Fallout New Vegas: The Post-Benny Syndrome

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I'm sure a lot of you who have played Fallout New Vegas have noticed this problem and some of you who are playing right now might even be feeling the effects of it. FNV Post-Benny Syndrome is a real problem.

FNV Post-Benny Syndrome, as some of you have probably already guessed, is the feeling of boredom and "why bother?" that sets in right after you've finally caught up with Benny and ended him. As soon as you see Benny's broken ragdoll plummet to the floor, your brain feels the rush of finally having caught up with the smug bastard and showed him how to really execute someone!

But then what? After that initial ecstatic boost, the game seems to drag. Without Benny, FNV loses its life as an involving narrative (the narrative being "this guy shot you now shoot him back") and becomes a race to see who you want to back as ruler of the Mojave. But there's no real direct link between you and this new story. Besides technically living in the Mojave, you don't really have a personal reason for choosing who rules it (unless you enjoy that sort of thing, I guess) and there's no pressing concern that the ruler of the Mojave will be chosen at random without you if you decide to ignore that plot.

So that's Post-Benny Syndrome in a nutshell. When I was thinking of this "affliction" the game seems to carry, the obvious sequel to that thought was "what could have been done differently to keep the syndrome from setting in?"

So, Escapists, can you think of anything that would have staved off the boredom that sets in directly after you've put Benny down?

I wasn't bored after I killed Benny. Maybe it's just you.

Not really.
Benny goes down, I get that awesome 9 mm pistol he got, and now I start actually doing something that effects the world.
Whatever you are describing I don't understand it.

I actually thought it was interesting that you killed benny way before the end, and learned there were bigger fish to fry. And I guess if you didn't find the rest of the main quest engaging, you can always do side quests. It's sort of like there are two main stories, and one leads into the other. You can just give up after you kill Benny after all, the main quest is by no means the be and end all of the game.

Yeah I kinda agree with you there. The game loses its raison d'etre as it were.

I don't think I was bored as such afterwards, but it lost a lot of urgency that's for sure.

Well, I wanted to keep Benny alive, but I couldn't find any, what's it called, Spy Boys? That cloaking thingy.

Anyway, I got bored with the game and just rushed through it just for the sake of finishing it.

Nah, I just killed him on sight and moved on. To me the conflict between NCR and the Legion was more interesting than chasing Benny.

I feel much the same.

After I killed benny and the new storyline introduced itself I was completely convinced that I'd missed something. That I'd somehow broken the game by killing someone I shouldn't have or that it bugged out and skipped a few quests.

My first and second tries at the game I quit after killing benny, just didn't feel involved in the world anymore. Currently on a third try and getting much farther along but I'm really just exploring the entire world and 'accidentally' completing quests without any real purpose or intent behind it.

I've not even picked a side yet and I've already slaughtered the entirety of Cottonwood Cove and the Fort, including Caesar and all the other named guys in his tent. Not to mention that I'm at max level and explored most of the map. Probably will be doing the DLC first before completing the main story.

Yosharian:
Yeah I kinda agree with you there. The game loses its raison d'etre as it were.

I don't think I was bored as such afterwards, but it lost a lot of urgency that's for sure.

Urgency! That's the word I was looking for. I wasn't really bored either. Just took me a while to come up with a reason to care about who ruled the Mojave after I killed Benny.

Uh, no. Didn't feel that way honestly, killing Benny is when the game really got going with the faction stuff, and I thought the game got way more interesting afterwards.

Vern5:

Yosharian:
Yeah I kinda agree with you there. The game loses its raison d'etre as it were.

I don't think I was bored as such afterwards, but it lost a lot of urgency that's for sure.

Urgency! That's the word I was looking for. I wasn't really bored either. Just took me a while to come up with a reason to care about who ruled the Mojave after I killed Benny.

Yes, exactly. There was no reason to care. Who should I give the power of this country to? Who cares.

I thought Fallout New Vegas had an unfulfilling plot, where the mood of action and consequence was like a bad rip off The Witcher, where everything goes to hell whatever you do. As opposed to The Witcher, in New Vegas' cynical world you can smell the American views of the world (which is a short-sighted and faulty view of the world and humanity). One clear example is the NCR, supposedly 'good guys' only because they wish to restore a pre-apocalypse American society.

NV does not get boring after you kill Benny, it gets boring and downright insulting after you realize what Obsidian did to Fallout.

Basically after you kill Benny, you're in the Strip and everyone sees you as a baddass, get-things-done kinda guy. Everyone wants to use you to complete their goals because they've seen how you work and know they could apply that to whatever their situation is.

