I enjoy a good computer game now and then. In 2011, Obsidian Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks released Fallout: New Vegas, a game that combines the best elements of a first-person shooter, role-playing game, and a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel. In it, the player character must navigate the dangerous world of the post-nuclear Mojave Desert, taking part in everything from gang disputes to war between major powers. Obsidian did a fantastic job of bringing the Mojave to life, partly because of how well they used the real-life landmarks of the Las Vegas area. This afternoon I retraced the route of the player character through the real Mojave.
The game begins when you (the player character) is shot in the town of Goodsprings and left for dead.
One of the first places you see is the Goodsprings General Store and the Pioneer Saloon next door.
You learn how to shoot a gun, as well as how to craft healing powders from local plants.
In the distance you can see the shades of Red Rocks Canyon, home of the Great Khans gang. Better to avoid it when you are just starting out.
Before you leave, make sure to check the old elementary school for some loot. Watch out for giant insects!
Head toward the ruins of Interstate 15, passing the Jean Airport on the way.
Avoid the Correctional Facility, at least until you are better prepared for a fight.
Next stop is the city of Primm, home of the Bison Steve hotel and casino.
Watch out for gang members shooting you from the roller coaster, though.
Across the street is another casino, whose prize jewel is the “Vikki and Vance Death Car”.
After stopping by a military outpost, head east for the town of Nipton. Caesar’s Legion was there first though, and they held a lottery.
If you go all the way to the east end of the map, you will find the resort town of Cottonwood Cove. Unfortunately, the Legion controls the town. Perhaps someone will give you a boat ride to see Caesar himself.
Stop at the pre-war solar array on your way up north. If you can repair it, you have the chance to decide which faction benefits from the power.
Head north on the remains of US Route 95. Make sure to talk with Veronica where US-95 meets US-93.
Once you arrive in New Vegas, look up. Your adventure is just beginning.
The biggest change in the way the area was rendered for the game involved distance. You can cross the entire map in the game in an hour or two of real time. However, it took me the better part of the day to cover the area I did, and that is without stopping in Sloan, Nelson, Boulder City, McCarran Airport, the Hoover Dam, Nellis Air Force Base, the old Mormon fort, or Mt. Charleston. As I said though, they did a fantastic job. In many places I could look around and picture the post-apocalyptic wasteland around me. Luckily though, the scorpions and lizards are of normal size.