To me, Honest Hearts really wasn't that good...

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Discussion' started by Surf Solar, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Surf Solar

    Surf Solar So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2009
    Since I wanted to do a review for some other page of Honest Hearts, I today played through it again (was the 3rd time). And what can I say, as much as I always defend Obsidians take on Fallout and the DLC, this one I really don't like, not in the slightest.

    This is really sad, since the DLC actually begins very promising. The little nod towards the "new generation gamer!11" at the start of the caravan run was, even though too obvious, quite funny. The buildup, what the caravan leader had to tell you about the Zion Park was very good too. Then, you arrive in the park after some pretty uninspiring slideshow (compared to the previous Dead Money Intro) and the obvious trope gets repeated, your caravan gets slaughtered (except of the player ofcourse!) and you must find your way out of the battle!!!

    While you meet Follows Chalk you learn a bit about the wildlife and such. His character was a bit too cliche aswell, but it delivered, I didn't raise a brow while listening to his dialog. It all builds up nicely, you have some scripted scene where a Yao-Guai eats a gecko and your companion drops a line about it. Nice! While you travel to the destination Follows Chalk points you, you notice there are quite a lot of locations to explore (via his perk if you stand high on the cliffs). Nice - thinks the player - there's gonna be a shitload of stuff to discover here! Unfortunately, there isn't. All that's there to find on the numerous location markers is either nothing, random loot you already seen a thousand times in the Mojave Wasteland, or the small but very very good diaries of the Survivalist.

    Speaking of the latter, this was actually the only redeeming fact which stood out on top of all the other things in this DLC for me. The Survivalist's story was very well written, nicely tied into the Fallout universe giving some unique perspective of many events in the Canon and even connected to some stuff which was happening in the Mojave Wastelands past. In short - this was really good. I liked the fact that the game gave me sympathies towards some person you never actually meet. But, couldn't I just read all those text messages on, let's say, the Fallout Wikia? I wish I did, since all the other stuff in the DLC was a letdown for me.

    There was no music whatsoever. Nothing. I already noticed that when I walked over the first wooden bridge, thought "oh well I bet it's intentional, it gets better eventually". No, it didn't. All music used was very random, chosen out of a pool of the Mojave ones, which have done a good job into seeminglessly connecting each place. I am someone who really enjoys music and atmosphere in the game, doing such a lazy job on the audio department is just a no-go, especially when you know that this is a thing which doesn't take so long, especially when all the assets are already done. This was also a perfect occassion they could've used the Arroyo track from Fallout 2. Ofcourse they didn't. It was just lazy, given the fact that it can be done very quick, even in a "publisher is sitting on our neck" way.

    There were no soundeffects used for various occasions, even when, again, the assets were there and all it would take is to place them in the respective contexts. There was this new rain feauture, which looked almost like a joke thanks to no soundeffects and far better working community mods. It is not rocket science to record very good and varying rain sounds. If even I can do that on a decent basis as an amateur, then you gotta expect some better stuff from Obsidian Entertaiment? But there was none. I would've even said "ok..." if there were just enviromental sounds, like wind, water flowing and so on, like the very same company did it very good in previous games. What they delivered in HH? None.

    The "quests" were a joke. Collect this, go there, come back. Kill them, because we are lazy, take this mine, shoot this guy, come back. I get that they want to encourage me as the player to explore the area, but what is there to explore other than the aforementionend Survivalists caches? Nothing, but empty scenery.

    Navigating up and down was a nightmare, even when they learned some new tricks or two to set cliff blockers, it was still incredibly boring to navigate through all those rather dull and alien looking cliffs.

    The characters all pissed me off. We all knew that Graham won't reach the expections we all when we've read the Van Buren docs, that's a given. But seeing such a dull and uninspired character was really rage inducing, the same goes for Daniel. They both looked nothing else for me than to deliverers for 2 different variables, in the most obvious way. All this talk about religion and the bible put even Fallout 3 to a shame in comparison. Was that really neccesary? The premise of the DLC - how "innocence" can be handled in certain situations - could've lived perfectly fine without religious nutjobs and bible quotes in every second dialogue note. As an agnostic, it felt very irritating.

