LAG – Fallout: New Vegas – Day 2: Day 1, ReduxJuly 12th, 2012 | Posted by in Games & Gaming
Like I mentioned in my day one post for New Vegas, not opting for the Hardcore mode was slowly wearing on me, and I decided to restart anew and be "hardcore", as the kids say. I have to admit, I was a little lacking in description of what hardcore mode entails, and so far, I've been impressed with the way it alters gameplay. The prompt for selecting the Hardcore mode could have just as easily said, "Would you rather play an RPG or a FPS?" In my option, Hardcore mode really makes you play the game instead of just running around and completing missions. In addition to needing water, your character also needs food and sleep on a semi-regular basis. When you sleep, you wake up hungry and thirsty; the same goes for waiting and fast travel, except that neither of those things helps your character get sleep. It's also interesting to see how consumables affect these three measures as well. Certain foods, like cactus fruit, decrease thirst as well as hunger, drinks like whiskey dehydrate you, and Nuka Cola reduces your need for sleep. I also left out changes in how you are injured and how you are healed. Stimpacks no longer instantly give you a bunch of HP; instead, the heal you gradually over time. Also, stimpacks don't heal crippling injuries. For those you need a doctor's bag or to actually see a doctor. Ammo weight was something I remembered correctly, but it's impact was a little more noticeable than I thought it would be. Not only do you have to limit what weapons you have on you, but it makes you scrutinize your entire inventory. You no longer just need to carry weapons, armor, and stimpacks. Now you have to strike a balance between weapons, ammo, armor, food, water, and medicines. There is a house in town you wake up in that you can sleep in and make use of; I thought it was abandoned at first, but I think it's Easy Pete's. I ended up using it to store things that I found and wanted to save, like weapons and ammo I wasn't using or parts and ingredients I didn't want to carry. I also started storing excess food and water there so it wouldn't weigh me down, and in a sense it became a home for my character. I don't know if a house is something I can actually acquire later in the game (I seem to remember owning one in Fallout 3), but for now this one is mine. Along with that, I'm starting to worry that a global event or change in the story line will destroy the town and everything I've saved along with it. I've even been considering finding places to stash stuff elsewhere in the game as a means to hedge that risk. It's these kinds of things that make me say that this mode makes you really play the game. Sure, some of these aspects exist outside of it, but the same risks aren't there and the ones that are don't really feed off each other the same way. It's the cumulative effect of each new element that, to me, creates an entirely different playing experience. When I played my first day in normal mode, I said the game was essentially Fallout 3 with a few different gameplay elements, but nothing really game changing. In that mode, I may have been right, but in Hardcore mode, I think they really brought something different to the table. It's something I am really happy to have found, and I hope BioWare can leverage something similar in future titles. That being said, I do have one gripe. The karma system is cutting into one of my favorite post-apocalyptic activities, looting. Perhaps this is done on purpose, but it appears to be a true karma system in that stealing of any kind, even stealing from bad people, is bad. It makes sense, but it's bothersome. I spent a good hour or two, clearing a prison of a gang that had taken it over; I had gone there to recruit a new sheriff for a nearby town, but the asshole I was looking for promptly shot at me the moment I walked into the room. However, I noticed that after I helped myself to the plethora of supplies in the now abandoned prison camp, everyone treated me like a bad guy. My reputation was affected by each item that was taken, so I effectively was a bad guy. However, I suppose this adds another aspect of realism that isn't attached to the Hardcore mode, and it is simply another choice you have to make as a character. I guess I was just hoping for a little more leniency in the dead bad-guy swag department. Oh well.
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