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The Fallout series has taken you all over the United States – and this time, Obsidian is keen to send you to Utah to help Happy Trails Caravan on an expedition to Zion National Park. But it isn’t just any old job: Joshua Graham, the famous Burned Man from New Vegas’ main storyline, is the star of the show.

So, given the expectations, the burning question must be: “it worth paying $10 to meet Joshua Graham?”

After heading to the Northern Passage, near the mid-northern part of the map, you’re required to drop to 75 pounds or less (or have a 50 survival skill rating) before you are able to embark on this DLC. While this may seem like a pain, there is a convenient chest right near the quest’s start to drop your items in, and it’s a much better method than the tired “take all your items away you’re left with nothing” approach.

Once you enter Zion, you’ll start traversing Utah’s crimson canyons to initiate the core storyline, which involves two warring tribes – The White Legs, and Graham’s tribe. Along the way, you’ll find a few distractions, but ultimately, the first fifteen minutes or so is kind of bland (as is your companion/tour guide, Follows-Chalk), at least until you get to meet Graham.

So is the final Burned Man reveal as cool as it sounds? Well, if you bought into the story behind Caesar’s Legion (like I did), your answer is yes. Graham’s voice acting is pretty solid, and his character model is instantly recognizable. There are enough unique dialogue options to warrant his inclusion in the DLC, and he shows up enough to carry the story forward – in short, I hope to see more core characters included in future DLC offerings, because it really helps add to the package.

Thankfully, you can inform Graham that Caesar is dead (provided you killed him, of course), and engage in a few meaningful conversations that provide you with some interesting bits of backstory on the relationship between Caesar and the Burned Man. Graham will also sell you a lot of useful weapon additions and an assortment of ammo if you wish to barter with him.

Once you’re done chatting it up with the head honcho, you’ll go on a series of errands around New Zion to gain his trust, and secure your passage back home. On route to these quests, you’re free to explore New Zion’s various nooks and crannies, and engage in skirmishes with the area’s wildlife and local White Leg ruffians. After gaining Graham’s trust, the real conflict begins, and the story starts moving a bit. While it never goes anywhere you don’t expect, it’s never really tiresome at any point.

Like most Fallout DLC packs, Honest Hearts will take you around two hours to complete (if you just do the main story), but you can also explore New Zion to your heart’s content, and most likely push around five to ten hours of total play. Like Point Lookout, in addition to the core locations, there are few optional areas to explore in the DLC’s sandbox.

As far as post-completion content goes, I have to place the following disclaimer: I’m not one to really care about DLC goodies. However, not every gamer is the same, and many people out there buy these DLC packs just for the outfits/weapons to use afterwards. So, for those fans, I have good news to report: this DLC pack offers a healthy serving of extra perks, and items.

The perks on offer aren’t just throwaway ones either, like the useful “Home on the Range”, which lets you sleep at any campfire, and reap all the benefits of a full rest. Graham’s SWAT vest, a unique .45 pistol, and a Yao Guai gauntlet are also some pretty neat pickups. Honest Hearts also raises the level cap by five, which is good news for everyone.

There isn’t anything mind blowing about Honest Hearts, but it’s a much more solid effort than Dead Money, and a step in the right direction for New Vegas’ DLC. I’m really enjoying overarching story behind the two couriers that promises to culminate in the final pack, and the addition of a main story character like the Burned Man is a huge plus for fans of the game.

If I had to compare Honest Hearts to any previous DLC in the Fallout 3/New Vegas universe, it would probably be Point Lookout: and that’s easily a good thing.

Gamer Limit gives Honest Hearts an 8.5/10.

  1. Looks like we had a difference in opinion on this one Chris!

  2. avatar Frank

    Two hours? I really doubt that’s realistic for most people who play Fallout games for the experience, not just as a race to get to the finish. I read the reviews for Dead Money and they were saying around 2 hours as well. It took me more like 10. Not that I suck at games and kept dying or something, but I stop and pick stuff up, explore all the areas, do all the side missions, etc. Point Lookout was huge, the probably took me 15 or more hours, if it’s anything like that I’m pumped. Glad you liked it, looking forward to playing it myself…

  3. avatar Stitchking

    I’m glad someone was paying attention to that part.

