Wot I Think: New Vegas: Old World Blues

By Richard Cobbett on July 20th, 2011 at 5:14 pm.

Anyone else feeling nostalgic for GLaDOS around now?

It’s the weirdest Fallout: New Vegas DLC yet. I went back to the Mojave to pit my brains against the worst that 1950s B-Movie science has to offer. Is Old World Blues an enjoyable trip?

Old World Blues is the only DLC I’ve ever played that ticked me off for rushing through it. I wasn’t even going to complain about the length. Purely focusing on the critical path, obeying orders and going from A to B like the good little questbitch you are, you’re not likely to be disappointed by either its length or content. But Old World Blues is deceptive. On the surface, it’s a tiny new chunk of the Mojave Wasteland to explore. In reality, it’s bursting with new stuff.

This is the kind of DLC I like to see – not just more of the same, but an interesting spin on Fallout: New Vegas that both fits the universe (unlike, for instance, Mothership Zeta back in original Fallout 3) and tries some new ideas. The main one? Cranking up the crazy technology we’re used to seeing to full on MAD SCIENCE! levels, to the point that having your brain replaced with a Tesla coil by a Think Tank of disembodied scientists locked in a war against an army of roboscorpions is barely the seventh or so weirdest thing that happens to you.

Don't fuck with me, I'm armed with SCIENCE!

What really makes Old World Blues a joy though is its sense of humour. It knows how silly it is, and it utterly embraces it. Obsidian’s obviously been playing a lot of Portal recently, but it comes through in all the right ways – the crazy characters, the hilarious back-and-forths between the squabbling scientists, the snide messages on terminals, and even a few bits where you outright enter test chambers to solve problems and retrieve fancy guns. Unlike Portal though, you get full RPG interaction with everyone and everything, letting you fire a few shots back at the arrogant machines – literally or figuratively – and twist them around your little finger – figuratively. Hell, at one point, as long as you’re packing the right Traits, you can seduce a lightswitch.

Most of the good stuff relies on surprise, so I’m not going to ruin too much of it here. Essentially though, there are two main questlines in Old World Blues – the main one, in which you try to escape, and a second involving finding the AI components of your new flat, which will give you toys like a new AutoDoc capable of resetting your Traits (as a one-time thing), and a hydroponics machine that sounds like Barry White and demands your seed. This second one is presented as a scavenger hunt, although really the World/Local maps tell you exactly where to go, and it’s more a way of taking you to the locations you wouldn’t have found. It’s worth not simply running in, grabbing the disc and running out though, as the design throughout this expansion is excellent. Visually, it’s completely stock Fallout 3-style architecture for the most part – and by god, do I hope Fallout 4 never reminds me of these buildings – but the little vignettes and mini-stories in each of them are all excellent. As with the expansion as a whole, they’re often more detailed than they look, with options to redo tests at higher difficulty levels, or simply cheat. Sneak through a building without being detected by the droids? You can do that. Or you can just blow up the droids before starting the test and amble across in your own sweet time.

Roboscorpions. Made of HATE. Also titanium. But mostly HATE.

Old World Blues is intended for Level 15 characters and above, and playing through, that seems right. If you have anti-robot gear, you’re going to be at an advantage early on, but it’s far from essential. Once you start, you’re not allowed out until you finish it. Afterwards though, you get a teleporter that will bring you back and forth whenever you like – although not with any of your companions. It’s worth trying to wrap everything up in one go though, purely so that the characters involved get to have their say in the ending sequence – which as ever, offers multiple ways to resolve things, up to and including getting the dreaded finger-wag.

The only real downsides of the expansion are that it takes a while to get into, with an opening that can easily be half an hour or so of almost nothing but dialogue. However, it’s funny dialogue, and calms down once you start properly. Also, while there are more enemies to fight than lobotomised zombies and roboscorpions, you’ll soon have more than your fill of both. Beyond that, if you enjoyed New Vegas but weren’t inspired by the first two packs, this is definitely the one to jump back in for, not least to prepare for next month’s finale.

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126 Comments »

  1. Vile Vile Vilde says:

    If I say me gusta here, will I be lynched?

  2. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Sigh.

    I really wish I could get into NV. Just not my thing.

  3. Jason Moyer says:

    I’m going to pick this up this weekend, but I’m really trying not to do my first hardcore replay of FNV until all 4 DLC packs are out. Going by this WIT (and the awesome trailer, jesus) it’s going to be really hard not to wade in with my endgame save to check it out.

  4. GT3000 says:

    What’s the last DLC pack about? I wonder what lewd comments you can make to a lightswitch.

    “Baby, you want me to turn you on?”

    “…Ok.”

    Or

    “Dayum girl..Is that some industrial grade electrical wiring with phase for a dimmer switch option? You vixen!”

  5. Diziet Sma says:

    I thought Mothership Zeta did fit. There’s always been ufos in fallout, no? Also, it sounds like I need to blaze through the previous DLC so I can play this one. I enjoyed the first but the second is dragging a bit.

