by Liam Edwards
reviewed on X360
The third companion is the mute, a woman named Christine. A pretty devilish but fun gameplay mechanic is interacting with Christine. Being a mute, she cannot talk to you and in a game that is all about dialogue that’s unheard of. In order to interact with her, you have to interpret her gestures and facial expressions and figure out what she is trying to get across and then answer her with what you thought she meant. This can be hard sometimes with you upsetting her or annoying her when you misinterpret her. Some explanations can be very tricky and almost impossible to decipher.
Although you have a 4 person team, you can only choose one companion at a time. This may seem like a waste but Dead Money does well to disguise the fact that you’re only working with one at a time. At times when you are on your own, you will feel the immense difference in atmosphere compared to the security you feel with a companion. With each having their own special talents and attacks, they really help in situations you would never be able to get out of on your own.
The writing and dialogue in Dead Money is superb, and is miles above the depth and dialogue of characters you meet in the main story. Dead Money’s story, history and characters has been thoroughly thought out. Although there aren’t many characters within the package, each has so much to say with none of it being boring. Plus, plot twists are aplenty as the story progresses, with the history and secrets of the Sierra Madre casino being very interesting and quite an enchanting tale.
Welcome to hotel Sierra Madre, such a lovely place to get stuck in
When you actually get into the hotel, there is a lot to explore. Not much that helps with progressing through the story but for looting and exploring it is good fun. Also the interior and design of the hotel are great even with most of it being destroyed ruins. Although while running into cupboards I got stuck in places and had to reload an earlier save. Also at two points the game crashed and completely froze my Xbox. I know Fallout: NV when released had bugs but I hoped they might have fixed those by now.
Listen! Listen! Listen to me now!
Dead Money had a lot to live up to; some of the Fallout 3 DLC were outstanding. Dead Money falls flat on its face trying to live up to their reputation; it attempts to be too much. While the story and dialogue are very in-depth and interesting, the gameplay leaves much to be desired. One word to describe Dead Money might be “empty”. No diversity in enemies, characters (the low number of them), areas and dangers. It is of a fantastic length and will take you around 7-8 hours to finish, but this then becomes another downfall. Because of its emptiness you are always looking forward to the finish line and wanting the end to come swiftly.
Although the game is brimming with excellent dialogue, which is an example of things to come I hope, everything about Dead Money reeks of money making. Obsidian has pushed everything they possibly could, from the same backgrounds and surroundings to the same similar quests time after time just in an effort to make this DLC seem more than it actually is.
Dead Money has an eerie atmosphere and will keep you on your toes for the whole playing time. Plus it is quite difficult with some very frustrating sections. If you are a Fallout fan then Dead Money is worth the 800MSP, but if you are looking for something to play over the holidays you could do much better with your money.
Excellent dialogue and characters. A very well written and in depth story.
Empty surroundings, lack-lustre gameplay and sometimes quite difficult.