Thursday, 16 December 2010

Wasteland Lover 1: The Intro. What and Why


I thought about writing a review. I read a lot of reviews, even after playing the whole game. I'm not exactly sure why. Played the game a lot when it came out, more than I have played any other game since I was 18 even. Didn't want to review it when I could be playing it, and by the time I had got over wanting to play it all the time it had been out 6 weeks or so, and reviewing it felt pointless. I mean, it would have been pointless anyway, but this just made it especially so. Plus I'd already stated most of my most trenchant points in conversation anyway, so there'd be a lot of retreading, or whatever. So yeah, I never did.
Fallout New Vegas has four endings, and I wanted to do them all. I left a lot of quests unfinished and places unexplored on my first go through the game, so there would be new shit for later ones. Goes against my innate completionist/perfectionist, but that side of me has totally faded as I've grown up anyway. Much rather do something enjoyably than well.
So, the main problem with New Vegas isn't the bugs, like I'd say if I was some weak journalist. It's that it's too fucking easy. My first go through I had it on 'Hard' setting (normal mode is for wimps, babies, toys and lame fucks) with the Hardcore more also enabled. It really wasn't that hard, so next go, I put it up to Very Hard and decided I wasn't going to wear power armour (like older Fallouts, it's the armour, especially power armour, that really reels in the difficulty). But, since I knew the game fairly well by this stage, it was actually even easier than before.
So, I got to talking with videogame journalist-for-hire Sam Balthier about ways to make an additional playthrough difficult enough to be engaging enough for a third run-through of the game.
The shit we discussed piqued my interest. Seemed it would necessitate playing the game slightly differently, require more thinking or whatever. Basically, I wasn't most likely going to bother playing this through a third time before, and after I wanted to fucking write this shit down.

I guess the restrictions and their reasoning run roughly like this:

No wearing shit with a DT above 5

Like I touched on before, it's the armour that really makes this game easy. No PA is one thing, but nothing over 5 is crippling. Can't even wear a leather jacket. Basically all this allows is the little grimy clothes with radical names like Merc Cruiser outfit and Raider Blastmaster Armour. Luckily, that contains all the best looking shit in the game anyway. What it also allows, and I get a feeling this might be crucial, is disguises. There are Legion, NCR, Great Khan and Powder Ganger disguises all at 5 DT or below, so that whole thing is open to play around with. They're not really necessary at all normally, but I'm guessing they might get more mileage when any sucker can kill you.
This was the idea the rest were based around, the nexus of the whole concept or whatever. A DT of less than 6 means you'll look way better (and we all love taking photos of our guy, hence this whole fucking thing) and the game will be hard enough to make you think.

No getting your fucking addictions cured by the doctor lady in five minutes for like fifty woolongs

Drugs are powerful shit. Even with essentially no armour, a shitload of drugs could still make you pretty baller. This way, you can still take them - and as this much of a wimp, it's likely I'll want the aforementioned shitload - but you have to deal with the consequences like a big boy.
Addiction curing is much too easy and cheap in this game anyhow, making shit like Fixer totally worthless except for a couple of quests in Freeside. My most memorable and fun playthrough of Fallout 2 was as a jet addict (in Fallout 2, you couldn't cure addictions at the doctor, but they did pass over time. Except jet. Jet was for life (yeah, there is a quest to make an antidote, but that shit is for babies and I did not touch it)). Being a legit addict if you play around with drugs, searching for Fixer, saving your last dose for either a big fight or to stave off a headache, should be fun.

No repairing shit

This one is another pretty big dampener on a lot of dudes' parades. I'm not sure how far I'm going to go with it. What's definitely out is swapping caps for CND with some repairing NPC behind a counter. Repair kits, maybe. But I don't have that much of a problem with like-for-like merging in the Pip-Boy, especially for the sake of saving some unique weapon or whatever (some of them look nice, plus they're sad to lose), but probably Jury Rigging should be out. Or maybe not, I don't know. Repair isn't amazing without it.

No companions

Companions are overpowered. And by companions I mean Boone. Although in fairness, most of the rest are too - especially Veronica - but Boone is just fucking egregious. I'm actually going to break this one for a couple of reasons:
I'm playing Hardcore mode (obviously) and if they die, then they're dead. No reloading that shit. I'm aiming to side with Caesar's Legion too. Not a lot of the companions are cool with that, notable fan-favourite Arcade Gannon and Boba Fett-fan-favourite Boone. So I wont get a whole lot of free reign. The reason being, I'm writing this shit up on here. Figure a companion dying or leaving me will make this shit better reading.

No save-scumming

Ironman that shit. If you die, you can reload. Anything else, fucking deal with it.

Character

Guess I might as well laden myself with a few more restrictions during character creation, huh?

Stats

Min-maxing is still as good as ever (pro-tip to beef up your character: dump CH, probably PE and possibly LK depending on your build. Over 6 IN isn't really necessary, especially if you take educated early). So this time I am having no part in it. Gonna put my free points where I want, but those 5s are sticking around. I'm going to be a lovely well-rounded human being.

Skills

Tagged guns before, plus it's very good and very generic/boring. Done explosives before too (can't recommend them enough though, they are too fantastic) and unarmed as well. Melee seems like just about the worst combat skill going (except perhaps having only explosives), so lets go with that.
Speech is too fucking good. Might build it later, but I'm at least giving the wasteland a chance against me.
Mostly I just didn't want to tag anything I've tagged before. Along with melee, sneak and survival are my picks. Sneak for running away from everything that can effortlessly kill me (everything), and survival for getting by in the wastes after I run away.

Traits

Small Frame and Good-Natured. I'm already going to get dicked in fights, so I might as well fucking emphasise this aspect of my personality or whatever. Plus the good sides of these traits will be nice.

Physique

Black or hispanic, clean-shaven.
Every motherfucker who played this game played a white guy with a beard. So fuck that. And since I'm a white nerd, by playing as an asian guy I might as well just get a fucking Thane Krios tattoo, or kill myself, or whatever. No.


So i guess that's pretty much my brief. My plan is to side with the Legion, be a dick to the NCR, be a dick in general, see Lily's little quest because I haven't yet, maybe activate ARCHIMEDES if I feel like it, finish as many quests differently to how I've done before/how most people do them/avoid the 'best' endings, and most of all just have this not be boring shit.

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