The first time I played Fallout 3, I hated it. While there are legitimate problems with the game such as glitches and odd pacing, I confess that much of the fault was with me. I didn't "get" Fallout, and over the intervening months since its release, I have really gotten into the series and now feel I have the right frame of mind to enjoy my post-apocalyptic head popping.
Naturally, I had to check out Fallout: New Vegas at PAX Prime to see how it was coming along, and I bring you word that it is indeed coming along very well. At this stage, it's fair to say that New Vegas and Fallout 3 are almost identical twins in the gameplay department, but that really shouldn't matter to fans of the last title. V.A.T.S is still in place, you can still shoot in real-time, and it's still sexy to see a man's head getting shot off.
One thing I really like about New Vegas is the subtle aesthetic changes. While Fallout 3 went with a grey/green style, New Vegas is very brown and orange. I know that "brown" games are looked down upon this generation, but it's beautiful in a bleak way with New Vegas, and the orange hues make it look a lot more like the original Fallout games than Fallout 3 did.
With Obsidian's last game being the unfinished Alpha Protocol, I was a little worried about quality, but already New Vegas looks more polished, more tight, and more complete than Alpha Protocol ever did. With gameplay in place, it'll come down to the writing to really set this game apart. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the dialog is witty and the story is fun. Can't wait to find out!