I began taking note of the bugs in Fallout: New Vegas as I encountered them. For the first few days of New Vegas I was in Vent with Mumbles and Josh, and we sort of acted like we were all playing on different shards of an MMO. We swapped gameplay tips (Josh has once again broken the game over his knee with melee) humorous anecdotes, and bug reports.
Goodsprings: I can use the awesome Desperado Cowboy hat to repair any of the other cowboy hats, but not the other way around. And shopkeepers no longer repair stuff. There is literally no way to repair this hat.
Jean Sky Diving: Maybe not a bug, but it seems really, really screwy to give me bad karma for “stealing” from the powder gangers who are ALL DEAD, because they tried to murder me without provocation and I killed them in self-defense.
Primm: Deputy Beagle has the voice of a middle-aged man in dialog, but greets you with a teen voice when you're just passing by him.
Goodsprings: I’ve got average strength, an agility of 9, and a high perception. I’ve got my guns skill over 50 and my melee skill is in the teens. I’ve got a perfect condition sidearm and a half-broken sledgehammer. Yet I’m finding that I’m slaughtering people with the hammer and I’m getting slaughtered when using guns. Is this a bug, or just really wonky game balance? (This applies both in and out of VATS, although the effect seems to be more extreme outside of VATS.)
Novac: Traveling merchant, the game insta-crashed when I completed the transaction.
Novac: (From Mumbles) Hey, Victor didn't appear in Novac. Going back to Goodspings, you run into Victor there, and he starts talking as if the two of you are standing in Novac.
Novac: Doing a quest in an industrial building near Novac. Guy asks me to find his girlfriend. I agree. Conversation ends, and he's suddenly hostile. I re-load the game to try again and it crashes.
Gibson Scrapyard: No enemies around, yet I'm still “in combat”. Companion Veronica won't revive and the game is acting like enemies are attacking. Ah. Found it. A couple of Geckos buried in the level geometry so that just the tops of their heads are visible. They can't move or attack. I can't end combat or fast travel away.
Boulder City: Where the heck did Veronica go? She was right with me a second ago? Backtracking… Ah. There she is. Stuck right in a wall last time I went through a door. using the door again fixed it.
Grab & Gulp Rest Stop: Crashed attempting to trade with traveling merchant. Seems like same one. I see. I guess I just can't deal with her ever again.
Wasteland: Have to keep throwing away hats. The system for figuring out which hats can and cannot be repaired by which other hats is nonsensical. I'm still wearing the same armor I had at the start of the game, but I've changed cowboy hats a half dozen times because they keep “breaking”. Are they made of clay?
Gun Runners: Got trapped in a bit of scenery. An opening leading to a dead end. You can go through the opening one way, but it's a wall going the other direction. Can't get out. Have to cheat (which will disable achievements) or re-load the game. I think achievements give XP, so re-load it is.
Freeside, Mick & Ralphs: Mick is standing in a corner, facing the wall? Always?
Freeside, Atomic Wrangler: Won $16,000 at the slot machine and the game insta-crashed.
Freeside, Atomic Wrangler: I got the debt collection quest when I spoke to one of the *targets*, even though they never brought it up and I'd never met Ms. Garret before. Then I spoke to her and I could suddenly turn in the quest. I did so, thinking I'd get some XP. Instead, she took 388 caps and then *described* the job to me. Unh? Looks like now I can't do the quest at all. Or recover my 388 caps.
Freeside, Atomic Wrangler: Playing slots and stepping away from the machine, suddenly greeted by a secruitron demanding to see a passport. (You don't need a passport here, it's OUTSIDE the strip! He shouldn't even be in this building!)
Freeside, Atomic Wrangler: The NPC's talk as if there were prostitutes here. One of them even tells me to go talk to the girls. There's sound effects as if there were girls “working” here. But there are none anywhere in the building. Ever. You can do a quest to recruit three “more” prostitutes for them: A man, a robot, and a female ghoul. But the owner keeps talking about her “girls”.
Main Menu: I’m using the manual save option to get around the save-game bug, but even that is wonky. I have three save games claiming to be “Save #2”. And two saves for Slot #4. A full house! Remember back when you could name your own saves the way you liked? Stupid consoles. Damn kids.
Ultra-Luxe: Sneaking around in the basement doing a quest, when a guy runs right up and speaks to me even though I'm sneaking and [HIDDEN]. I pass a speech check, and when the conversation ends he attacks me anyway.
Lucky 38: (From Josh) Doing a quest for a woman who wants you to bug the Lucky 38, since you are “the only person who can get in”. After giving the quest, she follows the player into their suite at the Lucky 38 and asks them if they've managed to get inside the Lucky 38 yet.
Vegas Strip: (From Josh) After talking to Mr. House, a Legion guy ambushes you as you leave the building. “Ceaser is waiting!” he shouts, out-of-context. The Conversation ends, then he grabs you again, says the same thing again. Stuck in a loop. Can't escape the conversation and have to re-load. He does it again. The trick is to bring up the pip-boy the instant you exit and fast-travel away before he ambushes you.
Legion Camp: (From Josh) The guy running the boat to take you to Ceaser's camp didn't spawn. Can't progress on the main quest without him? Leaving to another area and waiting 3 days doesn’t cause him to appear. Hm. Time to re-load and old save. Luckily Josh had a semi-recent one, but this could have been disastrous.
Wasteland: Quest to deliver a package for the energy weapons dealers is bugged. The quest marker points at the middle of nowhere – a long hike to an empty patch of wilderness. The marker doesn't point to a specific spot, either. You can stand here, spin in circles, and the compass always tells you that the point is just to your right a bit, no matter which way you're facing. Wandered around for quite a while. Turns out the actual target is a guy near the Gun Runners, just outside of town.
This is where I stopped playing. I gather this is about halfway through the game, maybe a third? I was enjoying the game enough that I was willing to set it aside and let them fix the bugs rather then allow this nonsense to wreck the experience. A couple of quick patches have addressed the most egregious failures, but I’m hoping we’ll get at least one more official patch out of them.
Note that I didn't list all of my aggravations with the game here. There are some vague quests descriptions and counter-intuitive quests that managed to waste a bunch of my time, but I didn't put them in the list above because they fell more under “poor quest design” than “bugs”. I also left out the problems with preferences reverting, the numerous graphical glitches, and the vulgar language I shouted over the save game bug. And I didn’t bother to record every single crash.
I like New Vegas so much more than Fallout 3. The game really puts the entire story, premise, and setting of Fallout 3 to eternal shame. But the bugs are a pervasive annoyance.
A damn shame.
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