    • CMaster says:

      As not-to-be-taken-seriously easter eggs in the first two, really.

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      Yes, but Fallout 2 had the Guardian of Forever in it, and I don’t want an expansion about that either.

    • Diziet Sma says:

      Ah I didn’t take Mothership Zeta seriously, and it was almost bottom on my list of ‘best dlc’ for Fallout 3. I didn’t take it as an anachronism or not fitting though, just a bit crap really. :P

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Thing is, in Fallout 1 and 2, they were, as aforementioned, easter eggs, and you never even saw any aliens. Then all of a sudden…

    • UnravThreads says:

      MSZ kinda did and didn’t, it just happened to be drawn out and shit.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      If Zeta was done with humor like Old World Blues it might have been a lot better. Bethesda are not really capable of being that funny or writing that well though. In the end it was a boring action-a-thon that felt verrrrrry not canon, despite the easter eggs in the original games.

    • drewski says:

      I wouldn’t say Mothership Zeta is particularly out of place compared to the aliens (and alien related tech) in the Sierra Army Depot. Obviously it’s a lot more explicit, but it’s not like the alien references in Fallout 2 are hidden in some exceptionally rare random encounter – they’re right there in one of the major towns and one of the companion NPCs quite happily talks about them.

    • Optimaximal says:

      drewski, if you’re thinking of the Wanamingos, they’re not aliens, despite the references (visual & characteristics) to the Xenomorphs from the Alien universe.

      http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Wanamingo

  6. 12kill4 says:

    Vegas has seemingly hit critical mass in my gaming group, as when I started playing for the first time, having picked it up in the steam sale, I was immediately notified by steam of about the dozen or so of my friends deciding to start playing it themselves- many also for the first time.

  7. wccrawford says:

    “you can seduce a lightswitch.”

    I totally went there, too. Heck, I flirted up both of them.

  8. CMaster says:

    So not phoned in, then?

  9. Tally says:

    I’m curious about this base. I’m replaying New Vegas on hard/hardcore with mods now and one is the phenomenal Underground Hideout which has a grow room, display rooms for weapons and armor, trophy wall, and can stock food and ammo to shelves automatically. I’m just wondering how the player base in OWB compares.

  10. Jubaal says:

    All this talk of Fallout DLC got me to reinstall Fallout 3. Sadly despite further patches my game remains unplayable due to freezes and crashes. Looks like I will be uninstalling again and moving it into my “Archive” Steam folder.

    *Sad sigh*

  11. Bureaucrat says:

    I played only just far enough to get through that first big conversation last night. It really does show the limitations of the FO3/FNV dialogue system, in that you’re carrying on a conversation essentially with 5 mad-scientist-cyborgs, but you’re locked into the view seen in the first screenshot above. On the other hand, the VO is terrific. This kind of gleefully over-the-top writing is easy to mess up unless it has the right delivery, and the actors did a great job there.

  12. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    *sigh*

    This reminds me of Quinns’ review for NV…

    Remember how he loved it, and we loved him back, for 30+ pages?

    Anyway, DLC sounds awesome.

    • Wulf says:

      No, the problem with Quinns review was that he faked negative elements of the game, like the farms and such, just to make the game seem worse than it was in order to make his review feel more correct. It was like he was using lies to justify certain things. Mr. Cobbett isn’t doing that.

      I can take criticism of New Vegas because I have my own, but not dishonest, sensationalist criticism.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      What Wulf said. Plus his opening paragraph was almost a personal attack on Obsidian.

      Still the worst review I have ever read.

    • Briosafreak says:

      What Wulf said. Worst review ever. I’m not a big fan of the other DLC but I’mk loving this one, finding it dificult to maintain some impartiality while trying to review it, I love retro futuristic and Science! stuff.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Thing is, Quinns was right. Absolutely nothing special or memorable – apart from maybe one scene – in the 20 -odd hours of F:NV I played.

      Also: yay for anonymous internets libel!

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Calm down. I didn’t compare Richard’s review to Quinns’, just that the NV topic made me think of Quinns’ review (which was Quinns’ worst piece to date). I love NV, and Richard’s piece here is fine.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Sorry Raiyan 1.0, the second point wasn’t directed at you.

    • Josh W says:

      At the rist of poking old wounds, my impression of the review was that it was “come on guys, you can do better than this”, amplified over hours of choosing the less interesting paths and running into bugs. Hence all the references to vampire and phoning it in.

    • Wizlah says:

      Yup, that’s pretty much the impression I got from Quinn’s review. He was frustrated and hacked off with Obisidian for not doing something different with Fallout, plus the usual bugs, and some of the physical realisation of the world just made it worse. I believe at the end he said something to the effect of if you want more fallout, it’ll be fine, which was just a polite way of saying obisidian had phoned it in.

