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News for Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 22:31

Gamergaia previews the upcoming New Vegas DLC Old World Blues, mostly by summing up known information. They put the release date at "June 14th, 2011", though what that's based on I do now know.

Previous DLCs have kicked off with a new quest marker in the Mojave Wasteland leading to a point of no return, not allowing us to revisit the New Vegas map until we’ve completed the add-on’s quest objectives, so we can assume a similar plot progression for Old World Blues. It looks like gunplay and other technical aspects won’t receive any major upgrades, but that’s what we expect from DLC – seldom do add-ons make vital changes to established game mechanics (I was left gaping when Honest Hearts, using Skyrim’s new dialogue system, had Joshua Graham fluidly cleaning his guns as he spoke to you, rather than standing ramrod-stiff and staring soullessly at you as Fallout characters tend to do). New enemies are always lots of fun to discover, and the crazed “Lobotomites,” victims of experiments gone awry, sound like they’ll do justice to the series’s track record with horror.

You will not be stripped of your equipment, a feature of previous DLCs that had players (rightfully) up in arms, and as with all New Vegas add-ons, the level cap is bumped up by five to give you room to grow. You’ll receive a perk option to cap yourself at your current level, thus ramping up the challenge, as well as the opportunity to rework your character’s appearance and abilities in case your Courier is, like mine, horrifically ugly.

News for Monday, May 30, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 20:20

Interplay's latest 10-Q filing is the normal ugly read. They lost 1 million USD net over 2010, and still have a working capital deficit and stockholder deficit of 2.8 million USD.

We currently have some obligations that we are unable to meet without generating additional income or raising additional capital. If we cannot generate additional income or raise additional capital in the near future, we may become insolvent and/or be made bankrupt and/or may become illiquid or worthless.

As of December 31, 2010, our cash balance was approximately $3,000 and our working capital deficit totaled approximately $2,877,000 . If we do not receive sufficient financing or sufficient funds from our operations we may (i) liquidate assets, (ii) seek or be forced into bankruptcy and/or (iii) continue operations, but incur material harm to our business, operations or financial condition. These measures could have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue as a going concern. Additionally, because of our financial condition, our Board of Directors has a duty to our creditors that may conflict with the interests of our stockholders. When a Delaware corporation is operating in the vicinity of insolvency, the Delaware courts have imposed upon the corporation’s directors a fiduciary duty to the corporation’s creditors. Our Board of Directors may be required to make decisions to fulfill its fiduciary duty that favor the interests of creditors at the expense of our stockholders. For instance, we may be required to preserve our assets to maximize the repayment of debts versus employing the assets to further grow our business and increase shareholder value. If we cannot generate enough income from our operations or are unable to locate additional funds through financing, we will not have sufficient resources to continue operations.


We may not be able to successfully develop a “Fallout” MMOG.

We plan to exploit the license that we hold to create a “Fallout” MMOG. We must satisfy various conditions to maintain our license. Although we believe that all such conditions have been met, our licensor Bethesda Softworks LLC filed a legal action attempting to terminate our license.

If we lose the pending litigation, our license to create a “Fallout”-branded MMOG may be terminated and we might not be able to successfully launch the game.
Merger or sale is, obviously, not out of the question.
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming the Company will continue as a going concern, which contemplates, among other things, the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company had net loss of $1,034,000 in 2010. At December 31, 2010, the Company had a stockholders’ deficit of $2,843,000 and a working capital deficit of $2,877,000. The Company has historically funded its operations from licensing fees, royalty and distribution fee advances, and will continue to exploit its existing intellectual property rights in the Company's videogames to provide future funding.

In addition, the Company continues to seek external sources of funding including, but not limited to, a sale or merger of the Company, a private placement or public offering of the Company’s capital stock, the sale of selected assets, the licensing of certain product rights in selected territories, selected distribution agreements, and/or other strategic transactions sufficient to provide short-term funding, and potentially achieve the Company’s long-term strategic objectives. Although the Company has had some success in licensing or distributing sales of certain of its products in the past, no assurance can be given that the Company will do so in the future.

The Company expects that it will need to obtain additional financing or income to fund its current operations. However, no assurance can be given that funding can be obtained on acceptable terms, or at all. These conditions, combined with the Company’s historical operating losses and its deficits in stockholders’ equity and working capital, raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. The accompanying consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments to reflect the possible future effects on the recoverability and classification of assets and liabilities that might result from the outcome of this uncertainty.
Bethesda's bet that Interplay will simply not survive to develop FOOL or finish litigation looks like it'll pay off.

News for Thursday, May 26, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:13

This is only tangentially related to Fallout, to be honest, but it's still a notable expression of a running sentiment in press and players alike, so worthy of a post. The Escapist's Russ Pitts editorializes in the form of an open letter, arguing that Obsidian Entertainment has burned all of his goodwill with Fallout: New Vegas' bugs.

I know this all comes as a shock. I wish I could put it more gently, but the fact is you've hurt me. I forgave you for the flaws in Knights of the Old Republic II. For the half-ending and the way it didn't quite capture the spirit of the original. I forgave you for Neverwinter Nights 2. It wasn't perfect, but it was - to be fair - as good as the original, or better. You had a lot of room to mess things up there, and that you took all of it and more wasn't your fault. Not really.

I also forgave you for Alpha Protocol. The fact is, you and I both knew that was beyond you. It would have been a nice surprise if it had ended well for you, but it didn't and we both know why: You weren't ready. You overreached. I hope you can see that.

You know I forgave you for Fallout: New Vegas, too. Sure, it was you up to your old tricks, tripping once for every two steps, but I thought that maybe if you could spend some time in your old neighborhood you would realize how much things have changed - and how much you haven't. I had hoped that seeing what your friends had done with the place might inspire you to be better. Instead, it seems like it only made you bitter. Made you focus on trying it your own way again, one more time, just to prove you were right when all along, the road to success was right at your feet just waiting for you to take the first step.

