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Honest Hearts; a great add on for a great game
Honest Hearts is the second DLC for New Vegas, and the first I played.

The main plot focuses on the conflict between several tribes that have taken up residence in Zion National Park; the savage White Legs, the peaceful Sorrows, and the helpful Dead Horses. This conflict however, is ancillary to the characters that you meet during it. Joshua Graham is the highlight; the soft-spoken ex-Legate helps keep your main quest in mind throughout the entire adventure, while being an interesting character in his own right. Your other companions also have very defined personalities and engaging back-stories despite the short time you spend with them, and Daniel's conflicted leadership of the Sorrows made me sympathize with him a lot.

The plot isn't anything to write home about, but the characters drive it, and they do it wonderfully, with the same level of writing and voice acting present in the main game. The only thing I'd complain about is the White Legs; an Always Chaotic Evil faction doesn't sit right in a world with Grey And Gray Morality, and the inability to side with them doesn't make sense since you can side with the Legion otherwise. I don't play evil paths, however, so this hardly bothered me.

Gameplay-wise, it's more of the same, perhaps slightly harder since you can't bring much equipment with you, and because of the slightly higher enemy density. It adds a bunch of crafting recipes that make the system more valuable, which ties into the whole wilderness survival feel quite well. And one of the parts of the main game that I loved was exploring and scavenging, and this add-on doesn't disappoint in that regard.

SUMMARY: this is a great addition to the game, adding more great writing to experience while lacking the difficulty barrier of the first add-on. If you enjoy Fallout because of the characters, or the feeling of exploration while digging through abandoned buildings, this is worth the ten bucks.
I had a different opinion of this addon: So Okay Its Average. Yes, Graham was a great character and his unique pistol is an awesome weapon, but pretty much everything else about this add on was plain. The enemies are just Underground Monkey versions of previous ones, the Yao Gui were removed from Fallout 3 and re-added here, the weapons are all incredibly plain, and the main story is just short (it took me five hours to complete). While I do think it's worth the money as I'm a Fallout fan, I still liked Dead Money better. Dead Money was a real hit or miss DLC, and was quite sadistically difficult at times, but at least it was ambitious, original, and had gameplay elements the vanilla game didn't.
comment #8203 CPFMfan 20th Jun 11
Well, I can't say much about the Yao Gui since I didn't play 3, but I will agree the White Legs are just more poorly characterized raiders.

I have to disagree otherwise; the add-on has plenty of interesting moments- I mean, doing an entire sidequest high on tea? Though I could've done without the Escort Mission... And as I mentioned, it strengthens wilderness survival as a gameplay mechanic, which isn't new but is much appreciated.

I also thought it was kinda short, but that's not a bad thing (I like getting my money's worth, but I prefer brevity to Ending Fatigue or Xen Syndrome).

Thanks for reading my review and commenting
comment #8207 CleverPun 21st Jun 11 (edited by: CleverPun)
I liked most of it, save for a) not being able to side with the white legs and b) for the story failing to build up to a proper climax. The first time I played it, I finished the DLC by accident because I didn't realise that once the escort misson was over, so was the story arc.

comment #10914 maninahat 19th Oct 11
I really disliked Honest Hearts, the characters got on my nerves and most of the quests were just fetch quests in a prettier locale.
comment #10917 Benjayman 19th Oct 11
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