Iron In Zion: Fallout New Vegas DLC 2

That reminds me, we haven't had a meeting of the RPS board in ages. Oh, the topless fighting they always entail

I have been to the Zion National Park in Utah, but I don’t remember there being any murderous men with bandaged-wrapped faces, desert renegades being killed in slow-motion or weird naked masked dudes. It’s possible I just went to the wrong bit, though – I’m not very observant. Fortunately, the second spot of Fallout: New Vegas DLC means to address my errant tourism. It’s called Honest Hearts, it’s out May 17 (same day as the Witcher 2 and Fable 3 – the gods of roleplaying can be so very cruel), and it goes a little something like this…

Looks aesthetically a little different to the Fallout 3/New Vegas norm, which is enticing. But what’s it about? It’s about this:

An expedition into the unspoiled wilderness of Utah’s Zion National Park goes horribly wrong when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a way back to the Mojave you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. In Honest Hearts, the decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.

…Sounds a little like the excellent, much-missed Carnivale in a way. That’d make for a fine videogame, I’m sure.

Your heart may become honest on May 17. As if you won’t be playing The Witcher 2 then.


  1. Heliosicle says:

    Damn these exams :(

  2. Frank says:

    Enough with the downloadables already! I want the game of the year/complete edition to be on sale soon.

    • Carra says:

      Since the complete edition will have all DLC they have to make the DLC first…

    • Nick says:

      And they’ve only released one DLC so far.

    • Kilrathi says:

      And there will be a total of at least 6 (or possibly if things go well even 8) of them. Hopefully all the DLC’s will have actual gameplay content on them.

    • Hunam says:

      I’m fairly certain than the 3 upcoming DLC’s are all we’re getting. I know there was that rumour, but I don’t think these will sell amazingly because people can still barely play the game.

  3. Andy_Panthro says:

    “same day as the Witcher 2 and Fallout 3”

    Fallout on the brain perhaps? I’m going to assume that’s supposed to be Deus Ex 3 or something.

    Every DLC just makes me more likely to wait for the (surely inevitable) goatee or complete edition.

    The general consensus is that New Vegas is good, right?

    • dysphemism says:

      Alec meant Fable 3, I’d expect.

    • Unaco says:

      “The general consensus is that New Vegas is good, right?”

      Why don’t you have a read of Quinns Wot I Think of FO:NV. It starts…

      “There’s a distant sound that can be heard throughout your time with New Vegas. Quieter than the cheery 1930s pop hits that warble from your radio, quieter even than the chirps of night-time insects, or the long gasps of wind blowing across the wasteland. It is the sound of Obsidian phoning this game in.”

      … and largely continues in that vein.

      Edit: Don’t miss the comment thread on that link either. It’s Golden.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Personal consensus is yep, v. good. Much better writing than Fallout 3, more of a spiritual successor than Fallout 3 was. Most certainly isn’t just a very big Fallout 3 mod.

      Still a bit buggy mind, most if not all of the crashy ones have been ironed out now but there’s still a few behaviour and quest oddities.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      There’s a simple logical explanation, Unaco.

      Quinns was actually reviewing Fallout 3, and was too tired to notice.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The RPS consensus seems mixed, but I enjoyed it. The shooting is much better than Fallout 3; I used V.A.T.S. a lot less. The branching main quest writing was pretty good, and I liked the Western vibe (I think Quinns had trouble relating to the geography in his review… it’s supposed to look deserted out there!).

      My only two complaints were that the companions weren’t all that memorable, and the game engine showed its limitations in facial animation and not being able to show many NPC’s at once. I’ll wait for reviews on the upcoming DLC’s though. I didn’t enjoy the first one that much… it seemed a bit too artificially hard, if that makes sense. The tricks they used to make it a challenge for high-level player characters were just a bit too obvious in the storyline.

      I’m curious how they’ll handle that with this next one, because it looks like you’ll be fighting un-armored humans with primitive weapons. That won’t be much of a challenge for someone who has completed the game, unless they pull that “take away your stuff” thing again.

    • Nick says:

      I found it much better than Fallout 3 and I really enjoyed it. And the start of the WIT is possibly the worst thing ever to be published on RPS, aside from that article that Quinns wrote that had to be taken down completely.

    • The Innocent says:

      I’d say New Vegas is good — it was pretty much my game of the year 2010. It was one of the few modern RPGs that managed to make me feel genuinely invested in the world.

