Deus Ex: Human Revolution Books, e-Mails, and Everything Else Compiled

I've been working on this little pet project for a while. After figuring out where Deus Ex: Human Revolution stores its text files, I felt an inexplicable urge to compile everything into a single document. 

You can download it here.

It's 850 pages long and a bit rough around the edges, so please leave feedback in the comments so that I can improve it.


Fallout IV Concept


The year is 2297. A full century has passed since the Warrior merged with the Calculator. The Iron King, as the new entity became known, eliminated the Brotherhood's leadership shortly after his ascension and folded the leaderless organization into its own robot army, creating the Iron Army, a united force of man and droid whose purpose was carving a new kingdom out of the foundations provided by the fascist policies of the original Brotherhood.

Gradually, as the Iron Army subjugated rogue units that refused to be absorbed by the new organization and conquered new towns, the Iron King enacted new policies. First, he outlawed slavery and racism, as they were obstacles on the way to creating a brave new world. Second, through upgraded protocol robots, he established a new system of control, removing old leaders and replacing them with his artificial agents. Third, he unified the economy to create a single, powerful industrial engine focusing on rebuilding the infrastructure of the cities under his control, first and foremost rebuilding the Buena Vista nuclear power plant.

As the years passed, the Iron Kingdom prospered, establishing reclamation operations in major cities in its sphere of influence, creating a stable agriculture and re-cultivating cities. But all was not well. Without a mortal shell, the Warrior's mind slowly lost its connection to humanity, slowly becoming as cold and calculating as the very enemy he fought all those years ago. Cold logic and absolute reason slowly dominated in everyday governance, creating an unforgiving, yet prosperous kingdom.

The Iron Kingdom, powerful as it may be, is just one of several powers that flourished in the wastes. The mutant tribes from Florida, chased away from the peninsula by a massive flood are coming into the Midwest, while the rulers of Ronto just recently launched a campaign of expansion to secure the Great Lakes after allying themselves with Lord Ashur of the Pitt.

And then there are the news of a mysterious plague spreading in the northern reaches...


First person perspective, with a complete overhaul of mechanics based on Far Cry 2 gunplay.
Instead of a seamless, but miniature world, the game offers a large worldmap with individual locations represented by large, detailed maps that feel like cities, not movie sets.

Diverse major locations, including Ronto, the Iron Throne (formerly Cheyenne Mountain), Chicago, the Crawling City, all connected by the worldmap.

A multitude of minor locations, together with an easy-to-use location editor, allowing seamless integration of new locations into the existing worldmap.

Weapons deteriorate and eventually break realistically. Repair is handled by swapping out parts (barrel, trigger mechanism, weapon body, focusing crystals, capacitors  amplifiers), rather than banging together two copies of the same weapon.

Weapon mods expanded, featuring removeable add-ons in addition to permanent modifications (think S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat).

Armours that can be modified.

Overhaul of the inventory system, a proper backpack is needed to actually carry your inventory (think Jagged Alliance 2 v. 1.13).

Robust faction system, just like in Fallout: New Vegas.

A wide selection of weapons based on the catalogue available in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, omitting real-life weapons.


Quick PSA: The Technology of Fallout

Fallout is not the 1950s. It's retrofuturistic. 

It's a setting inspired by 1950s science fiction media, from books, through comics, to movies. It's the future as seen by people in the 1950s: widespread atomic power, rayguns, bulky tin-man power armor, robots, large tube-powered computers, the American Dream, and much, much more. Many people miss that.

Added to the mix is our contemporary approach to storytelling, themes, politics etc. The retrofuturistic setting is used as a backdrop to explore various mature themes, most importantly the role of conflict in the history of humanity and our affinity for it. Ideals and their survival in face of circumstances forcing pragmatism. The nature of virtue and sin. Human corruption.

If you want to get a feel for the Fallout technology, take some time to examine the science fiction of the 1950s. Start with classics, like Heinlein's Starship Troopers (the book, not the movie), Forbidden Planet (a must watch for any self-respecting Fallout fan), On the Beach. Look into 1950s comic books and pulp sci-fi novels. A good resource is NMA's own archive of sci-fi covers, with over 100 entries. Look for actual US government materials from the time, such as designs for future soldiers(including model photos).

