SPOILERS ARE TO BE FOUND BELOW!
Well it's well overdue for a review and after playing it for a week I think I have a fairly good idea of what my opinion is.
To start off i'm going to set something straight. Some of you mightn't be able to understand this, I've seen people who haven't played the game declare it an expansion who have yet to play the game. This is far from an expansion. It may have the same game engine and a lot of silly bugs and freezes are still here but that's about it as far as the common ground the two games have eachother. To put it simply; Fallout New Vegas is Fallout 1 and 2 combined with the game engine of Fallout 3.
The game opens with a great cutscene of a quick glance of Vegas followed by your "Death". After this you wake up in Doc. Mitchells office. You go through a simaler process as you did in Fallout 3 with the G.O.A.T and such, except now the "You're Special" book is replaced with a Vigor-Matic Testing Machine. The G.O.A.T with a series of questions. There is also the re-introduction of "Traits". Traits are essentially double-sided swords which give you perks but also de-bilatate your character in some way. *Besides the Wild Wasteland perk which is only bad if you prefer your Fallout without the funny side of life and pop culture references*
The Iron Sights introduction is an amazing edition to the game. Say goodbye to the camera slightly zooming in when you want to pick off enemys from afar. The skills have been modified in their own little ways. Weapons skills have changed. There is no longer a big guns skill. There is now 5 Weapons skills; Guns (Anything which uses a bullet, shell etc.) Explosives (Anything that explodes e.g. Missile Launchers, Grenades), Energy Weapons (a weapon which uses some form of cell) and unarmed and Meelee are still the same, despite a lot of people questioning why they are two seperate skills.
Survival is a VERY welcome edition to skills as far as i'm concerned. Now the food that you could get in Fallout 3 actually serves a true purpose. Depending on your Survival level you get more HP back from food. It also allows you to cook things at campfires. Repair and Science have changed allowing you to also craft ammo variants such as Overcharged Cells or Incendiary Bullets, Armour Piercing Bullets Etc. Repair no longer determines how high you can repair a weapon but the amount of reparation is done when you repair.
Now in Vegas there are plenty of Civilaisations each with a large amount of people living in there along with a lot of cultures. There's Goodsprings, Novac, Freeside, Nipton, Bittersprings, Red Rock Canyon, Cottonwood Cove, The Fort, Camp Forlorn Hope, Hoover Dam, Jacobstown and Camp Mcarran (My personal favourite is Jacobstown. A Rehab for super mutants and Nightkin set in the north west in a snowy mountain range)
As I mentioned earlier there are loads of cultures and social groups. So to make real use of it the reputation system was re-introduced. The repuation system makes it so that if I have to kill the president of the NCR they would have a deep hatred for me and most likely shoot me on site. Instead of in Fallout 3, You cut off Lucas Simms head with a ripper, put it in the centre of town and in a days time all if forgiven. There are too many groups to name. The main ones i've made a reputation with are NCR (Good Natured Rascal) Freeside (Idolized) Nellis (Idolized), I have made some bad impressions also on the Legion and Great Khans for making friends with these groups.
Fallout is well known for it's music however the music in Vegas leaves a little to be desired as far as "Mojave Music Radio" (Westerny Themed Songs) and Radio New Vegas (Average Jazz music). It only was about 1 and a half hours before I knew all the lyrics to Johhny Guitar because it was played 3 times already.
Weapon Mods have also been introduced. Mods such as extended magazines and Silencers are most welcome. Alongside the brand new +150 weapon arsenal these leave oppertunities endless as far as the game is concerned.
I shall include hardcore mode at a later stage as I'll probably put up a playthrough for it soon.
There is one BIG BIG BIG problem I have with New Vegas. The producers said they spent a MONTH on patching the game, looking for glitches etc. They either did a shit job or the amount they had to patch was a sheer mindfuck of bugs and glitchs. I frequently have to reset my console due to random freezing. I gave Arcade Gannon a load of Unique weapons and Power armour to hold but due to a glitch I couldn't get him back (It's a very common glitch but I found out how to fix it. Merely dismiss all followers, humans and Robots then re-hire). This wasn't the only companion glitch. It also appears that Rex, Lily, Ed-e and Gannon all have a HORRIBLE sense of direction. When I sent Rex, Lily, Ed-e to the Lucky 38 they all wound up in different locations. Rex and Ed-E were easy to find as they went to their default locations, Lily however wound up at Goodsprings. Gannon also disspapeared on a friend of mine who accidentally found him during a quest in Vault 22.
OVERALL i'm giving this game 96%. It's one of the best games (If not THE best) i've ever played despite the irritating bugs and glitches, and is a MUST-BUY!.