      A few people still haven’t been able to get past the bugs though. As in, they literally could not play because of game problems, not that they were stubborn. It’s a shame that such a tremendous game was unplayable for some folks.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I also thought that New Vegas was very good. A bit buggy and crashy (though less so in my experience than Fallout 3 was, actually). The writing was much, much better than Fallout 3, and there were a lot more interesting quests. It also gave you the real option of joining up with whichever factions you liked.

    • JethroD says:

      The game is great, much better than FO3. The RPS review of it leaves the impression that the reviewer played very little of the game.

    • Blackseraph says:

      Most people and interwebs generally think new vegas is better game than fallout 3, so yeah it is excellent.

      Quintin just dropped a ball on this one.

      On that account I will be playing Witcher 2, but afterwards I will be playing this. Assuming I won’t play Witcher through like 4 or 5 times.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      @VelvetFistIronGlove: Which quests did you find more interesting than in Fallout 3?

      I’m seriously asking, because -outside of Come Fly With Me and Democracy Inaction (which were admittedly awesome)- I actually found NV’s quests to be the worst part of it all. I found them trite and dull at best, and a straight out pain in the ass most of the time (the one playing messenger for The King and the NCR girl was /unbelievably/ boring). And, on the other hand, the sidequests were precisely the main thing I loved about FO3.

      As far as I can tell (with about 200 hours in the game) NV doesn’t have anything as good as Stealing Independence, Tranquility Lane, The Velvet Curtain or even the Dunwich Building (which wasn’t even a marked quest). And let’s not even mention the main quest’s final showdown.

    • Blackseraph says:

      Well I am not Velvet, but in my opinion.

      Those two you mentioned, then the whole main plot which is around 10 times better than in Fallout 3.

      Great sidequest, crazy, crazy,crazy, volare, one for my baby, I forgot to remember to forget. Every single companion quest actually for just being in the game.

      Honestly every single quest in my opinion was better in New vegas (okay I didn’t much care collecting those monster eggs), it is just a question of taste.

    • Outsider says:

      I actually found NV’s quests to be the worst part of it all. I found them trite and dull at best, and a straight out pain in the ass most of the time (the one playing messenger for The King and the NCR girl was /unbelievably/ boring). And, on the other hand, the sidequests were precisely the main thing I loved about FO3.

      I agree entirely with eclipse. It’s just my taste though. I don’t begrudge others that would feel the opposite.

      As far as the original review, I don’t think it was all that terrible. I see people in these comments say much worse about games in most threads (including about FO3) and developers do read here. So the review while i felt was strong, didn’t strike me as some gasp-inducing travesty.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      @Blackseraph: Hmm, I did hear a lot of people praising Boone’s questline, but I didn’t like the character so I dropped him right away. I should probably go back to get him and find out what’s what. I’m always up for good quests.

      I have to disagree about Crazy, Crazy, Crazy, though. I was looking forward to whatever was behind Black Mountain radio since the first moment I could tune it, I came to love the hosts and had all kinds of high hopes for whatever quest they would be involved in; and the thing ended up being a huge letdown where pretty much nothing happened. I did read somewhere that if you fix the robot before meeting Tabitha the quest has a better end, so maybe I should try that.

      As for the main plot, I do agree it kinda sucked ass in FO3 (except for the final showdown with Liberty Prime), but the thing I like the most about that game are the sidequests and exploring the world anyway, so there’s that –the main plot could be gone altogether for all I care.

      In any case, while NV’s main plot did start pretty promising, I lost any interest in it when the whole political situation came to the forefront. I simply couldn’t feel involved in any of it anymore.

    • Kdansky says:

      People who like Fallout 3 NV and people who like DA2 seem to be disjoint groups. I think DA2 is awesome, and NV was boring (where Fallout 3 was really bad). So, do you like DA2?

  4. Noodle says:

    So he’s the Burnt Man?

  5. Nim says:

    Honest Hearts.

    I really like that name for some reason.

  6. Unaco says:

    Carnivale was an amazing show. So very disappointed when it was cancelled. The creator (Daniel Knauf) is working on a televisual adaptation of Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero though. That could be interesting.

    Don’t have much to say about this, other than dear Allah, I didn’t realise how much negative feelings I harboured for that Gamebryo Engine and the models and animations and the like… Had a small amount of bile in the back of my throat while watching that.

    I’ll be playing The Witcher 2 on the 17th. Also, Fable 3 comes out on May 17th, along with the Witcher 2, and not Fallout 3.

