Review: Fallout: New Vegas: The Lonesome Road DLC

Review: Fallout: New Vegas: The Lonesome Road DLC

Rarely does a game this late in its life cycle punch out a DLC, and when it does, it’s usually a chapter that ties up some loose ends and answers any lingering questions. The Lonesome Road, on the other hand is what is scientifically referred to as ‘the complete opposite of that.’

Fallout New Vegas: The Lonesome Road

I adopted Fallout New Vegas quite late into its life cycle, about a month ago to be exact. Initially, I was put off the by countless reports of bugs, crashes, and glitches that rendered the game generally unplayable. However, after a smoking deal that any self-respecting gamer couldn’t resist, I caved in and bought the game… where it sat on my shelf for another 2 months.

Thanks to a rather dry summer of gaming, New Vegas found its way into my PS3 and subsequently into my heart. I was able to look past the glaring oversights and errors and forgive the technical bugs that crashed my game (leaving me with hours of lost time) simply because I was engrossed in the happenings of the world. And since I missed out on all the hoopla surrounding the previous DLC, I saw the Lonesome Road as a way to connect at last with the community before it gave up the ghost.

The Lonesome Road actually dropped right around the time I was tying up some loose ends in the game’s main story, so the major events were still fresh in my mind when I lumbered into the great Divide. However, what I found there left me scratching my head and asking ‘Ok… what just happened?’

Fallout New Vegas: The Lonesome Road

The enigmatic figure known as Ulysses, or Courier 6 as he is more affectionately known, has contacted you, requesting your presence in a place known as the Great Divide. For those of you who may have forgotten, Courier 6 is the man responsible for setting in motion the events that kick-started the entire main storyline. He passed up the chance to carry the platinum chip and get his brains blown out by Benny, leaving the opportunity wide open for you. Now, for reasons that remain largely unknown, Ulysses wants you to amble through the Divide and meet with him.

In theory a DLC with this premise is a great idea. Meet the man responsible for everything and give him a piece of your mind. However, as with all things in life, execution is everything (Read: Communism).

You enter the Divide to find a war torn, earthquake-ridden wasteland that makes The Mojave Wasteland look like Sandals Jamaica. You are given a rather helpful floating sentient being known as ED-E, who doubles as your own personal pack mule for all your loot. His character offers up a sappy owner/pet love story that never really sees any closure, but helps provide a bit of relief for the ramblings of Ulysses. ED-E occasionally suffers from a case of schizophrenia as he will randomly interject and serve as a mode of communication between you and Ulysses. This is where things get confusing.

Fallout New Vegas: The Lonesome Road

Seeing as how The Lonesome Road is entirely linear, you really have no physical connection with the story and Ulysses must communicate remotely. This isn’t the issue, however. Rather, in order to understand Ulysses, you may need a PhD in Renaissance and Victorian Literature and Language as your dialogue with him will make about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine.

I’ve listened to the dialogue over and over again, but nothing makes any sense whatsoever. If you focus hard enough you can pick out bits and pieces of subtle allusions to prior plot points, but unless you’ve mastered the storyline and have it memorized, don’t bother.

As I said before, the path across the Divide has about as many offshoots as you can count on one finger and features absolutely no side quests whatsoever. Unless of course you consider finding and clicking on ‘X’ amount of posters or upgrading ED-E’s circuit board to be side quests. Linearity aside, the environments aren’t all that shabby. Strewn across the land are deserted warheads that you can detonate with a laser beam and ease some of the potentially difficult battles… which can become quite frustrating given enough time.

The Lonesome Road boasts a level 25 requirement and to say that is that is the minimum is a massive understatement. I made the mistake of confronting this debacle at exactly that level with severely lacking weapons and armor. I struggled simply to make it to the next safe zone and even that wasn’t enough. One specific location required multiple attempts simply due to the game throwing wave after wave of enemy at me while waiting for the elevator to reach the bottom. Once I did manage to get away from the enemies, a lot of the static zones offered up an unhealthy dose of radiation and refused to let me sleep. So what if I wake up a ghoul! My arms and legs are falling off and I need to sleep!

Fallout New Vegas: The Lonesome Road

The enemies you will encounter aren’t incredibly varied, but they are certainly more than enough to piss you off. It’s a well-known fact that everyone enjoys tripping face first into a den of Deathclaws just to have said face torn to shreds before you can dust yourself off. Well, get ready for that to happen… a lot. That is, only if you make it past the tunnelers and the Marked Men who relentlessly assault you from cleverly hidden locales.

The Lonesome Road is far from a bad experience simply because you get to play more Fallout: New Vegas. If you found the bugs of the original game annoying, you aren’t going to find any solace here. In fact, a few new bugs pop up that can ruin the overall experience a bit such as not being able to open your Pip Boy in the heat of battle or when your body is moving at any speed other than perfectly still. The boss battle is beyond hard if you aren’t appropriately leveled and equipped with the right weapon and ammo. *cough* riot shotgun *cough*

Compared to the other DLC available for New Vegas, The Lonesome Road is a bit underwhelming and short lived. Clocking in at easily less than 3 hours for a bare minimum level, ill-equipped adventurer, I can only imagine how short it would be for someone at the current level cap with insane weapons. That’s not to say it shouldn’t be played as I truly believe that any fan of the game should at least give it a go; if not at the very least so you can have some interaction with the man responsible for your fate. Just don’t expect to understand it.

PROS:

  • More New Vegas!
  • A sweet, justicy load of revenge!
  • A personal flying pack mule

CONS:

  • Incomprehensible plot
  • Random difficulty spikes
  • Far too short ( less than 3 hours)
  • Loaded with old and new bugs.

Score: 7/10

Comments are closed.