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24 March 2011

Introducing my Fallout New Vegas tour!

"Fallout: New Vegas" - a role-playing videogame that uses the surreal landscape of a post-apocalyptic Mojave Desert, complete with Sin City, as its backdrop - is a stupidly wonderful game. On the basis the Yanks are forever clogging up Europe doing "Da Vinci Code" tours and the like, it's payback time ... with a Fallout tour of the real Mojave!
 
In a couple of days I'm setting off for Las Vegas, to find and photograph the real-world locations that inspired the ones in the game - and blog my successes and failures.

There's one rider on this tour: the Mojave Wasteland isn’t the Mojave, and New ain't Las. The game’s not set in our future, but the future as people imagined it in the 1950s – a fantastical Gernsbackian scientifiction, where the West was never quite won, a gun was your best friend, and tailfins never shrank back into the brightwork. And, er, there was a nuclear exchange around 2077. That's issue 1.

Issue 2 is that the in-game geography was designed to evoke the region, not represent it. (That's nuclear apocalypse for you.) An area spanning several States in real life had to be walkable in a day or two of in-game time; four miles of Strip can be covered in five minutes even when you're carrying 270kg. Distances have been truncated, roads are just a state of mind, and the topology's been squished and stretched to give far-off locations a visual presence on your in-game horizon. The way the game designers have done this - combined with the haunting soundtrack, solid backstory, and properly-scripted dialogue - is breathtaking.

Now here's the kicker. Since the game is ultimately the answer to a single question - if history had turned out this way, what might that look like? - many locations in the game exist in real life

So on the New Vegas Strip stands the Gomorrah Casino - clearly a reimagining of the Sahara. The Lucky 38 is probably the Stratosphere, although the geography's a bit different. The Tops may be Circus Circus (Big Top, geddit?) and I'm guessing the Ultra Luxe subs for the Mirage. Litigation may have played as big a role as imagination: one's run by gangsters, one by a dictator, and the Ultra Luxe management enjoy the most forbidden meat of all … so bear in mind I could be wrong here. About every single thing.

This blog records my trip to Vegas and the Mojave area in March and April 2011, in 34 in-game locations. Ready to start? Let's go!

2 comments:

  1. I liked your blog and the experience

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have not finished yet reading all of your blog (New Vegas Tour), but I think to use the image of your blog as an image of the loading screen of the games(loading screen MOD).
    Please give me permission to publish MOD using the image of your blog. I contact you after published.
    My english is very poor.I am sorry that it is hard to read.

    ReplyDelete