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For the ability to communicate with NPCs as a fully fleshed out personality, I'd have to rate Neverwinter Nights 2 as tops, closely followed by Dragon Age: Origins and Knights of the Old Republic 2. I love having a range of dialogue choices, and it's even better when the things you say have some weight in the game. Which games have allowed you a great range of role playing?


Dragon Age?

How about Planescape: Torment. Nothing comes close in terms of NPC interaction.


I would say for providing me with the option of what I feel like I really would say... in other words, letting me play the character I want to play, I'd say Fallout: New Vegas wins that one. It also easily wins the "I truly felt like my choices had meaning" contest for me. Planescape: Torment follows. It's been a really long time since I've played KoTOR2 but that might qualify as well from what I vaguely remember of it.

For BEST companion dialogue and/or interesting party banter, I would say Torment and KotOR2 again, as well as Baldur's Gate II and Dragon Age: Origins (I did NOT feel I could roleplay well on Origins, however--often what seemed like an obvious response to me was never offered, and there was more plot railroading than I liked for all the illusions of "choice." The dialogue was well written but I still often felt forced into corners).

For thought provoking story, Torment and NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer.

For runners up of course pretty much anything designed by Obsidian/Black Isle and Bioware that I didn't already mention has merit. And the Suikoden series has some great companion dialogue and story, although the "choices" you are offered are more often about a "right" and a "wrong" choice that leads to a "good" or "bad" ending, so like most JRPG it's weaker in the actual "I feel like I'm roleplaying my own character" department, but there's still tremendous joy and merit in those games; my favorite for characters and story and choices is V followed by III (not the II fan that everyone else in the world is; I found half the main characters unlikeable and the villain a walking cliche).


Dragon Age was the worst game I ever encountered. In one scene my girlfriend made me break up with my other girlfriend because, as she put it, "I will not share."

THEN in the very next scene my girlfriend, whom I was still with after breaking up with my other girlfriend, agreed to sleep with me and a strange woman we just met in a tavern, yep, a threeway. I stopped playing the game after that scene.


Of the games I've played, Alpha Protocol had the most rewarding roleplay options. I can just hear some people bruising themselves via facepalm, but I'm serious. The choices mattered, multiple routes were usually available (except for boss fights), and it had a very rewarding "new game plus" option that offered new conversation choices and a head start. It's not my favorite, but it certainly ranks high.

No game I've played has really given me the options I wanted, even New Vegas, because I never seem to care about the things or NPCs that the game tells me I should.

As for party banter? In no particular order: Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age 1 & 2, NWN: Hordes of the Underdark, NWN 2, and Planescape: Torment.


Good call, Necromancer, I just finished Alpha Protocol recently and it is a really cool game for offering choices. It is limiting in that you play, in Yahtzee Croshaw's words, more or less one of three kinds of ponces, but there was a lot there that I'd love to see in more RPGs.


Kind of sucks that SEGA shelved the franchise--because it "performed poorly"--and sits firmly on the IP. Much like EA did with Dungeon Keeper.

Cheliax

Planescape, hands down. There is simply no contest.

But pretty much all of the old Black Isle games offer the best experience; which should be expected, considering it's essentially computer D&D.


The thread's conclusion so far appears to be that anything with Chris Avellone's name on it is worth a look, since he wrote (or co-wrote) PLANESCAPE: TORMENT, KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC 2, FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS (and its expansions), ALPHA PROTOCOL and NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2 (and its expansions).

Another game he worked on but wasn't mentioned here is FALLOUT 2, which I haven't played, so I don't know how well that one stacked up.

For a non-Avellone/Obsidian/Black Isle game, the only one that immediately comes to mind is BALDUR'S GATE II (which Black Isle did help out a little on). To be fair to BioWare, their NPCs are often superb - the NPCs in KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC and MASS EFFECT are great - but the increasingly linear nature of their games means that you can't 'roleplay' your responses and character as well as you perhaps should. When they do get it right, your interactions can be very powerful, however (in particularly thinking of Shepard's interactions with the Salarian scientist in ME2 and ME3, which is genuinely awesome if it pans out the 'right' way).

I've heard good things about Troika's games as well (ARCANUM, TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL and VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE: BLOODLINES), but don't know how well they handled those things. And in a nice display of circularity, a few of the ex-Troika personnel ended up back at Obsidian, where they are now working with Avellone on PROJECT ETERNITY :)


Werthead wrote:
I've heard good things about Troika's games as well (ARCANUM, TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL and VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE: BLOODLINES), but don't know how well they handled those things. And in a nice display of circularity, a few of the ex-Troika personnel ended up back at Obsidian, where they are now working with Avellone on PROJECT ETERNITY :)

Troika had the Midas touch with rpgs. While the games weren't the most roleplay-friendly titles around, the three mentioned above were amazing to play through.

