Mod of the Week: For the Enclave, for Fallout New Vegas
In the Fallout universe, The Enclave -- deservedly -- have a bit of a bad reputation. On the other hand, they have cool armor and they're always landing vertibirds all over the place like total badasses, and while that doesn't make me like them, it at least makes me think they're kinda cool. That's why For The Enclave, which recently released its final version, is the Fallout New Vegas mod for anyone who's always wanted to join the Enclave.
The modders behind For the Enclave know the best thing about the Enclave is their mode of transport, and starts their mod off in the perfect fashion. Rather than just have some schmuck courier run up to you, or simply add a quest marker to your Pip-Boy journal, they bring in a vertibird to locate you in dramatic fashion. A chopper landing just for you on any occasion is always awesome, but a vertibird touching down in front of you in the post-apocalypse? Double-awesome.
It seems an Enclave general has noticed your badassery and perhaps has gotten a bit tired of being on the receiving end of it. You're invited to an underground bunker, the Enclave's version of a Vault, really. You can travel there on your own time or climb into the chopper that's just landed. Personally, I chose to take the ride. Why the hell wouldn't you? You've got something better to do than ride a chopper?
The Enclave bunker is big and sprawling, with hangers, barracks, a command HQ, an armory, and several levels of corridors, which is why its so nice that the modders took the time to place maps all over the place, mounted on the walls. Let's face it, it's no fun running around in circles, repeatedly opening the same doors and climbing the same stairs as you try to find your way out of a facility, which was a problem even in the vanilla game.
Despite your reputation and the fact that the Enclave went looking to hire you, you still have to start at the bottom of the food chain and work your way up. There's a couple small, fairly routine tasks you'll need to perform before you get into some serious Enclave business, but it won't be long before you're strapping on power armor and doing some heavy lifting for your new crew.
One early mission will have you investigating a gloomy underground laboratory. It may seem like a spoiler, showing that picture of ghouls, but trust me, you will know there are ghouls around the second you walk into the lab the because you can hear them. Constantly. Screeching. It just takes a while for them to, like, actually show up. Maybe it's just me and the fact that I always found Fallout's ghouls completely unsettling, but this entire mission was creep-tastic.
It also turns out that things in the Enclave are not super stable, and the militaristic faction has itself split into sub-factions. There's a splinter branch of the Enclave, and they're not super happy that you're pitching in to help. Hopefully you've already got on your new power armor, because this other Enclave is no picnic to deal with.
Soon you're in all-out war with the splinter Enclave group, and sent on a mission that's part stealth and recon, and part massive military conflict. Best of all, you get a chance to see more vertibirds swoop across the sky, touch down on the earth, discharge a bunch of Enclave troops -- and they've arrived to help you, not kill you. How sweet it is.
I don't want to blab about the entire mod, but there's a lengthy and challenging multi-part main quest, and a handful of side quests you can complete for some of the mod's new characters. You'll eventually unlock custom living quarters in the new bunker, and there's also a new companion that becomes available when you've progressed through some of the missions. There will be some new random encounters as well based on certain choices you've made during the main quest.
There are often waits of a few days between new missions in the mod, meaning this is a good mod to mix in with other activities or quests: when the Enclave has a new task for you, you can trust them to come and find you. There's some custom voice work in the mod, though it's mostly kept to a minimum, which is genuinely refreshing. Sometimes mod makers, when creating dialogue, create quite a lot of it, but here the talking is sparse and to the point.
This mod has been in development for a good long while, and earlier versions have been released in the past, but this appears to be the final version and is definitely worth your time.
Installation: You can download the mod right here. Just make sure you've checked both the .esm and .esp file in your data files when you launch the game as both are needed. You'll also need to be at least Level 15 for the quest to activate. There are also some addition files for improving performance and adding new Enclave uniforms, read the "Installation" section on this page to learn more.