Into the Blue Reviews: Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money

image

Dead Money is the first in a set of (at least) four DLC's for Fallout: New Vegas. It is set in the Sierra Madre, a grand state-of-the-art casino that was set to open on the day the Great War started and blew the world back to the Stone Age. Travel 200-some years into the hellish future, and you get this DLC. After the game recognizes the DLC, you're greeted by a notice telling you that your level cap has been raised to level 35 (yay!) and a mysterious radio signal. From what you hear, a seductive-sounding woman is advertising this oasis in the desert type of location, one to ease your troubles and set you into the lap of luxury.

Your Pipboy 3000 (or Pimpboy 3000, depending if you know your stuff) manages to trace the source of the radio broadcast to an abandoned Brotherhood of Steel bunker juuuust south of Camp Forlorn Hope. Once inside, you immediately see a corpse with its head blown off. Odd....
Once you proceed down the stairs, you'll be prompted with a warning screen basically saying you should be in the ballpark of level 20 first and you won't be able to return once you start this. Proceed, and you'll see a hallway with two side-passages (one's got a very hard terminal on a special-locked door, the other is full of debris), and at the end of the hallway is an old looking radio[1] sitting on a table. Once you approach the radio, suddenly a cutscene-type deal kicks in and gas pours in from vents in the ceiling. You stagger briefly, then hit the floor like a sack of potatoes Xander Roots. Your vision blacks out shortly thereafter. After a few seconds, an old man starts talking while a slideshow starts running (not unlike the end-game slideshow, but, you know, not about your choices). Since no one has uploaded a video of JUST the slideshow to my knowledge, I must make due with a playthrough video.... blech.

Once that's over with, you wake without any of your things in a dark, desolate, long-deserted town that seems to have a Mexican style of architecture, with the grand Sierra Madre Casino on a large hill far above and away from the villa you're in. Right in front of you is a fountain with a floating image of an old man's face above it (the name tag in conversation says Father Elijah). He basically tells you that you were captured by him, he put an explosive collar on you, and outright tells you to listen to him or he'll turn you into that corpse you saw earlier. He wants you to go find three other people already in the villa and to get them to go to the fountain you're at. Before he tells you to get going, he warns you that if one of you die, you all die. He promptly hands you an energy weapon based shotgun/grenade launcher hybrid that shoots holograms (the Holorifle, a deadly weapon with all the mods and fully repaired that rivals the Gauss Rifle) and sets you on your way.

New Things


Sierra Madre. Remember the slideshow? Covered in a blood-red cloud? Yeah. That thing is toxic to you. And even if you have the rebreather quest item on you, it won't help. It's some kind of ungodly chemical that says fuck you to metal. Plus, is soaks into your skin, so that doesn't help much. There's thick clusters of it throughout the game that hinders your eyesight and not-so-slowly kills you off. Seriously, about 10 seconds of standing in it is fatal. Better scrounge for food and Stimpacks if you want to live!

Oh yeah. On the subject of living, your explosive collar is a bit junky. The radio signal that activates the explosives rigged in it? They're also the signal that the radios throughout the villa use. Yeah......
Stand next to a radio too long and you'll be rid of that ugly wart between your shoulders at long last! If you're prone to living, I suggest either turning off the old ones I mentioned earlier, shooting them, or shooting the ones that are mounted on the wall. Gets fun after the 12th time you die that way.

image

Ghost People!
These are the "inhabitants" of the villa at the bottom of the Sierra Madre. They don't talk. They don't run. They don't take off those creepy as shit suits. And sometimes... they don't even die. The only sure-fire way to kill them is to dismember them. Sure, that sounds easy. Not so much when you're fighting a half-dozen of the bastards and they're throwing those damn spears at you...

Oh yeah, and new armor and an overpowered as hell gun, but I'd rather not ruin the surprise for anyone that decides to play it.

Meet The Team


image
Dog and/or God

First off, we have Dog. He's a Nightkin that, as you can see, is obviously a masochist. I mean, Christ, he has a bear trap on his fucking arm. Not to mention he carved his name into his chest and is scarred more than Ahab. He's got a low, guttural voice that you'd imagine from the average super mutant. Small vocabulary usage, doesn't talk fancily, the works. Plus, he's always (and I mean always) hungry. You know those bomb collars I was talking about? He ate once. Yeah.... Anywho, he's also very subservient. Always looking for someone to give him orders, to look over him, to be his master in a sense. He's eager to please by a long shot.