  4. avatar disapointed man

    i love elder scrolls 3 and 4, more specifically oblivion which is where fallout3 and new Vegas get their engine. but im so disappointed in new Vegas. any one who does like or back it is a huge die hard fan like me but they ran that game into the ground with unneeded repetition and such bugginess and long load times, i bought dead money and never even played it. not once. and i don’t like to point fingers but 9/10 chance this is obsidians fault i doubt they can redeem this in any future dlc packs and any one who thinks differently is either hopeful or plain ignorant and save your breath trying to argue cause i played new Vegas through twice and the way i can get hooked into these games is probably mentally not healthy. so disappointed pathetic shell of what it could have been

  5. avatar Jackal312

    How can you say this was better than Dead Money? Dead Money actually had a plot, interesting characters, an awesome theme, and a degree of challenge. The story for Honest Hearts felt like it was thrown together in literally an hour or two. Who’s Daniel? Don’t really know, didn’t really care. While it was great to get some more intell on the Graham, everyone else was devoid of character development. The quests should have been the way to getting to know the characters and gain an interest in them…like Dead Money did. Dead Money also did a good job of forcing dialogue with NPCs a bit so you actually get a feel for their personalities as well. Here, we get 15 minutes with one tribal, and then 15 minutes of another tribal, then BAM! the game ends. If this is the way the rest of the DLC is going, I don’t think I’ll even buy them. You can find more unique ideas and gear from the modding community. 8.5/10? I’d give it a 4, and even that is a bit generous.

  6. avatar FallenHun

    I haven’t played this yet. I have to say I enjoyed Dead money to an extent, I didn’t much care for the enemies, but I did like how freaking rich it made you (A high luck character who has some room in their pack can glean about 30,000 caps form it).

    Its good to see that they are going to be including Daniel, who was going to be an enourmous part of the original game, but got cut because they just could not tie everything together well enough. I find the DLC for Bethseda games to be much better than most other company DLC, because at least you ahave new content, more levels, and new perks and items, not just alternate skins or other crap like that.

    Anyone who has fallout 3 GOTY has to agree that all the DLC together really makes the game richer

  7. avatar disapointed man

    i agree with you fallenHun fallout3 GOTY was pretty cool but not all of them were all that great. ex:operation anchorage. but I definitely see where your coming from;however FAL/new Vegas is like fallout 3 got AIDS/HIV and got worst but there were a lot of cool aspects and even decent story elements. IT didn’t get tied together all that well,and I mean come on most of their cave entrances looked like shit, meaning it was hard to activate, or simply looked bad or not even like a cave entrance.

    They need to learn how to make the storyline richer and thicker. This goes past fallout’s 3 and new Vegas even oblivion main story line was to short and could have been richer.

  8. avatar Adam

    if u r a die hard fan like myself then what’s with the bad reviews….I don’t get it…people its only 10 bucks….in a time where everything is over priced I didn’t mind spending ten bucks just to experience the fallout first: the scenery & mts in fallout was a very diff approach & me personally I enjoyed it a lot.

  9. avatar Adam

    Oh yeah and p.s. ill b the 1st n line 4 the final dlc for new vegas not gears of war 3…..sorry just not a gears head. But looking forward 2 the final dlc for the new vegas series. All n all I enjoyed new vegas,yeah there was a little more talking that got kinda boring but if you were a die hard fan the 1st time thru wasn’t that bad….the second time time thru I just decided 2 forget about all the lame ncr missions!

  10. avatar Suya

    “people its only 10 bucks”

    I hate this attitude. Money is money and a low price isn’t an excuse for laziness or ineptitude because if you don’t want to make something it’s better you don’t bother.

    Besides, what should “10 bucks” worth of dlc look like? How good is 11 bucks worth of dlc? Maybe we shouldn’t bother paying for anything that goes for any less than 30 and then we should expect it to be 3 times the game this was?

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