Bottom line is: Never forget that Fallout is retrofuturistic. Some technologies, like nanowoo, simply don't fit such a setting. 


The Dreams: 26/11/2012

I don't remember my dreams often. Most of the time they just lapse into the subconscious and wither away, like the fragile constructs of a slumbering mind they are. It is irrelevant whether they are the greatest of pleasures, or the the most sinister of horrors, they all share the same fate.

But there are exceptions. Like tonight, when I experienced both.

The First Dream

I remember bits and pieces. An underground installation, a bunker, perhaps. Concrete walls covered with white paint, with sharp angles everywhere, lit by tolerable white lights. Corridors extending into complete darkness. I would feel fear, normally, but here, I did not. I explored. I looked. And the place was empty.

Walking through the endless maze of a place I never seen before, I came upon a door, a sealed, bunker door. Struggling with it, I found myself helped by another, now lost to waking. Beyond these sealed doors were another. And beyond them...

A room, looking over a slumbering city, lit only by the ever watchful electrical fires of lamp posts and neon lights. It was cramped, filled with bookshelves stacked from top to bottom with cassettes, old style cassettes with labels. Under the window was a desk, made from treated wood pulp, like furniture in socialist Poland of the 1980s. It covered in notebooks, thick, hard cover notebooks, also labeled. The few spots not occupied by books were filled by plants in crumbling clay pots.

I knew this was a haven. A haven for conspiracies, an archive where the secrets lay. The tapes, the books, they hid the answers I sought. These dusty relics of a bygone age were keys to solving the mysteries with the contents of their black magnetic tapes, the words printed and noted on their yellowing pages. I took one, to feast upon the Truth within.

And when I saw the words... I woke up.

The Second Dream

When I ventured into the realm of Morpheus again, it welcomed me not with joy, but with hate. A hate made all the more terrifying by its impersonal nature.

I found myself in an aquatic realm. I love water, I love swimming, I love the feeling of freedom and weightlessness beneath its surface.

But not here.

Everything was wrong. I was beneath the waves, yet could breathe. Instead of the natural, blue hue, the liquid surrounding me had a sickly, green color, lit by a sun from above. But that wasn't the worst part. The most horrible element was my conviction that below me was an abyss. No ocean floor on which to land, no end to the drop, just an eternity of sinking deeper and deeper into the darkening, diseased waters.

And as if sinking deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit was not bad enough, I was surrounded by the dead. They were all around me, silently sinking into oblivion: caravels, hulks, destroyers, aircraft carriers, galleons... I saw the rot in the wood, the collapsed masts, the gaping wounds in their hulls, torn open by terrifying attackers. I saw colonies of corals growing on them... or rather, that used to grow. Like everything else in this abysmal place, they were dead, blackened by decay.

I stood at the stern of one such caravel. I desperately raced down, the rotten wood cracking under my feet, breaking apart, as I ran to the bow and leaped for the sinking carrier. The water slowed me down, but I persevered. I hit the launch deck, trying to run, climb, crawl upwards, struggling to reach the surface, to leave this terrifying domain of the dead.

But I failed. And I followed them, all the way down...


Viraya: A Background

Viraya is a woman with no past and an uncertain future. Her speech is almost entirely free of accent, save for a minor Slavic bend, and she goes to great lengths to avoid discussing personal life. If pressed, she will defend herself with deception, obfuscation and derailment. All in all, she is a tough nut to crack for any man. Not that she allows herself to be cracked open – the last man who tried that has lost dignity, teeth and a finger.

The Early Years

Her demeanour, as one might suspect, is merely a barricade, a defensive wall put up to shield her from her past. Born to parents descended all the way from a Soviet diplomat, sheltered at Vault 13, her given name was Raisa Dubrowski, birth date May 25th, 2245. New Arroyo was a fledgling community at the time, on the frontier of the Republic's expansion north.

