189 points, 10 votes, 3.5 TOP GAME votes
Mordy: This had a multitude of bugs that kept it from placing higher, but despite those I still gave it about 20 hours or so before deciding to wait for a major patch or two. Half my vote is for what I’ve already seen — a sharp, well-written game that is deserving of the Fallout brand (if you include Wasteland it’s my favorite video game series of all time) — and half for what I hope: that further patched play will reveal an incredible game. I’m embarrassed to admit that like a fallout-crack fiend, despite being disgusted by the early crashes, I still played about 4 hours of this last night. I got down to Primm and cleared that shit out (took a couple reloads tho, I’m not in love with my character build atm). It’s very familiar to F3, especially wrt the types of items you find lying around. I’m playing on hardcore which is actually kinda hard (gotta remember to tote around purified water and food) and led to one of my cooler Fallout experiences. Someone got a critical head shot on me while I was in the middle of clearing Primm and since stimpacks don’t heal critical damage on hardcore I basically continued to fight with my head in poor condition (since I didn’t want to run away and see a doctor). Every few minutes the screen went all blurry and shaky and static came up, which was a really cool way of indicating trauma and reminded me of the malaria mechanics in Far Cry 2. It’s hard killing gangers when you can barely see the screen or aim your gun.
jjjusten: So yeah, people keep saying that this is just a content expansion pack for fallout III but eh I call bullshit, its a better swing at the fallout universe than III was in pretty much every way that matters – the characters are far better, your companions are more than just bullet sponges, the plot actually has legit moral choice based branches, the locations look better. yeah sure, its the same game mechanic, but once you peel back the grime filter from gta4 yer still pwning pedestrians and boning prostitutes, so whats the big deal. still loving this game but:
A) no one in the entire world will ever get excited about the stupid survivalist thing
B) some of the fixit quests are a little badly designed ie “here is a broken food processor, and here is the list of 74 pieces of junk you need to fix it. no, we will not keep track of this for you, so i hope you have a pen and paper handy”
C) some of the quests are pretty counter-intuitive, I’ve had to gamefaq a couple which always sucks.
that being said roaming the tight vault passages fuckin’ peeps up with a chainsaw is like the best shit ever
NI: one of my favorite moments of the game was me and boone spending about an hour blowing away the mother and alpha male deathclaws and their clan in that mining pit. avoided it for so long as i’d heard deathclaws were pretty much unkillable this time round but boone + missiles + incinerator + my cunning technique of running up a mine chute squealing like a girl soon sorted them out.
im up to about level 24 now, only just entered the strip and i can sense the old FO3 syndrome of it getting too easy starting to kick in. been doing a bunch of no-risk ‘wander about and chat to people’ missions in camp mclarran and freeside and it’s all getting a bit zzzz. the xbox loading times between locations is frustrating as hell too.
Princess TamTam: combat’s wayyy better imo – the true iron sights are a great addition, and because of that i’ve barely touched VATS so far. sneaking and sniping is my tactic of choice. enemies are still bullet sponges (im playing on very hard btw) which is unfortunate because I really prefer shooters where one well-placed headshot = a kill no matter what. the ammo variety is great, AP bullets actually work, and the new guns are all awesome and make bethesda’s weapons look retarded (it’s really jarring when you equip say the 10 mm pistol and it’s this weird clunky made up gun that doesn’t fit in with anything else), reload animations are sick nasty too. I was fully on-board when I walked into Nipton and the fucking Necropolis music from Fallout 1 started playing. Also, fucking JOHNNY GUITAR. Just as an aside, I think this game will be remembered as one of the most progressive AAA titles ever wrt its treatment of gay characters. Most of the v/o is a huge step up. It reminds me of how impressed I was by the presentation of the first Fallout… it was really cool that whenever you had a talking head convo, you knew you’d get some great voiceover from people like Clancy Brown, Ron Perlman, Keith David, Frank Welker, Richard Moll, etc. I took a break from the game this week, but I’m playing again today. I just got to Jacobstown, and lemme just say that I’m glad mutants have personality again instead of just being bellowing hulks.
Magnificent *kisses fingertips like a french sommelier*
jeff: bugs so far today: got stuck between two crates that were seemingly stacked right next to each other. guess not. and then one where my fire button stopped working and my weapon would only fire when i exited out my pip boy menu. had a really fun vats experience where i just watched a gecko run at me in slow motion for a minute while my gun did nothing.
