Honest Hearts...too trivialized out of the DLC?

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by The Man From Nowhere, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2017
    I thought this DLC added quite a bit of lore and a new Scenic location to explore with engaging tribal politics. Wandering the landscape of Zion almost gave vibes of per-Colonial United States or a bit after Europeans arrived as opposed to the Wild West of New Vegas which was pretty well done if that's what they were going for.

    Plus discovering the whole Survivalist story was one of my favorite Fallout experiences.

    Sure it's not the like other DLC's where the fate of the Mojave is at stake in some way. Just an intimate story about a tribe deciding between saving its skin or its innocence.
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  2. NMLevesque

    NMLevesque Commie Ghost

    Jul 2, 2016
    I might have liked it more if the factions were more developed. They felt a bit generic. Kind of like the locations...the Survivalist is the only saving grace in my mind. Not sure what they could add location wise, or do to make the Survivalist story more prominent.
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  3. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    The two things I enjoyed most out of the DLC is the environment (with rain in parts) and the Survivalist's story. I liked the tribes but I think they could have had a bit more development. They were there more to prop up Joshua Graham I feel.
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  4. Juza The Cloud

    Juza The Cloud Nanto Goshasei

    Jun 3, 2015
    I’d like to see a trading post open up in Zion depending on the ending you'd get a message on your pipboy telling you about trade caravans stoping over Zion for a time. Zion is so dead post dlc no merchants or npcs really.
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  5. Honestly, all of New Vegas' DLC are pretty good and generally above average, while both fitting and being far enough of the base game to serve their actual purpose.

    Thing is, it's just that HH is the weak link. While there are most definitively great points to it, they're not much enough to counter the bad; being relatively shallow, buggy, feeling kind of unfinished and the quests, main line included, were pretty fetchy and not very open ended right until the end. For a reason, it's the only DLC that gets Total Conversions all for itself.
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  6. Einhanderc7

    Einhanderc7 Vat dipped, grown and still oozing with perfection

    Apr 22, 2016
    I found that I kept on breaking Honest Hearts because I couldn't pay attention to all the religion and blah blah. So every time a character began talking about it I gave them a dirt nap. Took me a great many tries to actually get through the whole DLC.

    Even though I am opposed to all the mormon references and history. I still think Honest Hearts is a good DLC.

    I'm also sure I'm not the only one who shot the first friendly tribal you see as well. I opted to keep going and murder everything in my path in that play through because everyone was hostile and I couldn't figure out why.
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  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    It's my favorite of the four DLC.

    What a surprise I'm against the grain.

    Mostly because I am a big churchy churchy in real life.

    I also genuinely hated Dead Money with a burning passion and enjoyed the fact the story was critical of treating natives as Noble Savages as well as childlike without making a huge issue of it.
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  9. Alphons

    Alphons National Beholder

    Aug 9, 2017
    Fetch quests were kinda annoying (finding compasses and other junk).

    Companions were kinda bland (haven't gave much info about them, when you look at other companions).

    Really liked the way they collided Grahams views (Old Testaments eye for an eye) with Daniel (New Testaments forgiveness).

    Outside the main cast I can't say much about characters. They weren't developed as much as in other DLCs (maybe because it had the most of them?)

    I'm gonna say it- in Fallouts there isn't another beautiful location like Zion.

    Overall- 2 Honest Hearts out of Wasteland Workshop.
  10. Marinc

    Marinc Per Aspera Ad Astra

    Feb 6, 2017
    I quite liked Honest Hearts, the scenery gave that wild west feeling, and it added some good crafting options. And "the father in the cave" thing was nice.
  11. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Why do I feel as though if the rest of us hated Dead Money you'd love it?

    Too bad you can't tell the Sorrows about him. Or maybe it's best not to.
  12. lolpop109

    lolpop109 Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Jul 14, 2016
    I found that out of all the DLC locations this was the one I traveled back to the most after completing it. It was nice to just explore. The weapons that came with the DLC where pretty good too. Was't that much too it however I mean it sort of felt like lone some road in some ways. Maybe a touch empty. But that's all bethsda's fault
  13. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016
    I think Honest Hearts most memorable element is the fact people actually seem to be genuinely good here without being unbelievable.

    Here's the review I did of the DLC:

    Fallout: New Vegas: Honest Hearts review

    As mentioned before, I really liked Fallout: New Vegas, so of course I'll review its add-ons as I play them. I confess, I wasn't too fond of Dead Money so I was worried about whether or not Honest Hearts would also be too different from Fallout: New Vegas to be enjoyable. Why mess with a winning formula? Thankfully, Honest Hearts is a return to the original gameplay style and benefits strongly from this.

    The premise of Honest Hearts is a fairly simple one. The Courier has decided to leave the Mojave Desert for a time and joins up with the Happy Trails Caravan Company to explore new vistas. Why? I dunno, maybe the Courier needs some R&R. Since when have video game add-ons needed a reason to go exploring?

