Fallout: New Vegas DLC

We round up and review Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road downloadable content for post-nuclear role-playing game Fallout: New Vegas.

NameFallout: New Vegas DLC
Summary:Quality add-on content that offers both depth and variety of gameplay.
Rating:4.5/5
Games Info:Developer: Obsidian Entertainment, Bethesda Game Studios; Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Classification:R18
Platform:PC,PS3,Xbox 360
Test Platform:PC

Since the release of post-apocalyptic action-RPG Fallout: New Vegas in late 2010, four major pieces of DLC (downloadable content) have been released; each adding about as much gameplay as some of today’s ‘full length’ triple-A titles.

Dead Money sends you to the Sierra Madre, an old-world casino abandoned when the bombs fell at the dawning of Fallout’s storyline. The expansion centres around a casino heist centuries in the making, but wanders deeply into survival-horror territory: creating a strange but workable mix of Dawn of the Dead and Ocean’s Eleven.

This is the only DLC package that strips all of your weapons and equipment at the beginning (don’t worry, you get it all back at the end). It adds challenge and contributes to the ‘survival-horror’ vibe, but has proven greatly annoying to many a player with a carefully chosen load-out they’d hoped to use.

Most of the action here takes place in dark, narrow streets and indoor areas: best played after completing a few outdoor quests in the base game, and followed up by a dose of...

Honest Hearts takes you into Utah’s Zion National Park, into the midst of a tribal war. Gameplay is almost entirely outdoors; great if you’re tired of buildings, sewer systems and the oppressive fog of the Sierra Madre.

This pack expands upon the backstory of Caesar’s Legion, one of the two major warring factions in New Vegas. Existing players will likely find it answers a great big question hanging over the story; new players should at least meet Caesar before playing through this expansion for the clearest story progression.

Much of Honest Hearts’ story is told through notes, journals and computer terminals scattered around: collectors and completionists will find a nice challenge in that regard. The action is quite unique, with combat taking place in wide open environments against particularly deadly creatures and well-armed enemies.

Old World Blues is the sort of over-the-top 1950s Sci-Fi feature that the cast of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 would love to riff on. Brains in jars, evil scientists, robots, lobotomites... I’m sure I even detected a few Rocky Horror Picture Show references thrown in for good measure. It’s definitely the most sexually explicit of the Fallout games, though considering the sum of your interactions with anything human-shaped in Old World Blues is ‘insert bullets’, that slightly-more-explicit nature only comes through in dialogue.

There’s a good mix of indoor and outdoor action, with challenging opponents. There are also some prized items to be found, including some featured but not attainable in previous expansion pack Dead Money.

Fans of old-fashioned science fiction features will love Old World Blues. MST3K fans will love it even more.

Lonesome Road fleshes out the player character’s back story, working in events that occurred before the main plot without treading on any decisions the player has made about who they are and where they’re from. It’s nicely done, but does accordingly come across as quite vague and open to interpretation. If you’re looking for any huge revelations, you might be disappointed.

Whereas the three other expansions, and the base game itself, all have a very open-ended structure, Lonesome Road really is a road: you progress along it a linear, FPS-like action adventure. However, at any point you can turn back, return to the base game, then come back with more ammo, new equipment, or just a few extra bottles of purified water and a gecko steak. This breaks up the overall linearity, as you’re not forced to play the expansion in one solid go.

Lonesome Road offers some of the most visually impressive level design in New Vegas, stirring memories of the ruined cityscape of the ‘Capital Wasteland’ (Washington DC) in Fallout 3. It also is, as the title suggests, lonesome: while you don’t quite walk the road alone, much of the time it feels like it.

Each of these expansions adds an entirely new area, new characters, enemies, weapons, items and abilities. Each also pushes the core Fallout gameplay in a slightly different direction, without breaking the overall consistency. Their stories are all nicely interwoven – each expands upon the world of New Vegas and of the Fallout series as a whole, in complementary ways that still let you play the expansions in any order you choose and have the whole thing make sense as a cohesive storyline.

If you’ve already played through ‘vanilla’ New Vegas, these DLC packs are a must-have addition and more than enough new content to justify a replay.

If you missed the game’s initial release and have thus far avoided the title for whatever reason, now is an excellent time to play it through in all its expanded glory.

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Tags DLCbethesdafnvcourierlonesome roaddead moneynew vegasfalloutfn:vhonest heartsold world blues

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Harley Ogier

Harley Ogier

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