    To boil it down, the quests were uninspiring and pretty much ended after 2-3 hours at best (not to mention that one of the endings was bugged and I couldnt end the game on different savegames) and they want me to "explore" the scenery. But what is there to "explore"?

    I honestly don't want to troll, I really like Mr. Sawyer and the rest of the Obsidian team and would always defend them with rational arguments, but this DLC feels not much better than any other DLC in Fallout 3, for example. Am I really the only one here who thinks this?
     
  2. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    Agreed, it's not really a bad DLC but it's kind of a let down compared to the other two. I'd say it's about on par with Point Lookout though.
     
  3. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    I can understand this, and yes there were some major disappointments with this DLC such as the quests and the characters.

    Graham's change was not that bad but it was simply to little.
    It would have been interesting if you could have met him while he was still more like the Malpais Legate like in Van Buren, and then slowly redeem him or make him even more evil.

    Truth be told, I really wanted to see New Canaan or any other settlement the New Canaanites had founded, not just Zion Valley.
     
  4. burningsnow126

    burningsnow126 First time out of the vault

    67
    Jul 2, 2011
    Other than tons of ingredients for campfire recipes, i couldn't find a reason to go back to zion. After the end of the dlc, everyone interesting from it just vanishes and your left with tribals who constantly say "Goot!". It would have been nice if a tribal trader stayed there and can become a reliable vendor for poisons and other stuff. They really didn't follow up after completion of the story which would have made this dlc alot better than it is.
     
  5. Wintermind

    Wintermind Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 21, 2011
    I was really disappointed it existed solely in the park. It would've been great to be able to visit New Canaan (even if it had already been sacked, though preferably otherwise) as I had really been hoping for a chance to interact with another civilization, get the chance to make some money setting up deals and getting interact with other people outside the mojave.

    Also, as an atheist, i didn't give two fucks about the religious shit. I found it and the characters rather interestingly presented.
     
  6. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Well, but New Canaan isn't close to Zion. The national park is just kind of in the middle of the way. Adding New Canaan in there would mean two worldspaces that are connected in a weird time-travel kind of way, like moving from the Mojave to Zion. It just doesn't feel right, because you don't travel for days, you are there in one loading screen. Adding New Canaan into this as well is just bad. Very bad.

    Adding music 'n shit can still be done via a mod (pc version). It's actually not very hard. I would do it by myself, but I don't feel very motivated to do anything with music and sound effects.
     
  7. Stanislao Moulinsky

    Stanislao Moulinsky Vault Fossil

    Jul 16, 2009
    I always wondered if the "Burned Man" DLC wasn't originally supposed to be something else. In FO:NV they always mention New Canaan and Ringo and the (moron) merecnaries in Primm say they will head there, which leads to the obvious conclusion that you'll meet them there.

    Instead we find ourselves in Zion, the Burned Man says very little about himself and the Legion, and if it wasn't for the excuse that the White Legs wants to kill him because Caesar ordered it (a plot point Obsidian admitted was a bad choice) you could replace him with anyone else.

    Mah?
     
  8. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    The town of Springdale is very close to Zion National Park, and it is founded by Mormons.

    I believe in an article on some website it was even suggested that Springdale might replace Ogden as New Canaan before that was proven to be false.

    Even so, I think they could have used Springdale as a new Mormon town after the destruction of New Canaan and a place for the player to visit.
     
  9. Starwars

    Starwars Mildly Dipped

    592
    Sep 17, 2006
    Honest Hearts has actually turned out to be my favorite DLC. Now, I would've gladly welcomed a bit more character interaction as well as more interesting quests in general.

    I *loved* that they opted to go for a fairly quiet experience, ditching the music in many areas. Fit the atmosphere of Zion perfectly if you ask me. Though I'd definitely agree that the Arroyo track could've been effective in the tribal camps.

