I found it better than Fallout 3 (which I thought suffered from Bethesdaitis), but it still seems to be missing something. Hardcore mode is a nice addition, but even with that and higher difficulties the game felt too easy.
The praise for better role-playing probably comes from the fact that the writing and dialogue is WAY better in New Vegas than Fallout 3. Charisma is as useless as it was in Fallout 3, but Speech is a lot more important.
The world is much smaller than Fallout 3 (probably 1/4 the size), but overall I think it was a good move. Quality > Quantity, but some of the areas felt thrown in and forgotten. I'd discover an area, get it marked on my map, look around, and see nothing worth looting, a building with no entrance, no safes to pick, no computers to hack... so basically a new area that has nothing of interest.
The focus on player skill rather than character skill, and shoot em up gameplay instead of turnbased cerebral strategy were also negative points for me. Since the focus is more on FPS mechanics for combat than RPG, if you're a half decent FPS player then the combat in New Vegas will be very easy throughout, and leveling up combat skills will just make it easier. Takes a hunk of RPG out of the game when character skill has such a small effect on combat, but regardless, it was still fun. Having iron sights was a huge plus as well.
As far as bugs, I only had six CTDs (yes I counted) over the 30 hours I spent in the game. I had one quest glitch, and it was so minor it only left me confused for a few minutes - I spoke to an unnamed NPC in a house, and they responded as if I had just saved them from a vicious attack, and I got XP, caps, and a reputation bonus. Yeah, it was out of place, but it seemed like a very small side quest, so it didn't bother me.
If you're a Fallout 1 & 2 fan, I think New Vegas is worth the $50. It's a lot closer to the Fallout feel than Fallout 3 was, with the only major difference being the combat, and I guess I should mention that Tag skills only give you that initial boost, not the 2 points for every 1 spent like in Fallout 1 & 2, but the quality of writing and a more genuine Fallout feel make up for these shortcomings.
Post edited January 12, 2011 by james5272