Fallout: New Vegas’s Hardcore Mode Is Less Game, More Simulation

By Ishaan . October 14, 2010 . 4:28pm


Despite the fact that it’s still a blend of the first-person and role-playing genres, and that it uses the V.A.T.S. system, Fallout: New Vegas has a few features to set it apart from Fallout 3.


The latter was developed by Bethesda Softworks, who are better known for their work on the Elder Scrolls games, while New Vegas, developed at Obsidian Entertainment, includes several members of the original Fallout team from Black Isle Studios.


One of New Vegas’s new features is the game’s optional “Hardcore Mode,” which affects your character’s basic abilities profoundly. The game’s senior producer, Jason Bergman, sheds some light on the mode over at the PlayStation blog:


“Hardcore Mode can be turned on or off at any time, although if you want the Hardcore trophy, you have to turn it on when initially prompted and leave it that way all the way to the end of the game. When it’s on, players will have to eat, sleep, and drink water every day. In addition, ammo has weight, companions can die, Stimpaks heal over time, and damaged limbs can only be healed with a Doctor’s Bag.


While you can fast travel in Hardcore Mode, you can’t if the time it would take to get you there would result in the player dying from dehydration/exhaustion/starvation.”


So, effectively, Hardcore Mode makes New Vegas much less of a game and more of a simulation. The game’s due out next week on October 19th in North America and on the 22nd in Europe.

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  • Kris

    I’m not really a Fallout fan, but that actually sounds pretty cool!

    • Unless you’re an achievement whore like I am. :(

      • YoctoYotta

        Yeah, them tying an Achievement to something so, uh . . . hardcore . . . is messed up. I took pride in 100%-ing Fallout 3 and was looking forward to exhausting New Vegas too. Hardcore sounds like it will take well over 200 hours without fast travel if Obsidian’s claims of the game containing more content than 3 are true. Certainly a rich man’s problem, but disappointing nonetheless.

  • What does this have to do with with Japanese games?

    • What?

      • Tom_Phoenix

        I think he is so used to getting news on Japanese games on Siliconera that he is suprised to see news on a distinctly non-Japanese one. :P

    • Hraesvelgr

      While coverage may mainly consist of niche Japanese games, there is still a good amount of non-Japanese game coverage here. It’s not really an issue for you, is it?

      • It just seems like a waste of their time to bother with something that other sites specialize in.This article drew my particular interest since this information was availabe months ago.

        • This was the first I heard of this simulation news.

          • Were you interested in New Vegas to begin with?

          • Yeah cause it comes with like classy Poker Chips! an awesome addition to any game, lol

  • Hardcore Mode seems like just what we need in games, a near realistic take on the genre. It doesnt seem like its hard, just more management.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    That sounds cool on paper, but it is fun in execution?

    • Ereek

      If it’s anything like some of the mods for other Bethesda titles, it should actually add a good amount of depth and your adventures require planning ahead.Definitely not for everyone, though. Definitely not for me.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Yea now that I think about it, I didn’t even like the whole work-out-or-get-fat thing in San Andreas. This system would probably end in multiple facepalms for me. “Planning ahead” sounds… prohibitive to my free-drifting sandbox exploration.

        EDIT: Odd, when the whole game is built around these mechanics, like Disaster Report, I enjoy it.

        • Jaxx-Leviathan

          Clever move they made it optional. But I’ll be playing Hardcore Mode, because I’m the kind who enjoys more RPG and less action. I reckon I’ll have to give more of a damn about what I do in the game and hopefully feel further immersed.

  • Ereek

    Some people really like the role-play life-sim aspect of Bethesda games. There are tons of mods out there for both Morrowind and Oblivion (and likely F3 as well – but I haven’t really modded that much) that add “realism” aspects to the titles. Need for food, the ability to cook, making the games darker so that torches are required in caves and at night, the like. That’s not my preferred way to play the games, but I can see why it can help make the experiences more immersive.Yes, yes, Obsidian developed. It’s still a mixture of Bethesda’s F3 and the older F1+2 and, according to all previews, plays similarly to F3.Also, please keep covering WRPGs and lesser known western titles! When the next Elder Scrolls (hopefully not Skyrim, pleaseplease) is announced, I expect you to keep me on top of the news!

    • alastor3

      Lots and lots of people play on there 360/PS3

      • Ereek

        I played Oblivion first on my PS3 just for a change of pace and because I’m primarily a console gamer. Then I played it on my PC, like I did with Morrowind 5 years earlier. Now I’m never, ever turning back. The difference is incredible. I can’t even think of playing on a console anymore. There’s too much excellent content I’d be missing out on.If, for some strange reason, I played Morrowind on the original Xbox, I’d be missing out on my absolute favorite parts of the game (Tamriel Rebuilt, Rise of House Telvanni+Uvirith’s Legacy), and the Great House Dagoth MQ mod. I’m fully aware that people play on consoles, but I’m just saying the experience has been in the games for some time and this isn’t really anything particularly new.

        • alastor3

          Im not talking about you, I play Fallout 3 on PC with mods, im talking about the average public, those that don’t have a good PC or just play to play on a TV, those can’t put mod to change the gameplay so this Hardcore mode is good for them

  • Normally these are the sort of things I’d love to avoid seeing in a game, but in New Vegas’ case I’m on board. What better way to make it feel like you’re in a real post-apocalyptic wasteland than by fucking you over at every turn unless you pay careful attention to minutiae? Sign me up, I’ve been waiting years for a game where it actually feels like you’re in a battle for survival against the environment itself.

    • Ereek

      You probably should be playing F3 on the PC then, because these things have been in the games fan-made, for some time. And, often enough, sometimes the fan-made content is better than the content originally developed for the game.Here, I’d suggest starting with this.

  • That sounds great! It adds a ton MORE re-playability to an already huge game…..I mean Fallout 3 was HUGE but to know New Vegas is even bigger is great! This kind of Hardcore mode seems really neat compared to many other games that just adds more enemies, low health or what not to it. Basically it sounds like a survival simulation and it sounds awesome. Much props to the developers!

  • Chow

    I always made sure I slept every day in Fallout 3 at appropriate times, or at least tried to. It wasn’t for any particular reason, but I guess I’m just OCD like that. Adding food and water and medical needs probably won’t faze me much more anyway. >:)

    Of course, I need to restart FO3 because I of the Trophy patch, and it’d really bother me if my earned trophies didn’t have any semblance of linearity to the story. :sweat:

  • cmurph666

    That doesn’t sound like fun at all~!

    • Jaxx-Leviathan

      Squiggly-line means Irony. I like that.

  • I’ve always been itching for an ideal “zombie survival” game, where instead of simply running around and smacking zombies, the player’d also have to collect food, water, medicine and other supplies to stay alive. Seems like Obsidian has pretty much came up with my dream-game … well, minus the whole zombie apocalypse part, but that could be easily “fixed” by a bit of modding.

  • hardcore mode 100g when finished thought there would have been something good at the end good game bit too easy still on hardcore

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