By the age of five, Raisa has shown above average ability and willingness to learn, combined unmatched curiosity. The inquisitive child was popular with the community, as were her parents. Her life was soon marred by tragedy. The independent New Arroyo was attacked by a raider tribe, who ravaged the settlement. Raisa was forced to witness the rape and death of her mother, as she hid under the floorboards of their house.

New Arroyo realized that independence would only make things worse. Envoys were sent to the Republic, requesting assistance. Incidentally, a troop of Rangers was present in the area on manoeuvres. Their response took the form of a brutal retaliation campaign, as the raiders were hunted down and pushed back away from New Arroyo. The town was soon taken into the Republic, becoming a vital transportation hub with its strategic location and access to rare resources.

The Army

Nobody questioned the coincidence, least of all Raisa. As soon as she was able, she enlisted with the Republic's finest: the Army. Bringing the combined knowledge of tribe and Vault, she was noted by superiors for her survival and technical skills, even if she was a bit lacklustre in marksmanship. She also had trouble socializing, particularly with men. The few who managed to befriend her, always praised her as an ally and feared as an opponent.

For her, it was a fulfilment of a dream, to be a defender of the weak and torch bearer of civilization. She admired the Rangers, even if she was never offered an invitation to join them, due to her problems with marksmanship. She never interested herself with politics. She supported President Kimball wholeheartedly for his approach to the Mojave campaign and handling of the war with the Legion. She was unable to participate in it – she was fighting on the opposite front, with the Brotherhood.

The fiercest enemy the Republic ever faced, short of the Legion, was the Brotherhood. The brutal war in the west put Raisa's resolve and ideals to the test. The brutal conditions of forward operation camps, devastating raids by crack paladin assault squads and equally bloody counter-offensives took a heavy toll on the minds of the soldiers, Raisa in particular. The blood, sweat and tears brought back long forgotten images of the New Arroyo raid.

The worst came when her unit, isolated from command, torn and bloodied by two weeks of fighting, managed to capture a Brotherhood Paladin. When the armour was pried open, it turned out the operator was a woman and an aggressive one at that. Defiant to the point of arrogance, she resisted any attempts at interrogation. Then, the commanding officer sent Raisa out of the camp to relieve sentries. Raisa did not know why she was sent out of turn, but she learned not to question superiors.

It wasn't long until she heard a terrible scream. It did not last. When she returned from duty, the paladin was dead. The unit was preparing to move out. Nobody looked Raisa straight in the eyes. Nobody told her what was going on. But she knew.

Broken Soul

At the end of her tour, she turned in her papers. She drifted from town to town, observing people, not through the rose tinted lenses she used to, but with the weary gaze of a veteran who saw too much. She looked under the coating, headed for the worst gutters in every town from the Boneyard to New Reno, piecing together the jigsaw, peeking at the corruption that attacked the Republic. The more she knew, the more disgusted she became.

Although thousands of honest people inhabited the Republic, she became obsessed with the corruption. Poring over Followers' books, analysing news reports from the fronts and the capital, studying political campaigns, she gathered knowledge. What for? She could not tell, until she met her old commanding officer.

For old times' sake, they drank. And drank. And drank. Raisa's ancestry was an asset. She finally learned what happened that night, three years ago, at a remote camp in the middle of nowhere.

She killed her commander.

She took her time.

That night, she abandoned her identity. Burning discharge papers, burning all that bore a trace of Raisa Dubrowski. She took on a new name, Viraya, combining her two favourite words. She travelled east, leaving the NCR behind, carrying the last remnant of her old self: a package, destined for the New Vegas strip.

It was a chance. A chance to begin again and make a difference.


Fallout Critique: Brotherhood is Dead

Note: This post was originally made in response to a rather ridiculous idea about a war between the Lyons' Brotherhood from Fallout 3 and factions from the West. Compared to the original posting, this version has been revised and updated.

