New Vegas is buggy. So what?
I’ve been playing the Obsidian-developed Fallout: New Vegas (on PC, but shh!) for a while now, and it’s got a few bugs. Technical glitches, hitches here and there and AI issues have proved mild irritants, while a handful of crashes have out and out killed my fun dead.
This isn’t a rare thing for games developed by Obsidian – their first release, Knights of the Old Republic 2, was claimed by some to be basically unfinished. Files found on the disc with unrecorded dialogue, story elements not included in the game and characters not used backed up this theory. Neverwinter Nights 2 was similarly criticised for its buggy nature. Alpha Protocol was loved or hated because of its issues. And now New Vegas is being brought to task by some for the hitches and glitches that get in the way of enjoyment.
But I don’t care.
I still hold Obsidian in high esteem. They are one of the few developers who can actually get me interested in a game through their involvement alone. When I first heard about Alpha Protocol, I can’t say I was too enthusiastic – a bland, modern-day spy RPG? Boring. Obsidian are making it, you say? I’m in. Fallout was a dead-cert anyway, fanboy that I am, but the involvement of the Californian devs just solidified my burning desire for the game.
But why? How can a studio consistently, demonstrably put out flawed products yet hold my attention? It’s the simple fact that when Obsidian-developed games aren’t making your AI counterpart walk backwards, when they aren’t making the camera face the wall for no reason and when they aren’t setting you up for an epic ending before basically pulling the rug out from under you with “THE END!” –when they’re not cocking up, basically, Obsidian make really, really good games.
They’re well-written, they’re clever, they introduce elements that more games should embrace (Alpha Protocol’s conversation system, I’m looking at you). People are all too quick to jump in companies for releasing flawed product, and I’m not saying it’s something that should be allowed or let off by the gaming press, but when beneath the bugs you find such sweet centres as you do with Obsidian’s output, it really doesn’t matter how many times the game crashes.
Well, unless it crashes too much, then you’re in a whole other world.