Category: News ArchiveHits: 1067
PC Advisor, 3/5
Regardless of how splendid it looks, Zion National Park feels empty. There are precious few characters to interact with outside of those listed above, and I often spent several minutes finding a route through the undulating terrain to reach a new location, only to discover that it was another lookout point or abandoned campsite. This is exacerbated by a lack of variety in the enemies: beyond the White Legs, there is only one new threat to your safety an admittedly cool mutant plant though Obsidian does draft in Fallout 3's fearsome, bear-like Yao Guai to make up the numbers.
The mission design is also underwhelming. I'm not the sort of gamer to take note of the number of fetch quests being thrown my way, but at one point it felt like I was being given nothing but. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a fetch quest if it's elaborately disguised, but Honest Hearts rarely makes the effort. If you're a longstanding RPG player, the moment when a character looks you squarely in the eye and asks you to find three lunchboxes can be surprisingly hard to take. Honest Hearts will test your resolve.
The problem is the expansion never really finds anything particularly new or interesting to do with it all. Almost all the missions are thinly veiled fetch quests and although the script avoids romanticising the Native American culture too much, the dialogue is always competent rather than sparkling.
There are few difficult moral decisions to make either, with the most important being a simple choice between going along with a comic book style evil bad guy or an equally unlikely goody-two-shoes.
The writers clearly want to say something more profound about tribalism and materialism but it all gets lost in a predictable morass of poorly staged shootouts, most of which mean you never really speak to anyone other than your mission givers.
We have the story, which is just awful. There are three (tribes) of folks who inhabit Zion. There's the White Legs, who you met first we are told these people are evil, and the game (proves) it by having them shoot at you. Next are the Sorrows, who speak Spanish and are (innocent,) or so says their leader, white man Daniel. There's a third group whose name I can't remember because I honestly didn't care about any of this, and they're nice. (I'd look up their name, but I'm trying to make a point here, damn it.) That last group is led by Joshua Graham, a former Legion member who was set on fire and tossed into the Grand Canyon.
The plot is driven entirely by fetch quests as you try to help the Sorrows and Graham's group in their battles with the evil White Legs, and in between fetch quests you're treated to lots of moralizing about whether or not the good guys should fight for Zion or evacuate.Graham and Daniel make speeches and are generally annoying, and by the end I was ready to murder both of them.
Gaming Irresponsibly, 8/10
Overall Honest Hearts brings to the table a good story with all the regular Fallout gameplay and background information you would expect. But, it does so in a very small package with the average play time taking around two hours and maybe another half an hour or so for you to pick up the final achievement by completing the second option. This DLC is great overall but a few more missions really wouldn't have gone a miss but at least we only have to wait till next month to find out what's in store next.
Trendkiller Online takes the scoreless route, but their conclusions seem positive
Overall, if you are invested in the Fallout universe, there is more than enough here to justify the $9.99/800 MS points they're charging. Needless to say, if you never played a Fallout game, I doubt this will be the first thing you buy, but it should be on your list if you consider yourself a fan.
And finally GameTrailers has one of their usual review pods, where they award this add-on a 7.1.