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Richard Cobbett

Nov 19, 2011

Fallout: New Vegas Lonesome Road

There are three problems with this, the last story-based New Vegas DLC pack, and two of them are in the title. It's an almost relentlessly linear trudge from one side of a rubble-strewn canyon to the other, with only an endearingly bleepy new ED-E eyebot for company. There are few sidequests along the way, few surprises, and only a handful of secrets for you to discover.

All this offers little to distract you from the constant attacks by mutants and monsters at every step, and that's the third problem. Instead of going out on a big, adventurous high, Lonesome Road is practically a Fallout FPS, complete with named minibosses, Deathclaws and the new Tunneler enemies liberally scattered around. There's even one of those sequences where you have to stay alive on a slowly descending lift. Sure, they fit the setting, but not the role-playing action that New Vegas does best. It's like Deus Ex: Human Revolution spawning a whole expansion based on nothing but bosses.

Drat. I can never find the barcode on these explosions.

Your reasons for this suicidal insanity are oddly underwhelming, given the build-up to them in the original game and last three DLC packs. During the main New Vegas storyline, you discovered that your unlucky courier wasn't the one meant to deliver Mr House's Platinum Chip. The man who was, an infamous figure called Ulysses, passed on the job so that you'd get the assignment instead – and not to do you a favour.

Lonesome Road is the story of why he set you on the path to being shot in the head and left for dead, and why he's still nursing a grudge – even if the best in-game reason he has for you actually running his gauntlet may as well be, “Because otherwise you just wasted £7.49, idiot.”

As a character, he's shown up in name and action throughout the DLC packs, but this is the first time you get to meet him face-to-face… and he's not worth the wait. His motivations are reasonable, but while he thinks he's an erudite philosopher, he comes across as a pretentious, jabbering bore, obsessed with something that you as the player never actually did, trying to lay down a guilt trip that just feels hollow. He does at least vary his spiel based on the faction you support, and has a very good chance of kicking your arse if you don't have the necessary skills to talk him out of his grand plan at the end.

Stop! My 100 points in speech compells thee!

And that's about all you get, ignoring a few new toys such as a cool rocket launcher, some forgettable items and Perks, and another unnecessary boost to the level cap. None are particularly vital though, nor justify the expense if you haven't already rushed to buy this. If you simply feel nostalgic for the Mojave and want to go back, get the Old World Blues DLC. After conquering that, walking the Lonesome Road isn't the only thing that makes this last DLC a pedestrian affair.

Fallout: New Vegas Lonesome Road

A disappointing end to the Courier’s travels, somehow going out with a nuclear explosion and a whimper at the exact same time.

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