Preceded by Dead Money and Honest Hearts, Old World Blues is the third of four planned entries for add-on content. As with past pieces of DLC for Fallout New Vegas, Old World Blues takes place in a new location that the player will have to travel to.
This time, they’ll be venturing out to the Big Empty (also known as Big MT) after examining the Mojave drive-in. From here, players are teleported to the new area where countless technological wonders and scientific mad men await.
The Old World Blues DLC is filled to the brim with wonderful characters. First, you’ll meet the Think Tank. The Think Tank is made up of five pre-war scientists that are now reduced to a floating brain in a jar. These are the ones responsible for removing your brain, heart, and spine. Everyone in this group has their own distinct personality. Dr. Klein yells constantly and blames the others for turning up his volume without him knowing. When Dr. 8 speaks, it is impossible to comprehend what is being said since he speaks using radio static. Each one brings their unique style to the conversations (especially early on). Then there’s Dr. Mobius, the Think Tank’s rival. Mobius is a mad scientist that has unleashed laser-firing robo-scorpions upon Big Empty and all those who wander around. While these characters lead to some great dialogue, the best of characters are found (or rather activated) through side quests. In the Sink, your main base of operations, is full of random items that can be activated once their personality chips are located. There is a light switch, a toaster, a mini-securitron type robot, a sink, and a few others. The small robot known as Muggy has an OCD about dirty dishes and constantly asks if you have mugs.
Toaster immediately won me over as the best of the bunch. This “mini-death ray” as he likes to refer to himself is hell-bent on burning the world and murdering other toasters. This little guy drops more F-bombs than the A-bombs he longs to engulf the Earth in. When I brought him a toaster, he ruthlessly tore it apart and watched its insides spill out (this was all implied through Toaster’s dialogue). His sadistic nature is hilarious coming from a small household appliance. Activating and listening to these characters makes this add-on the best in terms of cast.
Old World Blues takes place in a small, open-world map just like the other DLC, but that doesn’t mean that it’s lacking in content. Filling the abandoned area are several enemies such as Nightstalkers, Lobotomites, Cyberdogs, Robo-scorpions, and much more new, as well as old, enemies thrown into the mix. The encounters with these enemies wouldn’t be too different if it wasn’t for new weaponry. The first new weapon you’ll gain is the Sonic Emitter. This gun has a variety of uses from disposing of mechanical enemies to disabling force fields once upgraded. The K9000 Cyberdog Gun can also be obtained at the same time as the Sonic Emitter if they player’s Gun skill is high enough. A cyberdog and a gatling gun are combined to create a deadly weapon. When the gun is equipped the dog barks and it whines when unequipped. It definitely adds some personality to the weapon, which is something we don’t see very often. Other weapons can be found scattered about the Big Empty such as the Saturnite Fist (which can be super-heated by Toaster), a jurry-rigged Tesla cannon, a new silenced sniper rifle, a proton axe, and other cutting-edge weaponry (well, besides the scientist gloves).
Throwing a laser axe into a lunging Nightstalker never gets old. Also, punching a lobotomite with a super-heated saturnite fist that bursts him into flames is something to behold as well. In addition to new weapons and enemies, you can expect some Old World Blues-specific clothing to be found in various science facility ruins. The one that stands out the most is the Stealth suit Mk II. Dressing up in this cover ops suit grants the player near invisibility when sneaking and it will automatically administer stimpaks and Med-X as long as it is needed and available in the inventory (although all this did for me was create a Med-X addiction). The suit even talks to you so that you’re aware of your surroundings and current stealth state. It’s definitely nice at first, but the voice can get annoying. To wrap it all up, the game throws numerous side missions into DLC to make sure players get well over their $10 worth as well as plenty of experience to work through the boosted level cap.
The story opens up with you in the Sink and you aren’t really sure where you are or why you’re there. Upon approaching the Think Tank, you find out that you’re brain, spine, and heart have been removed from your body and replaced with pieces of technology (which boost numerous stats). Shortly after the lengthy introductions, you are enlisted by the Think Tank to take down their arch-nemesis, Dr. Mobius, who may very well have your brain. It is your job to venture into the Big Empty and find the necessary supplies to combat Mobius and his army of tech-minions. This felt like Old World Blues was New Vegas’ Mothership Zeta. It definitely separates itself from the rest of the DLC in terms of presentation and your character is, once again, the unfortunate subject of various experiments. The main story itself is an enjoyable ride, but the side-missions offer up just as much interesting information. During one mission, a computer terminal revealed the origins of one of New Vegas’ deadly creatures (I won’t spoil which one it is). The story may start out slow, but once it really gets going, the entertainment rarely disappoints.
Following the main quest, you’ll find that it is mainly composed of fetch quests, especially in the beginning. You’ll be running all over the map exploring various facilities as you grab a crucial component in each. The game can devolve into “grab this, bring it back, then go grab that.” Add in the “kill everything in-between” and this is a pretty typical cycle for Fallout players. It is highly recommended that you indulge in as many side missions or general exploration as possible to break up the pace of the main story. This way you don’t feel like a robot going through the motions.
I am only putting this here so that people hoping that Old World Blues will be more stable than the main game or previous add-ons know that it is the same. There’s still going to be major slow down and the occasional full on freeze present while playing. If you’ve learned to ignore the issues this outdated engine cause, then chances are you’ll be able to overlook them here as well.
Old World Blues is the best DLC for Fallout New Vegas so far. It has set the bar for the upcoming Lonesome Road add-on. It’s cast of varied and unique character are at the heart of the experience. Each one helps liven up the already enticing story a little bit more. As for content, well this is Fallout; there’s plenty of it. However, players may feel fatigue part-way through from the similarly designed missions as they work through the story. Overall, Old World Blues is one of the greatest entries to Fallout DLC and should not be missed by any fan of the game.
[Editor’s Note: Fallout New Vegas – Old World Blue was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Fallout: New Vegas - Old World Blues Review,