I was expecting this to be the last review I write for New Vegas, since this was to be the last DLC, however two rather odd ones are coming next week, so I'll bundle them into what will be my last dlc review, I'm toying with the idea of doing one final review after of New Vegas en masse, with all it's attendant dlc, and see how it all holds together. For now though, we've got DLC to review.
Ulysses. A name, A name that has been dangled in front of us one way or another since New Vegas launched, hints someone purposefully turning down the job that got the main character shot, increasingly prominant mentions in the dlc, they have spent time building him up. In my review I mentioned how Joshua Graham didn't live up to his hype, Ulysses, though, to me, does.
The Dlc is unique in that you can leave at any time, there is no great reason to keep going but to grasp at your own history, to learn what was taken from you froma lead slug in the brain. For me, that was enough incentive, crawling through the irradiated wreckage, civilization wrecked two times over, to find meaning. Ulysses talks to you through an eyebot, a somewhat copy of ED-E, who has a story to tell. They are a bit murky about why there are two ED-E's now, something about machinws copying the passing eyebot, it's flimsy, but I'll let it pass.
Enough flowery words though, down to the nitty gritty. The dlc is more or less linear, coursing through the wrecked Divide towards Ulysses, each area has plenty to explore, and new toys to discover. Weapon wise we get a lighter version of the minigun for those who skipped strength, and electric flame thrower, the truly fun flare gun, incendiary and flashbang grenades, satchel charges, a copy of legate lanius' sword,bowie knives,a kickass deathclaw gauntlet, a powerfist with a buzz saw on it,a flagpole, two unique grenade launchers, and a fully automatic nailgun, which is more fun then it sounds, way more fun.
One that needs it's own entry is the Red Glare rocket launcher. Similar to the missle launcher, but it has a 13 round magazine and is fully automatic, some hefty upgrades, and the proper perks, turn this thing into explosive murder. It's a beautiful weapon of explosive destruction, and easily my favorite weapon in the entire game.
Armor wise, we get several variations on the iconic armor displayed on New Vegas' box.We got the first non faction version back in Honest Hearts, but the new versions blow it away, and you can get several suits of the lowest version. Three in all, they are actually very nicely designed and fun to mess with. You can get your hands on Ulysses' coat and breathing mask, as well as lesser versions of the breathing mask. A General's coat, and US Army combat armor, and depnding on choices, a copy of Lanius' Armor or a truly kickass NCR power armor.
Oddities like a bedroll that will let you sleep anywhere, and some new crafting recipes are there too. So basicly, item wise, this has some good variety, and in that variety alot of fun stuff. Onto the story.
The Courier is presented to us in game as a bit of a tabula rasa, a blank slate, memory wiped, we explore the mojave writing his or her personality, Lonesome road lets us finally find out who we were before an idiot in a ugly coat shot us. The backstory kinda reminds me of The Postman, the book, not the movie. I don't think it's intentional though. We learn the courier was already important long before the Mojave fell on his or her shoulders, and we learn why Ulysses is waiting for us.
Ulysses works because he's not really righteous, he's disillusioned, almost nihilistic, he came from nothing,found something to believe in, and watched it die. He's not vindictive, his heart doesn't rage, it's been torn out. A sucking hole in his chest. His plot while a bit mad, fits a man who doesn't really care who did what, he just wants to burn away the past. Alot of the dlc sits on his shoulders, and I was suprised by how it's played, and how well it actually works.
The other big part of this is E-DE, suprisingly. They took what was a forgettable part of the original game and give it personality. I'm suprised by how well it works, and it also lets you massively upgrade ED-E in the mojave, which is damned nice.
Perks are nice, nothing game changing, but fun stuff, the level 50, yes, 5 more levels, perks are kinda enh, but they are unique. At the end of the dlc you get to make a choice that can drasticly alter your Mojave relations, and open up one new area or the other, or both, but opening them up comes with a cost, as all things do. And ultimately, that's the idea behind Lonesome Road, the cost, and what you're willing to pay.
First playthough took roughly 7 hours, second and third ended up being around 4-5 each, probably could pare it down to 3 if I tried. This is definately a jewel in the crown of the dlc, forboding and opressive,with enough explosives to keep anyone happy.An aside, you get to blow up many nuclear warheads, try not to stand too close when you do.
If you've bought the other Dlc, I say go for it with this one, otherwise, this would definately be the time to wait for the game of the yeard edition, with the last two scheduled to push next week, it'll probably be out in time for the holidays. I'll be back next week to do a likely short review of the Courier's Stash and Gun Runner's Arsenal dlc.