Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fallout New Vegas Mod Review: New Vegas Bounties

Fallout: New Vegas Mod Review - New Vegas Bounties - Part I (ver 1.3) and Part II (ver 1.25)
Alternate download links: Part I, Part II

Score: +7/-1

Summary: Someone gives you missions to kill bad guys for money.

Why Get This: The writing / story.

At its most basic, New Vegas Bounties involves you being a bounty hunter -- you go and capture (but mostly kill) bad guys for money. However, there are story threads that bind everything together or at least give you a sense of a longer quest.
+ Story for each bounty. This may not seem to be a big deal, but when the writing is good, it really adds to the overall experience. New Vegas Bounties doesn't simply give you text dumps, but more like text snippets that help you add things up. Each bounty has a bit of a story about why they are criminals, and there are sometimes notes / communications here and there to bring things alive and to give you a sense of a world that's alive and active beyond your own actions.
+ Foreshadowing. This is related to having a good story, but also ties in to there being a sense of a big picture story around your otherwise pointless kill missions. There is a reason why foreshadowing is a literary device -- it whets the appetite, sets up anticipation or trepidation. It's used somewhat in Part I (because that is a linear quest), and to much better effect in Part II.
++- Encounters. You get genuine "encounters" here, which might be dialogue with the bad guy, specific tasks to do (such as crippling them to force surrender), or combat setups that make it more interesting than simply sneaking up and sniping everyone from far away. Although these are often scripted cheats where you read a note and bad guys magically appear all around (used way too often in part 2, hence the point taken off), it does break up the monotony and tries to counter the whole stealth-and-snipe combat cure-all in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
+ Voiceovers. Any attempt at this tends to immediately add more atmosphere and immersion.
++ Interesting side quests. There's a good range of these if you can find them, such as a search for a hidden cache of legion gold, or telling an old man what became of his kidnapped daughter. Plus for dialogue-resolved quests, there are often several options or different outcomes.

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