Fallout New Vegas: Game Review

Image: Fallout New Vegas: Game Review

What happens after the war ends?

In 2077, the war between China and the USA escalates to the point where nuclear missiles are exchanged. Some people managed to find shelter in underground vaults. Others weren’t so lucky. Now, 204 years later, the USA is in ruins. The bombed out remains of buildings are a constant reminder of what’s been lost. Radiation-affected mutants roam the wastelands. And the survivors try to rebuild society, any way they can. Resources are scarce, people are trying to kill you and you’re on your own. This is the world of Fallout.

Overview of Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is the latest game in the Fallout series. While not a sequel to 2008′s Fallout 3, New Vegas has taken the graphic engine and user interface of Fallout 3 and taken the game in a new and different direction, with new creatures, new settings, and a sensibility that calls back to earlier Fallout games.

While Fallout 3 was set amongst the ruins of Washington D.C., New Vegas travels to the other side of the USA and is set around the remains of Las Vegas. You play a courier, shot and left for dead. As you pull yourself together and piece together the mystery of who shot you and why, you find yourself in the middle of an upcomming war involving multiple factions. What role you play in the war and who you fight against depends on what choices you make in the game.

F:NV is a first person shooter with strong role playing elements. Who you speak to and what you say to them is just as important as who you shoot in the head. Unlike many first person shooters, it’s not just a matter of shooting any thing that moves. Who you kill and who you don’t kill, who you help and who you don’t help, will have a significant impact on the game.

Is this game suitable for young Christians?

 

The game is full of moral ambiguity. Helping out one faction will anger another. And none of these factions are exactly the good guys. Will you side with the Legion, who want to bring order to the the Mojave, but believe in crucifying their enemies and keeping women as chained up slaves? Or how about the NCR, who uphold personal freedoms, but their spread-too-thin bureaucracy led to the slaughter of innocents in an ill-advised assault on a small tribe? What about Mr House, the mysterious benefactor of New Vegas who enforces his own brand of justice with his army of robots in order to keep profits high? Moral choices need to be made in this game. Nothing is black and white and doing the “right thing ” may cost you.

As much as I love NV, I have some concerns. This is very much a MA rated game. Frequent swearing, drug use, prostitution, rape, homosexual themes, slavery, cannibalism, and very graphic, very bloody violence. And that disappoints me. Because I love this game and all of these things could have been toned down or even removed. Consequently, I can’t recommend this game for younger gamers. If any of the above things are an issue for you, do not play this game.

Fallout’s world vs God’s world

NV‘s view of humanity is pretty low. If you strip away society, expose the world to a cataclysmic event, then people will respond with selfishness and depravity. Everyone does what ever they want. There is no consideration for what is good for others. And there is little thought for what is right and wrong. It reminds me of the book of Judges, where everyone did what ever they wanted because they had no king keeping them in line with God’s will (Judges 21:25). In NV, people are experimented on, forced into slavery, murdered on sight. People only have value if they can do something for you. The only right and wrong exists in your head and is enforced with a bullet. This is not the world we live in. We live in a world where God exists. Where he has declared what is right and what is wrong and told us the difference in his Word. People in this world are handed over to a depraved mind and turn away from God (Romans 1:24) but he has not forgotten us. He will bring justice to this world. He has made us and expects us to step up and follow his law. We don’t decide what is right and wrong. God does.

Fallout: New Vegas is a visually stunning game with a large scope for game play. This is not a game you can knock over in a weekend, but will have you coming back again and again. Unfortunately, the “adult” content will be a barrier for many.

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