The one thing I can't forgive is this ridiculous bullshit with the New Vegas patches DLC. I was looking forward to "Honest Hearts," I really was. The Burned Man was one of your greatest inventions. I had hoped to hear his story, to revel in your brilliance one more time. But then you had to ruin it like you always do. A patch that broke the game it was supposed to be patching? And then, after you tried to fix what was broken, you broke something again. I fell for this already, with ED-E. How interesting he was. What a story! Except I never got to hear the ending because it was riddled with all of your usual bullshit. Now I can't even begin the new tale because of the problems with the old.
Thanks Bewitched.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 20:08

Other people have been reviewing Honest Hearts besides us lately, so we decided to round up some more critiques for Obsidian's DLC.

Our gracious host, Atomic Gamer is very pleased with it and awards it a 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.

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.
GamesRadar doesn't quite share these impressions and hands it a 6/10
It's not that Honest Hearts is good or bad, it's just kinda there. After two giant games alongside now seven DLC packs, we're not as excited to enter the destroyed-beauty apocalypse as we once were. Whether you should play Honest Hearts comes down to this simple question: do you want to keep playing this style of Fallout? If so, this isn't a bad way to go about doing that, and there's always the level cap increase if that's important to you. For everyone else, the change in scenery isn't quite enough to get excited over playing yet another content pack of a rapidly aging game.
Beefjack, 7.3/10
The problem lies with the delivery. Few of the side quests are expressly dealt with, and after the main bulk of them are dealt with, the end rears up. With a little more time put into some more dialogue, this would have been a moot point, but as is, it just feels a bit rushed. Furthermore, the variety isn’t as broad as it could be – a few too many campsites, not enough caves and ruins, and the spectrum of wildlife, start to break the pioneer spirit that Honest Hearts was intended to invoke. It’s hard to get excited over yet another upended caravan with a few skeletons scattered around it.

Most of the time, especially when the quest line has finished holding your hand and you have the opportunity to interact with your surroundings, the sheer quality of production shines through. A few minor graphical glitches aside, the design of the landscape and the people within it rise up as far as New Vegas’ meagre technology allows. Each tribe’s aesthetic looks and sounds just right (Dead Horses draw from the Maori warrior culture, Sorrows more from Native American society, White Legs from your worst bloody nightmares, like Zulu Dawn on a crack bender), represented clearly through their respective leaders and companions.
VGRevolution doesn't score it
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.
Thanks Bewitched.

Posted by Brother None - at 19:03

Our friends over at GameBanshee took an indepth, two-page look at Honest Hearts.

Honest Hearts' biggest problem, I think, is one of structure, both in narrative and gameplay. While there’s nothing wrong with it on the surface, Honest Hearts’ story focuses much more heavily on the “tribal politics” than one might expect, with significant amounts of time dedicated to setting up the situation, the cultures of the tribes, and so forth, but very little spent on actually giving the player much to do save for the aforementioned fetch/collect/kill quests. The story is short, almost cripplingly so, not out of a lack of content in the game world, but because there simply isn’t that much meat to it. There’s a huge amount of exposition to go over, but when it comes time to actually play, there’s not much left to do as far as the story’s concerned – walk around, deliver this, murder that, and then you get to choose which ending you want. It’s disappointing, to say the least, and also confusing given the high standard set by the backstory and characters.

Speaking of, the characters themselves are mostly excellent – it’s just that they’re used poorly. Joshua Graham makes a strong appearance, though he’s far different from the Hanged Man initially planned for Van Buren, coming across less as a violent psychopath and more as a repentant, but still brutally efficient man who does not shy away from violence if it serves his ends. He is complex and fleshed-out, but given the colossal hype that’s been given to his character, not just in New Vegas, but as hinted by Van Buren as well, perhaps it was a given that he’d come across as just a little bit of a let-down. Daniel, meanwhile, is an intelligent, younger and more sympathetic character, one who serves as a constructive, peaceful leader for the tribes he serves as missionary to, but finds himself mired in doubt over those pacifist ways as he stands in Graham’s shadow. Daniel’s somewhat naïve, idealistic and uncertain ways serve as a great counterpart and contrast to the resolute, yet subtly violent personality of Graham. It’s a shame that the story built around them is so anemic, as one gets the sense Graham especially is much too big a character to be confined as he is to such a short and middling story.

Then there’s the issue of linearity, which finds itself at odds with the open-world structure. While the Courier is free to explore the world at his or her leisure, and to pick and choose the order some quests are performed in, there’s no choice or consequence whatsoever beyond the ending and a couple of interactions with the companions (which open up mini-quests that are over practically before they begin); even with multiple endings, and some choice within those two end sequences, the options still feel unsatisfying. It’s simply puzzling, for instance, why diplomacy with the White Legs isn’t available, and pitting two tribes led by two men with very different ideals against each other would have been a far stronger setup; instead, they’re reduced to mindless raiders, and when given the choice between exterminating them or running away, it’s very hard to see why anyone would shy away from simply slaughtering them like the monsters they are. Proper interaction and diplomacy with the White Legs would have truly let the two characters of Graham and Daniel to shine, and would have allowed for a much greater degree of moral ambiguity… and coming from Obsidian, it’s quite surprising that the add-on didn’t take such a route.

News for Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 21:32

No Mutant Allowed's Tagaziel has played Honest Hearts, and comes back impressed but with a few points of criticism as well.

The rest of the characters carry their weight, although they do not stand out. They are, as one might expect from Obsidian, well written and characterized and meeting them is a pleasure, but after you finish Honest Hearts, it's Graham and Keith Szarabajka's voice that you will remember, not the mild-mannered Daniel, the mormon missionary, Waking-Cloud, the Sorrows midwife, or Follows-Chalk, the Dead Horses young scout.

But even if they are not all equally memorable, they do all fit well into the gameplay. Each of of the above will become the player's companion in Honest Hearts at one point or another and each one provides a unique bonus, fitting to the challenges offered. For example, the first companion, Follows-Chalk, provides a perk that boosts the player's perception and uncovers all nearby map markers when he reaches an overlook, such as a ranger station or a peak. This provides an incentive to explore the valley and works well enough. However, companions suffer from one, large flaw - each of them is assigned to the player temporarily for the duration of a quest stage, after which they can no longer be recruited. Hence it is impossible to, say, explore a bit with Follows-Chalk, then swap him for Waking-Cloud in order to fight some White Legs, to then go back to exploration. It's an all-or-nothing sort of deal.

