Sunday, January 13, 2013

Strange times in Fallout: New Vegas

I'm still playing Fallout: New Vegas (see here for my other posts on the game) and having lots of fun, though it's surprisingly buggy.

The game crashes fairly often. And at last twice, when I've exited the game normally, then wanted to start playing again, I couldn't load my most recent save. So I highly recommend multiple saves. I've taken to making sure I have at least two recent saves whenever I quit the game. (And waiting until a Quick Save is completed before doing anything else really seems to be a good idea, too!)

But there have been other incidents which are just kind of funny. For example, I found a dead prostitute in a casino, lying on a blood-soaked table in a small room, behind a locked door. When I examined the body, I discovered that she'd been tortured to death - and that she'd been dead for 12 hours or so.

After that, however, whenever I returned to that location, I found that she'd gotten off the table and started walking around:

I'd left the door open, so she kept walking in and out of the room. There wasn't a scratch on her, and she did the same flirting as all the other prostitutes (sex slaves, in reality) there. She certainly didn't look dead or sound dead, and a nearby guard saw nothing unusual in any of this, either.

But I couldn't talk to her. When I tried, I got the same option to examine the body, and my medical skills gave me the same answer, that she'd been dead for some time. Weird, huh?

Eventually, I learned that she'd been tortured to death as an example to the other prostitutes there, since she'd tried to escape. And her death was used for blackmail purposes, too. I made sure the murderers were killed, but I couldn't tell her that - or anything else, for that matter. Zombies in the wasteland?

Previously, I described how I'd arrived on the New Vegas Strip and started some of the quests there, before reloading an earlier save because I wanted to complete some other quests first. Partly, this was because I was contacted on the Strip by a representative of Caesar's Legion, with a request to meet with Caesar and a promise of immunity for my past actions against them.

Of course, I'm not sure how wise it would be to accept such a promise from a murdering, torturing, enslaving bastard, but I had other quests I wanted to finish before that, anyway - such as rescuing the Weathers family, who'd been taken as slaves by Caesar's Legion. And, frankly, being attacked by Legionnaire assassins was proving to be quite lucrative, too. So I thought I'd let it continue awhile longer.

But when I finally got back to the Strip - much, much later - I didn't receive that offer from Caesar. I still haven't, in fact. Did they just give up on me this time? :)  [Edit: I was wrong about this, since I did get that offer from Caesar, eventually. What happened was that I didn't do things in the same order when I went back to the Strip the second time, so I didn't trip that quest trigger nearly as quickly. Eventually, though, I did. Well, mistakes like this are a common problem when commenting before I actually finish a game.]

Note that I'm not traveling with Boone, the sniper with a grudge against the Legion, right now. I've picked up Veronica, instead. She's young and innocent, very sweet. (She likes to punch people with her Power Fist, but that's not a drawback in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.)

She's very pretty, too, but she likes girls, so our relationship has been strictly platonic.

But without Boone in my party, the Legion has been behaving oddly. They still despise me, since I've been killing so many of them. But a lone assassin will quickly run up to me in the wilderness - not appearing hostile, so Veronica and ED-E don't react at all - then turn around and run like crazy in the opposite direction.

He'll apparently run back to where he's left the other three assassins in his team, but then reverse course once again and come running back to me, all by himself. If I stop sneaking (I'm sneaking pretty much all the time in this game), he still won't react. But if I try to talk to him, he'll immediately pull his gun and try to kill me.

The odd thing is that the rest of his team will remain neutral (if they're far enough away from the combat). And, afterwards, I can walk up and talk to them without getting anything more than threats. Otherwise, they'll just stand there, gazing off into the distance - apparently waiting for their leader, whom I've already killed.

Sometimes, I just leave them like that. Sometimes, I kill them anyway. (You can't reason with them, and they do attack innocent travelers.) Gee, I wonder why Caesar isn't offering me immunity now? :)

Speaking of Veronica, I was feeling kind of bad for taking such a sweet kid into the Gomorrah, that den of iniquity on the Strip. She was constantly being propositioned, offered a "job" (actually, as I say, it was sexual slavery they were offering). It was really a very nasty place.

But then I turned around and saw her staring raptly at one of the big-breasted exotic dancers/prostitutes in the place:

Honestly, her attention seemed to be completely on the hooker, who, in turn, was flirting with Veronica, not with me (the story of my life). Indeed, the first time I saw her do this, she appeared to be staring right at the dancer's breasts.

Hey, girl, you're supposed to be watching my back, not enjoying the scenery! Oh, well, she's young, huh? But I wasn't sure if I felt better or worse for bringing her into such a place. :)

It may be buggy, but Fallout: New Vegas is chock full of neat things like this. The last time I was on the Strip, I saw a guy chasing a two-headed cow down the main boulevard. (The cow having two heads wasn't the unusual part, since all cows in the post-apocalyptic wasteland have two heads. But it did seem to be a weird place for it.)

It was over very quickly, with both disappearing through the gate to the south. I tried to follow them, but there was no sign of cow or man anywhere. I still don't know if this was a feature, another bug, or just one of those weird things which seem to happen regularly.

But it's a lot of fun. Now, the game isn't perfect, not at all. I'm still frustrated that I can't hold a real conversation with people (but that's the case in every game). And you can botch many quests by completing a different quest first.

But the stories are great and there's certainly no shortage of things to do, especially with all of the DLC add-ons. (I haven't tried any of the others, but Old World Blues was absolutely enormous!) And if you do run out of things to do, this Project Brazil mod is supposed to be released soon. Check out the trailer:

Looks great, doesn't it? Of course, I'm the guy who never - or very, very rarely - actually completes a role-playing game like this, so it's hard to imagine I'll ever get to that. But Fallout: New Vegas has certainly kept me interested - for a long time so far (even though I'm also playing other games).

This game is very impressive, bugs and all.

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