Before we start, let me state one thing: in no way is the Brotherhood necessary in a Fallout game. Yes, it is iconic, but until it was brought to the center stage by Fallout: Tactics it remained an entirely optional faction. In Fallout they can be safely ignored, and in fact, they actually want the wasteland to ignore it. In Fallout 2 their isolationism weakened them to the point where they couldn't compete at any level with the Enclave. They were a footnote. Tactics might very well be the biggest cause of problems in the Fallout franchise, as it remade the Brotherhood from a high tech, reclusive faction of isolationists into a powerful organization that can send large numbers of people on missions across the United States. Likely, they also caused the travesty that is Lyons' Brotherhood to appear in Fallout 3.

To summarize: a Fallout game can do without the Brotherhood. Wait, no, correction, a Fallout game set after 2281 should not feature any Brotherhood at all.

Now, before I begin, let's estabilish some facts. First of all, the Brotherhood is failing. Not just one branch, but the entire network of Brotherhood chapters. The Mojave Chapter has lost the war against the NCR and was forced into hiding; the Lost Hills Brotherhood is doomed to destruction in the near future, as they are unable to compete with the NCR's industrial capability and sheer numbers. The only faction that's in a more or less decent state is the rogue Lyons' chapter; however, even they do not have access to any industrial-grade facilities capable of creating new weapons and ammunition. They rely on scavenged goods. Even the midwest Brotherhood is relatively small, a feudal kingdom where loyal subjects in controlled villages work to support the elite - Brotherhood higher ups.

Many forget that the Brotherhood is a small, monastic order and work on the false assumption that they are a large organization capable of fielding entire armies. However, the opposite is true: while they have training and technology, but there are too few of them to compete with other factions. The Brotherhood is isolationist, shunning outsiders. The Brotherhood is not going to develop: it will wither and die eventually, if not due to isolationism and xenophobia, then to incompetent leadership, eg. Owyn Lyons.

However, given that the reasons for the Brotherhood failing on the West Coast are well explained in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, let's focus on Owyn Lyons and his renegades.

The trump card of Lyons' Brotherhood, Liberty Prime, cannot be reconstructed, Scribe Rothschild's plan is a pipe dream. Why is that? Consider the fact that Prime represented the apex of pre-War technology, designed and built by two of the biggest US corporations, who had access to practically unlimited resources. What does Lyons have? Scrap and salvage. The chapter doesn't have any steel mills to supply high quality steel and alloys to reforge the chassis. They have no high tech workshops to rebuild and reprogram the electronics. They don't even have the ability to construct high-explosive charges that are an integral element of Liberty Prime's weapon systems.

Some may mention the Pitt as a source of steel. But how would Lyons' men be able to take the Pitt? Sure, they might have scourged the city once and may have a handful of Vertibirds, but they won't use them to bomb the city, if they want the steel mill to stay intact. And on the ground, Ashur's raiders are more than a match for them. What they lack in power armour and heavy weapons, they more than make up for with knowledge of the city, flexibility and Ashur's knowledge Brotherhood's tactics and Owyn Lyons\ mindset. The Brotherhood forces would be routed and destroyed, assuming they'd even have the resources to reach the Pitt and estabilish a stable supply line to the Capital Wasteland.

Second, Adams Air Force Base is mentioned a lot as a powerbase. However, Adams is a burned-out husk. The bulk of the Enclave ordnance was located on the mobile base crawler, which is destroyed at the end of Broken Steel. The scraps of tech that are lying around the base are not nearly enough to supply Lyons for a long term.

I'd like to dispel another myth: Vault 112 is not usable as a VR simulator by the Brotherhood. It's proprietary technology of Stanislaus Braun, reprogrammed repeatedly over two centuries to suit his sadism. As such, it's pretty much unusable, particularly because Lyons does not have a scribe able to operate and maintain VR systems at his disposal. Cracking an Enclave deathclaw control crown is one thing, programming military scenarios and environments for a system that does not support that (the Chinese invasion simulation is lethal, remember) is another.