It was the opposite for me, really. When I caught up to Benny and immediately killed him, that was when the game opened up and really set itself apart from Fallout 3. Suddenly I had options, suddenly I was forced to make a choice and suddenly I felt a conflict of interests.

Pre-Benny, I found myself getting frustrated at being gated into a linear path through the Wasteland by incredibly powerful creatures at the borders of where the game wanted me to go. When I got to Vegas, that actually meant something. I then had to work to even get onto the Strip. It was a great sense of fulfillment.

The story wasnt meant to be about getting revenge, it was meant to be about WHY Benny tried to kill you. Once you learn about the platinum chip the focus of the game is meant to be on that. Killing Benny was just thrown in for the players satisfaction.

But i still agree, the game looses its grip on the player. Ive found out what the chip is and what it does and ive gotten revenge on that smug bastard who tried to kill me, Why should i care what happens anymore?
yeah i felt the effects of Post-Benny Syndrome, didnt actually stop me from continuing with the game though.

The thing about Benny: he should've been an eligible team member if you ask me. You should have had the chance to save him and get him in your team, although it should of course also have been difficult to achieve.
I liked Benny, I didn't want to kill him! I wanted to keep dealing with the smug bastard for the whole game. :P

Kair:
I thought Fallout New Vegas had a unfulfilling plot, where the mood of action and consequence was like a bad rip off The Witcher, where everything goes to hell whatever you do. As opposed to The Witcher, in New Vegas' cynical world you can smell the American views of the world (which is a short-sighted and faulty view of the world and humanity). One clear example is the NCR, supposedly 'good guys' only because they wish to restore a pre-apocalypse American society.

NV does not get boring after you kill Benny, it gets boring and downright insulting after you realize what Obsidian did to Fallout.

Uhh the NCR are slated a lot for what they do; forcing out people who refuse to join them .ect
Oh and F:NV is a hell of a lot more cannon that Fallout 3 BHoS. The Fallout universe doesn't have good guys, just varying shades of grey with the occasion black. Oh and Fallout; yeah it takes the piss out of american values; often, very, very often.

I understand what you mean, the narrative lost a lot of weight once you'd finished chasing down the personal side of it. Afterwards it became just another "save the world or burn it" scenarios.

That didnt stop me enjoying FNV for a long time though. While the game as a whole never cast the same spell over me that Fallout 3 did, it was still an excellent open world RPG type game, and one rarely goes into those games for the narrative thats laid out for you.

It is the same thing that happened in 1, 2 and New Vegas. The game starts a bad thing happens (shot in the head, Water chip fails, etc) you go to fix it in the 1/3 of the game and you find out about a bigger issue (Super mutants, Enclave, conflict in New Vegas) and then you have to fix that even bigger problem in the last 2/3. I never had an issue with it.

I quit after I killed Benny and haven't picked up the game much since. Guess you're right.

I only quit when they send hit squads after me. Impossible to kill hit squads.

I said something to him and got attacked by a cloaked "Reaper of Destiny".

Then shot him in the head with a .44 Magnum.
I feel a bit lost.

I got to Benny about a month ago and took care of business. I haven't played it since, though. I don't really care for the main quest now. I got all 3 expansion packs, and I think I need to jump into them and get away from Vegas.

Kair:
I thought Fallout New Vegas had an unfulfilling plot, where the mood of action and consequence was like a bad rip off The Witcher, where everything goes to hell whatever you do. As opposed to The Witcher, in New Vegas' cynical world you can smell the American views of the world (which is a short-sighted and faulty view of the world and humanity). One clear example is the NCR, supposedly 'good guys' only because they wish to restore a pre-apocalypse American society.

NV does not get boring after you kill Benny, it gets boring and downright insulting after you realize what Obsidian did to Fallout.

You're kidding right?
The NCR are not the good guys, The BoS in Fallout 3 are good guys.
The NCR are decent, and that makes them the "good guys", since they oppose the Legion. You know, the guys that enslave women, force children into servitude, support cannibalism and shun technology? Obsidian made Fallout awesome, because there is no straight up, "these guys are the good guys, these are the bad guys" There is light gray to black in terms of good.

Kair:
I thought Fallout New Vegas had an unfulfilling plot, where the mood of action and consequence was like a bad rip off The Witcher, where everything goes to hell whatever you do. As opposed to The Witcher, in New Vegas' cynical world you can smell the American views of the world (which is a short-sighted and faulty view of the world and humanity). One clear example is the NCR, supposedly 'good guys' only because they wish to restore a pre-apocalypse American society.