Temple of Elemental Evil was the only crpg based on D&D I've seen that allowed the PC to rebuke or command undead. This was the only reason I played a cleric back in 3.0 and how irritated was I when every D&D game I picked up ignored that option. And just forget about animating undead either... The best feature, however, was the party's alignment making a difference from the very beginning.

Arcanum was awesome the first time through, but now I can barely tolerate it for more than half an hour. Not because of the setting, just the old ruleset and ridiculous mechanics.

Vampire simply kicked ass for its time. Buggy as hell, but it didn't matter--you were a vampire when it was actually cool to be a vampire in modern times. Each clan had something unique in every other mission and Malkavians got their own insane dialogue options. This was an rpg made for adults by adults and I loved every minute of it.

That said, the games above didn't really offer a wide character range for roleplay.


I'm going to have to say...the internet.

A more serious answer would be Fallout: New Vegas, however, for much the same reasons DeathQuaker lists above.


Surprisingly, I'd rate the Mass Effect games as giving you excellent options in roleplaying. Now, being fair, I think 2 and 3 were better than one about it, though the ending options in 3 leave many people unhappy. The addition of Paragon and Renegade actions makes a difference, and the choices you made in 1 and 2 can come back to haunt you in later games in the series.


Fallout: New Vegas is prolly the winner for me, so many options, I played it twice on the 360 to explore some different options and now I’m working on a save on the PS3 now that I have the expansions. Also I love the silly feel of being an epic hero that single handly solves all of a factions problems and becomes idolized while also dumpster diving around their area for food and bits of junk to craft items with, that very much is something a character I play would do in a game=D

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the best computer RPGs were the Baldur's Gate games. So far they have been the only computer games that made me feel like I was stitting around a table playing with others.


The Original Fallout.

The original Fallout was nothing like anything I ever played when it was released. Really just blew my mind that you could talk the bad guy out of his evil plan and win the game without it being resolved by violence. Everything I had played up to then had been very on the rails type linear RPG (Bard's Tale, Ultima & Might and Magic series, etc) and then Fallout comes along and flips the tables on the whole genre. It really placed the bar very high at the time and is the precursor to the multi branched type games most people are familiar with.

Also the "return to the vault" scene that happens at the end was another gaming moment I will remember, just crushing to your character but very impressive and memorable.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lathiira wrote:
Surprisingly, I'd rate the Mass Effect games as giving you excellent options in roleplaying. Now, being fair, I think 2 and 3 were better than one about it, though the ending options in 3 leave many people unhappy. The addition of Paragon and Renegade actions makes a difference, and the choices you made in 1 and 2 can come back to haunt you in later games in the series.

Mass effect I have issues with because what I think I'm saying and what the writers meant with specific dialog options are often 2 totally different things. I have this issue with a lot of RPGs. Dragon Age suffers from it as well.

I really liked Planescape Torment's way arround this with things like
Say X (Truth)
Say X (Lie)
Say Y (Lie)

Personally I'm looking forward to how the 2 Brothers kickstarter handles it. They are using emoticons for dialog options.
As for Chris Avallone's work, yeah its awesome. A reason to look forward to the Project Eternity Kickstarter

There was an old Darksun game I enjoyed quite a bit. The sequel was crap, but it was fun. I forget the name of it now though. Not sure how much of it is nestalgia, but it was my favorite computer game growing up.

Anyone play the orriginal Wasteland? As a precursor to Fallout, it predates me, but I am looking forward to Wasteland 2.


Caineach wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
Surprisingly, I'd rate the Mass Effect games as giving you excellent options in roleplaying. Now, being fair, I think 2 and 3 were better than one about it, though the ending options in 3 leave many people unhappy. The addition of Paragon and Renegade actions makes a difference, and the choices you made in 1 and 2 can come back to haunt you in later games in the series.
Mass effect I have issues with because what I think I'm saying and what the writers meant with specific dialog options are often 2 totally different things. I have this issue with a lot of RPGs. Dragon Age suffers from it as well.

Alpha Protocol is the only game I've played with the "vague" conversation options that I felt okay about. Mind, I have never played any of the Mass Effect games; for a variety of reasons I do not feel like discussing here, I decided not to purchase any more games published by EA (this is obviously after I bought DA:O), so I don't have and likely will never own or play any of those games.