Yes, Lyons' forces control the purifier, but water alone is not going to provide any high tech required to maintain their level of technology, let alone create new weapons. The Brotherhood may temporarily become a powerhouse in the Capital Wasteland, but since Owyn Lyons is in charge, they are not going to capitalize on it. Lyons is both idealistic and incompetent, which is a recipe for disaster. Examples of his incompetence are easy to come by. Lyons is responsible for ordering the Brotherhood to hunt his white whale (V87 supermutants) in downtown DC, instead of focusing on real threats to the wasteland, such as slavers, Little Lamplight or Talon Company. Furthermore, Lyons insisted on fighting with the Enclave on the grounds that it isn't right for them to control the Purifier, rather than attempting to find a peaceful solution. And finally, he's a guy who thought that bringing an underage child on a cross-country trip to DC was a good idea.

However, even if Lyons' Brotherhood suddenly became competent and able to somehow create an industry, it is incapable of creating a stable government. How is it going to create a stable government if they have problems with transportation and lack the necessary engineering knowledge to improve the situation? Creating fortifications is one thing, building roads and cities is another. As I've also outlined above, they do not have the resources necessary to create an army, much less maintain it. Where would they get the food? Ammunition? Manpower? Spare parts? Energy cells and spare batteries? The NCR is qualified to fight a war because they have a massive industrial and agricultural base. Where is it in the Capital Wasteland?

One of the silliest ideas I ever read proposed a Brotherhood civil war between chapters in the west and the east? Really? They are miniature organizations compared to the vast New California Republic or the mighty Caesar's Legion. It's likely that the Institute is also a force to reckon with, as is the Pitt, both of which likely have access to vast stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, far more than anything the Brotherhood could muster. Furthermore, the West Coast Brotherhood is all but dead. They aren't going to get back up.

For Lyons, I've enumerated above why a civil war scenario is impossible, but let's restate the key points:
Liberty Prime is not going to be rebuilt. Rothschild's pipe dream is hampered by lack of technology and industrial capacity to rebuild the machine.
Lyons has no industrial capability, no available factories to build weapons and ammunition at, no stable source of food, nothing. The Pitt would not be occupied, for reasons stated above.
Adams Air Force Base is a scavenged husk with little usable ordnance. What stockpiles they had went up with the crawler.
Vault 112 is unusable; its software has been altered by Braun repeatedly; it's not suited for combat scenarios, as those are outright lethal to the occupants.
Lyons' Brotherhood is a mlitary outfit; they lack people and knowledge necessary to create a functioning government and cities

Now, some points that may be raised. Yes, the West Coast might have some Vertibirds. However, since the Brotherhood does not have any apparent large scale industrial capacity to build such vehicles from scratch, they likely do not have any available units. The only faction that's confirmed to have some V's is the NCR and even it uses them exclusively for transportation.

Going on, there are claims that the East Coast Brotherhood has access to "so much", namely factories etc.

Why should any of the factories be in a salvageable state? Many don't seem to grasp the concept of "two centuries of neglect". Factories, particularly automated ones, are very precise instruments that require constant maintenance and a stready stream of replacement parts to function. If a factory has been left unattended for two hundred years, without maintenance, it's going to be rusted through, corroded beyond recognition. You don't just go in and press a button to start everything again - Lyons' men would have to replace entire machines, not just single parts. That's just impossible, seeing how the industry has been dead for the past two centuries. Our modern world's industries are interconnected, they need each other to survive. Building a car is far more than just putting metals together - you need fresh aluminium, fresh steel, electronics, rubber for wheels (which i made from oil and oil is in very short supply) etc. There's a good reason for the lack of vehicles on the West Coast. As Chris Avellone stated, the problem isn't with their availability. Spare parts are the problem - tires, cables, electronics etc. Since there is no available source of them on the east coast, beyond scavenging, restarting a factory would be impossible. Especially a factory such as RobCo. or Corvega. Robots and cars are very intricate machines - where would Lyons find the technology and materials to manufacture new lamps, control chips, chassis, plasma guns etc.?

A very amusing claim I saw concerned "jets". Someone proposed that Lyons could easily procure jet fighters by repairing fighters from the Rivet City fighters. This claim is outlandish and very ridiculous, even more than the Brotherhood civil war idea. For starters, jet fighters require massive amounts of specialized fuel to function. Where would the Brotherhood obtain the oil necessary to produce it and the facilities to refine it? That's assuming that any of the jets on Rivet City are in operational condition. Each jet in Rivet City was left out to the elements and rusted for about two hundred years. And a fighter jet is just as complicated as a robot - where'd Lyons get the supplies necessary to rebuild them, assuming his forces have the blueprints (which is unlikely, given the state of Adams)?