NV does not get boring after you kill Benny, it gets boring and downright insulting after you realize what Obsidian did to Fallout.

Dude, Fallout's been doing that since before the Witcher was even around. Have played the first two games? Just because 3 was much more black and white, doesn't mean it's that way for the other games.

the problem is really the quest layout that happens 'post-benny'

the generic quest layout of 'pre-benny' was 'follow the path' so your one quest had multiple stops that gave players the chance to make a few detours and explore a little while still feeling like they where doing the main quest line.

after you kill benny though, all the quests take a rather generic 'go to this destination make friends/convince/kill people there.'

a whole 2/3rds of New Vegas remains unexplored and there is little reason for you to even go out and explore... the primary quests don't take you out anywhere near some of these places, and there is little information that would lead you there any ways.

My friend actually went straight to New Vegas to kill Benny right off the bat. He's still playing weeks later without feeling bored.

going to throw my 2 cents on the end game factions, my fav is mr house, he wants to turn Vegas in to a economical power house, using the caps from his casinos to reinvest in industries which will lead to his ultimate goal restarting the space program.

my next choice for 'best choice' is legion, sure they do some horrid things, but this is not the modern world, we got reset to the stone age society went back to 0. ceasar wants to take his massive army to the 'civilized' lands and form a empire. civilize his legion in the west and fix the corruption of the west at the same time.

my least favorite is ncr. there a corrupt republic who serve the interest of the rich land barons.

chemistry of the ncr and legion is very much like the old ceasar and the old republic of rome.

despite the methods of ceasar i believe hes long term goals are good, and he would make a better leader of the west than the ncr.

That's a very good point. Fallout 3 however, had the exact opposite problem in Broken Steel. You've saved the wasteland, single-handedly defeated the President of the Enclave, and yet the Brotherhood still treat you like a bloody dog; "Go guard the caravans, go get Megaton's water back, blah, blah, blah." Well f*ck you, BoS, next time I'll let one of you sacrifice their lives for the Wasteland.

Yeah, I'm working my way slowly through all the factions at Yes Man's instruction, and I'm finding it a bit hard to stay interested. It doesn't help that I just did the White Glove society missions and got fucked by the badly-made quest to the extent that my only option was to kill everyone in the hotel (they all tried to kill me first!).

Are you kidding me, that's when the story starts to get interesting.

That's when all the politics start getting involved!

AlternatePFG:

Kair:
I thought Fallout New Vegas had an unfulfilling plot, where the mood of action and consequence was like a bad rip off The Witcher, where everything goes to hell whatever you do. As opposed to The Witcher, in New Vegas' cynical world you can smell the American views of the world (which is a short-sighted and faulty view of the world and humanity). One clear example is the NCR, supposedly 'good guys' only because they wish to restore a pre-apocalypse American society.

NV does not get boring after you kill Benny, it gets boring and downright insulting after you realize what Obsidian did to Fallout.

Dude, Fallout's been doing that since before the Witcher was even around. Have played the first two games? Just because 3 was much more black and white, doesn't mean it's that way for the other games.

Still I think Obsidian cocked it up. It is easy for me to see when something is aimed at an American audience. I put The Witcher as an example because it was made by a Polish developer team, and they even avoided using the Soviet Union as inspiration despite Poland's position as a former Soviet satellite state. That is how you appeal to an international audience. Many American developers are far more nationally oriented.
It is the focus on the American audience that made the New Vegas dark world seem silly and boring to me.

To be honest I wasn't really aching to kill him in the first place, so when I finally did it it was "Oh well, now that that's over with let's continue with the game." For me the game was always about exploring Mojave and the revenge story was just a flimsy excuse for why you're doing it to begin with, so no I didn't have that problem and I don't think it needs fixing.

I found the entire main plot fairly uninteresting (still not finished it, likely never will). NV is much better for its side-quests. I didn't even care about Benny to be honest.

Actually, I thought it worked very well as a divisor between 'acts'. The way I see it, Act 1 is getting to Vegas, Act 2 working in and around Vegas to build relationships with various factions and Act 3 picking a side and manipulating the Mojave to suit them.

I accidentally let Benny escape from the Tops, having resolved to kill him. By the time I caught up with him in The Fort, I had decided to back the NCR and so had wiped out everyone else in The Fort. I decided to release him. By that point, my motivation for revenge seemed to be utterly petty compared to what was at stake, and at the start of the game Benny had already realised how important Vegas was. I had merely been a pawn then. I understood him.

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