In AP, you're given a brief description of what you're going to say, which is usually some variation on "aggressive, suave, professional" and occasionally "other." For the single word system, it's actually pretty clear how you'll respond--not always, but I found it was actually more reliable than some other games. "Other" covers any special actions and is clear on what that will be, whether it's mentioning an item in someone's dossier or shooting the conversant in the face. Now granted, part of the reliability is that you know no matter what you say, Mike Thorton will be a jerk, so you don't have to worry whether what you're going to say is going to be an unexpected dick maneuver, you know it will be. So once you can reliably trust on that, it's easier to trust the dialogue tree to get the result you intended. :)

Quote:
Anyone play the orriginal Wasteland? As a precursor to Fallout, it predates me, but I am looking forward to Wasteland 2.

Never had the opportunity either, but they will ship a copy with Wasteland 2.


Terquem wrote:
THEN in the very next scene my girlfriend, whom I was still with after breaking up with my other girlfriend, agreed to sleep with me and a strange woman we just met in a tavern, yep, a threeway. I stopped playing the game after that scene.

But after this agreement plays out, she is ashamed/embarrassed at least...


Torment gets my vote.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Solitaire. (RIP Cool Windows games that came on OSes)

You play as a guy (whose face isn't revealed), and then manage your cards to win. You have 4 stats to level up, and once everyone reaches level King, nothing can stop you.


Quote:
Mind, I have never played any of the Mass Effect games; for a variety of reasons I do not feel like discussing here, I decided not to purchase any more games published by EA (this is obviously after I bought DA:O), so I don't have and likely will never own or play any of those games.

Understandable. However, the first MASS EFFECT was not published by EA, so you can play it without donating to the evil empire :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The original Exile games by Spiderweb Software. You even had to type in questions for the NPC and I took to jotting down notes about what to ask certain people when I finally got around to the town they were in. Of course, this meant that the PC's personalities exists only in your mind, but it's an old game so it doesn't really bother me.

The game was also about as open sandbox as you could get, you quite seriously start the game having arrived in a cavern world as an exile from the surface and are told to wander off, fending for yourself.


Werthead wrote:
Quote:
Mind, I have never played any of the Mass Effect games; for a variety of reasons I do not feel like discussing here, I decided not to purchase any more games published by EA (this is obviously after I bought DA:O), so I don't have and likely will never own or play any of those games.
Understandable. However, the first MASS EFFECT was not published by EA, so you can play it without donating to the evil empire :-)

The Mass Effect franchise is currently published by EA and if I bought a copy now, all profits would go to them. (Google it, you will see EA listed as its publisher.) Also, IIRC, the PC version of Mass Effect was released with SecuROM 7 on it, and I try not to let that crap anywhere near my PC. It's possible the Steam version doesn't have it but that's always hard to figure out. Thanks for trying to help though. :)


Baldur's Gate II. Anyone who says otherwise is in league with alien reptiloids attempting to take over the world's water supply.

Planescape: Torment is great if you have the patience to read a lot. Mass Effect is a very entertaining series, while Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy III get a special mention for being my favourite RPGs before I came to know Baldur's Gate II.

The Exile/Avernum series are also awesome if you don't mind the old school graphics. Those good old days taking over Formello after accidentally fireballing the local guard and having to muscle through the NPCs will forever remain a fond memory of mine.

Honourary Mentions:

-Mario RPG. I mean, it had an evil wedding cake boss.

-Ultima VIII. Although lots of Ultima fans says it's the "least good", I had endless amounts of fun with that game, climbing over challenges in the caves with stairs made out of stolen books and whatnot.

-Arcanum. One of the few properly made Steampunk games ever; the amount of thought put into the setting was impressive. Plus, orcs in top hats. Can't beat that.

-Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Zelda: A Link to the Past. I mean, come on.


Quote:
The Mass Effect franchise is currently published by EA and if I bought a copy now, all profits would go to them. (Google it, you will see EA listed as its publisher.) Also, IIRC, the PC version of Mass Effect was released with SecuROM 7 on it, and I try not to let that crap anywhere near my PC. It's possible the Steam version doesn't have it but that's always hard to figure out. Thanks for trying to help though. :)

Actually, looks like I was in error: Electronic Arts acquired BioWare between the release of MASS EFFECT on X-Box 360 and the release of the PC version, so the PC version is published by EA :-( And yes, it has SecureROM on it, although the post-release patch removes it (I believe Steam has done away with it, since it the SecureROM CD-checker, which obviously would be pointless on a Steam version :-) ).

So unless you are willing/able to play the original 360 version alone, best steer clear. Plus if you liked it, that would then merely put you in the quandrary of having to move onto ME2 (published by the Empire) if you wanted to see what happened next.


Werthead wrote:
Quote:

The Mass Effect franchise is currently published by EA an

Actually, looks like I was in error: Electronic Arts acquired BioWare between the release of MASS EFFECT on X-Box 360 and the release of the PC version, so the PC version is published by EA :-( And yes, it has SecureROM on it, although the post-release patch removes it (I believe Steam has done away with it, since it the SecureROM CD-checker, which obviously would be pointless on a Steam version :-) ).