This also ties into the biggest flaw of Honest Hearts - it has little to offer after the adventure is finished. All named NPCs disappear, leaving behind only generic characters and the valley itself to explore. No more quests are made available and those that aren't finished when the player chooses to complete the main quest instantly fail. To a certain point this is mitigated by the fact that the game tells you when you are about to reach the point of no return and advises you to complete all quests beforehand, but it still leaves a bad taste. Furthermore, the end comes much too soon - the main quest consists of slightly more complicated fetch quests and a slightly larger set piece finale, all of which can be completed by a competent gamer in under three hours. For such a character and story driven adventure, reducing the length of the plot and cutting the player off from the main characters afterwards is detrimental to the quality of the experience.

News for Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 16:01

We have another batch of reviews for Honest Hearts, but unfortunately for Obsidian they're not the most positive of critiques.

Gamespy, 2/5

It's a storyline with promise, but various issues prevent the this expansion from fulfilling its potential. In particular, the bugs of New Vegas are still present, only when you consider the core game was released nearly eight months ago, they're unforgivable. You mean to tell me if I completed the "ED-E, My Love" side quest in the core game, I can't play Honest Hearts? Yes, this bug actually exists (at least, in the PC version). WTF, Bethesda and Obsidian? And various new bugs have chewed their way into the game's code and laid plenty of eggs, resulting in a frustrating, glitchy experience.
Gamepro, 3/5
It's a fair package -- more expansive than Dead Money but not quite as rich as Point Lookout, which is the current gold standard for Fallout DLC. And, of course, it's a long way from the expansion packs of yore, where $30 could occasionally yield what amounted to an entirely new game. Ten dollars is a fair price for what Honest Hearts brings to the table, but its ultimate appeal is down to whether or not you're still in the middle of a campaign. As it is, this four hour romp through Zion National Park isn't quite worth dusting off your seven-month old copy of New Vegas.
Elder-geek, "Worth Buying"
Honest Hearts sits in the same boat as Dead Money. It is fun to play, but it has enough weaknesses to keep it from being a top priority. Exploring is fun in the event that you find something, and fighting is as rewarding as it was in the previous Fallout installments. While Zion is fun to look at, the story behind it fails to make it come alive. If you are a survivalist nut playing on hardcore, then Honest Hearts will give you some interesting challenges, but anyone else should get it when they don’t have much else to play, or wait for the inevitable Game of the Year Edition.
GamingLives doesn't score it
Compared to Dead Money I found this DLC infinitely more fun and much more on par with some of the previous Fallout 3 DLC. Whilst lacking in depth and difficulty, you can't ignore that it has brought back one of the main elements to a Fallout game: exploration. 800 Microsoft points seems a worthy trade for an average playtime of five hours and although, other than the background environment, there isn't anything new on offer in terms of gameplay, the extra perks, new weapons and additional story relating to the Burned Man are not to be sniffed at - especially for a second playthrough or someone still mid-adventure in the Mojave. I found my playthrough a leisurely one; almost a break from the punishing Mojave environment, but more importantly an enjoyable one. A definite step in the right direction and hope has been restored for the two already announced future DLC content packs.
And neither does Duck and Cover
Ultimately, while it has a weaker story and writing, Honest Hearts just brings more raw content to the table. New weapons and armors, new perks, and a plethora of new crafting recipes, this is definately better. Unfortunately, it still feels like it falls short of the ten dollar asking price. It's not any longer then Dead Money, and it just feels unsatisfying to complete. It's not bad by any stretch, but if you don't already own it, I'd wait until it inevitably goes on sale.

Posted by Brother None - at 6:11

Obsidian creative director Chris Avellone lets us know through twitter that Obsidian has finished the writing for all of New Vegas' DLC.

Today, I wrote the last line to be spoken by a Fallout New Vegas character, and can now rest and await armageddon.

Posted by Brother None - at 4:12

Mash has released verson 3.0 of his high resolution patch for Fallout 2.

Major code overhaul, most of patch re-written and/or optimized.
Fixed Splash screen display.
Added scaling options for Splash, Help, Death, Ending Slides and Main-menu Screens.
Added option to load 8bit bmp's on Splash screen.
Added option to set 32bit colour output.
Text used in the Screen-Settings screen can now be edited in a msg file.
Hi-res patch art and other files have been intergrated into the fallout file system. And are now stored in f2_res.dat and can be patched in the data folder.
Added map edge clipping option to hide the unused area beyond the map borders.
Map edges are now the same no matter the resolution.
Multiple edge sets can now be set up on a single map level.
Map angled borders have been removed. All 10 000 tile and 40 000 hex positions can be utilized.
Numerous other small fixes.

News for Sunday, May 22, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 19:03

Reviews for Honest Hearts keep slowly but steadily coming out, and the DLC continues to receive very mixed impressions from reviewers.

Dealspwn thinks you shouldn't bother with it, 5

Where Honest Hearts excels is its willingness to cater for Survival and Melee-centric characters. The handful of new guns isn’t particularly inspiring, but melee characters will enjoy a powerful selection of animal gauntlets to batter enemies to death with. What’s more, stimpacks and traditional aid are in short supply – but the national park is full of ingredients, food and resources to craft your own healing items with. Liberally-spaced campfires mean that you’re never too far away from cooking up a recipe, and some new survival-oriented perks mean that this underused skill becomes significantly more powerful.

