Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas is a huge open-world RPG, set in a post-apocalyptic world that is on the brink of a political overhaul. The game is set four years after the events of Fallout 3, and follows a character known as "The Courier". The Courier is tasked with delivering a package to the town of New Vegas in the middle of the desert, and during his journey, he is robbed and left for dead. After surviving the encounter, the Courier starts to explore the wasteland around him and search for his attackers. The game is similar in style and gameplay to Fallout 3, but stands out due to its branching narrative paths and improved gameplay. When it comes to the "best modern Fallout game", there's a constant argument between whether Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas is king. While this argument is ultimately subjective, one thing is true; Fallout: New Vegas is a really, really good game.
The fundamental gameplay of Fallout: New Vegas is very similar to other Fallout titles. You explore the environment, meeting characters and discovering quests. You'll embark on a variety of adventures to new locations, looting and surviving the best you can. As you uncover the various factions and remaining groups around New Vegas, you'll have to make decisions on who lives, who dies, and who you choose to group up with. The world is teeming with various activities and stories to uncover, and a large part of the experience is discovering those things.
While the structure (and a good chunk of the gameplay) is similar to past Fallout titles, New Vegas makes some great changes in a slew of areas. For instance, new guns and armor have been added into the game, expanding the arsenal you can collect. You can also craft more goods than ever before. You can create new weapons, craft supplies, and even upgrade your existing gear. The "V.A.T.S" system has been added upon, providing additional strategic abilities and precision during combat. Leveling up your character has become more robust than before, thanks to the addition of several new perks and character abilities.
Among all these gameplay changes, it is perhaps the story changes that are the most apparent. Previous Fallout games were well known for giving their players choice, and those choices ultimately affecting the outcome of the game. This was surprisingly absent from Fallout 3, and luckily, Fallout: New Vegas brings back branching story paths in a big way. As the Courier, it's your decision on who to trust and who to keep on eye on. There are various factions around the desert area, and you'll encounter most of them as you explore. Who you choose to side with is completely up to you, but your choices have impact. Certain quests have different outcomes, some characters will treat you differently, and the game's ending will change depending on your choices. Overall, Fallout: New Vegas makes some interesting changes, but the narrative changes are perhaps the most impressive.
If you like first person shooters, RPGs, or just games that let you explore and experience the story at your own pace, then Fallout: New Vegas is right up your alley. It expands upon the mechanics and gameplay of Fallout 3 in meaningful ways, has a twisting narrative with multiple branches, and is tons of fun to play. With the slew of new gameplay additions and a plethora of quests and stories to uncover, you'll likely spend dozens of hours in the world of Fallout: New Vegas and barely bat an eye. If surviving the nuclear apocalypse sounds fun to you, then you should definitely grab Fallout: New Vegas.