Finally, nearly every Brotherhood fan forgets about the scale. An army requires massive amounts of food, ammunition and basic amenities to function. Tell me, where would Lyons find brass, lead and necessary supplies to produce ammunition on an industrial scale? We're talking about millions of bullets of varying caliber, necessary to supply soldiers for training and actual combat. That's completely ignoring issues such as having a reliable food supply and/or armour and spare parts. The word "epic" gets thrown around a lot. The point of Fallout is that it's not epic. Factions do not battle across multiple states, they battle on relatively small frontlines estabilished in single states or across their borders. The largest factions in the Fallout universe, the NCR and the Legion, control, at best, the equivalent of two states, if you put together their holdings outside Arizona and California. Yet some will claim that the Brotherhood will be able to build an army large enough to control half of the United States landmass.

And last, the Midwest Brotherhood is not as powerful or large as some might think. First of all, they are fascists who forcefully estabilish their control over villages, demanding a tribute of men and supplies in exchange for protection (which isn't even that good, as evidenced by the fact that your second mission in Tactics concerns the rescue of a tribal elder kidnapped by raiders from a village you just brought under the Brotherhood's protection). They don't treat supermutants, ghouls and deathclaws as equals; hell, their military leader, Barnaky, was a declared specieist, who loathed "lesser" races, such as the aforementioned mutants, even if the Elder council saw their usefulness in combat. They operate internment camps and brutally press those they conquer into service (ever heard of inquisitors?). And in the end, they aren't a big organization. They control a decent stretch of land, but they do it through brutal force, not any kind of refinement. The attrition rate among initiates is horrifying, they are treated like cannon fodder, no, scratch that, they are cannon fodder. And to finally confirm my point, they operate in squads. Not platoons, not battalions, squads. Squads of six. They are a miniature, elitist faction organized more like a kingdom (with a king (General), his council (Elders), nobility (Paladins and high ranking Scribes and Knights) and subjects working and dying so that the elite can continue to stay in power. Hell, even the people under their control hate them (recall Coldwater?).

That is all. The BoS is dead. Long dead.


Fallout Critique: Sequel vs. Spinoff

Ever since the release of New Vegas (and even before it) I've noticed a disturbing trend: instead of examining games and formulating opinions on these examinations, gamers have a tendency to ignore facts and just go with whatever the developers or PR people say. I'm referring, of course, to the question of whether Fallout: New Vegas is a spin-off or a sequel.

Todd Howard and Pete Hines, of course, have stated that New Vegas is a spin-off and Fallout 3 is a sequel. On a few occassions some of Obsidian's own developers have also referred to their game as a spin-off. 

But is it one?

The name would make you think so. After all, 3 comes after 2, not New Vegas. However, such a reasoning is faulty. Using that logic, Quake II is a direct sequel to Quake, because id never explicitly stated that it is a spin-off. Another example disproving indiscriminate application of this logic is Thief: Deadly Shadows: since it does not have the number 3 in its name, then it must be a spin-off, because 3 comes after 2, not Deadly Shadows. As such, the reasoning that it's a number that defines a sequel is absurd. The content of the game decides that.

Before I proceed further, let's define what makes a sequel, basing on what they usually are (eg. System Shock 2, Bioshock 2, Tiberian Sun, Red Alert 2, Fallout 2 etc. ad infinitum):

  • A sequel continues the storyline of the preceding game. 
  • A sequel features at least some of the characters/organization/technology/etc. present in the preceding game. 
  • A sequel conforms to the rules laid out by the preceding games (eg. in relation to technology level). 
Armed with this knowledge, let's examine Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

Fallout 3 is set in Washington, D.C., on the opposite end of the North American continent. The distance between the Capital Wasteland and the Core Region means that it is impossible for the game to continue the storyline and indeed, it does not. In Fallout 3 only the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave and the supermutants are factions that might be considered as making a return and even those could've been replaced by completely new factions with no loss to the game whatsoever, as apart from a handful of throwaway lines from Eden and Lyons, the history of the Core Region after the Enclave's defeat is completely ignored. Fallout 3 doesn't even conform to the rules laid out in classic Fallouts, by introducing eg. feral ghouls, nuclear powered cars, the Fat Man and most importantly, presenting the Capital Wasteland as a lawless, disorganized warzone, two centuries after the war, when on the other coast, the NCR is blossoming.