There’s a caveat to this review, which I’ll admit is fairly damning up to this point. Whilst Honest Hearts is a bit limp, Fallout’s addictive core of exploration and character building is still present… and increasing the level cap by five is an attractive prospect that carries over to the main game. Fans will enjoy the experience, but taken by itself, Honest Hearts is probably not worth the download for most gamers.
Blistered Thumbs, 8
From a presentation standpoint, Honest Hearts uses the assets of New Vegas (and by association Fallout 3) very well. Similar to Point Lookout, this particular slice of paradise is a wholly unique area separate from the main wasteland. Once you enter, there are no restrictions on where you go (though there will be some nudging via a companion). Visually, it’s a beautiful area. The textures look good, though you may get pop in once or twice. The lighting is good at keeping the mood as well, on top of giving the player plenty of times to get a great look at the view the Zion National Park presents. In fact, one point where the lighting is highlighted is in the endgame, where the tint of the sky hints at exactly what’s going to come at the end of this particular road.
NowGamer thinks that short DLCs deserve short reviews and awards it a 7.0
Like Dead Money, Honest Hearts takes place on an enclosed map, completely separate from the main game, but unlike Dead Money sticks to pretty much the same formula as the main game. You get caught up in a conflict between various factions and the main quest thread sees you helping to resolve it in return for help returning to the Mojave Wasteland.

Along the way there are choices to be made – whether to do the optional side-quests or not, whether to do the optional objectives within quests or not, and what to say to various characters about various things.

Some of the above will then affect the epilogue plot summary you get at the end. This formula works for the main game because it’s so huge and so complex and because you have so much freedom. On a smaller map with a much shorter main quest at about four hours, there’s no room for freedom or complexity and you just feel like you’re going through the motions.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 8:36

A veteran of role-playing games development and one of the handful of devs in Obsidian Entertainment that can legitimately be said to come from the original team, Scott Everts is the last developer to have been interviewed on the Bethblog. Here's the obligatory excerpt from the interview:

You’ve gone from being a Level Designer on Fallout 1 &2 to a World Builder for New Vegas. How are things different, and what’s stayed the same?

The tools are so much better! Building maps in Fallout was very time consuming. The art selection tools were really clunky. The art assets were just a sequential list with no organization so finding just the right piece could take awhile. Eventually you remembered that the corner building piece one was five pages into the asset list while corner piece two was eight pages. I can’t imagine having to build levels that way now. As for staying the same, the interaction between worldbuilding, art, and design has stayed pretty much the same. Though I usually don’t get map designs written on Denny’s napkins any longer. Yes, I got some for Fallout that way!

What would you say is your personal favorite game of all time? Also, any particular favorite levels?

I have very fond memories of System Shock. I played that game twice all the way through. I also loved Elite. Both of those sucked up a significant amount of my free time. Current games I’ve enjoyed are Civ 5, Torchlight, and Borderlands.

News for Friday, May 20, 2011

Posted by Tagaziel - at 21:31

No Mutants Allowed has recently procured two rather obscure ancient artifacts: press packs for Fallout and Fallout 2. As such, we are proud to release them for your viewing pleasure:

The second batch comes from the 1998 ECTS press pack. Here are the goods:
6th September 1998


Black Isle Studios, the RPG division of Interplay Productions, today announced the imminent release of the sequel to their award-winning Fallout -A Post Nuclear Adventure, for PC CD-ROM . Set in North California 50 years after the original game, Fallout 2 continues its legacy. The title is due to release worldwide in Winter 1998, and will be available for Windows® 95 and 100% compatibles. This new post apocalyptic adventure will continue to use the critically acclaimed SPECIAL role-playing system recognisable from the original, plus it will include new locations, weapons and characters, as well as the player‘s new ability to race across the wasteland in a modified 50’s style 8-cylinder Chevy.
“Much of the core team that created Fallout are developing Fallout 2 and we’ve also added David “Zeb“ Cook, creator of the AD&D 2nd Edition Rules, who will be designing a number of areas,“ stated division director, Feargus Urquhart. “Our plan for Fallout 2, is to build on the unique world that made Fallout a success while introducing new elements into the environment as well as new twists and turns to the story.“

In the sequel, the player is a descendent of the main character featured in the original Fallout. The game originates with the player accepting a quest to find his ancestor’s vault and to obtain a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (G.E.C.K.). By accepting the mission, the player will adventure to new locations such as ‘New Reno’, the home of organized crime and big casinos; Vault City, a new modern town; and the ruins of San Francisco. As Fallout 2 progresses the player will have the ability to find and use a car which will reduce travel time from area to area, allowing him to visit more locations, interact with new NPC’s (non player characters), discover advanced weaponry and move closer to the goal – finding the vault and acquiring the G.E.C.K.

“In developing Fallout 2, we reviewed the feedback we received on the Fallout website and asked the team what new ideas they wanted to implement,“ stated Urquhart, “The emerging sequel will have the same nostalgic retro ‘feel’ as Fallout, but will give the gamer a completely new experience.“

Other improved features of Fallout 2 include better combat AI. This allows the player more accurate control over the actions of his party members while engaged in combat. A variety of weapons will also be offered that can be upgraded to have multiple functions. For example, strap a grenade launcher to the bottom of an M63 automatic rifle, and the player can riddle the enemy with bullets or melt them with a plasma grenade. Don’t like the death-dealing toys of destruction that we give you? Then build your own combinations – let’s see, is that new laser sight going to look better on your Springer rifle, or would It help you to clean the streets with your drum-fed auto shotgun? Then again maybe a bigger magazine is the way to go…..

Enemies are also bigger, smarter and nastier – with more mutants, droids, ghouls and flesh-eating, spore-implanting, carnivorous plants than ever before. We’ve also given you a few pals who are just as ugly. You didn’t think you were the only bad-ass in this town did you? For the human touch you can now fall in love, get married…and then pimp your spouse for a little extra chump-change. Hey, it’s a dark and dangerous world out there!

Tough choices and even tougher consequences also mark a step up from the original. Imagine the scenario: the ghouls need their atomic power-plant to survive, but the waste from the plant is poisoning a community down-stream. Sometimes you have to pick one side to win and the other side to - guess what? - lose. Your choices, no matter how small, affect the world you live in, and not all of your choices have a fairy tale ending… Finally, gamers will also be able to take advantage of all the new features at their own pace; there is no time limit in Fallout 2.