    The Happy Trails Caravan Company is heading away from the Mojave Desert to a place heretofore unexplored in the Fallout universe: Utah. Specifically, Zion National Park. Utah in the Fallout universe is a real hellhole, filled with degenerate tribes and Raiders. You know, like virtually every spot in the universe prior to the heroes going there and cleaning it out. Utah is especially bad, however, to the point many locals would welcome Caesar's Legion.

    Yet, it is not the hellhole portion of the state which the PCs visit. They accidentally stumble upon the one pristine oasis in the entirety of the Wasteland. In Zion Nation Park, a real-life location, a group of human survivors have settled down into a peaceful hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The Sorrows and the Dead Horses tribes are (mostly) isolated from the rest of humanity and have suffered less than most. These two tribes have a friendly relationship with the New Caananites (Mormons) to the North and all is well.

    So, of course, someone is coming to kill them all.

    This classic story of imperiled locals is made more complex by the deep attention to detail given to the tribes, their motivations, and the ethical quandaries of violence. The game, possibly driving half of you off right now, also questions the issue of what role religion will play in Post-Apocalypse society. Honest Hearts has the relatively uncontroversial answer that many older religions will continue on as before while new ones will emerge.

    A beautiful set of scenery in the otherwise devastated post-apocalyptic world.

    What makes it powerful is the game doesn't dance around the issue either. People mention the role of Christianity in their lives and how it affects them, for both good and ill. Of the two main characters you interact with, Daniel is the typical Christian ideal of a pacifist who wishes only to escape the violence. The second, Joshua Graham is a former warrior for Caesar's Legion with a thirst for Old Testament justice and the scriptural knowledge to back it up. The two characters both have virtues and flaws with how they relate to their faith being something the main character can comment on.

    Irreligious players should note they control Courier's beliefs. They can make their Courier atheist, religious, agnostic, or anything in-between. Ultimately, while religion plays a very strong role in the story, it is not something that's shoved down the player's throat. Instead, the game gives a subtle examination of faith and what it means to people in desperate circumstances. I really liked this.

    The storytelling makes players question their usual devotion to violence in video games. Daniel has a perfectly sensible plan to escape the tribes threatening them without violence yet I suspect most players will be inclined to go with Joshua Graham's solution due to its more exciting plot line. In real life, I suspect many of us long for the power the Courier possesses to change the world with violence. It doesn't make Daniel weak but it does cause me to question whether we're all not a little like Joshua Graham in the end.

    The return of tribals, largely absent from the Fallout universe since Fallout 2, was also appreciated. People worried this game will be a case of "Mighty Whitey" should note that the tribals are descendants of refugees from the Great War and not in any way related to any real-life ethnic group. This nicely smooths over any of the unfortunate implications which might normally be involved in a fairly typical retelling of a Western tale of good tribals versus bad ones.

    The gameplay of Honest Hearts is identical to that of the main game. There's new enemies and Yao Guai return from Fallout 3. The DLC is something of an experience sink with large amounts of EXP to be had and generous rewards in equipment. I especially liked having a non-Faction specific version of the New California Republic's Ranger armor. The Survivalist's Rifle is something I enjoy so much I decided to keep it for the rest of the game. Best of all, like Dead Money, it raises the level cap of Fallout: New Vegas five additional levels.

    In conclusion, I really enjoyed Honest Hearts and suggest any fans of New Vegas pick it up.

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  14. The Man From Nowhere

    The Man From Nowhere It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 28, 2017
    Honest Hearts for the dialog options alone made the Sneering Imperialist a perk worth taking.
  15. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Honest Hearts is the DLC I like the most, despite its shortcomings. It really needed a couple months more time to get everything into better shape, though.

    Just remember the first meeting with Follows-Chalk. He appears in such a weird way that plenty folks attacked him on sight, disabling the DLCs story within its first 5 minutes and not even realizing it until much later (happened to me too).
  16. peadar87

    peadar87 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 4, 2015
    Yeah, I popped him with a sniper rifle the first time I saw him. The only reason I realised was because that made me instantly fail about 73 quests. Luckily I'd saved before crossing the bridge (I saw the cart in the gorge below and had the suspicion it was going to collapse and kill me!)
  17. Jogre

    Jogre So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 25, 2015
    I'm with Phipps on this one, Honest Hearts is my joint favourite of the New Vegas DLC along with Dead Money(I'm not with Phipps on that one)

    The DLC really explores the concepts of tribals, and goes in to fun details with the Survivalist, and how from reading his entries you can find out about how the Sorrow's beliefs developed, which is a huge bonus as far as I'm concerned. Could the tribes be a little more developed?, Sure, but I loved the little things like the tribal taboos, or the pidgin languages.

    I also really love the character of Joshua Graham, and think nobody really appreciates how remarkably well written he is. He's a very likeable character who shows genuine compassion, and thus it's very easy to get attached to him and involved with his emotional struggles. The best thing about Joshua Graham is that despite coming across as pragmatic and reasonable, when you dig deeper in to his character, you see he's a very flawed character, and lots of his decisions are more to do with his troubled past and deep rooted issues than the seemingly pragmatic excuses he makes.

