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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Gaming

Falling out with Fallout: New Vegas

I'd heard Fallout: New Vegas was glitchy, but I didn't expect it to be this bad.

After playing Fallout: New Vegas for way more time than I actually could spare over the past few weeks, I find I'm falling out of love. I'd heard there had been reports of glitches and a general lack of polish when I picked it up, but I didn't expect it to be this bad.

Ain't that a kick in the head. (Credit: GameSpot)

The necessary background: I played Fallout 3 on PC, loved it, but decided I would play New Vegas on my PS3 for convenience. My gaming laptop is packed away after moving recently, and while I could of (would of, should of) unpacked it for this particular gaming experience, the PS3 was set and ready. And, in truth, I'm just not one of those gamers who cares about high-fidelity textures and the way light refracts off moving water. I'm more in it for the story, hence why I love Bethesda's RPGs. I do not, however, love games that crash more often than a stock car racer. The fact of the matter is: Fallout: New Vegas is broken.

The game first came to a stuttering standstill with my character on the cliffs overlooking a battlefield at Camp Forlorn Hope. Below I could see NCR and Legion NPCs waging war, and I assume the extended stutter had something to do with the numerous autonomous characters on screen, but this time the game righted itself after a 10-second pause. Shortly after it crashed altogether, forcing me to drag myself off the couch and reset.

The next time the game crashed I lost nearly half an hour of gameplay. I'd traipsed across the wasteland trying to find the Great Khans hideout to the West and just as I saw the white of their tents over the horizon I was once again standing in front of the PS3 hitting the power button.

Now I'm at the stage where the game freezes up once every hour or so. I know I've only really discovered about half of the game's secrets and quirky characters, and yet I'm pretty sure I'm set on trading it in this weekend and picking up a game that, statistically speaking, should work fine. I've only rarely experienced performance issues with PlayStation titles, and it seems that I'm definitely not alone, in fact the issues with the game are so widely known that developer Bethesda is reporting work on a "comprehensive patch for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3" to solve "a number of ... issues being reported".

For me, I'm not sure I can wait that long. I may never storm and take back Black Mountain from the vile Super Mutants, or teach the Misfits at Camp Golf how to lob grenades. I may never collect 50 Blue Star Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle caps and discover the treasure this unlocks. Wandering the wastelands worrying more about corrupted save games than unseen Powder Gangers has worn me out. Next time Bethesda please comprehensively patch your games before I fork out $100.