Black Isle Studios, a division of Interplay Productions is a developer of role-playing entertainment software for personal computers and leading console game platforms. Upcoming Black Isle releases include Fallout 2, Baldur’s Gate, Stonekeep 2, and other products using the AD&D™ licensed worlds of Forgotten Realms® and Planescape®. More comprehensive information on Black Isle Studios and its products is available through its worldwide web site at

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:20

Some more reviews for Honest Hearts are out, the reception ranging from positive to mediocre.

PC Advisor like it but think it falls short of Fallout 3's Point Lookout, 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., 5/10 (thanks Bewitched)
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.
Gamefront, 50/100
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 goes scoreless but seems to like it
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 review pods, score is 7.1 (thanks Alphadrop).

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 12:40

Eurogamer reports that, due to an already known bug in Fallout: New Vegas that has been present since release in the quest "ED-E, My Love", affected players may not be able to start their Honest Hearts playthroughs.

Nick Breckon, senior community manager at Bethesda, reports on the Bethblog that Obsidian and Bethesda are already working on a patch:

Frank — we are aware of the issue and are working on a fix for the next patch.

That said, if you already have a save game where the bug is occurring, the fix will not apply and you’ll need to revert to an earlier save prior to ED-E leaving in order to play through Honest Hearts.
And later, on the Bethesda forums, corrects himself on the patch info, reassuring people that encountered the bug that they won't need to start the game again:
Just talked to the team: the new patch will provide a way to force your companions to leave your party, thus allowing anyone still encountering the ED-E bug to start up Honest Hearts without reverting to a new save or starting a new character. More info on that patch to come.

News for Thursday, May 19, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:50

Reviews for Honest Hearts keep coming out at a steady pace, though the reception itself is very mixed.

IGN thinks narrative and enemy variety could have used some work but overall is pleased, 7.5

Some quick notes before you hit the road: you need to travel light. This means no companions (you'll have to tell them to go away yourself, they don't automatically leave you like they do in Dead Money) and 75 lbs of stuff on your back. There are ways to raise the poundage up to 100, but you'll need specific perks or skills to do so. If you're like me and prefer to have some backup, you'll be happy to know that you receive temporary companions during your stay at Zion.

The national park is a beautiful place filled with red cliffs, radiation-free water, plenty of plants to pick and stunning hand-painted murals on the bedrock. Although my feelings would differ if this happened in real life, I was pleasantly surprised when I got caught in a rainstorm. The addition of weather patterns is a really nice touch and at night the sky is bursting with stars. These details make Zion a really fun place to wander around in. Fast travel is also back (it wasn't possible in Dead Money) and that made me very happy.
The Controller Online, 3
There are a few new weapons and perks offered with Honest Hearts but they don’t make up for the lack of story and short amount of time you’ll spend in Zion. To top it all off, the quest line can be, very easily, irrevocably broken. There is one character near the start of the journey whom, if you kill, will send the whole DLC into a strange state where no quests are offered but the one to retrieve the map and leave. I wasn’t out to break the game, he actually starts off shooting you, then realizes you aren’t of the enemy tribe and backs off, but if you fire back, as you should, the whole DLC fails. I can confirm this isn’t by design as the closing narrative makes absolutely no sense and gives details about factions whom you’ve simply never crossed paths with, but the narrator explains how you have affected them.
Big Shiny Robot goes scoreless (thanks Bewitched)
Any hardcore fan that just can’t wait should get it but if I were not that hardcore I’d wait until they all come out before getting this one. It like all the rest are 800 Microsoft points on the XBOX. If you are a lower level and don’t have a lot of the best weapons and armor I’d say give it a try. But with the other two coming out within the next two months for most people I’d say wait for all of them and then start over from the beginning.

News for Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:29

With Honest Hearts available for all Xbox360 and Steam users, taking a look at the reception from the press may help those of you who are deciding whether to purchase the title now, wait for a price drop or just avoid it like plague.

Eurogamer isn't happy with the quest design and feels that the story is "thin and underdeveloped". Score is a 6. Here's a snippet:

There's a fascinating tale to be told about this place, so it's a shame that Honest Hearts doesn't really offer much to sink your teeth into where quests are concerned. It's mostly a selection of slim fetch quests, none of which are optional. There are a couple of side quests, but nothing particularly robust.

Most disappointing is how perfunctory the main quest line feels, boiling down to another simplistic binary choice - what I like to call the Platoon Dilemma - between two surrogate leader figures; one a bloodthirsty killer, the other a hand-wringing pacifist. This being a video game, whichever one you choose to follow, the result still involves shooting lots of people in the face. Ho hum.

There are a lot of highbrow influences swimming around in Honest Hearts' thin narrative soup, most notably Apocalypse Now and The Mosquito Coast, so it's a real shame that any interesting moral questions or themes are shoved to the background in favour of rote mechanistic missions that send you scuttling through the scenery, shooting and scavenging, while never requiring you to engage with its inhabitants in any meaningful way.
GamerLimit likes it, noting that the DLC has plenty to offer for its price point:
Like most Fallout DLC packs, Honest Hearts will take you around two hours to complete (if you just do the main story), but you can also explore New Zion to your heart’s content, and most likely push around five to ten hours of total play. Like Point Lookout, in addition to the core locations, there are few optional areas to explore in the DLC’s sandbox.

As far as post-completion content goes, I have to place the following disclaimer: I’m not one to really care about DLC goodies. However, not every gamer is the same, and many people out there buy these DLC packs just for the outfits/weapons to use afterwards. So, for those fans, I have good news to report: this DLC pack offers a healthy serving of extra perks, and items.

The perks on offer aren’t just throwaway ones either, like the useful “Home on the Range”, which lets you sleep at any campfire, and reap all the benefits of a full rest. Graham’s SWAT vest, a unique .45 pistol, and a Yao Guai gauntlet are also some pretty neat pickups. Honest Hearts also raises the level cap by five, which is good news for everyone.
Thanks, GameBanshee.

