Fallout: New Vegas And The Human Condition
By Gaetano Prestia
The intimate yet enchanting Vegas Strip is the focus in Bethesda's Fallout: New Vegas, a title that looks set to introduce gamers to the most authentic virtual Las Vegas in a game ever. In a rather contemptuous fashion, we will be subjected to a world that, funnily enough, includes the very things that drive us towards, and sometimes away from, one of the most iconic party locations on the planet. Filled with criminals, slot machines, sex workers, street thugs, and those simply looking for a good time, Las Vegas truly is the city of sin, and we’re being invited to experience it while it’s being driven by a human condition fueled by nuclear war.
The world in Fallout: New Vegas is big. Very big. Anyone with a sound knowledge of Fallout 3 will appreciate the vastness and baroness that is going to be offered in New Vegas, a deep and compelling experience that goes far beyond the confounds of the main tale. In a rather impelling way, this Vegas is about as inviting as the real thing, swapping placid money grabbing casinos with aggressive street gangs that demand caps and a passport to gain entry. The contemporary Las Vegas is open to anyone, but it embraces those with the funds prepared to go a little wild. In New Vegas, the level of entry is based around survival and a dog-eat-dog mentality, something that fuels the human race after years of struggle.
This take on Las Vegas is based around a 1950s and 60s mentality, a time when mobsters ran the strip and gambling was a classy and cool thing to do. When this way of life is fused together with a post-apocalyptic struggle for survival, you have a city driven by robots and guns in a parallel world with plenty of subtle commentary on today’s society. It’s an interesting take on the human condition, the evolution of society through the worst possible circumstances, based in a town that, in real-life, thrives off the very ideals many of us distance ourselves from, including gambling, prostitution and organized crime.
Roaming the rabble of Washington DC in Fallout 3 was somewhat eerie, as the modern day political climate can often point to such a disastrous affect on the world. The exquisitely executed humour in Fallout 3 was driven by the political history of that city, something New Vegas has in similar through its mid-20th century gangster wars that almost drove the city to political destruction.
One of the most captivating elements of Fallout: New Vegas seems to be its undeniable affection for the criminality that drives the city, both in the virtual and real world. There’s a sympathetic attention to detail that propels the intriguing narrative, inviting us to experience a world that doesn’t seem all that dissimilar to the very society we live in today. Although the bombs have well and truly fallen in this virtual landscape, the human race is still being attacked by the degrading hopelessness and fear that we all so helplessly possess. Fallout: New Vegas might be a fun and enthralling post-apocalyptic tale, but it’s an all too worrying look at the human condition, set in a city that thrives on the very things that push our species to the brink of social destruction.