And since he was a Nighkin in the Master's army and used Stealth Boys like no other, he is one hell of a schizophrenic patient. So much, he's also got a "voice" that goes by the name of God (although they never directly say this, even though his conversation nametag states it clear as crystal). He's actually a bit more sophisticated. Not as much as Marcus from Jacobstown mind you, but definitely someone you could talk an afternoon up with. He talks in a low, smooth voice totally unlike his other half. But, he makes a mule willing to oblige since he's so stubborn. ABSOLUTELY refuses to listen to you unless you can prove he positively must obey. Also a tad bit of a control freak, especially over Dog. Refers to him as his "little brother" or something like that, and only wants what's best for him.
God's a pussy though. He's a fucking Nightkin and can't beat down a Ghost Person to save his life.... literally.

image
image
Dean Domino
That's him pre-war on the right left, by the by

Next on the list, we have Dean Domino. Pre war musician with an ego that puts Seto Kaiba's to shame! Also, has no ghouly-rasp in his voice whatsoever. Made triply-so mind boggling, seeing as how he's spent the last 200 years or so puffing all the cigarettes he can find (apparently). He plotted to rob the Sierra Madre years ago (2077, much?), back before all the cool kids were doing it. He almost got away with it, if it weren't for those meddling Commies and their pesky nukes! That, and Frederick Sinclair (the guy who BUILT the damn place) knew about his plan from the get-go. He's a bit of a prick. And a coward. And an all-around asshole that will make you consider if living really is worth putting up with him. He left a trail of traps leading up to his place, and insists you sit down next to him when you get to him. Then tells you that if you move, he'll detonate the bombs in said chair. Real team player, ain't he? Really, the only reason I deal with him is that he helps you get through the Cloud. He gives you a safe time of, oh.... four seconds or so where you're immune to the Cloud. Then, you take reduced damage from it. But not without Dean saying every fucking time "Don't dive in for too long; there's only so much I can do to help you!"
He's also stashes suitcases all over the Villa with emergency supplies in them. For the most part, they're actually pretty well hidden, were it not for the glowing handprint he puts near them so anyone with decent eyesight can find them. He usually stocks them with .357 ammo, a gun, 9mm ammo, and a new drink called the Sierra Madre Martini. Gives you +75 HP, +4 Endurance, and +2 Strength. Wears off after five minutes.

image
Christine
Big picture, yes, but it is necessary

.

Oh Christine,
such a piece of work you are. You find her in an Auto-Doc thingy that was basically just a recycled model of the fallout shelters you found in Fallout 3. Covered in scars all over her head. And throat. Plus, she's mute because of it. And can't write. Fantastic. If your character doesn't have a high Perception or Intelligence attribute, you'll be struggling to figure out whatever she's trying to get across to you. Oh, she's also more than likely the someone special the girl from California with a pneumatic fist on her hand talks to you about. Christine says she was bald before all this happened though.... Sexy? She also says that she's got a score to settle with Elijah. Depending on how you play, she'll either be a pain in the ass or a jewel in this hell. Oh, did I mention that her own radio signal tampers with the Villa's radios? Well, it does. It buys you a few seconds before the timer starts, and the countdown will also go even slower from it. Not totally useless after all, is she?

The Plan


If you guessed "break into the Sierra Madre Casino" in any shape or form before you read this, then congratulations! You know how foreshadowing works! So once yo have your team together, Elijah wants you to use them to activate the Gala Event that is tied to the security system of the casino. Long story short, it's hard wired to ONLY open once the Gala Event takes place, which only makes it all the more fun for you. I'm gonna stop here on the story part of it, otherwise there'll be nothing left to play for. Except the radio systems and the bear trap fields in Dean's little corner of the woods, after all.

So, that's what I've got on Dead Money. Pretty fun. Can be frustrating if you don't scrounge for supplies, but hey. That's exactly what Fallout should be, after all. Post-nuclear war, shit is out to mess up your week, and oh sweet Jebus please don't hear me-OH SHIT-
In other words, you're not meant to be a god among mortals. You're still human, and everyone is out to get ya. Besides, Mr. House is already in that role :P

I give Dead Money
imageimageimageimage
Four of the worst drinks you've ever set your eyes upon, out of five. Blame the sea of bear traps and the fact that a certain ending to the DLC was cut.

[1] You know, the ones that have boob-tubes in them and have a cloth-type material over the speakers, all set in a wooden case

I loved the actual casino heist part of this DLC, and the new characters were all very well written. But fuck the actual villa part. Beep beep beep beepbeep BOOM becomes annoying very quickly, as do the hard to kill Ghost People.

I did so enjoy this DLC, especially how the characters tie into the main theme of the Casino, letting go. Sure it was as unforgivable as all hell but that's the point, as you said it's supposed to be a survival game.

Just a critique, you spent the vast majority of your review simply stating facts about the DLC without actually reviewing it. You could have explained what worked, what didn't and what you'd like to see in future DLC. Otherwise if I wanted to read about the characters I would hit up wikipedia.

Yassen:
Just a critique, you spent the vast majority of your review simply stating facts about the DLC without actually reviewing it. You could have explained what worked, what didn't and what you'd like to see in future DLC. Otherwise if I wanted to read about the characters I would hit up wikipedia.

To be fair, it's all about how you play your games. I don't spoon feed my opinions to you, I just state what I noticed and let you infer what you'd think about the game. Some people like to sneak their way around everyone in the world. Personally, I'm more of a close-quarters assault character. All depends on your tastes.
Not to mention, this DLC relies heavily on your companions here. Playing on Hardcore without knowing their character can be a death sentence.

