REVIEWS -- Fallout: New Vegas - Old World Blues -- PC
Polish Up Your Walking Eye!
by Gregory Aiello
Fun factor: Fun
Worth to: Buy/Rent
Good humor breathes new life into New Vegas.
Once upon a time, there lived a person who invented DLC.
And that person probably became very wealthy, very quickly.
I’m not one of the people of the world who made the above visionary very rich, however, and usually I’m as resistant to DLC as gold is to corrosion. Paying four or five dollars for a new in-game shirt is just not my thing, hence the reason why my avatar is so boring and the hard drive is so empty. That said, I admit that I do have a weakness or two. First, on PC there’s Mass Effect. I have every DLC that ever came out for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, which most likely means I will do the same for Mass Effect 3. Secondly, I own all of the DLC for Fallout 3, my most loved console sandbox.
You might think that the same would be true for Fallout: New Vegas, given my pattern with Mass Effect, but if you read my review for New Vegas you would know that I ended up feeling very “meh” about it. So “meh” in fact that I was turned off enough by the game to ignore the DLC, even the most interesting looking of the two. Honestly, I picked up New Vegas again recently out of boredom and wished that something could breathe new life into it. There was this promise of a patch that would fix all the bugs and the new DLC, Old World Blues, lurking about, so I gave it a try.
Actually, the first few minutes of Old World Blues was spent in the company of some unexpected chuckles. It was a bit of a surprise when my NPC pals explained how appalled they were by the ten penises on my feet and hands. At that point, it was easy to see where this story was going. The entirety of the DLC story frolics in the companionship of that sort of humor, plus a lot of brainy, scientist, less-than-subtle one-liners that kept the mood light. This quickly turned out to be the expansion that I needed for New Vegas. If you shared any similar feelings about your first encounters with New Vegas as I did, then this is the right DLC for you too.
Old world blues indeed…
But before you go dropping your hard-earned cash on this game, you first need to know that this is not at all going to be perfect. In fact, despite the patch and the update that comes with the DLC, you will still see a lot of the annoying bugs and texture pop-ins that came with the original game. At one point, I encountered a looping conversation bug that was inescapable and had to reload form an earlier save to avoid it. In my mind, this took the value of the DLC down a little considering that the game has been available for nine months now and still does not match up to its predecessor.
Old World Blues can also be a little challenging, for better or for worse, even on normal difficulty. The introduction to the game recommends at least having achieved level 15, but even my level 30 character had some trouble getting past the hordes of roboscorpions and nightstalkers. As the plot of the game develops, you find these waves of enemies becoming thicker and thicker, and in some cases even harder to deal with. At first, you may simply be faced with mindless lobotomy victims who are easy enough to dispatch, but you will soon become beset by larger and larger roboscopions with increasingly more armor. Eventually, even these zombie harness creatures wearing spacesuits will also ambush you, firing off plasma bolts into your eye sockets. If you spend too much time battling these enemies, you may also find yourself beset by roaming nightstalkers, who are usually tough enough on their own. Don’t let this detract from the game, however, but let it serve as a warning. Be prepared.
You’re also able to build your own personal apartment building in Old World Blues, complete with talking light switches. It’s kinda awesome. Every machine you spend time reactivating gets its own voice and personality, and each is as humorous as the brainy sexual innuendos that litter the story. You can grow food, adjust the lighting, give coffee mugs to a small robot with a fetish for such things… This easily beats any other hideout you may have already acquired in the base game – the Lucky 38 included. It’s also super easy to get there and back as you are given a little device that teleports you to the front door once you complete the main quest.
The story isn’t quite perfect and seems to have a few holes and loose ends that feel like they should be tied up but never actually are. Leaps in logic, like how lobotomy victims acquired ballistic weapons in a place built on energy projectiles, sometimes also trip up your expectations. There could have easily been quest tie-ins that followed up the main story into the Mohave Wasteland as well, but there aren’t any. There also is no one to talk to outside of the two main camps of characters in the game to give a third perspective to the story as you might go into the game expecting. This surprised the hell out of me considering all of the factions that are crowded into the Mohave Wasteland, each with its own view on the others.
Really, you can get a good six to eight hours of gameplay out of this DLC if you’re a good explorer and genuinely interested in completing all the tasks given to you. This is a healthy lifespan for a 800 point DLC, actually much healthier than some games that cost four times as much. If you’re looking to improve on your Fallout: New Vegas experience, this is where you want to find yourself. At the same time, if you reported New Vegas as broken, if you wore out the fun factor of the original game, or a you called New Vegas a clone of past iterations, than it’s best to avoid it. If you do decide to pick it up, be ready for some laughs, additional loot, challenges and exploration.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Review Date: 03-08-2011
Numbers of Players: 1
Players Online: No
Notes: Downloadable Content, Expansion, 'Fallout: New Vegas' required
Still has the solid graphics carried by the main game, but it’s starting to wear out its colors.
This is nothing new in how the game is played or objectives are carried out, but some challenges from enemies and good laughs spice things up a bit.
Checking the Fallout website would certainly keep you up-to-date on the release of this expansion, but the lack of correction in bugs and lingering critical failures takes the value down.
Bang, bang, pew, pew, all that you’ve heard before.
You’ll want to bring all your New Vegas characters through this DLC if you pick it up for the experience, the loot, and the perks!