Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road • Page 2

End of the road.

Lonesome Road compensates for this disappointing corridor construction by ramping up the difficulty. If you spent the main game studiously avoiding Deathclaws, then you're out of luck here; this DLC has a charming habit of dropping three or four of those two-hit-kill bastards right in your path, and the narrow design means there's often no safe way past them without judicious use of Stealth Boys.

Tunnellers, the only new monster type introduced, are much the same. They don't hit quite as hard as Deathclaws, and look worryingly like Sleestaks from Land of the Lost, but they travel in packs and can easily rip you to shreds. Like the Deathclaws, they're used as obstacles in your one-way path rather than free-roaming fauna, their arrival often heralded by convenient caches of flamer fuel and flare guns, as fire is the only way to scare them off.

Having the right weapons appear just before they're needed is but one of the FPS traits that has leaked into the game via Lonesome Road. Crude monster closets are another, as enemies appear magically whenever you cross certain invisible boundaries.

There's a bus containing a useful ammo stash on an elevated highway section. As soon as you go near the ammunition boxes, the Deathclaw spawns on top of the bus. Every. Single. Time. It's more Call of Duty than Fallour and, inevitably, beating such clockwork foes becomes a question of knowing when and where they'll spawn and planning accordingly, rather than actually using any of the RPG skills you've accrued over however many dozens of hours of gameplay.

So Lonesome Road has already squandered most of what made New Vegas so much fun by the time it reaches its rather garbled conclusion, which leaves the loot to tip the balance. Here, again, it's a bit of a let down. The flare gun is fun, and the new nail gun is a useful, silent way to cripple enemy limbs. The Red Glare rocket launcher is extremely handy, though you'll need around 50,000 caps to upgrade it fully.

There are also some cool new perks that allow you to reset your karma, but mostly the new additions are functional rather than essential. In fact, I found that the superior weapons obtained during Old World Blues got me through more encounters than anything introduced here.

Fans angry that they need to fork out more money to see the "real" ending of the game can rest easy. The events of Lonesome Road build to a suitably apocalyptic climax, but it has none of the depth, pace or meaning of the face-off between House, Caesar and the NCR that rounded out the original storyline. Completists will want to see it through, just to say they did, but it's a shame to see such an epic atomic age narrative go out with a whimper rather than a bang.

5 / 10

Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road Dan Whitehead End of the road. 2011-09-21T14:00:00+01:00 5 10

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