So unless you are willing/able to play the original 360 version alone, best steer clear. Plus if you liked it, that would then merely put you in the quandrary of having to move onto ME2 (published by the Empire) if you wanted to see what happened next.

Or invite me over, as I've got all 3 versions with the DLC and I'll happily play through them all again like I'm doing now :)


Lochmonster wrote:

The Original Fallout.

The original Fallout was nothing like anything I ever played when it was released.

Agreed wholeheartedly! A fantastic RPG (as a matter of fact, one of the few that can pretend to the title of role-playing game). For me, it ties with Planescape: Torment for first place.


Lathiira wrote:
Werthead wrote:
Quote:

The Mass Effect franchise is currently published by EA an

Actually, looks like I was in error: Electronic Arts acquired BioWare between the release of MASS EFFECT on X-Box 360 and the release of the PC version, so the PC version is published by EA :-( And yes, it has SecureROM on it, although the post-release patch removes it (I believe Steam has done away with it, since it the SecureROM CD-checker, which obviously would be pointless on a Steam version :-) ).

So unless you are willing/able to play the original 360 version alone, best steer clear. Plus if you liked it, that would then merely put you in the quandrary of having to move onto ME2 (published by the Empire) if you wanted to see what happened next.

Or invite me over, as I've got all 3 versions with the DLC and I'll happily play through them all again like I'm doing now :)

You can bring over your XBox so I can play ME IF you get on my PC and finally freaking play Fallout: New Vegas. :)


DeathQuaker wrote:


You can bring over your XBox so I can play ME IF you get on my PC and finally freaking play Fallout: New Vegas. :)

Or I can bring my copy of that game over too :p


I've been hesitant, commenting on this thread, because there are just so many options. Most of what I'd mention have already been brought up, and I'm afraid to put down a definite list because I'm sure I'd forget something essential.

My short list would probably look something like:

Planescape: Torment (no contest, imho.)

Fallout: 1 through 3. I like and dislike different things in all of them, but ultimately they are a really good series of games. I was less impressed with F:NV (it's included under the 'F3' label, so it still makes the list!) because I think it kinda missed the feel of the rest of the series. It does have a more coherent (and more interesting) story than F3. Just don't get me started on Mr. House. Grr. :)

Baldur's Gate: 1 & 2. Maybe not the hight of story telling, but the impact Baldur's Gate had on the CRPG scene should not be denied. And BG2 was just massive in scope.

Dragon Age: 1. Not 2. :p I really like the dark (imho warhammer inspired) setting, though I think they could have focused more on mechanically supporting that setting (the character system was very 'standard', which I felt didn't really fit the kind of mood they were trying to capture).

Arcanum: Augh, see? I almost forgot to mention Arcanum. Easily the #2 on my list. While the mechanics were downright horrible, the story more than made up for it. Fantastic game. Also, the game taught me to hate gnomes. ;)

There has been several others. Quick mention of games that miss the short list would be Neverwinter Nights (which I spend a silly amount of time in), Vampire: Bloodlines, Mass Effect (I didn't really like ME1, and ME2+3 doesn't really rank as an RPG for me), etc. Loooots to choose from.


Slaunyeh wrote:


Fallout: 1 through 3. I like and dislike different things in all of them, but ultimately they are a really good series of games. I was less impressed with F:NV (it's included under the 'F3' label, so it still makes the list!) because I think it kinda missed the feel of the rest of the series. It does have a more coherent (and more interesting) story than F3. Just don't get me started on Mr. House. Grr. :)

That's interesting that you feel that way, since a lot of people who worked on Fallout 1 and 2 worked on New Vegas, and the design lead was the design lead on Van Buren, the "original" Fallout 3 that got cancelled when Interplay went bust (New Vegas uses a lot of plot elements originally intended to be included in Van Buren, albeit with lots of changes as well). I felt that NV felt more "Fallouty" than 3, and the creative team behind it I've always assumed was the reason. I wonder what it is that you felt was missing? I'm not arguing, I'm curious on your take.

(I do hate Mr. House, but I love all the ways you can decide to screw him over.)

Quote:


Arcanum: Augh, see? I almost forgot to mention Arcanum. Easily the #2 on my list. While the mechanics were downright horrible, the story more than made up for it. Fantastic game. Also, the game taught me to hate gnomes. ;)

Arcanum had a major crash at the very end of the game I played which was so awful it corrupted the install, and I never got to see how it ended. That said, I remember feeling heavily railroaded in that game as well, but I may have wiped memories of the good parts in that game due to overwhelming frustration. ;)

Quote:


There has been several others. Quick mention of games that miss the short list would be Neverwinter Nights (which I spend a silly amount of time in)

In my own post, I forgot to mention NWN Hordes of the Underdark which in particular had some interesting choices and story threads.


