Happy to hear Austin’s picked up on growing critique of New Vegas’ weirdness. It even reminded me that my problems aren’t just its ignorant racial politicking or both-sidesism, but how fuckin’ rancid Honest Hearts is. But its gross shit lead to a hot Something Awful meme hangin out in there so yaayyy wacky natives!!!
I remember the turning point for me last year in my turning around on unwavering praise of New Vegas was, hilariously, the very beginning. Paying attention and realizing that the first real conflict in the game is a black gang member trying to take over a peaceful white town because he was chasing some poor white merchant and the gang the black man’s a part of liberated themselves from a forced labour camp and neither he nor the gang is portrayed sympathetically doesn’t make me super eager to return to it again.
Plus it’s one of those stories that’s more obsessed with observing and reconstructing fascism than with creating much of textual response to it beyond some characters being grossed out by it, so oopsie poopsie it has an intricate fun fascist roleplaying game just hangin out in there, ready for hours of investment with little judgement.
TES is a similar token for me. Oblivion is so absurdly quaint that I can rarely get mad at it and still find nostalgic comfort in its bizarre pre-GoT mix of tones, ideas and overambitious systems. Then Skyrim got allergic to silliness, took the bad racial coding and amplified it tenfold across the board and somehow outdid the sheer whiteness of the rest of the series by a factor of a billion… But they got semi-competent at rendering and UI aesthetics so it’s been the face of the series for over a half-decade. Ugh.