    • dysphemism says:

      I heard about the Year Zero adaptation! If I seem excited, it’s partially by the promise such a program would hold for me, moreso because I so totally called that it would get adapted. (I did! You can even ask my friend, he was there.)
      While we’re on the subject, and in light of the recent Valve fiasco (are we calling it a fiasco now?), I’ll throw this out there. Year Zero: Now there’s how you run an ARG.

  7. lorddon says:

    Wow, not many games get set here in our humble little state. I almost wish they would have made a Mormon joke and named the raiding tribe Ephraim or the Danites or something.

  8. HexagonalBolts says:

    Gosh, they’ve really milked that oblivion engine for all it’s worth haven’t they, still releasing things for it!

  9. taldira says:

    Gamebryo really needs to go already. Pity that such a good game with quality dlc has to be limited by such a horrendous graphics engine and animations.

    • heretic says:

      True, but we’re the punters that still dish out for games like these.

      If it was really a problem they wouldn’t sell and they’d change the engine :-/

  10. Bureaucrat says:

    I’ll be buying it. My system can’t handle Witcher 2 at present (and I thought the first one was rather underwhelming, anyway), and Obsidian’s “DLC as an in-setting short story” approach suits their strengths as a studio quite nicely. Dead Money and the two future DLCs are primarily Chris Avellone storytelling vehicles, while Honest Hearts is mostly Josh Sawyer.

  11. Outsider says:

    I truly loved Fallout 3, and I really liked Fallout New Vegas, but I’m having a very difficult time finding interest in the DLCs. I didn’t get the last one, and can’t get interested in this one either. Being that I purchased all the DLCs for Fallout 3 and liked them all a lot, I’m guessing that it’s just finally getting old for me.

    I believe I will be looking forward to Fallout 4 instead on a new engine (which I’m guessing will be the one used with Skyrim).

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Also hopefully Bethesda will be at the helm again. Obsidian is very good with the whole open endedness and the writing and whatever you want, but dear God they make the most dull, boring quests ever.

    • Outsider says:

      I think Bethesda will be doing 4, yes. I am happy for that as I happened to enjoy the elements of FO3 more than NV. However, Obsidian did bring a lot to the table with NV, and I’d hope Bethesda would pick up those good things and incorporate them.

      The bugs were my main problem with enjoying NV to it’s fullest, that and FO3 had much more re-playability and exploration which happens to be more of what I appreciate in games.

  12. Burning Man says:

    I will be spending most, if not all of this year, as a pixelated, idealized, manshooting version of myself.


  13. omicron1 says:

    So. If it’s unspoiled, why don’t it look like this? link to

    Are they afraid of putting too much green in? Or making it too saturated? Or is it just that the engine can’t handle that many trees in one place?

    Either way, looks fun. I’m probably gonna get this one.

    • dr.castle says:

      The same thought occurred to me. Strangely, the environs in the trailer reminded me of Bryce Canyon, which is a little ways NE of Zion. I wonder if they originally built the scenery based more on the Bryce Canyon area, which has the kind of red stone outcroppings seen in the trailer, and much less green than Zion.

      From what I remember of Zion, it was fairly lush–a lot of trees and grass, with a river running through the valley. And the mountains were mostly large, whitish dome-shaped structures, rather than the irregularly-shaped, jagged red structures seen in the trailer.

    • MacBeth says:

      My initial thought was that it looked more like Arches National Park to me, but Bryce Canyon is a good shout too. Zion is big cliffs – a bit like Yosemite, but more colourful. I was quite excited to hear about a game being set there but it doesn’t really look like I remember it… I believe the correct expression is ‘I am dissapoint’

    • Bhazor says:

      Or there might have been some kind of intercontinental nuclear war or something.

    • Nim says:

      Well, there is this whole problem of the setting being a post-nuclear world. Supposedly the world was nearly swept clean of life prior to the start of the first game and the trees might have been nearly extinct in the nuclear bombed areas. Neither Fallout or Fallout 2 featured anything green in larger amounts so I just assume they want to portray nature as slowly recovering and retaking the scarred burned land. It was not until now in NV that my character witnessed green foliage, some 200 years after the bombs fell.

      Shouldn’t be engine limitations, considering Oblivion.

  14. Stevostin says:

    This really looks ugly. And I just replayed Fallout 3 *again* and still found it visually charming.

  15. Coins says:

    I think it looks decent. Graphical quality doesn’t mean that much if it’s a shit story in an RPG, does it now.

