In 2010, Fallout: New Vegas, an RPG about surviving in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, had taken the next generation of gamers by storm; it had vibrant, complex characters, towns that were full of life, and different ways of tackling objectives. Despite the level of complexity to the game, this entry into the Fallout series had cut content, much like its indirect 2008 prequel, Fallout 3. However, in a recent interview with developers, Scott Everts, Josh Sawyer, and Malcolm Holmes discuss how console gaming was the main reason for cut content this time around.
The development for Fallout: New Vegas was different right from the get-go. Rather than Bethesda developing the project, they hired Obsidian Entertainment, a company comprised of ex-employees from Interplay Entertainment (the original developers of the Fallout games) to develop New Vegas. Although the development team only had 18 month to grind out the game, Obsidian Entertainment had ambitious views of bringing the vastness and detail of the original Fallout games to Fallout: New Vegas.
Because Obsidian Entertainment also had to develop Fallout: New Vegas for consoles alongside the PC, the team had some creative decisions that ended up falling through during development. In the interview, Josh Sawyer and Malcolm Holmes discuss how Obsidian Entertainment was unable to get one of the main hubs of the world, Freeside, to have a stable version running on consoles. This was due to the hardware limitations of the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, and “that led to Freeside and the suburbs around Vegas being broken up into its own zone. It just would not have run otherwise.”
Scott Everts also talks about original plans of detail that Fallout: New Vegas had started with. He goes on about how “We had a lot of plans early on. Like, ‘Here’s where the water is stored, here’s where the farms are, here’s where the government is centralized. We had it all planned out – it wasn’t just a bunch of random stuff.” He also discusses about how the Mojave would have looked and how “it would have been more separate zones I think, put a big wall around the whole thing and you just see the big tower and it’s a bunch of little zones.” Although these small details and Freeside were cut, the long list of everything that was ultimately cut can be read up on here.
Despite these cutback, the majority of the intended content that Obsidian Entertainment set out to create still made it onto the base game of New Vegas. Thankfully, the modding community has come together to try and patch this cut content into the game. One modder added in small mods to add additional flavor intended for New Vegas, and Josh Sawyer himself created a mod dedicated to “[changing] elements of the game [that] should have been from the start.” Patrolling the Mojave might make you wish for a nuclear winter, but at the very least, it can now bring you the intended Fallout: New Vegas experience.