If there’s one thing roleplaying games are really good at, it’s at providing a welcome distraction when you’ve got a headcold and are feeling a bit fed up and woozy. Leave behind the cold, damp British countryside and head instead for the deserts of Nevada as a near-invincible post-apocalyptic gunslinger.
(Here be spoilers)
I faced a couple of crashes early on in Primm, along with some very odd visual glitches when using VATS – the game’s freeze-time targeting system – while rescuing the village idiot of a deputy. My ingenious solution was not to use VATS, and after finding a reproduceable crash after fighting a particular group of outlaws just outside Primm’s casino, I just took a different route and avoided them altogether.
Buggy woes over, I headed for the unhappy settlement of Nelson, where Caesar’s Legion – a strange gang who think and dress like they’re from ancient Rome – have crucified and burnt at the stake the town’s duplicitous residents. The Legion’s leader explained that none of the townspeople offered any sort of resistence, nor took any steps to protect their so-called loved ones from this evil onslaught, so they deserved their grisly fates. I voiced my disagreement on his particular brand of social justice, to which he responded that if I didn’t like it, I should take on the Legion myself. I didn’t agonise too much about whether killing them would make me a hypocrite, but I did feel a bit lousy about shooting their dogs. Unfortunately, I could do little for the near-dead people on the crosses, so I shot them down and looked for any identifying information to inform any surviving relatives. Finding none, I walked to the next town.
Novac takes its name from the broken “No Vacancies” sign above its central motel. The residents are nice enough, and I was soon badgered into buying a souvenir toy. The sniper guard I’d been sent to talk to sent me over to a nearby base where ghouls were running amok. That kicked off a lengthy quest to make my way through the facility, sorting friend from foe, to find the strange cult leader who then sent me off to find yet more bits and bobs to aid his bizarre mission.
Oh, here we go again, I thought. If there’s one major pet hate with RPGs, it’s when I have to traipse off to the back of beyond after already wandering around lost for ages around identical grey corridors. It’s really, really, really boring. I did not appreciate it one tiny bit.
Then, just as I trudged with a heavy heart towards the point where I’d endure yet another pointless dungeon crawl, I found my target lying usefully in the middle of a road.
THANK YOU! *picks up Chris Avellone and kisses him*
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I would like to offer my sincere and heartfelt gratitude that you didn’t bore the tits off me for no good reason.
I really appreciate it.
Feeling immensely cheered, I skipped back to my ghoulish pal and his deluded buddy and watched a nicely-scripted setpiece to reward me for my patience.
There had been a moment of oddness a few moments before, where I’d encounted a friendly ghoul who asked me to look for his girlfriend, but he turned hostile for no apparent reason (I just ignored him and ran) and I didn’t find the lady in question, despite making an effort to look.
Sidestepping that moment of strangeness, I returned to Novac with news of my achievements and was feted by the local townsfolk. I solved a riddle involving a midnight cattle cull, and am currently investigating a disappearance that is almost certainly not as it appears.
Leaving that question unanswered for the moment, I’ve turned up at an NCR military base to continue my search for my stolen platinum poker chip, and am just about to see if I can peacefully negotiate the release of some hostages. Let’s see if my high-charisma character can flirt her way out of trouble, or if That Gun is going to have to pistol-whip some sense into these guys …