Does Fallout New Vegas Jump the Cockroach?

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Fallout New Vegas

Bethesda, you may recall, used to be the buggiest game developer in the business.

"But wait," you're saying. "Used to be? What about Morrowind? Oblivion? Fallout 3?"

Deloused saints, all three, contrasted with Arena and Daggerfall--and I'm talking the latter two fully patched and running (but never quite purring) on their best days.

So to hear Fallout New Vegas has a bunch of play-snapping bugs after all Bethesda's done to spotlight quality control is kind of surprising...even if the game technically owes its existence to a third-party developer with an increasingly suspect track record.

GamesTM: "New Vegas won't help Obsidian to shake its reputation as a purveyor of technically flawed but theoretically excellent sequels to other studio's games--the bugs here are numerous, and occasionally infuriating--but it's difficult to conceive of anyone who loved Bethesda's re-imagined universe feeling any differently about this."

Joystiq: "How could I hope to evaluate the worth of Fallout: New Vegas, a full-price game that's practically identical, both graphically and mechanically, to another game that was released two years ago? How could I tell you whether or not it's an insult that you're being asked to pay $60 for a game that's so technically deficient that it scarcely feels past the beta stage?"

Giant Bomb: "Less than an hour in, I was staring at a guard, pacing back and forth to guard his post... 20 feet off the ground. Enemies clip into the ground with an alarming frequency, often making them impossible to shoot. The game--a retail disc running on a new-model Xbox 360--crashed on me about a dozen times over the 33 hours I spent playing, often taking a significant amount of progress with it. The load times and frame rate seemed to get randomly worse as I continued to play the game, with some simple scene transitions taking 20 seconds or more."

AtomicGamer: "Unfortunately, the Fallout: New Vegas experience is fraught with a pretty large range of bugs, some of which are hilarious and fun, and others which will just lock up the game. I found several crash bugs in both the 360 and PS3 versions, problems with the Caravan card game not starting properly, and plenty of issues with NPC pathing and animations."

Quarter To Three: "I will say it's got some really disappointing tech and balance issues. The Xbox 360 version has locked up on me several times and I've heard the same from a colleague who's also playing. In addition, there seems to be some sort of memory leak. I was about ready to just throw in the towel, convinced that the geometry and effects in the actual New Vegas area were too much for the engine. But I cleared the memory cache (not sure if that actually does anything) and restarted my 360, and that made a world of difference. Now I'm making a point to quit out every few hours."

FileFront: "Unfortunately, not everything about New Vegas is positive. First off, there are a horrific number of glitches in the XBox 360 version. Creatures routinely get stuck while navigating terrain, and the player can also get stuck in some very awkward locations, necessitating a reload of a save game. Also, the 360 version seems to have some crash issues. On numerous occasions the game would hang on the loading screen, forcing a hard reboot of the console. On the minor side, expect terrain graphics to pop-in from time to time."

G4TV: "Perhaps the biggest, most substantive criticism of Fallout: New Vegas is that it's glitchy. Not just annoying so, but utterly, game-breakingly glitchy. In a massive, marathon play-through (before the game's official launch), the game crashed five times in a 26 hour period, often in the middle of the action during vital moments."

To be fair, most outlets are high-scoring the game anyway, which either means gameplay > masochism, or we still have a grade inflation problem.

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