How not to get ahead in gaming

(or The quickest way to lose your fans…)

In my downtime after I have spent eight hours sat in front of a computer screen I like to relax and sit in front of my laptop or TV.

I watch a lot of films and TV but mainly I play games. I’m a thirty something woman and feel no shame in this unless I am trying to talk to my female friends who unfortunately have little interest in video games unless it happens to be The Sims (or heaven forbid Farmville…but don’t get me started). I hold my hands up. I…Am…A…Geek.

I’m a loyal gamer. If I’ve found a game that has really impressed me with storyline, graphics and game play I will actively seek out other titles that the producer has made. But herein lies the problem. I am constantly getting sucked into new versions that suck. Lack of development as they rush to get the next game out is evident in many games like Bioshock 2 (PC) and Fallout: New Vegas. Bugtastic.

Game developers need to look at the titles that won the fans over and make sure that their games are at least functional (Bioshock 2 on the PC crashed and burned straight after the first load screen).

I’m currently begrudgingly playing through my first save game of Fallout: New Vegas. It’s hard going. So far only 54 hours of game play and I’ve had the title since launch in October 2010. This is poor by my standard. I’m still playing Fallout 3 and have to stop myself going back at the moment otherwise I’ll never finish New Vegas.

When the game launched last year it was full of bugs. Bethesda apologised after several complaints and finally launched a wave of fixes in a patch that they told us would “fix the majority” of issues gamers were experiencing. I beg to differ. I still randomly get a black screen when I enter a room that totals my game and requires a switch on switch off approach of fixing. The other night this happened 5 times during one hour of play. I still get odd freezes that again require me to restart the Xbox. Occasionally my character will do crazy looking things with their weapon (like swinging it over and around their head repeatedly) or the Pipboy will fail to load properly and missions will bug and not finish. You know little things that like. It drives me crazy because I loved Fallout 3. I played it through twice and have no issues with doing a third run through.

There are other minor issues that bug me about New Vegas too. Like the fact that California has exactly the same vaults, caves and underground areas that Fallout 3 did. It’s like the designers just “took” the template from Fallout 3 and used them again even though in the story the nukes hardly fell on this area of America. Odd that. Graphically it just doesn’t feel like they made any improvements, especially with NPC’s. Plus the strange way that your companions can “die” then weirdly resurrect in front of you, several times in a short period. Boon goes down and then like a string puppet gets up again, over and over again. And there is nothing you can do to prevent this. You cannot give them food or anti poison remedies. You just have to wait it out. This is possibly one of the best known bugs (right at the beginning of the game too) doing the rounds on Youtube:

The storyline doesn’t feel as well developed either and lacks a well defined story arc. I’ve ended up several times failing missions I haven’t even come across purely because I’ve stumbled across another that requires me to visit an area. It’s pretty confusing at times.

It’s these issues that will make me think twice about Obsidian’s next game. I might just wait a couple of years for something stunning and well developed. Maybe something from Team ICO…

2 thoughts on “How not to get ahead in gaming

  1. I haven’t really noticed many bugs (but I play it on the PC, so it may be different.) Occassionaly a corpse will hurtle across the landscape and then return just as quickly and then just convulse in a ‘silent-hill nurse’ kind of way. I haven’t noticed anything really game breaking, but I bought it a month after release so everything could have been fixed. Having to play it through Steam is also highly annoying. I didn’t have internet access when I bought it so had to wait a week, because you have to activate it via Steam..

    I do agree that Fallout 3 is better. The story felt a lot more immersive and you could set off your own nuke, which is worth it in itself.

    Oblivions next game is likely to be Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and whether this will also be released buggy as hell? Who knows, it probably depends on your faith in gaming companys’ ability to learn.

  2. My bf is not as patient as me and after having hurtled the controller across the room several times turned to the PC version and loves being able to pull up the command console when things go wrong. Currently my only option is to save every 10 minutes to make sure I can reload (sometimes the autosaves even bug).

What do you think?

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