War, war never changes. Right? Fallout games do change from installment to installment, though, and they all vary in quality. Some say that New Vegas is the best of the latest releases in the series. Others believe that it is Fallout 4 who takes the cake. Which one of these is better? Let’s find out.
Naturally, we know that opinions vary from fan to fan. Most of the people might actually think that any other game in the Fallout series is way better than any of these two. Still, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 seem to be the most popular games in the series (aside from Fallout 76, maybe) and are often compared to each other.
We’ll take a look at how these two titles fare against each other in various categories, such as gameplay, role-playing in general, as well as audiovisuals. Naturally, NV is a tad old by today’s standards, so it may not be too pretty to look at nowadays (not that it ever was, to be honest, but that’s not the point), but it’s gameplay is still holding up extremely well. There are folks who think New Vegas is on par with the first two games in the series – some of the most legendary titles in the history of gaming.
Without further ado, let’s pit Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4 against each other and find out where each of these excels the most.
Fallout 4 definitely offers something for those looking for grandiose, emotional stories. After all, the plot is all about you searching for your missing son. As Sole Survivor, the only person who got out of Vault 111 alive, you will need to explore a part of the US known as the Commonwealth, a region which covers New England, including the city of Boston. There, you will get a chance to build and grow settlements, which will likely lead to you getting emotionally attached to the events in the game.
The protagonist of Fallout 4 is fully voiced this time around, a first in the series.
New Vegas, on the other hand, puts you in the shoes of a character known as the Courier. At the start of the game, your errand goes wrong and you end up almost getting killed by some mysterious attackers. So it’s basically a revenge story. The Courier miraculously survives and embarks on a quest to find out who wanted them dead. The fact that this character has pretty much a blank slate offers perfect opportunities for some good old-fashioned role-play.
Aside from that, New Vegas seems to be written better and even the stories in the DLCs for the game are far more engaging and complete than similar expansions for Fallout 4, considered by a lot of fans to be somewhat underwhelming.
So, we guess Fallout: New Vegas is the winner here, especially if you’re looking for gritty revenge stories and almost unrestricted freedom in the role-playing department. Fallout 4 is not a bad choice, either, but NV tops it when it comes to writing and such.
As far as the gameplay aspect of each game is concerned, both New Vegas and Fallout 4 have their strengths.
Fallout: New Vegas is definitely the more unforgiving of the two, but this might make it an even more rewarding experience. For example, you gain new perks only at every other experience level and it’s rather difficult to increase your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats. You also need to pay attention to your inventory. There are various firearm types – from traditional guns to energy weapons, such as laser and plasma rifles – and each uses a different kind of ammo. Weapons and armor degrade over time, so you need to patch them up regularly.
The game is full of side quests, which means it’s a perfect title for fans of exploration. While Fallout 4 features a fully voiced player character, Fallout: New Vegas has more complex dialogues.
On the other hand, however, Fallout 4 features much more customization. This applies to your character’s appearance, which you can modify at certain points. Armor sets are also a “mix and match” affair. Weapons and armor can be modified, too, which is also a plus. Better yet, you can build your own settlements here and turn them into anything you desire. There are some problems here, but in general, it’s a very nice feature.
Fallout 4 seems to have a better combat system, too. While the game sort of does feel more like a first-person shooter this time around and is easier to use in this respect (here’s a bit of trivia: this component was handled by id Software), it is also a tad harder than the previous installments featuring V.A.T.S. This is because using this mechanic no longer pauses the game, slowing it down instead.
As it turns out, both games are not without their merits, so it boils down to the matter of preferences. If you love exploration and want to try out a combat system that is reminiscent of the turn-based experience known from the early Fallout games, try New Vegas. Not the same thing, but it’ll probably be better for you than a more action-oriented Fallout 4. If not, try the other game instead. Still, NV has better perks and character progression.
Let’s be honest here: Fallout 4 is a newer release, so it will obviously look much better than Fallout: New Vegas. The former’s visuals are pretty darn good and the designs are often awesome (take power armor, for example).
That doesn’t mean Fallout: New Vegas is butt-ugly, though. No, it’s not the prettiest video game on the block, but it still looks pretty decent, even if bleak. You can always install some HD mods and graphical upgrades to make it look a lot better if you’re so inclined.
Music and sound
The score for both games has been composed by the legendary Inon Zur, so there’s actually no need to pick a winner here.
Still, Fallout: New Vegas features three radio stations that play the 1940s and 1950s pop, country, bluegrass, jazz, and classical music, which already makes a lot of fans pick NV as the one with a better soundtrack. There’s even Mark Morgan’s music from the previous games as well.
New Vegas also boasts quite a voice cast: Ron Perlman, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew Perry, Zachary Levi, Danny Trejo…
Fallout 4 has a great cast, too, and its sound design is impeccable as well. It’s really hard to pick a winner here, it’s just a matter of preference, it seems.
So, New Vegas or Fallout 4?
Both titles are great, that’s for sure.
It seems that Fallout 4 is a perfect entry point if you’re new to the Fallout franchise. Next, you can pick Fallout: New Vegas. Either way, you can’t really go wrong with any of these choices.