If you managed to complete Fallout: New Vegas, you’ll know that not only was it a worthy entry in this fantastic franchise, but also it was bloody flipping huge. As in, book some time off work, load up on Red Bull and Goodfellas pizzas, and prepare to lose a week of your life. Shopping, socialising, bathing – we passed on all of them, to spend as much time as possible wandering the wastelands. By the end of that week, Game Debate Towers stank worse than a flatulent hippo.
If you made it to the end of the game but still weren’t sated, those kind chaps at Obsidian have been releasing DLC to add further missions to Fallout: New Vegas. Old World Blues is the latest pack, which can be downloaded directly through Steam for a small cost. Once installed, the new missions automatically integrate themselves into your game. Minimal fuss, just the way we like it.
Upon loading a previous saved game, you’ll receive a mysterious message asking you to attend a midnight screening at the drive-in cinema to the South. Of course, there’s more to this DLC than watching ropey Bela Lugosi films with your favourite gal. As soon as you arrive, there’s a blinding flash of light and much confusion. Some time later, you awake in an unfamiliar facility, feeling a little bit…peculiar.
We won’t say any more to avoid spoiling the new missions, but they take place in a whole new environment that takes several hours to fully explore. In that time you’ll meet a few new enemies, bag a couple of new weapons (including a very cool gun that barks like a dog and whimpers when you put it away), and even gain some new perks. As an added bonus, the level cap has also been raised by five.
The new environments range from familiar territory (hey, look, another broken down lab) to the sinister and peculiar. While there’s some serious recycling in places (including a tiny village that reminded us of Tranquility Lane in Fallout 3), we still enjoyed exploring Old Town Blues’ new world and endeavoured to find every last location. Bear in mind that you’re stuck in this new environment until you complete the main mission, thanks to some head-melting perimeter towers (think Running Man).
There’s also some recycling in the missions, the worst offender being a data retrieval challenge that repeats itself. Thankfully it’s not essential to complete the recursive missions to progress, and for the most part the mini-plot in Old World Blues is entertaining and unique.
Your main task sees you do battle with a mad scientist called Dr Mobius, who sounds suspiciously like Professor Farnsworth from Futurama. He constantly berates you in a hilarious manner over the tannoy system, which gives you an idea of the feel of this DLC. Although there are a few creepy moments in Old World Blues, the tongue is firmly in cheek throughout, from the (surprisingly lengthy) introduction by a group of robotic doctors, to the moment near the end where you meet your own…nah, I won’t spoil it.
To wrap up, I’m going to rely on that hackneyed, clichéd old phrase that nevertheless rings true: If you’re a fan of Fallout: New Vegas and want to beat a few more hours of life from its ageing frame, then Old World Blues is what you need. System requirements are no different, but take note that you should be at least level 15 before attempting these missions, or you’re likely to end up as a pile of smouldering ashes.