Craig G: A new Fallout game and Cowboys must be cool this (last) year I guess. A lot of people criticized New Vegas because it looked dated, still using the Gamebryo Engine. I guess I didn’t notice this because it hadn’t been that long since I finished playing Fallout 3 and all the DLC. That said, in spite of the fact it is my game of the year, for me New Vegas wasn’t as good as Fallout 3, but in an intangible way. I guess it could be because Fallout 3 was something new, and I spent way more time just wandering around the environment looking at things, and exploring for the heck of it. New Vegas was familiar, and for that reason just not quite as exciting. It brought lots of nice additions though; modding weapons to stick a scope on my usual favorite the Hunting Rifle makes it pretty fun to wander the wastes picking off Bad Dudes. The new factions cover a wide range, and it was a pretty satisfying hour and half clearing out Cottonwood Cove and The Fort of the Legion jerks. I think it will be better for multiple playthroughs too, as the options available, both for side quests and main quests, seems more flexible than Fallout 3 was. Cannot be assed with playing Caravan though.
bnw: I’m playing hardcore mode. It’s not really that tough so far, we’ll see when my resources dwindle further. One fight gave me problems so far, took like 10 tries. I’ve had a couple freezes and a corrupt auto-save. Seen some coyotes stuck in the ground and some other animal stuck motionless on the road. Overall a bit of letdown as it’s like a more buggy fallout 3. Also seems lacking in the great underground tunnels fo3 has. seems kinda silly that hardcore mode cripples you so realistically and effectively wrt injuries and weight and yet you can still “fast travel”. You can even walk/run as fast as a gimp, you just limp at equal speed. I do think you’re more vulnerable in those areas if crippled though. Also not a big fan of CRAFTING. So far it is completely unnecessary and just a pain to manage 8000 different ingredients. My character is a black lesbian obv.
Ste: Some of the feelings i get from this game are too real and not fun enough lol. one mission had me lure some guy in front of a sniper. but i got told off for having no evidence. it was quite funny to see the guys head explode as i talked to him, but i felt really shitty when i was told off by the sniper guy.
need to level up before i go lurking into areas with deathclaws, they’re sons a bitches but at least i got my egg!
EZ Snappin: Might have been my game of the year if it didn’t ship horribly fucking broken. Better story than F3, even more of a mess technically. If Obsidian ever manages to release a finished, working, product the world might end. I believe their “unnamed development project” after Dungeon Siege 3 is scheduled for release December 20, 2012. Make of that what you will. No bugs, still lovin’ it (almost 10 hours in), playing with Wacky Kooky Wasteland but haven’t seen anything kooky or wacky – just radscorpions, ghouls, molerats and the like. I’m enjoying it more than F3 at the beginning, and the humor seems less LOOK! FAN SERVICE FUNNY! than Fallout 3.
Forks’ Fallout 3 Soundtrack:
The Master Keys – I Don’t Mind the Rain (Unreleased, radio)
Charles Brown – It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That
Nat King Cole – Nature Boy
Son House – Low Down Dirty Blues
Dizzy Gillespie – Oop Pop A Da
Jack McVea – Open the Door Richard
The Stanley Brothers – Death Is Only a Dream
The Big Three Trio (Willie Dixon) – I Ain’t Gonna Be Your Monkey Man
The DixieAires – Joe Louis Is a Fightin’ Man
John Lee Hooker – Crawling King Snake
Amos Milburn – Bad Bad Whiskey
The Big Three Trio – Signifying Monkey
Redd Stewart – Brother Drop Dead Boogie
The Dominoes with Clyde McPhatter – The Bells
Earl Hooker – Sweet Black Angel
Eddie Boyd – Third Degree
June Christy with The Stan Kenton Orchestra – Everything Happens to Me
Howlin’ Wolf – Evil
Junior Wells – Somebody Hoodooed The Hoodoo Man
Little Walter – Mellow Down Easy
Lambert Hendricks and Ross – Standin’ On the Corner, Whistlin’ at the Pretty Girls
Little Richard – Slippin and Slidin’ Peepin’ and Hidin’ (Piano/Drum Demo)
The Starlight Gospel Singers – I Got a Right To the Tree of Life
The Weavers – Sixteen Tons
Bobby Blue Bland – You Got Bad Intentions
Bo Diddley – Hey! Bo Diddley!
