The Relevant Terror of Fallout: New Vegas
GameOn Magazine|Issue 135 - January 2021
Dane remembers a Fallout.
Dane Townsend

Fallout: New Vegas is, to me, one of the great RPGs. In spite of every technical issue that plagues every release of the game, as well as the ugly color palette and downright awful engine inherited from Fallout 3, it manages to null every flaw by simply engaging the player in the world, characters, and story.

I’m far from the only one that loves this game, it constantly butts heads with Fallout 3 for being the best 3D Fallout game in the eyes of the public (and, for the record, I far prefer Fallout: New Vegas) and has one of the most dedicated RPG followings. Yet, many people don’t seem to have realized just how pertinent Obsidian’s game is (and was) in its themes and ideas, and I want to try and express why I believe these ideas to be incredibly important to consider and reflect on, ten years later.

Fallout: New Vegas creates a scenario that puts your player character, the Courier, in the eye of a storm that concerns three major factions. These are the New California Republic, Caesar’s Legion, and Mr. House, or simply, New Vegas.

The NCR is, as the name suggests, a nation comprising four contiguous states in southern California as well as other holdings in northern California, Mexico, and, most importantly, Nevada. Both its aesthetic and general values are derived heavily from Old World America, and fittingly the nation suffers many of the same issues that America has suffered, historically. Over-expansion in other states/nations, intense corruption, and bureaucracy has made the NCR sluggish and ineffective at protecting many of its citizens from outward threats and has led to many of the populace of Nevada, in particular, incredibly wary and tired of the NCR’s inefficient rule. The NCR, is, in short, foundationally solid but completely lacking hindsight as to what made the nation it attempts to emulate fail.

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