      I thought it a good review, doubly so when I played alpha protocol. Completely different game, and the things they did right just about outweighed the stuff they didn’t do, but ultimately, the writing was bland as fuckery, and for all the clever structure of the game, it could really annoy the fuck out of me.

      The phoned it in line was provocative, but I can kind of understand why he did it. There is a tendency to either hate obsidian for the bugs or praise them for the writing and the commitment to consequences of your actions. Seemed to me he was pissed off with Obsidian being happy not upping their game in terms of new and interesting worlds set in the fallout universe, and was trying to move the debate about them beyond the usual nonsense. I dunno.

      Man, I really have to play MoTB sometime. I feel I’ll have a better grasp on Obsidian wen I do.

    • Nick says:

      I liked the part where he praised Fallout 3s underground system.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I’ve played NV a lot. Quite a lot a lot actually. Still, I do agree with Quinns’ review. Or to be more precise, I see the same problems he highlighted. His review wasn’t off the mark completely, but it was on the low end of the scale for possible reviews I’d give.
      New Vegas’ map feels smaller, and I miss the custom weapons like the dart gun. Still, there’s a lot in NV.

      This DLC however is a masterpiece so far. I’m not even halfway through it since I’m taking it slow, but they somehow combined both extremely hammy voiceacting with legitimate pieces of drama and characterization. I’m impressed.
      I really wonder how this DLC plays with a low int character. I’m at int 10, so some dialogue was rather easy.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      @FunkyBadger: Well, my comment wasn’t aimed at you either. ;)

    • whydidyoumakemeregister says:

      I remember second guessing the amount of fun I was having the times I played New Vegas on PC last year and this year on the 360. Despite mods and console availability and such, neither of them felt undermined to me.

  13. Sober says:

    How is the opening of 30 minutes of dialogue a bad thing? I personally had most of the fun conversing with all the scientists before even heading out into the Big MT crater to start the main quest. (And even at the end with the villain and everything).

    I spent only 6 hours on it and didn’t fully explore or do all the quests, but if you really wanted to get it over with, I could see it being done in maybe 3 or 4, if you just skip right to the end of the dialogue with the Think Tank, do the main quest and take the quick way out of the ending. But why would anyone in the right mind do that?

  14. GT3000 says:

    I wonder what kind of kooky things we’ll see with the Wild Wasteland perk in this new hub.

  15. Squirrelfanatic says:

    How much modding can those DLCs withstand? I was wondering, because during the recent Steam sale, I picked up both of the first two packs and would love to get back into NV. Would be a shame if I ruined the experience with rebalancing mods or dynamic time scaling. Can anybody tell how much the DLCs would suffer from that?

  16. Squeeby says:

    What the deuce is that screenshot all about?

    • Bureaucrat says:

      After living for centuries as brains-in-robots who have long since shed their skinvelopes, the scientists sometimes confuse the various human cylindrical bodily appendages.

  17. Tei says:

    Ooops.. I probably sould not have deleted my savegames.

  18. Skusey says:

    Still waiting for the GOTY edition, but this is making the wait slightly harder. I’m just not keen on adding in new stuff once I’ve already started playing a game.

  19. Maxheadroom says:

    I loved fallout 1 & 2 and even today they’re on a very short list of RPG’s I’ve bothered to finish, and even though I finished FA3 it was a bit of a slog. Then there’s the DLC and NV and it’s DLC and it’s all just got a bit ‘meh’ for me now.

    Anyone else feeling that?

    • Wulf says:

      Not at all. I enjoyed the first Fallout, but I didn’t think it reached its potential (it felt like they were holding back on their weirdness just sot hey wouldn’t harm the frail minds of us gamers), then there was Fallout 2 which was so much better (because that just said ‘fuck you’ in regards to worrying about frail minds and did all the things they were afraid to do in the original).

      It reached a crescendo with Tactics. Tactics truly had the soul of a Fallout game even if it got some of the details wrong (which are easily explained away by any Fallout fan who’s familiar enough with the lore, anyway). Plus, Tactics had the best ‘good ending’ of any Fallout game ever, and this includes New Vegas (despite how much I love NV). I mean, in Tactics I created a society in which discrimination was outlawed and all creatures big and small, no matter what they were, were welcomed equally if they could obey the laws of the land. Deathclas, super mutants, it didn’t matter.

      Also, Fallout Tactics, like 1 and 2, touched upon some really important issues whilst still being funny. It was a deep sort of funny that had a slow burn. About half way into the game you realised that it was teaching you things and you didn’t even know it. All the Fallout games did that, even 1 (I think). But you didn’t notice that because you were so busy laughing along with the jokes.

      FT dealt with racism, human nature, co-dependency, whether fascism was a good thing or a bad thing, ethnic cleansing, and a whole lot of other stuff. It was there. Fallout Tactics was a bright little game. Fallout 2 did it as well. One of the high points of the examples with Fallout 2 was if you played a low INT character. It was funny, yes, but you got to understand how people looked at others who weren’t so bright and it wasn’t a very pretty picture.

