Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wandering a Nuclear Wasteland

Fallout in Vegas? What a stupid idea! That was my initial reaction when I first heard about it, despite me truly adoring Fallout 3 and all of its DLCs. However after receiving it after my birthday I soon found myself well and truly sucked in, so much so that my Mabinogi adventures went on the backburner for awhile - with a pet thunder dragon card waiting to be used! After one month of the wastes, I'm glad to say I've come out alive, though towards the end there I was going a bit nuts with the to and fro quests.

While the main quest line can probably be finished in a few nights, the abundance of side quests and locations to discover really got me hiking all over the Mojave, which was the part I loved. In general the surroundings seemed less hostile that Fallout 3 (even in the most difficult setting with hardcode mode turned on), which was a bit disappointing - save for some deathclaw infested areas and hidden boss caves. Everything else was pretty much ok and entertaining enough, but I wasn't as invested in the protagonist is this one (who is a courier that finds him or herself taking a central role in a large scale upcoming war) as opposed to the Vault dweller from Fallout 3 who leaves the vault to find his or her dad. One of my friends described it perfectly - New Vegas is like a big expansion to Fallout 3. It doesn't really build on anything gameplay wise.

The Honest Hearts DLC is even more of the same, centered in Zion valley where no nukes hit it becomes very cowboys and indians and that whole sense of post-apocalypse is almost removed entirely. When I went through it, it was also bloody easy with only one yao guai boss causing me any problems. It also features a pretty big opportunity to stuff the whole thing up right at the start, when I accidentally started shooting someone who is mandatory to the storyline. At least there are nice scenic views, and a mini collectible story in some some of the caves which is very interesting but all in all it's a pretty weak DLC.

Dead Money however, for me is -right- on the money. This story driven adventure has the best written characters, scary opponents and a real sense of dread and foreboding throughout. There are instakill devices and traps a plenty, and with the very air you breathe slowly killing you - you cannot afford to be too cautious. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I loved it, so much more than the base Fallout New Vegas game and is actually the highlight of the entire experience for me.

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