Fallout 3 or Fallout NV?

I've played both games. I thought that overall, FO3 was better but what does anyone else think? What was your favourite parts/ least favourite parts?


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Last updated July 3, 2018 Views 118 Applies to:

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I liked Fallout 3 less glitches.

I also like Fallout 3 better.  I liked the story better.

I prefer Fallout 3's base game but the DLC for New Vegas was exceptional.

I've probably gone over this list a dozen times (and I'm hoping this will be the last time because it takes forever to type), but New Vegas for the following reasons:

  • An actual blank slate protagonist with a lot more room for customization (i.e. background elements and age) that really feels like a projection of yourself in the world (as opposed to a pre-determined protagonist puppet whose only "customizable" attributes are filled in by the plot)
  • Better, more original, less linear story, which allows you, not the game, to decide right and wrong, your allies and enemies, and how many events play out.  And it feels more sci-fi and Fallout-y than fantasy, but maybe that's just me
  • Better, funnier writing and more interesting characters with overall better voice acting (and the characters seem to move around a bit more in conversation instead of just staring at you without blinking, although that's not such a big deal)
  • Amidst the funnier writing akin to Fallout 2, New Vegas probably has the most dark humor in the series since Fallout 1.  And like Fallout 1, it's done really, really well
  • An ending that actually takes into account the majority of your choices and their consequences, making you feel like you've had an impact on the world and sculpted its future (like the original Fallout games).  And it's not an on-rails sequence; you actually fight in the final battle, and who else fights has been determined by you.  And while not everything works out for everyone, you, as the player, have chosen what you, not the game, believe to be the best outcome for the world, and that's kind of nice.  Good and bad endings are fine, but a nice change of pace is always welcome, especially one that has hundreds of different outcomes as opposed to 36.  And no, there's nothing wrong with a definite ending when it's actually good and makes sense and comes at a logical point in the plot where it really feels like a proper ending
  • It is actually consistent with canon and basic logic, and builds on the events of previous Fallout games in a consistent manner, so it actually feels like a proper sequel and a true Fallout 3 (I don't think I can reiterate this one enough)
  • It makes a lot of references to previous Fallout games, which is both nostalgia-inducing and makes me feel like the game was made for older fans for the first time in 12 years (especially that NCR quiz you can take in Freeside; the only way you'd know two of those questions is if you actually played Fallout 2)
  • It's made by people who actually know and have worked on the series, and it shows.  And although non-former-Black Isle employees probably had to learn the material, and even ex-Black Isle employees had to refresh their memories, at least they took the time to learn/re-learn the material, unlike Bethesda.  And in the process, they showed that you can make a Fallout game for the modern age, one that embraces new developments in the genre while also staying true to the tenants of the series (also unlike Bethesda), and brings new fans in without pissing off the older ones (again, unlike Bethesda), and I like what that represents
  • There are more than a few similarities to Black Isle's Fallout 3 (better known as Van Buren), so in a sense, I feel like I'm playing a game that never was, but always wanted to play (albeit, it's not turn-based, but it's still an RPG).  There are definitely enough differences and new material to keep New Vegas original (the main plot, for instance, is entirely different), but it still feels like I'm playing Van Buren in some regards.  And that is pretty cool
  • The skills are more balanced, SPECIAL actually matters again when building a character, traits return, and you actually have to choose your perks carefully since you don't get as many of them (and none of the perks have to do with raising skills; they're actually special abilities)
  • All of these deeper customization options (along with less plot linearity and more choices and consequences) actually make New Vegas an action RPG, as opposed to an FPS with RPG elements like Fallout 3
  • Explosives and Throwing have been differentiated, and Outdoorsman returns as Survival.  The Small Guns and Big Guns merger into just Guns and the redistribution of weapons makes for overall more useful combat skills, rather than a few useful and a few useless ones
  • Skill checks now rely on specific skill levels rather than percentages, which means you can't pass a check by just reloading and trying again and again; if your skill is too low, you can't pass the check no matter what (and you say different things depending on whether or not you meet or are below the required level).  Sure, you can raise your skills, but if it's too low (and that happens), it won't matter.  There are also checks for more skills than just Speech, and more SPECIAL checks
  • Quests that utilize a variety of skills or SPECIAL stats, allowing for different character builds to actually flourish and be useful (there's actually a diplomatic playthrough this time, and even the hilarious low intelligence character playthrough returns), and playthroughs to actually feel different from one another because you can't accomplish everything one go.  And there are more quests in general