      Fallout always felt like a wise old tale-teller because it was teaching lessons to kids in the middle of wild and amusing stories, it was a guide, of sorts, and that’s how I’ll always remember it.

      The problem with Fallout 3 was that it was an idiot, really. It wasn’t clever, it wasn’t a wise old man, it was just a complete idiot. It was the village idiot of all the games. It even had a bloody beachhead scenario which was so annoyingly augh. The lesson Fallout 3 had to teach you was “DUH-HURP!” and that’s a shame. Fallout 3 was funny, sure, but it was dumb. Oh boy was it ever dumb. It tried to teach one or two lessons but it did it in such heavy-handed ways that it came over as one of those Goofy Instruction Manual cartoons. You know the ones.

      I couldn’t take Fallout 3 seriously, therefore I couldn’t respect it.

      With New Vegas, the wise old man returned, but he was sober and bitter. There were lessons, so many good lessons, but the wise old man was straight faced and serious. Fallout: New Vegas was the best RPG I’d played in years, way better than Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Oblivion, or many other recent RPGs, but despite that it still lacked that wholeness, it had lost part of its soul because it had forgotten how to laugh, both at itself and in general. It was a patient teacher and it taught good lessons, and it had one of the better stories I’ve seen in any RPG, with one of the best choices I’ve ever seen in the history of gaming (Vault 34), but it still lacked that spark. It was a 95% game in my opinion, but there was still that… something.

      And here it is.

      Here it bloody well is.

      This is Fallout. This is the ultimate crescendo. This is Fallout remembering what Fallout is. It’s Fallout being both not only intelligent but funny too. I want to head over to Bethesda’s offices and beat whomever I see with a bat until they agree to let Obsidian develop the last Fallout game that they’re licensed and allowed to. Because with Old World Blues, they get it again. They’ve finally bloody figured out what made Fallout so great.

      This makes Fallout: New Vegas not only the best RPGs I’ve played in years, but Old World Blues is true Fallout, through and through.

      I want to see them build upon that potential. I’m definitely not tired of Fallout if Obsidian are handling it and I want to see where they go with this.

    • Qjuad says:

      Well said Wulf, agree on pretty much every point. OWB is one of the more entertaining DLC I’ve played, and the only one I’d say that is a definite purchase for NV (and possibly the next and final one – cross fingers).

    • Nalano says:

      Damn, Wulf. Kudos to you.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      So what score did you get on your sociology essay?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Not really. I love 1 and 2 but NV has been my favorite in the entire series, or at least equal to 2.

  20. Wulf says:

    I always did like you, Mr. Cobbett.

    I’ve had so much fun with New Vegas and this pretty much topped it out for me. I think the only thing I’m missing from Fallout now is a reappearance of Goris to say that he’s actually managed to create some sort of fast confederation of sentient deathclaws. But mostly because I miss Goris. :|

    But this was one of New Vegas’ finer moments. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next.

  21. Zenicetus says:

    This sounds like fun, I’ll probably play it this weekend. I’m a sucker for ’50′s B-movie sci-fi references.

    I hope they do a better job of balancing for high level characters though. I’m at level 35 after finishing the game and backing up to run Honest Hearts (couldn’t stomach finishing Dead Money). While I enjoyed Honest Hearts — more for exploring the new environment than the plot — I was always feeling a little too overpowered. There were a few sequences where the game provided some sneaky alternatives for killing “dangerous” enemies, but it was too easy to just waltz in and kill without being hurt much. They had to scale the “natives” up to use things like anti-material rifles and 12.7mm machine guns when attacking me, which looked a little ridiculous, given the plot.

    So, hopefully they’ll scale this thing so it works for both level 15 and up in the 30′s. At least it will look a little more believable to have robots with very high damage thresholds and heavy weapons, compared to non-armored hillbillies (Point Lookout) or natives dressed in loincloths (Honest Hearts).

    • Bureaucrat says:

      Given how the skill system works, I don’t know if anything is going to make levels 30+ not feel overpowered. Unless they remove the 100-point caps on all the skills and set some of the thresholds higher than that, there isn’t much to be done after you’ve maxed every skill that is important to you character build.

      By the way, if you’re doing anything close to a completionist playthrough of FNV +DLC, get the mod that raises the XP thresholds for leveling up. I find that setting them at somewhere around 140% of normal serves well to prolong the period where every skillpoint gain point feels precious without making the game overly difficult or encouraging XP grinding.

  22. step21 says:

    I tried playing the Fallout series (the newer ones at least) starting with Fallout 3. However, contrary to MassEffect which I played through more often than I can count and similar games I just couldn’t get myself to continue playing after a while. Not sure why …

    • Nalano says:

      FO3 was a horrible mess of a storyline with plot holes you could lose an alien mothership in.

      FONV was okay for what it was, tho the engine’s age really did show.

