More ranting about Fallout: New Vegas

imageThe other day, I’d had some sort of energy drink and I was sitting there looking at the copy of Fallout: New Vegas sitting on my shelf collecting dust… the $59 I spent just wasting away… and I started to get upset. Frickin’ Obsidian/Bethesda just really screwed the pooch on this release. I don’t recall Fallout 3 being even CLOSE to this bad.

My complaints about it were as follows:

  • Character creation lock up
    Not more than 2 minutes into the game, you set up your character as a wasteland courier, customizing his/her attributes and changing his/her appearance. If you deviated from any of the default facial/skin features (white anglo-saxon) the game would freeze completely and you’d have to start all over again. This was repaired 2 patches into the game.
  • Failures to save game
    There was a period, that I can’t really get specific around, where save games wouldn’t save. They’d just say they saved, and you’d come back and WHOOPS! It ain’t there. I thought it was just my bad memory until I went online and discovered a lot of other people that had the same issue. Lots of expletives were used here. 3 patches into the game, I think this got fixed.
  • Failure to load saved games
    This was the straw that broke the camel’s back: I had 120 hours invested into the game and after game update/patch #5, my recent game saves wouldn’t work. I’d try to load them and it’d just sit there with the game loading swirly for hours. I wanted to cry. This is what I wrote about in my last post about this. Lots of other people had the exact problem on Bethesda’s forums, crying out in outrage over the failure of their game saves to load.
    …then Bethesda/Obsidian said they were pulling the plug and weren’t going to work on fixing the game anymore.

That’s when I said, f-ck it. It’s not worth playing a game where the creator’s aren’t supporting it any more, despite the unplayable nature of the condition it was in. It was just riddled with flaws, bugs, and problems – as documented on the Wikis – and for a game that requires this much time and investment in, that’s just not cool… and not worth playing in the end.

So it’d been 4 months since I’d touched Fallout: New Vegas, despite the fact that:

  • I love Fallout
  • I love Vegas
  • I love Xbox 360
  • I love games with expansion packs

I looked at the game a week ago and said, DAMMIT – I KNOW I CAN GET THIS WORKING. So what I did was I started attempted to load all 70 of my previously saved games one at a time. Sure, they’d lock up but at least I’d have the satisfaction of knowing I’d tried every possible scenario.

Then suddenly, around game save 50 “Game Save 126: The Strip”… IT LOADED.

Holy sh-t. It loaded! It actually loaded! Even with the patch #5 installed! It took about 60 seconds to do it, but it worked! The problem now was that I had 10 saved games in front of it with game play that I still had to recreate. And who knows if my game saves after that would stick, right?

Then I thought: I wonder if the more recent games (like “Game Save 149: Hoover Dam”) will load AFTER I load the working game save. Maybe there’s a chance that once you get past the game load issue, other game saves will load as well.

BINGO. It worked exactly like that. And after that, to load the game, I’d load “Game Save 126”, then “Game Save 159” or whatever was necessary to keep playing. In fact around “Game Save 169”, I noticed that I was now able to load NEW saved games directly without loading Game 126 anymore. So I’ve been playing Fallout: New Vegas again. I still have 5 expansion packs to play and I still haven’t played through the main quest.

Now, I’ve noticed some other ridiculous problems.

  • Game lock ups upon new scene loads
    When you’d transitioned from one area to another, it was common to see the “screen loading” swirly appear. However occasionally, you’d wait and then suddenly the screen would go black. And you’re done. A complete reset of your Xbox 360 would be necessary. Fortunately, most of the time you’d have a game save before it that you could go back to, but most of the time, you’d load the saved game and it’d do the exact same thing – meaning it was something technical in the game. I’d find that if I did something different, like go to another area then come back, I’d be able to proceed.
  • Game flow failures
    There’s been numerous times now where a game quest SHOULD proceed in a certain direction but no matter what I do, I can’t get the game to continue. “Oh Papa Khan” was one such situation where no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the quest to continue so the only scenario I had was to kill everyone in the clan to keep the game going.

At least I can still play it but this is arguably the buggiest and most frustrating title I’ve ever played on the Xbox 360. What a disappointment.

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