It’s been a while since I’ve been back in the Mojave Desert. After taking part in an adventure through the Sierra Madre, I didn’t get to traverse Zion National Park of Honest Hearts. But, Bethesda was kind enough to send along some Old Worlds Blues my way so I popped in the ole New Vegas DVD and went to the Big Empty in search of my brain, my spine, and my heart.
Old World Blues is the third DLC for Fallout: New Vegas and it’s one of the better DLCs offered up including the ones for Fallout 3. Old World Blues has you being transported to the Big MT (Empty), a crater that houses a research facility among other things. As with most Fallout DLCs, you’re going to be sans companion, but at least you get to keep all your gear so that’s good as it lets you stock up before you get into the area. Nothing like being stripped each time you enter a DLC to get a little annoying, but I’m glad the decision to let you go in as is was made for Old World Blues.
The DLC is made for level 15 and up, but even my level 30 character had some trouble in certain parts. I highly suggest you stock up on stimpaks since they are rare in the DLC, given that you’ll find few first aid boxes or containers with them and few chemistry sets to give you a few as well. At least there was a challenge presented though, so that’s good news for veteran players.
The land of Big MT is huge and you’ll have plenty of areas to explore with Old World Blues. I don’t know if it was the layout of the crater and the areas in it or what not, but Old World Blues took me longer than the other downloadable packs for the game. There’s plenty to see and the great thing is that you’ll be able to return to the area once you finish it.
Why would you want to return? Well, your “home base” in Old World Blues is the Sink where you have a few helper appliances that you’ll be fixing up. They are really, really valuable for items and modifications. You know all those books that are pretty much useless in the world? Old World Blues makes them quite useful after you upgrade the Book Chute, combine some blank books with super glue and you’ll be able to make some skill books provided you have the recipe. It’s too bad it’s a single use though, but at least the books are now worth something in the world, albeit for a limited capacity. Muggy, a tiny securitron, can provide some great energy ammo of all types once per day. All of the appliances offer up some value and it’s a great home base after you finished the DLC because you can pretty much teleport to the Sink from any outdoor location.
Besides holding a good deal of exploration possibilities, the story of Old Worlds Blues is fun and funny. The beginning, which is a little long, will offer up the great humor that is the staple of the series. I admit, I laughed more than a few times listening to the robots with brains, or Think Tanks, at the beginning converse with both me and each other. Dr. Mobius, the Think Tank you are after in Old World Blues, has some great taunts against you as well as you traverse the crater or come upon his robotic scorpions. Old World Blues is certainly the funniest Fallout DLC and the humor makes the DLC even more enjoyable. I also loved the nods to Dead Money as you get some more information throughout your travels to help fill in the story of the famous hotel. It’s great to see a few mentions of other DLCs and, of course, hints of future DLC are littered throughout Old World Money too, especially about the other Courier.
The perks, weapons, and traits have some useful things to them. I really liked using the LAER or laser assisted electric rifle as one of my main weapons throughout Old World Blues. I was a little disappointed with the K9000 cyberdog gun though, being a minigun-like weapon that fires .357 magnum bullets. It didn’t seem to do as much damage as I thought. Still, it’s a pretty interesting weapon complete with dog growls, whine, and ears that perk up at the sight of enemies making the weapon have a unique personality to it. The sonic emitter is a pretty useful gun that in can be upgraded with various capabilities and has the ability to disable force fields that are prominent in Old Worlds Blues. I really loved some of the perks you get before and after you finish the game that grants some pretty powerful upgrades to your character.
Enemies consist of lobotomites, robot scorpions, nightstalkers, and cybernetic dogs among others. The lobotomites are just mindless humans with varying weapons while the nightstalkers are a combination of rattlesnakes and coyote with a mostly coyote body that can knock you down easily. The come in packs making them more dangerous. While the lobotomites were pretty easy to dispatch with my character, the packs of nightstalkers and cybernetic dogs provided a little more trouble with the robot scorpions being one of the tougher enemies to dispatch. The new monsters, while nothing really unique, fit the theme of the DLC well.
Most of the missions consist of running between various areas and retrieving items. It’s the most common Fallout type mission there is and Old Worlds Blues features mostly that type. If you’re sick of the fetch this, fetch that type of mission, you’ll probably be a little tired of Old Worlds Blues about half way through. Still, there are plenty of places to explore and a few side missions to keep you busy that you can come back to once you’re done with the main four quests.
What’s a DLC without crashes and bugs and I found a few that were annoying and game ending. I experienced one hard crash where I had to reset my Xbox, but thankfully only one this time. There were a few times where I would be in VATS and my character wouldn’t shoot, but instead stuck in the slow motion video that played. I couldn’t get out of it and the only way I could get it to not do that was switch to another weapon and switch back. Sometimes, I couldn’t even fire my weapon at all, but a switch to another fixed the glitch. There were a few times I got stuck in the environment, luckily this took place outside so I could fast travel to another area. It’s bugs like these that sometimes takes the enjoyment out of the game, but most weren’t game stopping.
Old World Blues was a very fun time for me and I haven’t had this much fun in a Fallout DLC in a while. It’s certainly up there as one of my favorite DLCs of the Fallout universe and one that’s definitely worth the $10 that Bethesda is asking for. I have to admit, Old Worlds Blues has me looking forward to the Lonesome Road, the DLC where you meet the other Courier after hearing more about him in Old World Blues. If you’re wanting a good DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, look no further than Old World Blues.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Old World Blues is a fun and funny DLC offering up some great rewards along the way. The mission variations is slim, but you'll have plenty of areas to explore in the Big Empty. Bugs still crop up that can annoy or kill your game though.
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