OXCGN’s Fallout New Vegas: Old World Blues DLC Review
An Eccentric Undertaking
©2011 Nicholas Laborde
Fallout 3 set an extremely difficult precedent to follow in the world of post-release downloadable content.
Not only did it provide extremely solid, quality content on a regular basis for nearly a year after release, but every single piece was an actual contribution to the game; they were not just a rehashed area with new quests, or an arena to fight enemies in.
New Vegas, on the other hand, hasn’t exactly hit the nail on the head so far with its iterations of post-release content… it’s been missing the nail and hitting its fingers.
Thankfully, Old World Blues is the first one to really impress, and even outranks some of the best from Fallout 3 in my book.
Odd World Blues
The Courier is then transported to the infamous “Big Empty“, an area thought dead and deserted to all of the Wasteland. Little did they know, it’s far more lively then they’d think.
Deriving its name from Big Mt. (Big Mountain), the Courier travels to this wild, isolated place and uncovers a scientific wonderland shrouded in a “war” between scientists.
And these aren’t just everyday scientists. They’re not even human… well, not anymore, at least. All six of them have had their brains removed from their bodies, and then were put into floating robots reminiscent of Mr. Gutsy.
After arriving, you’ll find that these robots have gone through the “generous” process of removing and replacing your heart, brain and spine.
The scientists consist of the charismatic Dr. Klein, the eccentric Dr. 0, the ever-strange Dr. Borous, the creepy Dr. Dala, Hitler-esque Dr. Mobius, and the mysterious Dr. 8. All of the scientists are being oppressed by the robo-scorpions of Dr. Mobius, who threatens them on a daily basis via broadcast from his facility across the pond… erm, Empty.
These gentlemen bestow upon you the title of “lobotomite” and present to you the task of recovering the technology necessary to stop Dr. Mobius.
What follows is an excellently written story that wraps up in an interesting manner, and it all happens in a fairly large area with over thirty locations to find.
My biggest beef with Old World Blues is its obvious “inspiration” from the Portal series, among the Valve references. The writing of the scientists will have you thinking it’s a shoddy Portal knockoff, but thinking so will ruin your experience.
Old World Blues is a fantastic and extremely different addition to the Fallout universe; the Courier, as usual, is nonchalant and goes about doing the scientists’ bidding with a generally positive attitude, although he can be inquisitive at times.
The characters are some of the most memorable in Fallout, but as stated earlier, it feels as if the characters were meant to be similar to Wheatley from Portal 2.
Oh, and there’s a large robot dog named Gabe.
Valve infatuation aside, the cast is fantastic and the writing is some of the strongest in Fallout.
Apart from the main storyline, as mentioned above there are thirty-five locations for you to find in the technological world of Big Mountain, as long as you remain within the confounds of the perimeter.
The scientists set up a perimeter that you can’t pass, otherwise you’ll die; stories of the Big Empty cannot get to the Wasteland, you see.
How much you uncover directly affects your ending, so I’d suggest getting your exploration on and doing everything to achieve the maximum enjoyment.
Gameplay is of course in typical Fallout fashion, with everything from your standard retrieval quests all the way to making a robot “city” come alive. All of it is your choice, and with that typical Fallout charm.
Several new enemies make their appearance, including Dr. Mobius’ Big Mountain-renown Robo-Scorpions, of which several models and variations exist. They are a force to be reckoned with, and add an unprecedented layer of challenge to the DLC.
Throughout the Big Empty, you’ll encounter the robo-scorpions, along with robotic canines and a few other new creatures (including plants!).
It’s a large contrast to the deserted landscape of the Mojave, and a welcome one at that.
New weapons aren’t in the highest supply here, but the ones that you do find are memorable and very functional, the chief of which is the Sonic Emitter; an item originally not programmed to be a weapon, it can be reprogrammed to emit different sound waves to collectively fry the circuits of the primarily robotic enemies throughout this DLC.
Old World Blues
Instead, presented is a full-blown AAA piece of content that stirred my imagination, enveloped me into its strange storyline, and lasted me upwards of six hours (and that wasn’t even scratching the surface of exploration and participating in all of the sidequests).
Old World Blues is a piece of content you shouldn’t miss, and the $10USD price tag is an absolute steal.
What are you waiting for? Return to the Mojave and get sucked into the Wasteland yet again.