The journey that began with the DownLoadable Content (DLC) of Fallout: New Vegas – Dead Money ends with Fallout: New Vegas – Lonesome Road and we finally get to meet the elusive and enigmatic Ulysses. Yes, I’ve put Deus Ex: Human Revolution aside for a while.
This feels the shortest and most linear of the DLC so far, as the path is quite straightforward, with few “off the beaten road” type places to explore. Also, I finished it in half a weekend – unusual for me. Though having said that, most areas you pass through are quite densely packed with things to find.
There’s some new enemies: marked men, a type of ghoul unique to The Divide; and tunnelers, a vicious, underground dwelling creature. I hate tunnelers. They come in swarms, and for a ‘sneak’ type character like mine, you have to change tactics completely. This isn’t a complaint, by the way, just an observation. I still hate the little buggers though.
There are really only two characters you interact with in any way other than “kill or be killed”: E-DE returns, with slight modifications, and then there’s Ulysses.
I won’t give away too much, but I really loved how my impressions of Ulysses changed over the course of the story. He could easily have been a one-dimensional character, but he builds into a unique, if quite human, personality.
The atmosphere is quite different to previous DLCs, and from the main Fallout: New Vegas (FNV), and yet it feels closest to FNV for some reason. The Divide almost feels like the Mojave compacted and turned up to 11. Even at close to level 50, I really felt the struggle of survival here; against the elements, and against the rather unfriendly inhabitants.
One thing that amuses me is how they either change currency (Chips in Dead Money), or come up with reasons that bottle-caps work as currency. Bottle-caps were put in as a ‘test currency’ while the Big MT (Old World Blues) systems were being developed. In Lonesome Road the tokens the US Army commissaries used were apparently the same size and shape as bottle-caps. Convenient, really!
Does the story come to a satisfying conclusion? Mostly it does, though it’s all based on how your chat with Ulysses goes, and a choice you can make soon after that. Of course, I went back to a save position a couple of times to see what happened differently. I can say that I was very happy with my original ending – as in I was satisfied with it – and felt the other endings were good.
As usual the end of the DLC gives you a voice-over, describing the outcomes of your actions and choices. Another amusement is that apparently the tunnelers and marked men kept out of my way as I retraced my path back to the Mojave. However, in this DLC, you can return to the Divide later, and they still want to kill you.
That’s one thing I’ve loved about the last two DLCs (Old World Blues and Lonesome Road): you can return to the DLC and continue poking around. I can perhaps understand not being able to return to Zion (Honest Hearts), but I really would like to be able to go back to Sierra Madre (Dead Money) a few times too.
All in all, I’ve really enjoyed the DLC story arc, and the tangent it takes from the main story. I still think Old World Blues is my favourite, though Lonesome Road comes a close second.