I always thought Fallout 3 was far more atmospheric than New Vegas - I loved the fact that everything was broken and dirty and nothing really worked properly... Similarly (sort of), with Morrowind, what I liked best was the fact that it really felt alien and creepy (the landscape/architecture especially) in a way that Oblivion and Skyrim didn't, although they're both still great games.

New Vegas just seemed to be trying to cram too many tropes into one game - cowboys, various Las Vegas related things, Mormons, 50s sci-fi, etc. I don't like the fact that you can only really play the game thoroughly if you bung 3/4 of your skill points into Speech, or perhaps I'm just a bad player ;)

Another vote for BG2, as well, which I seem to end up replaying around every 6 months or so. Anyone got a favourite/recommended mod?


DeathQuaker wrote:


That's interesting that you feel that way, since a lot of people who worked on Fallout 1 and 2 worked on New Vegas, and the design lead was the design lead on Van Buren, the "original" Fallout 3 that got cancelled when Interplay went bust (New Vegas uses a lot of plot elements originally intended to be included in Van Buren, albeit with lots of changes as well). I felt that NV felt more "Fallouty" than 3, and the creative team behind it I've always assumed was the reason. I wonder what it is that you felt was missing? I'm not arguing, I'm curious on your take.

Oh, I know. I get that reaction every time I mention that. ;) I think, ultimately, it was the Las Vegas-y mid-western feel that just didn't grab me the same way the atmosphere in F3 did. And it never quite has the equivalent of creeping around a devastated DC trying not to get eaten by super mutants. There's a sense of desperation in the early parts of F3 that I found fun. F:NV never really took me out of my comfort zone. I never turned off the radio in F3. I never turned it on, in F:NV.

As for Mr. House, I think what bugs me is that, while there are many ways to screw him over, you can't actually find the reason I wanted to screw him over before completing the game. I hated his ultimate plan, but you never learn about it in-game before it's too late to do anything about it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I prefered Fallout 3 more than NV too. It was new, the people lived on the ruins of civilization and you knew it. The terrain made for a nastier environment to explore and it was fun crawling arround the ruined city. In NV, you are mostly going arround the dessert being a cowboy. People were beginning to hope again. Caesar wasn't that threatening because he just wasn't that different than the regular scum. The Enclave was something different you had a reason to fight. I liked Mr. House as a villian, but felt the rest Vegas was kinda droll. There just wasn't reason to spend in the city aside from a few mini-quests, and the outlying area was the same dessolate landscape we saw in previous games with not enough that could threaten you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Thief games from Lookingglass Studios.

For gameplay that let you get into the role of a thief, they were tops!


Slaunyeh wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:


That's interesting that you feel that way, since a lot of people who worked on Fallout 1 and 2 worked on New Vegas, and the design lead was the design lead on Van Buren, the "original" Fallout 3 that got cancelled when Interplay went bust (New Vegas uses a lot of plot elements originally intended to be included in Van Buren, albeit with lots of changes as well). I felt that NV felt more "Fallouty" than 3, and the creative team behind it I've always assumed was the reason. I wonder what it is that you felt was missing? I'm not arguing, I'm curious on your take.

Oh, I know. I get that reaction every time I mention that. ;) I think, ultimately, it was the Las Vegas-y mid-western feel that just didn't grab me the same way the atmosphere in F3 did. And it never quite has the equivalent of creeping around a devastated DC trying not to get eaten by super mutants. There's a sense of desperation in the early parts of F3 that I found fun. F:NV never really took me out of my comfort zone. I never turned off the radio in F3. I never turned it on, in F:NV.

Interesting. I think that is a matter of preference -- I was cool with understanding that, as it was 200 years after the apocalypse, life was rebuilding itself. I was interested in and playing in this new world that people were building--I wanted to talk to all the people there, find out how people were living their lives, seeing how humanity was marching on in various ways (and SO various, with the different ways the settlements and factions worked, which I liked--it gave it a future-tribal feel). But if you were looking for an immediately-after-the-apocalypse-feeling, no, you wouldn't get that unless you really stuck to the edges of the map and explored all the creepy abandoned vaults and stuff. The DC setting was more devastated because it was hit harder--but interestingly enough, I just often felt the world was pointlessly empty and lonely, and I got bored walking around (mind, I still finished the game). So that's just an expectation/playstyle thing. With New Vegas I wasn't expecting a deserted area, I was expecting this dystopian future city and very much looking forward to exploring it, so since my expectations were met I had great fun with it.