So, to summarize:
  • Does Fallout 3 continue the storyline of the classic Fallouts? No. It's a standalone story in a completely independent setting, far away from the Core Region. 
  • Does Fallout 3 feature at least some of the characters/organization/technology/etc. present in the preceding game? No, with the exception of Harold, the Brotherhood and the Enclave (orks are not included in the tally). 
  • Does Fallout 3 conform to the rules laid out by the preceding games? Somewhat. While a great amount of content indeed expands the universe in a way consistent with classic Fallouts, there are several contradiction of the rules, most of them resulting from not researching the setting. 

Fallout: New Vegas, on the other hand, is set in the Mojave Wasteland, which is far closer to the Core Region than the Capital Wasteland, practically next door. It continues the storyline of the Core Region, explaining what happened between 2241 and 2281, detailing these events and incorporating them into the narrative of the game. The foremost examples are the NCR/Brotherhood war and the Mojave campaign, as well as the birth of the Caesar's Legion. In addition to continuing the storyline, New Vegas features many of the organizations that were present in classic Fallouts, for example, the aforementioned original Brotherhood of Steel and the New California Republic, the Followers of the Apocalypse, Crimson Caravan, the Gun Runners and remnants of the Master's Army make an appearance, while many more (Far Go Traders, Wrights, Bishops etc.) are mentioned. Characters from classic Fallouts have several mentions (Tandi, Aradesh, Seth, Bishop Child, Master, Rose etc.), as do settlements that made an appearance in the classics (Boneyard, Hub, Klamath, Shady Sands, Junktown,Redding, New Reno etc.). Where Fallout 3 was a standalone game, where playing previous games in the series was not needed, Fallout: New Vegas is a game that embraces its predecessors and while playing the classics is still optional, 
one needs to play them to properly appreciate the setting and storyline in New Vegas, no doubts about it. On the subject of conforming to the rules of the previous games: while New Vegas does inherit some silliness from Fallout 3 in the form of legacy content, overall, it adheres to the rules to a far greater extent than the supposed sequel, for example, the the Brotherhood is a monastic, xenophobic order, completely in line with its portrayal in the classics, civilization is recovering rapidly and overall, the game is governed more by the rule of reason, rather than of cool.

Let's summarize: 

  • Does Fallout: New Vegas continue the storyline of the classic Fallouts? Yes. Not only is it set in the proximity of the Core Region, it also explains what happened to it and the surrounding areas between 2241 and 2281. 
  • Does Fallout: New Vegas feature at least some of the characters/organization/technologies/etc. present in the preceding game? Definitely. One of the characters even makes a return after 40 years. 
  • Does Fallout: New Vegas conform to the rules laid out by the preceding games? For the most part yes. Contradictions are still present, but they are far fewer in number and less severe than in Fallout 3

As I demonstrated above, Fallout 3 cannot be considered a sequel to Fallout 2, since they have nothing in common, sans the Enclave (the Brotherhood was a footnote in the game, so I do not count it). Fallout: New Vegason the other hand, cannot be considered a spin-off, because it has so much in common with Fallout 2, enough to safely say that it is a sequel.

Therefore, Fallout: New Vegas by logic and reason, should be considered a direct sequel to Fallout 2, whereasFallout 3 should be treated as a spin-off. Any other claim is a violation of common sense and basic rules of logic, no matter if it's made by a developer, a fan or Jesus himself.

Anyone who thinks that a claim made by a developer holds more water than facts is... Well, I don't think I have to say how we call people who ignore reason and logic.