    What I also like about Honest Hearts is that it's a fairly easy experience to replay. I loved Dead Money and liked Old World Blues but they are experiences that really push themselves onto you. Whether it's the hardcore Survival feel of Dead Money coupled with the rather dramatic companions or the whole Science! schtick in Old World Blues as well as the awful combat encounters.

    Honest Hearts is a lot more low-key overall (though the combat is still kinda bullshit at times depending on what level you are) which I think is pretty refreshing. I also thoroughly enjoyed the religious themes to it and the spiritual feel of it all. I've never been a huge fan of tribals in Fallout but Honest Hearts is easily my favorite depiction of that side of it so far if you ask me.

    Would've loved a bit more content overall in it but it's easily my favorite now that I've played them at least once. Dead Money was probably my favorite on the first playthrough. Old World Blues is my least fav.
     
  10. Bad_Karma

    Bad_Karma Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    364
    Jun 17, 2007
    Honest Hearts itself wasn't too bad.
    But the story felt thin.
    Neither Graham or Daniel added enough story. They really felt more like mere WoW-Quest-giver characters "Oh well your back with my XYZ, now please go and fetch me some ABC", than real characters. Not enough dialog for me, not enough speaking about what was going on.
    The tribals were faceless stranger. I mean really, you want me to feel with these tribes, than give me a bit more interaction with them than only through 3 small characters.
    The best thing about the whole DLC was the survivalist. I'm happy they added him, but he alone wasn't enough to hide the shallow plot line.

    The exploration part felt nice and overall i liked Zion - i've to say together with the Survivalist i felt that this should have been the way, exploring the Mojave should have felt.
    Can't point exactly out why, but i guess it's because the whole survivalist rewards you not only with some gun, but some real cool story. There are traces of this in NV but it's like with peanuts. A lot of things may contain traces of them, but only some of them really contain real ones.

    Hmm on a side note, i sometimes wonder if we would got more lines with the main characters if they weren't spending their money on well known actors to speak the characters but maybe only real 'voice actors' (but than again i don't know the situation in america, but i allways wonder why they've to use crappy german actors lately to voice people in games and to dub movies, while we've got more professional and better 'Voice actors'...).
     
  11. :::SILUS:::

    :::SILUS::: Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    313
    Aug 18, 2011
    I like Honest Hearts simply because it's different from other DLCs in a way that it's kind of a joy cruise, a laidback trekking enhanced by beautiful scenery, natural beauty,... Unlike i.e. Dead Money with it's tense atmosphere, anguish, complicated and layered characters, etc.

    For me, it was a nice, easy going experience, a cold beer on a scorching hot day, a relaxing massage after the intense Dead Money experience.
     
  12. NemZ

    NemZ First time out of the vault

    29
    Aug 7, 2011
    Overall a rather boring DLC with characters I didn't give a crap about making stupid arguments and generally treating the tribes involved as if they were puppets. The only redeeming features of this DLC were the confrontation with She, reading the survivalists' journals, and some useful new crafting options and perks.
     
  13. TheDidact

    TheDidact First time out of the vault

    59
    Aug 4, 2011
    It's actually one of the DLC's I actually want to journey back to on new playthroughs, unlike Dead Money.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not something extraordinary, but I do love re-reading the Survivalists story over and over again and getting his powerful rifle. It rekindled my love of the Survival trait in New Vegas, I've crafted and cooked so much, it rally helps with the Achievement associated with healing with consumables.

    It just has a charm.
     
  14. quotetheraven90

    quotetheraven90 First time out of the vault

    61
    Jul 12, 2011
    Yup, I agreed with OP's points.

    Especially with character department. Sure, give me a boring valley to explore, no problem. But at least make the NPC interesting, damnit! Daniel is a joke, I felt a tremendous apathy toward him. While Graham is an interesting guy, too many things can be done to make him even better.

    Don't really like the tribal's companions, they're bland as hell I wish Jericho is available instead.
     