    • Wizardry says:

      Maybe you should go play the actual good CRPGs in the Fallout series, Fallout and Fallout 2.

    • Nalano says:

      What Wizardry said. Plus, one of the few games out there with bona-fide achievements for killing children.

      what?

    • Nick says:

      its not a fucking achievement.

    • Nalano says:

      Well, it IS an acknowledgement from the developers that people might consider doing this, and proof that they’re not going to mollycoddle the player base by simply making it fucking impossible like, say, Bethesda’s Fallout 3 and its insufferable denizens of Little Lamplight.

    • Kamos says:

      Yeah, it wasn’t an achievement. If I remember correctly, after becoming a childkiller, you were attacked on sight by pretty much everyone, except perhaps scum like the slavers at The Den. But I get what Nalano is talking about (I think).

      One of the things I liked about the old Fallouts was that they knew they were games. I did not play them because they were immersive, or because I wanted to explore a photorealistic 3D wasteland, but because there was this sense that it was a kickass virtual game master, ready to tell an awesome, funny and well-written story, just sitting behind the screen, ready to respond to pretty much anything I could think of – even stupid things, like shooting children. It knew what I was doing and it acknowledged me for the sick ‘child-killing for fun’ bastard I was. It played like a Pen ‘n Paper RPG assisted by a videogame interface, which is what RPGs should feel like in the first place, in my humble opinion. I wonder sometimes if modern CRPG developers even play PnP RPGs.

    • Wizardry says:

      It played like a Pen ‘n Paper RPG assisted by a videogame interface, which is what RPGs should feel like in the first place, in my humble opinion.

      I’ve got your back! *salute*

      Of course, not only am I sure that most CRPG developers haven’t actually played pen and paper RPGs, I’m also sure that most CRPG fans haven’t either. “Immersion”, “a high quality story”, “good dialogue” and other such nonsense is more important to a lot of today’s gamers than interactivity, freedom and responsiveness. Choices and consequences shouldn’t mean a flowchart narrative. It should mean every little action your character performs will have some sort of reaction from the game world.

    • jaheira says:

      “Immersion”, “a high quality story”, “good dialogue”

      Yo wizardry – do you think it’s possible to have the above “nonsense” (en passant why are they nonsense? surely good dialogue is better than bad dialogue ceteris paribus) at the same time as “interactivity, freedom and responsiveness” and if not why not?

    • Wizardry says:

      Of course it is. But considering all CRPGs today suck, while those same CRPGs emphasise the above “nonsense”…

    • Nalano says:

      Well, considering the Hot Coffee controversy, if we DID unleash the developers in this day and age to cater to every possible perverse thought the players had – like killing children, preferably with pinless grenades stuffed down their pants for pick-pocketing all my stimpacks – we’d have Worried Parents immediately blaring over the TV to all and sundry that OH MY GOD, THEY MADE A CHILD-KILLING SIMULATOR!

      Yes, I’m being tongue-in-cheek.

      But the point remains: Moral acts mean nothing if you physically barred from making immoral acts. It throws you out of the world’s sense of “immersion,” reminding you that there are rails that you have to stay on if you want to continue. We have no sandboxes nowadays; just theme parks.

    • reticulate says:

      Always good to see one of the NMA troop here to educate us heathens on the virtues of a long-dead collection of concepts.

      I assume said fellows will immediately stand up and finance a “true” successor to the Fallout saga, in order to see their specific aims met?

      No?

      I thought not. It’s far easier to just bitch and moan. Good day sir.

    • Wizardry says:

      Why would I post on NMA? I think Fallout is one of the most overrated role-playing games of all time. It’s just that Fallout 3 and New Vegas are much worse.

    • Kamos says:

      @ reticulate
      >Always good to see one of the NMA troop here to educate us heathens on the virtues of a long-dead collection of concepts.

      I’m going to assume you’re talking to me, since I was the one talking about old games. And I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I don’t think I was quite as much a mouth-foaming lunatic as you put it. In fact, you don’t sound like a nice person at all. :-/

      But I suppose you at least wished me a nice day, so a nice day to you too. There you go.

    • Nalano says:

      NMA has just as many FO3 fanboys as anywhere else, reticulate. That trope is dead; stop beating it.

      However, adding reactions to in-game actions is not dead. One would think that, as the games industry progresses, we add functionality, not remove it.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I assume said fellows will immediately stand up and finance a “true” successor to the Fallout saga, in order to see their specific aims met?

      Go forth and Kickstarter it. I’m working on more interesting stuff, but I’d chip in. This lowly tabletop RPG is well on its way to raising $4000 in about three days. Far West is on $13k, and Technoir raised over $24k in total.

      That’d buy a couple bedroom devs a whole lot of Ramen and commissioned art.

  23. UnravThreads says:

    I’m looking forward to getting this, but it means finishing Honest Hearts. Uuuuugh.