  • A lot of quests that have multiple solutions that rely on different skills, rather than the "kill someone or don't" approach that is basic and doesn't play on the strengths and weaknesses of different builds
  • They brought back a lot of the older designs for weapons and armor, like with the plasma caster and the Remnant's armor/advanced power armor (especially the latter; MUCH better than the Enclave armor's design in Fallout 3).  And the super mutants actually look like super mutants, although I guess that goes along with the "consistent with canon" thing
  • The companions actually have depth and backstories and aren't as bland and basic as a f***ing grey carpet.  And you can actually interact with them and complete their specific quests and benefit from their inclusion in your group with specific perks, and your Charisma actually impacts them like it did in Fallout 2 (not how many you can have, but a few stats), and they level up with you.  And the companion wheel makes interacting with them so much easier, and they have more customizable tactics, allowing them to be ordered around much better than in Fallout 3 and not die all the time.  And when you dismiss them, they can all go back to the Lucky 38 so you can find them more easily.  And you can tell them to move back when they trap you in a corner
  • Reputation takes precedence over karma again, which means you can't kill a bunch of people and then expect everyone to like you again by donating bottle caps or whatever.  And it means that you, not the game, can determine what is right and wrong, which is helped by the more morally grey factions
  • The ambient music is much better.  I'd say that's just because they use the music from Fallout 1 and 2, but even Zur's work is better this time around
  • The art design is better and more engaging (post-apocalyptic does not mean everything has to be all dull and brown and grey, especially at this point in the Fallout timeline)
  • It's just overall more challenging, especially in hardcore mode.  The micromanaging of food/water/sleep I could live without, but having only doctor's bags heal broken limbs and ammo having weight nicely return from the older Fallout games, and having stimpaks heal you over time is a nice, new addition
  • The combat is more RPG-esque.  Damage threshold on its own does a lot more than damage resistance did on its own, DMG and DPS work differently (and DPS is displayed), each weapon has a Strength and skill requirement that affects damage, and there are more options in VATS for melee weapons and unarmed weapons.  So there are more numbers and values and skills involved, and more ways to go about combat
  • VATS has also been neutered so that you can actually die in it, meaning it doesn't make the game WAY too easy (the Grim Reaper's Sprint perk also being neutered helps with this)
  • Different types of ammo, and a deeper crafting system that allows you to make a variety of items, ammo, and food
  • Weapon and armor condition isn't annoying as s*** (which it shouldn't be past a certain point, given its original purpose)
  • No aliens, unless you take the Wild Wasteland trait, which means you're still choosing whether you want your Fallout experience to be sillier or not/have to deal with as many random encounters
  • There's also a trait that keeps the level cap at 30, which keeps the game balanced
  • The DLC is overall better.  Old World Blues is the best piece of Fallout-related DLC between either game, and Lonesome Road runs a close second or third.  Dead Money had a great story despite other issues, and Honest Hearts had a nice world and interesting characters despite some basic storytelling, so I'd say they're at least in the same league as The Pitt (and Broken Steel, but that's just because I didn't see the necessity of raising the level cap in Fallout 3, and the continuing of the ending wasn't handled properly).  And there's no shooter-fest Operation: Anchorage, and even better, there's no shooter-fest, Aliens if it were made in the 50s Mothership Zeta.  The Gun Runners' Arsenal and Courier's Stash DLCs also bring back some classics (bozar, 14mm pistol, Vault 13 jumpsuit) and introduce a lot of high-priced items to keep your caps in check
  • Even though you can accumulate a ton of caps, it was from one time things like gambling or the snowglobes, and you could burn through them quickly due to more high-priced items.  In Fallout 3, there weren't as many high-priced items, and there were a lot more continuous sources for caps, so you had way more to spend, which made things easier
  • Ammo seems rarer in New Vegas (not to mention you can't carry as much of it in hardcore mode), so you're not a walking armory.  Hell, there was even a period when no one had stimpaks, but that's probably just me
  • More weapons and armor. The former gives more usage to each combat skill and features some cool-looking or nostalgic standouts, plus unique weapons that actually look different from their regular counterparts (and the somewhat ridiculous fat man is much more out of the way, and the incredibly ridiculous and implausible MIRV is no where to be seen; yes, there is a difference between suspension of disbelief and completely impossible).  There are actually different types of the latter with specific advantages and disadvantages (that is, the light, medium, heavy categorization), and there are seemingly less sets with "magical clothing bonuses"
  • No dungeon-crawler metro tunnels
  • There are more locations than in Fallout 3, and while there are just as many empty ones (empty shacks vs. empty power stations), the locations that are well-done and detailed and have backstories and better than the locations of the same type in Fallout 3.  Well, the vaults are anyway, especially Vault 11
  • Vault 11: because it's the best location in the game, let alone one of the best in the entire series, so it deserves its own bullet point

