New Vegas

I finally beat New Vegas and all the DLC the other night several months ago (this is one of my backlog posts). Finished up with Lonesome Road, and it was pretty awesome. Ulysses’ talks got a little heady, and I got annoyed with him after a while (his voice actually bored me nearly to sleep several times), but it ended well. Took me 95 hours in total, same as Fallout 3, interestingly enough.

Just like I did with FO3, I’ll give a review of the game and DLC, though I won’t be reviewing any mods this time. I used a lot of cool mods, but most were either graphical enhancements or very subtle changes to gameplay.

********************************* WARNING: SPOILERS *********************************

 

 

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Dead Money: This was probably my second favorite of the DLC, and my favorite as far as story and gameplay. It effectively turned Fallout into a survival horror game, which made me really happy. Death around every corner, strange creatures lurking until they group up and pounce on you, a collar around your neck that could go off at any moment, and all the while you’re being suffocated by the toxic air. Ammo is extremely scarce, and you’re stripped bare at the beginning, so no carrying that Fat Man or Anti-Materiel Rifle into the Villa. On top of that, I was playing on Hardcore mode, so I had to scavenge for food and water, and sleep in random beds in between bouts with the monstrosities roaming the streets. I also found the story really engaging. Getting to meet Elijah in-the-flesh, when previously you had only heard about him from Veronica and other Brotherhood members, was exciting (I felt the developers gave the player a lot of choices at the end, too, as to how you dealt with him). The other DLC tie nicely into the main story this way as well, and this is something New Vegas did much better than FO3. The story of the Sierra Madre was an interesting one: A glamorous place created for fun and pleasure to get away from the rest of the society, lost after the bombs fell, frozen in time… Now, it is a tomb for those locked inside, a prison for abominations, and a playground for a madman. The supporting characters were deep, lively, and believable (something Obsidian excels at). I really enjoyed Dead Money, and it was definitely one of the strongest of the DLC.

Honest Hearts: The weak link of the group. There’s some cool loot (namely the Desert Ranger combat armor and Josh’s unique .45 auto, “A Light Shining in Darkness”), and I liked the subplot about the survivor who lost his wife and child and roamed the valley for years, leaving behind journal entries on various terminals. The abundant caves strewn throughout were fun and rewarding as well. Unfortunately, I just got bored with the location, people, and quests. I don’t know what it was, I just couldn’t wait to get out of there. I quickly rushed through, ignoring most of the side quests and caves, getting only what I wanted, then completing the main quest. It wasn’t necessarily bad DLC, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, I suppose.

Old World Blues: I’d say this was my favorite, with Dead Money being a close second. OWB wins, though, because the characters and worldspace were just so darn cool. I thought the think tanks were really creative, and each character having a vastly different personality made them so rich and full of life. For the first time since Knights of the Old Republic II, I actually enjoyed the time I spent talking to characters, and learning about their lives. I actually cared. OWB was just a blast in general, too. The talking stealth armor was cute, and the sonic blaster gun you get was cool. I had the most fun exploring the land in OWB of all the DLC, and I ended up discovering most of the locations. It’s no wonder OWB won DLC of the year in numerous publications.

Lonesome Road: The bitter ending to my journey through the DLC of Fallout: New Vegas. Lonesome Road really was quite lonesome, with nothing to keep you company but a traumatized eyebot and some of the toughest and unforgiving enemies in the game. Tons of loot to be had, especially the Courier’s Duster and Ulysses’ Duster and mask, along with the Red Glare rocket launcher (that didn’t end up being so great, but it took care of Deathclaws fairly well). As I mentioned earlier, Ulysses seemed like a badass force to be reckoned with at first, but after about the third or so time he talked to me, I started getting bored. His talks sometimes flew right over my head, and his voice would just drone on and on and on…… zzzzzzz….. Every time I tried to reason with him, he would come back with some kind of crap like he was totally ignoring the point I was trying to make. He annoyed me and bored me all the way up to the big boss battle. I gotta admit: that was pretty awesome. It took me a little bit to figure out what to do (hack the computer down below to stop his eyebots from respawning), and even when I did, he was still tough to kill. Definitely took more strategy than any other “boss” in the game, which makes me realize how unconventional Fallout is with boss fights – they don’t really happen most of the time. I liked what Ulysses said at the end, though. It made me think – which I’m always a fan of. However, I was a little confused as to what they were trying to accomplish with Lonesome Road, as it seemed like they were trying to help players decide whose side they should be on in the battle for Hoover Dam. Seems to me that most people would have finished the main story and already made a decision before playing this DLC. In fact, I found it funny Ulysses and the Courier referred to Mr. House as if he were still alive, when I had already killed him long ago. Things like that made it seem like the story wasn’t planned out so well, but the fact that they tried to tie the stories of every DLC into the main story at all was admirable.

All in all, New Vegas had the most well-organized DLC modules I’ve ever played. They weren’t just add-ons for extra cash; they were rewarding and exciting extensions of the story.

The game itself was fun. I’m glad I played on Hardcore mode, because otherwise it would have just been Fallout 3 all over again. The thing I’ve disliked about the last two Fallout games, though, and I’ve mentioned this before, is the lack of a real edge-of-your-seat-fight-for-survival feeling. Mods can induce this, but the standalone game constantly makes me feel nice and comfy with all the weapons, armor, stimpacks, and other health items it throws at me. I found myself sometimes throwing good items away, or using them when I didn’t need them, simply because the game never made me feel like I needed them. I wanted to be always scrounging, always on my last legs, and never quite fully healthy (which was what I loved about Dead Money). Unfortunately, there was just too much loot to be had all the time due to my relentless exploring, and I never used most of it.

All things considered, though, great game. It really reached back into the roots of classic Fallout and pulled out things from FO 1 and 2 not seen in FO3. I can’t wait to see where the series goes next.


TRG

All images in this post except the first two were screenshots taken by me. The rest of the screens I took can be viewed below. Feel free to use them for whatever. Credit is appreciated, but do NOT claim them as your own.

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~ by The Retro Gamer on March 10, 2012.

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