Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Fallout: New Vegas DLC

Fallout: New Vegas is a game I think is great. The post apocalyptic wasteland evokes a creeping loneliness, a sophisticated feeling shared by few other games. Lonely as it is, it is not without hope. That sense you might meet another soul, someone you can connect with. And maybe they'll have some cool stuff you can take after you bludgeon them to death.

One of the greatest achievements of this game was the faction system. A lot of named characters you'd meet would have standing with various factions. Helping them out by completing quests improved your standing with that group and the areas they held influence in. Acting negatively, like, killing those questgivers, would mean you couldn't pursue that side of the storyline any further.

It helped the world of Fallout: New Vegas feel like people were living in it, and doing things, and that those things at least kind of mattered. Even though I was going to kill them as soon as they finished talking.

So, I love this game. It's great. I love it and it's great. But I don't really want any of the new DLC that's out.

I mean, I bought Dead Money, and I played it, and it was amazing. It was unbelievably atmospheric, by which I mean it was incredibly immersive and effective, sharing some ideas with Silent Hill 2 and the Thief games to create this extremely eerie horror style sideline to New Vegas. I became really attached to the other characters I met there, partly because the world was so hostile the air was even killing you. In terms of loneliness, man, it amped it up, making a practically empty desert seem like the ghost of christmas present in The Muppet's Christmas Carol.

So, that bodes well for the other three DLC releases, one of which are already out (Honest Hearts), one of which is out any day now (19th July - Old World Blues) and one of which is out, I don't know, whenever it's out (Lonesome Road).

Writing this has nearly got me back in the mood for it. I loved making those big decisions that affected the shape of the world. And yet...

I think what it is is how seperate these add ons feel. It's like they would have made more sense if they were kind of stand alone, rather than revolving around this one courier who has to deal with everything.

On the one hand there are several hints throughout the game, and in Dead Money, as to what these other add ons have in store for you, and I love stuff like that in a visceral way.

But I don't like how you, this courier who holds the fate of this world in his hands, can disappear into caves and deserts, practically entirely different worlds, and when you come back nothing seems to have changed.

A nice change of pace for a game would be for the world within it not to revolve around you, for things to be happening which you could influence if you found the right time and place to be, the right person to talk to, then maim.

Probably I'm just being fussy. I don't know really why I'm not into the idea of these DLCs. Maybe it's just how long everything takes in New Vegas. Even killing things is kind of a chore, and my attention span is like milliseconds.

Or maybe it's because the game doesn't affect anyone in the real world. I've been playing a lot of Halo: Reach, and I'm pretty sure I'm only in to that because I can unlock these crappy magic hats which do nothing and look shit.

Perhaps it's just New Vegas I'm tired of, and with Skyrim coming up I only have enough love in my heart for one massively open world RPG?

I don't know. I'll probably get the DLC and love it.

New Vegas is still a great game.

Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues is developed by Obsidian Entertainment, and it's out on the 19th July for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

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