News for Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 23:51

Tuesday is almost finished for many people in Europe and Honest Hearts is finally live on Steam. Price is $9.99/9.99€ just as with Dead Money and the upcoming DLCs. In case you forgot, here's what Honest Hearts is about:

An expedition into the unspoiled wilderness of Utah's Zion National Park goes horribly wrong when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a way back to the Mojave you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. The decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.
EDIT: Users on various forums report that, as of now, a purchase is impossible as Steam shows an error when processing the transaction. Talk about a fiasco.

EDIT 2: It appears that a work-around has been found in self-gifting. Weird.

EDIT 3: Reportedly the issue has been resolved and you can purchase it freely now.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 15:25

Senior Producer Jason Bergman let us know with a tweet that Honest Hearts is now out on the Xbox360 Marketplace. The Steam version should also be up soon-ish.

News for Monday, May 16, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 23:04

A quicky update for those waiting on Honest Hearts. It'll be available on Steam and Xbox 360 tomorrow, as planned, but PS3 users will have to wait. PSN has been getting back up in stages since the weekend, but has a backlog of releases to work through, so it's wait and see when the DLC will hit there.

Posted by Brother None - at 21:29

Vince D Weller offers an interesting interview with Obsidian's MCA on choice and consequence.

7. Let's talk about diplomatic solutions to problems. Since all conflicts can be resolved with violence, which is the legacy of the olden days when violence was the only way to solve anything in RPGs, how do you feel about the "talk your way through the game" path? Can it actually compete with the "kill 'em all" path in terms of excitement or is it, at best, a side dish, something to do between the killings? If yes, what are the challenges of getting it done right? If no, why not?

It caters to a small % of players, and those players find it meaningful if that's the power fantasy they want. To cite the best example, in Fallout 1, I think it's pretty ego-boosting to point out the flaws in your adversaries' master plan so much that he suicides after talking to you. I really can't be more of a talking badass than that. It is difficult to implement a speech/sneak path, and the main obstacles to it are many, so here's my opinion on how to approach it:

The speech path should present more than a skill check challenge - there needs to be some other obstacle associated with it. I usually veer toward exploring conversations (asking about back history, reading lore, discovering evidence to a criminal case), exploring the environment (discovering an enemy encampment, learning a secret path into a fortress, discovering a rival caravan is already sending an emissary to scout a new trade route), or being able to draw logical connections between two topics... as an example, without it being given as a quest objective, realizing that the local historian who's obsessed with the Montaine family tree would be interested to learn of an exiled Montaine living in a remote city, and then returning to tell the historian that is a simplistic example of paying enough attention to a conversation and its topics and remembering who might be interested in that information... but again, this involves the player remembering and knowing who to speak to next. We sometimes do this within a dialogue tree - if a player has enough presence of mind to return to a previously-asked dialogue node once they've obtained information learned from a later node is an example of a speech-based challenge.

We did something a little different with the Fallout 3 pen-and-paper game and also with Alpha Protocol - in the Fallout PNP game, we allowed players with a high Speech to gain a little mini-dossier psychology profile of the temperament and the psychology of the person they were speaking to either by purchasing them or speaking to them for X period of time - what the NPC's triggers were, what they were uneasy about, what they got angry about, etc, and then once the player had that information, then they would attempt to use those triggers (without the need for a speech check) to manipulate a situation. As an example, when we were playing Boulder in Fallout PNP, Josh Sawyer's character Arcade got a dossier on the leader of the Boulder Dome, enough to realize that the leader would almost always refuse any request or become unreasonably angry if a comment was phrased as a challenge to his authority or any hint that he was managing the situation improperly - but almost any other comment that built up the leader's skill as a manager or drew in a compliment about the progress he made would almost always generate a favorable response, and then Josh could choose how he wanted the target to respond by structuring his comments and debates accordingly. If he wanted to make the leader mad and lose face in front of his followers, he knew how to do it - if he wanted to make the leader agree to a course of action, he knew how to do that, too, but there wasn't a "speech check" to win the conversation, only hints on how to manipulate it. Alpha Protocol did this a bit without a speech skill - if you gathered enough info on an opponent (intel), it began to give you a picture as to what attitudes (aggressive, suave, professional) and mission approach (violent, stealth, diplomatic) they respected and what they didn't, and the player could use that to navigate the conversation to achieve a desired result, even if that result was something that might seem unfavorable at first, like making the person angry.

I always liked how the old Fallouts had the empathy perk that forecasted whether a topic would make someone mad or not, but you never knew if that might be a good thing or not unless you really paid attention to the NPC's outlook and philosophy. Was making X person mad a good thing or not?

8. You've mentioned awhile ago that one of the core problems with dialogues revolves around the fact that the player is more motivated to kill and loot (back to the roots again) than to have a civilized conversation. How would you balance these options, making the peaceful outcome every bit as appealing as the alternative?

Obsidian has a rule in quest design that any non-violent path has to have a reward that's comparable to killing and looting everyone in the scenario, and has similar repercussions. Whether this is XP bonus greater than killing the opponent, alignment shifts, barter rewards, or whatever, speech-defeating someone can't yield you less in the long run than it would if you killed everyone. Often, it can yield more if you're patient... or if you decide to shoot the person in the face after you verbally crushed them. In some ways, it could be considered a speech bribe. I'll be honest, KOTOR2 was a huge speech bribe as well - once people figured out that's how you could make Jedi or Sith from characters by interacting with them, suddenly there's a lot more incentive in getting to know your allies and playing the influence game. I will say this doesn't always work (I've seen YouTube footage where people simply rapidfire through the FNV DLC1 Dead Money conversations just looking to mine the XP awards, which makes me die a little inside - but hey, it's more than they would otherwise).