Chuck Berry – Maybelline
Eddie Banks and The Five Dreamers – Sugar Diabetes
Elvis Presley – Blue Moon
Patience and Prudence – Tonight You Belong to Me
Nhex: coming back in 3 years after the fan patches make this playable
104 points, 10 votes, 3 TOP GAME votes
Mordy: This lacks the emotional punch of Fallout 3, or even the sympathetic protagonist of Violet: A Distraction, but GTA IV was still the most ambitious, mainstream game to come out this year. I have to imagine that forcing 13 year old trash-talkers to think about morality (and mortality) can’t be bad. Maybe Rockstar is really a subversive Kantian think tank trying to trick kids into playing Mafia games that are really about the immigrant experience.
Jeff Levine: Say what you will, it’s an amazing technical achievement.
Iroquois Pliskin: The single richest, most culturally detailed and vibrant environment created for a video game, and one of the most ambitious as well, on a narrative level.
Polyphonic: A very disappointing game, especially after the embarrassing overpraise that preceded its release. But this is also the game I played the most this year, and it isn’t without its pleasures. If the first GTA game released on the 360 is meant to solve the basic issues of marrying the GTA world with the physics and graphical capability of next-gen systems, hopefully the second game will provide the fun and depth that Vice City and San Andreas provided to the template of GTA III.
Jamescobo: The Journey alone commands points.
156 points, 5 votes, 4 TOP GAME votes
jamescobo: Real Coint & Plick starts here.
HIDERE: HOLY FUCK THIS GAME IS HARD
Hamildan: The only thing worse than playing Demon’s Souls is not playing Demon’s Souls.
Antexit: I was going to put Retro Gaming Challenge on the list but I realized this pretty much covers it. This year I really like games that embrace their essential game-ness, without aspiring to other media– I love Uncharted but I still want movies to be movies and games to be games. Demon’s (or Demons or Demons’) Souls reminded me for the first time in forever what it felt like to play incredibly hard games when I was a kid — how inexplicably rewarding progress can be just for its own sake and without all the little cookies games today give you for taking every step.
Forksclovetofu: I started playing this during the infamous “black Halloween weekend” and the first three hours were SO FRUSTRATING, but when the game opens up and shows you its depth and payoff it’s totally worth it. When I found my first complete set of armor in a back room I was literally dancing on the couch. It’s like playing dungeons and dragons with a very very pissed off DM who knows what they’re doing. Astonishingly atmospheric and demanding but never unfair. It may be the game I’m most proud of having beaten and was absolutely my favorite game of the year.
Aarrissi-a-roni: It is the kind of game where you are guaranteed to have that dark night of the soul moment where you have to ask yourself if you are really going to do that same goddamn level for the 25th time, but a bit of perseverance will get you through. And the blue phantom mechanism is a get out of jail free card if there is a boss that you really get stuck on, as happened to me twice. I couldn’t recommend this game enough. It is really a step beyond.
Polyphonic: I am only on World 1, Level 2 and it is already very clear that this is a deep and very cool game. Every decision that was made with the property was the right one. When I bought it at Gamestop, the dorks at the register said they hadn’t played it because they were afraid of it. Cowards.
Lamp: Technically amazing, even if it isnt particularly loveable.
SECOND PLACE FOR MOST DISAPPOINTING GAME
SCRIBBLENAUTS – 3 Votes
CraigG – Maybe if you’re not lazy and unimaginative as I am, this is a good game? I had watched the videos and was drawn into the widespread hype of this amazing database where you could conjure up anything and solve puzzles in any way you can think of. Then I played the game and discovered two things:
1) If I tried to think of a Rube Goldberg way of solving a puzzle that it couldn’t understand (which was more often than not), it wasn’t going to work.
2) Once you solve the first twenty or so levels in the most obvious way possible, you no longer feel the need to be bothered being creative.
And since this game is about the joy of being creative, I put it away forever.
Antexit –What a load of crap. It’s like a Resident Evil puzzle that has 50,000 pieces and only five of them do anything.
JimD – Woah, it’s all true! I can spawn, like, ANY OBJECT I CAN THINK OF! This RULES! Oh, except none of them really do anything. And everything looks ugly. And suddenly I can’t really think of anything other than LADDER or GUN.