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Fallout New Vegas: Honest Hearts review

For all its technical flaws, Fallout: New Vegas has still provided ample enjoyment for a large portion of its fan base. While crashes and glitches dismayed those who demanded a solid world to explore, some found the storyline much deeper than Fallout 3 which sometimes lacked decent chunks of exposition.

It’s little shock that New Vegas seems to be eager to add to the enjoyment – and undoubtedly the publishers’ financial bottom line – just like Fallout 3 and churn out a number of slices of DLC to enthrall and entertain. The first, Dead Money, despite feeling full of padding with a few batches of basic fetch-and-carry quests, certainly justified it’s quite lowly price point by introducing an intriguing set of characters and some interesting tales spun.

Honest Hearts begins, like most, with a picked up signal by your ever handy Pip-Boy. Answering the call, you find yourself tagging along with a bunch of traders off to Zion – once you’ve trimmed your goods down to a mere 75lbs in any case. Though that limit can be lifted if you have the correct set of skills in your expansive armoury.

Reaching your destination, you’re quickly set upon and find yourself all alone in combat against a tribe known only as the White Legs. Soon you’re introduced to leaders of two separate tribes, each with their own goals and aims. What follows is little more than the standard set of missions that the Fallout series is now famed for, with plenty of lengthy trips required in order to kill or collect in order to progress.

Unfortunately these two leaders – despite one in particular having quite a lengthy and intriguing introduction – sadly lack in the personality stakes. Neither are particularly persuasive, nor do they pack the kind of heady dialogue heights that the main storyline in New Vegas can solidly wield. Which culminates in the kind of tale that you’ll be hard pressed to remember much about when you finally leave Zion.

While the new perks and increased level cap are an obvious draw, the story itself is unfortunately quite a few steps below par. It feels oddly rushed, and completely lacking in the kind of mystery and intrigue that made Dead Money a thoroughly interesting addition to the New Vegas tale.

Additional enemies are few and far between, with a lot of the wildlife you’ll encounter already well known from your previous trips are the New Vegas wasteland. And while the world in Zion itself certainly includes a bit more colour than Fallout veterans will be used to, it slowly descends into a consistent stream of large red/brown cliff faces to march along inside.

Honest Hearts is a solid piece of DLC that adds just about enough to make it a decent purchase, but doesn’t add an interesting enough tale which would make it absolutely essential. While the heightened level cap, new weaponry, and fresh perks may be a draw for some, the clichéd and somewhat dull story culminate in a solid yet unspectacular add-on. One for New Vegas fanatics certainly, but easy to pass over if you tired of that sorry tale a long time ago.

Rating: Average Review policy

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Edited On 29 May, 2011

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