    • Bureaucrat says:

      Yeah, I did the same earlier this week. HH had some interesting elements (the chats with the two lead characters were neat, and finding the Survivalist journals was great fun), but they weren’t well paced at all. If you’re a reflexive explorer as I am in games like this, you’ll probably find all that stuff before you more than scratch the surface of the main plot. Which leaves you with several hours of rote combat and chase-the-quest-arrow wandering left before you can get back to the Mojave. Without some kind of mystery to solve, the narrative motivations to continue depend entirely on empathy for the NPCs, who were too thinly drawn to really earn such empathy.

  24. Qjuad says:

    REPLY FAIL OMG

  25. StingingVelvet says:

    Finally playing Honest Hearts and Old World Blues will come right after it. New Vegas is one of my favorite games of the last few years and probably the best RPG since Morrowind for me, so it’s kind of a no-brainer I will love this stuff.

  26. Om says:

    Having enjoyed the original game – although, perhaps tellingly, not enough to go back to – what’s the story with the DLC to date? Is there, or will there be, a pack of it all? Or should I just skip it and go for the current offering?

  27. obvioustroll says:

    It’s nice to know it’s enjoyable, still waiting for a (cheap) GOTY edition though, having had my fill of New Vegas a few months ago.

  28. Joof says:

    If that is a real screen shot, I will buy New Vegas and all it’s DLC as soon as I get my next paycheck.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      It is!
      “I believe those are toes, Dr. Klein. Little teddy bear toes. Penises are much larger than those tiny extremities.. Eh, not that I would know.”

      “It is I, Dr. Mobius, transmitting from my dome-shaped… dome in the Forbidden Tone. A zone… that is, yes… forbidden to you.”

      It really cranks the MAD SCIENCE to 11. “For Science” is even dropped in the first 10 minutes.

    • Briosafreak says:

      It is Joof :)

  29. reticulate says:

    It’s easily the best DLC Obsidian have done thus far, and also better than anything Bethesda did for Fallout 3. In some ways, it does stuff better than the main game. I’m a believer in Obsidian’s writing ability again after being a bit meh about Honest Hearts.

    I love all the little random announcements they’ve put in, either between the scientists outside or with your AI apartment guys. Also the toaster is a crack-up.

    It all feels so very well thought-out and put together. There’s a metric ton of labs to investigate and pinch stuff from, and they’ve all got a different theme and enemy roster. The AI quests really give you the chance to explore the whole area. It’s diverse enough that it never seems boring, and you get very decent payoffs for finding those holotapes.

    It’s thoroughly excellent. Looking forward to the last piece, so I can finally meet this other Courier.

  30. Angel Dust says:

    How easy (are they accessible from the get go?) and feasible (is a certain level of character required? It says here that level 15 is required for this one, but what of the others?) is it to play these DLCs from the a fresh start? All 3 of the DLCs released so far intrigue me greatly and the smaller, more self-contained nature of them is ideal, since I can’t stomach more than 20-30 hours of the full games before I’m bored to tears with the limp combat and lacklustre RPG elements. Maybe I’ll try one of those XP mods that makes levelling up happen at a slower rate as well.

  31. wodin says:

    Loved 1 and 2…However Fallout 3 bored me after about 2 hours…as seems to be the case with most RPG games these days…

    • Buttless Boy says:

      New Vegas is not Fallout 3. It is what Fallout 3 should have been.

    • Wizardry says:

      No. Van Buren was what Fallout 3 should have been.

    • Wulf says:

      No, he’s right, sorry. Fallout: New Vegas is what Fallout 3 should have been, so that they’d have a good base to build off of for future expansions, with plenty of potential to exploit. Van Buren died for a reason.

    • Wizardry says:

      No. Van Buren was what Fallout 3 should have been. Van Buren wasn’t finished because of Hervé Caen. No other reason. I think Black Isle Studios knew what Fallout 3 should have been like. Not Bethesda. After all, Time Cain has criticised Fallout 3 on many occasions for not being how he would have done it. A first person shooter? Seriously?

    • Wizardry says:

      No. Van Buren was what Fallout 3 should have been. It wasn’t finished due to Hervé Caen. No other reason. I think Black Isle knew what Fallout 3 should have been. Not Bethesda. After all, Tim Cain implied some negative things about Fallout 3, saying he would have done it differently. Seriously? A first person shooter is what Fallout 3 should have been? I never could take you seriously.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      No! Wasteland 4 is what Fallout 3 should have been!

    • Kamos says:

      Considering how bad Neverwinter 2 was (bugged AI, anyone?), I think Obsidian could have done a lot worse than what they did with Fallout: New Vegas (and I did like F: NV). At the very least, they did the world a favor by killing the FPS/RPG Frankenstein Bethesda created.

    • drewski says:

      The thing is that Fallout 3 wasn’t made for you guys. It’s not really made for Fallout 1 and 2 fanboys, nor people who played CRPGs in the 80s. It’s not made for people who know what van Buren is, and why it died.

