A Fallout: New Vegas preview in PlayStation magazine PSM3 has released plenty of details on the forthcoming game.The scans from the mag come courtesy of No Mutants Allowed, and as you might expect there’s a fair bit of detail from the start of New Vegas here, so if you don’t want even minor things spoiled, don’t read on.Fallout: New Vegas opens with your character – a courier heading to New Vegas – ambushed, shot, and left for dead in the Mojave desert. You’re rescued and healed up by Doc Mitchell in the town of Goodsprings, and from there the plot kicks off with you trying to figure out who wanted you dead and why.Apparently, developer Obsidian has spent a lot of time making the characters distinct, with dark humour permeating through the game – during the early conversations, which set up your stats and skills, one method of working them out is through a word association game. When asked what you associate with “Mother,” you can respond “Human shield.” Classy. This has led to the dialogue engine from Fallout 3 being heavily modified “to include the types of dialogue and options we wanted,” according to lead producer Larry Liberty.There’s a reputation system running alongside your karma, meaning that if you continually perform atrocities, people will hear about it, and you’re not going to get a warm welcome in most places, although responses will vary from character to character and faction to faction. Speaking of factions, expect to see the New California Republic from Fallout 2 making a reappearance, and they’ll be battling over New Vegas with a group of slavers called Caesar’s Legion.The landscape looks a tad different, too; with Vegas having been hit less by the nukes than most of the rest of the country, you can expect to see undamaged buildings and plantlife, and plenty of new enemies. There’s a return from Fallout 2’s Geckos, as well as mutated mountain rams called Big Horners.What else? Melee weapons now have special attacks. You can control your party with a new radial menu that allows you to tell them when to use stimpaks, what range they should be attacking from, how close they should stay to you, and plenty more. There’s a “hardcore mode” that will make you deal with dehydration, heal broken limbs with doctor’s bags, and changes Stimpaks to heal over time rather than an instant regeneration.Most interesting of all, though, is that the idea apparently isn’t so much to weave a single-player narrative into an open world, but to craete a fleshed-out world where the player’s actions and choices actually matter; the team wants players to feel like they’ve had an impact on the world, and to that end there’ll be branching mission paths and multiple endings.Truth be told, it sounds a lot like a lot of Fallout 2 has been put into Fallout 3 to give us New Vegas, and that strikes us as a great thing. We heard last week that Fallout: New Vegas is due out in autumn, and got a brand new trailer to go along with it. Check it out .