Review: Fallout: New Vegas Old World Blues

OLD WORLD BLUES: It's often charming and funny but the combat can be demanding.
OLD WORLD BLUES: It's often charming and funny but the combat can be demanding.

Open world, non-linear games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls should almost force players to do something different.

In Fallout, as your character progresses, becoming stronger than Superman's grip, there's less reason to do anything other than kill everyone to proceed.

It's a boring way to play the game – but let's be honest, after 150 hours, most players are going to want some rapid closure.

The first Fallout: New Vegas expansion Dead Money didn't really allow experimentation.

It forced the player to bash his or her way through linear corridors full of crazily violent ghost people. It wasn't really Fallout.

Old World Blues is much better but sadly the main focus remains on combat. This expansion pack takes place in a pre-war research centre called the Big Mountain Research and Development Centre, or Big MT.

The place is home to bonkers scientists – crazies responsible for some of the horrors roaming the Mojave desert. Thankfully they're also responsible for gigantic guns and armour with which to kill those creatures.

Old World Blues is charming and often extremely funny, and its greatest strength lies in how it expands on the Fallout backstory.

The Big MT's locations reveal snippets about Fallout: New Vegas itself and it's very well done, making exploration rewarding and a much less dull.

Given most people who play Old World Blues will have already completed the main game, it's understandably hard.

But the sheer difficulty of the combat can sometimes grate.

Fallout is at its best when you can talk characters around and manipulate the game to achieve your goals without killing anyone, but most of Old World Blues sees you desperately gunning down stupidly tough hordes of monsters and running away from gimpy super-humans.

No matter how interesting the locations, and their little backstories, Fallout isn't a shooter and the combat is unresponsive and annoying.

When you're shooting some bloke in the head five times and he's still running at you swinging a saw, it just gets stupid.

At times you can talk the characters around, negotiate with them and bully them, but it just isn't enough.

Old World Blues is very enjoyable, often hilarious, but less combat would have been better.

Old World Blues (expansion pack for Fallout: New Vegas)

Price: 800 Points (Xbox 360), $18.90 (PlayStation 3), $US9.74 (Steam, PC)


The Press