Fallout: New Vegas: Lonesome Road

"At its core, Lonesome Road supplies everything that has become standard with Fallout DLC: fun weapons to play with, new enemies to defeat, and new characters to interact with."

Fallout: New Vegas' latest DLC, Lonesome Road, continues a tradition of impressive add-on content for the franchise. At its core, Lonesome Road supplies everything that has become standard with Fallout DLC: fun weapons to play with, new enemies to defeat, and new characters to interact with. Lonesome Road takes this a step further, however, by providing a serious narrative that ties into New Vegas' main storyline and provides much needed background on the Courier character. It also finally lets you meet the elusive Ulysses, a character that has been referenced multiple times before this release. Lonesome Roadís story is not for the faint of heart, however, and does away with much of the humor that has often been tied in with Falloutís post-apocalyptic universe. As you walk through the barren new Divide zone, you're presented with dialogue regarding the history of America and conflicts both old and new, as well as reflections on the choices you have made as a courier in the Mojave Wasteland. Though some of this dialogue comes across as a bit too cryptic at times, especially coming from Ulysses (one of the only characters you interact with during the DLC), it ties together well enough in the end to create a satisfying experience.

Unfortunately, the strong narrative I just praised also detracts from the add-on: Lonesome Road is entirely linear and more akin to Fallout 3's Operation Anchorage than Point Lookout, for example. There are few places of interest to explore outside the main path and no sidequests at all. This makes the experience relatively short and, while you may go back to sniff out all the available upgrades, such as those for Lonesome Road's signature Red Glare rocket launcher, it's still a very compact experience that can be completed in one or two sittings.

Luckily, Lonesome Road is fairly challenging, and the game explicitly tells you that it's recommended for characters level 25 and beyond. Seeing as how most people playing Lonesome Road will likely have played some or all of the previous New Vegas add-ons, this is perfectly sensible and helps extend the length of the add-on by forcing you to ponder strategies for certain groups of enemies and prepare the right weapons and skills for the job. Unlike the New Vegas main game, you aren't able to speak, barter, hack, or lock pick your way out of many of Lonesome Roadís challenges (like staring down two deathclaws), so hopefully your skill in combat is up to snuff. You do get a companion to assist you, however: another Ed-E model for whom you can find various upgrades throughout the Divide.

Despite being short and linear, Lonesome Road delivers a solid experience for diehard Fallout fans and casual fans alike. The narrative spurs you on to continue walking the Divide in search of answers about who you were before the events of New Vegas and who your choices will eventually force you to become.

© 2011 Bethesda, Obsidian Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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