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New Vegas DLC on the horizon? -or- How Dead Money killed Fallout

Yes it has been a while since my last post, and I apologize. I have been busy running around finding a job and playing Fallout: New Vegas. I have to say that New Vegas is pretty addicting. It is my first step into the Fallout universe but I wish that I had started with Fallout 1’s isometric(think Diablo II) view.

New Vegas is produced by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks. If it is anything like Fallout 3 there will be numerous DLCs to be had. Yet as of now there is only one offering and it is kind of a let down. But more on Dead Money later.

Due to some trademark filings made by Zenimax speculation has arisen that the next set of DLC for New Vegas will be titled Honest Hearts and be released on or around April 19th. Quite a bit of time has passed since Dead Money was released, which is a good thing… there would have been ample time to make it into a fitting DLC for the main game. Two more names have been brought up as being potential DLC in the coming months, “Lonesome Road” and “Old World Blues”.

The Honest Hearts DLC will more than likely deal with The Burned Man, Caeser’s former right hand man who was burned alive and left to die in the wastes after the first Battle of Hoover Dam. Graffiti in the wastes points to this – ‘The Burned Man Walks’. There is no word yet on when or where it will take place or if it will possibly continue the free roam after the main quest(not likely). There is however a snowglobe for Zion National Park in the game and some believe this is a location in Honest Hearts.

Now, on to Dead Money. Sheesh.

This DLC was a real pain in my ass. It was *very* linear and while the writing and story and characters were all great, the gameplay mechanics and the reasoning behind them fell way short.

First off there is a poisonous gas cloud that shrouds the Sierra Madre casino, and yes the entire DLC takes place on the casino grounds so there isn’t all that much to explore. This gas cloud is maybe the best part of the DLC as it is explained in pretty good detail. There are numerous accounts of how it came to be and how the workers building the casino had a very hard time because of it. If you are exposed your health drops fairly quickly and it makes some areas pretty challenging.

Then there is the collar. *shudders* Oh god the collar! This really got my goat, for some reason(to ensure cooperation) the antagonist of the DLC straps collars around your necks that will explode whenever he needs to kill you, read: when you tell him you aren’t going to help him. This is all well and good, except for some odd reason simple radio signals make the collars go into a countdown to doom. So you have to go through all of the areas searching for a radio that is making your collar beep and turn it off. For an even odder reason the collar also goes off when there is a speaker playing any sort of sound near it as well. This makes absolutely no sense what so ever and detracts from the experience very much.

Some of the speakers are able to be destroyed(they are blue) while some are ‘armored’ and have to be taken off line before you can blow them up(they are … red). Some of the speakers can’t be deactivated so it just puts a time sensitive barrier on certain portions of the map. Very disappointing game mechanic. Oh, did I mention that if your companion dies it sets off your collar? No? Well it does, so good luck on hardcore mode.

The level design is reminiscent of old-school FPS like Doom or Heretic. Where you had to go to X room for Y key to Z door before you could progress. The antagonist needs you to do some very specific tasks and while there may be multiple quests they are really just sub quests for the main quest. Yes you heard that right, there is really only one thing to do in the DLC. Spoilers follow.

Spoilers. You first must get 3 people who have either been brought to the Sierra Madre or been there since the war. Once you have located one you ‘convince’ him/her to go back to the start area. Once you do that you need to take them to a different area so they can do a task that ‘only they can do’. Having gotten all the people to their spots you trigger the event and are let into the casino, where you are promptly rendered unconscious.

Spoilers. For some reason each person is dragged to different areas of the casino by holograms or something and you must interact with them again(go find them and talk to them) to further the story/get a key/stop the casino from being exploded by a gas leak. Once you do all this you get access to an elevator that takes you to the vault. After a bumblefuck with the speakers you enter the vault where the antagonist finally comes downstairs and you either A)Kill him or B) lock him in the vault. Regardless of your choice you are able to take as many gold bars as you can carry (I only got 4 they each weighed 35 lbs) and thats about it. Each gold bar is worth roughly 5-10k depending on your barter.

Spoilers are over.

The title was a bit harsh, the DLC had it’s moments. Mostly these moments came in the form of reading what had happened before the war on terminals or in journals. The plot and the ways the plot was advanced were absurd. I mean, holograms that can interact with you but you can’t do anything to them? AND they drag you around the hotel after knocking you out? Cmon. I didn’t even go into how there were only 4 different kind of enemies in the entire DLC, and there were only 4 NPCs that you could interact with, and that there is hardly even any good loot in the entire ‘level’.

Meh, I am confident that the reason there is such a huge gap in the release of these DLCs is Obsidian learned from its mistakes and is actually trying to make a good DLC offering for their game. At least that is what I am hoping.

 

 

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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Console, FPS

 

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