  16. StingingVelvet says:

    I am sure Bethesda didn’t even notice that May 17th was already a huge day for RPGs on the PC, since it’s rather unremarkable on the Xbox.

    • Vinraith says:

      Right because the Witcher 2 and Fallout New Vegas DLC are somehow mutually exclusive.

      Personally, I’ll be picking up both.

    • Jad says:

      Well, he’s just saying that on Xbox this DLC is not competing with any RPG releases, which is true. And it’s a sad reference to the general truth that nowadays consoles are definitely the focus of the game industry, even for publishers like Bethesda.

      Frankly, for the majority of gamers, and the industry in general, May 17th is L.A. Noire day. Witcher 2 is a secondary concern, if even remembered.

  17. SirKicksalot says:

    You mentioned Carnivale exactly 6 years after HBO announced its cancellation. May 11th 2005.
    I don’t know why I’m posting this.

  18. The Innocent says:

    Was anyone else interested/surprised to see the Burned Man reading a Bible with a cross on the cover?

    I suppose when you’re living after the apocalypse, you make do with whatever’s on hand.

    I also wondered if his pile of Colt 1911s was a reference to that handgun now being the Utah state gun.

  19. Mashakosha says:

    The Witcher 2 will be better.

    Jokes aside, this looks pretty good. And as though it’s going to be NV’s “The Pitt”. I loved that for the absolutely grey choices in it and the atmosphere was brilliant. Perfectly oppressive in the slave areas. In fact it may have been my favourite piece of FO3 DLC

  20. Bhazor says:

    Well it’s good to see Max from Sanitarium get another acting job.

  21. drewski says:

    I like that I can now pick up the GOTY edition of Fallout 3 for less than the price of buying the DLC individually.

    This is excellent news. Every pieces of released DLC means we are one step closer to the complete edition which means I might actually buy it soon! Yay!

  22. Bobic says:

    I liked new vegas much more than fallout 3, the game was so much more pure and it seemed more tailored to my liking. There were tons of new and rare guns, ironsights, stronger enemies, and the writing and the quests were indescribably better. The voice acting was also superb. The game basically seemed like the game fallout 3 should have been, as it improved on everything

  23. Phade Fx says:

    Super slow on posting this. I saw it on the Fallout wiki at around 2pm yesterday, checked my favourite news blog (this place) to see if they had any insight in to and nothing,

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Some sites focus on quantity, others on quality. RPS is the latter, but quality takes time, and they can’t cover everything.

  24. Kevin says:

    Glad to see that dialogue-writing pedigree of Obsidian in full force with that trailer. It’s just a damned shame that the terribad animations of the Gamebryo engine seriously detract from the impact the trailer could have had.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Awww… who cares if the animations are bad, if the story lets me play my duster-wearing, tobacco-chewin,’ post-apocalyptic, carbine-totin’ gunslinger for a few more hours.

      They just better let me play THAT character, and not the guy running around in pajamas with an explosive collar around his neck like the first DLC. Otherwise I’m not buying it. Or, any of the other DLC’s for that matter. I like the idea of these self-contained DLC quests, but not if they mess up the character I spent all that time developing in New Vegas.

    • Kevin says:

      I’ll grant you I loved playing my character as some badass gunslinger laying down the law on Ceasar and the Legion with her Ranger Sequoia and Brush Gun. I mean, I would have loved to see some animations where my character could pull some Revolver Ocelot-type feats. However, the bad animations isn’t something I fault Obsidian with. In fact, I think they’ve done the best any dev could have done given the busted engine.

      I’m hoping that the Burned Man comes off as likable and sympathetic in the DLC as he sounds in this trailer. At the very least, make him someone I want to side with. I’m not holding my breath however; given that this is Obsidian, he’ll probably just be a very charismatic Nietzsche-wannabe. It’d be nice to see what effect siding with him has on my character’s struggle against the Legion.

      But yeah, I’m hoping this time around the only way they’re taking my Sequoia and Assault Carbine is from my cold, dead hands.

    • Moleman says:

      If the burned man is who I think he is (there was going to be a character of that name in the original Fallout 3, the one that was to cover the NCR/Brotherhood war, and there are references to that version of the character’s “origin” in some backstory in New Vegas, so it seems likely), “likeable” and “sympathetic” are… not options.

    • Nick says:

      He was originally going to be in Van Buren before Fallout 3, as The Hanged Man. Its this guy: link to