As for what I don't like, the new retro tunes are overall pretty good with some nice standouts, but there aren't as many of them as there were in Fallout 3, so you hear the same song more often.  Plus, there aren't as many good retro tunes in New Vegas as there were in Fallout 3.  However, I listened to the ambient music more often anyway (Mark Morgan for the win), and I'm probably just more fond of the Ink Spots than old-school country music.  The game is glitchy, but not any worse than Fallout 3 (and I've been playing Fallout games for long enough that I've stopped caring).  The loading times are longer though, and that can sometimes be annoying; I get New Vegas is a more complex game, but when the loading times make the PS1 look fast (and they sometimes do), it's just ridiculous.  I guess the only things I really didn't like that I had to put up with or cared about were a few of the leftover art designs from Fallout 3 (I never liked the new mole rat design, for example), along with the nuclear cars (albeit, less of them, but still, that's not how cars should be in Fallout, and it ruins the scarcity of nuclear power).  And I also miss the Chinese stealth suit turning you invisible; it made the game easier, sure, but it was fun (as opposed to being a demigod character in Fallout 3, which made the game easy and boring).  And it's well hidden enough that beginner players wouldn't have found it too early.  And I kind of miss the classic assault rifle.  Still, the positives of New Vegas VASTLY outweigh its negatives in my opinion

In short though (and to those of you who read all of that, props), New Vegas is much, MUCH better than Fallout 3 for a lot of reasons.  But if I had to choose the main reasons, the far superior story and writing, the much deeper RPG elements (it's actually an action RPG this time, not an FPS with RPG elements), and consistency with canon (which accounted for a whole plethora of issues in Fallout 3), make it not only a better game overall than Fallout 3, but a VASTLY superior Fallout game as well, and more of a true Fallout 3 (hell, more of a true Fallout game in general) than, well, Bethesda's Fallout 3.  But next time, how about it not take 12 years for a Fallout game like this to come out, huh?

The randomness of FO 3 just trumps New Vegas.

Really everything from crafting, modding, weapons and the companion wheel could be added to Fallout  3 via DLC content.  

Just seemed when You left the vault in Fallout 3 You had to work awhile to get weapons, ammo and supplies, but follow two certain paths in New Vegas and You can run to Vegas and stock up on all the gear You need early on.

Still I would pay for a DLC to add improvements from New Vegas to Fallout 3.

Just saying.

I thought New Vegas was better. Better story, more customization, more quests, more people to interact with. There was a also a lot of places I found interesting more intersting explore. The faction system,different types of ammo, the ability to customize your gun and the companion wheel were a really great touch. I found it much more lively and addicting than F3. I actually loved NV DLCs.

I like Fallout 3, but the carrying 10000 ammo for each gun, the unlimited amount of AP I got by level 20, the metro tunnels and the plot holes got really boring (and rather tedious when it came to the story) after awhile.  

I loved FO3 and I like FO: NV, but NV has too many bugs which can make the experience very annoying. They are both great games nonetheless, but I'd much rather prefer FO3.

I'd have to say Fallout New Vegas. The only thing I didn't like is the set path you had to take to New Vegas, because of the enemies in the surrounding area. Storyline I think was written better in NV, but there is just something about Fallout 3's that I like better.

Anyways, I guess most of Mauls points are my reasons too.

Fallout 3 because you can continue after the main story. The game was more of a challenge and i like the capital wasteland better than a big desert. The followers are better in my opinion, and in NV i didn't like factions because they limited the game.

I know there was a set path to New Vegas but when I started playing, I just went straight there not knowing that there were fiends, deathclaws and other things that attempted to kill me. However, I made it to NV and was able to continue with the main quest without having that long trek through Nipton and Novac.

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