And for future DLC, that's just the thing. There's three certified DLC coming up (Honest Heats, Lonesome Road, and Old World Blues) with each of their own locations (New Canaan, The Great Divide, and The Big Empty respectively). And as Dead Money has shown us something to expect, the gameplay is to reflect the theme of the DLC.
So really, it'd just be pointless musings to say what I want in them, as it'd just be more niche weapons, fancy clothes, and a momento to take to my home and display all proudly (like the Legendary Deathclaw's hand). Hardly anything of consequence.

Portal Maniac:
To be fair, it's all about how you play your games. I don't spoon feed my opinions to you, I just state what I noticed and let you infer what you'd think about the game.

While that's all well and good, there's a bit of a problem there in that the point of a review is to tell people your opinion.

scnj:
While that's all well and good, there's a bit of a problem there in that the point of a review is to tell people your opinion.

Is the point of a review not to tell people if something is worth getting?

I enjoyed this DLC once I got inside the casino. The villa around it could fuck right off though.

Anyways good review, hope to see your take on future New Vegas DLCs

That picture of the Ghost People reminds me some what of Scarecrow from Arkham Asylum. ...*Hides*

Anyway, a very nice review, which makes me wish I could get this DLC. But, due to my net being worse then shit, I cannot download this. And I must also say I do enjoy the style of writing you have here, Portal. It keeps me reading, I must say.

Portal Maniac:

scnj:
While that's all well and good, there's a bit of a problem there in that the point of a review is to tell people your opinion.

Is the point of a review not to tell people if something is worth getting?

Yes, by giving a subjective opinion of it.

Sassafrass:
And I must also say I do enjoy the style of writing you have here, Portal. It keeps me reading, I must say.

Thank you.
The way I see it, why bother reading something if it becomes a chore? That's why I try to put in jokes and write easily to keep people's attention.
Not always the easiest route.

scnj:
Yes, by giving a subjective opinion of it.

My opinion is there. I'm just not one to beat it over anyone's head.

Look harder.
Harder.
HARDER

For a gunner of some sort, it's easy. For a sneak, it's a breeze.

But I did my second DM playthrough as a smooth-talking seductress.
...Not so easy. I ran out of Stimpaks several times. I resorted to chugging water to get my health back up.
I'd HATE to do this in "hardcore" mode, which I have more or less vowed to never touch.

AvauntVanguard:
For a gunner of some sort, it's easy. For a sneak, it's a breeze.

But I did my second DM playthrough as a smooth-talking seductress.
...Not so easy. I ran out of Stimpaks several times. I resorted to chugging water to get my health back up.
I'd HATE to do this in "hardcore" mode, which I have more or less vowed to never touch.

Hardcore isn't so bad in the main game. In Dead Money, it's a bitch. Your health is constantly being eroded.

Well. I'm a coward, so.

:P

Two questions:
1. How long is the dlc?
2. Are there any side quests in it or only one big main quest?

scnj:

AvauntVanguard:
For a gunner of some sort, it's easy. For a sneak, it's a breeze.

But I did my second DM playthrough as a smooth-talking seductress.
...Not so easy. I ran out of Stimpaks several times. I resorted to chugging water to get my health back up.
I'd HATE to do this in "hardcore" mode, which I have more or less vowed to never touch.

Hardcore isn't so bad in the main game. In Dead Money, it's a bitch. Your health is constantly being eroded.

Sound like fun, I can't wait to check this out :P

NooNameLeft:
Two questions:
1. How long is the dlc?
2. Are there any side quests in it or only one big main quest?

1: It'll take some hours to do. Depends on your character and playstyle. Hulking badasses may be able to powerhouse through it, while sneakers will take a bit of extra time (While taking less damage)
2: Just one 'chain'. You can decide in which order to mess with your "team", but there's no extra bobs to mess with.

This was more of a summary of the first part of the DLC, I found, as opposed to an actual review. It was still an enjoyable read, however. Also, please note that schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder are not the same thing. They aren't even in the same category. DID falls under "personality disorders" while Shizophrenia is a category all on its own. Read up on their symptoms and realize that they are nothing alike

dbmountain:
Also, please note that schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder are not the same thing. They aren't even in the same category. DID falls under "personality disorders" while Shizophrenia is a category all on its own. Read up on their symptoms and realize that they are nothing alike

Sorry. I don't find mental illnesses to be a particularly interesting or personally useful field to learn about, and I have better things to do than read random pages from Wikipedia.

It's been established that Nightkin suffer from schizophrenia like no other from Stealth Boy use, so I just rolled with it.

NooNameLeft:
1. How long is the dlc?

Depends on how you play, what kind of character you're doing, how patient you are, and most of all, how much you plan on rummaging around for things.

There's a million and a half little things there, but you've got to turn the damn town upside down to get them...

2. Are there any side quests in it or only one big main quest?

Just one big quest, but it's not extremely strict. You can goof off between quests (although I can't imagine why you'd do that...).
The order of quests pretty much goes get to the Sierra Madre, find Dog/God, Dean, & Christine, get them to do their respective jobs, activate the gala, get in, another tri-split with the companions that I don't really want to get into, and then the climax quest.

Yaay, ditching the open-world freedom of the base game for linear railroading!
I think I'll give this one a miss.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked