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Fallout: New Vegas is a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks. While New Vegas is not a direct sequel, it uses the same engine and style as Fallout 3, and many of its developers worked on previous Fallout games at Black Isle Studios. It is the fourth major installment in the Fallout series and sixth overall. The game is set primarily in a post-apocalyptic Nevada, California, Arizona and Utah.

The game was released on October 19, 2010, in North America, October 22, 2010, in Europe, and November 4, 2010, in Asia. It is available on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. A backwards compatible version for Xbox One was released on June 23, 2016.[1]



Gameplay includes a combat system that allows for both first and third person view and features the ability to use weapon iron sights. The game also made a change from the true bullet flight paths in Fallout 3 to simulated bullet flight paths, which means the bullets, when fired, originate from the center of the screen's crosshairs, rather than the tip of the gun's barrel.[2]

Fallout: New Vegas utilizes the Damage Threshold (DT) mechanic. If an enemy has a high DT, some weapons may be ineffective. This is indicated by a red shield near the enemy's health bar when attacking it, both in and out of V.A.T.S. The damage threshold will be due to high armor or a built-in mechanic to that character, and will require the Courier to either retreat or attack with a more powerful weapon.

Hardcore mode

Main article: Hardcore mode

Hardcore mode is an optional setting that attempts to make the game more realistic, with gameplay elements such as dehydration, and non-instantaneous healing. It can be turned on and off mid-game. Either a trophy or achievement is awarded for completing Fallout: New Vegas on Hardcore mode. In order to earn it, the entire game must be played in the mode from the point first prompted until the endgame sequence, without ever turning the setting off. The Casual/Hardcore mode distinction is independent of difficulty settings.

Character system

The SPECIAL system returns and directly influences speech options and quests. Traits can be chosen and perks are gained every two levels.


The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S., is an active pause combat system implemented in the game. While using V.A.T.S., the otherwise real-time combat is paused. Use of one's weapon can be seen in slow motion and greater detail. Attacks in V.A.T.S. cost Action Points and one can target specific body areas for attacks to inflict specific injuries. Melee weapons now have special moves in V.A.T.S., such as "Fore!" for golf clubs, along with special Unarmed moves such as "Ranger Takedown."

The player character will take more damage in V.A.T.S. than in Fallout 3 (75%, up from 10%). One can choose to activate or deactivate a dynamic "Kill Cam," which shows one's success in combat in slow motion. The setting can also be changed to only show this cinematic viewpoint for the last enemy of a group.

Karma and reputation

There is a Karma system incorporated alongside reputation system, similar to Fallout 2.[3] Reputation is a form of tracking relationships within the many factions and towns of Fallout: New Vegas, such as the NCR or Goodsprings. A high reputation with a faction or town may give certain benefits, such as gifts from the people who live there, while a low reputation may lead to hits being taken out against them. Karma in Fallout: New Vegas has less of an effect than reputation, which is the primary factor affecting how people react.

Weapon modding

A modding feature allows for the modification of weapons by adding scopes, extended magazines, silencers, and more. Weapons can have a maximum of three attached mods, and they cannot be removed once placed. Obsidian implemented this feature as a direct response to the popularity of the Weapon Mod Kits mod for Fallout 3.[4]

Unique weapons

There are unique versions of weapons in Fallout: New Vegas. Unique weapons have different textures and adornments. Counting all the add-ons, there are a total of 81 unique weapons. Some require the completion of a quest to find, are looted, or can be found in specific locations.

Companion wheel

Main article: Companion wheel

A new companion wheel has been added to quickly and easily give companions commands such as "Talk," "Use Ranged Weapons," and "Wait Here." It also makes it easier to restore their health using stimpaks and swap equipment. The companions also have specific likes and dislikes; giving a sniper companion a shotgun, for example, will result in a negative impact and decreased effectiveness.


Main article: Gambling

The city of New Vegas, as well as other smaller settlements in the game, have a variety of colorful casinos or other forms of gambling to explore. In Fallout: New Vegas, several gambling mini-games have been added, including Blackjack, Roulette, and slots. Outside the casinos, many people across the Mojave play Caravan, a card game designed by Obsidian specifically for the game. One's Luck contributes to the outcome of gambling games.

