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Greetings. I am the Illusive One. For many years now I have been a huge video game player, movie viewer, and book reader. For almost as long, I have been a critic of these things and many people respect my opinions of these things and have often said I belong on G4 doing reviews on X-Play or a similar show. Sadly that is not likely to happen. So instead I shall do reviews for you, uninfluenced by other reviewers, of video games books, movies, and, occasionally, music and political actions. I hope you find this informative and helpful. Thank you for your time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fallout New Vegas: Dead Money

            As my more dedicated readers know, I have done several game reviews over the months and many of which have had several pieces of downloadable content released for it.  For some reason, however, I have never gone into great detail with these but now feel that I should.  So, this is my first review of a piece of downloadable content.  It's The Illusive One's Review of the expansion for Fallout: New Vegas, Dead Money.

The Plot
            The plot of Dead Money is set in the time before the end of New Vegas.  You play as the courier, (obviously), when he picks up a radio signal on his Pip-Boy that advertises for the Sierra Madre Casino.  Eager to see what it is, the courier traces the signal to its origin but is knocked unconscious, striped of his/her gear and finds himself/herself in a hellish territory, (even by Fallout standards this place is bad), with a bomb collar strapped to his/her neck.  A hologram of a man named Father Elijah then appears and tells you that the only way he will let you go is if you help him break into the Sierra Madre Casino Vault that supposedly contains a fortune.  And so you go off to try to break into this Vault, free yourself, and escape the Sierra Madre.

The Gameplay
            While the controls and general rules of Fallout: New Vegas still apply to Dead Money, it still added a lot of things.  The difficulty factor in Dead Money was extremely high for several reasons.  The entire territory reeked of danger and the environment itself was poisonous and many areas were impossible to walk around without losing health.  Another constant hazard were radios and speakers  as they interfere with the frequency your bomb collar is on and can cause it to explode if you’re in a certain area for too long.    
            Rather than fighting Super Mutants, Ghouls, or people you fight these strange, humanoid creatures called the Ghost People and let me tell you they are tough to take down.  They move quickly, their tough, bullets do next to no damage against them, and even when you take down all their hit points they will just be knocked unconscious.  The only way to permanently kill them is so chop off some limb and that can be hard, especially when facing a pack of them.  Other noteworthy new enemies were the holograms.  These were major pains in the assess as they shoot very damaging lasers and were impossible to kill without disabling their projectors.   
            The game also offered a few new weapons that are worth mentioning.  The first was the bear trap claw.  That one has to be seen to believe.  Others were the magnum powered police revolver, the micro fusion powered holorifle, and the knife spears wielded by the Ghost People.

The Characters
            Strangely enough, there are only four characters, (not including the courier), in Dead Money.  The first, obviously, is Father Elijah who serves as the antagonist but is a forgettable one.  Throughout the Sierra Madre you meet three other people who serve as your companions.  The first is the Super Mutant with a split personality disorder named Dog who shifts between an intelligent Super Mutant to a savage monster.  The second is the treacherous Ghoul, Dean Domino, who wants nothing more than to take all of the Sierra Madre Vault's contents for himself.  The last to mention is the mute tech specialist Christine.  While the time with these characters was limited they were all good.
            Before I move on I feel I have to mention one last thing.  Towards the end of Dead Money the characters mention another courier who impacted their lives in some way and the epilogues mention that the two will one day meet and fight at the edge of the world, (who knows what the hell that means).  This addresses a minor plot gap that existed towards the beginning of New Vegas where another courier passes up the job you take after recognizing your name.  Never again was this mentioned or referenced to throughout the rest of the game and I can't help but feel that the epilogues mentioning of this mysterious courier is a foreshadowing for another piece of downloadable content.  And honestly, it's one I can't wait for.

The Verdict
            All around, this was a great piece of DLC and they don't get much better than this.  It had a great environment, great characters, great enemies, great additional weapons, and a great foreshadowing of things to come.  If you already own New Vegas I strongly recommend getting this piece of DLC.  So buy it, download it, and be ready to die a shitload of time.  It's worth it.


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