Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas’s post-apocalyptic setting offered a wide range of art styles for the developers to explore; ultimately, they chose an American wasteland filled with post-war paraphernalia and old-fashioned propaganda.
The team have kindly released some pieces of annotated concept art which were used in the game’s development, which you can view below. There are examples of vehicles and posters, as well as characters and animals from the Mojave Wasteland. Enjoy!
“Original poster advertising Poseidon Energy, the most powerful energy company prior to the Great War in the Fallout universe. The art team used various effects to create the aged ‘dirty’ version seen in-game.”
The largest source of power in New Vegas is obviously Hoover Dam, but this poster is a hark back to an earlier time in the franchise mythos, as Poseidon Energy is the occasionally mentioned energy superpower from the pre-war days.
“Poster advertising Sunset Sarsaparilla, one of the pre-war Midwest’s most popular beverages. Vending machines can be found throughout the Wasteland and special ‘star’ bottlecaps are used in one of the game’s quests.”
Sunset Sarsaparilla is the most commonly found drink in New Vegas, and to some extent takes on the role that Nuka-Cola had in the previous installments of the Fallout franchise.
“Variations on the standard NCR Trooper uniform, introducing additional equipment such as bandoliers and face wraps.”
These are the most commonly found soldiers from the New California Republic seen in the game. Obsidian did a good job of making sure they didn’t all look identical, and this concept art shows they paid attention to detail straight from pre-production.
“Artwork for clothes worn by Raul the Ghoul, voiced by Danny Trejo, one of the possible companions in the game. The player can have two companions at once - one ‘human’ and one non-human.”
Bethesda brought Liam Neeson into the voice-acting team, but Obsidian scored Matthew Perry, Danny Trejo and Felicity Day. Well done. Trejo provided the voice for this non-feral ghoul who can be recruited as a companion and commanded using the new Companion Wheel introduced in New Vegas.
“Annotated image of one type of NCR Ranger armour used in-game – note details like the water backpack used to help them survive as scouts in the Mojave Wasteland.”
This is the much-coveted NCR Ranger armour which can be acquired in a number of different ways. This is just one variation of the armour seen in the game.
“Concepts exploring variations on the iconic NCR Ranger armour. The Ranger is used as the figurehead for Fallout: New Vegas including on the game’s cover artwork, much as the Brotherhood of Steel served as the focus for Fallout 3’s artwork.”
“Finalised variant of the NCR Ranger – the design mixes classic Western styling like the long duster jacket and handgun on the hip, with modern touches such as the gas mask helmet.”
“Close-up of variations on the Ranger headgear, revealing the more modern technology used by the elite units”
“Initial sketch of the New Vegas strip, showcasing Freeside and the iconic ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign.”
We’ve saved some of the best art for last; the environments in New Vegas look brilliant, particularly this sketch of the game’s eponymous city, New Vegas, located in the heart of the Mojave Wasteland.
“Hoover Dam circa 2281 – as a major NCR outpost in the game, the site features significant defences to hold off the encroaching Caesar’s Legion. The location marks a major battleground between the two faction.”
A significant portion of the game action occurs at Hoover Dam, so this is a key location. Suitably, 2281’s Hoover Dam looks almost beautiful in a way. Well done, environment artists.
If this article has piqued your interest but you haven’t actually played New Vegas yet, you might want to make your way over to the official zConnection review of the game here. You can also order the game from Amazon for as little as £16.99 here.