Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Madcap's Game Reviews - "Fallout New: Vegas - The Lonesome Road"

The Lonesome Road" is a 1927 song with music by Nathaniel Shilkret and lyrics by Gene Austin, alternat-
...what? Oh, I'm sorry, you were expecting a game review? Well, I was expecting an epic conclusion for all the set up that Bethesda and Obsidian have been doing since last November, so I guess we're just all disappointed, aren't we? It's hard to pinpoint exactly was about New Vegas' latest (and, perhaps, last) DLC pisses me off, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try.

While being fully aware of how Bethesda's RPGs tend to take the route of blank faced, generic hero with no discernable backstory. That is, after all, why it's a Role Playing Game. Fine. With New Vegas, however as we all known, they dropped hints about the backstory of our character - the Courier - through dialogue in vanilla New Vegas and have given more and more throughout the three DLCs that came before this one. These also hinted at another courier running around the Mojave, a foil to the PC Courier, with some connection to the player that has been left unknown...until now.

As I said in my other reviews of the New Vegas DLCs, I won't go over gameplay, since you already have the game if you're even remotely interested in this steaming pile of Brahmin dung. Storyline-wise, I got back into the leather boots of Reese (who you may remember from my last few reviews of the DLC goodness...when it was still good). Reese had just gotten a strange package with some coordinates and the word "Ulysses" on it, which excited me. Finally, I was going to find out who this was! What he wanted with me!

...then I ran into ED-E, who those who are familiar with glitches in New Vegas may remember as "Robot Prick Who Likes To Disappear off the Face of the Earth". Fearing the worst, I let the little chrome soccerball follow me around. This actually became an aspect of the story I liked, giving some funny dialogue options that transposed well with the desolation and utter horror of the destroyed setting around me and more importantly, did not actually run off and vanish. And now back to the hate...

Needless to say, I trekked through a very linear setting of broken terrain, cave-like underpasses, and atomic warheads in order to find the courier who so tormented me at the end of it all. And in the end...well, I'm not going to spoil, but it degrades into a case of "But For Me, It Was Tuesday" on your character's part. For all the set up they made for this...and we get that...

This isn't the first time I've been disappointed by a storyline from Bethesda - Oblivion takes that slot) - but it's even more depressing and nonsensical than the ending of that game for me. At least Oblivion has the excuse of being just one game. Lonesome Road has no excuses whatsoever. It was set up in the base game, in three DLCs, and this was literally the best that they could give us? Us who have waited through a year and a lot of pointless and unexplained delays? Really?

A lot of you have probably guessed that storyline will often sell me on a game more than graphics or gameplay mechanics will. Throwing a bunch of shiny new weapons to shoot, slice, and burn my enemies with does little to nothing for me if I'm not interested in the story or the characters. If I wanted to just mindlessly butcher my enemies, I'd play "Manhunt". Want to know why I'm not playing that? BECAUSE I WAS PLANNING ON AN AMAZING CONCLUSION TO NEW VEGAS!!! C'mon, Bethesda, you've had excellent game stories before, why are you doing this now?

Next time, Bethesda (well, first, stop working with Obsidian), don't do a set up for an amazing climatic ending to a storyline unless you plan to have an amazing climatic ending. Again, can't give much without spoiling, but if you played the first DLCs and enjoyed the foreshadowing, you're gonna be real disappointed...
This review is based on the Xbox 360 DLC