In any event - using Speech or other dialogue skill is also a mechanic you need to showcase early in the game to play fair with the player so that they know what kind of world they've stepped into. I've always felt Mass Effect 1 did an excellent job on the first level with showcasing how every skill is valuable in the context of that mission and what sort of results you can expect to get from using it... and Goodsprings in Fallout New Vegas was also a good example of it as well, especially with dialogue-based skills (it was a design mandate that every skill be highlighted in Goodsprings, including low-level weapon tier selection from guns, melee, explosives, etc.). The player needed to see in the first area how their skills could shine and how they could be used to solve quests before they "settled" into their character.

News for Friday, May 13, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 5:35

Commenting on a thread on the BethSoft forums, MCA had this to say:

In Dead Money, we did it for the survival/horror experience. None of the future DLCs strip gear from a player, although in Honest Hearts, because of the caravan journey you're on (and the distance) you can only carry a certain weight limit (which can be increased with skills and perks).

In both Honest Hearts and Old World Blues, you'll find out fast that you're in a difficult situation and need to finish the adventure once begun - but both adventures take place in an open world free-roaming location (similar to Point Lookout). Once there, you can tackle your objectives in any order or ignore them entirely. After completing the adventures, you can return freely to both locations from the Mojave.

In Old World Blues, it's very, very easy to return anytime you want, and we tried to make it as easy as possible for people to do so.

Lonesome Road is a bit different. As the name suggests, it's more a road that leads to an end destination (though not like any road you may have seen before), so it's structured a bit differently - you can travel it, and come back anytime you want. You can also return to it after the adventure is over.
Thanks GameBanshee.

News for Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 17:10

Here's the official trailer of the upcoming Honest Hearts DLC, narrated and highlighting the Burned Man, Joshua Graham, voiced by veteran voice actor Keith Szarabajka (Mass Effect 2, Dragon Ages, Grim Fandango).

An expedition into the unspoiled wilderness of Utah's Zion National Park goes horribly wrong when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a way back to the Mojave you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. In Honest Hearts, the decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.

News for Monday, May 9, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 23:36

And with that, pretty much confirms Lobotomites - once intended for Fallout 2 - will be in Old World Blues.

Hitting Lobotomites with my fists sounds better than lunch.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 18:17

Echoing a previously expressed sentiment and firmly standing in the "rather obvious" category, Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian's CEO, told Playstation Magazine that he wishes Fallout: New Vegas "wasn't as glitchy when it came out".

“Now in the case of Fallout: New Vegas, we made a gigantic game, and I’m proud with what we were able to do but I wish it wasn’t as glitchy when it came out. The criticisms people had are fair but it’s difficult to get a game the size of New Vegas bug free. But that’s an excuse and it doesn’t matter when someone’s paid $60 for a game. It’s something we need to work on.”

“From the standpoint of Dungeon Siege III, we’ve been working very hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ve been playing and playing and playing and playing to ensure it’s of a high standard. On top of this, this is the first time we’ve got to use our own technology on something, which means we know where to find the bad bugs from the start!”
As far as I remember, this isn't the first time Feargus says something along those lines, so I certainly hope that he can hold on his promises of Dungeon Siege III as a polished game.

Thanks PC Gamer.

News for Sunday, May 8, 2011

Posted by Brother None - at 20:53

This has little to nothing to do directly with Fallout, but I thought a pair of articles offered interesting reads. First, Desslock on DA2 and being an RPG fan.

The ones we love always hurt us the most, and the roleplaying genre has, over its many years, inflicted its rabid adherents with a few post-traumatic stress disorder-inducing moments. The most infamous occasion was the 1994 release of Ultima VIII: Pagan, the sequel to one of the most beloved RPGs. It completely abandoned the renowned features of its predecessor, and its reception prompted a written apology by series creator Richard Garriott. The simplified Deus Ex: Invisible War was another PTSD moment, as was Bethesda’s transformation of the Fallout franchise (for isometric perspective turn-based combat fans, at least).

Ultimately, whether or not you’re traumatized by changes to a beloved franchise depends upon how much you personally cared about those specific features that were most mutated. I actually love Fallout 3 as much as its predecessors, and wasn’t remotely turned off by Bethesda’s radical design changes, but other fans felt betrayed. Similarly, many RPG fans are enjoying Dragon Age 2, but for me, its release is very much a Pagan moment.
Next, our host Atomic Gamer interviewed creative lead George Ziets and project director Rich Taylor on Dungeon Siege III. Not of interest to us, until these questions to Rich Taylor on page 2 and 3...
AG: On that topic, Obsidian would probably be the best guys to ask about this, but do you think the days of turn-based RPGs are done? Are we just gonna get some mix of action and RPG from here on out?

RT: I think it's still doable. Dragon Age was quite successful. It wasn't necessarily turn-based, but it was very much pause-and-play, especially if you kicked the difficulty up. It was very challenging if you did not play is it as a tactical RPG. I thought that was a fantastic game, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

AG: But they're moving away from that. With Dragon Age 2, there's no more tactical view. So it seems that even Bioware has decided -

RT: Yeah, it does seem like a dying genre, doesn't it? Kinda sad.

AG: The only place I really see that kind of really old-school game viable now is as a smaller-scale, downloadable game.

RT: I think it's one of those things, that on the PC, there's not such a high threshold to get a game out on the PC, especially with features like [the ones Steam gives developers] these days. And I think that's probably where we'd be more likely to see a very hardcore tactical-type game come out.

AG: Recently we just saw Double Fine release Stacking. They made a big-name game, Brutal Legend, and when the sequel didn't pan out, they decided they would back it off, and start making downloadable games based on interesting concepts. That's not a direction we see developers usually go in, but do you see Obsidian doing something like this?

RT: We talk about it. I can't say anything more [laughs]. I would just say that that is certainly a conversation we have around here. I think it makes a lot of sense. We'll never quit doing the big games, we love doing those, and that's what this studio is about, but I don't think that rules out working on other games, especially if they can have tie-ins - I think that's fantastic.

AG: I think Obsidian would be in a good position, especially considering how many of you have that worked on those RPGs from the old days.

RT: Yeah - lot of people here helped develop and design those. The owners, and I came from Black Isle myself, I worked on that stuff. Yeah - we would love to do that.

