After having an impressive build-up over the course of the game, Lonesome Road finally allows the player to embark on a quest to confront the enigmatic Ulysses, the man responsible for your 'kick in the head'. But the problem with hyping up a future 'battle of couriers' is that the story needs to deliever everything it promised. And does it?
The setting of the Divide is a fascinating battleground to fight in. Not since FO 3
could you see such utter devastation of a city, filled with listing skyscrapers and crumbling highways. It's stunning to look at, which does make kinda disappointing that you really can't explore it. True, the DLC is called Lonesome Road
, but FNV is all about fun exploration.
The enemies is where the DLC really starts to disappoint. Sure, deathclaws are terrifying, but we've seen them before, and dumping a bunch of them around just creates Fake Difficulty
rather than an actual challenge. The Marked Men have an interesting origin, but are otherwise generic fighters. The Tunnelers, though, are visually interesting and tough with just enough of a weakness to make them challenging. It does feel like they were a bit forgotten though, because despite Ulysses's warnings about them, they're not mentioned again.
Finally, the story, where this DLC ultimately fails. The whole reason why the courier walks the road is to find out why Ulysses set them up. FNV has been very skilled thus far in telling the player a story about past events in ways that are still poignant and meaningful despite it happenings centuries before. But here, the entire story is dictated to the courier by Ulysses. You have to take his word for it about what the Divide was, what happened to it, and why Ulysses hates you. There is not a single scrap of real evidence about this community that the courier apparently destroyed - no rotted bones, no holotapes, no terminal entries. Without any real links to those people, to what Ulysses lost, his anger and pettiness seem meaningless, a mere excuse for a boss fight instead of a story. And considering how FNV has done so well in humanizing their villains and creating tearjerkers from terminal logs, this is deeply disappointing. The battle between couriers was only 'epic' because of nukes that were targeting places you actually
had reasons to care about.
In the end, a real disappointment.