One will receive money for winning, and casino floor managers will congratulate the player character with food, drink, or a comped suite at the hotel. Winning too much money after that, however, will result in the floor manager letting them know they will not be able to earn any more winnings. Although one can no longer gamble in that casino, they are still able to enter and buy items or food.


Main article: Mojave Wasteland

Fallout: New Vegas takes place in 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3, 40 years after Fallout 2, 120 years after Fallout, and six years before the events of Fallout 4. The game is set in the Mojave Desert following the Great War. Three entities are vying for control of New Vegas and the surrounding region, including the New California Republic, Vegas' Mr. House and Caesar's Legion.

"Truth is, the game was rigged from the start."

The Courier, the player character, was meant to deliver a package to New Vegas but they were intercepted by the Great Khans led by Benny, near Goodsprings. Benny steals the package, shoots them twice in the head, and leaves them for dead in a shallow grave. They are rescued by a robot named Victor, transporting them to nearby Doc Mitchell, who saves their life. After the Courier is given some medical tests, they enter the open world, and the quest Ain't That a Kick in the Head begins.

Fallout: New Vegas has a definitive ending which is dependent on what actions are taken during the game's events, with separate ending slides for each major location, political faction, and recruited companion.[3]


Fallout: New Vegas Collector's Edition, shown with all bonus items

Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition of Fallout: New Vegas includes Fallout: New Vegas; "Lucky 7" poker chips, replicas from the ones found in the game; a deck of Fallout: New Vegas themed playing cards; a replica of the "Lucky 38" poker chip (the platinum chip) from the game; All Roads, a graphic novel serving as a prequel written by Chris Avellone; and the "Making of Fallout: New Vegas" DVD. The entire package comes in a collectible Fallout: New Vegas box. The Collector's Edition was also available for pre-order.


A total of six add-ons, Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, Courier's Stash, and Gun Runners' Arsenal were released. There were four different pre-order bonuses, including the Classic Pack, Caravan Pack, Tribal Pack, and Mercenary Pack. Each one had a unique suit of armor and a unique weapon not found in-game, along with a few other in-game items.

Ultimate Edition

The Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition was released on February 7, 2012 in North America and February 10 in Europe. The package contents are the base game along with all add-ons, including Gun Runners' Arsenal and Courier's Stash.


Discussions for New Vegas began between Obsidian and Bethesda in 2008/09. They knew the game would not be a direct, traditional sequel to Fallout 3, and it was referred to as "Fallout 3.5" within Obsidian. It was specifically designed to be more of an expansion rather than a sequel; Obsidian, however, saw the project as akin to the Grand Theft Auto titles Vice City and San Andreas - not numbered entries, but still full games in their own right. As Bethesda "had dibs" on the U.S. East Coast, Obsidian set the game in the American West. Obsidian submitted a three-page pitch to Bethesda for the project, which they named "Fallout: Sin City." The game was later renamed to "Fallout: New Vegas."[5]

The team initially did not have access to the source code until Bethesda cleared the security of it. They used development tools for a few months before they were given the source code, which let them dive in to deeper development.[6]

The game was originally slated to have three playable races - human, ghoul, and super mutant. This idea was abandoned due to issues with the engine, specifically with how the weapons and armor would work.[5] Project director Joshua Sawyer described the development process as having used "sprint overtime," though he does not consider it crunch time.[7] The biggest technical issue that the team faced during development was working with the PS3's hardware; as New Vegas is a very memory-intensive game, they had difficulty with the PS3's split memory pool.[8] The game spent a total of 18 months in development.[9] Sawyer has stated he believes the game realized most of his development ideas during those 18 months.[10]

The game was announced on April 20, 2009, at Bethesda's London showcase.[11] The first official information was released in the February 2010 issue of PC Gamer. A cinematic teaser trailer and a gameplay trailer were then subsequently released.


