in Gaming

Fallout: New Vegas –

Borrowing a controller from my neighbors, along with 2010’s smash video game, “Fallout: New Vegas,” as well as a Vernor’s Ginger Ale (I don’t drink on week nights), I decided one wasn’t enough, I’m going to truly and genuinely try different games on different game systems across different genres.  If Springsteen says, “it takes a leap of faith to get things going,” then I’ve learned to take it – this class being no exception.

Players are given many options throughout the course of this game, something I think players seem to like, particularly given what I’ve seen from the opening few games I’ve tried, and from the many players I’ve now interacted with. 

An optional “Hardcore” mode delivers more realism and intensity into the gaming environment, which some players prefer.  It is interesting to me that, particularly given my limited knowledge of this industry and the graphics effects optional components I have now experienced, one of the most important things across each of these genres, game systems, and the games themselves is relevance.  A sports game, for example, is relevant to a sports-loving (in FIFA’s case, soccer-loving) audience because they have rpedisposition to the subject matter.  However, a broader audience enjoys playing FIFA because of the thematic elements – they enjoy multinational games (a subset FIFA thrives in, particularly ue to soccers’s international success as a sport in and of itself); they enjoy fast-paced environemnts, and most of all, they enjoy changing the clothes, the accents, and having control. 

Players love relevance because they love control.  If a game allowed every button on a remote to work and function during the course of game play, but allowed only one character every time to follow one course with one type of music and one option for game play, the game wouldn’t be exciting.

So when I played “Fallout: Las Vegas,” options were countless.  Fallout: New Vegas takes place during the year 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3, and 204 years after the Great War of 2077, so I’m told by the guys I played with.

Futuristic gaming is another tough-to-handle element, but one which seems to be increasingly popular, and as a result, increasingly successful in that industry.  People like relevance, but they like imagination all in the same.  IN fact, somewhere between the two, a harmony exists which allows both elements to not only survive, but thrive.

In Old World Blues, one of the sub-theme games allowed in FO, the Courier unwittingly becomes a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry and discovers how some of the Mojave desert’s mutated creatures came to exist. Old World Blues takes place in the Pre-War research centers of Big Mountain, known within this region as “the Big Empty” or “Big MT” (where Father Elijah had found most of his equipment prior to Dead Money, another one of the games optional subsets).

Fallout taught me that this fictional reality, where we have gone one level beyond just ‘virtual,’ as we did in FIFA may sell with some audiences.  It was a bit of a leap too far for me, given my zero predisposition to these sorts of games, but I don’t regret learning how much options work for people.

FIFA worked because there were different music sets to choose from – there were different costumers, different themes, different colors, different countries, and different players with different skillsets. 

Fallout: New Vegas works because it allows players to determine just how MUCH they want to delve into this sort of fictional reality.  While I may not be a fan of straying too far from common knowledge and the type of reality I am used to, this made the game acceptable for someone like me with limited knowledge of this industry and these sorts of games. 

Therefore, what I normally would have given a D+ to is getting a B+/A- because of its options.  Options that allowed me to delve in just how far I want, to take however far a leap as I’d like.

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3 comments
  1. prutting834 said:

    If you like video games because of the options they provide their players, then I would strongly recommend playing the Mass Effect trilogy. I have never played another game where the decisions a player makes have such a profound impact on the game itself. You have the choice whether you want your character to be good or evil, and this impacts how other game characters treat you and what kind of deals you can make. You have to constantly choose the make-up of your strike team, keeping in mind the various skill sets and chemistry to produce the optimal group of characters. You even get to go as far as choosing a romantic interest for your character. But most important are the decisions you have to make on missions. In Mass Effect 1, there is a decision involving a Krogan on your team, and your choice impacts whether or not he survives to the second game. And then in Mass Effect 2 (as seen in the Penny Arcade video), you must decide whether to exterminate or re-program an entire race of Geth. This is only a very small sampling of the vast amount of decisions that you must make in Mass Effect, and they all have a large impact on the outcome of the story.

  2. Palesa said:

    Similarly I think a game like the Sims would provide you with much of the same option choice. Sims is honestly one of my favorite games because it really allows you to create your own “ideal” reality type of situation. You can choose what sort of characters that you want, not only from looks and habits but to personality as a whole. It gives you a lot of room and opportunity to make decisions and use options that will alter the game and its outcomes. Moving away from the characters, the actual construction of the houses, both in terms of interior and exterior allow you to make use of the array of options afforded you in the game. I’m sure you have played it before and can appreciate where I’m coming from!

  3. amiesi said:

    Fallout: New Vegas is one of my favorite games solely because of the number of choices that I am given. The biggest thing that showed me how much freedom there is in the game is near the end, where you are given the choice to take over New Vegas for yourself over the two major factions that exist in the game. In all the games that I’ve ever played, I’m rarely allowed to make the choices that a reasonable person would take, that is, the selfish one. But Fallout: New Vegas gives these options and many more, and that is what makes it great. The feeling of freedom is amplified by the array of random but preordained things that can happen to your character if you take the Wild Wild Wasteland perk. The contrast between choosing whether or not to free or kill prisoners, and then being assault by a pack of grandma’s armed with hand-to-hand melee weapons gives a sense of wild, unpredictability that you have to decide how to deal with. In effect, the unpredictability is a greater test of one’s ability to choose between certain options and assesses one’s creativity. I really like those kinds of things, along with major handicaps like monster mods, hardcore mode, and a max difficulty level setting. The extra challenge effectively forces one to consider more options and actually frees the player to consider innovative and novel battle strategy.

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