BUT--you never turned on the radio?!? You never listened to Mr. New Vegas or Rhonda and Tabitha? Geez, man, you missed out. :)

The only thing I don't like in F:NV is that it IS too easy to find food and water and stuff--which is more I think a game engine problem than the world design, though it goes hand in hand (I've noticed the Elder Scrolls in the same engine have a similar problem--there is just way too much damn loot that generates, so you never feel excited about finding anything new). I do agree it does not often feel like you're scrambling to survive in parts where you really should be, even if you're playing on hardcore mode. I really liked the earlier parts of Dead Money where you REALLY had to scrounge and save every Stimpak and food item, especially when playing in hardcore mode, when it really hurt if you didn't have enough water or needed to sleep (and I hated the damn vending machines--those should not have been in the game at all--and you definitely should not have had access to one after the DLC was over).

Josh Sawyer made a mod which makes a lot of stuff more difficult and I want to install it and see if that helps with the atmosphere a bit more.


Quote:
I always thought Fallout 3 was far more atmospheric than New Vegas - I loved the fact that everything was broken and dirty and nothing really worked properly

This never made any sense, though. It's 200 years after the apocalypse and society is actually some way along the path to rebuilding. The mistake Bethesda made is thinking that FALLOUT is post-apocalyptic when it is really post-post-apocalyptic.

Quote:
the outlying area was the same dessolate landscape we saw in previous games with not enough that could threaten you.

I have several dozen fatal encounters with Cazadores that says otherwise ;-)

Quote:
I don't like the fact that you can only really play the game thoroughly if you bung 3/4 of your skill points into Speech, or perhaps I'm just a bad player ;)

This is a major difference, maybe the biggest, between FO3 and NV. In FO3 you mainly finish the game by being good at killing things. There are some advantages to having points in Speech, but not too many. Broadly speaking, FO3 is more mindless. Most situations are overcome by violence. Sometimes there are non-violent solutions to problems, but not too often.

In NEW VEGAS, there is a much bigger emphasis on roleplaying. Your skills impact on every facet of the game. Having high medicine skills means you can circumvent a lengthy quest across halfway the map to find a medical book for some guy because you already know how to cure his problem. It's logical and make sense. Also, you can talk your way out of almost every situation in the game, or shoot your way out of it and the game reacts. FALLOUT 3 can't risk you killing important NPCs because it can't handle it, so makes them invulnerable. NEW VEGAS adjusts its storyline and events on the fly if you kill an important NPC, because that's more realistic and it wants to give the choice to you: be a mass-murdering psychopath and see how the game adjusts to it. You can be a mass-murdering psychopath all you want in FO3, but the game will always end in the Purifier with the same event happening (with only minor variances possible). NV's endings are far more different and complex.

FALLOUT 3 is very much a shooter which makes nods at role-playing. NEW VEGAS is a role-playing game which incorporates shooter elements. Despite using the same engine and broadly the same structure, they are actually conceptually very different games and certainly NEW VEGAS is the deeper, far more complex and far more variable of the two, and certainly NEW VEGAS is far more true to the spirit of the existing FALLOUT universe.

Quote:
The only thing I don't like in F:NV is that it IS too easy to find food and water and stuff

The 'hardcore' mode in NEW VEGAS was apparently deemed 'too hardcore' by Bethesda, who had Obsidian tone it right down. Josh Sawyer, the project lead on NEW VEGAS, was annoyed enough that he released his own mod reinstating the original hardcore mode he had in mind. I haven't play it yet, but apparently it turns NEW VEGAS into FALLOUT: DARK SOULS :-) Be prepared to die of thirst and radiation poisoning. A lot.


Just to be clear:

THIS IS THE TIMELINE OF THE FALLOUT UNIVERSE

If you notice the first fallout happens roughly 100 years after the Great War.

The events of Fallout 3 and NV roughly 200 years after the Great War.

Which is one of the things I found silly in Fallout 3, working computer terminals in the middle of nowhere 200 years after the electricity stopped.

I also still think Fallout (original) is the best of the series, mostly because I agree with Werthead that the non-violent options really need to be viable to say you have a real skills based type RPG. The original had them and I think it's a tradition that should be carried on through the series.

Did I enjoy playing Fallout 3, yes. But one play through was enough and nothing really wowed me except maybe some of the choices and RPG elements in The Pitt add-on. The plot got into very grey moral choices with no clear option that didn't have some serious consequences. In other words the parts I liked the best were the ones I COULD NOT shoot my way out of.


DeathQuaker wrote:


Interesting. I think that is a matter of preference -- I was cool with understanding that, as it was 200 years after the apocalypse, life was rebuilding itself.

I think another issue I had with it was that life wasn't just rebuilding itself. It was rebuilding itself into an exact replica of what the world looked like 200 years ago. It seemed to lack... vision. But I guess that's not such a surprise considering Mr. House's guiding hand.

I can relate to the post-apocalyptic setting where everyone are just trying to survive among rad-mutants, violent gangs and the ruins of former greatness. I guess I have a harder time relating to the idea that "hey, let's rebuild everything exactly the way it was 200 years before any of us were born." is a natural development. F3 certainly had the easier job of it.

To be fair, I had the same issue with Fallout 2. Oh, so Reno is full of casinos? Well isn't that original.

Again, I can see how Mr. House would have some influence on that, but his focus was entirely set on Vegas. And I just didn't like the mid-western atmosphere nearly as much. I mentioned the music score in my previous post. That's a big part of it too. And, for the record, I did turn the radio on. I just didn't care to leave it on the way I did in F3. The super mutant radio station was funny, but Three Dog's taste in music was so important for the atmosphere in F3, and there wasn't really anything replacing it in F:NV.

I mean, the biggest moment in F3, for me, was when I was trapped in an abandoned hospital, heavily wounded, low on ammo and surrounded by super mutants. I'd dragged myself into a corner, getting ready for that final showdown, and then 'Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall' starts playing on the radio. It was just so... perfect.

It also bothered me slightly that they apparently never could decide what to do with Caesar's Legion. They start off being presented (through NCR narrative of course) as inhuman monsters. Then you get the other side of the story and see that maybe they aren't all that bad. They aren't crippled by internal politics. They protect their caravans. They keep the people in their territories safe. They are suddenly presented as an actual alternative to the NCR.

And then, with no warning, it's like another writer took over and they are suddenly actual inhuman monsters. The NCR propaganda was spot on. The End.

Finally, I also found the idea of the "let's decide everything by gambling" vault under Vegas kinda dumb. I mean, that's the kind of idea I could come up with for an RPG session if I wasn't feeling particular inspired. It's just... I don't know. A little too easy. Someone got paid for that idea. :)

And, uh, this dragged on for a bit, didn't it? I think I need to emphasis that these are just tiny niggling points. I actually do like F:NV quite a lot, and has probably played through it more times than F3 (that is to say, I have played through F:NV several times. I've never actually finished F3. The main plot is soooo dull.)


Quote:
In NEW VEGAS, there is a much bigger emphasis on roleplaying. Your skills impact on every facet of the game. Having high medicine skills means you can circumvent a lengthy quest across halfway the map to find a medical book for some guy because you already know how to cure his problem. It's logical and make sense. Also, you can talk your way out of almost every situation in the game, or shoot your way out of it and the game reacts

I suppose I was expecting a cranked-up version of Fallout 3 - what you've said does make sense; I've just bought the ultimate (ULTIMATE!) edition of NV, too, so playing it again with those thoughts in mind will make things more interesting, and encourage multiple attempts with different character builds as well... Thanks!


Lochmonster wrote:


The events of Fallout 3 and NV roughly 200 years after the Great War.

Which is one of the things I found silly in Fallout 3, working computer terminals in the middle of nowhere 200 years after the electricity stopped.

You know those fission batteries and such you find laying around? They're supposed to be small nuclear power supplies with centuries-long lifespans. The computers and whatnot run on these batteries, hence why you can still get them working (the ones that don't work were destroyed or shorted out or other parts failed).

I have no idea if that's realistic science, but we're talking about a 50s-inspired retro-future world where radiation makes giant scorpions and mole rats and giant golden geckos, so I can accept it within the rules of the world itself.

Slaunyeh wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:


Interesting. I think that is a matter of preference -- I was cool with understanding that, as it was 200 years after the apocalypse, life was rebuilding itself.
I think another issue I had with it was that life wasn't just rebuilding itself. It was rebuilding itself into an exact replica of what the world looked like 200 years ago. It seemed to lack... vision. But I guess that's not such a surprise considering Mr. House's guiding hand.

I really didn't get that sense. Yes, they were rebuilding New Vegas into another gambling city, but that's also because, well, the Casinos were never that badly damaged (because Mr House protected the city), and gambling is a lucrative way of generating a town's economy even in and perhaps especially in a world where most people are poor and desperate--it capitalizes on a great desire to get lucky. It also makes sense that probably many of the first occupants of New Vegas were dwellers from Vault 27, whose vault experience revolved around gambling (and I don't think that's any more "dumb" than cloning thousands of Garys or any of the other Vault experiments). Anyway, in the desperate world of Fallout, earning money off gambling, booze, and prostitution just makes sense, and why not do it where the facilities are pre-built and easy to restore?

But beyond that the NCR, even with its attempts to rebuild a new American republic in many senses, does not resemble the world 200 years ago, and Caesar's Legion definitely does not. Nor do the Boomers nor the Khans. Groups like the Powder Gangers are a direct result of the world they come from. And some groups you learn that SEEM to be living a normal, let's get back to our past roots, life, have their own secrets (Novac, the Ultra Luxe).

Quote:


Again, I can see how Mr. House would have some influence on that, but his focus was entirely set on Vegas. And I just didn't like the mid-western atmosphere nearly as much. I mentioned the music score in my previous post. That's a big part of it too. And, for the record, I did turn the radio on. I just didn't care to leave it on the way I did in F3. The super mutant radio station was funny, but Three Dog's taste in music was so important for the atmosphere in F3, and there wasn't really anything replacing it in F:NV.

I'm not sure what you mean as the soundtracks were extremely similar. All 40s, 50s, and 60s crooners like Dean Martin.

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I mean, the biggest moment in F3, for me, was when I was trapped in an abandoned hospital, heavily wounded, low on ammo and surrounded by super mutants. I'd dragged myself into a corner, getting ready for that final showdown, and then 'Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall' starts playing on the radio. It was just so... perfect.

That's great. I had similar moments in F:NV -- doing a head shot just as "Ain't That A Kick in the Head" coming on. Or the irony of "Something's Gotta Give" coming on in a desperate situation.

Quote:

It also bothered me slightly that they apparently never could decide what to do with Caesar's Legion. They start off being presented (through NCR narrative of course) as inhuman monsters. Then you get the other side of the story and see that maybe they aren't all that bad. They aren't crippled by internal politics. They protect their caravans. They keep the people in their territories safe. They are suddenly presented as an actual alternative to the NCR.

And then, with no warning, it's like another writer took over and they are suddenly actual inhuman monsters. The NCR propaganda was spot on. The End.

I think that depends a LOT on who you encounter first and how you encounter them. The impressions you get of both the NCR and the Legion can vary tremendously depending on individual gameplay. I didn't hit a point in my game where all they ever were were just evil monsters without other facets to hit upon. The Legion are supposed to have a long and dark sinister streak--most players hit Nipton early on and see that--but there are supposed to be draws to them, and I thought Caesar was really fascinating. I didn't like him or the Legion, but I thought the complexity was well handled--and then meeting Graham in Honest Hearts had a really cool payoff too.

Sounds largely like we just had different gameplay experiences and expectations. And there is a problem in NV is it CAN vary tremendously from playthrough to playthrough, even though that is also a great boon. But if you play something through a certain way, certain things may not payoff as well, and it's hard to tell what will happen till you try it. So it can be a bit of a gamble (ha!) as to what you'll end up with.

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And, uh, this dragged on for a bit, didn't it? I think I need to emphasis that these are just tiny niggling points. I actually do like F:NV quite a lot, and has probably played through it more times than F3 (that is to say, I have played through F:NV several times. I've never actually finished F3. The main plot is soooo dull.)

Fair enough. I've probably also been unfair to Fallout 3--there was a lot I did enjoy about it as well (I could research for Moira Brown forever... ;) ). I would have liked the plot a lot more if you could have killed your father. Yes, that would have entirely broken the plot. But then, that's kind of the point. The bastard basically ruins your whole life (and in the pre-patched version, essentially dooms you to a certain death) for a project you could probably also just resolve by finding the GECK and activating it and leaving the monument entirely aside.


I'd have to include the Elder Scrolls series on my list in addition to many of those already mentioned. Even the weaker games in the series provide a fair amount of interesting character development choices and NPC interaction.


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I'm really partial to Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar. I can't think of any other game in the 80's that was that intricate in terms of role-playing, environment, and depth. It had phases of the moon(s) and wind direction, and it all mattered to the game. Magic was rare and its effects were awesome; you had to get ingredients for the spells and some were tricky to get. (I think you had to get Mandrake by going into poisonous swamp and searching during the new moon). Every town had about twenty to thirty people who all had unique dialogue options. Your actions mattered since you were trying to become a paragon of morality, and lying, stealing, even being boastful at the wrong time could lead you away from the end. The combat was simple, if not repetitive, but good for its time.
To juxtapose almost 25 years later, the Mass Effect and KotoR series really shine, better than a lot of movies I've seen. KotoR is everything I ever wanted in the prequels but didn't get. What I find really amazing is the Mass Effect series, simply because it is it's own intricate world without the backing of six huge movies to support it, yet it was all the depth and beauty of any Hollywood feature. I'm not saying its better than Star Wars, but the fact that it exists independently of any major franchise and still was the intricacy of its universe is amazing and worth playing for anyone who hasn't.

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