The development team for Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, a company founded by Feargus Urquhart and Chris Avellone, two of the creators of Fallout 2, originally at Black Isle Studios. The project was led by Joshua Sawyer, one of the lead designers of Van Buren (the canceled Fallout 3 project by Black Isle Studios). John Gonzalez was the lead creative designer, while Obsidian founder Chris Avellone, who worked on Fallout 2 and Van Buren, was a senior designer. Joe Sanabria was the lead artist.


Fallout: New Vegas received a Metacritic metascore of 82/100 on PS3, and 84/100 on both PC and Xbox 360.[12][13][14] The game received several awards and nominations, including a Golden Joystick Award for "2011 RPG of the Year" and nominations for two 2011 BAFTA Awards including Best Strategy Game and Best Story.[15][16][17]


  • There are two German versions, one with gratuitous violence removed and the Ultimate Edition with no changes.
  • The Fat Man weapon is named "Nuka Launcher" in the Japanese version.
  • The console version of the game was banned in the United Arab Emirates for one day after release, reinstated thereafter. The Collector's Edition and Ultimate Edition released without incident.

Behind the scenes

Developer quotes

  • Joshua Sawyer: "One of the Obsidian owners came up with the idea that you start the game by being shot in the head and dropped into a desert grave. It was my idea to end the game by resolving a conflict between NCR/Caesar's Legion at Hoover Dam. Everything else was developed by John Gonzalez."[18]
  • Joshua Sawyer: "One of the themes we identified early on for F:NV was "recreating the new world in the image of the old"[18]
  • Joshua Sawyer: "The reason why F:NV's extensive use of western trappings overlaps fine with the imagery of vegas is because the golden age of TV & film westerns was in the 50s and 60s, which was also the golden age of las vegas. We're already conditioned to accept these things overlapping. ~*[19]
Post-ending gameplay
  • Joshua Sawyer: "It was made relatively late in the project and I made it because the area designers were falling behind on area milestones and would not be able to complete both the core required content and post-game content in the remaining time. We did design post-game reactivity. We just didn’t have time to implement it."[20]



See also

External links


  1. Fallout: New Vegas announced in London at VG247
  2. J.E. Sawyer in Obsidian forum
  3. 3.0 3.1 PC Gamer Edwards, Tim (February, 2010), March issue of PC Gamer: pp. 40-41.[clarification needed]
  4. Gamespot Interview with Chris Avellone at E3 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 Eurogamer - Fallout: New Vegas was once Fallout: Sin City and had three playable races
  6. Fallout: New Vegas 10th Anniversary Charity Stream (reference starts at 4:47:53)
    Joshua Sawyer: "'Did they give you full source code and engine access during development?' Yeah, the source code came... we actually had to work on the game - until we had secure...everything's secure to the extent that Bethesda wanted - we worked with just the development tools and not source code for a few months, and then we got the source code and dove in."
  7. Joshua Sawyer at Reboot Develop 2018: "No, not by the definition that I gave. We worked sprint overtime, we didn't crunch, though. Fallout: New Vegas was made without crunch by the definition I gave."
  8. Fallout: New Vegas 10th Anniversary Charity Stream (reference starts at 3:25:37)
    Joshua Sawyer: "'Regarding the hardware of the day, what was the biggest headache?' It was the PS3's memory. [chuckles] I mean, for this project, it was the PS3's memory. The PS3 had a split memory pool, and this is a very memory-intensive game, and it made it... just made it hard."
  9. Joshua Sawyer on Formspring
  10. Fallout: New Vegas 10th Anniversary Charity Stream (reference starts at 4:53:34)
    Joshua Sawyer: "'Would I say the game realized most of my development ideas during its 18 months?' Yeah.'"
  11. VG247 - Fallout: New Vegas announced in London
  12. Metascore for Fallout: New Vegas on PC
  13. Metascore for Fallout: New Vegas on Xbox 360
  14. Metascore for Fallout: New Vegas on PS3
  15. IMDB Game Awards - Fallout: New Vegas
  16. Fallout: New Vegas on Wikipedia
  17. 2011 Golden Joystick Awards
  18. 18.0 18.1 Joshua Sawyer on Something Awful
  19. Joshua Sawyer on Twitter
  20. Joshua Sawyer on Tumblr