    When you dig deeper in to his character, you find that his desire to wage war against the White Legs is strongly influenced by his anger(Shown by his vengeance against Salt-Upon-Wounds), and a messiah complex, where he seems to view himself as, as he put it "The right hand of the Lord and the instrument of his vengeance!". Talking with Daniel implies this isn't just the death of the New Canaanites that makes him like this, and he suggests this is very in character of Graham. While compassionate to a degree, Joshua Graham is by all means a fanatic. He feels like he's fighting a righteous crusade against the White Legs and is as a result willing to wipe them to extinction to appease his rage.

    Daniel on the other hand is something of an ideologue as well. While not a full pacifist, he believes bloodshed is an utter last resort, and will make huge sacrifices to achieve this goal. He's willing to give up Zion and even outright lie to the Sorrows to meet this end. Similar to Graham, his ideas are also strongly mixed in with emotions, and you find a lot of it is to do with trauma he faced during the destruction of New Canaan.

    I love how neither choice is really the right way to go about things. It's as morally grey a choice I've ever seen in a Fallout game tbh. Graham is right in that a tribe on the warpath can't be reasoned with, and that the more they run, the further the White Legs will conquer south, Daniel is right that there is no need for bloodshed and that you shouldn't force a sensitive tribe like the Sorrows who aren't used to war to fight. It is a difficult decision and I can see why you'd choose either way.

    I also love how it discusses the idea of retributionist justice(An eye for an eye) with Joshua's vengeance against Salt-Upon-Wounds. The DLC basically asks you whether it's ok to kill in vengeance, or whether it's best to avoid bloodshed no matter who it's of. Whether you encourage Graham take vengeance against Salt-Upon-Wounds or to show mercy greatly shapes the Sorrows. If you teach them it's ok to kill in cold blood, they take it to heart and become ruthless in how they deal with others, whereas if you teach them to show mercy and forgive their enemies, they keep their peaceful ways.

    The companions are ok. Walking Cloud could have been more detailed, but I quite liked Follows-Chalk's optimistic attitude, sense of humour, and fascination with the outside world. Another thing I love is how seemingly innocent talks with Follows-Chalk has dire consequences, and encouraging him to follow his dreams leads him to vanish off the face of the earth presumed dead. This encouragement seems positive at the time, but when you look in hindsight you realise how inexperienced he was and how easily he could die in unfamiliar environments. That's honestly a brilliant way of making the player feel guilt.

    The location is awesome, and gives you a genuinely brilliant reason to explore(Survivalist's story)

    As I believe is mentioned before in this thread, fetch quests are yucky, but that being said any of the side quests are actually fairly decent, and rescuing Bighorner Calves and destroying totems makes the way you approach the quests feel unique. It doesn't offer as much of a unique experience content-wise as say Dead Money where the entire way the game is played is changed, but many of the quests are a nice relief from the standard dungeon crawls.

    Honestly, for all it's flaws I just love this DLC so goddamned much.
    Honestly, that's a plus for me.

    It feels a lot more a personal of a story when small groups are involved.

    Saving the world or a good chunk of it from being nuked or clouded by an insane villain is fine, but the scale is so large and unimaginable it doesn't really feel like you see what's at stake.

    With tribes and characters you get attached to being all that's at stake, somehow it feels more relatable.
    • [Like] [Like] x 2
  18. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    For me, HH is probably the third best of the DLCs (Dead Money is best to me). Then again, I liked all the DLCs so being third best wouldn't matter.

    One thing I loved about HH was the story of the Survivalist. Even just reading it out of context, the story is still an amazing read and worth exploring the caves to find each entry to the story.

    Another thing I loved that @Jogre brought up is how there are morally grey choices. From choosing to drive out the White Legs vs fleeing Zion, neither choices will be the absolutely ideal choice due to the long term consequences that the actions taken for those choices would bring about. Graham is right that the Sorrows have a right to defend their home from hostile invaders and that the White Legs are a threat to be opposed but Daniel is also right that the Sorrows should be allowed to retain their innocence and not indulge in violence and bloodshed.

    Even better is that if you were to side with Graham, you can still teach a lesson to the Sorrows on mercy & restraint even against a hated enemy. I feel like this follows along one of the Survivalist's lessons to them namely that they are not to hurt each other but that if someone else comes along and tries to hurt them, they may have to strike back with righteous anger. By doing so, you can expand on this lesson and ensure that the Sorrows know that retribution can be tempered with mercy. Being able to do this was satisfying.

    Plus Graham. Graham's a great character and his dialogue reflects the kind of man he has become after his ordeals and deeds. Even better is that even as he is atoning at the present, he's still vulnerable to the same kind vices and flaws that he carried over from his days as the Malpais Legate.

    I always go for driving out the White Legs not only because I feel that it's the choice the Survivalist would have made, it is also to get this line from Graham:
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  19. peadar87

    peadar87 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jun 4, 2015
    I tried to be smart on my second playthrough of HH. I thought I could save the Sorrows' innocence by keeping them out of the assault, and taking on the White Legs myself. I fought myself all the way up Three Marys, only to find the camp deserted.
  20. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I find it funny that - of all the people - a quote from the Burned Man made it into mainstream pop culture.
    • [Like] [Like] x 1