The best minds. The best jokes. The worst quests. Welcome to the Big Empty.
Old World Blues brings a much needed dose of humor to Fallout New Vegas. Sure, we had a bit of a laugh with some of the crazier character perks, but very rarely did we get to enjoy witty dialogue and positively insane characters, since the older, isometric Fallout 3 from yesteryear. Old World Blues is here to correct that.
Much like the usual Fallout 3 or New Vegas DLC, Old World Blues begins with a mysterious signal that is picked up by The Courier's enigmatic Pip-Boy. You're guided to an abandoned movie lot where a crashed satellite is broadcasting a series of bizarre pictures onto a movie screen every day at midnight. Yet again abducted, much like Fallout 3's Mothership Zeta DLC, you're tasked with finding just what the hell is going on. Seriously, the game's mission when you arrive at Big Mountain is "Find out what the hell is going on."
Big Mountain was once a think tank of the most brilliant minds in the world, whose thoughts delved 24/7 into science and the toils of mankind, before the bombs dropped and the world went kaput. Ever since then, contact has been cut with the outside world and no one has heard about the complex in quite a while. That is, until you come in and start to screw around with the indigenous fauna of mechanical, laser-stinger scorpions and
humans who want nothing else but to kill you.
How's that much different than what you do in New Vegas proper? Without going into much detail and spoiling the story, your task in this DLC is to collect data for your captors. The quests in Old World Blues are what help make this otherwise hilariously written piece of content into something more often than not average. Most missions have you running back and forth gathering a ton of collectibles all the while finding scattered enemies on the way. Very few of your missions stray from the "get this for me so I can give you a new perk", which is a damn shame.
It's even worse when there's so much potential that is left untapped. The Big Mountain area, also dubbed Big Empty, just on the name, is interesting and varied, even though it's a little sparse. Basically a crater in the middle of nowhere, it's a complex of science buildings that contain a lot of nooks crannies to… crouch into and look for unique items and weapons.
Obsidian's writing makes a clear tie to this DLC with the previous Dead Money and Honest Hearts content packs, leading you into the apparent final piece of content. Sadly, everything's bogged down by long, drawn-out conversation strings that albeit funny, just slow the pacing to a crawl. At times it feels like the writers wanted to convey a bit too much info, especially in the very beginning of this download pack, when you get about ten minutes of dialogue and no action in between.
That said, Old World Blues is one of the best written DLCs for a Fallout game ever. It plays a strong part in the post-New Vegas story that the DLC packs are building, With that said, it's also one of the worst paced, with some of the most boring fetch quests you're likely to find in any Fallout game. It feels like an excuse to deliver excellent dialogue and humor, but with very few instances of quality content to actually play through.