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There is a lot of background information and side stories hidden across the Big Empty, but only a minor part is directly related to the conflict between the Think Tank and Mobius. A majority of the information serves to provide context for the events in other downloadable adventures (or foreshadowing for Lonesome Road), background for the various previously unexplained phenomena of the Mojave wasteland or uncover the Big MT's sinister past. Old World Blues is perhaps the most important of all the downloadable adventures, as it binds them all together and forms the root of all Old World misery seen in them, from the Divide to the Sierra Madre.
The delivery works well and the stories told are very solid, with one exception: the brain. The entire subplot related to the brain extraction starts as merely goofy, but still relatively in line with the Science! aesthetic of the add-on. However, once Mobius is confronted and the brain can be retrieved, it becomes goofy and completely nonsensical, fit more for comedies or parodies than a serious science-fiction game. Even in the context of the add-on, it is a completely superfluous element of the plot that feels included just for the sake of laughs, rather than any real purpose (other than ham fistedly explaining the no-weapon zone in the Think Tank lair, that is). It is the only major piece of criticism that can be levied against the brilliant mesh of stories weaved into the Big Empty.
Some might also criticize the tone of the add-on as goofy, however, said goofiness isn't included for the sake of goofiness; it underlines the madness of the scientists that once worked there and provides a counterpoint for all the remnants of debauched, unethical experiments and crimes against humanity are scattered across the Big MT, preventing Old World Blues from sliding into the rather hilarious GRIMDARK! aesthetic permeating New Vegas' predecessor.
Unfortunately, Old World Blues suffers from the same bugs known by anyone who has played New Vegas since its launch back in 2010. Such things as doors disappearing, getting stuck in between rocks, enemies mindlessly trying to run towards you when they're stuck - it's all here in Old World Blues. That being said, however, these issues never really bothered me much; I was too busy being sucked into this marvelous expansion pack that had me bursting out with laughter at some parts.
I spent a good 10-12 hours with Old World Blues, and I still hadn't discovered all the secrets of Big Mountain, let alone all 35 locations. If you're a regular New Vegas player, or are looking for an excuse to play it again, you simply cannot go wrong with Old World Blues, especially with its shockingly low price of 800 Microsoft Points ($10).
Hooked Gamers, 9.4/10.
Some of the stability issues that plagued so many people in New Vegas, finally reared its ugly head for me in this add-on. The worst of these was a frustrating crash that happened when initiating fast travel. These all sought not to dampen my experience as you might expect, but further make me realise how enjoyable Old World Blues is, in that I kept returning to play as much as I could in-between crashes when I usually lack the patience required for dealing with such bugs.
So the story soon pulled me back in, with its pure insanity and ability to cultivate the desire to find my brain. I found mine, and you'll find yours too. Ending in typical Fallout style, the 12 or 13 hours you have spent in Big MT do not feel wasted and the add-on never feels rushed. With the ability to return to Big MT anytime after completion and the lure of places that lay unexplored calling you back, Old World Blueswill keep pulling you back in like a Tractor Beam, its colourful inhabitants and mysteries always there to greet you in your wait to hit the road in the next add-on, The Lonesome Road. After the last two add-ons fell short of the charm and quality of the main game, Old World Blues surpasses it in every single way, with only a few bugs and a handful of mundane quests preventing it from being absolutely perfect.
Still - despite the zaniness of this new content, there is also something quite touching about it too. The title, Old World Blues, hasn't been arbitrarily assigned; as mentioned in an excellent Bethesda blog post, it refers to those who are so (obsessed with the past they can't see the present, much less the future for what it is.) It's about the failure of science to make the Fallout world a better place, both before the apocalypse, and after.
It's sad, scary, kooky, weird and wonderful: everything that we love about the Fallout universe.
The DLC and its missions are balanced, offering appropriate weapons and equipment to deal with new enemies, and letting you uncover more information about characters and abominations seen or mentioned in the main game or previous DLC. Upon completion, which should take around six hours, players will be able to travel between the Mojave Wasteland and the amenities of the Big MT home base at will, adding flexibility to players that favor crafting instead of scrounging. Old World Blues will let you raise your level cap by five, but new weapons and equipment are few and unexciting at best. Still, your $10 price of admission will guarantee you a deep story and more laughs than the rest of the Fallout games combined.
Once again the level cap has been risen by five levels which really makes it more worth it at you try to max out your skills. You'll travel across this previously unknown place, completing mission and you don't even need things like your brain, spine or heart. You actually get perks for running around with out them! I'll stop there on that subject for people that really want to be surprised. The whole area here is unique and scientific looking as some of the weapons show some true technological advancements whether it comes to a plasma gun or a lead chucking machine. You will come across force fields, robot scorpions and of course the main inhabitants who were able to sustain them selves during the fallout, just certainly not in the way you would expect. The inhabitants are trapped in fear of a Dr. Mobius, one of the same ..race I suppose you could say but the real fun in this third DLC installment is the interactions you have with these things, they are hilarious and they don't even know it.
Other than that you pretty much do what you usually do in Fallout, with its typical missions. Of course there is the suit that talks to you and room full of appliances that all have their own personalities. They all talk as well and the light are in an eternal quarrel, so I would stay clear of them. All of these appliances though, even the very angry talking toaster, have special things they can do but all require you to go on a scavenger hunt to find their missing parts in order to do them. The juke-box can equip one of your new weapons with specific emitters and the auto-doc can even give you permanent implants that give you bonuses. But it all comes down to the end when you realize your own brain is much smarter than you think it is. One down side of the content is it is rare to come by a stim-pack and parts can become very difficult, so you will have to rely on food as well as drinks to keep your health up. You can definitely approach situations in different ways, now more than ever considering you skills should be rather high by now and I suppose there could be altered endings but I think it was meant all in all to end happily ever after. In the end the moral is, well I'm not sure what the moral was, but this DLC was extremely funny and you can return at any time. as long as you don't lose your transporter.