Tag Archives: Point Lookout

Games Completed in 2011, #31 – Fallout: New Vegas, Lonesome Road DLC

Fallout: New Vegas‘s side-stories had to end somewhere, and I guess the Divide, a landscape ripped apart by frequent earthquakes, violent storms, and heavy amounts of radiation, is rather fitting, especially since it plays home to the original courier tasked to deliver the Platinum Chip, the one that put a hole in your head. All throughout the vanilla game’s adventure and earlier DLC packs, hints have been dropped about this mysterious Ulysses, forcing curiosity upon the cat, making us wonder just why he refused that infamous job. When Ulysses actually reaches out to the Courier via a Pip-Boy message, one certainly feels compelled to head after him and get some freakin’ answers. So long as you can survive the journey there, that is…

It’s easy to call Lonesome Road linear, as that’s exactly what roads are–lines from one point to another, with guardrails and medians to prevent you from getting off track. Unfortunately, the Fallout franchise is at its worst when its restrictive; compare Operation: Anchorage to Point Lookout, Dead Money to Old World Blues. Walking forward is never thrilling, but unfortunately that’s the only way to get to Ulysses. So off you go, but you better have plenty of medicine for radiation and a healthy stock of weapons as the denizens of the Divide are truly nasty. Deathclaws, marked men, and tunnelers will keep you on your toes, and there’s a lot of rads to deal with. The DLC is recommended for higher level players, and that’s definitely some astute advice to follow. Luckily, you don’t have to go alone; while you can’t actually bring your New Vegas companions with you, shortly into the Divide you do pick up a modifiable ED-E, and while he’s not stellar during combat sessions, his upbeat/downtrodden beeping at least keeps you grounded. Also, you learn that you’ve probably been pronouncing his name wrong this whole time.

My biggest complaint about the DLC is with the big man himself, Ulysses. At several checkpoints, he will use ED-E to talk to you, and these chats can seemingly go on for hours. His cryptic dialogue and odd, slow drawl are to blame; some of what he has to say is important, but only if you can read between the lines. It’s like pulling teeth, and towards the end of Lonesome Road I was so fed up with these parts that I began rushing through dialogue trees so that I could shoot him in the face. Whereas the Burned Man in Honest Hearts was a disappointment for not talking enough and living up to the legend, Ulysses digs his own grave–slowly, methodically, fatefully.

The package felt a lot like this: walk forward, shoot some dudes, listen to Ulysses, repeat. There are not many nooks to explore, and there is only one way to go. The final battle was a little unfair too, but that might be because I picked to hurt Ulysses instead of team up with him. Might try that on my next stroll through, whenever that happens.

Lonesome Road‘s best perks are the updates to ED-E, the +5 to your level cap, and that your gear is not stripped at the beginning of the add-on. Other than that, it’s certainly missable DLC, much like Dead Money, and considering most of it is story-vital and not gameplay-vital, just read what happens on a wiki and be glad you didn’t have to deal with all that laborious listening.

At some point, I’ll talk a bit about Gun Runners’ Arsenal, too, as I’m now on my fourth playthrough (go, Rhaegar!) and am trying to go after some of that DLC’s challenges. Which are freaking insane. Kill adult Mojave Wasteland Deathclaws with .22 Pistols, Switchblades, Boxing Tape, Recharger Rifles, or Dynamite? Me thinks not!

Fallout 3: Status Report (Level 30)

Previous status updates include:

  • Level 10: Where I grew up in a vault, chased after my dad, and hightailed it to faux-Alaska for a bit
  • Level 20: Where I found my dad, learned of his plan to purify the Capital Wasteland, and got probed by some aliens

And here we are now…Level 30. Experience-wise, I can go no further. I’ve gotten all the perks I can get for my super-duper messiah, and enough ammo to shoot whatever I want, wherever I want, how ever many times I want. Bottle caps up the who-ha, too, thanks to the Fortune Finder perk. Which is a shame, because I now feel like everything from here forward is pointless (maybe that’s too harsh a word), a little less satisfying because there’s no more XP to earn.

[Some vague spoilers to follow]

But let’s talk about what I’ve been up to these past final 10 levels. Well, to start, I “took it back” wherein I, some Brotherhood head honchos, and Liberty Prime stormed against the Enclave in order to retrieve the G.E.C.K. they originally stole from me. This was a pretty epic fight hampered by the fact that I roleplay a sneaky sneak, meaning I basically hung back and watched my friends do damage. After that I continued on to wipe out the Enclave entirely (though, as a few continue to pop up later on in the game, this is not accurate), and then decided it was time for a change of scenery.

Enter: Point Lookout, Maryland.

What a creepy and quiet place. Now, the bombs did not drop in Maryland, but the state certainly has been affected by radiation. There’s shovel-weilding inbreds and a host of ghouls, as well as an abandoned amusement park pier and some unnerving caves full of coffins and booby-traps (“That’s what I said, booby-traps.”). The main missions involve protecting a mansion, and then picking a side between a foul-mouthed ghoul and Mother Brain. I was level 25 when I arrived, and I found it harder in the beginning and a breeze to complete come the end. It’s really more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to Fallout 3, but I would’ve liked more enemy variety and quest choices in this DLC. There’s some sidequests which I started, but left to the wayside, returning to the Capital Wasteland to finish up some miscellaneous tasks.

That’s right. Miscellaneous tasks…at this point, it’s all I have left besides a few quests which I won’t do until I replay as an evil-doer (specifically, “Strictly Business” and “You Gotta Shoot ‘Em in the Head”) . I’m missing two Bobbleheads at the moment, need to kill three more Super Mutant Behemoths, and win some more Speech challenges. Once those are done, I’m starting all over to play Fallout 3 completely different. And this time I mean it because I said the same with Fable 2, but just found it to be the same game with a slightly different outlook. Evil woman avatar is basically good male avatar that scares people away. No terrible punishments. I really do get the impression that, in Fallout 3, your character’s actions (i.e., your actions) truly have consequences, making the world real, making the experience real.

And that’s it for now. I absolutely love this game, probably the first I’ve absolutely loved in awhile since Suikoden II and Super Metroid, and I can most certainly assure you I’ll be back once more to summarize the entire experience Fallout 3 brings to the player, and to the genre. Don’t think I’ll do status updates for the evil character though. Unless she holds a Chinese assault rifle to my head, that is.

Fallout 3 froze again

My second freeze after over 70+ hours…which is not a terrible record by any means, but still, I’m nervous. Was in Point Lookout and I fast traveled to the boardwalk area only to have the music get all glitchy and then poof…FROZE. Hadn’t been playing for very long at the time either so maybe it is just the DLC. Think good thoughts, everyone.