Fallout New Vegas: Dead Money Review (aka "Beep. . .Beep. . .Beep. . .DIE STUPID GAME!")
by, 02-02-2011 at 12:48 PM (1428 Views)
The one thing Fallout 3 did better than most games, aside from being a great experience, was nailing the DLC market. I really enjoyed all of the content that came out. So after only a couple short months the next instalment of the Fallout series, New Vegas released its first DLC pack. Dead Money. And the promise of another wave of great content is now in jeopardy, since this “ghostly” add-on falls flat on its face.
The most frustrating part about this dull experience is how much potential it had, on paper the premise sounds very good. You follow a mysterious radio signal(as you do in previous DLC packs) to a mysterious hatch, that lands you a swift knock out followed by an awakening in a quant villa outside the sealed off Sierra Madre Casino. Soon you are spoken to by a hologram who calls himself Father Elijah. Who with the aid of an explosive collar around your neck (*cough* battle royale *cough*), has decided to use you, and three other similarly fated allies, to gain access into the Casino and its fortune. If you fail to abide, boom. Off goes you head. So you must seek out these 3 individuals, as together you will follow Elijah’s demands and work as a team, for if one of you dies, you all die.
The allies you meet are very interesting, Dog/God a Nightkin with battling split personalities, Christine a woman who was disfigured and stripped of her voice box, and Dean Domino a former lounge singer turned Ghoul. All who do not come without their own agendas.
That is pretty much where the good qualities end. Unfortunately as good as the story and characters are this is in fact a game, and outside the usual Fallout mechanics it fails from the get go. The maps in the game, including the Village surrounding the Casino, the Casino itself, and a final area you must explore are some of the most poorly designed maps I have ever struggled through. The village has absolutely no unique qualities and just blandly blends together leaving you constantly going the wrong way, or checking your map for guidance. The casino isn’t quite as bad, but is still very awkward to navigate through. The awful map design only stings further when you start out on a series of truly lazy escort missions and fetch quests. Every time you feel you made progress you’re sent back out to find, or do something that only further infuriates you as you constantly run into dead ends.
The adventure comes with two new enemies, both of whom may be the worst in newly vamped Fallout series. The “Ghosts” which carry spears and gas bombs and need to be decapitated or dismembered to kill (“Night of the Living Dead Space” says hi), and the unbelievably irritating Holograms Guards that wonder the halls of the Casino, and if they see you turn a red shade and shoot lasers of their fingers . . .yes, “frickin lasers” (if your skill level is high enough you can disable them. . .mine was not)
All of the above complaints are nothing, and pale in comparison to my last point, something that seems to be meant as a cruel joke by Obsidian to serve with only one purpose, to make you hate this game and everything else on the planet, the Collar. Not only goes the good Father Elijah have the ability to blow it up if you don’t follow orders , but all the radios and speakers in the entire town shares such abilities. Around every corner you will suddenly hear what will become the most annoying sound in your life. Beep. . . . beep. . .beep. .beep, beep, beepbeepbeep BOOM! If you come within range of any radio or speaker signal you have a few seconds to either disable it, or run to safety. Problem is the game was a**hole enough to not give you any sort of way to detect where it is, what it is, or how many. Sure, the first couple times its kind of cool. But it wears VERY thin VERY fast. Add that to the awful map designs and you find yourself spending the entire game lost, and beeping. You think you found your way, Beep. . .beep. You run to safety, and now you’re lost and confused again. It’s enough to drive any mature, and patient gamer to their last grasp of sanity.
If you are truly a hardcore Fallout fan such as myself, who must play and experience everything, then you will probably find yourself playing this. Otherwise, if you can, avoid at all costs, aside from raising the level cap to 35 it doesn’t add anything to the overall game, and I would love to tell you the length but I honestly have no idea. It took me about 6 hours, but at least 4 was aimlessly wondering and searing at my controller. Let’s just pray the next instalment is better, please . . . be better.