So it's that time again, another rambling review of the latest in New Vegas Dlc. There will be spoilers here, so if you give a fig, stop reading. Honest Hearts is another dlc set outside the Mojave Wasteland proper, taking the player to Zion National Park. Enlisted by a caravan because they need a gunhand and a pipboy isn't a bad thing to have when blazing a trail. Happily you aren't stripped of you gear this time out, although you are only allowed 75 to 100 pounds of gear, depending on stats. This is an acceptable compromise from the former trend of robbing us of all our hard collected gear. And it leaves plenty of room in your inventory for new goodies.
Once in Zion, suprise, THINGS GO WRONG, and the caravan dies. You're befriended by a wierd and slightly annoying tribal and are taken to meet Joshua Graham, the Burned Man. I will give credit here, they built up Joshua very well and I actually looked forward to meeting him, ultimately, he couldn't be anything but a letdown after the buildup though. Swathed in bandages and a swat vest, he is less overwhelming then his legend would paint. What follows the meeting is exploration and war with tribals, in a quest to leave Zion. You only get two morally similar choices, however there is a third choice, I just blew away evereyone and was able to leave Zion in 10 minutes,so if you just want the new toys in Zion, you can make a REALLY quick trip of it.
And the new toys are nice this time, a .45 pistol and submachine gun, both packing a really nice punch, they just feel good to use, and come with their own mods.A war club, the first upgradeable melee weapon I've seen, and a return, in spirit, of the deathclaw gauntlet. Uniques include a snub nosed .45, a stun gun, a named yoa gui gauntlet,and special powerfist, and one truly hellish service rifle. Also included is a factionless, desert camo, Ranger armor. It's nice to see this finally provided since it was the trademark look of the game and they made it annoying to get and wear. In a touch that is either cheap or a nice nod to fans, upon completeing the quest, there is a chest with all the unique armors worn by characters in Zion. Including Joshua Grahams getup, sans bandages.
The writing for this one is decent, althought I feel Dead Money had better story, and the in dlc companions are DEFINATELY weaker this time out. However with a more wide open experience, I'm willing to forgive this. Ultimately, the fact that this is DIFFERENT from the previous DLC gives me hope that they will continue to use the DLC to add unique experiences to New Vegas.
The dlc of course raises the level cap by 5, and add perks, this time out it also adds crafting recipes though. Allowing you to mix alcahol, refill sodas, reinforce leather and metal armors, and refill energy ammo from fusion batteries. This was a really nice choice and I'm glad they finally put some more meat on the bones of the crafting.
Ultimately, while it has a weaker story and writing, Honest Hearts just brings more raw content to the table. New weapons and armors, new perks, and a plethora of new crafting recipes, this is definately better. Unfortunately, it still feels like it falls short of the ten dollar asking price. It's not any longer then Dead Money, and it just feels unsatisfying to complete. It's not bad by any stretch, but if you don't already own it, I'd wait until it inevitably goes on sale.