Despite my best efforts and having received Fallout: New Vegas early from Bethesda, I have only put in 12 hours play time and reached level 14. I don't feel comfortable writing a full review yet, but I am ready to share my impressions and initial thoughts.
This time around Bethesda has handed development duties to Obsidian. You can see right away that the game is made mostly of previously existing assets -- the character builder is identical to that of Fallout 3, as is the inventory screen, the map screen, and even the hair styles. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as the instant familiarity with controls and items allow the action to start a bit faster than its predecessor. Here's what you need to know; it's the future and we're in (and around) Vegas after the apocalypse. You are a courier out to discover who made your last delivery “complicated”.
As someone who spent many, many enjoyable hours in the world of Fallout 3 (somewhere around 60-70 hours), I was obviously very excited to get my hands on New Vegas. I also think my unabashed love for F3 may make me a bit of an apologist for New Vegas’ shortcomings. I am thoroughly enjoying the game and as much as I don’t want to be negative about my experience; so far it has been a buggy one. I seem to be encountering problems every 30 minutes or so.
Some examples of glitches I've come across:
• A giant radioactive ant, required to kill for mission success, was rendered inside a wall
• One instance of a full console freeze upon entering a load screen
• Watched from a distance as some Mercenaries, in their attempts to run towards me, ran off a cliff to their deaths
• Had an enemy run from me, only to get stuck in a rock, requiring a mission re-start
• Second instance of a game freeze, this time in game, for no apparent reason
I would also like to add that the loading times are a bit long for my tastes as even with a hard drive install, load times feel longer than Fallout 3.
Tech issues aside, I'm still enjoying my time with New Vegas thoroughly and am looking forward to completing the story. Quest missions are unique and the scenery thus far has been awesome. The ability to recruit two partners doesn't add much to the story, but has certainly helped out during firefights. If you love the world of Fallout, I doubt you'll be disappointed. As a Fallout lover, you likely know by now to save and save often (especially in light of the game's crashing issues). Now, if you don't mind, I must get back to saving the wasteland.