Here's a short list of just the weapons Obsidian showed off in the one-hour demo. There are more in the full game. Way more. Twice as many as in Fallout 3:
Grenade Machine Gun (It is what it sounds like.)
Dynamite (In stick form.)
Trail Carbine (A lever-action, rifle.)
Varmint Gun (A small caliber, semi-auto rifle.)
.357 Cowboy Rifle (A Winchester-style lever action gun.)
Plasma Caster (A Fallout 1 & 2 favorite returns.)
Grenade Launcher (Death from afar.)
Single-Shot Shotgun (A powerful new scatter gun.)
Caravan Gun (An over-under short barrel, double scatter gun.)
"You can buy mods at a lot of different places," says Sawyer, "like one of the most prominent groups you'll find in the wasteland are the Gun Runners. And there are a lot of different groups that sell mods. They make them for explosives, energy weapons, all sorts of different stuff. You simply have to buy them."
"We didn't really want to take anything away from V.A.T.S.," says Sawyer. "We just wanted to make sure the real time stuff was improved. So we did things to improve the responsiveness, we improved in-sight aiming so there's more connection to what your gun is shooting at. It's not about taking away from V.A.T.S., people use V.A.T.S. all the time, it's a really good tool in the game and there's a lot of RPG stuff that ties into it. We wanted to make sure that people wanted to play the game in real time and that it's as responsive as they expect it to be."
By way of introduction to the vast Vegas wasteland of New Vegas, Obsidian showed off a few new areas in their demo, like the towns of Good Springs, Primm, Novak (the home of Dinky the Dinosaur), the super mutant encampment at Black Mountain, the military/scientific installation Helios 1, Camp McCarran, site of the real-world Las Vegas airport and the city itself, New Vegas. We didn't get a very good look at Camp McCarran or the New Vegas strip, since, according to Sawyer, those areas are still "under construction - both literally and figuratively," but as Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart told us in our exclusive interview, the world of New Vegas is so flat and wide open, you can actually see the New Vegas strip from almost anywhere in the world. It's a potent reminder that the wasteland is a vast, barren landscape, and that the New Vegas strip is a monster of a setting, rising up above the surrounding countryside like a monolith.
The vagaries of desert living have led the survivors in the Vegas waste to congregate in small townships, which you can visit and where you will naturally find quests. Yet in addition to the towns, larger groups of survivor factions are at work behind the scenes, each attempting to dominate the wasteland.
Fans of the series will probably remember the New California Republic, the militarized new government of the West Coast. The NCR returns in New Vegas as a force for good or evil, depending on how you play it. You will also rub elbows with Caesar's Legion, a slaver outfit, various bands of super mutants, and more we don't yet know about.
"[The Reputation System] can manifest in a number of different ways," Sawyer says. "People might give you free things, they might give you discounts at places. If you terrorize a town, they might actually be terrified enough to give you a tribute. If you screw around with one of the bigger groups, like Caesar's Legion or NCR, they might send hit squads after you.