Thankfully, Obsidian’s latest offering, the appropriately titled Old World Blues, comes close.
Unlike most of the DLC in Fallout 3, or New Vegas’ two DLCs thus far, Old World Blues attempts to familiarize players with it’s plight before they actually get there, with a three minute primer movie that’s played before you actually delve into it.
Without spoiling much, there are basically two feuding robots, the “virtuous” Doctor Klein and “evil” Doctor Mobius, each of which who think they are entitled to do what they wish with The Big Empty – a sprawling, multi-function laboratory city, capable of horrifying experiments, the biggest of which is body modification.
Honestly, I wish open world games took this “set-up” approach more often with DLC: the immediate advantage of this method of storytelling is that it gives you the sense that the creators actually took the time to craft a miniature world large enough to warrant an explanation.
Speaking of said world, ss soon as you start Old World Blues, you’ll be given a clear birds eye view of the Big Empty, and quite honestly, it’s easily one of the coolest looking places in the last two Fallout games. Thankfully, you get to explore it in it’s entirety, because like Honest Hearts, Blues is an open world DLC that will allow you to run around as you see fit.
You’ll also notice one immediate bonus: you get to keep all of your loot from the start of the DLC! That’s right – no more “reduced to rags” gimmickry with Old World Blues. You’ll also be able to re-visit it, and even build up a home base of operations, which I’ll highlight a little later.
While you won’t find a whole lot new in terms of questing, Blues does a great job of injecting a ton of charm into your tasks. You aren’t just fetching various modules to power up meaningless accessories – you’re creating new NPCs for your new home.
Additionally, the kill quests have unique elements to them, and getting to see what types of experiments the various denizens of the Big Empty perform is a treat in and of itself. As far as length goes, you could probably rush and complete the main story in a few hours or so; but you would miss out on exploring the Big Empty’s 35 locations, most of which will no doubt keep you occupied for quite a while.
Old World Blues features an interesting gameplay mechanic that probably should have been present in New Vegas – it gives you a constant sense of flight or fight. Often times you’ll exit from an area you previously cleared and find yourself completely swarmed by Dr. Mobius’ evil robo-scorpions, which makes for a much more exhilarating experience.
I also hope you’re old enough to warrant that “Mature” rating, because you’re going to get a lot more adult themed jokes in Blues - don’t even ask me about penis toes, and fully erect hand-penises (you’ll see!). The evil Dr. Mobius also keeps you pretty entertained throughout your adventures, as he has complete control of the area’s loudspeaker system. Make no mistake, Old World Blues has a ton of charm.
Unlike most Fallout DLCs, the bulk of the loot (weapons) is given at the beginning, which is a nice touch, because it helped me get into the “theme” even quicker. You also get the grandaddy of DLC loot – your own home base of operations, complete with robots of varying personalities (one of which allows you to re-spec your traits), and vendors!
Considering you can return to the Big Empty anytime you want after the DLC is finished, it’s kind of a big deal, and I’m really glad they added this touch in to help add to the fun factor of additional playthroughs.
Old World Blues is one of the best Fallout DLCs yet. It’s funny, it’s packed with content, and it offers solid rewards for players who are looking to add to their Courier’s arsenal. If you skipped on the previous two content packs, make sure to pick this one up.