Games we are playing consistently this month:
Guild Wars: Nightfall
Taddaa! Fallout New Vegas!
The guide just arrived and the game itself is unlocked via Steam, so no physical box. I wasn't originally planning on getting this but looking through the game threads on the game made me cave in.
During this time period three games that I want will be launched: Fable 3 (next week), Vanquish, and Fallout. I could probably buy all 3, but there is no time to properly play them all during the same time period. Fable 3 is at least a 30-40 hour game, Vanquish 12 hours, and Fallout around 100+ hours. I'm going to wait till Vanquish and Fable 3 are $30, but if I had the time I would not mind playing them now.
Originally I was against Fallout New Vegas. It uses the outdated graphics engine that Fallout 3 used and by this time every screenshot that would come out for the game would look dated. The engine is known for being buggy and from the previews and word of mouth by people that got the game early, issues from Fallout 3 did not get fixed (people suspended in the air, between solid objects, polygons gone wild, etc..). Also, the game was created by Obsidian and not Bethesda, the original developer of Fallout 3. Even though Obsidian created the original Fallout 1 and 2, there is no garantee that their writing talent was kept intact after all these years.
But then I remembered why I liked Fallout 3. I liked being put in an open world where I can go anywhere I want. Sometimes I would walk around and see a building in the distance and think ' I want to know what's inside and more imporantly, I want to loot everything that's inside!' and the game would let me do that. I walked into so many random buildings and houses just to see what was around, and that exploration aspect of the game made you feel like a little kid again. A kid with guns though, and with a slave sidekick you bought from a few towns back.
The quests in Fallout 3 also made great use of the environment. My favorite type of quest was the escort, where you had to lead a person or a group of people through dangerous sections to escape to a better life. The fist time I did this was to help some one out of prison in the middle of the night, and with almost zero visibility made our way through to the town. The area you had to cover was vast and it took nearly an hour in real time to get to our destination. In between, we ran and snuck around so many enemies that it was very suspenseful until the end.
In fallout 3, my playthrough was around 106 hours. 64 hours to finish all the side quests and 40 hours of just walking around and looking inside anything I found interesting. I'm hoping there is more of this in Fallout New Vegas. If Fallout Las Vegas just manages to catch a glimpse of how much I had as an explorer in Fallout 3, then this game is well worth the try.