  15. TheDidact

    TheDidact First time out of the vault

    59
    Aug 4, 2011
    Being able to ally with the White Legs using the Mark of Caesar would've been cool.
     
  16. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    I actualy gre rather fond of Walking Cloud and Chalk, can't say the same about Daniel thought.
    Honest Hearts was the more laidback DLC as said before, it is kind of like a Breather adventure, but I think the main plot could have used some work, it felt kind of rushed, One thign I think was pretty much bullshit and that ruined the experience for me a little was that no matter the ending you choose the Important NPCs disappear after the quest is completed, It would have been nice to see something like new Dead Horses Camps, beign able to talk with Joshua and Daniel about what has been going on, finding sme Happy Trails caravans, etc.
    Also I htink it woudl have been better if you could save Stella at least, she was interesting, like there was a bigger story about her to tell but was cut short.
     
  17. Ophiuchus

    Ophiuchus It Wandered In From the Wastes

    105
    Jul 18, 2010
    Went through my third (and probably final) Honest Hearts play through yesterday and I'm inclined to agree with Surf Solar. On my first run, I did a bit of exploring, but mainly focused on the main quest. The second run was spent exploring every nook and cranny of Zion. This time, however, I just rushed through to gather cave fungi and acquire the .45 auto guns. I didn't even bother with the side quests, since none of them have any direct consequences.

    For me the biggest disappointment is the goodie bag at the end. It would've been nice to have Joshua actually hand you A Light Shining in Darkness. For those interested, there's a mod on the Nexus that makes the player find these items after completing the main quest.
     
  18. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Shouldn't his unique weapon be in the box?

    /Edit: Just checked the script. His weapon should be in the box as well.
     
  19. Courier

    Courier Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Apr 10, 2011
    I was just disappointed with Honest Hearts because it didn't feel like it was what it could have been. While the atmosphere of Zion was cool, I can't help but imagine that the plot and characterization would have been better had it been set in New Canaan.

    Maybe they could have done it where you arrived with Happy Trails caravan company to New Canaan then while you're doing business there the White Legs attack (killing everyone in Happy Trails of course), which forces you to flee to Zion with the New Canaanites. There you witness the New Canaanites first contact with the tribes of Zion and you help the New Canaanites get settled in the park and help gain the trust of the tribes, then the White Legs show up to finish off the New Canaanites and the plot of the Honest Hearts we know plays out.

    This could have made the whole thing feel less rushed, allowed you to explore New Canaan before it's destroyed, added 1-2 hours of gameplay, given you more of a reason to care about what goes on in Zion and the characters, etc.

    Edit:

    So to make it clearer of how I think it should have gone-

    1. Arrive at New Canaan with Happy Trails.

    2. Explore New Canaan, meet the residents, maybe do a couple optional minor quests for the Canaanites.

    3. Main quest requires you and Happy Trails to meet someplace in town to discuss trading.

    4. While at the meeting the White Legs attack, you try to hold them off in a battle but their numbers overwhelm you and the New Canaanites, they kill the Happy Trails caravan members and most of the New Canaanites in the fight, you and a few others eventually manage to escape and as you see New Canaan burning behind you.

    5. Another introductory cutscene, arrive at Zion.

    6. While helping the New Canaanites try to set up a place they can call home, you discover the Sorrows and the Dead Horses.

    7. Do a quest or two where you help the Canaanites deal with the tribes, trying to show them you aren't a threat and the like.

    8. Hear word that the White Legs have found out the Canaanites are in Zion.

    9. Plot of Honest Hearts plays out, but with more New Canaanites involved than just Graham and Daniel.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ^ Something along those lines at least. I really don't give a damn if a DLC is linear just as long as it provides a good experience and story like Dead Money.
     
  20. Wintermind

    Wintermind Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 21, 2011
    I'm not really familiar the geography of the region. However, even though from the beginning I new we get attacked enroute, I was still hopping to get to see another civilization and do some sort of trading deal.

    Hell, you could even finish the stuff in Zion and then get to see the repercussions of your decision with regards to the white legs, but you'd also get the chance to help the trading company and make some deals and just get to see an actual civilization that's not with the NCR or mojave, and even have some quests dealing with the fallout of your actions and what not.

    I dunno, I was just hoping for a nice, functioning place for you to visit.