      It’s made for people like my 360 playing, Football Manager and Gears of War loving mate who’d never played a Fallout game, played almost no RPGs, and after I talked him into trying Fallout 3, promptly labelled it the greatest game of all time.

      Bethesda have realised where the modern gaming market has gone to, and taken the Fallout franchise there.

    • Nalano says:

      No, Obsidian knew how to cater to both, for there is no division.

      Bethesda just fucked up the story. And the game’s internal cohesion. Bad.

      It’s not “3/4s view TBS game vs RTFPS,” It’s “good writing vs bad writing.”

    • Wizardry says:

      @Nalano: But Fallout didn’t stand out because of its writing. It stood out for being a game that very much felt like a computer adaptation of a pen and paper role-playing game. Fallout 3 and New Vegas just don’t. New Vegas may have good writing, good characters, a good story and good dialogue, but it’s still basically a first person shooter that plays similar to The Elder Scrolls series of games. It’s an action RPG, regardless of the quality of its content. You can’t rely on content to make a good CRPG.

    • Nalano says:

      @ Wizardry

      While I see what you’re saying and agree with the sentiment, if not the particulars, I must however contend that part of Fallout and Fallout 2′s draw wasn’t just the open nature of the game but the very good characterization the game’s writing pulled off, as well as the balancing act what with the tone of the series – giving the sense of an adventure game in an open-form RPG.

      It’s still at heart a series of somewhat related vignettes that you solve in turn. It speaks both to the fullness of as well as the limitations to CRPGs as compared to PnP. The rails are still there – they had to code in all those options, after all – but they’re less visible due to the writing.

    • Kamos says:

      @ Drewski

      I consider myself a Fallout 1/2 “fanboy”. Though Fallout 3 and New Vegas have pretty much the same core gameplay (a FPS/RPG “exploration” mix), one of them I didn’t like and the other one I did. And the main reason was the writing and the overall tone. One of them was written by a 6 year old, and the other… well, the other has better writing. That is all.

      Not EVERY Fallout “fanboy” goes postal if it is not an isometric view 2D game. But I think pretty much every fan will if they have to endure bad writing. I mean, you can argue that the shift to 1st person etc. is needed to get a bigger audience, but how can you argue that you need bad writing?

  32. Buttless Boy says:

    “Hell, at one point, as long as you’re packing the right Traits, you can seduce a lightswitch.”

    Anyone else immediately think of the argument with the stop sign in VtM: Bloodlines? Still one of my favorite moments in video games.

    • Wulf says:

      I brought up that recently in a VtM:B patch article comments thread.

      No one remembered it.

      :C

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Whenever I talk Awesome Video Game Moments (and really, I talk about that far too often), that is #2 on my list.

      #1 is running out of ammo and beating Half-Life’s last boss to death with the crowbar.

    • Kamos says:

      Ah, Wulf. You were obviously bringing that up in the wrong place! I mean, how can you expect people to remember something about VtM:B in the VtM:B thread? Silly you. :-)

      But yeah, that stop sign still pisses me off. It just wouldn’t stop.

  33. gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

    I played Dead Money, twice, and it taxed me but the second time I liked it more than the first. I bought Honest Hearts but never played it. I’ll wait for the rest of the DLC.

    Why?

    I figured I’d see the end of the game before going back a few saved and exploring Honest Hearts. It seemed odd to be at the stage of the game where the pressure was on, in dialogue, to get to the final confrontation.
    I’m a devout Fallout fan. The only games I haven’t played are Tactics and the BOS Game That Doesn’t Exist Anyway. I loved F3 and all its DLCs. I liked the original Fallout 3 ending, and I liked the DLC ending.

    But the ending of FNV left me cold. It seemed… small. Cramped. Artificially stuck in a tiny room, after being in a battle in an overly large area useless to explore. Like if the path to the final boss was a few city blocks, and then the final boss was fought in a basketball court. There was nothing of the scope of the Giant Frickin Robot Stompy Attack Fun of F3. There was no vast army of army guys vs legion idiots vs robots. Heck, it slowed to a crawl even in the battle leading up to the final area.
    It was just miserable and sad.

    I hope they make a DLC that makes a better ending.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s funny because I had the opposite opinion about the ending for all the opposite reasons.

      The robot & beach-head scenario in Fallout 3 was fucking ridiculous and not in a good way, it was … well, it was something for the COD kiddies, it wasn’t intelligent, it wasn’t smart, it wasn’t clever, it was the opposite of all of these things, it was designed to appeal to a very immature person whose reaction to things like that is “epic war wow lolz epicz coool”.

      Whereas at the end of New Vegas, I actually managed to talk them into leaving. I spared a great many lives in the effort, too, and the conversation I had right at the end was simply wonderful. I’m not sure which of the Obsidian team wrote that, but still. If you simply killed the guy then you missed out.

