Game analysis: Fallout New Vegas


The game I chose is Fallout: New Vegas, I chose this game because I enjoy it.

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements
The Basics New Vegas is a RPG based in a nuclear holocaust
Name of the gameFallout: New Vegas
The platformXbox 360, Xbox 1, Xbox series X,PS3, PS4, PS5, PC
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes)around 19 hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why?Some mall mechanics like sprinting, I would also add more random enemy encounters and improve graphics.
How many players are supported?1
Does it need to be an exact number?yes
How does this affect play?It’s a solo game so it doesn’t
Some types of player frameworks:Single Player – like Solitare.Head-to-head – 1 vs. 1, Chess.PvE – Player vs. Environment, or multiple players vs. the game. Common in MMOs like World of Warcraft.One against Many – Single-player vs. multiple (obvy).Free-for-all – Every man for himself (1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1..). Most common for multiplayer games, from Monopoly to Modern Warfare.Individuals Against the System – Like Blackjack, where the Dealer is playing against multiple players, but those players have no effect on each other.Team Competition – Multiple vs. multiple, i.e. sports.Predator-prey – Players form a circle and everyone’s goal is to attack the player on their left and defend themselves from the player on their right.Five-pointed Star – Eliminate both players who are not on either side of you.Player vs environment

What are the players trying to do?It is a sandbox game, the player can either side with many factions such as: the legion, the brotherhood of steel, the new California republic, Mr. House, or take over new Vegas for themselves.
Some common objectives include:Capture/Destroy – Eliminate all your opponents pieces (Chess).Territorial Acquisition – Control as much territory as you can, not necessarily harming other players (RISK).Collection – Collect a certain number of objects throughout the game (Pokemon).Solve – Solve a puzzle or crime (Clue).Chase/race/escape – Anything where you are running towards or away from something (playground game Tag).Spatial Alignment – Anything involving the positioning of elements (Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or that game at Cracker Barrel).Build – Advance your characters or build your resources to a certain point (The Sims).Negation of another goal – The game ends if you perform an act that is forbidden by the rules (Jenga or Twister).None of these sound like the game that much but the closest one is probably Capture/destroy
There are three categories of (what the book Rules of Play calls) operational rules:Setup – the things you do at the beginning of a game.Progression of Play – what happens during the game.Resolution – How an outcome is determined based on the game state.Setup: your character is intentionally not detailed, the game starts with you being a courier of a suspicious poker chip and you have been shot by a man who owns a casino on the post apocalyptic new Vegas strip. You end up surviving and seek out the main who tried to kill you, as you search for the man the entire story unfolds.
Progression of Play: The player now has many options for how they want to play the game, they can side with factions, kill monsters and ghouls for exp and weapons, or they can continue with quests and explore the map. New Vegas has many vaults, forts, towns and buildings to explore. It has a good leveling system as the player earns levels via experience points from doing quests and killing monsters. The higher the level the harder the enemies become. The leveling mechanic and the freedom the player has to do what they would like are what make the game very good to me.

What controls are used?Basic walking, jumping, shooting controls.
Was there a clear introductory tutorial?Not really, that is a big reason why I believe New Vegas is the best Fallout. The game doesn’t hold your hand through missions and kinda throws you out to figure it out yourself.
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller?The basic controls were very easy to understand
Resources & Resource ManagementNOTES
What kinds of resources do players control?I’m not exactly sure what this question means but my answer would be the player controls guns, money, armor
How are they maintained during play?armor and guns deteriorate while using them, the repair skill is used with points gained from leveling up
What is their role?Shooting enemies and monsters, protecting the player from enemies and monsters
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW. Other examples are:Territory in RISK The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)Time (game time, real-time, or both)Known information (like suspects in Clue)
Game StateNOTES
How much information in the game state is visible to the player?All of the information for the story is found via exploring
A snapshot of the game at a single point is the game state. The resources you have, the un-owned properties in Monopoly, your opponent’s Archery skill all count towards the game state. Some example information structures are:Total Information – Nothing is hidden, like Chess.Info per player – Your hand of cards is only visible to you.One player has privileged info – Like a Dungeon Master.The game hides info from all players – Like Clue, where no one knows the victory condition.Fog of War – In video games, where certain sections of the map are concealed if you do not have a unit in sight range of that area. You also cannot see other players’ screens, so each player is unaware of the other’s information.
In what order do players take their actions?In real time, whenever the react to the prompt of a mission or a fight
How does play flow from one action to another?Real time
Some structures include:Turn-based – Standard board game technique.Turn-based with simultaneous play – where everyone takes their turn at the same time (like writing something down or putting a card down in War).Real-time – Actions happen as fast as players can make them. Action-based video games.Turn-based and time limits – You have this long to take your turn.
Player Interaction
Some examples:Direct Conflict – I attack you.Negotiation – If you support me here, I’ll help you there.Trading – I’ll give you this for that.Information Sharing – If you go there, I’m warning you, a trap will go off.Direct conflict and negotiation
Theme & NarrativeNOTES
Does it have an actual story structure?Yes
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)?The theme of this fallout and all Fallout’s is about American consumerism and radical patriotism, even though those two are attributed more to Fallout 4 they are also in New Vegas.
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play?Not necessarily
Does it have emotional impacts?No but some of the smaller themes such as greed, redemption, and humanity are very thought provoking
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)?No
The Elements in MotionNOTES
How do the different elements interact?The element of exploration and the weaker map relative to other fallout’s seem to clash. New Vegas is based in the Mojave desert so the exploration can be plain at times compared to Fallout 3 and 4
What is the gameplay like?Immersive, and entertaining. It’s very interesting with the fighting mechanics
Is it effective?Yes
Are there any points where the design choices break down?Not really, many small examples such as the map exploration thing I already mentioned
Design CritiqueNOTES
Why did the designer make these particular choices?For the player to play the game as intended
Why this set of resources?For the player to play the game as intended
What if they made different decisions?The game would be worse
Does the design break down at any point?Very rarely
Graphics & SoundNOTES
Does the game art pair well with the mechanics?Yes, one of my favorite things about the game is the art and design
Did you find any bugs or glitches?Yes, the game is from 2010 so that expected
What about sound?Sound is good and immersive, the in game music is amazingly done and plays right into the tone of the game
Can you spot any technical shortcuts?No
Various Stages of the GameNOTES
To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:The fighting system is difficult because most monsters in the early game are MUCH stronger than the player, either grind levels by killing weak enemies before starting the game or consider a stealth approach. Choose the beginning stats you choose very wisely as I did not and it was a much harder experience.
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them?Fighting enemies, kiling enemies
Is the game fair?Not really
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience?One of the most re-playable games I’ve ever played. I believe its more re-playable than Skyrim and Oblivion
What is the intended audience?Probably 12-24 year old men who enjoy games such as skyrim, oblivion, FO3, F04
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun?the core is the fighting mechanics, it is very fun

This analysis form was adapted from



Mr. Le Duc’s Game Analysis Resources

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