AG: Now, Dungeon Siege 3 is not really a game for the hardcore old-school RPG fan. Those guys, the guys from sites like Duck and Cover, or NMA Fallout, they haven't said much about Dungeon Siege 3, but overall they don't seem terribly hopeful that any developer is going to sell them the game they want to buy. Do you think those days are over?

RT: I don't think those days are over.

News for Friday, May 6, 2011

Posted by Lexx - at 15:24

First scenes of Honest Hearts and Old World Blues gameplay haven been showed up at Qore. The DLC-talk starts at around 00:44 and shows us the burned man sitting in a big cave and probably some inside scenes of the Big Empty, as well as the place that most likely will start the Old World Blues dlc in the mojave wasteland.

Notice the eye on the monitors, that we saw already some weeks ago on MCAs twitter avatar.

News for Thursday, May 5, 2011

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 21:37

As you all probably remember the Smithsonian American Art Museum hosted a poll for their Art of Videogames exhibit, in which games that are dear to Fallout fans like Wasteland, and even two installments of the series themselves, Fallout and Fallout 3, were candidates for the respective eras.

Now the results are out and it looks like Fallout and Fallout 3 both won in their categories/eras while, unfortunately, Wasteland didn't make it (losing to The Bard's Tale III).

Thanks Cunningandvalor

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:36

While it's only tangentially related to Fallout due to a tangential reference to Fallout: New Vegas, this article from Gamespy should be pretty interesting for all of you who thought that the new installments in the series were too easy or are just interested in the handling of videogames' level of challenge. Here's a couple of small excerpts:

Let me make myself clear. I am not talking about games that are difficult because they have technical problems. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 was hard because it was a buggy, poorly constructed mess. Luckily, publisher supervision, post-launch patches, and the rising cost of game development are making truly broken games less and less common, but many games are still released in rough shape (I'm looking at you, Fallout: New Vegas).


Challenging games give you the tools that you need to be successful, but they require you to invest both time and effort in order to master these tools. Some people find this kind of gaming experience fun and rewarding, but others find difficult games to be supremely frustrating. The contrast between these two groups of people is not a mere difference in opinion. Instead, these groups hold dramatically different beliefs about themselves and their personal qualities. They have different "Mindsets."
Thanks Cunningandvalor.

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:28

Ausir at the Vault informs us that Veronica Belmont made it known through her blog that she's voicing no less than thee characters for Old World Blues. No other info on them other than not all of them will be human has been made available so far, but it should be soon (with other details on Old World Blues) thanks to the next episode of Qore, which contains an Old World Blues preview and has been delayed due to the PSN situation.

Veronica Belmont also noted that this is her first voice acting experience. Make of that what you will.

News for Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Posted by OakTable - at 22:29

Matt Grandstaff has been offering info in the Honest Hearts thread. On level cap:

Each DLC will raise the level cap by 5. So including Dead Money, if you've got them all, you'll have a cap of 50.
If the prospect of being level 50 makes the game too easy for you.
And for you, I have good news. If you’re concerned that the new level cap increases will make the game too easy for you, I've got a couple things to note:

1) Congratulations on being hardcore
2) Old World Blues will offer a new trait (and respec your traits if you've already chosen them) that will allow you to cap your level at 30 (or current level if you’re already over 30).
On playing beyond the main quest.
Unrelated, wanted to note that none of the upcoming DLCs will allow you to play beyond the main quest (for the same reasons noted by the developers prior to the game's release).

Posted by WorstUsernameEver - at 17:36

In a post on their official blog, Bethesda finally details their plans for the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas DLC. And yes, they finally gave us a date for Honest Hearts: 17th May. Here is the press release:


Three Additional Add-on Packs Releasing in Coming Months
for Xbox 360, PlayStation®3 system and Windows PCs

May 3, 2011 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced three downloadable content packs will be released in the coming months for Fallout®: New Vegas™. The three packs will be released simultaneously for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Windows-based PCs.

Honest Hearts™, Old World Blues™ and Lonesome Road™ will further expand upon Fallout: New Vegas. Fallout: New Vegas takes all the action, humor and post-apocalyptic grime and grit of this legendary series, and raises the stakes.

Available on May 17, Honest Hearts takes you on an expedition to the unspoiled wilderness of Utah’s Zion National Park. Things go horribly wrong when your caravan is ambushed by a tribal raiding band. As you try to find a way back to the Mojave, you become embroiled in a war between tribes and a conflict between a New Canaanite missionary and the mysterious Burned Man. The decisions you make will determine the fate of Zion.

In Old World Blues, releasing in June, you will discover how some of the Mojave’s mutated monsters came to be when you unwittingly become a lab rat in a science experiment gone awry. You’ll need to scour the Pre-War research centers of the Big Empty in search of technology to turn the tables on your kidnappers or join forces with them against an even greater threat.

Lonesome Road, available in July, brings the courier’s story full circle when you are contacted by the original Courier Six, a man by the name of Ulysses who refused to deliver the Platinum Chip at the start of New Vegas. In his transmission, Ulysses promises the answer as to why, but only if you take one last job –a job that leads you into the depths of the hurricane-swept canyons of the Divide, a landscape torn apart by earthquakes and violent storms. The road to the Divide is a long and treacherous one, and of the few to ever walk the road, none have ever returned.

Reviews of Fallout: New Vegas have called the game as “an utterly essential purchase” (MSN UK) and as “addictively, rambunctiously fun” (Entertainment Weekly). The Associated Press awarded it a 4 out of 4 stars and said “Bottom Line: It’s a Blast”, while GameSpy gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars and called Fallout: New Vegas “one of the best games of the year.”

All downloadable content for Fallout: New Vegas will be available for download on Xbox LIVE® for 800 Microsoft Points, the PlayStation®Network for $9.99, and both Steam and Direct2Drive for $9.99.

Published by Bethesda Softworks and developed at Obsidian Entertainment, Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, Lonesome Road, and Fallout: New Vegas have been rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Fallout: New Vegas, including the game’s downloadable content, please visit

In addition, they've also released the first official screenshot for Honest Hearts: