Randomness

I’m playing through Fallout New Vegas again. I’ve played it start to finish 2 or 3 times before. One certainly might ask if it’s so good of a game that it warrants playing yet again. I think so, obviously.

One of the biggest reasons for starting it again, I suppose, is that since I first played it there’s been 4 addition content downloads (DLC’s). Now, I have bought them all and played them all, from the creepy and challenging Dead Man’s Hand to the rather by-the-numbers Honest Hearts to the very unusual and only occasionally funny Old World Blues to the refreshingly sniper-oriented Lonesome Road. But, having played through them once, I think there’s room to play through them again, try to pick up some of the achievements I missed, et cetera.

The other reason is that there’s something compelling about mastering something. I mean, you can load up a new game and learn it and have fun playing it – but it’s a real investment of time and effort to be able to master a new game. So for me, being I suppose a rather boring person, I sometimes find that it’s more fun to play an old game yet again and thrill in being an absolute master of the game rather than try to get good at a new one.

For instance, one thing about New Vegas that’s pretty fun is that the game has two systems of “morality” – karma and reputation. So karma is an inherent measure of how ‘good’ or ‘evil’ you’ve been acting. In some ways it’s a flawed system because it’s just a numerical system that accumulates or decrements karma ‘points’, which means that you could, for example, do a bunch of minor goods things to accumulate a lot of karma and then do something horrendous like blow up a school-house full of people and you might still be considered ‘good’ because your karma points are still positive. So it’s a bit flawed, and also kind of irrelevant – karma basically has no impact on the game of any consequence at all.

The other system is reputation. I kind of like the way they did this, because reputation is established by groups in the game – so you may do a bunch of good deeds in Primm and be idolized there, while people in Novac have never heard of you, so that’s realistic to my mind. The nice thing about reputation is that in general it is only impacted by thing people know about. Meaning that if you were to steal a bunch of stuff, as long as no one caught you your reputation wouldn’t suffer. This even goes for killing people – as long as you do it with some stealth your reputation shouldn’t suffer. I’ve actually had situations where I was idolized by a group even though I’d basically massacred them – depopulating entire towns and so forth. It’s a little morbid I suppose, but kind of a hoot. I especially enjoy using a silenced sniper rifle to wipe out entire towns and then stroll in to loot the bodies later, while everyone left smiles and is perfectly polite to me.

 

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