Each of the four companions you work with are actually kind of interesting. The Nightkin named Dog has a multiple personality disorder and depending on which personality is dominate at the time he’s with you, he’ll provide a different companion perk. Christine, the mute, is probably my favorite. She communicates through gestures and facial expressions for most of the DLC and it was kind of fun to figure out her story through various dialogue options that has her motioning her responses. Dean Domino, the ghoul, is also an interesting character with his own agenda for the Sierra Madre treasure. He’s my second favorite and comes close to being the one I liked the best with top notch voice acting. Dean and Christine have some good back story to them while Dog’s was just OK in my opinion.
Mission design does get a little repetitive involving the three companions. I don’t know why Obsidian didn’t allow you to have more than one companion but it was pretty annoying to lead one to an area and have to go back to fetch another. Fallout: New Vegas sort of lets you have two humanoid companions and one non-human companion if you get the NCR Radio to call in someone. Why didn’t Obsidian let you have more than one follow you is beyond me but like the collar, it artificially lengthens the time needed to complete the DLC just because you have to double back a few times. I wouldn’t be annoyed by this if it only happened once but you have to work with your companions three times individually. I know a few quests that could’ve been completed in less time were I able to have more than one tag along, but alas the limitation to just one companion is another one of my main beefs with the DLC.
The level design of the Villa reminds me of some of the Vegas hotel inner shopping center. I hope you enjoy red as that’s very prominent in the air as part of the mysterious cloud’s effect. You don’t get much in terms of exploration though and you rarely get a place to sleep. The Sierra Madre is actually done well and I liked walking around in there a lot more than the Villa. For new areas to explore, Dead Money’s the Villa disappoints while the actual hotel had some interesting parts.
Supplies are limited but there are vending machines scattered about that can give you items. As you go along, you’ll pick up code for other items that can be dispensed by the machines that work off of Sierra Madre coins found throughout the maps. It is rather tough at the beginning since you are low on coins and you can’t create stimpacks, which are pretty sparse early on. Drops by enemies offer up little to or no value so you’re going to be relying on finding items in storage areas and the vending machines mostly.
You get five more levels with the DLC so those that were maxed out will be happy to know they can level up some more. A few new perks are also available to choose with the release of Dead Money. The new perks range from useful to eh in my opinion though but that’s par for the course for any Fallout DLC. Out of the new ones, I’d probably choose Heavyweight myself, which make weapons weighing more than 10lbs weigh half as much as I’ve horded a large amount of heavy weapons for my character..
What would a Fallout game be without bugs and I encountered my first one in the first few minutes of the game. Pulling the gun out, I was greeted by the weapon being held up higher than usual on the screen and then proceeded to dance above and below the point while I was walking. Pulling up my Pip-boy, the screen was inaccessible due to it being above where I could see it on the screen. It was fixed after putting it down and pulling it up again though. I think this bug was still in the game prior to the DLC, and if so, it doesn’t seem to be corrected yet.
I encountered three fatal bugs though that forced me to reload the game. The first one involved a simple act of sitting on a couch in one of the abandon buildings which caused my character to just stand there. I couldn’t go into VATS and the game just didn’t proceed as my character was stuck standing up. I couldn’t even move the camera around as it just showed a third person view and it didn’t even seem to be any obstruction in the way to cause my character to glitch. Luckily for me, I had a save that was about a few minutes off, but this bug would’ve really frustrated me if I didn’t save often like some people do.
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