Games Completed in 2011, #29 – Fallout: New Vegas, Old World Blues DLC

First, some Grinding Down linkage as I’ve already written a bit about this third DLC package for Fallout: New Vegas. Go on and catch up; I’ll wait:

There ya go.

After completing Old World Blues, I had decided that it was the vanilla game’s finest add-on, having not even played Lonesome Road yet at that point. With all four DLC now finished off, I can confirm that, yes, it is still the best of the bunch. Further proof: no other DLC to date dares call your fingers and toes penises.

Old World Blues begins with the Courier being transported to the Big MT research crater, a place thriving with robots and Old World mentality. A strange group of post-human researchers collectively known as the Think Tank take your brain out of your skull and then ask for your help. Cue Michelle Tanner: “How rude!” Off you go to explore the Big Empty, which is not as barren as you might expect, battle dangerous foes–such as robo-scorpions, nightstalkers, cyberdogs, lobotomites, and, if you have a certain trait turned on, one freakishly small, but deadly Deathclaw–and find the craziest equipment science can think up. It’s a grand ol’ time.

The DLC opens up with one extremely lengthy cut of chatter, but the writing and voice-acting make it worth sitting through. Kudos to Jim Ward, Cam Clarke, Jocelyn Blue, and James Urbaniak for really selling these robots as once human beings. After all that talking, the Courier then gets to go out and explore, but it’s no place to just go gallivanting about. Recommended for Couriers around LV 15 or higher, I found parts pretty difficult still at LV 28. Getting attacked by three nightstalkers is no walk through the park, and there’s a severe lack of available ammo to begin with; thankfully, one does eventually pick up the X-2 Antenna, a unique melee weapon that works wonders against enemies with either soft or hard skin. As you play, you’ll begin to upgrade the Sink, your home away from home, and the amount of new things is astounding; I now actively seek out random junk like cameras, hot plates, and irons because Toaster, which is an evil toaster, can break them down for me into microfusion and energy cells.

Both the DLC’s main quest and side quests are equally rewarding. “Picking Your Brains” is a side quest that has you talking to all the robotic doctors in the Think Tank, and while you may be tired of chatting with these super egos after the long intro, I suggest still doing it. You can gain some decent XP with skill checks, as well as early information about Ulysses and Father Elijah. “Field Research” will help make your biological research station and Blind Diode Jefferson even better–like that’s possible, you quip. “Sonic Emitter Upgrade” does exactly what it says on the tin, but it’s well worth the time as the Sonic Emitter is a powerful Energy gun that has a variety of mods to it, my favorite being Gabriel’s Bark, which rocks a unique “critical strike knockback” effect.

I’m hesitant to dive back into the Big Empty so soon on my fourth playthrough, but once I’m around, say, LV 20, I think I’ll risk it. It’s a pity to let such an awesome base go to waste for too long into Fallout: New Vegas, plus many of the perks gained from completing the DLC are important to creating a strong character. If there’s one DLC to get, this is it. Also raises your level cap by 5. Science!

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