Second Update: Fallout: New Vegas is NOT going to be Game Informer's next cover story.
Update: The chances this are a hoax are getting greater and greater. While this still hasn't been officially confirmed or denied yet, Bethesda PR honcho Pete Hines tweeted this:
well it didn't take very long before wild guesses in forum posts suddenly became the basis for a "news story". 2010 feels a lot like 2009.
This may very well be a hoax, but it's pretty well written and convincing. From the Halife2.net Forums:
Fallout New Vegas information is coming "very soon." It's going to be Gameinformer's next cover. This is the information in the magazine:
- Similar to Dragon Age: Origins, at character creation the player can select from different background stories. The first few hours of the game are different depending on which background you choose, and you get some unique perks based on your background when the main game begins.
- One background story is shown, Chinese Agent. The background story takes place before the bombs fell. The player is part of a team of Crimson Dragoons infilitrating Hoover Dam. You manage to sneak through the Americans' defenses, set explosives, and head to an extraction point, but your escape is cut off by American soldiers in Power Armor. The player and other survivors of the Crimson Dragoons take refuge in a cave in the canyons, where they commit hari kari with cyanide capsules. The player about to do the same when the bombs fall. The background story ends an indeterminate time later, when the player exits the cave, removes his helmet, and sees his ghoulish reflection in the waters of the Colorado River.
- The background story segues into character creation. The player can customize the appearance of the ghoul, and you see you start the game with two unique perks. One, similar to the Ghoul Mask in Fallout 3, makes Feral Ghouls non-aggro. The other makes the player immune to radiation sickness and allows the player to discharge accumulated radiation in a blast similar to a Glowing Ghoul, healing the player and any mutants while damaging all non-mutants in range.
- By default, the Chinese Agent has the skills Sneak, Small Arms, and Explosives tagged and SPECIAL stats set, although the player can modify their tagged skills and stats if they don't like the template.
- One character background option is Lone Wanderer. This selection has no background story or template and is a complete blank slate for players.
- The SPECIAL system used will be similar to Fallout 3, but skills will be harder to cap and one character will not be able to become a master of all skills. The article is not very specific because apparently it's something the developers are still tweaking.
- Gambling will return, but not as a skill. Your Luck stat will effect gambling results. You can attempt to cheat at cards using your Sneak skill or hack slot machines using your Science skill.
- There will be vehicles. The desert of New Vegas dwarfs the Capital Wasteland and you will need transportation to get around and explore it. You will acquire a vehicle several hours into the main quest. You can customize your vehicle with parts bought at shops or won through racing circuits and quests. Vehicles will not be common, but you will encounter road gangs, merchant caravans, and other vehicles in the wastes. The open desert is home to some very large mutant creatures, like giant radscorpions and sandworms, that will attack your vehicle.
- New Vegas has a coliseum run by a slaver gang called the Caesar's Legion. You can gamble on and participate in arena fights.
Again, I find this information a bit hard to believe as it's from the HL2 forums with no citation, but it does sound like a very cool game. This little description already sounds MUCH better than Fallout 3. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
Cheers to Briosafreak for finding this!