Monday, September 12, 2011

Who Is In Charge Of New Vegas?

Playing through Fallout: New Vegas over the past month has left me with the gnawing problem of choosing who to side with in the ultimate battle for control of New Vegas. There are four courses for the player to take, and I have found that none of them offer anything even close to a satisfying resolution. Here's what we're left with.

The New California Republic (NCR): They're as close to the "good guys" as you can hope to get in New Vegas, but they're corrupt, inefficient and have no strong leadership. They've focused too much on acquiring new territory and not enough on shoring up what they already control. They do have a hopeful outlook on the future of the Mojave, but the NCR's attitude towards bringing back pre-Apocalypse America is flawed in that they grip too tightly on its citizenry and harass everyone who isn't NCR. I would be inclined to side with them if I wasn't certain that they would eventually crumble from within.

Caesar's Legion: These are the obvious "bad guys". The Legion is a cadre of murderous, slaving assholes whose allegiance is more to the rule of Caesar himself rather than the ideals he portends to uphold. Their appeal is in that Caesar will establish uniform rule over the Mojave in a faster, more absolute manner than any other faction. I might side with them in the hopes that, while it would certainly take generations, reform would eventually come about in Caesar's Legion.

Mr. House: He has spent 200 years establishing New Vegas as the flower of society growing out of the garbage dump of the Mojave Wasteland. The problem is, he only cares about New Vegas itself and not the the rest of the Mojave. Leaving him in charge is the "status quo" ending and I was fairly content to go with it until he demanded that I destroy the Brotherhood of Steel rather than accept the diplomatic solution I had given him.

Yes Man: This is the idiot proof ending, the one that you can go to when you can't stand any of the other factions. It's the ending that you're stuck with if you've destroyed the other three factions. This is the ending that cannot be messed up because Yes Man will do whatever you say. Leaving Yes Man in charge leads to an independent New Vegas with the player serving as arbitrator. The validity of this option depends on the character having the vision and intelligence of House along with the compassion that he lacked and I just don't think that a simple courier is capable.

I realize that history dictates that there will never be any truly happy endings. I can accept that. However, I have to wonder if New Vegas isn't better off without my interference. Maybe I should just let them all figure it out for themselves while I chase down all the named weapons, explore all the areas and then walk off into the sunset. That does seem like the best option.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have three more Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Bottle-caps to find before I can claim the legendary prize. They're out there somewhere.

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