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AtomicGamer is extremely pleased with Obsidian's offering, 9/10
What's interesting here is that you're set into a conflict and can't really choose what side you're on, but you'll make some other (and possibly more interesting) choices about the future of the Dead Horses and the Sorrows. And none of this is controlled by New Vegas' own karma or reputation systems; it's a more story-based conflict based on how you choose to complete quests. And yes, you also have the option of turning off the script almost entirely and pretty much just murdering everything you come across - that's fully supported by the game, too.Official Xbox Magazine is not quite as impressed but still awards it a 7.0/10
The thing that I enjoyed most about Honest Hearts is the story of one particular character, one that you never meet, but he's an important key to the history of the Zion Valley. Search hard enough, and you'll find his story in bits and pieces, as well as his final resting place along with some sweet gear as well. Fallout 3 excelled in telling stories through non-standard means - the placement of a corpse, a note next to a skeleton, pieces put together of a bigger conflict - and while I found that this kind of storytelling was a little bit lacking in vanilla New Vegas, getting to piece together the details of this character's journey very much fulfills that for me.
Run out of ammo for your beloved rifle and you'll find plenty of tasty loot to replace it. For a bunch of backwater tribals, Zion's inhabitants are surprisingly well equipped - .45 calibre pistols and SMGs are a new inclusion, with the former being particularly satisfying to use once you've clipped on an optional silencer. In terms of enemies though, it's the local wildlife you'll want to watch out for. Reusing enemies from previous Fallout games, these super-sized animals won't win any awards for originality - but that doesn't make a giant Cazador any less terrifying.
The combat-heavy chain of events in Zion might not offer any surprises, but the change in pace and atmosphere certainly keeps things feeling fresh. Away from the tongue-in-cheek japes of Vegas, Zion's undertone is slightly darker - focussing on the immediate aftermath of nuclear war, rather than the subsequently jaunty robotic epilogue. It's the best Fallout story yet - but you might not even find it.
VGRevolution takes the scoreless approach
The story gives you two main endings and each of those gives you a couple choices on how to wrap things up. The different choices have fairly different outcomes but similar mission structure on what you need to do after making your decision. I was a little disappointed by this but enjoyed the overall story of Honest Hearts. The way it fills in some of the back story to events that already happened in New Vegas was a nice touch. It could easily have been a stand alone story like the events at the Sierra Madra but instead they tie in nicely to the evolving story. My only real complaint is that the Honest Hearts DLC is a little on the short side. I think it took me somewhere around 4 hours to complete. A couple more optional side missions or another main quest in the middle would have been appreciated. Despite the length, I would recommend fans of Fallout New Vegas pick up the Honest Hearts DLC. The story is worth the price of admission and you get some fun new loot as well.
And so does In Utah This Week
Sadly, beyond the canyon walls there is little of Utah or its unique culture. Certainly the New Canaanites are based on the Mormons but only in the most superficial of ways. There are references to the Great Salt Lake, Ogden and somewhere called Provo Bay, but that's about it. I shouldn't have expected anything more than that. The (Fallout) series has always been a bit vague, preferring to hint at the groups that its fictional factions are based on.
Local flavor aside, the story itself is decent but, with the exception of Joshua Graham, the characters are woefully underdeveloped. Joshua Graham gets a great back-story but feels underused in the actual gameplay.
The quests are mostly based on collecting items or eliminating enemies. As a subplot to the main story of (Fallout: New Vegas,) this works just fine and had the (Honest Hearts) storyline been part of the original game, I don't think anyone would have noticed the deficiencies. But, when judged on its own merits, )Honest Hearts) feels a bit too thin to be essential. If you're a die-hard (Fallout) fan, it's worth picking up but casual players should proceed with caution.