I had a post apocalyptic weekend, finishing Fallout: New Vegas and watching Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior in the space of 24 hours.
It’s obvious that the developers have drawn on Mad Max, in both the detail of the world and the relentless storylines of survival. But having played Fallout: New Vegas on hardcore mode, I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t harder. When I tell my friends I played hardcore, I want it to be an actual achievement, rather than eating a packet of Yum Yum Devilled Eggs every 20 minutes.
I think in the next game they’ll need to amp up the hardcore mode. To be honest, the hardcore mode in New Vegas should be standard. After all, it’s about survival. To play it without a thought for food, water and sleep seems a little easy.
Without further ado, here are some things I think would really improve Fallout’s hardcore mode.
One of the things that really struck me about Mad Max was the way his shotgun shells were treated with reverence. They were a limited supply, so every shot counted. Otherwise he’d simply use a knife or his hands. Similarly with The Road, where the father only had one bullet. Hardcore would be much better if it were primarily unarmed or melee combat with the occasional sawn off shotgun. I love blasting green piles of goo with an energy weapon as much as the next girl, but realistically…
Formulating more weapons out of the wasteland
Rather than finding weapons everywhere (I mean I know the US is a bit gun crazy, but post-apocalypse America has a gun on every corner!), why not fashion weapons out of wilderness materials? Wood, metals and poisons could all be used to make weapons. After all, if everything’s been nuked, where would you get a weapon from?
No fast travel
This is one the ultra-hardcore players always talk about, some going so far to even play the game without fast travelling. It would be the single most difficult aspect of Fallout, to manage quests efficiently without being able to travel using the map. One of the parts I’ve always enjoyed about the games is simply exploring the world and clearing out faction dens. There just wasn’t enough of this in New Vegas (hardcore or not).
Realistic demands on sleep
I slept a matter of hours playing hardcore mode. Really? Anyone who has ever done survival knows the importance of sleep. One hour of sleep is not going to keep you going for ten days. And why can’t you sleep anywhere you like? If I were off exploring the wilderness I could just camp up next to a radioactive swamp. Why not?
More reliance on hunting for food
By the end of Fallout: New Vegas, EDE was practically falling over with the amount of food he was storing for me. Why not live from day to day, making it more desperate to find food? Why not let the food spoil after a couple of days? Not knowing where your next meal will come from would be hardcore.
No need to find workstations or campfires
If I was a survival expert, don’t you think I could make a fire in the desert with only my bare hands and a flint? I wouldn’t need to go visit the Crimson Caravan every time I wanted to bake a squirrel on a stick. Why not be able to camp in the desert and create a fire there?
Less useless locations
How many locations in Fallout NV were really necessary? I tracked all over that map just to get those stupid blue bottletops, but how many places were there that didn’t even have anything except some crappy ammo?
And in a general Fallout note, the game could really do with some animated cut scenes instead of all the talking heads. Take a leaf out of the Red Dead Redemption book. I love the franchise but the PS3 is capable of better things. And please, fix the local maps. I can’t navigate two floors when they’re on the same screen.
Have you played Fallout: New Vegas on hardcore mode? What did you think? What could improve the game?