If you’re itching to uncover some more new ground in New Vegas, Old World Blues is here to satiate your cravings. Taking a different turn, Old World Blues lets you keep whatever you can carry in with you rather than employing the minimalistic approach. They also throw in some cool new equipment, an interesting environment to explore, and some genuinely funny (and sometimes disturbing) dialogue. Out of all the DLC out so far, this one ranks in at the top of the charts and it is New Vegas’ equivalent of Fallout 3’s Point Lookout.
Old World Blues plays very similar to the core New Vegas experience. You are dropped in a new (and smaller) open world after investigating another strange radio broadcast, and you are given freedom to explore and deviate from the main quest as you see fit. You are transported to a place called “Big MT” and before you know it you’re a lab rat for a group of five scientists who need you to do their bidding in exchange for some vital organs removed from your body. The story is very straightforward, but the dialogue keeps it fresh and funny, even if some of the characters are a little long winded.
While the technical side of the graphics are unchanged, you have a lot more to look at in Old World Blues. Dealing with SCIENCE rather than the rustic atmosphere more common in the other New Vegas add-ons, you will see that there are plenty of abandoned labs and testing facilities to explore, and it is entertaining as ever to go off the beaten path to see something new. The labs themselves are hit or miss depending on what cool stuff lies beyond the door, but it is a nice change of pace and definitely a step up from Honest Hearts’ Zion Canyon.
The music remains relatively unchanged in Old World Blues, but the audio really shines in the voice acting. The characters you meet have a ton of dialogue jammed into a small piece of DLC, and they perform it all really well. Each character has their own unique personality, and I found myself laughing out loud at their stories and colorful vocabulary. The voice actors did a great job of giving these characters life, and while there is a lot of dialogue, it is worth listening to because odds are it will make you laugh.
If you enjoyed New Vegas, you will more than likely enjoy Old World Blues. The core game play remains the same; completing quests, finding new things and killing mutated abominations are among the activities you will be doing. Old World Blues spices things up by giving you some cool new equipment, some new monsters to fight, and five more levels to help you further develop your courier into a killing machine.
First and foremost is the new equipment. Old World Blues gives you the most useful spoils to date, and most of them are pretty entertaining to use. Since this expansion is very scientific, most of the weapons are energy based, but there are a couple other types here and there. For example, my personal favorite is a melee weapon called the proton axe, which has an energy blade and looks like something dragged out of a campy science fiction story. There are also unique “named” weapons that are more powerful than the standard ones.
Along with the new equipment you will find some old and new enemies to test them out on. A lot of the enemies come in the form of failed experiments that will attack you on site. The recommended level for Old World Blues is 15, so if you’re an experienced courier none of them should pose too much of a threat. However, they come at you in droves, so be prepared to fight.
While Old World Blues is the best of the DLC so far, it still has some minor issues. Fighting the same enemies at such a high frequency can bog down the experience, and there is only so much you can do with a post apocalyptic testing facility, so exploring all of them one after the other gets a little old. As far as bugs go, my game froze twice, enemies popped up out of nowhere a couple times and sometimes none of my bullets would hit a particular enemy while I had a 95% chance in V.A.T.S. That could be my bad luck, but it happened about half the time so I think it’s a little more than that. There are other bugs out there, but I never experienced them personally.
Despite the minor hiccups, Old World Blues is the first great addition to New Vegas. The new, free roaming atmosphere combined with the funny dialogue and the cool new equipment make it a must buy for any fan of Fallout. While Honest Hearts and Dead Money are still fun to play, if you can only get one, get Old World Blues.
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Name: Old World Blues
Available on: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Developed by: Obsidian Entertainment
Published by: Bethesda Softworks
Release date: July 19th, 2011
EG Score: 4 out of 5 / “Worth Buying”