      And then the ending itself encompassing all the things you’d done in the game, all the people whose lives you’d touched, the changes to the world you’d made – for better or worse.

      Whereas Fallout 3? “WE HAZ PURIFIED NON-IRRADIATED WATER NOW LEIK, YAYZ!” *fade to black.*

      Fallout 3′s idiocy left me cold.

    • Nalano says:

      Seriously, we should just commission Obsidian to resurrect bad games. FO3, NWN2… their takes on ‘em always end up far and away better.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Nalano: Obsidian made NWN2…

    • Nalano says:

      But they made MotB, which was far and away better than the base game.

      But you’re right, I forgot they made the base game, too.

    • Kamos says:

      Question: is MotB good? I wanted to play Neverwinter Nights 2 since many say the story is good, but I just couldn’t get past the AI bugs. In example, after toggling “Disable AI” so the rogue could scout ahead by himself and do a little backstabbing, my party still followed him; after disabling melee combat for the mage he still rushed an Ogre with his staff and got killed; after disabling magic casting he would still waste every single spell killing fearsome kobolds. Does the expansion fix this behavior?

    • gummybearsliveonthemoon says:

      Wulf, I felt the robot beachhead made perfect sense when you’ve spent the entirety of Fallout 3 building up from little loner to finishing your dad’s work, and started taking on enclave troops, robots, and vertibirds. They have the tech and the troops, which you see in their mountain base, then they swarm in and take over, like the Enclave in F2 did. You need the prewar tech worshippers of the BOS to stand up to them. I saw the “beachhead” as analagous to the team of BOS in F1 who go to Mariposa with you vs the Super Mutants, or the countdown, final battle, and recruited enclave armor troops you go up against Frank Horrigan with. The point of F3 wasn’t hurrdurp war is kewl as you say, but that the sam idiots who started the war are still fighting it long after war is over, and just lashing out at anyone who doesn’t fit their outdated ideas of the American ideal. Hence why they want to use the water for their own purposes instead of actually helping people. Because war never changes, they keep fighting their petty wars of selfishness even in the ashes of the world. Does the final battle glorify it? Not if you consider that the reason for the scale of the battle was that we have already seen how well equipped the Enclave are. It wouldn’t have made sense to go in with a few soldiers when the Enclave has been shwon to have a few dozen Vertibirds. They had to give the heroes a weapon to defeat the scope of the threat. And the BOS in front of you getting crushed by debris and enclave rockets made it more pyrrhic than glorious.

      By comparison, after seeing the Legion’s camp at Searchlight and their Fort, the final battle at the dam is a blur of messy troops invading some doors, a rush to get to some valves, and then a teeny little camp where the “invading army” turns out to be five guys and their boss, General Swordguy. The previous battles against the legion were referred to in the game as huge battles with waves and waves of Legion. One battle happened where the NCR blew up and entire fricking town to trap and stop the Legion. The threat of the legion is described as a vast army on the other side of the river, a giant encampment, and it’s perhaps a tenth of the size of the NCR camp at MCarran. It’s a toy. A joke. A letdown. The Legion camp should have been designed to fit its supposed threat. Remember the Chinese camp at the end of the VR sim in Op:Anchorage? The final battle should have been like that. Not the little boy scout tent camp it was. hell, it wasn’t even the size of the supposed HQ of the Legion, the Fort!
      And as for your point about being able to talk down the end boss… you did this in F3 if you played your cards right, too. And there, it was after defeating an actual army, not a handful of postapocalyptic 300 cosplayers. Add to that the fact that the plot makes it clear that the last general to retreat was burned and crucified and flung into the gorge? And the plot makes it clear the the new general is the savage bastard who kills without pity and won’t give up, except you sway him with a few words. Seems wrong.
      One last complaint about your F3 review: hurrr derp durr clean water?? Really?
      Remind me what the plot starter in Fallout 1 was.
      If the point of the Fallout games is humanity struggling to get back, why is fighting for clean water not a good plot point?
      And I have never played COD.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      I wanted to play Neverwinter Nights 2 since many say the story is good

      They either:
      a) lied
      or
      b) are not to be trusted.

  34. phlebas says:

    No Staring Eyes tag?

  35. Christian O. says:

    Have they fixed the game-killing bug in Honest Hearts yet? I don’t think I want to play through the whole game a third time because I’m forced to.

  36. Rhalle says:

    @FunkyBadger3

    NWN2 OC is very vanilla and childish.

    However, many people praise the expansion, Mask of the Betrayer, as one of the best-written RPGs in the past decade

  37. jaimenalee says:

    I think the whole argument is bogus. I play WoW for the fun of it, not because I think it is productive. I have a friend who asked, “How can you play that for hours on end?” I told him it is the same thing as him watching football or NASCAR for hours on end. He likes it. I prefer WoW. It is not that one is better than the other. It is just a matter of what you like. There is no reason to feel guilty over it short of it consuming your life.

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